Monday, January 31, 2022


Please welcome author Marilyn Baron to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today we'll be featuring her cozy mystery, The Case of the Missing Botticelli. This is the first book in Marilyn's A Massimo Domingo Mystery series from The Wild Rose Press. You can find all the stops on Marilyn Baron's tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. While you're here be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a $20 gift card from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

GENRE: Cozy Mystery/Contemporary/Suspense

In this cozy mystery, American art history major Hadley Evans joins an art detective agency in Florence, Italy, working for Massimo Domingo, once a major player, now the Inspector Clouseau of the art world.

Determined to save the flailing agency and prove her worth, Hadley and her sexy carabiniere boyfriend, Luca Ferrari, take on a mysterious client behind her boss's back. While hot on the trail of a missing masterpiece, they discover a hidden cache of stolen Nazi art in a Venetian villa and encounter a dangerous enemy with a link to an evil past.

Get your copy of The Case of the Missing Botticelli on Amazon or B&N (Nook)

“If you harm your sister, I will slash this painting and it won’t be worth anything to anyone.”

Matteo frowned, slightly loosening his hold on Isabella. His eyes flew to the painting. “You wouldn’t dare.”

“I would,” Hadley swore.

“Hadley,” Massimo said, calmly. “You don’t want to ruin that masterpiece. It’s invaluable.”

“So is Isabella’s life,” she stated.

“Matteo, we can talk this over, come to an agreement,” Luca said, straining to control his anger. Hadley held up the nail file and approached the masterpiece.

“Hadley, don’t!” Massimo shouted.

Hadley’s hands shook. Would she do it? Could she destroy the most beautiful work of art she’d ever seen? And if she did attempt to damage the masterpiece, would Luca shoot her, or Matteo throw the knife at her first? If it meant saving a life, maybe two, she would have no choice. “Let her go,” Luca urged, raising his gun. “Hadley, step away from the painting.” “Hadley,” Isabella pleaded. “Don’t ruin the painting. That was our grandmother’s legacy.” 

Matteo’s glazed eyes were fixed on Hadley and the painting. He seemed to have momentarily forgotten about his sister. Suddenly, Isabella swirled around and turned the knife in her brother’s hand down and across, plunging it deep into Matteo’s ribs.

5 Stars

What could possibily make a well-written cozy mystery even better? How about a feisty heroine? A handsome police officer who doesn't try to stiffle the heroine's style or intuition? Or, could it be the wonderful scenery of Florence, Italy? Or, the exciting world of art and, consequently, art theft?

In Author Marily Baron's new mystery, The Case of the Missing Botticelli, it's all of the above. And then some. I thoroughly enjoyed following our heroine, Hadley, around in her quest to uncover the truth. Her obvious knowledge and love of renaissance art is evident. Hadley's quick mind and wit make her a very likeable and intriguing heroine.

The author's descriptions of the countryside are beautiful written. Ms. Baron has definitely done her research to lend authenticity to the story. If you're a fan of intriguing cozy mysteries, set in enticing locales, you are sure to love this book. I know I did.

Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal/ Fantasy Romance. She was also The Finalist in the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) in the Romance Category for her novel, Stumble Stones, and The Finalist for the 2018 GAYA Awards in the Romance category for her novel, The Alibi.

Her latest novel, The Case of the Missing Botticelli: A Massimo Domingo Mystery, released January 24, 2022, is her 28th work of fiction. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn is past chair of Roswell Reads and serves on the Atlanta Authors Series Committee.

Marilyn Baron will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thank you so much for stopping by today. Please come back all week for more authors, books, and giveaways.


Friday, January 28, 2022

INDECENT by Author Darcy Burke **Book Blast** **Giveaway**

It's my pleasure to welcome author Darcy Burke to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we'll be featuring her newest release, Indecent, the 4th book in The Phoenix Club series. You can find all of the stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a copy of the first book in The Phoenix Club series. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

Genre: Historical (Regency Era) Romance

If Bennet St. James, the Viscount Glastonbury, doesn’t find a bride with a sizeable dowry, he’ll be in the poorhouse along with his interminable number of female relatives—all of whom he loves but are a drain on the negative fortune his father left when he died of a broken pocketbook. Desperate, he hatches a scheme to snare an heiress only to be foiled by a most vexing and alluring—and unfortunately equally destitute—paid companion.

