Blog Tour Schedule
5/13 Rambling from this Chic: excerpt 1/giveaway
5/14 Harlie’s Book Reviews: review and excerpt 2/giveaway
5/15 Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance: review and excerpt 3/giveaway
5/16 Confession of a Romaholics: review and excerpt 4/giveaway
5/17 Romancing the Book Reviews: review and excerpt 5/giveaway
5/20 Susana’s Parlour: review and excerpt 6/giveaway
5/21 bookworm2bookworm: review and excerpt 7/giveaway
5/22 Rockn’ the Muses: excerpt 8/giveaway
5/23 Saucy & Sinful Reviews: excerpt 9/giveaway
5/24 Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine Blog: review and excerpt 10/giveaway
Lord Trent Series
Charles Sinclair, the Earl of Trent, is England’s most notorious roué. He never sired any lawful children with his aging, bitter wife. But he has many illegitimate children scattered across the kingdom.
His oldest son, Phillip, is on a quest to find his lost half-siblings, to create a family with them and to fix any damage inflicted on their lives by their father’s licentious conduct. The three books, Love’s Promise, Love’s Price, and Love’s Peril tell the stories of four of Lord Trent’s lost children.
Finally coming in 2013, Cheryl’s long-buried trilogy—three fabulous novels filled with heartbreak, dashing characters, drama, passion and love—will sweep you away!
About Love’s Promise (Book 1)
With the death of his older brother, Michael Wainwright, Viscount Henley, has become heir to his father, Duke of Clarendon. The Wainwright men are renowned cads, and as his brother’s will is read, it’s discovered that he sired an illegitimate son and has left the eight-year-old boy his entire fortune. Michael decides to bring the boy to London so he can be showered with all the wealth and status guaranteed by his inheritance. But first, he has to gain custody from the boy’s aunt, who is determined to keep her nephew away from Michael’s dissolute family.
Frances “Fanny” Carrington has always lived in a small village in the country. As a newborn, she was left in a basket on the church steps and raised by the vicar and his wife. But they’ve died, and Fanny is in dire straits, struggling to raise her nephew, to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. When she begins to receive correspondence from Michael, asking for custody, she can’t help but be suspicious. For years, the Wainwrights have refused to claim her nephew or provide financial assistance to him. She’s alarmed by their sudden interest. What can it mean?
As Michael finally meets Fanny, their attraction is swift, blatant, and dangerous. He can’t fight the need to have her at any cost, and gradually, he lures her into his decadent life of affluence and privilege. But she’s never possessed the callous nature required to thrive in the cut-throat world of the aristocracy, so she can never understand the peril she faces from those who would do anything to keep them apart…
“Where are you off to now, Fanny?”
Frances Carrington, called Fanny by her family, glanced over at her sister, Camilla. Though Fanny was twenty and Camilla twenty-five, Camilla acted like a petulant adolescent, and Fanny often felt as if she was Camilla’s mother.
“It’s so beautiful outside. I thought I’d walk to the village.”
“You just went yesterday,” Camilla complained. “I swear, you’re restless as a hen when the fox is lurking. What’s the matter with you?”
“The vicar’s wife is supposed to pay me for the mending I completed.”
“How can you take that old biddy’s charity?”
“It’s not charity. I worked hard on that sewing, and I won’t apologize for it.”
“Aren’t you a bloody saint?”
It was a constant quarrel between them. Camilla wouldn’t lift a finger to earn any money, despite how dire their situation, but she was quick to criticize when Fanny did anything that might alleviate some of their financial distress.
Fanny was galled at being forced to rely on the paltry coins the vicar’s wife doled out, especially when the sanctimonious woman enjoyed flaunting her elevated position and how it contrasted with Fanny’s reduced one.
For three decades, Fanny’s father had been the vicar. They’d lived in a fine house next to the church, had been respected members of the community, so when she knocked on the rear door of the parsonage, she felt like a supplicant or a beggar. She’d be invited in to see the new minister writing his sermons at what had been her father’s desk. His wife would be sitting on the sofa in what had been Fanny’s mother’s parlor.
At one humiliating point, Fanny had sold her mother’s wedding ring to the vicar in order to purchase food. He’d given the ring to his wife as a gift, and whenever Fanny stopped by, she cruelly waved it under Fanny’s nose.
The tonic was bitter to swallow, but in the past few years, she’d suffered so many indignities that one more hardly registered. She could tolerate the other woman’s condescension if it helped her support her nephew, Thomas.
“Camilla, please,” Fanny scolded. “Watch your language.”
Fanny gestured toward Thomas who was across the room at the dining table, practicing his letters.
“He’s heard worse,” Camilla said.
“Yes, he has,” Fanny agreed, “but we needn’t broaden his base vocabulary.”
“Don’t tell me how to speak to my own boy.”
