Archive | March 2016

Scandalous Redemption by Amanda Mariel

I am thrilled to share Scandalous Redemption, book three in my Ladies and Scoundrels series with you!

Scandalous Redemption RevisedShe never wanted him…

Ruined by scandal, Claudia Akford survived years of marriage to a cruel brute. Widowed, she is determined to regain her standing in society, but Lord Shillington personifies temptation. Kind and gentle, yet masculine and sinfully handsome, he would make the perfect lover, but he wants more than she is willing to give.

He needed her…

While Henry Shillington knows a little of the beautiful but notorious Lady Claudia Akford, he is struck by her kindhearted, accomplished, and witty demeanor. The more time he spends in her company, the more he dreams of a future with her. But the lady resists his honorable overtures, and a mistress will never do for him.

Can two wary people overcome past hurts, an old scandal, and social strictures to embrace true love?

Excerpt:

Lord Henry Shillington strode across the music room of Lord and Lady Morse’s country estate. The force of someone bumping into him sent him stumbling backward. “Excuse me.” He whorled around, auburn curls catching his gaze as he reached out to steady her.

“You should watch your step.” The lady peered at him through narrowed fierce green eyes. “Unhand me at once.”

Henry met her icy glare. She radiated the sweet fruity scent of champagne. “You’re foxed.”

Her earbobs danced and sparkled as she leaned in close, the fire in her eyes growing more intense. “It is not your concern.” She jerked free of his hold, pivoted, and took a step. Her blue jewel-toned gown snapped with the sudden movement.

He reached out and wrapped his hand around her arm, halting her. His pulse raced. “You cannot stay here in your condition. You will cause a scandal for yourself and our hosts.”

“What concern is it of yours?” She rounded on him, her emerald eyes flashing.

His heart beat faster. He had to prevent her from causing a scene. “Allow me to escort you outside. We can stroll through the garden.” Part of him worried for their guests, but, if he were being honest, he would have to admit he wished to know more about this beauty. Something about her captivated him. Perhaps her unusual eyes or the misery he saw in her gaze.

A slow smile spread across her full lips. “Very well.”

She swayed and clung to his arm as he led her out through the veranda doors into the open country air. He slanted a look at her. What would compel a lady to become foxed so early in the evening? The sun had yet to give way to the moons glow. And who was she? Surely, they had never met before.

He turned her down a path lined with various flowers and green foliage. The details did not signify. She was clearly in distress, and he intended to help if he could. He slanted his gaze at her, studying the profile of her delicate face.

“Might we sit, Lord…what is your name?” Her intoxicating laughter floated through the empty space.

He had never heard a sweeter sound. It tugged at his heart, endearing the strange woman to him. “Lord Shillington. And yours?” He stopped in front of a cast iron bench. He could not take his eyes off her as she lowered herself onto the seat in a flutter of skirts and auburn curls. Her gaze reflected sorrow, but her lips held a breathtaking smile.

“Do sit with me, Lord Shillington.” She patted the bench next to her.

Henry positioned himself near her, but not too close. Being out here with an unchaperoned lady was scandalous enough. It was not his desire to compromise her–or himself. Given her state, he had no choice but to remove her from the gathering. However, he also had a responsibility to control the propriety of his behavior.

A cool breeze ruffled her elegant skirts, drawing his gaze over her form. Heat climbed into his cheeks as he studied her. Tall and lean, yet she possessed ample curves in all the places a man liked to see them. He trailed his gaze back to hers, offering a grin. “Your name, my lady?”

She looked at him through hooded lashes, her eyes sparkling. “Lady Claudia Akford.”

His heart skipped a beat as his throat tightened. The notorious Lady Claudia Akford. The very lady who had caused trouble for his friends, Lord and Lady Luvington? He should not be anywhere near her, least of all attempting to aid her. The scandalous lady brought on her own troubles.

He shot up from the bench. “I will not be a party to your scheming. Lord and Lady Luvington are my friends, but I suppose you already knew that.”

She stood and reached out, taking hold of his arm. A crestfallen expression came across her lovely features. “Indeed I knew nothing of the sort, nor am I scheming. Go if you must, but know you are mistaken about my motivations.”

