Review: Distracting the Duke by Elizabeth Keysian

Distracting the Duke

by Elizabeth Keysian
Publication Date: February 20, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Historical Romance


Elizabeth Keysian’s Distracting the Duke is an entertaining page-turner of a regency romance that had me hooked from page one.

Early on, we have one of those embarrassing moments that eventually set up Distracting the Duke’s meet-cute: Clara overhears Marcus and a friend discussion what sort of woman he should marry and Marcus is initially dismissive on Clara and her charms. She is far too opinionated and intelligent for him, and he is in the market for a “brainless, biddable” wife who will not argue with him and will bear him lots of children. Clara, on the other hand, is a widow who is not the least bit interested in being any man’s wife–after a disastrous marriage to an odious, abusive man, what she wants is independence, since (at the moment) she is having to live under her brother’s roof and by his rules. Marcus is all set to woo Ellie, Clara and her brother’s ward, but somehow Clara keeps distracting him.

Though Clara and Marcus start off as enemies of sorts, it’s obvious these two are meant to be. The chemistry between them is electric and they both ignite the other’s curiosity and passion. I really liked how Ms. Keysian added doses of reality–touching on the domestic abuse and betrayal Clara was subjected to in her first marriage and the emotional and physical abuse Marcus dealt with during his formative years as well as how watching his parents marriage crumble affected how he himself views the institution.

This is a well-written story with engaging characters. My only quibble is that sometimes the pacing felt a bit too fast and I wanted the author to slow down a bit. I also longed for a little more historical bits (more about the politics of the time, etc) but the characters kept me hooked and I was charmed by their love story.

A recommended read!




Devonshire, England, 1820

Determined to avoid the strife-filled marriage of his parents, Marcus, the Duke of Ulvercombe, wants an amenable, biddable wife, and has set his cap for a certain pretty miss. Unfortunately, her vastly opinionated, frustrating, and lamentably beautiful guardian, Lady Clara Tinniswood, keeps distracting him, tempting him to consider a far more tempestuous—and passionate—union.

Recently widowed Lady Clara Tinniswood wants only to organize a quiet new life for herself, beyond the control of any man. But one shockingly unguarded moment while confronted by Marcus’s gloriously naked body catapults her headlong into a forbidden passion and threatens to undermine all her well-laid plans.

Even if Marcus abandons his sweet ideal and surrenders to his growing desire for Clara, there’s one unalterable issue which could destroy their hopes forever… 



Elizabeth Keysian felt destined to write historical romance due to her Cornish descent, and an ancestral connection to the Norse god Odin. Being an only child gave her plenty of time to read, create imaginary worlds, produce her own comics, and write sketches and a deplorably bad musical for an amateur dramatics group.

Three decades spent working in museums and archaeology fired Elizabeth’s urge to write, as did living on a Knights Templar estate, with a garage full of skeletons, a resident ghost and a moat teeming with newts.

Elizabeth lives near Bath in England with her partner and cats.

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Release Blitz: Fake Fiancée by Ilsa Mills



Fake Fiancée is a new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills!

ONLY $0.99 & FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

**limited time**

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon Paperback:


Full Blurb


From WSJ Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new stand-alone contemporary romance.

Fake engaged to the hottest quarterback in the country? SCORE.

They say nothing compares to your first kiss,

But our first kiss was orchestrated for an audience.

Our second kiss . . . that one was REAL.

He cradled my face like he was terrified he’d f*ck it up.

He stared into my eyes until the air buzzed.

Soft and slow, full of sighs and little laughs,

He inhaled me like I was the finest Belgian chocolate,

And he’d never get another piece.

A nip of his teeth, his hand at my waist . . .

And I was lost.

I forgot he was paying me to be his fake fiancée.

I forgot we weren’t REAL.

Our kiss was pure magic, and before you laugh and say those kinds of kisses don’t exist,

Then you’ve never touched lips with Max Kent, the hottest quarterback in college history.

Three months. Two hearts. One fake engagement.


