Friday, August 23, 2013

A Little Bit Scandalous Book Tour: Review + Excerpt + Giveaway!

Welcome to my post for the A Little Bit Scandalous book tour! I have a review of this lovely book coming up, as well as an excerpt and a giveaway for a $25 gift card. But, before we get to all that, allow me to introduce the book:

A Little Bit Scandalous (Forbidden Love, #3)
Release date: August 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing: Scandalous 
Genre: Historical (Victorian) Romance
Series: Forbidden Love #3

A woman in search of a gamble…

Mathematics prodigy, Caroline Jellico, plans to support herself by winning big in the gaming hells of London—while dressed as a boy. She’s tired of waiting for the elusive Roe to notice her. She’ll marry him or no man.

A gambler in need of redemption…

Monroe Grisham, Duke of Chanceworth, needs to marry off his beautiful young ward and ensure she attaches herself to the right man, not an irresponsible cad like him. But all grown up now, Caroline’s presence is an utter distraction. One he can neither act on nor deny.

A game of seduction…

But when Roe and Caroline meet across the gaming table, all bets are off. Seduction is in the cards and the winner will take all…or lose everything.



My Rating: 5 Roses

What can I say about this book? It was just brilliant! A card-shark of a heroine, a guilt ridden rake of a hero, high stakes, steamy romance, and a swindler on the loose. A Little Bit Scandalous had all that and more. Loved this book!

Caroline was a wonderful heroine. She was just so easy to like. She's had an infatuation with Roe for years and, even though he rejected her, she wasn't going to let that bring her down. So, she packs up to London, decides she wants to obtain independence, and sets about doing just that by playing cards in a club, dressed up as a boy. And I really liked that she was a reasonable heroine. I love my romance heroines, but they have a tendency to be melodramatic. It was nice to see a heroine who was a little more clear headed. I really liked her character. I thought she was just great.

Roe was also amazing. Though he's always had a thing for Caroline, he never let himself do anything about it because he feels that he's responsible for her brother's death. Is that true? No. But that doesn't stop him for feeling guilty about surviving while his best friend died. He might play the part of the rake, but he was a gentleman at heart. Except when it suited him not to be. He was so sweet and adorable and I just loved him. He was a brilliant hero.

The romance was lovely. It was so sweet, with how both Caroline and Roe fell for each other, even while they told themselves they shouldn't. But, thankfully, they didn't wallow in denial for long. And, though the chemistry was undeniable, I would say it was more sensual than spicy. And I liked that about it. I could feel that sexual tension throughout the entire book and, when it was finally realized, it was steamy.

The plot was fast paced and I was hooked. The investigation of who was stealing money from the orphanage kept me riveted and the final reveal of what was going on with that scheme was a surprise. The story was lovely and the ending was perfect.

A Little Bit Scandalous was a brilliant historical romance. I LOVED this book! It had steamy romance, mystery, secrets. Romance lovers, you have to read this book, because it's just fantastic. 

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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Excerpt:

Caroline stood in the dark. She was not particularly skilled when it came to determining if a man was attracted to her. She hadn’t stayed in London for her Season long enough after Roe had rejected her proposal, but Roe had behaved as if she tempted him, as if their kiss had affected him just as it had her.

Perhaps he behaved that way with any woman who got close enough to him. Somehow she doubted that, though. She’d seen Lady Fairfax, the kind of woman Roe had affairs with. A sophisticated woman with curves aplenty, lovely golden hair, and big blue eyes. Not at all like Caroline’s unruly mouse-brown hair and her own lackluster brown eyes. And she’d seen the kind of woman Roe intended to marry, someone who looked a bit like her, only a much more attractive version.

Caroline had not come downstairs to spy on Roe. She’d wandered down to find a book to read and had seen a particularly interesting looking text in Roe’s study on mathematics. She clutched her dressing gown closer around her as the draft from the night air wafted around her. She’d thought Roe had left hours ago. Evidently not.

She waited a few breaths before making her way to Roe’s study. She intended to walk in and go immediately for the book, say goodnight, and be on her way. Instead, she locked her gaze on him and boldly asked, “Are you and Lady Fairfax having an affair?"

Roe looked up from his desk, then leaned back in his chair, folding his hands over his abdomen. The pose was nothing short of masculine perfection. 

She silently cursed her body and its betraying desire. 

“We were. Once. But no longer,” he said, his words even, unwavering. 

She tried to think of something to say, but merely stood there as the relief washed over her. “She’s quite beautiful.”

Roe nodded. “She is.”

The book she’d come to retrieve was on the bookshelf behind Roe. She could see the reddish leather mocking her. Still, she made no move to claim it. Mathematical treatise could not hold her attention when Roe was near. Her mind barely functioned well enough to hold a conversation, let alone read about the complexities of algebra. “What did she want?” It wasn’t her concern, she knew that. She was nothing to Roe, nothing but a financial burden and he owed her no explanation about anything. Still she was curious. 

“Me,” he said with a grin.

I want you, too. But still, his obvious humor in the matter sent another flood of relief through her. If he was still interested in Lady Fairfax, he would not be joking about the matter with her. “I see. Your arrogance knows no bounds, does it?” He tilted his head as if considering her question. “I don’t believe it does.”

