Beverley Oakley Launches Wicked Wager with Tour & Giveaway

 

♥♥ GiveAway ♥♥

Beverley is giving away a signed print copy of The Duchess and the Highwayman during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember there is a chance to enter everyday so be sure to follow the Blog Tour. You may find the tour schedule and locations here https://goo.gl/XTRwwr

 

 

About Wicked Wager:

Can innocence survive the machinations of a malevolent society beauty
and a charismatic rake?

 

Two weeks before her nuptials to her cold, harsh cousin, virtuous Celeste Rosington finds herself in the arms of notorious libertine, Lord Peregrine.

 

The unexpected encounter is, at first, shocking, but as Peregrine’s charm weaves its magic, becomes a welcome distraction from Celeste’s troubles. Isn’t she already the subject of whispers due to her involvement in the mysterious disappearance of a wealthy plantation magnate? It was a role orchestrated by her demanding husband-to-be in which Celeste had failed spectacularly.

 

Nevertheless, Celeste has no intention of sacrificing all of her scruples for a man she knows is only toying with her. One kiss from handsome, charismatic Viscount Peregrine will surely be enough to give her the strength to fulfil her marital obligations?

 

But what if one kiss is not enough?

 

With her reputation in the balance, Celeste must navigate the treacherous waters of envy, intrigue and deadly secrets, unaware she’s the unwitting pawn in a wicked wager between a ruthless society beauty and delicious, dissolute Lord Peregrine.

 

Could Peregrine really be a party to such perfidious plans? Will his reckless charm be the final undoing of a young woman once respected for her virtue and piety?

 

Or will Peregrine discover that true love is more powerful than greed and ambition in time to save Celeste from the terrible fate that otherwise awaits her?

 

Genre: Georgian Historical Romance

 

Buy Links for Wicked Wager:

 

 

 

Wicked Wager Excerpt:

 

The last of the applause drifted away and for a few seconds the shrill cries of the orange sellers held sway. Rising from his ironic bow for the benefit of his companion, Lord Peregrine held back the red velvet curtain that had afforded them privacy so that Xenia could pass through and join the throng of theatregoers descending the sweeping staircase.

 

He saw that she had fallen into conversation with a club-footed general whose more than interested eye swept appraisingly over Xenia’s abundant assets, and once again Perry felt again the familiar heating of his loins that only Xenia could inspire with a mere incendiary glance.

The contours of her sack-back gown, adorned with a row of bows the length of her stomacher, recalled the more lascivious of those thoughts he’d entertained for the past decade: what it would be like to undress her, layer by layer by layer. He could only imagine how many layers there might be, but the prize would be worth the exquisite torture of restraint. He’d not revealed quite how much her proposition tonight had taken him by surprise, and the fact he’d agreed fuelled him with an odd combination of conflicting sensations: raging lust tempered by the knowledge that he’d just sunk to depths of moral depravity that might make even his uncle squirm in his grave: seduce an innocent on the eve of her nuptials.

 

Except that Xenia maintained the young woman’s ingenuousness was a ploy. Still, Miss Rosington retained her standing in society as a paragon of virtue. What right had he to assume otherwise, just because it was convenient?

 

He was diverted by a squeal to his left. Xenia was moving ahead, caught up by the crowd, her head bent to absorb the admiration of her club-footed general. Peregrine meanwhile found himself unable to continue, due to the fact the young woman in front of him had snagged her skirts on what appeared to be a nail or splinter protruding from one of the supporting beams. No one could move until she’d freed herself, and as Peregrine was directly behind her it was incumbent upon him to act the gentlemen and so enable the rest of the pulsing crowd to forge ahead.

 

‘Please be careful, sir, it’ll tear and it’s the first time I’ve worn it,’ the young woman warned as he took a handful of stiff silk in one hand. ‘It’s my finest.’ She twisted her head round to address him.