About the Author


Wall Street Journal best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Ian Somerhalder, astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos. She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education. When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and fuzzy pajamas.

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors. Email her at

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram

Release Blitz: Crown of Lies by Pepper Winters




“I met the boy I wanted. But then he vanished and a new man claimed me instead. My father approved, my colleagues congratulated, and behind closed doors, I was bedded by a stranger.”


Crown of Lies is NOW LIVE!


Amazon US:

Amazon UK:





Full Blurb

“I met the man I wanted. But then he vanished, and a new man claimed me instead. My father approved, my colleagues congratulated, and behind closed doors, I was bedded by a stranger.”

Noelle Charlston lives a fairy-tale life: a doting father, a powerful job, and a future blessed with financial security.

However, two meetings with two men changes her happy existence forever. First, she meets the man who makes her heart sing. Three years later, she meets the man who makes her blood quiver.

Broken-hearted from a teenage romance, Noelle’s freedom is no longer hers. It belongs to the stranger her father believes is her perfect match. The stranger who pulls his lies over everyone he touches.
Including her.

Seduced and manipulated, Noelle gives into the mysterious Penn Everett. The lies he spins, the truth he hides, the mystery he weaves—it’s all enough to slowly erode the woman she is and turn her into something else.

Until her past collides with her present.

And it’s her turn to lie.

To everyone…including herself.


About the Author


Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.


STALK Pepper: Website | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads




Hot on Ice Party is on!


If you like your romance spiked with sexy athletes, then head over to the Hot on Ice Facebook Party–going on today, 26 January!

You’ll have the chance to win a fantastic prize pack including a $25 gift card and a digital book from each of the authors!

The party’s on all day–but hurry–it’s only TODAY! 🙂


Coming soon: Curly Q by Jamallah Bergman


Curly Q —

coming soon

from Jamallah Bergman



“Curly Q!”


“That’s what I’m going to call you from now on. With all those curls you’ve got, they look like mounds and mounds of curly Q fries.”

Madison Wilson had always thought the nickname her brother in law gave her was funny and it would be something she would grow to love over the years. She had an amazing career being a partner of her own law firm as well as having a loving husband and family who cared for her. Then her life came tumbling down around her and she realizes she will slowly have to pick herself up from the fiasco that has now become reality, after living in a dreamland for so long. But when her big sister, Candace tells her to visit her and her family, Madison never thought her visit would turn out to be something more than she ever expected it to be.

Austin Collins always had a camera in his hand. With that camera, he’d traveled all over the world, taking pictures of places, people could only dream of visiting. When he came back home, he didn’t realize an impromptu visit would end up being something far more than he ever imagined.

Curly Q is a story of self-discovery between Madison and Austin, two people whose sudden friendship quickly brings romance, long kept secrets and intrigue that could change their lives forever.

Cover Reveal: Fake Fiancée by Ilsa Madden-Mills


Fake Fiancée is a new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills releasing February 6th!

Meet Max Kent & Add Fake Fiancée  to your TBR:




A new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills…


Get ready for breathtaking kisses and dreamy football players…

About the Author



Wall Street Journal best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Ian Somerhalder, astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos. She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education. When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and fuzzy pajamas.

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors. Email her at

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram

On Sale: Prime Minister by Ainsley Booth & Sadie Haller

Prime Minister

by: Ainsley Booth, Sadie Haller
Frisky Beavers #1
Publisher or Imprint: Booth Haller Books

iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Amazon | Google Play

Ellie Montague is smart, sensitive, and so gorgeous it hurts to look at her. She’s also an intern in my office. The office of the Prime Minister of Canada.*
That’s me. The PM.
She calls me that because when she calls me Sir, I get hard and she gets flustered, and as long as she’s my intern, I can’t twist my hands in her strawberry-blonde hair and show her what else I’d like her to do with that pretty pink mouth.**

How much I like the PM varies on a daily basis. He’s intense, controlling, and a perfectionist in every way—and he demands the same of his staff.
How much I want him never wavers.
There’s something about him that tugs at me deep inside, and makes me wish that just once he’d cross the line in a late night work session. I’d take that secret to the grave if it meant I got a taste of the barely restrained beast inside him.***

* This is a fictional erotic romance. No prime ministers or interns were harmed in the making of this book.
** Except it’s a BDSM romance, so they were hurt a little.
*** Spoiler alert: she gets more than a taste. And she likes it.

