Monday, May 1, 2017

Out today! Broken Things: New Historical Romance from Jessica Cale

It's here! After a year and a half of living at The Rose and Crown, I am so excited to finally be able to share Broken Things with you. This book is a little different from the first three of The Southwark Saga in the respect that there is more focus on the love story (and waaaaay more sex), but I very much hope you'll like it. This one is my favorite so far, and I'm excited to hear what you think! So without further ado, Broken Things



Broken Things
The Southwark Saga, Book 4
Historical Romance
Corbeau Media
Release date: May 1st, 2017
Content warnings: Contains a great deal of profanity, violence, graphic sex, and references to rape and domestic violence.

Rival. Sister. Barmaid. Whore.

Meg Henshawe has been a lot of things in her life, and few of them good. As proprietress of The Rose and Crown in Restoration Southwark, she has squandered her life catering to the comfort of workmen and thieves. Famous for her beauty as much as her reputation for rage, Meg has been coveted, abused, and discarded more than once. She is resigned to fighting alone until a passing boxer offers a helping hand.

Jake Cohen needs a job. When an injury forces him out of the ring for good, all he’s left with is a pair of smashed hands and a bad leg. Keeping the peace at The Rose is easy, especially with a boss as beautiful—and wickedly funny—as Meg Henshawe. In her way, she’s as much of an outcast as Jake, and she offers him three things he thought he’d never see again: a home, family, and love.

After Meg’s estranged cousin turns up and seizes the inn, Meg and Jake must work together to protect their jobs and keep The Rose running. The future is uncertain at best, and their pasts won’t stay buried. Faced with one setback after another, they must decide if what they have is worth the fight to keep it. Can broken things ever really be fixed?

Broken Things, out now for $2.99

Excerpt

“I should leave,” he said. “I’ve caused you enough trouble.”

Meg blinked, aghast. “You? Gilbert’s been a twat for years. That has nothing to do with you. Damn his eyes!”

In spite of her fighting words, Meg sank slowly to the floor and screamed her frustration into her knees.

Jake sat on the floor beside her. He pulled her into his arms out of instinct, knowing too well the unique helplessness that haunted that kind of anger. She went without protesting, limp as a ragdoll against his chest.

He took a deep breath, inhaling that smoke in her hair. After years without a lover, he was amazed by how quickly he was growing accustomed to touching her. It was easy, natural. Addictive. He held her with no expectation or hope other than to give her comfort.

“What are you doing?” she asked, her voice small.

“Looking after you.”

She pulled away from him, her defenses once again in place. She stood, shaking out her skirt as though nothing had happened. “I don’t need looking after.”

“Yes, you do,” he said before he thought better of it. He climbed to his feet, his bad leg shaking. “You need looking after in the worst possible way.”

Her eyes seemed to light up the gloom of the bar and a cheeky smile curved across her lips. “Do I? I suppose you’re going to give it to me?”

Temptress. He’d only meant he wanted to help her, but if she wanted to tease him, two could play at that game. He let his gaze drift over her lush curves. When it returned to her eyes, she looked as warm as he felt. Perhaps she wouldn’t want to keep him, but the hunger in her eyes suggested she at least wanted him.

He smiled to himself. Good.

He licked his lips. “I’m going to give it to you, all right. I’m going to see to you properly and you’ll make sounds you’ve never made before. I’ll have to teach you whole new words to express the way I make you feel.”

Her lips dropped open and she blinked, stunned by his promise.

It wasn’t an empty one.

Before she could say a word, he lifted her onto the bar. He left her there while he grabbed a stool and brought it back, setting it between her legs. She leaned back on her hands, breathless. “What on earth are you doing?”

He sat on the stool and pulled off her shoes, dropping them onto the floor. “I’m giving you what you need, Margaret. Don’t argue.”

For once, she didn’t.

His hands trailed up her curvy calves and over her knees beneath her long skirt. He lingered on the warm, bare flesh at the top of her woolen stockings. Some women wore underclothes to protect their most intimate parts from the elements and wandering fingers. He still wondered if Meg was among them.

He glanced up at her, his hands on her knees. Her startled gaze gave nothing away.

