Tag Archives: Alexandra Hawkins

Birthday Girl Alexandra Hawkins

Hi friends! We’ve got Alexandra Hawkins back visiting us today … on her birthday! Whee!! I love birthdays so much, and it’s always fun when we have author/reader friends visiting with us on her special day. 😀

CupcakesOctober has always been my favorite month.  Cooler weather, autumn leaves, Halloween—and, of course, my birthday.  As a kid, I loved having an October birthday.  Although schools have more or less done away with celebrating Halloween, I was fortunate enough to attend elementary school when my birthday “week” included a costume parade, craft projects to decorate the classroom, and a class party to celebrate Halloween and my birthday.  The party continued at home with my family, and the pay-off at the end of the month was Halloween and tons of candy.  Oh yeah, no doubt from a kid’s point of view, birthdays close to Halloween are the best!

My birthday must-haves haven’t really changed over the years.

Halloween decorations—Definitely.

The No Good, Irresistible Viscount TiptonCandy—We always have a huge bowl of candy with all of our family’s favorites.  I have a weakness for Twizzlers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Almond Joys.  Suffice to say, I’ll be doubling my workouts at the gym in November to appease the calorie gods.

Costumes—I no longer dress up for Halloween.  Instead I channeled my creative energies into making costumes for my kids.  Selling my first book pretty much put an end to my fledgling career as a seamstress.

Cake—German chocolate.

Good food—My husband has a “no cooking on your birthday” rule that I heartily approve of.

Scary movie—Family time with my little ghouls.

The Scandalously Bad Mr. MilroyI’ve been on deadline for my last few birthdays, but this year, I’m working on proposals and looking forward to the releases of my three November books.  Before I sold my Lords of Vice series to St. Martin’s Press, I wrote nine books under the pseudonym, Barbara Pierce.  SMP picked up two of my earlier books and I’ve updated them to match my sexier writing style.  The No Good, Irresistible Viscount Tipton and The Scandalously Bad Mr. Milroy will be released as $2.99 ebooks on November 1.  Then, the final book in my Lords of Vice series—Frost’s book—will be available in paperback/ebook on November 26.  I’m sad to see the series end, but I’m thrilled I had the opportunity to write all seven books.

And… Just to whet your appetite, here’s Frost’s cover and book blurb. 😀

Twilight with the Infamous EarlLord Chillingsworth’s reputation precedes him—the infamous “Frost” is as legendary on the field of honor as he is in the bedroom. Which makes it surprising that young Emily Cavell has taken up the cause of closing Frost’s favorite gambling hell. Who does this brazen, flame-haired beauty think she is?

Emily’s vendetta is personal: She is determined to take a pound of flesh from Frost, who ruined her sister. But the man she meets is not the cold-hearted devil she imagined—and is twice as handsome to boot—and soon Emily finds herself falling for him. Their battle of wills quickly ignites into blazing desire. Could it be that the most jaded Lord of Vice is finally willing to risk everything and gamble on her heart? Or is true love only a fool’s game?

Good yeah? Alexandra has also very generously offered one of you a present on her birthday! Your choice of one of her earlier Lords of Vice books! So – what do you think of historical romances? Or Halloween? Favorite memory or costume? And remember to wish Alexandra the happiest birthday ever!

Alexandra Hawkins Shares an Exclusive Excerpt of Dusk with a Dangerous Duke

Hi friends! We’ve got Alexandra Hawkins visiting with us again! And she’s sharing with us about her newest book! Whoo! You can also check out the previous times she’s been here before. We’re always glad to have her at ALBTALBS! (Oh, and I tried to make the font color for the book excerpt/information a little different… while still readable. Hopefully that worked out.)

Thanks for inviting me back, Lime.  Can you believe it’s almost time for another Lords of Vice installment?  Book six, Dusk with a Dangerous Duke will be released on February 26th.  If you’ve been following the series, you know that Hunter’s bachelor days are numbered, and the time has come for him to collect his unwanted bride.  Lady Grace, needless to say, is not the sort of lady a man keeps waiting so Hunter has his work cut out for him if he hopes to gain her cooperation—and her heart.