About the Series

Canadian erotic romance with a dirty prime minister, an even dirtier doctor, and an entire hockey team full of secret kinks and HEAs just waiting to happen…Frisky Beavers is the type of romance series that happens when Ainsley Booth and Sadie Haller get carried away with April Fools Day jokes and then fall into a bottle of red wine (Frisky Beaver wine, in fact, and yes, that’s where the series name came from).

Currently available:
Prime Minister
Dr. Bad Boy

Coming soon:
Full Mountie (March 2017)
Mr. Hat Trick (August 2017)

About the Authors

Mom by day and filthy romance writer by night, Ainsley is super grateful for caffeine, banana and blueberry muffins, and yoga pants.

Surrounded by mist-covered mountains, Sadie Haller lives a quiet life with her husband and fur-babies.

Together, Ainsley and Sadie write funny, sexy Canadian erotic romances. You can find them at


“Ainsley Booth and Sadie Haller have succeeded in delivering a downright steamy and all-consuming story.” ~ Wrapped Up in Reading 

“O. M. G. Hottest book ever. Seriously. Like cocaine.” ~ Bella, Book Babes Unite 

“Prime Minister is one hell of a sexy, decadent, and adorable read!I spent my entire day with Gavin and Ellie. Did I get any work done? Nope. Was it worth it to my romantic reader’s soul? YES!~ Tanya from KT Book Reviews 

“A super sexy romp through the halls of power.” ~ Genevieve Turner, co-author of the Fly Me To the Moon series (Ainsley’s favourite series of all time) 

“Sadie Haller and Ainsley Booth have penned a sexy, smart, and dirty political romance. And if you’ve got a little thing for a certain Head of State, let’s just say you’ll enjoy PRIME MINISTER immensely.” ~ Tamsen Parker, USA Today Bestselling Author 

“Ainsley Booth and Sadie Haller are the best at writing sexy bad boys–which means Gavin Strong only acts like an angel in front of his adoring public. He’s erotic. Dirty. And a whole lot of fun. Welcome to Canada–where we’re all about to fall in love with the Prime Minister.” ~ Anne Marsh, NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author 

“I was sucked into Ellie and Gavin’s love story and immediately enchanted. Ainsley and Sadie wove a spell and I was happily captivated.” ~ Brenna Aubrey, USA Today Bestselling Author

Sizzling sexual tension followed by explosive passion with a dash of laughter–Gavin & Ellie were an absolute delight. Totally my kind of kink!” ~ Taryn Elliott, USA Today Bestselling Author

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Getting to know…Alys West

November and December haven’t been the best of months–still dealing with a couple of health issues, which has meant I’ve had to slow down a bit. Trying to get back on track now with my Getting to Know… series, which I had to set aside for a while. Starting to feel a bit more like my old self, so let’s hope 2017 will bring us a much better year. 🙂

For our very last Getting to Know of 2016, we’re sitting down with Alys West, who writes romantic fiction with a steampunk twist. I like that! 🙂 Her latest book, The Dirigible King’s Daughter,  and her first novel, Beltane, are both available as ebooks. So grab a cup (or glass) of your favourite beverage, make yourselves comfortable and let’s get to know Alys.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Alys. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from originally?


Author Alys West

I live in the lovely historic city of York in in the North of England. I was born in the south of England but I’ve lived in York for most of my life. My interests are drinking tea and eating cake in nice cafés (I’m not sure if that actually counts as an interest but I do spend a lot of time doing it.

