Friday, January 31, 2014

Are reviews different for the various genres? #amwriting


 

Oh yes.

I noticed that the people who wrote reviews for my paranormal romances - which are rather light-hearted, warm and loving stories - were very kind in their remarks. Whether they had compliments or complaints, they didn’t tend to get nasty. Is this because the type of person who chooses these books have a similar nature? 

From what I read in my reviews for my romantic suspense, Vegas Series, the compliments were as nice but the criticisms were more down to earth. They didn’t pull any punches so to speak. I imagine they figure if an author can write a grittier book with swearing and realism, then they could just say what they thought and not hold back.

I agree!

Again, there was a difference in the reviews for my contemporary genre. I found the bad reviews were scathing. They didn’t hold back whatsoever….gulp!  Realistically, it could be just that specific book The Surrogate’s Secret. Except, it did receive fifty-four 3, 4 & 5star reviews versus two 1-star and five 2-star ones. Those numbers lead me to believe it was mostly enjoyed. But boy-oh-boy, when they didn’t like it – they really didn’t like it.

***Since I’ve written these last few posts about reviews for the blog, I’ve become much more aware of what sparks the reader’s into even writing a review.

In my case, it seems to be the humor. They love it when the book makes them laugh out loud. They also seem to invest themselves into characters they can identify with. It makes them totally care about the ending.

And in the case of the suspense books, they love the fast-paced conflicts that keep coming one after another. Add in the romance, and it’s been a very popular series.

Below are a few extras I had to mention!!

This is the 1-star review for Roll the Dice that I don’t get? **The first part about the editing is unfortunately correct. Due to a very late night, illness and an editor who let me down, I was forced to release a book not nearly ready. I’ve paid dearly in the comments, even from readers who gave me higher ratings.

It’s the second part that has me scratching my head.

“This book frustrated me for two reasons. First, the horrible editing job obviously detracted from the story. Second, the female lead detective overlooked an endless number of clues. She should have known what was going on so much sooner. She came across as unintelligent and not a very good detective. Any half-way decent detective would have gotten the "B" clue even without knowing what she knew at that point.”
Huh! - what “B” clue??


This next one made me laugh out loud!!

This was one of the 2-star reviews on “Roll the Dice”

“I am deleting this book from my Kindle, and admitting that I couldn't get beyond page one, simply because of the overt use of foul language.”

Whaa!!! It’s a Suspense - and the book description explains that sparks fly and the tough get tougher. A clue- right??
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What I’ve learned from criticisms in reviews! #amwriting


Today, as promised, I've pulled out the poor reviews and tried to make some sense out of the remarks so I can learn from the reviewers complaints and dislikes. Not sure it really worked all that well with these three books.
 
 
 
 
My Cheeky Angel:

 
“Actually the story wasn't bad. I could even care about the characters to some extent. And I guess I was over-expecting from an author who apparently acquired her knowledge of angels from movies. But even Hollywood was too wise to use God's name profanely in a story about angels. Unless they are fallen angels, which didn't seem to be the case here.” ~ Reviewed (1 star)


Now here’s a case of a reader who was expecting less “grit” from the book and because I didn’t fulfill her expectations and deliver what she wanted, she took that disappointment out in her review. Now, if she had read the book description ***Think 'Highway to Heaven', move forward in time to 'Touched by an Angel' and then to today's 'A Gifted Man' - add some spice, a lot of romance and a great deal of humour, and you'll have a good idea of what you'll find in 'My Cheeky Angel' *** she would have noticed the warning that the book wasn’t for the faint-hearted. I made reference to the shows about angels. Unless I’m mistaken, I can’t see where a truly honest author can get their ideas of angels from anything other than books, movies and TV entertainment. I’ve never seen one, but I’ll admit that if one ever came to visit me personally, I hope she’s just like my angel character, Celi.

“Not a bad story, cute, written well..felt a little too cute for my taste..a little blah but for many I'm sure they will enjoy it..” ~ Reviewed (2 stars)

Not much I can say about this review. There was nothing helpful. I’m not sure cute is an adjective I was striving for but what the hell – I’ll take it!!