They were children when the Duke of Huntsley was introduced to Lady Grace Kearly. The young duke—nicknamed “Hunter”—took one look at his future bride and thought only of escaping his responsibilities to his family. Marriage was for grown-ups and Hunter still had years of skirt-chasing ahead of him. But now the time has come for Hunter to heed the call: if this Lord of Vice hopes to keep all of his inheritance, he’ll have to claim his long-neglected betrothed…

With her twenty-first birthday approaching, Lady Grace dreads the thought of marrying the duke she has met only once—especially since he’s grown into a notorious rake who will probably beget his heir and abandon her in the country while he pursues fresh game in London. So when Lady Grace coolly decides to call the wedding off, even Hunter is surprised by his refusal to let her go. Suddenly, the notion of claiming and taming this green-eyed beauty is one challenge he cannot resist…

Sneak peek at Alexandra Hawkins’s Dusk with a Dangerous Duke:

“Grace,” he said, oblivious to her tumultuous thoughts.  “It was never my intention to allow so many years to pass without visiting you.  I realize this is not the most auspicious beginning, but I have faith we can set things right.  You are not quite one-and-twenty, and I am prepared honor my end of the bargain.  We will marry as soon as I can obtain a special license and—”

“No.”

It took a few seconds for her rejection to register on his face.  Grace concluded that not many people refused the duke.  “I beg your pardon.”

“Was I not succinct?” she asked, wiggling her toes and recalling that she was barefoot.  “Or perhaps I spoke too softly.”

“No, I heard you,” he said in clipped tones.  “I just expect you to look me in the eye when you are tossing away an arrangement that was created for your benefit.”

To prove that she not intimidated by his presence, she lifted her eyes until she was staring into his amber gaze.  The brilliant color blazed like twin suns.  “Let’s not forget that you have benefited from this arrangement as well.  Porter has told me that your investments have made us both very rich, and no doubt your liberties with my assets gave you certain advantages over the years.”

“It is kind of you to acknowledge that I have made you a very wealthy.  Most orphans would be grateful to be called an heiress.”

What sort of man could be cruel enough to remind her that she was all alone in this world?  “I also happen to be the daughter of a duke,” she said evenly.  “Nor am I a fool, Your Grace.  I will soon be of age, and will no longer require you to be my guardian.  The duty did not suit you, and I, for one, am grateful it has come to an end.”

Seconds later he had her pinned in place by blocking any means to escape with his muscular arms.  He had moved so swiftly, she could not fathom how he had done it.

“I am much more than your guardian, Lady Grace,” he said, his close proximity forcing her to tip her head back so she could meet his furious gaze.  “I am your husband.”

“Not yet,” she said triumphantly.  “Not ever, if I have a say about it.”

“The only words I require from you are yes and I do,” he purred, his body filling her vision.  The subtle scent of man with the hint of lavender filled her nose

“Words you may hear often from your servants and mistresses, but you will not hear them from me.”

What’s next?  I’m currently working on the final book in the Lords of Vice series, Twilight with the Infamous Earl.  Yes, the wait for Frost’s book is almost over.  The most notorious Lord of Vice will finally meet his match.  Look for his book in December 2013.

Giveaway:  Two lucky commenters will win a Lords of Vice book.  Winners can pick their prize from the following books:  All Night with a Rogue, Till Dawn with the Devil, After Dark with a Scoundrel, Sunrise with a Notorious Lord, and All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess.

Review: Sunrise with a Notorious Lord by Alexandra Hawkins

Sunrise with a Notorious Lord by Alexandra Hawkins
Historical Romance released by St. Martin’s Press on January 3, 2012

Dashing, decadent, and deliciously seductive, the notorious Lords of Vice indulge their every desire—from dusk until dawn…

Christopher Courtland, Earl of Vanewright—known around London as “Vane”—is the very picture of a rich, handsome ladies’ man. Why shackle himself to just one lady when he’s free to sample them all? In spite of his own mother’s attempts at matchmaking, Vane has sworn to stay single. Until he has a chance run-in with Miss Isabel Thorne…

A modest and refined beauty, Isabel is a lot more brazen than she appears. When a pickpocket tries to make away with Vane’s bejeweled snuffbox, Isabel attempts to thwart his escape…and manages to steal Vane’s heart. But the harder he tries to seduce the sharp-tongued, strong-willed Isabel, the more she resists. Now it’s up to this tried-and-true bachelor to find a new way to play the game…or risk losing the one woman who’s ever captured his heart.