Lady’s companion Prudence Lancaster is single-minded about finding her mother and filling in the missing pieces of her life. But a villainous viscount interrupts her plans, and his surprising charm and understanding tempts her in the most indecent ways. Soon, she’s dreaming of the future instead of wallowing in the past.

But when Bennet shares a dark secret, her hopes are dashed. For he won’t break the promise he made to his family, even if it means losing the greatest love he’s ever known.

Get your copy of Indecent on Amazon

“What will you do after you return me to London? Do you plan to stay for the rest of the Season?”

“If you’re wondering whether I’ll slink back to Somerset with my tail between my legs, the answer is no. I do need to go home to check on things, but hopefully, I’ll find an heiress first.” He lifted a shoulder. “Someone will want to marry a viscount. At least I have a title to sell.”

She frowned gently, her lush lips pulling down. Lush? He ought not characterize her in such a way. She was not for him to lust after. Still, it was difficult to ignore her beauty.

“You can’t marry for love, then,” she said matter-of-factly.

He gave a humorless laugh. “I haven’t the luxury of that, I’m afraid. I will hope to marry someone I like and admire.”

“I can understand. Love is a luxury, isn’t it?”

“Why do you say that?” He found her to be rather enigmatic. She was very stiff, save her bouts of pique, which he’d thoroughly earned.

“Love brings obligations and…messiness,” she said offhandedly. “I’m alone now, and it’s far more convenient—financially, emotionally, in all ways, really.”

He couldn’t argue that love was untidy. He had only to think of his family. They loved one another dearly, even his father, but there were plenty of other messy, complicated emotions and situations. “You’ve no desire to fall in love? To marry?”


Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, artist daughter, and imaginative son who will almost certainly out-write her one day (that may be tomorrow).

They’re a crazy cat family with two Bengal cats, a small, fame-seeking cat named after a fruit, an older rescue Maine Coon with attitude to spare, and a collection of neighbor cats who hang out on the deck and occasionally venture inside. You can find Darcy at a winery, in her comfy writing chair, or binge-watching TV with the family.

Her happy places are Disneyland, Labor Day weekend at the Gorge, Denmark, and anywhere in the UK—so long as her family is there too.

Darcy Burke will be awarding an ebook copy of book 1 of the Phoenix Club series, IMPROPER, to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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It's been my pleasure hosting Darcy Burke today. Please come back again next week for more authors, books, and giveaways!


Friday, January 21, 2022

SCANDALS OF TOKYO by Author Heather Hallman **BOOK BLAST** **GIVEAWAY**

It's my pleasure to welcome author Heather Hallman to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today we're featuring her book, Scandals of Tokyo, part of the Tokyo Whispers series. You can find all the stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter draw for your chance to win a $25 gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

Genre: Historical Romance


In the Foreign Quarter of Tsukiji, Tokyo, Japan, Victorian England is alive and well. Manners and etiquette are as valuable as gossip and deceit. Men are more rakish than ever - so far from home, societal rules seem to be relaxed. But courting young women still requires a deft hand, a smart wit, and a man with something to offer.


Intent on being an international journalist of repute, Evelyn Prescott will do what it takes to make her mark.

It doesn’t hurt that her father has built a newspaper empire, but finding a scandal in Japan is no easy task.

As much as she hates to admit it, she is forced to meet with the owner of the Tokyo Daily News, Ned Taylor, also an Englishman.

Ned holds a deep-rooted dislike of Evelyn’s father’s approach to journalism, and Ned, a notorious rake, pushes her to see just how far Evelyn is prepared to go to get her story.

Available at Amazon ~ B&N (Nook) ~ Burroughs Publishing ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

Tokyo 1896
Foreign Quarter of Tsukiji

Also, there was the issue of Mr Taylor’s appearance. In Evelyn’s experience, newspaper owners were balding and rotund. This man was… She struggled for the best way to assess him with the objective lens of a soon-to-be international journalist. He was the kind of man women pounced upon at the earliest given opportunity.

