Blog Tour: Erica Ridley's The Major's Faux Fiancee: Review and Excerpt

The Major’s Faux Fiancée

When Major Bartholomew Blackpool learns the girl-next-door from his childhood will be forced into an unwanted marriage, he returns home to play her pretend beau. He figures now that he's missing a leg, a faux fiancée is the best an ex-soldier can get. He admires her pluck, but the lady deserves a whole man—and he'll ensure she gets one. 
Miss Daphne Vaughan hates that crying off will destroy Major Blackpool’s chances of finding a real bride. She plots to make him jilt her first. Who cares if it ruins her? She never wanted a husband anyway. But the major is equally determined that she break the engagement. With both of them on their worst behavior, neither expects their fake betrothal to lead to love...

The Major’s Faux Fiancée  is a standalone story in the Dukes of War  regency romance series, featuring roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

Release Date: June 2015
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Length: 300 pages (65-70k)
Genre: Historical Romance 
Rating: ☕☕☕☕ (4 cups)
This is the fourth book in the Dukes of War series by Erica Ridley but can be read as a standalone. This was quite a really charming story about a do-gooder, Daphne who was decided she is never to marry but instead dedicate her life to helping those needing help. However, when her father died and her guardian (who happens to be a pirate!) decided to have her married off she had no one to turn to but her childhood friend Major Bartholomew Blackpool. Bartholomew has come home from the war, a broken man both in body and spirit. Once a rarified hit with the ton with his fashion sense and rakish charm, he has now become a recluse. For not only did he lose his leg but more importantly lost his twin during the war. But one letter from Daphne has him breaking his solitude to come to her rescue. When they hatch a plot to have a fake betrothal to throw her guardian off the track until she gets her inheritance little did they know that what they thought they didn't want was the thing that they desired the most. 

Excellently written with witty dialogue, entertaining plot lines and and characters guaranteed to be well loved, The Major's Faux Fiancee is one historical romance definitely worth reading.

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Daphne could barely even hear the music over the thundering of her heart at what this moment meant to him. Bartholomew wasn’t just dancing with her. He was risking all the rejection and humiliation he’d had to cloister himself into his town house to avoid.
He was confronting his deepest fears just for the chance to waltz in the garden with her.
She touched the side of his face. “You don’t have to do this if you’re afraid someone might see.”
“I don’t care about anyone’s opinion but yours. If I fall…” His lips curved wryly as he met her eyes. “I think I’ve already fallen.”
Her heart thudded. “Then it’s fortunate we find ourselves in each other’s arms.”
“Indeed.” He lowered his mouth. Slowly. Giving her plenty of time to turn away.
She slid her fingers into his hair and lifted her lips to his. He was what she wanted.
His kisses were gentle. Tender. She didn’t want gentleness. Her heart yearned for him too sharply to be content with mere tenderness. 
Her kisses were hungry, demanding. She wanted every taste, every sensation to be seared upon her soul. If she couldn’t keep him in her arms, she would keep moments like these in her memory. Cleave them to her heart.
His feet stilled and, slowly, he broke their kiss. Their private waltz had come to an end.
She couldn’t repress the small sound of disappointment that escaped her throat… until she realized how far they now were from the ballroom. Although still and bare, the gardens’ trees and fountains provided a dark, secluded nook, sheltering them from prying eyes and the winter wind.
They were alone. Scandalously, deliciously, alone.
She didn’t think for a moment that it meant he was finally willing to introduce her to hedonistic pleasure—no matter how many nights she dreamt of just such a liaison—but she was greedy for any part of himself he was willing to share.
He led her to a stone bench and pulled her onto his lap.
Eagerly, she wrapped her arms about his neck, thrilling at the warmth of his embrace. He could have forced her to go back inside. Yet he cradled her in his arms instead. She wished she could be there forever. Her heart beat so rapidly, pressed against his.
He kissed the top of her head, the side of her temple, the shell of her ear. Letting her know he wanted more. Letting her know it was her choice. 
Of course she would choose him.
She lifted her parted lips to his. He took her mouth. Her soul. His arms were heaven. She devoured him, her tongue dancing with his. He held her closer. The heat and passion of his kisses proved the intensity of his desire matched that of her own.
Her skin grew hot. Her clothes, restrictive. She wished she could tear his greatcoat from his beautiful shoulders. Feel her mouth on his warm neck, his muscled arms, his bare chest. To taste him on her tongue and know that he was hers.
The fantasy was so intoxicating, it stole her breath. Robbed her ability to think. 
His kisses heated her flesh. All she could do was lose herself in the moment. Surrender to his mouth, his touch. 
And pray he never let her go.

The Dukes of War romance books in Series Order:

#1 The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation Nov. 2014
#2 The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower Dec. 2014
#3 The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress Mar. 2015
#4 The Major’s Faux Fiancée Jun. 2015
#5 The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride Sept. 2015

Author Bio

Erica Ridley is a USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.  

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

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