I liked Sunrise with a Notorious Lord [even] more the second time I read it. Both times I read the book in a day. (The first time in an afternoon, in fact.) I distinctly remember debating the merits of taking a bath, watching the Gator Bowl, and/or reading this book. I wanted to do all three concurrently. Obviously that couldn’t happen. Anyway. I thought I’d reviewed this book age ago, so imagine my chagrin when I saw I hadn’t. Nevertheless the next “installment” of the Lords of Vice is out in a little over a month, so the timing is perfect! (Don’t argue.)

Alexandra Hawkins is an author I follow closely. Her first book (All Night with a Rogue) was one that helped me make my way out of a two year reading slump. If for no other reason than that, she gets a starred place on my “likes” list. Her writing has all that lofty place implies – great writing, characterization, and plot. As well as some very nice steamy scenes. Her Lords of Vice definitely live up to their names.

What I also love about the stories is that each book can stand alone.

Isabel Thorne is a lovely person. Literally and figuratively. Ms. Hawkins seems to enjoy writing heroines that carry the weight and responsibilities of their families. This generally makes them strong, pragmatic, and wise individuals. Definitely so in Isabel’s case. Not only that, but she’s lived her life putting her younger sister before herself. Isabel thinks of herself as not as important. And with her mother and sister’s selfishness, they’ve only underlined and synthesized that belief. For all that Isabel is such a strong character, she doesn’t have a very good sense of self. As in, she is uncertain as to her own worth, or undervalues it. She’s a very sympathetic, and likable character.

Christopher Avery Courtland, Earl of Vanewright is simply put, a fun hero. He’s something of a scoundrel, and not only does he know it, he embraces it. He knows he’s not that good, and while he doesn’t apologize about it, he also knows when what he does was wrong, and feels badly for it. I liked that Vane could admit his faults, and regretted some of his actions. He’s quite human, but definitely true to himself. He doesn’t become a paragon of virtue, he simply falls in love. Vane focuses his attentions on one woman, and is constant, rather than focusing on various women. I loved that he felt protective of Isabel, and jealous when she received attention from other men. Vane cared and that’s what’s really important in a hero.

Two things bothered me about this book. I’m having trouble deciding how much – but basically, the premise. I go between finding it somewhat believable, or not. I don’t think it’s giving the plot away, since the back cover copy clearly shows Isabel and Vane are the hero and heroine. But the book starts with the Marchioness of Netherley – Vane’s mother – asking Isabel’s assistance in matching Vane with Isabel’s younger sister, Delia. It’s clear from the start (at least to me) his mother never meant it, and always wanted Vane to be with Isabel.

However, neither Isabel nor Vane realize this. I had a hard time believing that was true, because Isabel and Vane are both astute. Especially Vane, who knows his mother will do almost anything to get him married. He’s on to her tricks and has been on to them. For her part, I can see Isabel being duped because it makes sense for someone – or anyone – to want their son to marry Delia. Not her. (That whole self worth thing.)

I didn’t think a loving mother, who has a good relationship with her son, would want him tied to a girl who is rather mercenary, selfish, and self centered. Delia isn’t a very nice girl – although in a way she can be forgiven because she was indulged so much by her family. Delia isn’t a static character, actually, but she doesn’t do much. She’s a perfect secondary character. So for such a smart character, Vane (and even Isabel) are rather thick when it comes to the motherly machinations.

I normally don’t go into such detail with the plot, but as you can see, that was my hang up. I think the second time around, I knew what my issues were, so I was expecting it. Also I knew to not let me bother it as much. The other thing was the abrupt ending. Someone actually messaged me on goodreads when she saw I’d rated the book to ask how my copy of the book ended. Obviously this isn’t as big an issue.

