Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blog tour: Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell + excerpt, review & giveaway

Good day to all and welcome to our stop on the Nightingale blog tour. Reader Girls has an excerpt from this alluring historical romance, our review, and a giveaway. Enjoy!

Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell
Historical romance
eBook, 96 pages
Publisher: Avon: Impulse (August 26th, 2014)

Fate has brought them together -again.

At one time, Jemma had meant the world to Dane Pendleton, but then she betrayed their young love by marrying another for his title and fortune.

Now Time has turned the tables. Dane is wealthy, respected, knighted and the widowed Jemma has nothing but her pride.

His honor for hers . . .
Dane’s name is on the lips of every beauty in London. They whisper he learned “tricks” while he was in the Orient. But has he forgotten Jemma, now Lady Mosby, and what they had once meant to each other? And will he accept her devil’s bargain?

In every woman’s life, there is that one love who slipped away. The man who makes her wonder “what if?”

But is this a momentary madness or a chance to rekindle a love that could last a lifetime?

Originally appeared in the print anthology THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes


He spoke. “You wish me to call back the challenge?”
She hesitated, then confessed, “I do.”
Dane made a soft, self-derisive sound and shook his head. “Will you always be his dupe?”
“He’s my brother,” she answered tightly.
“More’s the pity,” he returned without expression, and Jemma knew her fears had been well grounded. If Dane and Cris met, her brother would die.
She spread her hands, her palms open, aware that she was asking much—she was asking for his honor. “Dane, I know I am the last person you would want to please or even help, but I beg of you to withdraw your challenge. I’m the one you are angry at, the one on whom you want vengeance. Do not make Cris pay for my sins.”
“You flatter yourself, my lady,” Dane said, rising to his feet, his eyes angry glints. “I have no need for revenge. In fact, you did me a favor years ago when you discarded me for something as insignificant and hollow as a title.”
The words No, that wasn’t how it was were on the tip of Jemma’s tongue, but she swallowed them back.
Because, in truth, she had chosen another over Dane. She had betrayed their love and the promises that had been between them. Promises that still, after all this time, seemed etched in her soul.

I always find reviewing shorter works difficult simply because my initial reaction most of the time concerns the length. I really enjoyed Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell. The characters grew on me, their chemistry was intense, their banter believable, the setting realistic for the time period, but I did find myself wanting more. 

Dane has returned as a successful businessman to the town where his heart was broken. Jemma has returned to the man she jilted, now begging him to spare the life of her alcoholic brother. From their very first look, the tension between them is palpable. Old hurts quickly resurface and raw emotions dampen the air. Their backstory is revealed through their dialogue and yet I knew there had to be more to their childhood, to their growing up, their relationship and his subsequent marriage proposal than what is given to the reader. 

These two characters already had an established relationship, they shared a past, and these parts would have helped given Jemma and Dane more depth and cemented my connection to them. As a short work, I felt robbed of knowing but not really seeing that connection (flashbacks, while effective, don't fill the void). My frustration is a testament to the ability of Cathy Maxwell's talent to spin a tale and hook readers in. The romantic aspect of Nightingale is just about perfect. Each look, each movement, every touch has a reason and the tension between these two is profound. They are so hard on themselves and don't believe they are worthy of the true love they felt for each other as teens. Their reunion is something else.

I admit I loved the spin the author gave the story. Jemma's reason for marrying someone else was surprising but actually made a lot of sense and said a lot about her character (too bad her scene with her mother wasn't longer). When Dane thinks about it, his consensus is welcome since the reader reaches the same decision when he does. Very cool! I zoomed through Nightingale. As a short story, it is tight, grabs the reader and leaves them wanting more. I know I did.

Rating: 4

Cover comment:
I don't think Dane and Jemma stopped on the stairs for their 'moment' but the cover is reminiscent of typical historical romance cover art.

Book source:

About the Author:

CATHY MAXWELL spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with children, horses, dogs, and cats.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Avon is giving away Two Digital Copies of NIGHTINGALE. Enter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway