Blog Tour & Review for Illicit Love by Jane Lark with MASSIVE GIVAWAYS

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Welcome to Stop Three on the Illicit Love blog tour!

Jane Lark is celebrating her first installment in the Marlow Intrigues series with a 
HUGE giveaway !
A one night stay in London's Regency Hotel
Amazon Gift Vouchers
Signed Copies of Illicit Love
Plenty of Swag


Title: Illicit Love
Series: Marlow Intrigues Book 1
Author: Jane Lark
Pages: 368
Published: May 2, 2013


‘Ellen Harding longs to be free of the life she is trapped in – her husband died at the battle of Waterloo and her family disowned her and now she lives under the reign of a cruel protector. When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines escaping her chains for a night by giving her body to him – to a man of her choosing – even if only to infuriate her captor.
But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her and her subconscious whispers that this man could save her. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her ever being free. She has too many battles to fight.
Edward is restless, lonely and a little angry with his lot in life – it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking and he cannot take his gaze off of her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes. But once he’s known her he cannot forget her – and once he’s seen how brutal her protector is, how can leave her with the man? But she will not run anymore than she will speak of her past, so how can he help her…’


For those of you that have been following my blog for some time now, will probably notice that is the first time I have participated in an official blog tour. I have had several offers, but usually the book was not something that I was interested in reading. And If I'm not interested in it, I'm not going to share it with you guys. But when Best Chick Lit contacted me about this book, I read the synopsis and knew it was a book that I would enjoy. I love historical fiction and am always searching for a new good read. 

I finished reading this book early this morning, and all I have to say is that I did not enjoy this book, like I first thought I would.. I LOVED IT!  If I could crawl inside and live in there with the characters I would. This book held me captive after the first 2 pages.  You're probably thinking, gee what could have possibly happen in the first 2 pages, well let me share:

"Every mistress and courtesan in the room had 
been watching him all evening and she was no exception."

"His head lifted and she indulged her eyes with his
severe yet perfect profile. He exuded authority. 
The man was sleek strength and sophistication"

"Light caught the jet-black pools in his eyes, as though 
he saw the pictures she was forming in her thoughts 
and his captivating smile twisted with 
implied agreement."

Good right? Proceeding these 3 quotes, lead to probably one of the best first chapters I have ever read. From the synopsis above you can tell that this book is about courtesan named Ellen, who is forced into this world after her husband tragically dies in war. She is at a gambling house with her captor Lord Gainsborough, who likes to show her off like a prized show pony. Lord G is in a card game with the gorgeous man who has caught Ellen's attention, Lord Edward Marlow, the 2nd son of the Earl of Barrington. Ellen notices that Lord G is cheating in their card game, and before Edward can lose a substantial amount of money for a 2nd son, Ellen sends Edward a signal about what is going on. Calling out Lord G on his fraud, Edward requests a couple hours alone with Ellen instead of turning him into the authorities. 

Edward is gentle and sweet to Ellen, something she hasn't known since her late husband. Edward is just as fascinated with Ellen as she is in him. Why would such a beautiful woman, who could have the security of any man she wanted, be living this life? At the same time Ellen starts wondering if Edward may be the hero she has been longing for. Edward is desperate to get to the the truth of the matter, but what if what is in Ellen's past is more than he can handle? Will Ellen let go of her self-loathing to allow Edward to help her? Pick up this amazing book to find out the answers to all these questions and to go on one heck of ride.

There were so many things I loved about this book: the adventure, the love story, the characters. And yes there are plenty steamy scenes to add the cherry on top. But what this book did for me which most books don't do, is that it made me reflect on an important topic. The story is about a woman, who is left without a home or any kind of income after her husband dies and is forced into becoming a courtesan. And while I was reading this, I was thinking about how far women have come throughout the years. How women no longer need a man to have a livelihood and are more than capable to take care of themselves. I wont go do deep into a philosophical discussion. But this is just something to think about, when you read this book.

This book gets a definite 5 out of 5! 

Read below for a character interview with our Protagonist.

Character Interview: Ellen Harding
Ellen, most of your adult life has been very difficult and traumatic. How did you get yourself though those tough times?
EH: I learned to shut myself off. I do not even like to talk of things, now. I would much rather, forget. You cannot imagine how it feels… I… Well… I do not even wish to think about the past.

When you first met Edward Marlow, did you have any idea of the events that would unfold as a result?
EH: Yes. I did. It was there from the very first moment I saw him. I think our fate was written between us from the minute his eyes looked up and he met my gaze. There is just so much strength of will, kindness and tenderness in Edward, I saw it from the first.
Lord Gainsborough is pretty despicable. Do you have any insight into his behavior?
EH: No, who can understand true brutality and evil… I never understood how one human being could choose to treat another so callously. When I had no choice, my only choice was to comply with his cruelty. I will never understand that.
A certain ‘leverage’ was held over you in order to keep you locked in your terrible circumstances. Surely a person can only take so much abuse. How much do you think you could’ve endured?
EH: You might think, I could have escaped - the door was never locked to keep me in, but then you simply cannot understand the things that kept me there. Fear is a harsh companion, and I was too used to unkindness, it never occurred to me that I could escape and all would be well, not when it was not just me who would be hurt.
I would never have left without Edward’s encouragement. I would have died, in the end. I was already dead in spirit. But who can tell how many more years, I could have endured that life for.

   Check Out Jane's New Novella Available At Amazon:Captured Love - 

 'Rupert Stanforth, Earl of Morton, is missing his cousin’s company. He has too many burdens weighing down his shoulders, including the task of finding his sister, Rowena, a husband. Meredith Divine has one friend in all the world, Lady Rowena Stanforth. She clings to their friendship as though it is a rope, when she is drowning in a lake of social isolation. Even Rowena’s elder brother cannot stand Meredith. Everyone judges her poorly, simply because her father is in trade. But despite Lord Morton’s constant rejection, Meredith’s heart still favors Rowena’s proud, judgmental brother. Lord Morton would break the friendship his sister has with Miss Divine if he could, but the more he disparages Miss Divine, the more Rowena favors the girl. He’s ceased his complaints, in the hope the friendship would wither and die, believing the girl would make a wrong step soon. He just did not anticipate what that step might be...'    

About the Author: Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional love stories. She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write. You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane's favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book that drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was 'Katherine' a story crafted from reality. Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses them to create more realistic plots. 'Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it's wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.' Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life. Check out Jane's musical inspirations HERE and HERE.  

Get In Touch With Jane:


Want To Win A Night In London's Regency Hotel?
The Regency Hotel has been kind enough to support the Illicit Love blog tour by donating a one night stay for two lucky winners this August! Located in the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington, you could find yourself relaxing in one of hotel's plush new bedrooms or sampling the delights of their incredible traditional afternoon teas.
121007_1020 121007_2003 Club
Readers have plenty of chances to win:
Either entry via the Rafflecopter below AND/OR add your review of Illicit Love to Amazon and Goodreads and email the review link to

The winner will be emailed a voucher, which can be redeemed for stays during August 2013 only. 
Giveaway closes 19th July 2013.
Win £30 (or $40) Amazon Gift Voucher! Entry via the Rafflecopter below AND/OR add your review of Illicit Love to Amazon and Goodreads and email the review link to 
Giveaway closes 19th July 2013 
UK and USA residents only. 

Illicit Love giveaways

Win One Of Three Swag Packs With Signed Paperback Copy of Illicit Love Entry via the Rafflecopter below AND/OR add your review of Illicit Love to Amazon and Goodreads and email the review link to 
Giveaway closes 19th July. 


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