Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2CLLR #WednesdaySpotlight w/Giveaway: The Governess Next Door by Nina Mason

Welcome to Two Crazy Ladies Love Romance
Wednesday Spotlight!

The Governess Next Door
by Nina Mason

A decade ago, Raphael Brontë, a cousin to the Brontës of literary fame, sold his heart to a wealthy French Countess, whose patronage allowed him to pursue his dream of becoming an important painter. Now that she is dead, he fears he lacks the capacity to love—which is just as well, since he must forfeit the fortune she bequeathed him if ever he chooses to marry.

Prudence Middleton, a proper English governess, abandoned her dreams of finding happiness in marriage when her father’s desertion forced her to work for a living—to support herself as well as her mother and sister back home. Now, she is on her way to France to prepare a willful young woman for her debut—a task that seems as hopeless as ever escaping her lonely and degrading existence. Unless, of course, she meets a man who has money, along with all the other noble qualities she desires in a husband. 

When the handsome, charming, and wealthy Count in a neighboring chateau takes an interest in her, she begins to believe her prayers have been answered—until she learns Lord Brontë has a secret He is not, says her ruthless coquette of a pupil, what he appears to be.

When forced to choose between her heart’s desire and her duty to her dependent relations, which will Prudence put first? Or will she find a way to have it all?

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Tell us about The Governess Next Door.

The Governess Next Door is the first in a new romantic historical series titled The Bronte Brothers. The brothers featured in the four books are the fictitious cousins of the Bronte sisters of literary fame. The stories are set around 1850, at the height of the Age of Romanticism, and are inspired by the works of the Bronte sisters.
What initially inspired you to write The Governess Next Door?

My idea was to write books in the style of an inspired by the works of the Bronte Sisters. Governess, inspired by Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, tells of the romance between an English painter living in France and the governess who comes to tutor the headstrong young woman in the chateau next door in the social graces in preparation for her debutante ball.

Tell us little about the characters in The Governess Next Door.

The hero is Raphael “Raphe” Bronte, a struggling English painter who has lived unhappily for the past ten years with his wealthy patroness. When the countess dies, she gives him lifetime residency in her chateau as long as he doesn’t marry.

The heroine is Prudence Middleton, who is forced to work as a governess to support her mother and sister after her father abandoned his family for his mistress. The only way she can escape her hateful life is to marry for money--but she also wants to marry for love.

The anti-heroine is Lady Angelique, the spoiled and selfish girl Prudence has been hired to improve. The anti-hero is Lucien, the nephew of Raphe’s dead patroness, who wants his aunt’s fortune for himself.   

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Making the story both true to Victorian times and accessible for modern readers. I do a tremendous amount of research for all my books and Governess was no exception.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Originally, I released the book under the title Jane Grey, and then re-released it with a new title, cover, and several revisions that tightened the story and brought the romance forward. One of the scenes I wrote for the new version is one of my favorites. In it, Raphe, who is giving Prudence and Angelique drawing lessons, poses privately for Prudence in the nude. In the scene, she struggles with her attraction to him while attempting to draw him. 

What are your future project(s)?

I have two books coming out in the next few months. The first is The Captain of Her Fate, the first in yet another new series titled The Other Bennet Sisters. Captain is set in the Regency period and tells of the romance between a crippled former Navy Captain who distrusts women and a young woman desperate to marry anyone other than the odious cousin her abusive father has arranged for her to marry. The Captain of Her Fate will release on March 20 and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

The second book is the fourth and final installment in a paranormal/fantasy series titled Knights of the Tarot. The last book, titled Knight of Swords, will release on May 15. At present, I’m still writing it.

Prudence surveyed the group of paintings before her with awe. They were nothing short of brilliant, one and all. He’d revealed them to her, canvas by canvas, with one notable exception: his work in progress, which remained under a sheet on his easel.

“They’re wonderful, Raphe. Truly. I’m extremely impressed.”

As she wandered over to examine more closely the large canvas he’d propped atop the mantle shelf, Angelique’s hint whispered in her ear, threatening to wreck her happiness.

He’s not what he pretends to be.