I liked the basic premise of the book and the concept of a spunky guardian angel. That injected some humor into the story. However, I quickly grew tired of the endless, meticulous clothing descriptions. The author seemed to be belabouring the point that the heroine was putting on sexy clothes for a change. The sex scenes were written well enough to excite, but contained a lot of "paperback romance" cliches. ~Reviewed (3 stars)

I picked up on this review because the reader actually gave me a reason for her dissatisfaction. She disliked the endless clothing descriptions. Actually, I was trying to describe Annie’s metamorphous from a tomboy into a classy young woman by showing her choice of outfits progressing from sloppy jeans to stylish fashions. Guess it didn’t go over very well here…..darn! And the reference to paperback romance clich├ęs – well – it is a paperback : - )))
 

His Devious Angel:

“I am glad i did not purchase this book, it was more fantasy than i like. i would not really recommend it for any age.” ~Reviewed (2 stars)

What can I say? The title “His Devious Angel” should have maybe warned that probably the hero would have to deal with a spiritual conniver. I’m glad she didn’t purchase the book also or I might have only gotten 1 star….. naughty, naughty!!  

"First off, the phrasing and slang used were very British in nature but this story takes place in the US with US characters. Next, the story took place in Washington. Which Washington? Through location clues you have to deduce it's Washington DC. Or at least near DC. It seems the author and editors didn't know enough to make that distinction. Maybe they have the locations and geography mixed up themselves. As far as editing, I mentioned a little of that in the above paragraph. There was a point where a supporting character was called by the wrong name a few times. There are also spelling errors and grammar errors. Sometimes a word is used and I wonder if the writer or the editor even understands the incorrect usage. For instance, two characters were involved in a heavy make-out session on the couch that was later referred to as "lovemaking" a few times. Is that because the author is British and that's the term they use instead or because they have no idea what lovemaking really is?” ~Reviewed (2stars

There's more to this brutal review; I only picked out parts I could comment on. It would have devastated me if one of the other girls in the same Freepartay hadn’t gotten one that was so similar, we wondered if it had been written by the same person… hummm??                                                                                                          

I guess where this reader picked up on the British phrasing is from the Angel who was clearly described as being British. It seemed to make sense that he would use the correct terminology.                                

The setting of Washington, is described in the first chapter when there was reference made to the “Washington wasn’t too hot for a change. Instead of the mugginess that hovered many times in this famous city, there was a cool breeze.” There were a few other instances, but she is right in saying that D.C. was not mentioned. It should have been.
                                                                                        
She’s also accurate in the spelling mistakes and my having changed one of the character’s names. Of course, these errors have now been corrected and it was because of this review, plus some friends who gave me the head’s up, that I had the book re-edited.                                                                                           

I also did refer to my hero and heroine making-out on the couch as lovemaking. For some strange reason, I guess I just assumed that when a man and a woman are feeling as much emotion as these characters were, then they’d gone past petting or groping or whatever other adjectives I should have used. For this, I won’t apologise….uh huh….nope!

 
“Overall I really liked this book, the only reason I didn't rate it higher is because I had two problems with Liam, the first is in how he treated his dad over something I didn't consider serious enough to warrant yrs of such treatment and second, considering he was Special Forces he should have been able to take control and make short work of a later situation. But on the flip side, I loved how the female characters were written, more than once I found myself laughing out loud.” ~Reviewed (3 stars)

There were so few poor reviews that I had to pick this one, which I truly didn’t consider so bad. This reader seemed to have it in for my hero. Thank goodness she liked the ladies!!



 Loveable Christmas Angel:

"Enjoyed the story, but I do have a problem with the finished product. How I wish that books for the Kindle were properly edited or proof read. This is one of the many that have disappointed in that respect.” ~Reviewed (4 stars)


As you can see, I earned only 4 stars because of her disappointment that the book hadn’t been properly edited. I will admit that due to time constraints, deadlines for publishing a book, there have been times in the past that I have released material before the final edits had been finished. I regret that very much now, but back then it seemed like I had no choice. I’d posted a due date and was stuck with it. Nowadays, I only say the month and the approximate time like the beginning or end so I won’t find myself in that sticky situation again.  

“I would say for the most part this was a pretty good read. It could have done without the sex part.”  ~Reviewed (4 stars)

I had to add this review because quite a few readers have taken exception to the sex scenes in my romances. I promise that I try and write these passages with good taste. To reflect an honest emotion from the characters when they finally find themselves expressing their feeling through actions. In my own defense, I’ve always enjoyed a well-written sensual scene and couldn’t imagine an honest-to-goodness, true-to-life romance without at least one.

The was a good Christmas read. I wouldn't recommend it for any other time of the year. ( Have I used enough words yet?) ~Reviewed (3 stars)

I loved this review!!

