Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Freitag, 18. Mai 2018

Kleines Land by Gaël Faye










Inhalt:

"Bevor all das geschah, von dem ich hier erzählen werde, gab es nur das Glück, das nicht erklärt werden musste. Wenn man mich fragte, wie geht es dir, habe ich geantwortet: Gut." Damals traf sich Gabriel mit seinen Freunden auf der Straße, erlebte seine Kindheit wie in einem paradiesischen Kokon. Bis seine Familie zerbrach und fast zur selben Zeit sein kleines Land, Burundi, bei einem Militärputsch unvorstellbare Grausamkeiten erdulden musste. Bis seine Mutter den Verstand verlor. Zwanzig Jahre später erst, nach der Flucht mit seiner Schwester in ein fernes, fremdes Frankreich, kehrt Gabriel in eine Welt zurück, die er längst verschwunden glaubte. Doch er findet dort etwas wieder, das er für unwiederbringlich verloren hielt. - "Kleines Land" ist ein überwältigendes Buch, voller Schrecken und Glückseligkeit, Güte und ewiger Verlorenheit - ein Stück französischer Weltliteratur im allerbesten Sinne.


Puh, dies ist so ein Buch, wo man zusammenzuckt, wenn man überlegt, ob es einem gefällt. Zu sagen, dass es einem gefällt, klingt bei einem Buch wie diesem fast schon zynisch. Es ist ein Buch, das in einer sehr schönen Sprache über sehr viele grausame Dinge berichtet.
Es ist fesselnd und tragisch und es lässt einen nicht los.

Meine Tochter (20, ein Kinderbuch ist es nämlich definitiv nicht), die das Buch ebenfalls gelesen hat, ließ es bis zur letzten Seite nicht los und las es in einem Rutsch durch. Danach musste sie erst einmal mit mir darüber diskutieren und fing an, sich Sachen über die Hutu und die Tusie herauszusuchen und zu versuchen, Dinge zu verstehen, die man ehrlich gesagt, gar nicht verstehen kann.
Eindringlich, intensiv und schonungslos, beschreibt dieses Buch viele Szenen, die auch mir noch lange nachgehen werden. Letztlich lässt es einen hilflos zurück, weil dieser Krieg so viele Opfer fordert und so viel Leid geschieht und man nichts ändern kann.

Ein tolles Buch, wobei das Erzählte schön geschrieben, aber oft nur schwer erträglich ist. Lohnenswert ist dieses Buch auf jeden Fall.


★★★★



Blog Tour - Piece of Work by Staci Hart

Piece of Work by Staci Hart



Blurb:


Marble isn’t the only thing that’s hard at this museum.

His body is as chiseled as Adonis. His lips are as sculpted as David. And his ego is the size of the Guggenheim.

You know the type—wolfish smile and the gravity of a black hole. The kind of man who sucks all the air from the room the second he enters it. My cocky boss thinks this internship was wasted on me, and he doesn’t hesitate to let me know.

But he’s wrong, and I’m going to prove it to him. If I can stay away from his devil lips, that is. Lips that cut me down and kiss me in the same breath, leaving me certain he’s on a mission to ruin my life.

And maybe my heart.



First - I loved this book!
It wasn't as intense as the last books by Staci Hart that I read but I really loved Rin and Court. It was great to see how Rin found her confidence, how she turned - well, not from the ugly duckling but from the hidden-in-the-shadows duckling into a beautiful and confident swan. Oh, by the way, I think I need a new lipstick - and everything else that goes along with it. To read how some lipstick and a make-over help Rin to feel good in her own skin and to see herself as ore than a lanky, gangly, far too tall young woman of Asian descent. And to see this make-over work and get her to be seen? This is magic of its own kind. After hiding almost all her life she longs to be seen and heard. And Court is there to see her.

Of course, even though Court and Rin are attracted to each other things aren't easy for them because, well, she is his intern and he has some rules. Honorable ones, rules meant to protect both of them but definitely rules that stand in the way of romance.
Actually, I mean, I could see where Court was coming from and why his experiences made him...wary...when it comes to women but nevertheless, I very often felt like groaning and telling him what an idiot he is. I mean, when you meet someone who does not only make your...heart...feel a lot but who also challenges your mind, well, that's somebody you should hold onto, right?
Should.