He jerked his arm free and walked away. A soft sniff made him freeze. Do not turn around. After another step, he glanced over his shoulder. Blast it. Lady Akford sat upon the bench head hung low, shoulders trembling. With a deep inhale, he moved back to her side.

At least the risk of compromising her no longer existed. It was perfectly fine for a widow to be unchaperoned. Regardless, he was too much of a gentleman to leave her alone in such a delicate state. He would see her sober or at the very least safe in her chambers before abandoning her.

She lifted her head, her emerald eyes large and sad. “I am not the heartless harlot they make me out to be.”

He held his silk handkerchief out to her, not trusting himself to speak.

She shook her head, and he tucked the silk square back into his pocket. “I know what the ton says about me, but they have it all wrong.”

Somehow, he doubted they did. Lady Sarah Luvington would never make up a tale to injure another person’s reputation. She had told him all about Lady Akford after the vixen traipsed into Lord Luvington’s townhouse stirring up trouble. He would see her sobered then be done with her.

“You believe me, Lord Shillington?” Her gaze locked with his.

The pain in her expression compelled him to reach out and pat her gloved hand. He could not give her the cut direct regardless of what he believed. “Tell me why you are so deep in your cups at this early hour? Do you continue to grieve for your late husband?”

She shook her head. A hiccup escaped. “Some men are monsters. Lord Akford was such a man.” Her gaze penetrated him. “Do people not celebrate when monsters are slain?”

Henry swallowed past the lump in his throat. “You are…celebrating?” Her words concerned him and confused him at the same time. Perhaps the lady was mad.

She laughed and waved her fan. “No, but nor do I grieve his loss. On the contrary, I was pleased to see him gone. I never fancied Akford. He tricked me into marriage, then mistreated me for years. May his soul burn in Hell for eternity.”

“I…” Henry had never heard a lady use such strong language. Words escaped him.

“You need not say anything. Just hear me out.” She squared her shoulders and angled her body toward his.

Gads, her alabaster cheeks were far too pale. He took a deep breath and steeled himself for her story.

“Lord Akford knew I intended to marry Lord Luvington and ruined me on purpose. He set us up, then went to my father and arranged for his own marriage to me. I had little choice other than to accept. Father threatened to disown me if I refused, and all of London already saw me as a fallen woman.” She wrapped her arms across her midsection. “I will not share the details, they are too painful, but Lord Akford was a brute. There was no love lost between us.”

Henry rubbed the back of one hand across her warm cheek. “You need not go on. I have heard enough.” Did she speak the truth? He could not fathom the idea of her inventing such a tale. If Lady Akford were being honest, she had been through Hell. He owed it to her to help. But what could he do?

She stood, turning away from him. “I require another flute of champagne. Do join me.”

“That is the last thing you need. Let us speak of something more pleasant instead.” He challenged her with his gaze.

“Very well.” She plumped back down in an unladylike fashion. “Shall I tell you how memories of Lord Luvington kept me sane during my years under Lord Akford’s hand? Or would you like to hear how Lord Luvington cast me aside when I came back to him?”

A look of mortification crossed her features as the last word she uttered left her lips. She must have realized she had said too much. Henry closed his eyes and exhaled. She would not be the first person he had met whose pain drove her into a bottle, or who said things when inebriated she would never say under normal circumstances. Her awareness of her mistake somehow softened him.

“Lord Luvington married Lady Sarah. They are in love and expecting a babe. He could not very well toss her aside.”

Lady Akford peered at him. “But I deserved to be tossed aside?”

“You have misconstrued what I said. Did you listen to my words? He married another before you returned.” Henry rubbed a hand across his jaw. The lady frustrated him beyond belief.

“Yes, I am not bird-witted. I have come to accept his choice, but it does nothing to ease my heartache.” She leaned in, stopping inches from his face. “Perchance you could ease my pain.”

He met her gaze once more. “I am afraid I do not follow.”