As her lips parted, revealing a set of near perfect small white teeth, and her worried blue eyes bored into his, Peregrine felt a jolt of something unidentifiable plummet like a stone to the pit of his stomach. No, further than that, for without a doubt his groin was reacting with something akin to roiling hunger. And, surprisingly, with an intensity that exceeded the dull throb of ten years of wanting Xenia like a frustrated schoolboy.

 

Close to, Miss Rosington was exquisite, her pale white and rose-blushed skin far more lustrous than when seen from a distance through opera glasses. Her powdered coiffure, dressed to fashionable heights, accentuated high, rounded cheekbones; and with growing excitement he followed the sweep of her graceful neck to a bosom that was rising and falling with surely greater rapidity than fear of what peril her gown might face. He liked to think that was so, as her candid look met his and the connection between them seemed like the sharp tug of some inner cord, forcing him forward, his hand brushing hers, nestled beneath a froth of silken furbelows, as they both reached for the undamaged silk petticoat, now released.

 

‘No harm done,’ he murmured as she drew herself up, her companion, the black-eyed viscount to whom she was affianced, returning to claim her, drawing her away with the barest of thanks.

 

All over in a matter of seconds, and at what cost? For while silk skirts and dignity had escaped with minimal damage, Peregrine was the first to concede, as he watched her graceful back with pounding heart and aching groin, that a great deal of harm had indeed been done.

 

 

 

About Beverley Oakley:

 

Beverley Oakley is an Australian author who grew up in the African mountain
kingdom of Lesotho, married a Norwegian bush pilot she met in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and started writing historical romances to amuse herself in the 12 countries she’s lived as a ‘trailing spouse’ (in between working as an airborne geophysical survey operator, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and writing for her former newspaper).

 

Her Scandalous Miss Brightwell series was nominated Best Historical Romance by the Australian Romance Readers Association. She is also the author of the popular Daughters of Sin series, a Regency-era ‘Dynasty-style’ family saga laced with intrigue and espionage.

 

Under her real name Beverley Eikli, she writes Africa-set romantic suspense, and psychological historical romances. The Reluctant Bride won Choc-Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition and her Regency tale of redemption The Maid of Milan was shortlisted in the Top Ten Reads of 2014 at the UK Festival of Romance.

 

Beverley lives north of Melbourne (overlooking a fabulous Gothic lunatic asylum) with the same gorgeous Norwegian husband, two daughters and a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback.

 

You can read more at beverleyoakley.com

 

 

 

 

A Shameless Excerpt from Toys for Boys

Just a little Sunday quickie shameless excerpt for you from my unusual M/M novella,
Toys for Boys. I had the pleasure of reliving my own walk across England on the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk while writing this totally fun and playful story. It felt especially appropriate now that the weather is leaning more heavily toward Spring.

 

Toys for Boys Blurb:

Alpha nerd Will Charles teams up with Caridoc ‘Doc’ Jones in a coast to coast walk across England reviewing outdoor gift suggestions for the Christmas edition of Toys for Boys—an online magazine dedicated to the latest gadgets to tickle a man’s fancy. Will is recording their adventures with the latest smart phone technology. Doc is reviewing the latest outdoor gear. The two quickly discover the great outdoors provides even better toys for boys, toys best shared al fresco, toys that, in spite of Will’s great camera work, will never be reviewed in Toys for Boys.

 

You’re Late: Toys for Boys Excerpt 

“You’re late,” Doc said to Will fucking Charles, who was supposed to meet him at St. Bee’s Head an hour ago.

AtToys for Boys, Will Charles’ moniker was ‘the Alpha Nerd.’ Doc had read some of his reviews and articles but never met him. Since T4B, as they all called it, was an online magazine, he’d never met any of the people who worked there, and he liked that just fine. The best part of free-lancing was no neurotic colleagues and no idiot supervisor looking over his shoulder. Will Charles reviewed computers, smart phones, and games—rubbish like that, while Doc reviewed all the stuff that gave the outdoorsy blokes a hard-on. It was late in the season to be walking the Coast to Coast, but T4B wanted the walk and the boys toys that would accompany Will and Doc on said walk to be a part of their big Christmas issue, which was always driven by shameless consumerism and chock full of the expensive shit to buy for the man who has everything. The article would be atmospheric, they said. It would be fun, they said.