“This is a short novel which would have benefited from more detailed story background. I did not feel much rapport for the characters, except for Pi”
~Reviewed (3 stars)

This review broke my heart! The comment about a more detailed story background I accept as true since this book only has 136 pages. Most of my paranormals are similar because I believe that a lot of customers are looking for lighter, shorter stories and that is what I’m most comfortable writing. What upset me was her not feeling a rapport with the characters. I wring so much emotion from the people in my stories that I’m truly shocked she didn’t “get them”. Thank goodness that Pi pleased her.

*** Note:  Since the lowest review rating I have on Loveable is 3 stars from 319 reviews, I had to choose these as my bad reviews.  Thank you Lord!!!
 

 

 ***Next post: Based on my personal experience, I'll touch on the variations in reviews when dealing with different genres.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm paying attention to what readers are writing in my reviews? #amwriting


In my last blog I promised that I would give examples of some of my more insightful reviews. I’ve randomly searched through the three books seen below to find ones I feel have messages for me to pay attention to. Since I could only pick a few, I chose those that tended to cover the most popular points of view.
 

My Cheeky Angel:

“I read this all in one sitting which is nice because it seems I never have enough time to finish a book. This one is just the right length. I will definitely read more books by this author. So glad to find another author whose books I can download without the worry that they will be worth my money and my time! ~Reviewed by Deborah Hughes

In this review, Deborah made three points that struck me as being extremely valuable. Beside the compliments for my work, she let me know that she liked the shorter length of this story which was 203 pages. In today’s busy world, people like her find that being able to read a story in one sitting is a plus. So therefore, it’s best to keep up the pacing and not let the middle slowdown.  And… she didn’t mind spending her money as long as she felt she got her money’s worth.


“But sometimes we just need that little push to make the changes in our lives that bring good things, or maybe just to see what was always right in front of our noses.” ~Reviewed by Sue Rees

I liked this portion of Sue’s review because the message I had tried to install in the heroine’s world was exactly what she’d picked up. This one line made all the work I did on this story worthwhile.


Though the book touches on some serious issues, it maintains its easy feel throughout and doesn't weigh down the spirit by delving into somber areas more than is called for. ~reviewed by Word Addict

This line reassured me that my light handling of some very somber subjects was appreciated. After all, I write romance with a touch of the paranormal. I do not want to scare, depress or upset my readers. My sole intention is to entertain.  


His Devious Angel:

“This is the type of story e-readers were made for, the kind you cannot put down. I laughed and cried and cracked up laughing. The hero wasn't an Alpha nor a beta, he was just right, which was refreshing. The heroine was the perfect blend of the girl down the street and the women up the road. And if you own a dog you'll love this story.” ~Reviewed by Olivia Lavyn

From this review, I understood that humor and tears had the reader totally invested. Engaging her emotions, even in a light entertaining read such as this book, was important to her enjoyment of the story. Plus, she totally accepted that this hero wasn’t the usual over-the-top, muscle-bound fantasy so many romances feature. Instead, Liam was a guy who had to work at living up to our expectations. And Sadie, our heroine, had hang-ups that had scarred her but they hadn't stopped Olivia from caring, just the opposite. 


“Oh, and the twists and turns with a surprise ending just adds to its being a darn good and powerful read. Thank you Mimi for lightening my heart.” ~ Reviewed by Beverley Wells

I always seem to know the endings to my stories - either when I start the book or very near the beginning. I know it's a blessing, so it's a skill I've always appreciated. I feel like I need a direction so I can form my character's personalities to match the people I've visualized when their tale is finished. For me, the last few paragraphs are as important as the hook at the beginning.
Personally, I love a book that wraps my reading experience up like a gift with a pretty bow. A little twist, a surprise even a cliff hanger that forces a person to decide their own result makes me feel like I’ve succeeded in my job.
And... when a reader tells me I’ve lightened her heart, well then my heart sings.


Loveable Christmas Angel:

“The characters are so true to life, and the descriptions of the Paradise called Hawaii, are so good. You feel as if you are there and going through their trials and tribulations with them.” ~ Reviewed by jknitter

Although the book’s setting was in Waikiki, I’m not the type of author to wax poetic with long narratives about things such as weather, environments or a city’s sites. Of course, I want to establish the setting so the reader can imagine what the characters are experiencing, but I try and do that with succinct descriptions using as few words as necessary. Sharing the beauty or outstanding features to spark imaginations, to move the story forward and cement the reader in her surroundings is my responsibility and I take it seriously.