Another wonderful book by a very talented author, a bit different from her other books with a bit more angst in it but also with amazing and very very lovable characters and a great storyline.

★★★★

Donnerstag, 17. Mai 2018

Release Day Blitz - Piece of Work by Staci Hart #pieceofwork #releaseblitz #review




PIECE OF WORK 

by 

STACI HART

IS LIVE!

 ***

 Piece of Work, an all-new sexy and hilarious romance from Staci Hart, is available NOW!


Marble isn’t the only thing that’s hard at this museum.

His body is as chiseled as Adonis. His lips are as sculpted as David. And his ego is the size of the Guggenheim.

You know the type—wolfish smile and the gravity of a black hole. The kind of man who sucks all the air from the room the second he enters it. My cocky boss thinks this internship was wasted on me, and he doesn’t hesitate to let me know.

But he’s wrong, and I’m going to prove it to him. If I can stay away from his devil lips, that is. Lips that cut me down and kiss me in the same breath, leaving me certain he’s on a mission to ruin my life.

And maybe my heart.


Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/PieceofWork


Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2pT693W



***

Excerpt
He smirked and flipped up his sunglasses.
Bastard.
You’re early,” I clipped.
I would have had my assistant text you, but she’s currently bedridden.”
You could have texted me.”
I didn’t have your number,” he said simply.
Oh.”
His eyes shifted to look behind me, and I turned to find my friends standing me in a row with my suitcase in front of them, my messenger bag on top, and fake smiles on all their faces, lips together, their judgment about as quiet as a foghorn.
These your roommates?”
Yup,” was all I said as I turned and took my suitcase, hugging each of them down the line with promises to text when we landed. And then I turned to Court, rolling my suitcase in front of me like like a riot shield.
I tried to pick it up to carry it over the threshold, but it was heavy, and before I could get far, he’d swept it out of my hands like it was a loaf of bread and not fifty pounds of mascara and shoes.
I waved at my friends, who offered encouraging smiles and hand gestures, and I closed that door, immediately regretting every decision I’d made to bring me to the moment I turned around.
He stood at the door to the backseat, holding it open for me like a gentleman, which I knew he was not. But the look on his face of regret and deference, under the hard shell of his brooding, was almost too much to bear.
So I did the only thing I could.
I ignored him.
I ignored his gorgeous lips as they tilted and the sleek cut of his jaw as I walked past him. I ignored the sight of his long legs as he climbed in next to me and the smell of him that made me want to grab him by the lapels of his jacket and bury my nose in his chest.
The driver took off, and I busied myself in my bag, looking for my headphones and book.
His eyes were on me. I pretended like I didn’t notice.
You’re not wearing lipstick,” he stated.
Headphones, headphones, headphones. “It’s an international flight, Court. Of course I’m not wearing red lipstick for a ten hour flight.”
A pause. “Rin, I—”
Aha! I popped in my earbuds the second they were in hand.
His lips flattened, his face unamused. Rin, his lips said, but I smiled and shrugged, pointing to my ears.
Noise canceling,” I said way too loud.
His chest rose and fell with a sigh I couldn’t hear—I’d already turned on music, a playlist we’d built the night before geared toward resisting douchery and unwanted-slash-totally-wanted advances—and he reached into his own bag, a leather affair at his feet, his hand disappearing into the bag and reappearing with a book, which he handed to me.
He watched me with his expression shrouded as I paused, my eyes on the offered book. An image of Penitent Magdalene by Tintoretto filled the cover, and I met his eyes, pulling my earbuds out by the cord.
I thought you could use this. For your proposal,” he said, giving nothing away. “I…A colleague of mine wrote it, so if you have any questions, I can connect you. If you want.”
I took it from his hand, surprised and disarmed. “Thank you,” was all I said. He opened his mouth as if to speak again, but closed it, and with a nod, he reached back into his bag for his own book. Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.
I put my earbuds back in place, trying not to bite my lip, but it found its way between my teeth despite the effort at the sight of him sitting there, dressed like that, reading Margaret Atwood. After giving me a thoughtful gift, a book he knew I would want, one I would need for my dissertation.
Court Lyons made about as much sense to me as a scrambled up Rubik’s Cube.
I leaned against the door as I flipped through his gift, doing my best to sort through the rush of questions and confusion as Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s sang about being cheated by the opposite of love. And I found I knew exactly the feeling.