Alpha Nerd, his left nut, Doc thought. The skinny geek with the expensive looking iPhone could have passed for a twelve-years-old—spotty face, heavy-rimmed glasses and all. Looked like Doc’s dream walk was about to become a babysitting job for some whimpy-arsed kid who would whine every time he didn’t have a Wifi connection for his little games on his little phone. Doc wondered how the hell the bloke could even heft the backpack sitting on the floor beside him, and those brand new, straight-out-of-the-box walking boots guaranteed major blisters. This was supposed to be twelve glorious days alone on the Wainwright Coast to Coast path across England. This was supposed to be total outdoor bliss. He had been looking forward to it for months and then, at the last minute, T4B ruined it all by insisting Will fucking Charles tag along with his expensive little camera phone to record the event. Bromance, they said. Adventure and companionship, they said. Merry fucking Christmas! T4B didn’t pay him nearly enough for this shit.

“We’ve got fourteen and a half miles to walk today, and the rain isn’t going to make it any easier.” He nodded to where his own pack sat by the table in the corner of the Seacote Hotel where he’d slugged back enough coffee to guarantee he’d be caffeine-fueled for at least part of that distance; the rest he’d be off in the bushes pissing.

As he turned to go, the lad just looked at him like he’d spoke Chinese. “Is that the Smart phone you’re supposed to be reviewing?” Doc snapped. “Do you need it to translate for you maybe? Hope it’s smart enough to figure out how we can make up for the lost time you cost us.”

“That’s just an iPhone,” came a voice from behind. “This is the device I’ll be reviewing.” To Doc’s horror, he turned to find himself being videoed by a man who definitely passed as an alpha—an alpha bastard at the moment. The sleek black device he pointed at Doc was labelledurBrainin gold letters. Seriously? Were T4B having a laugh?

Doc gritted his teeth and tried to count to ten, but only made it to three. “Perhaps you’d like to turn off urBrainbefore I cram it up urArse?”

Undaunted by Doc’s threat, the bloke continued to video as he added, “as for young Nigel here, well I rather think his boss at the Seacote might have something to say about him following us on the Coast to Coast. Nice boots,” he said to the kid.

Just then an American tourist the size of a bus blew in through the door, tipped Nigel and thanked him in a very southern accent. He hefted the backpack with a grunt, and headed out into the rain. “As for this little jewel,” Doc turned his attention back to the real Will fucking Charles, “well if I hadn’t had this lovely piece of kit to guide me on an alternative route, I’d still be sitting in traffic behind the overturned tractor with everyone else heading for St. Bee’s Head this lovely morning. So there, you see. It’s already saved us time. Oh, sorry,” he said, offering his hand. I’m Will.” Before Doc could do more than gop, the man slid an arm around him and guided him seamlessly into a selfie.

“Day one of the Wainwright Coast to Coast, and after a near disaster,” he spoke for the camera, “I’m here with Caradoc Doc Jones, the Welsh Woodsman and outdoorsman extraordinaire, about to head into the rain towards our first stop at Ennerdale Bridge. Say hi, Doc.”

Doc managed a wave and a grimace of a smile at urBrain, and Will continued. “We have 192 miles and twelve days to get from St. Bee’s Head on the Irish Sea all the way across England to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea, with fourteen and a half miles to make today, so best get on with it.”

 

 

Spring Giveaways and Gossip

 

Spring is upon us at last my Lovelies!

 

Er … well according to the calendar, at least, and the wind March is so notorious for seems to have played itself out at long last. That’s a great start! There are buds on the trees, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths are blooming themselves silly and best of all, the days are getting longer. That means more hours of reading time! Well, okay, maybe not technically, but who doesn’t like to read in the sunshine? That being the case, let’s get on with this month’s fab giveaways and gossip.