I loved the progression of Vane and Isabel’s relationship. It was fun to see a hero and heroine who don’t get on from the start. In fact, Vane decides Isabel intrigues him, while she’s oftentimes annoyed with him. It’s always nice when a hero has to work for it, and he does have some convincing to do here.

Lastly, I loved that Ms. Hawkins wrote an equal partnership. I never felt one character ceded too much to the other. They were moving together, and forward. Yes, some things were a bit rushed (I think Isabel capitulated to Vane too quickly, but I might not have felt she was as guilty as she did.) You’ll see when you read it.

It’s obvious I was very invested in this book. I’m actually not quite sold on the premise of the next Lords of Vice book (All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess), but I depend on Ms. Hawkins to convince me, as I know she can. If you enjoy reading historical romances, I definitely recommend Sunrise with a Notorious Lord as well as any and all of the other books in the series.

Grade: B

*Sidenote: ZOMG! Ms. Hawkins finally changed her website and it’s no longer flash based! Yay!!!

Sadly while there’s no excerpt, she has a book page with trailer here, and you can buy a copy here.

Guest Author & A Giveaway: Alexandra Hawkins

Hi everyone! For those of you who have stuck with me from the beginning… (O_o actually are there any of you who have lasted that long? Cuz… frankly you deserve a gold star. And maybe more.) You might remember that Alexandra Hawkins was possibly going to be the very first ever author in the Guest Author & A Giveaway feature. Unfortunately, she was too busy then, but she’s here now! (No seriously though, remember? It was also my very first ever personal blog giveaway. People – this is like… some sort of milestone, or something!)

I’ve now read all four Lords of Vice novels that are out – and in fact a review of Sunrise with a Notorious Lord will be going up some time in the future. (Was waiting for the guest post and all… ;)) I read it in a day. I can’t decide which book is my favorite in the series. I mean, All Night with a Rogue obviously stuck in my mind. But I think I like book two, Till Dawn with the Devil more. Or maybe book three – After Dark with a Scoundrel because I love the heroine, Regan. And it’s got the whole “zomg I can’t fall in love with my best friend’s little sister!!!” aspect. Heh.

Anyway, I’m sure you don’t want to listen to me anymore. Ms. Hawkins elected to do an author interview. So here are my questions, and her answers!

1. If you were a zookeeper, which animals would you terrify David Letterman with?
A: Probably something from the reptile and amphibian exhibits.

2. How’d you come up with the Lords of Vice and their nicknames? Do you nickname people you come across in your every day life? What’s next after this series?
A: I started by searching through 18th to 19th century marriage/death records. I made a list of surnames that I could break down into intriguing nicknames. The process took several days. Do I give people nicknames? Sometimes. What’s next after this series? I haven’t pitched the idea to my editor yet, but I’d like to write another series set during the Regency period. Right now, the Lords of Vice are keeping me busy.

3. What is a question you as an author always wish someone would ask you but nobody ever does? Or – what is a question you love answering?
A: I really don’t have any burning questions. I love discussing the Lords of Vice series with anyone who is interested in it. However, the one thing I’ve noticed is that I receive very few questions about the heroines. Most of the questions focus on the heroes, which makes sense since I’ve built the series around them.

4. As a child which character/book(s) would you most want to be [or be in] a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, Madeline L’Engle, Lloyd Alexander, L.M. Montgomery, or Gail Carson Levine?
A: Actually, I was a huge Nancy Drew fan when I was growing up. From your author choices, I’d have to go with Laura Ingalls Wilder. These Happy Golden Years was one of my favorite books. (Oh I like that! I’ll have to include Nancy Drew from now on… :D)

5. How’d you come up with your author name? Have you ever forgotten your author name and not responded when someone called out to you?
A: It was something my editor and I worked on together. Have I ever forgotten it? No, I’ve gotten used to the name.

6. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you in school? How about a conference? (Or any other public venue.)
A: I can’t think of anything really embarrassing. When I was in grade school, I managed to wipe out face-first into a mud puddle in front of my P.E. class. I was such a mess, the teacher drove me home so I could change clothes. As for a mishap at a conference—Thankfully, nothing has happened.

7. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? On the other end of the spectrum – what do you most like to eat?
A: Honestly—sushi. I stay away from raw meat in all forms, but a friend talked me into trying it. I come from a family of farmers, which means meat and potatoes are standard fare at our house.

8. What was your first job? And what has been you most interesting one? (If writing, aside from that.)
A: My very first job was a paper route. Besides writing, one of my more interesting jobs was working as a medical technician for an ophthalmologist. I enjoyed working with the patients.

9. What did you do with the money from your first royalty check?
A: I bought a new laptop and printer. (I’m dying to know – what kind of laptop?)

10. What’s your favorite hair care product? Shampoo, conditioner, and other?
A: I have curly hair that tends to frizz in humidity. I’m a big fan of Biosilk’s conditioner.

11. What would you put in your ideal candy bar? Do you prefer sweet or savory snacks? What’s your favorite snack?
A: Caramel. I love dark chocolate and caramel. Yum! Sweet or Savory? It depends on my mood. I love to snack on fresh fruit. For savory, I like Stacy’s Parmesan Garlic & Herb Pita Chips. (I LOVE those! I recently discovered there are Stacy’s Parmesan Garlic & Herb bagel chips as well!)

12. What do you think is the best commercial of all time? Why?
A: I don’t have an all-time favorite commercial. One that I do think is sweet is the “Baby Driver” for Subaru. I have three teenagers so it resonates with my own feelings about the kids driving.

Oh – also, don’t the cover fairies absolutely adore Ms. Hawkins? Love all of them! And… I just went googling and look at what I found! All Afternoon with a Scandalous MarquessMy first reaction was “Oh. My.” O_O Look at that cover! Scandalous! I know it’s not Frost’s book… It’s Sainthill/Saint’s. I’m a tiny bit disappointed, but there’s still a chance! I keep telling/asking/begging Ms. Hawkins not to write Frost’s book last. (Don’t you think it’s a bit too cliche for him to go last?) But she says he needs more time. Or something. And I guess as the author of the series she knows best… ;P

Alexandra Hawkins is the USA Today bestselling author of the Lords of Vice Novels. An unrepentant Anglophile, she discovered romance novels as a teenager, and knew that one day she would be writing her own stories. She has combined her love of English history, mythology, and romance to create sensual character-driven stories that she hopes will touch readers’ hearts.

That’s it, folks! I think I should have asked her more questions, don’t you? 😉 So – what questions do you have for Ms. Hawkins? Either related to the Lords of Vice … or you know – something like what I asked. I don’t have to tell you which *I* personally would prefer, do it? 😛

Two lucky commenters will win their choice of books Ms. Hawkins currently has available, which are All Night with a Rogue, Till Dawn with the Devil,  After Dark with a Scoundrel, or Sunrise with a Notorious Lord. So let me see some crazy fun! 😉

Teaser Tuesday: Sunrise with a Notorious Lord by Alexandra Hawkins

Today, we have the fabulous Alexandra Hawkins sharing an exclusive excerpt with us that is unedited and subject to change from her upcoming novel Sunrise with a Notorious Lord. That’s how fresh and special it is! I have to say, I love it. Especially since I’ve been reading about Vane in the previous Lords of Vice books. Speaking of, the Lords of Vice series is my favorite series discovery of the year. And what’s incredible is how much I love them, and how I’m thrilled about the series, since we all know I’m not so much a proponent of well… series. What I’m trying to say is, I really enjoy Alexandra’s books, and I’m really looking forward to this one. I keep telling her she should just send it to me, but I think she pretends those messages get lost. 😉 I’ll keep trying.

Keep reading – you don’t want to miss this. (And look at that cover! Loving the historical romances with these lovely purple covers.)

