Category Archives: Book Excerpt

Release Day Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: A Reluctant Bride by Jess Michaels

Hi friends! Welcome to 2020 and our first “guest post!” I’m actually really surprised to say this, but I think it’s our first from Jess Michaels! And – as you see, it’s an excerpt from her book A Reluctant Bride that is out today! So you can read this snippet then go snag yourself a copy! Win!

A Reluctant Bride by Jess Michaels book coverWhen the Jasper Kincaid, the Earl of Harcourt, offered to marry one of the infamous Shelley triplets, he was doing it for the dowry to refill his depleted coffers, not for anything so silly as love. But when he realizes it is Thomasina Shelley masquerading as his fiancée at their final engagement ball, not his true intended, a desire for her that he has been ignoring sparks. And when it becomes clear her sister has run away with another, an opportunity arises for a marriage with a much deeper connection.

Thomasina’s feelings for Jasper have never been appropriate and she doubted the prudence of pretending to be his even for just one night. Once she’s caught, everything escalates so quickly. Suddenly she’s going to marry this stern, fascinating man who is not particularly pleased at her perfidy. Add to that her worry about where her wayward sister has gone and it’s a recipe for both passion…and disaster.

As the two slowly grow closer, Jasper realizes his former fiancée’s disappearance may have more to do with his own past than he originally realized. And the longer he keeps that from Thomasina, the more painful it will be when the truth comes out. Can they let each other close enough to fight together against the dangers right around the corner? And will they survive to meet the future they could have if they do?

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Thomasina couldn’t feel her legs. Or her arms. They were all tingling out of control and she had no idea how she was keeping herself upright as she walked across the ballroom, forcing a smile at the felicitations her sister’s guests called out. She had played the role of Anne before, of course, but she regretted agreeing to it this time. Schoolgirl pranks were nothing like this…monstrosity. Continue reading

Release Day “Guest Post” Jeffe Kennedy on The Orchid Throne + Giveaway!

Hi friends! So uh, if you care, you’d probably have noticed we’ve been a bit MIA over here in ALBTALBS land. Just a lot yet nothing going on. Which … in part might explain this post.

The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy book coverIn the Forgotten Empires magic is forbidden, dreams are destiny, and love is the greatest power of all…

A PRISONER OF FATE
As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Lia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN
Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Lia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

Continue reading

Guest Author Anna Kashina on Romance in Blade Fights + An Exclusive Excerpt of Shadowblade AND a Giveaway!

Hi friends! You might know that [adult] high fantasy romance is totally “my thing.” So when Anna Kashina contacted me about reviewing her upcoming book I was first, pretty starstruck, then [pretty immediately] was like “DOES IT FEATURE ADULT CHARACTERS AND IS THERE ROMANCE?!” And when she answered “yes” I was like “WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO BE A GUEST AT ALBTALBS?!!?” And she said yes!!! So here we are! I’m so excited to welcome Anna Kashina today! Her newest book Shadowblade is out today!

Romance in blade fights

There are two things I find irresistible in fantasy novels. One is a good romantic subplot, well balanced and integral to the story. The other is a good blade fight – especially the kind with a lot of cool technique behind it. It’s an additional bonus – as well as a challenge – to make these fights emotionally gripping, as well as being technically cool. But if one manages to achieve all this, there is only one more step to the ultimate prize: to combine the two, using blade fights as a tool to advance the romance. It’s so rewarding when it’s done well.

I am a sucker for a dark and dangerous male lead with a morally complex character. A superb swordsman, trained to become an elite assassin, in my mind, cannot fail as a romantic hero. In my books, I love to match these kind of guys with strong women who can stand up to them, and have hidden strengths of their own. When developing these characters and their relationships, a sword fight can become more engaging than a love scene, and so much more effective in showing off their strengths and limitations, as well as their morally complex sides. Continue reading

Teaser “Tuesday” Exclusive Excerpt: Played by Beverley Kendall

Hi friends! So I know it isn’t Tuesday, but whatever! It’s the same deal. 😀 And – we have a new release TT Feature today! Played just came out on the 25th! Beverley Kendall was kind enough to share an exclusive with ALBTALBS, so I hope you enjoy it! Congratulations on your newest release, Beverley! And y’all – read the whole post for a freebie at the end! 😉

Played by Beverley Kendall book coverThe summer Josh and I got together, we agreed to keep things strictly physical.

And it was.

