Posts tagged with: What a Duke Dares

Banditas in ARRA Awards!

ARRA 2014The Aussie Romance Bandits have done well in the Australian Romance Reader Awards nominations for the best books of 2014. Christina Brooke is up for four:

Favourite Historical Romance – THE WICKEDEST LORD ALIVE

Favourite Continuing Series – The Westruthers

Sexiest hero – Xavier Westruther in THE WICKEDEST LORD ALIVE

Favourite cover – THE WICKEDEST LORD ALIVE

Anna Campbell is up for five:

Favourite Historical Romance – WHAT A DUKE DARES

Favourite Continuing Series – The Sons of Sin

Sexiest hero – Camden Rothermere in WHAT A DUKE DARES

Favourite cover – WHAT A DUKE DARES

Favourite Australian Romance Author

Winners will be announced at the ARRA Convention in Canberra on 7th March. You can see a complete list of the nominees here: http://australianromancereaders.com.au/awards.html

Coming Attractions…

Angel in ArmaniWelcome to 2015, Romance Lovers!

Here’s hoping your holidays were everything wonderful — low-key, low-stress & full of delicious pie!  On the off chance that they were actually full of family drama & burnt cookies (as so many are!), never fear!  We have your back.  Here at the Romance Bandits, we specialize in justice served & happily ever after.  Check out what we’ve got queued up for you in January & tell me if you don’t feel better!

 

GUESTS!

miranda 1On January 3, we have the lovely Melanie Scott returning with one of those beautiful boys of baseball in ANGEL IN ARMANI.

We always love to see historical romance author Miranda Neville in the lair. She has a sparkling sense of humor that even gets Ermingarde laughing. On Monday, 5th January, Miranda is visiting us to talk about her latest release THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES.

YouReallyGotMe

 

Debut author Erika Kelly brings a hot story about a rising rock star and his manager to the Lair on January 6th, when she talks about YOU REALLY GOT ME, the first book in her Rock Star Romance series.

 
On January 9, we have a change of pace as Helen Fordham and Barbara Milech join Nancy to discuss their research on romance, romantic Love, and ‘the want of a fortune.'” This look at economics and romance was inspired by their conversation about shows like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and The Farmer Takes a Wife. Should be a great discussion!

Laura Simcox Georgia coverOn January 20, Laura Simcox will be visiting with our own Caren Crane here in the Lair and talking about the first book in her First Daughters series, VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: GEORGIA. That title alone should grab some attention!

RussellGerri-FlirtingwithFelicity-FT-v3On January 21, Nancy welcomes the fabulous Gerri Russell who is celebrating the release of her first contemporary, FLIRTING WITH FELICITY. Gerri writing contemporary? Now that’s going to be fun!

 

CONTESTS!

Don’t miss Anna Campbell’s latest website contest where she’s giving away THREE ARCs of her May release, A SCOUNDREL BY MOONLIGHT. Just email her on dsc26655 @ bigpond.net.au (no spaces) and tell her the name of the hero and heroine of Scoundrel. You might find the answer here.  For more information about the contest, check out her website!

A Perfect Catch CoverAnna Sugden says:  I have the third book in my New Jersey Ice Cats series launching on Jan 30thA PERFECT CATCH. Keep an eye out for my blog tour where you can read the entire first chapter for free! Details on my website.  I will also be running a Goodreads contest during January to win copies of A Perfect Catch, so keep your eye out if you’re over on Goodreads!

NEW RELEASES!

A Seals Sacrifice coverA SEAL’S SACRIFICE kicks off the Sexy Short Stories series from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Tawny Weber, companion stories to her award winning Sexy SEALs series. Never underestimate a sexy, stubborn SEAL…

LUD_413_LIV_COUV.inddOn January 30th Anna Sugden is releasing book 3 of her New Jersey Ice Cats series, A PERFECT CATCH!  And keep a lookout for the French release of Book 2, A PERFECT TRADE, in February!