About the Author
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey.


From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.


Connect with Staci:
Join Her Reader Group Here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stacihart/




 

 

Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2018

Preorder Blast for COCKTALES - A Cocky Collective #cockygate

 

 

It is with great honor that I present today  the...

...

 Preorder Blast 

for 

COCKTALES - A Cocky Collective

 

  

What's behind all this amazing cockiness?

Cocktales, a limited-release anthology of original, never before published material, from some of your favorite bestselling authors is coming May 26th!

Cocktales Anthology
Publishing Date: May 26th
Cover Designer: CD Reiss


Each story was specifically written for this anthology.

The goal of the Cocktales Anthology is to raise funds to fight against obstruction of creative expression. Specifically, what we believe are obstruction attempts through the trademarking of common (single) words for titicular use in books / or as a book series (eBooks, print, and audio).


Cocktales will only be available May 26th-August 26th.



Pre-order your copy today:



Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/CockTalesGR


Contributing Authors Include:
Nana Malone, USA Today Bestselling author – Foreword
Dylan Allen – 'Cocked and Loaded'
Jana Aston, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Double Cocked'
Whitney Barbetti – 'Cocksure Grin'
Author Sawyer Bennett, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'A Wicked, Cocky Plan'
K.f. Breene, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Magical Cock and Bull'
Ruth Clampett, Amazon top 20 Bestselling Author – 'Don’t Get Cocky'
L.H. Cosway, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Illusionist Seeks Neanderthal'
Mariah Dietz – 'Landmines'
Amy Daws, Amazon Top 25 Bestselling author – 'Cock and Balls'
BB Easton, Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author – 'Cocky BB: Two Boys, One Prom.'
Jaymin Eve, USA Today Bestselling author – 'The Cockier the Dragon, the Harder They Fall'
Emma Hart, NYT and USA Today Bestselling author – 'Tricky Bond'
Staci Hart, Amazon Top 10 Bestselling author – 'Cockamamie'
Jessica Hawkins, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocky Couture'
Julie Johnson Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author – 'Culinary Cock-Up'
Karpov Kinrade, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Crimson Cocktail'
Adriana Locke, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Swag'
Lex Martin, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Love & Hate at the Stallion Station'
Aly Martinez, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Going Down'
Katyi McGee - USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocksure Co-Star'
Corinne Michaels, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cockblocked'
Liv Morris, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Getting It Up'
Red Phoenix, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Her Cocky Russian'
Daisy Prescott, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Confessions of a Cockblocked Wingman'
Jessica Prince – ‘A Cocky Corruption Engagement’
Meghan Quinn, Amazon Top 20 Bestselling Author – 'Fight or Flight'
CD Reiss, NYT and USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocky Capo'
Penny Reid, WSJ and USA Today Bestselling author – 'Beard and Hen'
Julie Richman, USA Today Bestselling author – 'The Color of Love'
Aleatha Romig, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Aligned'
Kennedy Ryan, Top 40 Amazon Bestselling author – 'All'
Kylie Scott, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Short Story with Mal and Anne from The Stage Dive Series'
Sierra Simone, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Until the Cock Crows'
Tara Sivec, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Chocolate and Cockup'
Kate Stewart, Amazon Top 30 Bestselling author – 'The Golden Sombrero'
Leia Stone, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocky Alpha'
Karla Sorensen – 'Tristan & Anna: A Bachelors of the Ridge short story'
Rachel Van Dyken, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocky Mafia'
April White, Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author – 'Code of Conduct'



*ALL* net profits will be donated to:
Authors already impacted by creative-obstruction (10%), and Romance Writers of America (RWA) (90%) as a general donation intended for their Advocacy Fund.



*Disclaimer: This anthology is not being conducted on behalf of RWA, nor does RWA endorse this anthology or effort. They have, however, graciously agreed to accept the funds.





For more information, visit: 

https://www.cockyauthors.com


 



Release Day Blitz - Unbreakable Bond by Jessie Bryant #unbreakablebond

 

 RELEASE DAY BLITZ!