I would definitely count eating cake in nice cafés as an interest. It’s one of my favourite things to do. 

We’re kindred spirits then. I’m very thorough in my researching of cafes to find the nicest ones), going to folk music gigs, crocheting and baking.

Crocheting is one of those things I always wanted to learn to do, but never got the hang of it. And I guess we can add writing to your list of interests. 🙂 Did you always know you wanted to be an author? 

When I was eight my teacher gave us 20 sheets of A5 paper and told us to write a long story over the Easter holidays. Mine grew and grew until I’d not only filled the 20 sheets but half an exercise book. Like most 8 year olds in the 1970s I was reading a lot of Enid Blyton so the story I wrote was heavily influenced by the Famous Five but with added ponies as I was somewhat obsessed with horses at the time. Now I teach myself I feel sorry for my teacher who read every handwritten page but I’ll always be grateful that he set us that task because it set me off on this path and made me believe that anyone (even eight year olds) could write books.

Sounds like a great teacher. Now before we go to the next question, I just want to share with my readers the blurb for your new book, The Dirigible King’s Daughter :

the-dirigible-kings-daughter-by-alys-westWhen Harriet Hardy moved to Whitby, newly famous from Mr Stoker’s sensational novel, she thought she’d left her past and her father’s disgrace behind her. But then an amorous Alderman and a mysterious Viscount turn her life upside down and she’s never been more grateful that she doesn’t leave home without her pistol.

But when defending her honour lands her with an attempted murder charge, Harriet’s only option is to turn to the mysterious Viscount for help. Fortunately, he turns out to be not so mysterious after all and, fortified by copious amounts of tea, she sets forth to clear her name.

As the court case looms Harriet fears she’ll forever be tarnished by her father’s scandalous reputation. Can she avoid conviction, and just possibly, find a happy ending? Or will she always be trapped by her past as the daughter of the notorious Dirigible King?

If you like Gail Carriger or Georgette Heyer you’ll love this sparkling romance with a steampunk twist.

I love the blurb! Adding The Dirigible King’s Daughter to my TBR list. I haven’t read a lot of steampunk, but I really like the description of the plot. So tell me, Alys, what’s your favorite part of being a writer?

Making up characters and stories is definitely the best bit of being a writer. I love telling stories whether in novels or making up stories for my nephew and godson. When I tell a story or read to an audience there’s this moment of magic when I can tell that the person listening is hooked and they really want to know what happens next. The best feedback I can get from someone was ‘I just couldn’t put your book down’. And when people tell me that they love one of the characters in my books then that’s an amazing feeling. To know I’ve created characters who can go out into the world and make friends with people I don’t know is a very special thing indeed.

I know that feeling. I really love it when, as a reader, I connect with characters so much I want to tell the author about it. And as an author, I love it when my characters speak to my readers. 🙂  Which of your characters is your favourite?

Harriet Hardy from The Dirigible King’s Daughter is my favourite (but please don’t tell the others as I don’t want them to get upset!)

Your secret is safe with me! 😉

I love Harriet because life has been hard for her, she’s faced grief, tragedy and prejudice but she’s come through them and created a new life from all that adversity. She’s feisty, funny and determined and, because this is steampunk, never leaves home without her pistol.

She sounds like a fun character! I can’t wait to get to know her. Are you working on a new book now? Can you give us a sneak peek of the plot?

screen-shot-2016-12-26-at-18-46-55I’m currently working on the second of the Spellworker Chronicles books called Storm Witch. It’s set in the beautiful Orkney Islands in the North of Scotland and it starts with a magical ritual in the Neolithic burial chamber of Maeshowe. Winston from my first novel, Beltane, features in this book and there’s some new characters to keep him on his toes. It’s partly a murder mystery and partly a supernatural romance and there’s going to be a lot of mayhem and magic unleashed in Orkney.

Ooh! I like the sound of this. I’m going to keep an eye out for it then.  What about dream writing projects? If you could work on a collaborative project with any writer, who would be your dream writing partner?