NEWS!

Anna Campbell’s third Sons of Sin book, WHAT A DUKE DARES, was featured in major Aussie book retailer Booktopia’s list of the top books of 2014.  Click the link to check it out!  We’re so proud!

And that’s just what we’ve got planned!  Who knows what awesomeness will crop up as the month rolls on?  Stay tuned, dear readers!

We’re playing a fun game with our newsletter subscribers this month (wait, you’re not a newsletter subscriber??  Get over to the Members Only tab immediately & sign up!  Fun, games, prizes!  Don’t miss out!)  Ahem, so where was I?  Oh, yes, the game.  We’re asking our newsletter subscribers to play a game with us in which we offer up a New Year’s Resolution – not for ourselves but for the rest of the world.  If you could improve ONE THING about everybody else, what would it be?

And the Duke Goes to…

BanditBootyThanks to everyone who swung by to make the launch party yesterday such a hoot! The cabana boys are still cleaning up after all the shenanigans. We definitely sent WHAT A DUKE DARES out into the world in style!

The winners of the two signed copies of WHAT A DUKE DARES are:

DEBBIE OXIER

ANN GONZALEZ

Congratulations, Debbie and Ann. Please email me on anna @ anna campbell.info (no spaces) with your snail mail details and I’ll get your book off to you! Happy reading!

 

What a Duke Dares Makes Booklist Top 10 of the Year!

Duke low resThe prestigious journal Booklist has released its list of the top 10 romances published between September 2013 and September 2014 – and WHAT A DUKE DARES by Anna Campbell is on the list. You can see the whole list here: http://www.booklistonline.com/Top-10-Romance-Fiction/pid=7006915

Find Out What a Duke Dares!

Duke very low resWahooooo!

It’s a launch party in the lair.

You know how I love a launch party in the lair.

You know how I particularly love a launch party when it’s for a book I’ve written!

So ring (wring?) out the cabana boys! Fill up the margaritas! Let’s play Herb Alpert on the music system! And let’s party!

While you get yourself comfortable preparing to samba the night away, here’s some info about my third Sons of Sin Book, WHAT A DUKE DARES:

A reputation at risk…
What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that’s who. She’s known Camden Rothermere since they were children – and she also knows she’d bring nothing but scandal to his name.
romeCam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can’t stop her. Then her brother’s dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he’d finally gotten over.
The only way they’ll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they’re married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed – until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins…

You can read an excerpt here: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html

If you’re a Romance Bandits lair member (and why wouldn’t you be? For a start, we offer fabulous prizes every month and give members access to exclusive material! Just click on the Members Den button up the top), there’s another excerpt here: http://romancebandits.com/check-out-the-exclusive-excerpt-from-what-a-duke-dares/

To buy from Amazon, just click on the gorgeous red cover up above. Otherwise, WHAT A DUKE DARES is available this month from all good booksellers in print and e-book.

Here are a few more buy links:

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/What-Duke-Dares-Anna-Campbell/9781455557905

Rome 4Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-a-duke-dares-anna-campbell/1117543455?ean=9781455557905

Booktopia: http://www.booktopia.com.au/what-a-duke-dares-anna-campbell/prod9780732295141.html

Reviews so far have been lovely. RT Book Reviews gave Duke a Top Pick and 4.5 stars, not to mention a K.I.S.S. (Knight in Shining Silver) Award and called it “an extraordinary read.” Publishers Weekly said, “Campbell makes the Regency period pop” and they comment on the “romantic fireworks and “witty banter.”

Booklist said, “With its superbly nuanced characters, impeccably crafted historical setting, and graceful writing shot through with scintillating wit, Campbell’s latest lusciously sensual, flawlessly written historical Regency, part of the Sons of Sin series (A Rake’s Midnight Kiss, 2013), will have romance readers sighing happily with satisfaction.” Isn’t that nice?