 

 

Heat Heart and Happily Ever After Paranormal Giveaway

 

If you’re a fan of the fabulous love lives of witches and vamps, shifters and demons, this is the giveaway for you. Or if you just want to check out how the preternatural half lives, here is your chance. Follow the link and enjoy a great spine tingling, goose bump raising, steamy HEA!

https://books.bookfunnel.com/heathearthappilyeverafter/ai496xm99o

 

 

Spring Steamy Romances

 

We’re talking contemporary romance … LOTS of contemporary romance! Nothing says spring like a good HEA, unless it’s a whole bunch of good HEAs. And when those fabulous steamy romances are FREE for the grabbing, how could spring not be in the air. Follow the link and get yourself some seriously sizzling spring romance.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/f9h832hfkk/9mqvbc3mgo

 

 

Listening to my Inner Demon

 

And did I mention demons? Well at least one demon anyway. The Guardian has
pulled a bit of a switch-up on me, and so have Circe and Richard Waters AKA Poseidon, so there has been some serious back tracking and rewriting going on in A Demon’s Tale,but hopefully at some point all my characters will be satisfied with the plot enough to leave me alone and let me write.

 

There’s an excerpt from A Demon’s Taleon my blog you’ll want to check out, and if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the juicy interview with Elise North. Seems our Elise is full of surprises that even the Guardian is impressed by.

 

 

A New Excerpt from A Demon’s Tale

It’s rough and ready … well getting that way, but here is a new excerpt from my WIP
A Demon’s Tale to tease you and appease you for the long wait. Book Four of the Medusa Consortium Series, and the novel in which all the characters decided to take control away from the writer. Sigh! Negotiations are in progress.

 

The Demon Begs a Favour

It was the early hours when he came to her again. Susan had drank more wine than she could have ever tolerated before she became a vampire, and still it barely took the edge off. She was considering taking on Magda’ drink of choice to up the ante, but it didn’t really seem to be any more effective on her, so she figured the woman drank single malt for comfort more than effect. She understood that. Upstairs in their room Michael slept. She figured everyone else in the house slept. Magda had sent the jet to Manchester for both Annie and Alonso. Annie didn’t need to be alone and she reckoned Reese would need Alonso, and Susan. And she would need them both as well as Michael if the shit hit the fan, and when was the shit not hitting the fan these days. She slouched in front of the fireplace where the fire she did not need blazed. Her Mac cast a pale light across her desk behind her, open to a nearly blank document. It said only “Just because you dream it, doesn’t mean it’s not real.” It made no sense in terms of anything but her own suffering, and yet that single statement kept coming back to her. The fact that everything would take place in the Guardian’s dream construct, perhaps was playing on her and not allowing her to see more clearly.

She still would not allow herself to sleep even though she had been assured she was safe in the dream world at the moment. Talia had even offered to take her to the dream world succubus style. But she couldn’t sleep even if she wanted to, not when the Guardian was soon to strip aside all that he was becoming and face the witch with everything that had made him so terrifying and so irresistible and dangerous to everyone in the world, human and otherwise. This he was doing, in no small part, because of her, and he had left thinking she did not trust him. So lost was she in her thoughts that when he all but burst into that space inside her mind, she jumped.

“Susan, I have very little time. The witch is stronger that I remember her to be. Oh do not worry, I shall succeed in my mission,” he crowded in tight and gave her no room to speak, and the pressure in her chest from the weight of him was almost unbearable. “I cannot linger, but I must beg of you a favor before the witch is upon me and I must be other than I am with you and those we love.”

“Anything.”

She regretted her words instantly at his request. “You must not believe anything you glimpse in my dream world, for I will not be myself, but I hunger, Susan, I hunger knowing what she will give to me willingly. I do not wish it so but it must be if I am to complete my task.” Still he gave her no room to speak. “I ask that when I have done what I must, when I return, if I … if I can no longer remember what I am, what you and all our friends are to me, that you will, without the slightest delay, return me to the depths of isolation in the dungeon deep inside you, for I do not wish any of those I care about to suffer because of me, nor to see me as I was.”