It is LIVE!






Blurb:

Sometimes fate gets it all wrong.

Zoey Kent has lived with that fact ever since she turned eighteen and learned that the man she loved could never be hers. He’s a born shifter, a wolf, and she’s a mere human. Fate doesn’t care if on paper they’re a perfect pair. She isn’t his fated mate and she’s resigned herself to the knowledge that someday, she’ll have to watch Michael mate with another. It’s never crossed her mind that there might be someone else out there for her, that she would be the one to mate another, to choose another over everything she’s ever known or wanted.

Sometimes fate gets it all right.

Rafe Hudson left his pack behind years ago. Physically and mentally scarred from an attack that left his parents and twin dead, he walked away from his responsibilities as Alpha. He never intended to return but lone wolf or not, he can’t leave Michael open to an attack he’s learned is coming for his only brother. What he didn’t know was that going home would mean scenting his mate, the one person in the world that could make him whole again, that could give him everything he thought he’d lost. His pack, his home and his family.

But fate always has a plan.

There’s no way Michael’s brother is her future, is there? Just like there’s no way that the girl his brother has loved since they were kids, was always meant to be his, right?

Only fate knows why they were brought together but there is one thing for sure, the sparks between Zoey and Rafe are undeniable. The bond between them is unbreakable. And together… they’ll change the face of the pack forever.

*****
***
*****

This book was nice to read. Zoey and Rafe were sweet together and I enjoyed reading about their love for each other and their way back into the pack. The characters were nice but could have done with a bit more depth. They remained somewhat flat even though they had strong feelings and as a reader, I felt sorry for them but I didn't feel with them despite everything they had to get through.

Even though it was not unputdownable, it was written fluently and I am pretty sure that I'll check out the next book in this series either. Somehow I want to know what happens next and find out whether Leo's sisters will be fine and of course, it would also be nice to find out about Michael's mate.

Sonntag, 13. Mai 2018

May 17th......save the date.... Piece of Work by Staci Hart #pieceofwork


...but pre-order now! 😉

Preorder today for only 99¢!


Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/PieceofWork




You want to know more about Staci Hart?
About The Author:
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey.
From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

Connect with Staci:
Join Her Reader Group Here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stacihart/





Samstag, 12. Mai 2018

The Sound of Us by AJ Love is live!











Did you love 

The Sound of You ?

(Or maybe *this*looks more familiar?)

Then you'll be thrilled to hear that the wait is over! 

THE SOUND OF US  is live! 






Blurb:

Hallie Clarke is going back to Michigan, with her newfound optimism for life in place. Sort of.
Feeling refreshed from her time away, Hallie is ready to get down to business and face her nightmare again. With music in her ear, and her best friend by her side, she finally feels like she can put the past behind her.
If only she could put her ex behind her, too.

Nate Harris has changed. He's moody, sullen and actually a bit of a you-know-what. No matter how hard he works out, how many girls he beds, he just can't get the girl who got away out of his damn head. His guilt about what happened eats at him, and there isn't much left for him to pick up.
With Hallie back in his life, whether he wants her there or not, how is he supposed to move on?

Both are still living the trauma of Freshman Year, both still filled with unfinished business and unanswered questions. But with a group of friends destined to put them together, a stalker kind-of ex and the usual college chaos, will Hallie and Nate be able to find each other again?

Will they be able to rekindle what they almost had?




Mittwoch, 9. Mai 2018

Married by Moonlight by Heather Boyd #MarriedbyMoonlight #Netgalley

 Just a quick little review ...




 Blurb:

 Nearly twenty, Anna Beasley despairs of every finding a husband. Eligible bachelors seem to avoid the stuttering, blushing debutante in favor of her bolder, more adventurous friends. Much to the delight of her father, who’s determined to marry her off to his godson, Lord Carmichael, despite Anna’s refusal. Her lifelong nemesis, Carmichael has kissed half the young women in London.

Surely Carmichael’s friend, Lord Sorenson, newly arrived in Town, is cut from the same cloth. Anna decides to stay away from him…despite his wicked smile that makes her quiver.