Rome 2Given the illustrations I’ve chosen for this blog, you’re probably asking yourself why this party is taking place in Rome in what looks like a nuclear winter!

I was trying to come up with a theme for this launch and I thought I couldn’t do better than daring. After all, Cam needs to be daring to get his sweetheart just where he wants her!

Still don’t get all these Italian photos?

WHAT A DUKE DARES has an Italian connection. Once she knocks back Cam’s fairly unenthusiastic proposal, the heroine Penelope Thorne takes off for the Continent. The first chapter is set in an inn high in the Italian Alps where Pen is in big trouble and Cam turns up to save her. She’s grateful for that. She’s less grateful when he insists upon escorting her back to England. Most of the story takes place in England, but it starts out as two prickly, unwillingly attracted people on a road trip through Italy.

Rome 5The other reason I put up these Italian photos is that I wanted to remember a time in my life when I was daring and it paid off. When I was in my mid-20s, on my first overseas trip I took off for two years in England. I can still remember how utterly terrified I was when I got on the plane in Brisbane, having never been outside Australia before.

That trip ended up being one of the best experiences of my life and let me visit so many wonderful places including…you guessed it, Rome!  So like Cam, I’m in favor of being daring!

Oh, and that was many years ago – hence the rather strange coloring on the pics!

1BanditBootySo I thought today, I’d ask you to tell me (no X-rated stories please!) when you were daring and how it paid off for you. And there are rewards for your bravery! I’ve got two signed print copies of WHAT A DUKE DARES up for grabs (international). Come on, tell me when you took a leap of faith! I dare you!

 

 

 

A Chat with Foanna!

Duke low resHi guys!

This is such an exciting month for me. My third Sons of Sin book, WHAT A DUKE DARES, is out now from both Grand Central Forever in America and HarperCollins in Australia. It will be out in the U.K. from Mills and Boon in November this year.

I know we’re not supposed to pick favorites, but I’ve got to say Cam and Pen are among my all-time favorite characters. I loved writing their story and I was so happy that I could give them a blissful ever after. They go through lots before they get there!

Among the many things I love about Cam and Pen is that they both try really hard to do the right thing, by each other and by the world at large, even if it costs them big time. They’re not self-sacrificing martyrs, but they’re mature enough to know that their selfish desires don’t necessarily make the world go round.

I always like it when characters in a book act like adults, not spoiled children, and to me, while they have enough foibles to be realistic, that’s the case with these two. Another thing I don’t like in a book is perfect characters! Both Cam and Pen have a lot to learn about life, love and each other before they’re ready to face the future united and joyous. But then, of course, if they didn’t, I wouldn’t have a story!

This story picks up on a number of themes that as a reader, I’ve always loved. There’s a reunion, unrequited love, an elopement, and a marriage of convenience. And the first few chapters have the good old road trip motif (although most of the book is set in the mansions and ballrooms of Regency London). I love it when the hero and heroine of a romance are stuck together and can’t get away from each other, no matter how much they might want to! I also got to write a great shipwreck scene – haven’t done one of those before and it was fun just letting the drama hit the heights!

Even better, I got to write a secondary romance. I love books with secondary romances – I always feel like I’m getting extra bang for my buck. Harry Thorne, Pen’s rakish younger brother, and Lady Sophie Fairbrother are much younger and while they’re nice people too, they’re less careful about the consequences of their actions. Or perhaps more accurately they believe their great love justifies any action! It was huge fun playing compare and contrast with the two couples. Harry and Sophie fall in love at first sight – yet another theme I always like in a romance.

As you can probably tell, this one was a joy to write! I hope readers love this book too! You can read the blurb and an excerpt (the lead-up to the first kiss and the shipwreck) on my website here: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html

If you click on the cover, we take you straight to Amazon. Other buy links for WHAT A DUKE DARES include:

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/What-Duke-Dares-Anna-Campbell/9781455557905

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-a-duke-dares-anna-campbell/1117543455?ean=9781455557905

I’m holding a launch party on the blog on Wednesday 10th September where I’ll give a few lucky people a chance to win a signed copy of WHAT A DUKE DARES. Don’t miss out on that!