With tousled, auburn hair and a profile that suggested a country gentleman returning from a vigorous hunt, the man brimmed with virility. Yet the easy interactions with his companions suggested an absence of the hunter’s aggression found in most newspapermen—charmers and otherwise. Evelyn had to conclude this man lacked a predatory bearing because he didn’t require it: unfailingly, prey fell at his feet.

Aunt Prissy waved her fan against the thick heat, sending the gentle scent of the camellia perfume she’d purchased that afternoon on Tokyo’s luxurious Ginza Boulevard towards Evelyn. “The lovely Mrs Anderson pointed him out to me at the reception for that appalling exhibit at the Tsukiji art museum. She said, ‘That’s Ned Taylor, owner of the Tokyo Daily News.’ What was that exhibit again? Oh, yes, ‘Demonic Masks in the Japanese Shinto Tradition.’ Frightening, those enormous eyes and bulbous noses.”

The woodblock prints in the Hotel Metropolis lobby came to Evelyn’s mind. A series of pictures told the story of the Americans’ arrival in Tokyo on Commodore Perry’s Black Ships. In contrast to the uniformly small, straight, and unblemished Japanese visages, the foreigners boasted ruddy complexions, hordes of unruly hair, and what Evelyn found to be unfairly exaggerated facial features. “Those masks bore resemblance to the foreigners in the lobby prints?”

A look came Evelyn’s way, and Aunt Prissy widened her eyes as she beat the air with the gold satin leaf of her fan. “No wonder we get stared at every time we leave the foreign quarter. The Japanese think we’re demons.”

The men around Mr Taylor erupted in laughter at some gem that had fallen from his lips. “Not all of us,” Evelyn murmured.

Heather Hallman writes witty, sensual, contest-winning romances set in Meiji-era Japan (1868-1912). She is the author of the Tokyo Whispers series that includes Scandals of Tokyo and Talk of Tokyo.

She is fluent in Japanese language, history, and culture, and earned a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology based on fieldwork research in Japan. She lives in Tokyo with her professor husband and two young daughters. In her free time, she can be found translating ancient Japanese poetry and observing the passing of seasons while sipping green tea. Just kidding, she has no free time. But she does watch something that makes her laugh while she does the dishes.

Perennial obsessions include the weather forecast (she checks three different apps at least three times a day, as no single app can be trusted), Baltimore Ravens football (hometown obsession), and making smoothies that taste like candy bars.

Feel free to chat her up about any of her obsessions, or, even better, about historical Japan—any era is fine, she loves them all. She also enjoys exchanging book recommendations, discussions about the craft of romance writing, and stories about life in present-day Tokyo.

Heather Hallman will award a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back again soon for more authors, books, and giveaways.


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

CLAIMING SHANDY by Author Bonnie Edwards **Book Birthday Celebration**

It's my pleasure today to welcome Author Bonnie Edwards to Notes From a Romantic's Heart for her Book Birthday celebration! Claiming Shandy is the latest story in Bonnie's Return to Welcome series.

She thought her divorce was final…

Welcome WA, where rumor, gossip, and old grudges endure long past their best before date.

Justin Camden wants his life back. His wife back. His son back. And he’s returned to Welcome to get them. Justin has a plan for the Christmas season and moving in with his ex and his boy is just the beginning.

Shandy Camden is stuck. Her big oaf of an ex-husband has finagled his way into her home for the entire month of December. He claims to want an old-fashioned family Christmas with their son. She’s forced to let Justin stay because refusing will break her son’s heart.

Slowly, Shandy sees that her ex may have another agenda. But she doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas the way their son does. Helpless and forced to live with her ex, Shandy struggles to overcome her growing attraction to the only man who’s ever left her. The only man she’s ever loved. But Justin left once and if he leaves again, she’ll never recover, and neither will their son…

When the truth comes out, Shandy and Justin may well have discovered that more than anything, Christmas is about love.

Warning: This book has lots of groveling in it. If you don’t want to read about a divorced man making things right, then this romance isn’t for you.

Click here to find Claiming Shandy at Your Favorite Retailer

Chapter One

December 1 Welcome WA

Justin Camden was no quitter. Never had been and he wasn’t about to give up now. But first he had to do battle against the dragons breathing fire in his gut. He’d never been this scared. Not even at fourteen when his dad caught him out driving his mom’s car at midnight.