Pushing the thought from her head, she examined the painting, which depicted a young woman in a purple dress. There were flowers at her feet—symbols no doubt, but representing what? The end of spring? The end of innocence? Perhaps the girl was about to get married and the flowers represented the maidenhood and family she was leaving behind. Only on closer inspection did Prudence notice the second figure—a man, hidden in the shadows, with his head bent over the woman’s left hand.

“What’s the story behind this one?”

Raphe came up behind her and looked over her shoulder. “I call it The Miller’s Daughter, after the poem I recited for you just now in the parlor.”

Prudence smiled. Her instincts had been correct, for the poem told of a young couple’s wedding. “Does the painting also have a deeper significance?”

“It does, you clever girl. It’s meant to represent how difficult it is to marry for love when so many pressures are put upon us by society and other people.”

His statement struck a dissonant chord within her. “Did you know Lord Deveraux has you in mind for Lady Angelique’s husband?”

“I suspected he might.”

Despite her great fear of the answer, she asked, “Is there any chance he’ll get his wish?”

“Not if she marries me, he won’t.”

Puzzled by his answer, she turned to face him. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

He walked to the window and looked out, hands clasped behind his back. After a painful few moments of silence, he said, “There’s something I haven’t told you…because…well, because I was afraid if you knew, you wouldn’t want me.”

Fear swelled within Prudence. It was the secret to which he referred. It had to be. Pulse racing, mouth dry, she said, “Well, don’t leave me dangling in the wind, Raphael. What is it you haven’t told me?”

After an unbearable silence, he said, “Fabienne and I were never married, she only told people we were for appearance’s sake. And after she died, I saw no reason to give up the charade.”


“And, therefore, I had no legal claim on her estate when she passed on. Hours before her death, she changed her will, leaving me life tenancy at Coeur Brisé and an income sufficient to support myself and the estate. But there was a condition attached to her bequest. Everything would go to Lucien if I ever took a wife.”

She turned away from him, hurt and angry. “And you pursued me, knowing this? And almost compromised me, discerning full well you could never offer me marriage? Oh, Raphe. How could you?”

 “How could I not when I knew, almost from the moment we met, that you were the sort of woman I could fall in love with?”

“I could strike you,” she let escape like steam from a boiling kettle. “So help me God, I really could do violence to you right now.”

“Then do, if it would make you feel better. But please, hear me out. Because there are two paths still open to us—if you will only keep an open mind.”

Prudence, her mouth pinched, regarded him warily. “I will not be your mistress, if that is what you are thinking.”

He scrubbed a hand down his face. “I stand ready to confess that it is—and I do wish you’d listen. For one, there is not the same stigma attached to kept women here in France as there is in England. And for another, I could support you in style. Just think of it, Prudence. You could give up governessing and live like a countess—and there would still be plenty left to send back to England for your mother and sister. And, best of all, we could be together as man and wife in all but the eyes of the law.”

“And therein lies the problem,” she said. “While it may be true that mistresses are looked upon with more favor here in France, my family is in England. How could I ever face my mother and sister after being your whore?”

Fire flashed in his eyes. “Don’t say that. Never say that. You would not be my whore. You would be my wife…in everything but name.”

Prudence would not hear his arguments. Living in sin with him was absolutely out of the question, however much gilt he might apply to the indecent arrangement. “And when you grew tired of me? What then? I could not return to governessing…or thrust my disgrace upon my family. My only option, therefore, would be to go into another gentleman’s bed. To whore myself for my very survival. And who but you would have me for his mistress when I am plain and skinny and flat-chested?”

“You are beautiful to me, Prudence—and I would never grow tired of you, so you have nothing to fear in that regard.”

“And if you died, Raphe? What then? How would I support myself? What line of work would be open to me except to be a whore in some filthy brothel where the patrons didn’t give a fig who they rutted atop so long as she had a quim?”

“Stop this,” he cried, tearing at his face. “Please, you are breaking my heart.”

“No more than you have broken mine, you selfish bastard!”

Flinging herself at him, she began to beat upon him with her fists. She felt as though there was a cyclone whirling inside her, a spiraling tempest powerful enough to strip away what little remained of her hope and dignity. She would never escape governessing now. She would never know the love of a husband—nor have children of her own. She would die a dried-up old spinster whose spirit had been beaten down little by little until nothing was left but an empty shell.