See you there – or be square!

Best wishes!

Foanna

 

 

Check out the Exclusive Excerpt from WHAT A DUKE DARES!

Duke low resI’ve just posted the first few pages of WHAT A DUKE DARES (26th August 2014, Grand Central Forever) in the Members Only section of the website.

Want an exclusive sneak peek at my next release? Swing by the Members Den.

Not a member? Why on earth not? It’s really easy to sign up. Just click the Members Den button on the toolbar above and follow the prompts.

It’s great to be a member. Not only do you get exclusive excerpts like this one from WHAT A DUKE DARES. You also get our fun monthly newsletter, access to exclusive interviews and other content, and a chance at special prizes.

Sign up or be square!

 

What a Duke Dares

Duke low res

Just for the Bandita Buddies, an exclusive peek at my 26th August release, WHAT A DUKE DARES! You can read another excerpt on my website here: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html

Prologue

Houghton Park, Lincolnshire, May 1819

Every young lady dreamed of a proposal from the heir to a dukedom. Especially when the heir was rich, feted, in possession of his wits, and still young enough to have all his teeth.

Every young lady except, apparently, Penelope Thorne.

From the center of her father’s library, Camden Rothermere, Marquess of Pembridge, eyed the girl he’d known from the cradle and wondered where the hell he’d slipped up. He straightened and summoned a smile, struggling to bridge the awkward silence extending between them.

Damn it. He never felt awkward with Pen Thorne. Until now. Until he’d spoken the fatal words.

Until, instead of radiating delight at the prospect of marrying him, Pen’s black eyes sparked with the rebellious light that always boded trouble.

“Why?” It wasn’t the first time this afternoon that she’d asked him the question.

Stupidly he couldn’t summon an adequate answer. He’d blundered into this halfcocked. It was his own fault. Knowing Pen as he did, he should have prepared a comprehensive list of reasons for their marriage before broaching the subject.

Right now, he wished he’d never broached the subject at all. But it was too late to retreat, or too late if he hoped to salvage a shred of self-respect from this dashed uncomfortable encounter.

“Devil take you, Pen, I like you,” he said impatiently. Despite her inexplicable and irritating behavior today, it was true. There wasn’t a girl alive that he liked so much as the chit currently regarding him as if he’d crawled out of a hole in the ground.

He knew her better than any other girl too, even his sister Lydia. Through their childhood, he’d rescued Pen from a thousand scrapes. She’d been a hellion, riding the wildest horses in her father’s stables, climbing the tallest trees in the park, throwing herself into brawls to defend a friend or mistreated animal. Cam had long admired her spirit, loyalty, and courage.

Those were qualities he wanted in his duchess. And if she needed some guidance in deportment, he was perfectly prepared to teach her proper behavior. She was a Thorne and Thornes weren’t renowned for their prudence, but while Pen might be impulsive, she was intelligent. Once she’d become the Duchess of Sedgemoor, he was sure she’d settle down.

Or he had been, until her unenthusiastic response to his proposal.

“I like you too,” she said steadily, regarding him with unwavering attention.

Cam wondered why her admission didn’t reassure. Inhaling deeply, he strove for forbearance. “Well, there you have it, then.”

That bitter note in her laugh was unfamiliar. He could hardly believe it, but the possibility of failure hovered. Pen was clever, determined, headstrong—he’d get that out of her soon enough—and stubbornly inclined to take a positive view of events. Or at least so he’d believed until today.

He’d also believed that she’d leap at the chance to marry him.

Clearly he’d been wrong.

He wasn’t used to being wrong. Confound her, he didn’t like it.