 
“I love the way it implied faith and answered prayer without the usual "conversion speak". ~ Reviewed by Deborah M Monroe

I don’t purposefully try and instill inspirational views in my books. I’m a romance writer who creates a love story for two people who learn that when they’ve met the one person who makes them whole, then it’s magic. If a reader can absorb through my words enough of a lift that it makes her feel as if I’ve touched her faith without the usual “conversion speak” then I’m thrilled.  


In this post, I’ve dealt with some of the more positive observations I received from happy fans. In the next blog, I’ll tackle some of the less complimentary comments and tell you how I found them to be as helpful.

 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Reviewer's Message - Important? Not Important? Only the number of stars count?




Personally, I happen to think that the message in a review is much more important than the amount of stars. Like most people in the business, I’ve gotten 3 and 4 star reviews that have made me extremely happy. I know that many people are tougher critics than others and that’s a good thing. If they write in a positive way and their comments are beneficial to whoever might follow them up, then I’m stoked.

It’s a fact that a lot of the book buyers don’t even read the 5-star comments. They go on to the lesser ones because they trust those aren’t from immediate family members (flattering Moms and Grandmas), co-workers and friends. On the other hand, once a book gets past 15 – 20 reviews, I think you can trust that a fair number of the observations are truly from either satisfied or unsatisfied readers.

Now if the review is simply about the author and her writing skills, that’s also a plus. I mean, it’s a positive benefit to someone looking for a new author if they read that this person’s work flows beautifully, especially if the reviewer brings up certain instances that might have stood out to them in that particular book. It could be the draw that attracts other potential readers.

As I mentioned in my last post, a 5-star review is a wondrous event. But sometimes it doesn’t really say a lot about the actual story. Sometime it says too much and gives away spoilers….arghrrr!!

Truly, if I was reading a bunch of critiques and the commenters consistently mentioned that the author was skilled, the characters delightful, or that maybe the conflicts made it a page turner, then I’d certainly be willing to try out the sample… or more than likely, buy the book.

***Next post will be on some of the specific reviews I've received and how they made me feel.
 
 

 
Talking about buying a book, why not just get them #FREE ???

 Yep!! It's another
 
 
And for me, this week is really special
because
for 1 day only,
I am giving away
My Vegas Series!!!
6 books in one Boxed Set!!
This is a spectacular, stupendous bargain!
 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Is there anything better than a 5-star review? Oh yeah!



 
I’m really proud when I get a great review.  I know it’s delightful for any author and so it should be. But when it happens on one of my books, then of course for me it’s personal. Let’s face it, 5 stars are the best you can get. And when your readers let you know you’ve given them a great read, well then the confirmation that you’ve done your job makes a lot of the drudgery of creating a good story worthwhile.

And no matter what anyone tells you, that prominent rating is important. Let’s face it, not everyone will be passing out 5-star reviews and it’s understandable and acceptable. Not everyone who chooses your book likes the same thing.

It could be the characters they dislike, the genre or maybe they just aren’t partial to say… too many cuss words. I’ve actually had reviewers tell me they were keen on the plot and even the romance but they didn’t like the sex.

Fair enough.

In some extremes, people can be so fickle that if they dislike a heroine's name it can sway their overall enjoyment to where the story is good but there’s just something about it that isn’t quite right…..humm!

Heck, I know for a fact that in one of my earlier books I had a hero who smoked, and that totally turned off a fan. Since the tale took place in the 60’s I was trying to be realistic to the times. Didn’t matter! For her and maybe others, it was a no-no.

Another time, while discussing reviews with a book group, I was told that quite a few of the ladies didn’t like men with hairy chests. That it could certainly influence their liking for one of the main characters if continued references were made to that fact. Would it lessen the enjoyment for them? Possibly. Could it change a 5 to a 4? Good grief, I hope not. 
 
I must say everyone who gives me a sweet review is adored and revered but there’s just something about getting that highest accreditation from a reviewer whose job is reading a whole lot of books and passing out judgements. When that happens, then I’m over-the-moon ecstatic.
 
My 5-star validation from Goodread’s “To Be Read” reviewer: Shyla Colt
 
 
 
For
 

 
 
I bet you figured this was leading up to this moment – right?? Just have to share…

So? Is there anything better than a 5-star review?

Sure there is.

Thirty-Two 5-star reviews.

Gotcha!!

Next blog – the difference in the actual message readers share in their reviews!