“I came down to borrow a book.” Caroline stood in the same spot, her eyes unable to leave Roe’s face.

“Do you want to play a few hands?” he asked.

“I do,” she said without thinking. They hadn’t played since the night he discovered her disguise, and her hands had been itching to touch the cards, to see the numbers tally in her mind. It would be a good diversion from what her mind was currently considering—all the ways Roe could seduce her. He motioned for her to come forward.

“Pull up that chair.” He indicated the wooden chair that currently sat near the window adjacent to his desk.

She dragged it across the Persian rug and brought it to the edge of his mahogany desk. She would have a difficult time saying no to a game in any circumstances, but this one, here tonight with Roe, it would have been impossible. She had nothing to compete with Lady Fairfax except her skill with cards, something Caroline knew Roe would appreciate and value. So she’d do her best, challenge him, beat him, and then be able to go to bed tonight knowing while she might not be prettiest woman in his life, she was the smartest.

He retrieved a deck of cards from his top drawer and nimbly shuffled them, flipping and fanning them within his hands. He had beautiful hands, large, broad, masculine hands with a light dusting of hair on each knuckle, and neat, manicured nails. Hands that had touched her throat and her face when he’d kissed her.

She felt her cheeks warm and knew they likely burned red. She looked down, inspected her own hands, which she’d never felt were particularly feminine because her fingers were long and narrow. Her own nails were blunt and jagged from her bed habit of picking at them when she was nervous. She remembered, when she’d been very young, her mother had told her that her hands were that of a pianist. Caroline had tried to play sometime after that, but she’d never been particularly musical.

“I met someone tonight.” Caroline hadn’t intended to bring up Penelope so abruptly. Still, her curiosity seemed to know no bounds.

“Yes, the American fellow, I saw.”

Caroline frowned. “No, not Mr. Bishop, although I suppose I met him as well. No, I meant I’d met someone you knew. Penelope, or I should probably refer to her as Lady Granger, though she introduced herself with her Christian name.”

Roe stiffened and the cards in his hand stilled, but it was so brief a moment that had she not been studying him, she would likely have missed it. “Yes, I do know Lady Granger.”

 “Of course you do. You were betrothed to her once?”

He met her gaze. “No, we were never officially betrothed. I realized things would not work out between the two of us and we parted ways. It was for the best, as she’d already fallen in love with Lord Granger. They married shortly thereafter.”

Was that jealousy or hurt she heard in his voice? It was hard to tell, but there was a decidedly darker tone. Perhaps she shouldn’t have brought her up at all, if she reminded Roe of their painful past. She had always assumed Roe felt love was beneath him, a pedestrian emotion. She’d never considered he’d once loved and lost.

“Ready?” he asked, indicating the cards in his hand.

“Yes.” He still wanted to play, which relieved her. Perhaps that would lighten his mood.

He dealt her cards and she flipped them over, glanced at both. Twenty. His brow slowly rose.

“I’ll stay.”

“Very good.” He checked his own hand. “Dealer takes one. And another one.” His eyes slowly rose to meet hers. He flipped his cards over. “Dealer has twenty-one.”

She turned over her own cards. “We have nothing we’re playing with,” she said. “What do I owe you?”

He cocked his hand to the side. “Nothing. We can merely play to enjoy the game.”

“You don’t believe that. There must always be stakes. You told me that the first time we played. Otherwise, there is no incentive for someone to play with skill. They get lazy, rely on luck. No, there must be something we could exchange.”

“What can you offer me?”

“A kiss,” she said before she thought better of it. She leaned forward, offering herself to him. If nothing else, her advance would give him a chuckle.

“I am not such a scoundrel that I need to win kisses from women at cards.”

“Perhaps.” She eyed him from under her lashes. “But it is not my kisses that I am offering up as prizes. I’m asking for your kisses.” Even as she said the words, her cheeks flamed, but she did not back down. A successful player never backed down from a bluff. He leaned slowly back in his chair and studied her from behind his cards.

“And why would you need to win my kisses?” he asked in a voice that sent fissures of pleasure through her entire body.

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Giveaway:
Up for grabs is a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card. Ends September 3.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

A life-long lover of stories and adventure, it was either become a stuntwoman for the movies or live out those adventures from the safety of her PJ's and computer. Award-winning author, Robyn DeHart chose the latter and couldn't be happier for doing so. Known for her unique plotlines and authentic characters, Robyn is a
favorite among readers and reviewers.

Publishers' Weekly claims her books as "sizzling romance" while the Chicago Tribune dubs her "wonderfully entertaining." Robyn is an award-winning author as well as being a four-time RT Bookclub Reviewers' Choice award nominee, and a three-time RomCon Reader's Crown nominee.

Look for Robyn's new trilogy on forbidden love coming from Entangled: A Little Bit Wicked (fall 2012), A Little Bit Sinful (spring 2013) and A Little Bit Scandalous (summer 2013).

Also in 2013, she'll launch a new historical romantic suspense series with NAL, the first in the series is The Secrets of Mia Danvers (2013).
Robyn lives in Texas with her brainy husband, two precocious little girls and two spoiled cats.



2 comments:

  1. Great excerpt, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great excerpt, I love historical romance! Thanks for the giveaway chance! :)

    ReplyDelete