Blog Tour: The Wicked Quills of London by Eva Leigh #Giveaway

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FOREVER YOUR EARL
The Wicked Quills of London Book One
Eva Leigh
Released Sept 29th, 2015
Avon Books
Eleanor
Hawke loves a good scandal. And readers of her successful gossip rag live for
the exploits of her favorite subject: Daniel Balfour, the notorious Earl of
Ashford. So when the earl himself marches into her office one day and invites
her to experience his illicit pursuits firsthand, Eleanor is stunned. Gambling
hells, phaeton races, masquerades…What more could a scandal writer want than a
secret look into the life of this devilishly handsome rake?
Daniel
has secrets and if The Hawk’s Eye gets wind of them, a man’s life could be at
stake. And what better way to distract a gossip than by feeding her the scandal
she desperately craves? But Daniel never expected the sharp mind and biting wit
of the beautiful writer, and their desire for each other threatens even his
best laid plans.
But
when Eleanor learns the truth of his deception, Daniel will do anything to
prove a romance between a commoner and an earl could really last forever.
Excerpt-Banner
 

Chapter One

“Though London presents itself to the world as the apotheosis of all that is moral and upstanding, it might shock our readers to learn that the appearance of virtue can be a very clever disguise.  It is the opinion of this humble periodical that wickedness and deception are far more common than our readers may apprehend. Thus the necessity of this most respectful scrap of writing—that we may, through the revelation of the scandalous activities of our Town, provide necessary guidance.  But leading a life of probity may be difficult, especially when presented with temptation…”

                                                            —from The Hawk’s Eye, May 2, 1816

London, 1816

 

A man rich in wealth and scandal walked into Eleanor Hawke’s office.

Eleanor was no stranger to scandal. Anything immoral, disreputable, shocking, or titillating made its way into the pages of her newspaper—particularly if it involved the wealthy and elite of London Society.  She detailed all of it for her thrice weekly publication, The Hawk’s Eye.  Nobody wanted to read about ordinary shopkeeper Mr. Jones who might or might not be spending time with the humdrum widow Mrs. Smith.

No, The Hawk’s Eye sold strictly on the basis that it published the latest scandalous doings of Lord This and Lady That.  All, of course, under the pretense of decrying the lack of morals in this fair city, and that these lurid activities ought to serve as object lessons to the young and impressionable.

And it was Eleanor’s job as owner and publisher to see to the moral education of London.

Which was utter rubbish, naturally.

But scandal put bread on her table and kept the rain off her head, and she readily immersed herself in it—the spirit of free enterprise, and all that.

Still, when Daniel Balfour, the Earl of Ashford himself walked into the offices of The Hawk’s Eye on a Wednesday afternoon, blocking the gray light as the door opened and closed, it was both shocking and inevitable that he should do so.  Unsurprisingly, he clenched several copies of her paper in his hand.

Lord Ashford marched through the cramped warren of rooms, writers’ heads lifting from where they bent over their desks to watch in open-mouthed amazement as he passed.  Eleanor’s private office lay at the end of the corridor, giving her an ample view of the scene as it played out before her.

The earl stopped in front of Harry Welker’s desk.  The young writer stared up at the Lord Ashford, the men separated not just by the expanse of battered oak, but circumstance and birth.

“H…how might  I help you, my lord?” Harry asked, his voice cracking.

“Tell me where Mister E. Hawke is.”  Lord Ashford had a deep voice, rounded by generations of excellent breeding and noblesse oblige.

Mister Hawke, my lord?” patent confusion in his voice.

Lord Ashford pointed to one of the papers he carried. “It says here that The Hawk’s Eye is owned and published by one E. Hawke.  Where will I find him?”

“Nowhere, my lord,” Harry answered.  “There’s no Mister Hawke here.”

The earl scowled, clearly not used to being denied.  “This scurrilous rag cannot publish itself.”

“It doesn’t,” Eleanor announced, setting aside her quill and standing.  “If you’re looking for Miss Eleanor Hawke, I’m right over here.”

Lord Ashford looked directly at her, and for the first time, she had a sense of what a rabbit might feel like when sited by a wolf.  But she wasn’t the only one at a disadvantage.  The earl couldn’t hide the shock in his expression when he discovered that the publisher and owner of the paper was, in truth, a woman—which gave her a small measure of gratification.

He turned from Harry without another word and walked straight toward her.  And she could only stand, pinned by his gaze, as he approached.

The closer he got, the more she realized how dangerous the earl was.  Perhaps not in the traditional sense—though she’d heard and written about the duels in which he’d fought and won—but certainly in the realm of masculine allure.  Her few times seeing him were from a distance: the theater, the races, at a public assembly.  She knew him by sight, but he didn’t know her, and they’d never met.  And in those instances her vision had been good enough to recognize that he was a fine specimen, well-formed, handsome—everything a rich and notorious nobleman should be.

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SCANDAL TAKES THE STAGE
The Wicked Quills of London Book Two
Eva Leigh
Releasing Oct 27th, 2015
Avon Books

 

 
Successful playwright Maggie Delamere
has no interest in the flirtations of noblemen like Cameron, Viscount Marwood.
She once paid dearly for a moment of weakness… and vows to rebuff the wildly
persistent-and irritatingly handsome-scoundrel at every turn. But when pressure
to deliver a new play hampers her creativity, an invitation to use his country
estate as a writer’s retreat is too tempting to resist…
For years, Cam has admired Maggie’s
brilliant work and he can’t pass up the opportunity to discover if the
beautiful, mysterious playwright is as passionate and clever as the words that
flow from her quill. He’s never offered a lady his bed without being in it, but
if it means loosening Maggie’s pen-and her inhibitions-he’ll do exactly that.
But soon Cam’s plans for seduction
become a fight for Maggie’s heart. He’s more than the scandalous, carefree rake
society believes him to be… and she’s the only woman who has ever noticed.
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EVA LEIGH is the pen name of a RITA®
Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and
sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from
the ‘80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.
 
 

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

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