Her voice remained curiously flat. “I’m sorry, Cam. ‘There you have it, then’ won’t pass muster. You’ll need to do better than that.”

From where she stood before the high mullioned window, she studied him much like a schoolmistress surveyed an unpromising student. He only just resisted the urge to run a finger under his unaccountably tight neckcloth.

Good God, this was Pen. She wasn’t a female who put a man through hoops before she fell into harness. She’d never demand more than he could give. She’d never subject a fellow to emotional storms. She’d never lie and cheat and betray.

She was the absolute opposite of his late mother, in fact.

Cam was unaccustomed to feeling like a blockhead, especially with the fairer sex. By nature he wasn’t a vain man, but he’d anticipated a better reaction to his proposal. Pen’s father Lord Wilmott had been in alt to hear that his daughter would become a duchess.

Most definitely, Pen was not in alt.

And she bloody well should be. After all, she was a mere baron’s daughter—and a ramshackle baron at that—while Cam was heir to the nation’s richest dukedom.

The Thornes were an old family, but had always had a justified reputation for trouble. In times of political unrest, they backed the wrong side. If they managed to lay their hands on any money, they lost it, usually in some disreputable pursuit. “Wine, women and song” should be the family motto instead of the much more staid and highly inappropriate “steadfast and faithful.”

The previous generation had spawned a handful of eccentrics, including an uncle who had married his housekeeper. Bigamously as it had turned out. Lord Wilmott had squandered his wife’s dowry on a succession of greedy strumpets. Pen’s aunt ran with a dissolute crowd on the Continent. Peter, Cam’s friend and the current heir, was devoted to the gaming tables and disastrous investments. If Cam’s mother hadn’t been great friends with Lady Wilmott, the families would have had little contact.

What made Pen’s tepid response to Cam’s suit even harder to understand was that she’d always worshipped the ground he walked on. Was he a fool to presume on childhood adoration?

A horrible suspicion struck him. Was he presuming on far too much? Despite his parents’ scandalous behavior and the gossip about his legitimacy, the ton lionized Cam as the future Duke of Sedgemoor. Had endless flattery turned him into a self-satisfied ass?

If Pen thought him insufferably arrogant, no wonder his proposal hadn’t bowled her over. He sighed with self-disgust and impatiently ran his hand through his hair. “I’m making a dashed mess of this, aren’t I?”

Pen’s slender body lost its rigidity as a wry smile curved her lips. Lips, he reluctantly noticed, that were pink and full and lusciously kissable.

As shock shuddered through him, he wondered why he’d never noticed before. Pen had been such a constant in his life that he hadn’t taken the time to mark how she’d changed.

Still unwilling to admit that Pen wasn’t the girl he remembered, he looked more closely. To his dismay, the coltish adolescent hovered on the brink of becoming a true beauty. Even more dismaying, he felt the unwelcome, unmistakable prickle of desire.

“Yes, you are. But it’s not totally your fault.” With a grace he hadn’t seen in her before, she gestured toward the leather chairs ranged around the unlit hearth. “Sit down, for heaven’s sake, and stop looming over me.”

Actually he wasn’t looming, although with his height, he loomed over most people. Pen had always been a long Meg, closer to a boy than a girl in his mind. But in this discomfiting instant, when for the first time he saw more than his friend Peter’s occasionally annoying younger sister, there was nothing boyish about Miss Penelope Thorne.

Since he’d last seen her—and for the life of him, he couldn’t recall when that had been, such an ardent suitor he was—she’d grown up. The thin body had gained subtle but fascinating curves. The vivid, pointed face that had always seemed too small for her decisive features had refined into striking attraction. When had she tamed her tangled mane of hair into those gleaming ebony coils?

Apprehension tasted sour on his tongue. God help him, this new Penelope was a bloody disaster. He narrowed his eyes on the siren who had mysteriously supplanted a hoyden as daring as any of his male friends. And saw that she was blossoming into a woman who made men stupid.