Determined to make good on his promise, he rolled her stockings all the way down her long, long legs and took them off her feet, dropping them in his lap. He left one leg dangling off the side of the bar as he took the other bare foot in both his hands. Even her feet were beautiful. He’d bet money no one had ever done this before.

He pressed one thumb into her arch and she gasped.

He followed this caress with another, sliding his thumbs into all the sore places of her feet one firm stroke at a time. Her toes contracted and her throaty moan was more seductive than any other sound he’d ever elicited from a woman. He wanted to hear it again.

Increasing the pressure, he worked over her heel and the ball of her foot, gently tugging on her toes. Her eyes closed and her face contorted with pleasure. “God preserve me.”

Jake pushed both his thumbs up the arch at once and she cried out.

He smiled.

By the time he reached her other foot, she was insensible. He took his time working over the tense muscles and tendons, doing what he could to ease the twenty years of toil she held in her feet. His ached after a week at The Rose, he couldn’t imagine how hers felt. He caressed them out of compassion, gratitude, and no little lust. He touched her for the pure joy of touching her, his pride swelling with every delicious little sound she made.

Pride, as well as another part of his anatomy.

“More,” she gasped.

He smiled as he dug his thumbs into her arch. “Verder,” he translated.

She groaned. “God, yes!”

He was inclined to agree. He carefully rotated her slender ankle and pressed into her heel. “God, ja.”

Her eyes shot open and her face was flushed. She held his gaze steadily. “I’m going to come if you keep that up.”

He swallowed, the translation lost in the frankness of this statement. Would she really? He increased his pressure, willing to find out.

She bit her lip and whimpered.

Jake looked up at the squeal of a hinge, just in time to see Davey before he hid behind the door. The bastard was trying to catch them out again.

Meg sat up straighter. She had heard him, too. From the door, all he’d be able to see was Meg on the bar with a man’s face between her legs.  With a saucy look, she threw her head back and moaned as if she was on stage. “Oh, God...oh, God...yes...God, Jake!”

He knew she was screaming his name to aggravate her cousin, but that didn’t keep him from enjoying it. He wanted to hear her say it in pleasure, wanted to push her over the edge. Had she been toying with him when she had said she was close? On the off-chance she spoke the truth, he redoubled his efforts.

Just let the little twat try to charge him for touching her.

“Mother of God,” she rasped, and this time it sounded real.

Feeling more than a little cocky, he returned to her other foot and resumed rubbing.

Her eyebrows drew together, her lips fell open, and she said his name with a shudder and a sigh in what had to be the best imitation of a climax he’d ever had the pleasure of seeing. He was perilously close to one himself.

Again, Davey’s door slammed as he returned to his room upstairs, presumably dismayed to find Meg in a compromising position with the hired help. If that’s what it took to get the man to leave, he’d make Meg scream every night.

Selflessly, of course.


Reviews

“If you like romance in which the history is as rich and deep as it is accurate, and if you like well rounded deeply imagined, realistic characters with genuine issues that come to a believable and satisfying conclusion, you will love her entire Southwark Saga. This book is no exception. I can't praise it highly enough. Nobody but nobody writes about redemption as well as Jessica Cale.” - Caroline Warfield

“Jessica Cale always, always delivers some of the most incredibly intimate historical romances that I've ever read! Broken Things is written so vividly and beautifully detailed that I feel like I was transported to the year 1678. Meg and Jake may be broken things, having seen more than their fair share of the hard side of life, but they still keep up the good fight, together, clinging to the small hope for a happily ever after. A Brilliant Must Read Historical Romance!” - Romazing Reader

“I just left my heart in Southwark and can not wait for more! The historical romance setting and the separation of classes always makes this series appeal to me. Jessica Cale is an honest writer and so skilled at bringing the era to life! This book really delighted me in every way and gets my five stars! Go start this series if you haven't!” - Luv My Books

“Equal parts historical fiction and historical romance, Broken Things follows the love story of a tough as nails Englishwoman and a solitary Jewish prizefighter as they survive discrimination, poverty, thievery, and greed in 1678 London. Jessica Cale paints a vivid picture of life in 17th century Southwark. Her dialogue is colorful, witty, and well-crafted with careful consideration for the way people spoke in that time period while still giving the reader an easy, comforting read. You will cheer when our lovers find their HEA amidst all the broken things that make up their colorful lives.” - Amy Quinton


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