It would have to be Dorothy L Sayers although I would be so in awe of her that I probably wouldn’t be able to speak, never mind actually write anything!

I know what you mean! If I could have worked on a project with Ruth Rendell…I probably would have been too starstruck to be much help.  As a writer, you must be an avid reader. What are you reading now?

I’m reading Beside the Ocean of Time by George Mackay Brown. It’s a book that I first read over 20 years ago and it’s started my love affair with Orkney although it was another 15 years or so until I was first able to visit the Orkney Islands for the first time. As Storm Witch is set in Orkney I’m reading everything I can find about the islands and it’s a joy to go back to this book. It’s lyrical and beautiful and is the next best thing to actually being in Orkney.


The Orkney Islands

I always love finding out which authors other authors would recommend. Who would you recommend to people looking for someone new to read?

For fantasy I’d say check out Guy Gavriel Kay who writes the most amazing fantasy books. The Lions of Al-Rassan is my favourite which is loosely based on the history of the Moors in Spain. I’ve recently discovered War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, one of the original urban fantasy novels which sparked the whole genre and it’s just brilliant. For steampunk, I’ve just finished Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear which has a wonderful, smart-talking heroine and has shot straight to the top of my list of steampunk favourites.

I will have to check all of these titles out. What’s your take on fiction addressing social issues?  Some readers say they only read to escape and don’t want to be reminded of racism, social inequality, etc when they open a book.

I think it’s entirely possible to address social issues and still produce a fun, escapist read. One reviewer said that The Dirigible King’s Daughter, which is steampunk romantic suspense, “addressed issues of prejudice in all its forms in a well-woven and thought-provoking way”. I think I’ve been influenced by some of the writers that I love like Dorothy L Sayers. There’s a lot in her books about the position of women in society, prejudice and discrimination but all woven into a really enjoyable detective story.

It’s the same for me. I really love when writers weave issues of the day in their writing. This was something Ruth Rendell did as well, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve always loved her novels. Before we finish up, could you share some words of advice for novice writers?

I teach creative writing classes for Converge, an arts project for people with mental health issues, so I give quite a lot of advice to novice writers these days. I think the most important thing I’ve learned from teaching writing is that everyone can do it. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how good your health is, when you were last in education or how many qualifications you have or haven’t got. Writing is about doing it, about putting pen to paper or touching those computer keys and finding the words that matter to you to tell your story in your way. That’s what makes a writer; not how you’re published or what your rankings are or how many Amazon reviews you’ve got. Everyone’s got a voice and that’s what’s precious because no one else can tell that story or write that poem like you can.

Thanks again for doing us today, Alys! I really enjoyed getting to know you and I am sure my readers did too!

Don’t forget to follow Alys so you’ll always be in the know about her new projects:


5 Holiday Gifts for Your Fave Book Nerd

Since Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all just around the corner, I thought we should take a moment to think of some cool holiday gifts for your favorite book nerds.


Is your book nerd a bit of a revolutionary? Knows his or her own mind? Then get them the “I Would Prefer Not To” Bundle from Melville House. I think I may treat myself to this. The hubster could probably use this at work too. 😉


If your book nerd loves color-coordinated books, give her a few books in the Penguin Orange Collection. They’re gorgeous, aren’t they? Modern classics that should definitely be on our bookshelves!


Want to surprise your book nerd with a box of surprise goodies? Send them a Bookish Gifts Subscription Box. You can choose a single box, 3 months, 6 months or a year! We book nerds like bookish surprises.


Is your bookish friend a writer as well? Why not treat him or her to a personalized notebook or planner from Moleskine? When they’re planning their next masterpiece, they’ll be thinking of you. 🙂


Does your book nerd love Edgar Allan Poe? Then she’ll adore this cuff that’s stamped with the last two verses of “The Raven”! Or maybe she’ll love some of the Wicked Wordsmith Company‘s other literary jewelry!

These are just a few ideas! I’ll be back soon with more! 🙂