Nina Mason is an incurable romantic who strives to write love stories that entertain and edify. A research fanatic, she goes to great lengths to ensure the locations and time periods in her books are accurately portrayed (and thanks the Powers That Be for the internet). Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Mason lived in Oregon briefly before moving to Georgia, where she lives with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a Westie named Robert. When she isn’t writing, she makes historic dolls, fairy babies, and putters in her ever-expanding garden.

Social Links:

Review Tour w/Giveaway: Dark Longing by Aja James

Dark Longing
by Aja James
GENRE: Paranormal, fantasy romance


Aja James will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a
randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Please visit to follow the tour,
emember the more you comment better your chances on winning.



“Every story has more than one side, like a crystal that captures and reflects different colors of light. Do not take for granted what you think you know… for until you hold the entire jewel in your palm, the temptation is to fall prey to illusion and deception.”
This is a story of the Dark Ones…

Inanna: the vampire warrior

Known as the Angel of Death among her Kind, she has lived millennia alone, one of the remaining True Bloods in existence, unconsciously longing for the one male she could never have…

Gabriel: the forbidden human

His soul recognizes hers from the first encounter. With the first touch, he is awakened… Though he does not know it, he has been searching for her across the ages…

But even as they are finally reunited, their love faces seemingly impossible odds. Would history repeat itself or will they break all the rules and chart a new course together?


Excerpt Two:

“Thou shalt be a benevolent ruler of the human race. Thou shalt not forget thy place, nor that of thy weaker subjects. Except through the Blood Contract, with Consent, or through the Deliverance of Justice, the taking of human blood and souls is forbidden.”
—Excerpt from the Dark Laws, verse ten of the Ecliptic Scrolls

Inanna watched the couple through the thin wall of the hospice, seeing clearly every hair, every eye-lash.

For the most part, her unique ability could be likened to infrared vision, but it was much more powerful than that: she could see through walls as if they were entirely transparent, and she could zoom distant objects into focus to the finest detail.

His chin-length hair hid most of his expression, but Inanna understood the exchange between husband and wife as if she’d heard every word. She knew what was being discussed; Olivia had told her late last night after Gabriel had taken Benji home.

Benji. Benjamin.

Inanna’s new son.

Human son.

How did a four-thousand year-old vampire get into this predicament?

Because she was greedy, that’s how. She’d fallen in love with the little boy and his bouncy, blond curls at first sight. And first sight was before he had any hair, right after he was delivered, in fact, at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley-Komansky Children's Hospital.

But who was she kidding, Inanna silently chided herself. She wasn’t just in love with the boy.

She was head over heels in lust with the husband.

Gabriel D’Angelo.

Inanna turned away from the hospice room and walked briskly outside toward her sun-proofed gun-metal Lamborghini Aventador. Folding her long limbs into the vehicle, she fired up the ignition and raced out of the hospice parking lot, into the pitch-black night.

She would grant husband and wife one last night together before collecting on Olivia’s Blood-Contract.

And fulfilling her own.


5 stars

Another story that is a heavy read, not because of how it was writen but because I did not want to miss on any part of it, because I wanted to know everything word by word, I wanted to take the journey the characters were taking me on and discover their secrets. Inanna, is the vampire warrior she is also know as the Angel of Death. She has lived for a millennia and she lived alone, she longed for one male that she could never have, or could she? She is one of the few True Bloods in existence. Gabriel, is the forbidden human, his soul recognized her from the fist encounter, and with the first touch he is awakened, but he does not remember searching for her through the span of ages. Even as they are reunited, their loves still faces untold challenges, will they be able to brake the rules of both their kind and set a course of new beginnings in their lives and in the love they have for each other. Read the book, its a fascinating story, well writen with deep meanings and the characters well not all of them, but most of them are really great and their own stories are great. I received a free copy for my honest review! Review by Jara


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Aja has been writing stories since the age of six, and novels since the age of thirteen. While she'd be the first to admit that those early efforts weren't particularly good, she sure loved putting them down on paper!

The best part of writing, according to Aja, is that it’s completely organic, the way the stories develop. When the inspiration hits, she writes just so she herself can learn where the characters are headed because oftentimes, they take her by surprise! It is her ultimate dream to share her stories with as many readers as she possibly can.