Gilbert Bowen, Earl of Sorenson, had planned to live out his days as a country vicar. But when his old friend Carmichael sends a desperate plea for help, he can’t say no. There’s a murderer among the ton—and every death leads back to Carmichael. Catching a killer during the social season is difficult enough…and then Anna catches his eye. The shy beauty is a distraction he can ill afford but scarcely resist.

When the pair are caught in a compromising position, Sorenson needs little convincing to claim her, especially if it keeps Anna out of harm’s way. But with as many twists and turns as there are suspects, this case may find no one safe—especially when the killer is closer to home than they ever dreamed.



This is not the first book by Heather Boyd that I've read and it won't be the last but unfortunately, it won't be my favorite one, It is a nice story and it could be captivating but somehow it feels as if it's dragging.
The storyline is great and on the whole interesting but I caught myself looking far too often at the page number only to find that there were still quite a number of pages left.
Even though I liked the story and the characters (Anna and Gilbert were really sweet together), the fate of Anna's friends and her courtship with Gilbert couldn't draw me in and I won't read this book again, at least not very soon.


Dienstag, 8. Mai 2018

Look, what's got a new cover..... #FromAshesToFlames



*
***
*****


Do you remember...?

 

And now - guess what's got a brand new cover?!!

http://cupofteaandbook.blogspot.com/2018/04/from-ashes-to-flames-west-brothers-1-by.html

 

I really loved the other cover so I would have been fine with that one but at least for the ebook the cover has been changed. Just in case you wanted to buy it and were wondering why it looks so different....

 ***** 
***

Blogtour - A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman #ADukeLikeNoOther #NetGalley




 Looking for the perfect romance?

Strong characters and a love that'll melt your heart? 

Don't look further, you've found it! 









Blurb: 

General Mark Grimaldi is devoted to his service for the Crown, risking his life and giving up everything for his career. The political promotion he's always wanted is now within his reach, but he needs to convince his estranged wife to return to England and play the role of happy bride in order for him to get the position.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent the past ten years in France, not having seen her husband since she left England. But now he's on her doorstep, asking her to return with him, and Nicole sees the opportunity to get something out of this deal. So she agrees, on one condition: she wants a baby.

A Duke Like No Other is a Regency spy caper with Valerie Bowman at her best as husband and wife match wits and may just fall in love in the process.


Oh my...I loved this book! Right from the beginning the love between Mark Grimaldi and his estranged wife is palpable. You can feel the sparks, you can feel their emotions. Apart from that, they are also two very lovable characters, unique, strong and very much in love despite their estrangement.

When Nicole agrees to come back to England to help further Mark's career, her terms for supporting him are...unexpected but not completely unagreeable....
Slowly getting to know each other again, Mark and Nicole fall for each other - again. Or maybe they never fell out of love anyway. While cautiously navigating the ton and the political landscape in London they can put  their combined experience of working for the Bow Street runners and as spies when they have to solve a high profile murder that is rather close to home, the two might even grow closer than before. 

A wonderful and gripping story, that kept me glued to my reader. Once started, I couldn't put it down till the very last page! This is definitely a book that I'll read again as it catapulted itself right away on my list of favorite books!

★★★★★

 Curious? 