Dashing, decadent, and deliciously seductive, the notorious Lords of Vice indulge their every desire—from dusk until dawn…

FOREVER THE BACHELOR
Christopher Courtland, Earl of Vanewright—known around London as “Vane”—is the very picture of a rich, handsome ladies’ man. Why shackle himself to just one lady when he’s free to sample them all? In spite of his own mother’s attempts at matchmaking, Vane has sworn to stay single. Until he has a chance run-in with Miss Isabel Thorne…

NEVER IN LOVE—UNTIL NOW…

A modest and refined beauty, Isabel is a lot more brazen than she appears. When a pickpocket tries to make way with Vane’s bejeweled snuffbox, Isabel attempts to thwart his escape…and manages to steal Vane’s heart. But the harder he tries to seduce the sharp-tongued, strong-willed Isabel, the more she resists. Now it’s up to this tried-and-true bachelor to find a new way to play the game…or risk losing the one woman who’s ever captured his heart.

Madness had brought Vane to the Thornes’s residence. Madness and a considerable amount of brandy. When he had ordered his coachman to drive down Isabel’s street, he had told himself that he had no intention of stopping. Then he had noticed the oil lamp burning invitingly through the window of the study. Isabel had not retired for the evening.

A sudden need to see her seized him by the throat. It prompted him to pound on the small trap door and to order his coachman to halt. He hastily disembarked from the coach before he could think of a single reason why he should not summon her to the window.

As he had approached the town house, the small sliver of conscience he possessed almost hoped Isabel would have the good sense to turn him away. If she permitted him entry into her home, he was afraid he would not be able to keep his promise and leave.

“I will use this poker if you misbehave,” she said fiercely.

“I’ll consider myself warned, Miss Thorne.”

Isabel nodded. “Very well. Come to the door and I will let you into the front hall—but no farther. You may bid me goodnight and then take your leave.”

“Upon my word,” he said humbly, praying he was telling the truth.

A minute later, the front door opened. Isabel had brought the oil lamp from the study and placed it on the small round table in the front hall to illuminate the interior.

“It is fortunate that you did not wake the entire household,” Isabel said in lieu of a greeting as she stepped aside so he could enter the hall. She promptly shut the door.

“I will count my blessings later.” Vane reached up to remove his hat and then remembered that he had left it in the coach. “Forgive the late hour. I was on my way home and saw the light in the study.”

“The drive home took you down our street?” she said, sounding unconvinced.

“This evening it did.”

Perhaps it was impolite to scrutinize a lady her current state of undress, however, Vane could not resist. She was captivating. In spite of her protestations, Isabel’s attire covered her from her neck to her feet. She wore a simple white muslin dress or perhaps it was her chemise. It was difficult to tell without untying the white pelisse robe decorated with plumetis embroidery. Even her arms were covered. Several layers of muslin, embroidery, and lace were denying him even the slightest glimpse of the tempting flesh underneath. Fortunately, his experience with the female form was quite extensive and no amount of muslin was likely to quell his curiosity or imagination.

“So you’ve come to bid me goodnight,” she said crisply as she touched her hair in a nervous gesture.

Isabel had forgotten to don her lace cap. Her uncovered hair was braided into a single plait. The heavy length fell over her right shoulder and over the soft curve of her breast. She had not braided her hair to entice, but the casual styling would have only been seen by her family or a lover.

Without thinking, Vane reached out and caught the plaited length of hair with his bare hand. Isabel gasped at his brazenness, but she did not pull away.

“I have often wondered and I was correct. It does feel like silk,” he murmured, entranced by the texture and weight.

She gently tugged her braid from his loose grasp. “Did you have a pleasant evening?”

The courteous question was meant to put distance between them. It was on the tip of his tongue to warn her that it was much too late. After all, she was the one who had opened the door and invited him in.

“Well enough, I suppose.” He shrugged. “And you?”

“Pleasant.” Isabel crinkled her nose in a delightful manner and laughed. “Though the evening sorely tested my appreciation for the musical arts.”

So she had attended the musical recital. If Vane had not been so furious after his encounter with his father, he might have sat beside her and discovered what she had found so amusing about the evening.

“I had a nasty argument with my father this afternoon,” he admitted, surprised that he wanted to tell her about it.

Isabel appeared to be equally taken aback. Her wary expression faded as concern weakened her resolve to keep her distance from him. “It is difficult to remain cross with the ones we love.”

“You have a generous heart, Isabel,” he said, dragging his hand through his uncombed hair. “Unfortunately, I am not so forgiving.”

