Monday, May 19, 2014

Blog tour: Lynne Barron 's IDYLLWILD Series Blast




Portrait of Passion
Idyllwild, Book One
by Lynne Barron
ebook
Published August 30th 2013 by Ellora's Cave

What’s a Viscount to do when a mysterious lady with a secret past and a reputation frayed around the edges suddenly appears in London in hot pursuit of his naive young cousin, setting the gossips’ tongues wagging, stirring his family into pandemonium, and driving him mad with her irreverent ways?

If the Viscount in question is Simon Easton, the answer is quite simple. Seduce the beguiling lady. But Miss Beatrice Morgan isn’t your average tarnished lady. She lives a slapdash life wandering the globe like a gypsy, painting fantastical portraits of Duchesses as sirens and landscapes featuring a crumbling old fountain, all the while harboring a secret desire to return to Idyllwild, the only home she’s ever known.

What Simon does not know is that Beatrice just might be willing to sacrifice her honor, her virtue, her very heart to reclaim Idyllwild.

BUY LINKS: Ellora's Cave | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe \ Goodreads

Excerpt:
Prologue
Chateau De Fontaine
On the outskirts of Paris
March 1827
  
Beatrice watched him from the shadowy alcove, half-hidden behind a leafy green fern in a tall gilded planter. The handsome young man in a peacock-blue waistcoat and fine gray breeches wandered around the room, stopping to flirt with a pretty young lady here, to chat with a dissolute poet there. His artfully tousled blond curls gleamed in the soft light from a hundred candles. His merry blue eyes twinkled when he laughed. He laughed often.
Just like his father. Everything about him reminded Beatrice of the father. From his tall, muscular frame to his rich voice with its clipped upper-crust English accent, he was his father’s son.
Only the eyes were different. The former Earl of Hastings had possessed the deepest, warmest brown eyes, eyes a sheltered and naïve girl could not help but trust. The young Earl of Hastings’ eyes were a vibrant blue, as blue as the English sky on a cloudless summer day.
Beatrice waited. She waited for her rapid heartbeat to slow, she waited for her sluggish brain to speed up, she waited for her limbs to cease trembling. If there was one thing Miss Beatrice Morgan excelled at, it was waiting. She had been waiting for nearly a decade for the chance to reclaim her life, the life that only this young nobleman could return to her.
Suddenly the earl looked away from the evening’s hostess with whom he was conversing. He looked up and across the room. As if he sensed her presence in the shadows, his eyes found her across the room.
The earl’s eyes widened, drifted over her face, lingered for a moment on her lips, before dropping to sweep down her slender form adorned in flowing gold silk. He raised his eyes to hers, the merest hint of a smile upon his lips, his head tilted slightly, studying her as if she were an exotic creature, an angel dropped down from heaven or perhaps a fairy from an enchanted forest come to entertain him. How many times had Beatrice seen the very same expression on his father’s face?
Beatrice held her breath.
Would he recognize her?
But no. She did not exist in his world. The Earl of Hastings could no more recognize Beatrice than he could recognize a hard day’s work, an honest word or a shilling well-earned. Foolish, naïve aristocrat. Just like his father.
The earl gave a small shake of his head and straightened. He puffed out his chest and pulled at his lace cuffs, his eyes fixed on her, his smile an invitation.
And just like that, Beatrice felt a blanket of calm descend over her. He was just a man. The thought warmed her, steadied her. He would be easily led, just like any other man. She had only to lead him where she wished him to go.
Beatrice stepped from the dim alcove into the soft yellow light of the candles. Her mind was amazingly clear. As she walked across the long marble floor, sweeping gracefully toward the Earl of Hastings, a plan was forming, taking shape. It was a plan born of the desperation and hope she had harbored in her heart for nine long years, born of the obsession that had colored every facet of her life during those lonely, lost years.
Beatrice smiled as she approached the young man, held the smile upon her lips as she dropped into a curtsy so low, so graceful, so perfectly deferential, she might have been bowing before King George himself.



Widow’s Wicked Wish

Idyllwild Series, Book Two
by Lynne Barron
eBook, 312 pages
Published March 12th 2014 by Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc

Be careful what you wish for.

The Countess of Palmerton has lived her life by Society’s rules, marrying the right man, bearing the required heir, and guarding her name at all costs. And what has it gotten her? A loveless union, a cold marriage bed and a reputation for perfect propriety.

Fleeing the whispers of her husband’s scandalous demise, Olivia finds a haven at Idyllwild. Away from the gossip and glitter of London, she dares to cast a wicked wish to the winter sky.

Jack Bentley has a wish of his own, one he has no intention of leaving to the fickle fates. He will marry the stubborn widow, even if it means using her awakening passion to force her to the altar.