***  

***  Excerpt  ***

***

 
CHAPTER THREE


Mark quirked his mouth into a half smile. Nicole had always been direct. It was one of the things that had first drawn him to her. She wasn’t about to let him get away with arriving unannounced without admitting that he wanted something. Good, because he liked to be direct too. “You’re right. I do want something from you.”
Say it.” She crossed one leg over the other and for the life of him he couldn’t stop staring at how those breeches hugged her long legs. Outside, he’d been slightly obsessed with how they hugged another part of her anatomy. And that shirt . . . the one that was exposing her chest in a way that made the back of his neck sweat. Leave it to Nicole to have her hair down and to be wearing breeches while riding around a French château on a horse named Atalanta. She’d been besting the comte in the race they’d been engaged in. That was also like her. She adored competition and hated to lose at anything. If he had any hope of her saying yes to his proposal, he needed to make certain he didn’t become her adversary . . . again.
He glanced around the drawing room. Outfitted in rose and cream silks with the occasional hint of green, the room was tastefully decorated. The château itself was large and well appointed without being ostentatious. She had access to his money but had never spent a shilling of it. No, this was all a result of her own money or her family’s.
He spread his arms wide along the back of the settee. “No reminiscing? No catching up? No discussing the good times?”
Her dark red eyebrow inched even higher. “Were there good times? I seem to recall those being few and far between.”
There were a few.” In bed. He tugged at his collar.
She poked at the chignon on the back of her head. Only she could make a quickly put-together hair arrangement look effortlessly gorgeous. Several tendrils of the long red locks fell to frame her face, which wore a decidedly disgruntled look. “Out with it. I’m quite busy. I’m attending a dinner party this evening and I must dress.”
Mark bit the inside of his cheek but ultimately he couldn’t keep the comment that had sprung to his lips to himself. “A cleaner pair of breeches?” Damn, she looked good in those breeches. She looked good altogether. Better than good. The years had been kind to her. The fresh-faced plumpness of her cheeks had given way to a slenderness that made her cheekbones prominent. Her lips were still full and pink and inviting. Her hair luxurious, soft and smooth. Her eyes looked more world-weary, to be sure, but their sea-foam-green depths were still astute and intelligent. Her body was still trim and fit. Her thighs looked even fitter, probably from riding astride. Ahem. What he wouldn’t give to see those thighs once more, to have them wrapped tightly around his—
Despite my present appearance, I do own a gown or two.” Her words snapped him out of his indecent line of thought. She gave him another tight smile.
He stood, crossed to the nearby sideboard, and poured himself a brandy. “Going to meet the comte again?”
Careful,” came her throaty voice from the settee. “It’s nearly sounding as if you’re jealous.”
Still facing the sideboard, he cocked his head to the side. “Jealous? Whatever does that word mean?”
The comte is a friend, nothing more.” Her voice sounded dismissive. He didn’t believe her, however.
Mark splashed more brandy into his glass. “I’m certain you’d tell me if he weren’t.”
I’m certain you’d care.”
Mark turned back toward her and took a healthy swig of his drink. “A man doesn’t like to think of his wife in the bed of another.”
She actually rolled her eyes at that comment. “Oh, you’ve been celibate all these years then?” she countered, her voice dripping with skepticism.
He had been, but he’d die a slow death back in the French prison camp before he told her that. However, he wasn’t so unrealistic as to think Nicole would have remained untouched. They had agreed to part ways, hadn’t seen each other in ten years. She was a beautiful woman in the prime of her life. Still, the notion of punching the comte dead in the face held a great deal of appeal at the moment. “I’ve never been one to kiss and tell, love.”
She gave him a tight smile, which clearly indicated she didn’t believe him, either. “You’re a general now?” she asked abruptly, clearly ready to change the subject.
I am.” He moved to the window and looked out across the lavender fields, one arm held behind his ramrod-straight back as if he were surveying a battlefield. The stance was still comfortable for him even after all these years of working for the Home Office.
I suppose congratulations are in order.” The tea arrived and Nicole poured a cup for herself and splashed in a liberal amount of cream. He remembered that about her. She took her tea with no sugar, just cream.
No congratulations needed,” he intoned, taking another swig of brandy.
The silver spoon she used to stir her tea clinked against the delicate china teacup. “I must admit, I’ve often wondered when I’d get a missive that you’d been killed.”
His chuckle was humorless. He turned to face her. “Such little faith in me? Or wishful thinking?”
Neither,” she replied, lifting the cup to her pink lips. “Just a profound knowledge of how reckless you are.”
He inclined his head. “Used to be.”
Really?” She raised a brow. “Is that why you’ve come? To tell me you’ve changed?”
He chuckled. “I haven’t changed that much.”
I’m not surprised.” She set down her teacup and crossed her arms over her chest. “Tell me, Mark, why have you come?”
He saluted her with his glass, the amber-colored liquid shining in the afternoon sunlight. “You were right. I need a favor from you.”
She didn’t so much as bat an eyelash. “Of course you do. What’s the favor?” She picked up her cup once more and took a sip.
He downed the final splash of brandy and met her gaze. “I need you to return to England with me for a few months and pretend to be my loving wife.”




Copyright © 2018 by Valerie Bowman in A Duke Like No Other and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.