He parked outside the Welcome Bar & Grill and called his buddy, Jake Morrow who was inside with a group of friends. Friends who included Justin’s wife, Shandy.

Everything he wanted to accomplish tonight hinged on whatever BS line Jake had come up with. “It’s me. I’m here. What did you tell her?”

In the background, Justin heard happy people greeting each other over the distant sound of a Christmas song. The season had begun. He climbed out of his car while he heard Jake excuse himself to take the call.


The background noise had receded, but Justin couldn’t have heard right. “What?”

“Every hotel in the area’s infested. Didn’t you know?” Jake said with a smirk in his voice.

“She’ll never believe that.” He had his hand on the brass door pull. Yanked it toward him.

“I believe she does believe me.”

He shook his head. No way. Shandy was the smartest woman he’d ever met and for the past three years, she’d been made of stone. He had to make her crack, but nonsense about bedbugs wouldn’t do it. The flame-thrower in his belly belched. Maybe he should turn around and leave.

“Plus, I told Shandy how much Brianna and I are enjoying our honeymoon period,” Jake was saying. “She can’t force you to stay with us. She has to let you stay at her place. She’ll have no choice.”

“Our place.” The home they’d bought together, to raise their family in. “You ass. Bedbugs?” He was inside the vestibule now, looking through the stained-glass partition, searching the restaurant side of the building. “I see the table.”

Jake stood a few feet away from the group. “Don’t worry, you got this,” he said, looking right at him through the multi-colored pane.

“My best and only shot.” He ended the call, plastered a smile on his face and made his way through the tables to where Shandy sat beside an empty chair. If this crazy bedbug story worked, he’d have a chance to get her angry. He needed her angry.

If she were angry with him, it was a sign that she still cared. That he could still make her feel something for him.

An angry Shandy was honest, and open. Angry Shandy was not a stone angel, cold and remote, the way she’d been for too long. He needed honest and open or his plan to return to Welcome and be the husband and father he wanted to be would fail.

Justin Camden was no quitter. He doused the flames in his gut.

Bonnie Edwards has been writing all her life, starting with a poem about Santa suffering with gout. She was seven, Santa was a thousandteen years old. Delighted with writing, she went on to write family sagas, humorous contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic paranormal ghost romances and more.

She may jump around within romance, but all her stories come with a tear, a laugh, and a happy ending. Published by Kensington Books, Harlequin Books, Carina Press, and Robinson (UK) Bonnie’s stories stretch from short stories to novellas and novels. Now, she's happy to be publishing her work herself.

With 40 titles to her credit, she has been translated into several languages and sold books worldwide. Aside from standalone romances, she has 6 romance series that include Christmas romances and beach reads. Contemporary family sagas find a home in Return to Welcome. Learn about more exciting releases and get a free romance by subscribing to her newsletter, Bonnie’s Newsy Bits.

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Thank you for stopping by to help Bonnie celebrate her latest Book Birthday. Please come back again soon for more authors and books and--maybe even--a giveaway or two!


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

LURED BY THE GHOST RAKE by Author Marianna Green **REVIEW** **GIVEAWAY**

Today we welcome author Marianna Green to the Notes From a Romantic's Heart to introduce her newest novel, Lured by the Ghost Rake, a paranormal romance. You can find all the stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Also, please remember to enter the giveaway. The entry form is at the end of this post.

When Elda Elwood goes on a visit to her actor lover Jake Reynolds’ ancestral home, she is drawn by a portrait of his ancestor, eighteenth century rake Lord Lucas Lovegrove.

She learns the tragic story behind the viscount’s marriage to the innocent young heiress Rose Ashworth.

Elda senses that the portrait has strange powers, and that the house is haunted by Lovegrove’s predatory and sexual ghost...

And what is the secret of the sinister pagoda in the grounds?

Get your copy of Lured by the Ghost Rake on Amazon
The book is on sale for 99 cents during the tour.

‘Come, my charmer.’ Fingers like icicles caressed Elda’s left hand.

She tried to pull it back under the warmth of the covers, but whoever it was kept a tight hold on it. That cold didn’t jerk her into wakefulness; she knew she was still half dreaming, and that was why she wasn’t put out that another man was in the bedroom.

Now she knew who he was. Though he had been dead for two-and-a-quarter centuries, she wasn’t alarmed. Still, she wanted to sleep, and grunted a protest.