Categorically he didn’t want to marry a woman who made men stupid, the way his mother had made his father stupid.

Winner of Foanna’s ARC!

1BanditBootyThanks to everyone who swung by yesterday to discuss dukes! I’m delighted to announce that the winner of the signed ARC of WHAT A DUKE DARES is:

ANITA H.!

Anita, please email me on anna @ annacampbell.info with your snail mail details and I’ll get your book off to you ASAP. Congratulations!

Dashing Daring Dukes!

Duke low resI’m getting mighty excited. It’s only a bit over two months until the release of WHAT A DUKE DARES, my third Sons of Sin historical romance. Duke is out 26th August and I just can’t wait!

Asking an author to pick their favorite out of their books is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. But I have to say that I just love Camden Rothermere, the Duke of Sedgemoor, and Penelope Thorne, his wayward bride. I hope you will too.

In fact, today someone gets the chance to win an advance look at Duke because I’m giving away an ARC (international). I think it’s worth winning for that beautiful red cover alone! Details of the giveaway are at the end of the post, but basically leave a comment and you’re in the draw.

CTC high resThis month on my website, I put up the excerpt from the book too. I never like that to go up too early because it can feel a bit stale to people who check back often.

You can find it at: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html

This excerpt is the lead-up to the first kiss. That’s always one of my favorite scenes in a romance novel, whether I’ve written it or not. By the time they sleep together,things are pretty much on the way. But the first kiss has that delicious uncertainty about it. And it’s the moment when the hero and heroine have to admit that their desire for one another outweighs any of their usually perfectly valid misgivings about getting involved with the other person. Sigh.

dukes 3Dukes are da biz in historical romance. Did you know that? They’re the equivalent of the billionaire and the vampire king. Duke is the highest ranking English title under royalty. He’s the top of the tree, the king of the beasts (although Cam, unlike some of my heroes isn’t at all beastly). If you scan the shelves of the bookshops, you’ll see dukes to the left of them, dukes to the right of them.

dukes 4People who want to be snide often point out that there were only ever a handful of dukes in the real world, fewer if you discount the children of the king who were often given a duke’s title as a courtesy. But this is historical romance and we want the top dog for our heroines. Not to mention that Julia Quinn world is different from Eloisa James world and from Anna Campbell world, so none of these dukes actually get to meet each other in the same room!

dukes 2I’ve only written one duke before, the Duke of Kylemore in my debut CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. He was a much crankier fellow than Cam, although he was no less ducal! I counted up my guys and so far, I’ve had a knight, a baronet, a viscount, two earls and two marquesses in the novels, and two earls and a mere mister in the novellas. So earls are definitely way ahead in the Campbell stakes.

I’ve read a lot of dukes in my years of devouring historical romance. Laura Lee Guhrke has done a couple of humdingers (humdukers?) and so has our very own Bandita Christina Brooke. Don’t miss her THE DANGEROUS DUKE (in her Christine Wells persona) or A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER.

duke 1A couple of favorites from older reads are the Duke of Claymore from Judith McNaught’s classic WHITNEY, MY LOVE. It’s a long time since I read this one but I read it so often back in the day, I still remember it well.

And there’s no getting away from Georgette Heyer’s wonderful dukes. The two I’ve singled out today are the Duke of Avon from THESE OLD SHADES and the Duke of Salford in SYLVESTER. Both are undoubtedly alpha dogs and both find themselves turned completely upside down when they fall in love with the last woman they ever expected to capture their heart. It’s always fun when you write a duke to bring him down a peg or two!

So do you have a favorite duke in a historical romance? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned in today’s post? What did you think? Is there something that puts a duke in a class of his own when it comes to playing the hero in a romance?

BanditBootyAs promised, I have an ARC of WHAT A DUKE DARES up for grabs today. Just leave a comment to be in the draw. Giveaway is international!

 

 

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