Until our casual hookups stopped feeling casual.
Having sex with him stopped being just about sex.
And the thought of calling a halt to it left me feeling empty and cold.

But Josh doesn’t “do” relationships, so I called it quits before I started to fall. Luckily, I was able to move on from the experience completely unscathed, my heart fully intact.

Or so I thought.

Until I saw him again.

His arm was wrapped around her. And unlike me, she isn’t a hookup or a “booty” call.

No, she’s the girlfriend he told me he didn’t want. And she’s getting from him everything he’d said he couldn’t give any girl.

So it turns out that Josh isn’t averse to being in a relationship after all. He simply hadn’t wanted to be in a relationship with me.

Exclusive Excerpt

I’m in the zone, my muscles looser, my breathing even and my emotions calmer when the chirping of my cell phone sounds. It’s on the dresser where I left it, too far and inconvenient to warrant me getting up to answer it. I let the call go to voicemail.

Not even ten seconds after it stops ringing, it starts again. Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker

Hi friends! I played around with what day to post this, as Lucy Parker sent me this post on the 7th … but I figure the day after release is good, and we already have that graphic I made ages ago. 😛

Anyway! I’m really excited to read this book. I quite enjoyed Pretty Face and I’ve had Making Up in my TBR. The Austen Playbook is obviously slated too. 😀 I’m super excited that Lucy sent this exclusive excerpt for us to enjoy, so without further ado … the book!

The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker book coverIn which experienced West End actress Freddy Carlton takes on an Austen-inspired play, a scandal at a country estate, an enthusiastic search for a passion outside of acting…and the (some people might say icy*) heart of London’s most feared theater critic.

*if those people were being nice

Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.

She can’t take her eyes off him.

Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes—or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.

Instead all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.

As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous…but a single revelation about the past could derail it all.

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Freddy glanced at him, then away. “Fortunately, most people in the West End aren’t like Sadie. She’s in a class of her own.” In the interests of honesty, she added, “She’s, like, next-level talented, though. I was twelve when I worked with her for the first time, and I still remember being literally speechless with awe watching her.” Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: Engaging the Enemy by Reese Ryan

Hi friends! I’m very excited that Reese Ryan agreed to share an exclusive excerpt of Engaging the Enemy with us at ALBTALBS!! It’s new as of this month, and is the third book in The Bourbon Brothers series. 😀 I’ve got this series in my TBR and am very excited to dive in. And isn’t that cover gorgeous?! 😍

Engaging the Enemy by Reese Ryan book coverAn ambitious heir will do whatever it takes to be the next CEO, even play fake fiancé to his childhood nemesis.

“That’s the deal, Abbott. Take it…or leave it.”

How far will an ambitious heir go to secure his future?

Parker Abbott will do whatever it takes to be the next CEO of King’s Finest Distillery, even play fake fiancé to his childhood nemesis, Kayleigh Jemison. Yet as he and the fiery redhead get reacquainted, sparks fly and real passion emerges. But when her ex wants a second chance, who will Kayleigh choose?

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Teaser Tuesday/Thursday Exclusive Excerpt: Lady Notorious by Theresa Romain

Hi friends!!! I’m so excited to welcome back our friend Theresa Romain! She’s absolutely fabulous! And she was the first person to figure out “ALBTALBS” stands for “A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet!” Which yes is the actual name of this site! I know, right?! She’s also got a new book coming out on Tuesday – Lady Notorious! Whee! A good month for historical romance releases indeed!

Limecello, thanks for the chance to visit ALBTALBS! I always love stopping by here, and this time I’ve got an exclusive excerpt to share. It’s from Lady Notorious, my next historical romance—coming your way next Tuesday, February 26.

In Lady Notorious, Cassandra Benton is an unofficial Bow Street Runner who works alongside her twin brother until he’s injured on a case. To cover the family’s expenses, Cass takes a private case for George, Lord Northbrook. The scientifically-minded marquess, a duke’s son, suspects his father’s life is in danger from one of the friends who formed a tontine with the duke—a  survivor’s wager—decades before. But which friend is the culprit? To help George protect his father, Cass masquerades as a family cousin and infiltrates the ton. And the more she learns, the more she places her heart at risk… Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: Swim Deep by Beth Kery

Hi friends! I’m so excited to tell you about Beth Kery’s upcoming book Swim Deep. I’m not even quite sure how to describe it. A psychological thriller with romantic elements? A contemporary romance with some magical realism? A really great read that will scare you and thrill you but also warm your heart? ALL OF THE ABOVE?! Anyway it’s a deviation from most of Ms. Kery’s other books, so if you’re going in expecting a super steamy erotic romance (especially with BDSM) … don’t. This isn’t that book. This book gets all in your head though, and I loved that.