She had been dreaming about moving through the grounds in a magical silver gilt light, and she wanted to try and drift back into that dream. Still, the melodious voice lured, though not much louder than the murmur of a rising wind rushing through a bamboo plantation.

‘You do not fear me, my sweet? Come and be mine.’

She could see him through her closed lids, seemingly both in her half-waking dream and here. This Lovegrove was like the one in the vision she had seen in the conservatory, still youthful despite his excesses.

He wore some embroidered robe of either a deep blue or bluish crimson, his form not being material enough for her to tell which. She knew it soon would be. The robe, loosely tied, was falling open, so that she could see that he was naked underneath, his bare chest revealed, the muscular definition as fine as Jake’s, the golden hairs glinting in the moonlight...

3.5 Stars

Lured by the Ghost Rake is a fun, creepy romp through an ancestral home, complete with resident ghost. The story reminded me of Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. Of course, in this case, the portrait was of a man... the infamous rake Lord Lucas Lovegrove.

While the story itself held all the markings of a gothic romance, I didn't quite connect with the characters. I couldn't get a firm grip on any of their true personalities. That didn't keep me from enjoying the over-all ambiance and the setting of the story. If you're a fan of spooky ghost romances, you will enjoy Lured by the Ghost Rake.

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse

Marianna Green lives in the UK, has a geekish fascination with English Literature and History, and an irrepressible sense of humour.

Marianna Green will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thank you so much for stopping by today. Be sure to come back soon for more authors, books, and giveaways.


Friday, January 7, 2022

BOSSED UP BY THE BILLIONAIRE by Author VK Holt *Book Blast* *Giveaway*

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we're featuring author VK Holt and her new book, Bossed Up by the Billionaire, Book 1 of the Manhattan Stories series. You can find all of the stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $25 Gift Card. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Bossed Up
//informal// to go after something/someone with determination. To put your entire soul into achieving a desired outcome

Life had dealt me so many curveballs, Struggle became my middle name.

Wouldn’t it be nice for once not to have to fight for what I want?

Enter: Mr. Perfect Stranger.

He promised me a time to remember.

I can safely vouch he kept his promise. All. Night. Long.

Trouble is, his family bought the company I work for.

And his first order of business was to remind me that I left him...

Without saying goodbye.

But that’s not the worst of it.

He wants to pick up where we left off.

Last time, I barely escaped from falling. Who’s to say that this time, I’ll be the one asking him to stay?

Bossed Up by the Billionaire is a dual POV Contemporary Romance with no cliffhanger, no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.

Get Bossed Up by the Billionaire on Amazon
The book is on sale for 99during the tour

From the chapter The Snare of a Web

And just like that, I’m in high school all over again. From the time I was born, I’ve been in the 75th height percentile. That means I’m a smidge over average. Royce Grayson towers over me. He was a big man when I met him two years ago, and he’s even bigger now.

He could do some serious damage.

And I sure as hell want him to.

"Royce, give me my phone."

His grin spells trouble. His words even more so. "That’s all I was waiting for, Sin. I wanted to hear my name come out of that damn sexy mouth of yours. I’ve been thinking about it all day." He places the phone in my palm and his slight touch lights a trail of fire up my arm.

I ignore the sensation and glance at my phone. Besides a thin crack on the left-hand side, close to the top, the screen now has a spider web of lines starting in the lower right corner and progressing to the middle in a wide arc.

Terrific. Fine. Whatever.

My annoyance with him and his kind comes out in the harshness of my tone. "Don’t call me 'Sin,'" I say, stuffing my phone in my bag. I’m going to the bar. To hell with this.

Whatever this is.

I loop my bag over my shoulder and take a step forward to brush past him.

He stands in my way. "We need to talk."

I ignore the hope blooming in my chest. It's not right. It's not right.

VK Holt has been creating stories since the age of six. An author of steamy contemporary and fantasy romance, she includes both humor and angst when writing about the strong men and the sassy women who come to love them.

If she isn’t baking, she is reading, writing or walking her Chihuahua. And drinking coffee, too. Can’t forget about that.

VK Holt will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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It's been my pleasure hosting VK Holt today. Please come back again soon for more authors, books, and givesways!