 


 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Meet Mary J. Forbes, Harlequin author writing a BIGGER book!




***I'm so happy  to be able to host Mary J. Forbes on my blog today. This woman is a multi-published author with Harlequin and has a huge selections of books listed here. After I had read her wonderful story, Home Secrets (see my review) and enjoyed it so thoroughly, I knew you'd all like to meet her as well. Her writing is excellent and the work professional in every way which made the novel such a delight to read.


 
 
Mimi, thank you for inviting me to be a guest on Believe. I’m honored to be able to talk to your readers and followers about my first “bigger” book, Home Secrets. By bigger, I mean longer and more involved than my contemporary romances published by Harlequin.

Although Home Secrets began as a contemporary romance, it soon evolved into a woman’s fiction romance—as I see it—when three characters vied to have their say in the book: Lily, Joy and Sydnie Rose. The more I dug into their histories and lives, the harder their questions to me, their creator, became...


 “How am I supposed to stop my ex from making our daughter unhappy?” Lily asked. Her battle cry became mine, and I fought at her side in every one of her scenes. She made me cry and laugh and cry again. Until she found the path leading home, the one that had both of us smiling and smiling...

Then Joy piped up and said, “You’ve given me rough row to hoe. Is that fair?” Well, no, it probably wasn’t, but I was writing a Bigger Book and I wanted Big Secretive Issues. Joy was strong of heart, I knew. She could handle this one.

Sydnie Rose, youngest of the three, hung back initially. Until she met Lily’s hero, Grey. Suddenly, Sydnie Rose saw her life twisting beyond her reach with her father at the helm. “How can I get out and make this right?” she said, stamping her foot. She had the sort of gumption that caught me by surprise.     

And when I wrote The End, I knew Home Secrets was the beginning of a series. The first of the kind of books I want to write with characters who ask difficult questions—and are not afraid of the answers I give them. 

Blurb of HOME SECRETS:

A terrible car wreck and divorce scars Lily Wheaton inside and out. Desperate to reclaim normality, she flees to the quiet ambiance of her late grandmother's birthplace in Washington’s Cascade Mountains. There, Lily believes she has conquered her demons. That is, until her ex-husband demands sole custody of their child. Without funds to battle him in court, Lily will do anything to keep her daughter, even stand up for her landlord and neighbor, Grey Montgomery—a man her ex insists is a criminal.

After serving time for a drunk-driving fatality sixteen years ago, Grey escaped the censure of Hawkes Landing. Now his mother is dying, and he returns to his childhood home where his sister remains as obstinate as ever, the lack of medical facilities could mark the downfall of his family, and people won’t let him forget the nightmare of his mistakes. Only Lily sees him for the man he is today. But as another tragedy strikes at the heart of Grey’s past, he and Lily must accept a dark truth about their families before discovering that some of life’s toughest choices involve the healing power of forgiveness, love, and the will to go on.

Excerpt of HOME SECRETS:
          The sky had lightened to a clear blue when she closed the door, stepped onto the stoop and inhaled the perfume of white lilacs crowding the corner of her little house. The sun had burned away the low-lying fog, and conveyed a fecund odor of warmed earth. Lily hurried down the stoop stairs and headed for the warehouse. At the entrance of the wide roll-back door, she discerned movement within the murky interior. I have an excuse to hide in the gloom. What’s yours, Mr. Montgomery?

          Her steps faltered. She waited for her vision to adjust. Ready or not, here I come.

          He leaned against the hood of the old, white Ford 150 Joy had parked there so Lily could use the garage for her glasswork. Ankles and arms crossed, he was a tall rangy man with large hands and wide wrists, and an eagle’s head tattooed on his right forearm. Prison residue?

          Once, years ago, Effie had mentioned her son lived an exemplary life in California. What that entailed neither she nor Joy disclosed, and Lily had never asked. Grey Montgomery, it seemed, was a blemish his family wanted to hide.

          Until Effie begged Joy to call him home before it was too late.

          “Looking for me?” he drawled.

          Lily tensed. She stood backlit by the sun, her outline clearly visible to him. Squaring her shoulders, she asked bluntly, “Have you decided?”

          “About what?”

          “Selling the farm? That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?”

          He pushed off the truck and ambled toward her. The image of a big male lion sizing up a gazelle flashed through her mind.

          From somewhere he’d located a blue bandana—likely a hip pocket—and was in the process of wiping his hands. “My mother,” he said, “wants it producing again.”