She sighed, accepting that she could not dissuade him from his rigid stance even if she did not agree with it. “A generous heart. Your mother said something similar earlier this evening.”

Suspicion roiled in his gut, mixing with the brandy. “When did you speak to my mother?”

“At Lady Kerfoot’s house.”

“Did she mention me or my father?”

“Are referring to the argument that you had with your father?” Isabel shook her head. “No, Vane, there would be no reason to discuss something so personal. Your mother loves you.”

“My mother loves getting her way,” he complained bitterly. As did his father.

“Now you are being petulant and unjust.” Isabel moved out of reach as she walked to the door. “Perhaps we should say goodnight before you decide to provoke a fight with me.”

Vane backed her against the door before she could guess his intentions. “Too late,” he said, pinning her wrists over her head. “I’ve been fighting you since I saw you sitting on the dirty floor of the dressmaker’s shop.”

She glared up at him. “Fighting? I retrieved your precious snuffbox, you disagreeable ungrateful man!”

He leaned against her, holding her in place with his body. At once, he noticed that Isabel Thorne was not wearing stays. Instead of stiff whalebone, her soft breasts and belly molded against his body.

“I have also been fighting myself,” he admitted. “I am so weary, Isabel.”

There was a slight tremor in her voice when she spoke. “You just need to sleep off the brandy.”

Vane only wished it were so simple. “We both know it is more complicated than that, Isabel.”

Her face blanched as a desperate look crept into her light brown gaze. “You promised to go home straightaway.”

With his fingers still gripping her wrists, Vane lowered her muslin clad arms to her sides. He took a deep breath and savored the feel of her body against his. Isabel would not escape him until he ready to let her go. “And so I shall, my lovely Isabel. All I require is a kiss and then I take my leave.”

Unedited excerpt from SUNRISE WITH A NOTORIOUS LORD. Copyright © Alexandra Hawkins, January 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission.

Alexandra Hawkins is a USA Today bestselling author and an unrepentant Anglophile. She discovered romance novels as a teenager, and knew that one day she would be writing her own stories. Alexandra has combined her love of English history, mythology, and romance to create sensual character-driven stories that she hopes will touch readers’ hearts.

Alexandra has very generously offered two books, so two winners will get their choice of the previous Lords of Vice books, which are All Night with a Rogue, Till Dawn with the Devil, and After Dark with a Scoundrel. Two winners, winner’s choice.

So, what’d you think of the excerpt? Have you read any of Alexandra’s books before? Do you like historicals? This seems to be a “man falling in love” scene – so what are some of your favorites? Where the hero realizes just how important the heroine is to him? In historical novels, movies, television series, anything.

“Guest Author” & A Giveaway: Alexandra Hawkins

Today marks the very first of my “Guest Author & A Giveaway” series as it were, to take place the first Tuesday of every month. (You can see a line up here.) While Alexandra Hawkins won’t actually be here to guest blog (deadlines, you know), she is generously giving away three books.

It’s totally fitting Ms. Hawkins is my first guest, because All Night with a Rogue is the very first book I read in 2011… and I immediately bought Till Dawn with the Devil and enjoyed both books. I’m so looking forward to After Dark with a Scoundrel (out today!) because the premise is one of my favorites. A Lord of Vice falls for a fellow Lord of Vice’s younger sister. Heh. The whole forbidden love/my [best] friend is going to kill me if I debauch his sister.

Quick interjection – I can’t say this enough… I actually bought All Night with a Rogue well, because it looked good, and the cover caught my eye, but the selling point was the kindle price. $2.99. Publishers – are you paying attention? You should do this more! It got me hooked on a series! While the ebook of  Till Dawn with the Devil is the same price as the print copy (stupid agency pricing), I made an exception and bought it. And… shame on me I’m going to do the same with After Dark with a Scoundrel. (So for those of you wondering – nope. I don’t get ARCs from publishers, etc.)