Fanny couldn’t win the argument, so she didn’t try.
“I’ll be back in a few hours. If she pays me as she promised, I’ll bring some stew meat with me.”
“Meat, bah!” Camilla sniped. “Fat and gristle is more like.”
Camilla was always angry that they couldn’t afford the quality of victuals that had been their typical fare in better times. Her sense of entitlement—as well as her gnawing hunger—made her surly.
Though she never said as much, she seemed to blame Fanny for their poverty, as if their father’s death, and Camilla’s subsequent plunge to indigence, had somehow been Fanny’s fault. Fanny was weary of defending herself over the calamities, and she was eager to be away.
She grabbed her shawl and bonnet, and she stood in front of the mirror, studying her reflection as she tied the bow under her chin.
With her slender torso, heart-shaped face, and bright green eyes, she recognized that she was attractive. Her hair was long and blond, an unusual shade of luxurious gold, the color of ripened wheat. Since they had no servants, she rarely styled it, finding it quicker to simply brush the lengthy tresses and pull them back with a ribbon.
But her looks didn’t matter, and she shouldn’t continue to pretend that they did. Her lack of a dowry insured there would be no husband, no family of her own. She’d never even had a beau, and circumstances had compelled her to accept that she never would.
Still, it was amusing to dream of a different life, one filled with pretty gowns and tons of delicious food, where there was no need to worry over the least little problem.
She wasn’t a woman prone to vanity, but there was no concealing the fact that her dress was shabby and plain, her bonnet tattered and torn. She couldn’t help but wish that she had a fashionable outfit to wear into the village, but cash was scarce and new clothes a frivolous extravagance.
She slipped out and hurried down the path to the lane, when Thomas called to her from their decrepit cottage.
“Aunt Fanny! May I come with you?”
Susana Says: Good Read, 4 out of 5 Stars
Love’s Promise is one of those books that draws me in so deeply that I don’t want to stop for anything, not even meals! Holt’s books have a tendency to make me feel as though I’m there myself, walking in Fanny’s shoes and feeling her attachment to her nephew, her desperation to keep him near and ensure his wellbeing, and then, later, her wildly fluctuating feelings for Michael, the man who seems destined to shatter all of her hopes and dreams.
Fanny is a great heroine, resourceful, determined, with a big heart. She can’t be bought with coin or jewels, as Michael discovers to his chagrin. The only leverage he can find to lure her to his bed is the promise of being near to her nephew. Her love for young Thomas makes her vulnerable, and Michael has no scruples against using it to get what he wants.
And therein lies the rub. While some say that rakes make the best heroes (or husbands), a rake who is too depraved just doesn’t ring true. As the son of a depraved duke, perhaps there is some justification for Michael’s selfish, cruel behavior throughout most of the book. Neither he nor his sister Anne knew love from either of their parents, so why would they know enough to want it for themselves, let alone be able to recognize it when it came? In the case of both siblings, it took the steadfast love of another to force them to come to terms with the superficiality of their lives and values and give them the impetus to reach out and risk everything for love.
If you are looking for a lighthearted romp in Regency ballrooms, this is not the story for you. The Regency world portrayed here is dark and cruel and filled with heartless villains in every corner. Between the debauched aristocrats who hop from bed to bed ruining young ladies right and left with no concern for anything but their own pleasure and the cruelty of nearly everyone else, this is not the book for the faint of heart.
It’s always been a cruel, cruel world, and the Regency one was no exception. There are times when you doubt that Fanny and Michael will ever have their happy ending; there are so many obstacles keeping them apart and you on the edge of your seat. But I guarantee you won’t want to put this one down. Holt’s fast-paced dialogue, paired with the emotional turmoil, will keep you turning the pages all the way to the end.
Cheryl Holt is giving away ten (10) print copies of Love’s Promise, the first release in her historical romance Trent Trilogy. The giveaway is open to US, Canadian, and international readers. Click here for the rafflecopter.
About the Author
She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age 40, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance, where she was stunned to discover that she has an incredible knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.
Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is particularly proud to have been named Best Storyteller of the Year by the trade magazine, Romantic Times Book Reviews.
Her hot sexy, dramatic stories of passion and illicit love have captivated fans around the world, and she’s celebrated as the Queen of Erotic Romance, which is currently the fastest selling sub-genre of women’s fiction. Due to the ferocity of some of her characters, she’s also known as the International Queen of Villains.
She received degrees in music, languages, and education from South Dakota State University, and her juris doctorate was obtained at the University of Wyoming. Her colorful and chaotic employment history includes such variety as public school teacher, cook, bartender, lobbyist, and political activist. She also did brief stints in metro-Denver as a deputy district attorney and administrative law judge.
“…a master writer…” —Fallen Angel reviews
“Best storyteller of the year…” —Romantic Times Magazine