          “And you?”

          “Doesn’t matter what I want. For now Mama holds the deed.”

          “But she won’t be—” Around much longer. Had she nearly spoken the words aloud? Had she become calloused to Effie’s inevitable death? Effie, who had given Lily a home on her quiet ancestral land when no one else would.

          Montgomery’s gaze softened. “I know.” The emotion in his tone surprised her. “That’s why I’m home.”

          “Forgive me.” Shoving her hands into the pockets of the hoodie, she headed back outside and started for the field road through the maple thicket. Up by the big house, the garage and Scene-In-Glass waited.

          “Ms. Wheaton.”

          He had wandered out of the doorway and stood bold and stunning as a storm rolling over the mountains. “If I decide to revive this,” he swept a hand toward the raspberry canes and apple trees, “and the place yields again, things might change.”

          She didn’t dare ask what that change might entail. “When would you begin this...revival?”

          “Monday.”

          In four days.

          Lily scrutinized the fields which hadn’t known a tender hand in years.

          “Don’t know much about fruit farming,” Montgomery remarked, following her gaze. “Didn’t pay much attention growing up.” His grin was sudden and crooked. “Maybe I should buy Farming for Dummies.”

          Lily didn’t laugh. Rather, she pictured him at eighteen. Cocky. Brash. Girls on his arm. Beer dangling between his fingers. No, he would not have cared a whit about pruning and harvesting, packing crates and marketing.

          “Well, then,” she said. “Your work’s cut out for you. I won’t stand in your way. Nor will my daughter.”

          “Likewise. It’ll be me. No crews. But it will take a couple of months. You okay with me working around here every day?”

          “Do what you want. It’s your land.”

 
BIO:
Mary J. Forbes writes stories with an emotional depth that is reflected in each of her characters. Several of her (Harlequin) Silhouette Special Edition books were Waldenbooks bestsellers, and reached BookScan and Amazon’s respective top 100 lists. Mary loves to garden and especially enjoys the color and fragrances of the flowers she plants each spring and summer. The rain of the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her family is often portrayed in her stories. But once the clouds roll away, her heroes and heroines always find their rainbow waiting on the horizon.

Mary loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her at www.MaryJForbes.com and www.facebook.com/MaryJForbes/.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Meet Carmen Caine, author of The Highland Heather and Hearts Scottish Romance Series. @carmenromances


I want to give a warm welcome to Carmen Caine, a friend who has been a part of my local writing group and whose early success spurred me on.
 

 
Reviews:

Kirkus Reviews - "... a comforting read featuring a couple worth rooting for from their first dagger-point meeting." 
5 star review~ Fun, Witty, and a Good Read -  "I thoroughly enjoyed "The Daring Heart." It's fun, witty, and full of skullduggery in and around a Scottish James Bond. One of the things I particularly like is Ms. Caine's ability to write excellent dialogue. It is witty and flows instead of being forced to almost tortured. As I did with waiting for "The Bedeviled Heart" after reading "The Kindling Heart" and the waiting for this one, "The Daring Heart," I shall be impatiently waiting for the next one, "The Loyal Heart." No pressure intended, of course, Ms. Caine. :D"

Back Page Blurb:
                                 
(Scotland, 1482) - To the scandalous Lord Julian Gray, marriage is a malady and nothing more.

How can a man even court a lass longer than a fortnight when there are so many pouting lips to kiss?

Roaming the courts of Europe, Julian appears to spend his time drinking wine, wagering gold, and dandling willing lasses upon his knee. But no one knows the man behind the mask. No one knows that he is Le Marin--Europe's most daring and brazen spy.

But everything changes the night he finds a dagger pressed against his ribs and an alluring hazel-eyed minx in his bed.

Born into the Vindictam, the renowned Venetian family of assassins, Liselle dreams of the day she will be allowed to practice the family craft. And when she is sent to the Scottish court, her dream is finally realized. But is it an honor ... or a curse?

As the threat of civil war looms over Scotland, and the king's own brother conspires with the English to put himself on the Scottish throne, Julian can't help but be distracted by the mysterious Venetian beauty and her many secrets.

But will it be his undoing?



Contacts for Carmen Caine

Follow Carmen on her blog

Follow Carmen on twitter @CarmenRomances
 
 
 
This book will be one of those featured in this week's
 and it will be
#FREE
All day January 17th
along with many other best-sellers
including my own
contribution:
Book 4 of the Vicarage Bench Series
 
Together Again