… Anyway.  Despite the fact that Ms. Hawkins can’t be here today, we should still have entertainment, right? And you know – you have to work for your prize 😉 So, up for grabs are two copies of All Night with a Rogue and one of After Dark with a Scoundrel. (I’m just posting the cover of Till Dawn with the Devil because I don’t want it to feel left out 😉 Also, blue is my favorite color and it’s my blog.)

What do you have to do to win these beauties? Well, to make all your odds better, there will be three winners. What you have to do, is either tell me – what would you name your own Lords of Vice? It can be actual names, nicknames, or what their vice would be. There are seven Lords of Vice, so you’ll need to come up with seven names or vices. Or… tell me your favorite tale of forbidden love – that ends happily, of course.

Ready? Set… Go!

*NB – because Ms. Hawkins didn’t actually guest today, I have Marie Force guesting here the 15th to be the “official” February guest 🙂 Oh – and, I’ll be using randomizer.org as usual to choose winners… Please let me know if there’s a title you want/don’t want in particular, please, because there won’t be substitutions! Winners will be posted on Saturday, and have until the following Tuesday (Feb 8) to contact me!

Oh, and while Ms. Hawkins was unable to be here today, she did send me the book trailer for After Dark with a Scoundrel. (I know, I know, me? Posting a book trailer? Whaaa? But you know. Author’s choice 😉 )

ETA: The fabulous Olivia Gates has a new book out today, To Tempt a Sheikh out today. Unfortunately, she can’t promo it because she lives in Egypt, so check it out, and pass it on!

What’s Your Vice? (A Giveaway)

I’m kinda geekily excited to be doing my very first “all on my own” giveaway – as in, my own page, and everything. What’s up for grabs? A kindle copy of ….

Why? Because I’ve been experiencing the most terrible reading slump, and this was the first book I read in 2010, and I liked it and went and bought the second book, Till Dawn with the Devil, a few days later. And finished it. So, I’m looking forward to the third book, After Dark with a Scoundrel. Ms. Hawkins is too busy to visit with us now because… she just got a four book contract for the rest of the Lords of Vice! Yay! Hopefully she’ll stop by some other time.

Which, speaking of, starting in February, the first Tuesday of each month I’m going to do a “Guest Author & A Giveaway” type deal. Most of 2011 is booked now, which thrills me to no end. I’m going to try to figure out a calendar and add it as a page so you can check and see what’s on board.

Many of you know that I am really over series. So many of them are just… too much of a marketing gimmick to me. The books now don’t stand alone, and often I feel that some characters get short changed because what is supposed to be his/her romance is really just a set up for the next book. Blech.

However, thus far the Lords of Vice stories have been able to stand alone. And I’m liking them because of the heroines. They’re just so smart and sensible. A rare commodity in a historical romance heroine. They’re also rather realistic, at least in my humble opinion. A friend mentioned the first book was “too much” for the heroine – and just one bad thing after another. While, yes, it was a tiny bit frustrating at times, I actually liked it because it flowed naturally. I could totally see the events happening as they did for the period. (A bit extreme, but not unheard of.)

I also have to say/admit… I bought All Night with a Rogue because of the price. And the cover. It was eye catching. I then went to Ms. Hawkins’s webpage, and liked the excerpt. The story starts with out heroine stuck in a tree, fleeing the attentions of a horrid dinner companion.

As someone who goes for retail therapy constantly… this was a perfect and gratifying purchase. I found an agency ebook for less than the print price! Less! Unheard of! It’s probably a little sad how accomplished that made me feel. But whatever. Stupid agency pricing. I hate it.

SO! The reward for those of you who have stuck with me through this post? You have a chance to get your very own shiny kindle copy of book one in the series. What do you have to do? Comment and tell me what your biggest vice is. Or, you know, at least one of them. Or if you don’t want to do that – what would you choose as nicknames for a group of men known as the Lords of Vice?

*The contest is open until Saturday the 15th, which is when I’ll announce the winner, and s/he will have three days to contact me. If this does not happen, I’ll choose a new winner. Why the “short” time line? Because Ms. Hawkins will be giving away books here on February 1st. Yup, she’s the first ish guest author! Yay! (Only she’s not guesting, I get to say something awesome/hilarious/bad/wrong… and she’ll give away a book. I like this set up 😉 )