Anyway without further ado … the book info and excerpt! Enjoy!

Swim Deep by Beth Kery Book CoverShe’d made a career out of studying light, but now she’s entered a seductive, dangerous world of shadow and lies . . .
Anna Solas, poor artist working two jobs, is swept away by Evan Halifax, his charm and his good looks, and marries too quickly for her family’s comfort. Evan takes Anna to his stunning lakeside mansion the North Twin on the Les Jumeaux estate, where she discovers he lived with his first wife Elizabeth until her disappearance and presumed death. He says they can live anywhere Anna wants to, but his explanations unravel bit by bit. Anna is increasingly uneasy, wondering what really went on in the decadent home theatre, who is watching her from the South Twin—the matching home on Lake Tahoe’s shore, and the identity of the nightmare woman who appears to her at night, whispering a message she dreads hearing. She becomes determined to uncover the truth behind Elizabeth’s life in order to save her own sanity.

Continue reading

Debut Author Ainsley Wynter on Writing Her First Scene

Hi friends! I met Ainsley Wynter in person at RWA this summer (it was her birthday!!!) and I’m thrilled to have her as a guest today! I hope you all give her a warm welcome – and congratulate her on her first book, Kissed at Midnight!

Kissed at Midnight by Ainsley Wynter Book CoverPrincess Sidony of L’Ortagia serves as the queen’s hostess, leaving affairs of state to her sister Zara. During a masquerade ball, Sidony kisses a handsome stranger only to discover he’s Prince Adrian of Embury, a man with a fearsome reputation and the emissary sent to arrange her sister’s marriage. Worried her actions will damage the budding alliance, she convinces Adrian to forget the incident…even if she cannot.

Adrian roots out traitors in his uncle’s kingdom of Embury using his magical abilities. When he’s sent to arrange a wedding for his cousin, a kiss in the moonlight gives him a taste of what he’s been missing. Sidony is everything his life is not: laughter, warmth, and passion. But the king maintains an unbreakable hold over him, hiding his family in exchange for Adrian’s loyalty to the crown.

After Zara disappears on the eve of the royal wedding, Adrian’s orders are to stay and maintain the alliance with L’Ortagia. But Sidony’s effect on his powers and his heart becomes too strong to deny. When he has a chance to rescue his family and throw off his royal ties, will he take it, knowing he’ll have to leave Sidony? Or will the dark prince abandon his past to be with the one woman who brought his cold heart to life?

Kissed at Midnight: The First Scene I Wrote

Sidony knocked on Adrian’s door before she lost her nerve. She twirled one of her rings. She jumped at a rumbling in the hallway, but it was only one of the castle’s cats pausing on the rug to wash its face. Striving for a similar nonchalance, Sidony softly recited lines from the current play she was reading before knocking again. Still nothing. Surely at this late hour he was in his suite.

This is in chapter seventeen, but it was the first paragraph I wrote of Kissed at Midnight. Continue reading

Release Day Guest K.M. Jackson Discusses & Shares an Exclusive Excerpt of “As Good as the First Time”

Hi friends! I’m so excited to welcome back K.M. Jackson, who has a new book out today! She’s absolutely fabulous, and I’m thrilled we get her on her release day too! 😀 Extra bonus, she’s provided ALBTALBS with an exclusive excerpt! *fist pump*

AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME

K.M. Jackson

Ladies Night

Though As Good as the First Time is at its core a romance, I had lots of fun exploring the family dynamics of this story, especially the female family relationships and how they intertwined throughout the romance.

As the oldest in my family and the only girl grandchild, I always wondered what it would be like to have a tribe of sisters and girl cousins to hang with, bond and of course argue with during my formative years. That’s why it was such a treat to create the female characters in As Good as the First Time.

We have the business minded, type ‘A’ baker sister, Olivia, then there is her opposite, carefree sister, Drea, next is their fun and exuberant cousin, Rena then there is their long suffering, wanna be southern beauty Queen cousin, Pearl.

Each woman is very different in her thinking and they often times butt heads, but at their core they are family though and through. And with that family always takes priority, so even though they have different outlooks on life and have grown up in different parts of the country they always come through for each other and have each other’s backs. Continue reading