Her other loves include art, cooking, old movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, and all the song and dance numbers because she can’t watch them and not be happy!)

She adores taking long walks with her husband and running after her two rambunctious kids. She has traveled extensively (all seven continents except Antarctica) and has a multi-cultural upbringing. She speaks two and a half languages and binge watch TV shows when the mood strikes.

Aja has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Literature and Economics and two Master’s degrees, one of which is in East Asian Studies.

Contact Information


Release Blitz w/Giveaway: Immortal Reckoning by Tara Fox Hall

Immortal Reckoning Tour Graphic
Tara Fox Hall
Immortal Reckoning
Series: Promise Me Series Book 18 (Origin Story)
Genre: Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Suspense, Romance
Publisher: Melange Books
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Through the love and loss of the ages, immortality brings only one certainty: vengeance.
Disinherited and poverty stricken, bastard Danial clutches at the slim chance to earn a living as a guard, until a night attack leaves both him and his half-brother Devlin vampires. After finding true love with the aristocrat Lacey, Danial comes to the attention of James, the devious Vampire Lord of France. Enslaved by James, his love murdered, Danial plots to escape, his complex plan of years finally succeeding only to result in all of Europe�s demonic forces on the hunt for him.
After a reunion and subsequent falling out with Devlin, Danial travels to the new world of America in pursuit of a new life. Settling in the west, Danial forms alliances with native vampire Valerian and the witch Cheyenne to survive a game of cat and mouse with Devlin and protect his new love Kathryn amid his rapidly changing world. Triumphant yet nursing a broken heart, an undeterred Danial protects his friends and thwarts his enemies, determined to find a life of peace�until unexpected news comes of James�s presence, the one man on whom Danial has waited centuries to get revenge.



I woke at dusk, to men shouting. Flames were flickering in torches on the wall.
I ran toward the noise, coming face to face with Cerdan, in all his armor. �You bastard,� he said, baring his fangs and pointing his sword at me. �You have much to answer for.�
I didn�t reply, just braced for attack.
He circled me. �Hunters have attacked all over France. Easily a hundred werewolves are dead, and as many humans. Cannibal is missing, and presumed dead. Veronique is safe, but some of my best men are dead.�
�Leave now, or you will die, too.�
Cerdan lunged for me, and I evaded him, grabbing up a sword. He parried my thrust, then attacked in earnest. I defended myself, but he was older, and faster. He spitted me on the end of his sword in a few moments. With a shove, he pinned me to the oak door of the rectory. �I�ll bring your upper half back to James, so he can know you were faithful to death,� he said with an evil laugh, drawing his dagger. �A small comfort, to be sure.�
As he went to cut me, a dozen red furry forms launched at him, biting ferociously. He cut them to pieces, littering the ground with dying foxes as the bites rapidly healed up. But as he turned to deliver my killing blow, an arrow burst through his neck, the bloody head appearing under his chin. He staggered, but didn�t go down.
Charlise appeared, a bow in her hand. She stepped in front of me, and put another arrow through Cerdan�s right eye, then his left one. He cursed her, blinded, trying to pull them out. She turned to me and tugged at the end of the sword, freeing it. �Kill him,� she said, giving me the sword.

Other Books in the Series

In the Promise Me series, Sarelle, a mortal woman, encounters a wounded (and sexy and handsome) vampire, Danial. Without knowing who he really is (a murderer for hire, for one), Sarelle begins a romantic relationship with him a little too fast. Interestingly, Sarelle also finds herself attracted to Danial's best friend, the werecougar, Theo. What will happen to Sarelle's relationship with Danial? Where does Theo fit in? Amidst new obstacles and relationship problems, Sarelle has to decide where her future lies.

Promise Me

Broken Promise

Taken in the Night

About Tara Fox Hall

Tara Fox Hall
Tara Fox Hall�s writing credits include nonfiction, erotica, horror, suspense, action-adventure, children�s stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series, the paranormal romantic suspense Unhallowed Love series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice. All of her published children�s stories to date are free reads on
Tara Fox Hall's Email:
Official website:

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the Tour: March 1 - 21, 2018
Visit each tour stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more!
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To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Immortal Reckoning Book Page at Book Unleashed.


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Contest runs from February 13 - March 21, 2018.

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