BUY LINKS: Ellora's cave | Amazon | Kobo \ Goodreads

Excerpt:
Prologue
London
August 1818

A whispery, feminine giggle drew Olivia toward the stables. Warm, masculine laughter, deep and appreciative, had her peering through the space between the heavy wooden doors that never did close properly without a fight.
Elizabeth Portman stood in a shaft of sunlight, golden curls falling over her shoulders, green eyes shining and her pale hands beckoning to a dark-haired man stalking her in the shadows.
Wicked. She’d heard her mother and her aunts speak of wicked girls who lured men into their arms, but she’d never imagined she would witness one in action. And certainly not in the stables behind Hastings House on a sweltering summer day.
Mesmerized by the sight of the powerfully built man prowling toward the petite lady, Olivia held herself still, afraid to move, to so much as breathe, lest she miss even a moment of the decadent drama unfolding. Heat bloomed on her cheeks, scorched a path down her neck and chest, shimmering through her limbs. She might have blamed it on the sizzling sun beating down on her uncovered head, but she suspected the spreading warmth owed more to the sight before her than the heat wave that held London in its grip.
Fascinated by the heavy-lidded gaze of the lady who’d danced along the thin line between flirtation and folly throughout the long, interminable Season, Olivia watched the man halt before Elizabeth, close enough that his long legs tangled in her skirts. He leaned down, one arm wrapping around her waist, the other arm coming to rest on the rough wooden wall behind her, his fingers drifting through her blonde tresses, skimming along her temple. As the pair stared into one another’s eyes, the narrow beam of sunshine shifted, glancing over them, illuminating their profiles. Olivia’s gaze drifted over the man’s strong jaw and full lips, across the sculpted angle of his cheekbone, along the straight blade of his nose to the slash of his dark brow.
Recognition was slow to come, and when it did, Olivia fought it.
No. No, please not Jack.
He was a stranger to her in that moment. Gone was the mischievous boy with the merry blue eyes who’d stolen her heart, who’d cradled it in his gentle hands for years.
She might have convinced herself she was wrong, that it wasn’t Jack Bentley looming over the lady, but in that moment when she teetered between denial and acceptance, his voice vibrated in the quiet space.
“You’re playing with fire.”
Olivia knew his voice, had teased him when it changed from alto to baritone, had dreamed of the gentle rhythm of his Northern dialect. She thought she knew every cadence of his voice but she’d never heard that edge of danger before. As innocent as she was, Olivia recognized the desire in the dark sound.
Pain beat against her breast even as a terrible anticipation filled her and she lifted one trembling hand to her lips just as Jack’s mouth found Elizabeth’s.
The kiss was nothing like Olivia had imagined a kiss to be. There was no hesitation, no persuasion, no seeking or granting of permission. He simply captured her lips with a low groan, his hand fisting in her curls.
Elizabeth wound her arms around his shoulders, her hands gripping his neck, and arched into his embrace.
With a rumbling growl, Jack changed the angle of his head and deepened the kiss. Olivia imagined his mouth on hers, pressed her fingers hard to her lips, her breath leaving her on a fractured sigh.
Jack broke the kiss and lifted his lips, his head turning toward the doors.
Olivia froze, certain that he would see her watching from the narrow space between the doors.
“Kiss me again.”
Elizabeth’s breathy demand was like a bucket of cold water splashed over Olivia, awakening her to the shock of what she’d witnessed and the pending humiliation if she were discovered spying upon their secret passion.
She turned and ran, her slippers kicking up a cloud of dust in the stable yard. She pushed between two thorny rose bushes into her mother’s garden, dodged around a stone bench and raced up the hedge-bordered path.
It wasn’t until she reached the kitchen door that she realized she was crying, tears streaming down her cheeks. She scrubbed her hands over her face, drew a sobbing breath and pushed the door open.
Slowly and carefully she walked through the kitchen, pulling her lips into a wobbly smile for Cook and the young maid who puttered about in the warm room.
“Frightfully hot out there, Lady Olivia,” Cook said, dusting her hands on her apron.
“Yes,” Olivia agreed as she made for the servants’ stairs.
“Her ladyship asked me to tell her when you’d finished cutting her roses,” the maid said, her gaze dropping to Olivia’s empty hands.
“Oh, the roses.” She’d completely forgotten the reason she’d gone out to the garden.
“Don’t worry, my lady. I’ll cut some,” the girl offered.
“Thank you.” Olivia turned and carefully picked her way up the dark, narrow stairway.
Reaching the safety of her bedchamber she threw herself on the bed, buried her face in her pillow and allowed the sobs tearing up her throat free rein. She cried for the end of her innocence, for the demise of her dreams, for the loss of the secret hope she’d harbored for her future.
Hours later, when the world beyond her windows had faded to dark, Olivia pulled her weary body from the bed and made her way to the window seat. Curling her legs beneath her, she stared up at the night sky, surprised to see a handful of stars shining through the gray cloud of smoke and dust that hovered over London.
“Star light, star bright,” she whispered, her voice raspy and bittersweet, “the first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.”
Drawing in a deep breath and expelling it on a soft sigh, she thought about what she most yearned for, that which seemed most impossible, something worthy of what she suspected would be her last childhood wish.
“I wish that once, please just once, I might know what it is to be wicked, to unleash a man’s desire.” 

AUTHOR BIO:

Lynne Barron always wanted to be a writer, if only she could decide what to write. Everyone told her to write what you know. It wasn’t until she married her extremely romantic and surprisingly sensual husband that she was able to follow that advice. Lynne lives in Florida with her husband, son and a menagerie of rescued pets.

AUTHOR CONTACT LINKS: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

TOUR GIVEAWAY:
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