“That won’t be necessary,” she managed, her blood roaring in her veins, every muscle in her body aching to stop him. “You’ll come back to us whole and more yourself than ever. I trust you.”

“I do not trust myself, Susan, so I beg you promise me.”

“Please don’t –”

“Please, Susan, I beg you!” his urgency bled through into the room, terrifying her in ways she would have never expected.

“If it comes to that, I will,” then she added quickly, “but it won’t. I know it won’t.”

“Thank you, Susan,” the relief bled through his voice in a way she had never heard before. “I must go. She will come soon.”

“G,” she was surprised at how easily the simple name he had allowed Elise North to give him came to her now, and she sensed him turning, pausing, taking in the sound of it coming from her lips. “Do what you have to and hurry back to us.”

And then he was gone, his absence aching along her nerve endings and exploding into her chest into the vast chasm his absence always left. And just like that, she understood. Just like that, the spell appeared in her head.

She grabbed her cell phone and called Talia. “Get up here now.” She didn’t wait for a response, but settled in front of the computer, where the words she had written now made perfect sense, and the spell became clear. Typing frantically, she called the Guardian back to her for the briefest of moments, feeling his anxiety snake across her skin like static electricity. “Can you hold Circe off for just a little longer? The spell has come to me,” she said without pausing from her efforts. Then she opened her mind to him so he could see exactly what the spell involved.

“Will the succubus agree?” He asked with quiet calm.

Just then Talia knocked, but burst into the room without waiting for a response. “What?” was all she said, but her breath caught with a little hitch the moment she saw Susan at her laptop. Without another word she moved to stand behind her and read over her shoulder. Susan felt the Guardian as though he stood looking over her other shoulder. For a long moment Talia said nothing, and then she let out a long, slow whistle. “You are one crazy bitch, Susan Innes.” Then she bent and kissed her cheek. “I’ve always liked that about you.”

 

 

 

The Side Effects of a Good Read

I’ve spent the last week dragging around with a brutal cold. I’m very seldom ill, and almost never ill enough to take to bed. But this time, without full brain function, it seemed the expedient thing to do — lousy timing or not. While I groused and grumbled between sniffles and sneezes, aches and pains, I also made a discovery. I did have enough brainpower to lose myself in a good read. Since I wasn’t sleeping well for the first couple of nights, I took full advantage, binge rereading Naomi Novik’s wonderful Temeraireseries, while snuffling and coughing and feeling sorry for myself. Who doesn’t feel better after quality time spent with a dragon?

 

I’m on the mend now. Though I’m still dragging, still dealing with the after effects. But here’s the thing. Being forced to take some down time and fully indulge in the pleasure of a good read was worth every sniffle and ache. It’s not that I don’t do my best to make sure there’s reading time in my schedule. It’s just that it’s often the first thing to go when that schedule gets tight. It’s sad that it takes a nasty bug to remind me that reading is far more than just my duty as a writer. It’s far more than just a frivolous pleasure; it’s a priming of the pump, a feeding of the creativity, a grounding for the storyteller in me.

 

Creativity cultivates creativity, and being inspired by the works of other people’s imaginations is one of the best ways I know of to be more productive and more creative myself. Sadly that fact is one of the easiest things for a busy writer to forget. I’m willing to bet it’s one of the easiest things for most of us to forget, whether we write or not.

 

I used to read every novel with the idea of learning how to be a better writer – whether the novel was a good one or not. Now I’m way less likely to even finish a poorly written novel. Time is too valuable. More often now I hold out for the really good novels, and I read them for the sheer pleasure of being drawn outside myself into another world, into another person, into an experience far different from my own. Coming off a good read, I’m reminded just exactly why the ancient storytellers in some cultures sat with kings and queens as their equals.

 

It’s far too easy to pick up all of our information in bits and pieces off social media

and the Internet. We’re connected in ways we could have never imagined even twenty years ago. But while all the information we could ever want and, in some cases WAY too much, is available at our fingertips, the magic, the real magic, only happens when we slow down, back away and let the storytellers enthrall us.

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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