She brought her lips to his. A jolt of warmth coursed through him as she scooted closer to rest her hand on his thigh. When she ran her tongue across his lower lip, he jerked away. “I am a gentleman, Lady Akford. Not a toy and surely not a rake.” Making mistakes when one was hurting was one thing, but this…

Preorder Scandalous Redemption today: Amazon

Ladies and Scoundrels series:

Scandalous Endeavors: Amazon Scandalous Intentions: Amazon

me 023Bestselling, Amazon All Star author Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. When she is not writing she can be found reading, crocheting, traveling, practicing her photography skills, or spending time with her family.

Amanda lives along the Lake Huron shoreline in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long-standing love affair with sugary junk food.

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Free: Scandalous Endeavors!

Scandalous EndeavorsLady Amelia has only known the comfort of life in mid-eighteenth century English aristocracy. But when her father dies, she finds herself alone, grief stricken and not of age. Her appointed guardian, an American uncle, has ordered her to relocate to America where she must remain until she comes of age.

With the help of Grace and Sarah, Amelia gets her uncle to agree to give her four weeks to settle her affairs and unbeknownst to him…find an English lord to marry. Despite her mourning period she endeavors to trap one of London’s eligible bachelors in matrimony so she can remain in her beloved England.

The Duke of Goldstone is devilishly handsome, but a Scottish Duke is entirely unacceptable as a possible husband. After all Scotland is not her beloved England. He has a nasty habit of showing up at all the wrong moments and thwarting her carefully laid plans to ensnare a suitable husband. Sparks fly as the pair find themselves at odds with each other and drawn to each other at the same time. Can they find a way to stop arguing long enough to explore their growing passion?

Scandalous Endeavors is FREE for a limited time so don’t delay-get your copy today!! Buy link: Amazon Scandalous Endeavors is also available through Kindle Unlimited.

Excerpt:

With a sigh, she positioned herself on the fountain’s edge. The first time she laid eyes on the work of art, she was a bright-eyed debutante embarking on her first season. It captured her imagination and made her dream of finding true love. She had vowed to herself in the fountain’s presence to marry for love, or die an old maid. Amelia leaned over a bit and peered at her reflection in the rippling water. That vow seemed like a million years ago. Love no longer mattered; it could not. She reached a hand into the water and glided her fingers across the surface, further distorting her image. Nothing other than staying in England mattered now. Everything she had was here. Her parents would always be here, and she could not abandon them. Who would tend their graves? Protect the things they had spent their lives building or maintaining?

“A shilling for your thoughts, Lady Amelia.”

She jerked her hand from the water and looked up into the duke’s sapphire eyes. Her pulse quickened as she replied, “You are up and about rather early given last night’s ball.” No way would she share her ponderings with him.

He grinned. “I always go for a morning ride. There is nothing more serene than watching the sunrise wash the landscape in color.” He swept his arm out in an arch indicating the scenery. “What brings you out at this hour?”

Standing up, she took a step away from him in an effort to calm her trifling body. “I had the impression everyone remained sleeping.” She gazed up through her lashes. “I needed something to occupy my time.” He stepped closer to her, so close that she could feel his breath and see the pulse that beat just beneath the skin of his neck. Her nerve endings tingled as she breathed his scent, relishing the musky aroma. “I stopped to admire the fountain. It’s a wonderful piece of art.”

“Indeed,” he said. His gaze fused with hers.

She tipped her chin up, aimed her lips at his, and rose onto her toes. When their lips touched, a tingling sensation ran through her. The warmth and softness of his mouth caused her body to cry out for something she did not understand. Amelia twined her fingers into his soft onyx locks. She wanted this moment to last forever. His tongue lightly wet her lips as he pulled her closer. She parted them on instinct, wanting what he offered. Never could she have imagined something so divine.

Suddenly, he broke the kiss, and stepped away from her. “I do not–”

She raised her chin defiantly. “Forgive me, Your Grace, I know not what I do.” She waved her hand and continued, “Something just came over me.”

His eyes glowed. Whether in pleasure or anger, she wasn’t sure.

“It seems to me you know exactly what you do. If that little show last night wasn’t enough proof, this display certainly is.” His tone cut through her.

Anger crept in and her body began to shake. “Last night is none of your concern. You can forget about our kiss as well. I assure you it will not happen again, Your Grace.”

“Please use my given name. Now that you have compromised me, Richard will do just fine.” He smirked roguishly. “As for your little game, Amelia, I intend to figure out exactly what you are up to.”

me 023

Bestselling, Amazon All Star author Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. Her hobbies include reading, writing, crocheting, traveling, photography, and spending time with her family. Some of Amanda Mariel’s favorite places in the continental U.S. are Harper’s Ferry West Virginia and Sea Brook New Hampshire. She loves the history that surrounds them and visits every chance she gets.

Amanda Mariel lives along the Lake Huron shore line in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long standing love affair with sugary junk food.

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Musings from Amanda Mariel

me 015I have been hearing and reading a lot about Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program lately, and I have to speak my piece because I feel KU/Amazon is getting a bad reputation due to miss information.

I am not saying the KU system is without flaws, but it is not as bad as some make it out to be. In fact it has several benefits for both readers and authors.

Twice in the past week I have heard people say that authors do not make money from KU, or some variation of the same thing. That is simply not true! If we made no money in KU, we would not put our books there. No one forces an author to participate in the program-we participate willingly.

Perhaps KU is not a good fit for all authors, but for me and several others I know it is a great fit. I love that my books are available to readers who may not be able to afford to outright buy them, or who want to test drive my work before purchasing it. I believe KU is an affordable alternative for readers on a budget who crave the written word.

I cannot imagine taking my books out of KU and it saddens me to think that some readers feel guilty for being in the program. The way I look at it, KU is a library for digital books. Much like a physical library. However, if anyone went into my local library, or any other physical library that carries my books, and barrowed them I would not make any money. On the contrary, when someone barrows my books in KU, I do make money. So it is a library that pays me.

Yes, there are scammers on KU and that makes me sad, but I trust that Amazon is taking steps to catch those bad apples. And if you as a reader want to help do something about the scammers there are steps you can take. First and foremost-do not click links at the start of a book that look fishy such as the click here to enter X type links. Second, if you barrow a book and find that it is not a real book with a true storyline-report it to Amazon.

In the mean time, I encourage readers to barrow my books and the other wonderful quality books that are in KU. Rest assured that you are not harming the authors by barrowing and reading their books in KU. Thank you for listening to me ramble 🙂

http___amandamarieauthor.wix.com_amandamariel

Visit Amanda Mariel’s page on Amazon

Free Book and a New Release!

romantic-favorites-3d

New Release!!

Passionate Medieval. Scandalous Regency. Blazing Paranormal. Searing Western…..

The very best of Historical Romance with a personal touch.

Welcome to ROMANTIC FAVORITES multi-genre collection of eight very special full-length romance novels. What makes these novels so special? Each author in the collection has chosen her FAVORITE novel and has prefaced the book with a personal note to readers. It’s a personal touch unequaled in other boxed sets today. In this set, you will enjoy:

The White Lord of Wellesbourne by Kathryn Le Veque: A premier knight puts off an arranged marriage for ten years. When he finally meets his future bride, sparks fly in this powerful and passionate Medieval Romance with an ending you will not want to miss.

One Knight Stand by Barbara Devlin: Do old friends truly make the best lovers?

A Different Shade of Blue by Hildie McQueen: Town rake, Grayson Cole, climbs into a hayloft where schoolmarm Nora Banks is hiding and puts them in a compromising situation. What makes things worse is the group of people who gather in the barn just when Grayson slips and falls on top of her.

A Knight’s Reward by Catherine Kean: When a woman in hiding with her son reunites with the gallant lord she loved and lost years ago, he uncovers dangerous secrets that could either destroy them all, or win him a knight’s greatest reward.

If Love Dares Enough by Anna Markland: A hero of the Battle of Hastings risks his life and everything his illustrious family holds dear to save a Saxon woman from an abusive Norman usurper.

Scandalous Intentions by Amanda Mariel: Lady Sarah wants the freedom granted to men, but her only hope is a notorious rake out to keep his father’s support at any cost. Neither counted on falling in love.

Lord of Illusion by Elizabeth Rose: A thief wanting more out of life and a lady wanting less, find their lives turned upside down when they travel together on a dangerous mission.

Highland Burn by Victoria Zak: When forced to marry the Princess of Scotland, the fierce Dragonkine Highlander’s world comes to an abrupt halt. Will love’s flame quench the dragon’s fire or destroy them both?

Grab this boxed set for a limited time, and for just 99 cents!! Buy link: Amazon Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Timeless (6)1

Free Read!

THIS IS AN EXCERPT ONLY eBook.

Make your skin tingle and your heart race with this short sampler of sweet, steamy, and tantalizing kiss scenes by ten bestselling authors. Excerpts by Sabrina York; Julie Johnstone; Bronwen Evans; Tammy Andresen; Monica Burns; Gina Conkle; Shana Galen; Vanessa Kelly; Amanda Mariel; and Meara Platt

Susana and the Scot, Sabrina York
Andrew Lochlannach is famous for his conquests. Banished to the highlands after a kissing contest, he has no regrets—especially his embrace with the beguiling Susana. Susana is not some innocent farm girl, and she refuses to be just another conquest of the wicked Scot who won a kiss from her.

My Fair Duchess, Julie Johnstone
Years of playing a rogue to hide a dark secret, leaves the Duke of Aversley feeling tainted beyond redemption until hope arrives in the form of a quick-witted lady. Facing financial ruin, Lady Amelia De Vere finds herself participating in a bet between her brother and the handsome Duke Of Aversley.

A Whisper of Desire, Bronwen Evans
Lady Marisa Hawkestone’s nightmare begins when she wakes up naked next to Maitland Spencer, the “Cold Duke” of Lyttleton. As a Libertine Scholar, Maitland must be vigilant, despite his bride’s attractions. But now he must save Marisa, who sets his heart aflame or die trying.

Midnight Magic, Tammy Andresen
Jessie Walsh is running for her life. Disguising her identity, she flees to Texas hoping she’s run far enough. Jake Tate has his hands full and doesn’t need another problem. But when passion ignites between them, will Jessie’s past destroy their future?

Kismet, Monica Burns
A dark, seductive sheikh with a tortured past fights to control his obsession for a woman who offers him a wager he refuses to lose. What happens between them is…KISMET

To Find a Viking Treasure, Gina Conkle
Sestra’s lived by her wits, but she wants security. Uppsala’s in turmoil and she holds the key to a buried treasure that means life or death for many. Brand’s plans don’t include saving anyone, especially not a lushly curved, sharp-tongued thrall. But he vows to protect Sestra, and they must now share trust.

Earls Just Want to Have Fun, by Shana Galen
Marlowe runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums. But she once went by a different name. Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued by the beautiful hellion thought to be the lost daughter of a Marquess. Teaching her to navigate society’s eddies, he’s drawn into her dangerous world, where love is the greatest risk of all.

How to Marry a Royal Highlander, by Vanessa Kelly
Ten years after Alasdair Gilbride fled the Highlands and an arranged betrothal, tending to his responsibilities that would be much easier without the distraction of beautiful Eden Whitney. Snubbed by the ton, Eden is rusticating in the Scottish wilderness with only Alasdair for temptation. Now his life and her reputation are at stake—and their hearts already irreparably lost.

Scandalous Intentions, by Amanda Mariel
Faced with losing his father’s support, notorious rake Lord Julian Luvington sets his sights on the respectable Lady Sarah. But the lady is not easily won. Lady Sarah Roseington is determined to marry for love. A blackguard like Luvington could destroy her reputation, but marriage has its advantages. What’s a lady to do?

My Fair Lily, by Meara Platt
Ewan Cameron, proud of his Scottish heritage, visits London because of a deathbed promise. No one can tempt him to remain past his three-month obligation, except a beautiful bluestocking. When the Duke of Lotheil approaches Lily Farthingale with the chance to earn her place in the Royal Society, she accepts a challenge to reconcile Lotheil and his grandson.

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