Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Au Pair and the Beast by Aurora Russell

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Au Pair and the Beast by Aurora Russell. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a guest post from the author. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Au Pair and the Beast
Author: Aurora Russell
Publication Date: February 23rd 2021
Print Length: 205 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Veronica’s new job comes with a darling little boy, a Gothic castle and…a beast?

When recently laid-off Francophile Veronica Carson is recommended for an au pair job by the elegant leader of her French conversation group, she isn’t sure what to expect—but a Gothic castle deep in the wilds of Maine is certainly not it. Still, she’s drawn in by her joyful little charge, Jean-Philippe, and even more drawn to his brooding father.

Ruthlessly successful businessman Alain Reynard has loved before and has no wish to repeat the painful experience. The tragedy of his recent past is still fresh in his mind, and he wants nothing to do with his son’s lovely new au pair. Despite his best efforts, though, he can’t seem to get her off his mind.

A passionate romance begins to blossom but is put to the test when painful reminders of Alain’s past return. As ugly rumors swirl, the truths of the past and the present collide. Veronica must decide if Alain really is a beast and, if so, whether she can love him enough to break through the dark memories and secrets that tether him to what once was.

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EXCERPT:
Alain’s look was inscrutable as he spoke to her. “I’m sorry. We’ve really continued to keep a totally French household, so Jean-Philippe hasn’t felt like things have changed much from one home to another, but…there are certain inconsistencies between us and American societal norms.”

Veronica shook her head, feeling bad that this was becoming such a big thing, when really, it was a very normal part of daily French life. It was certainly of no consequence to Alain, so why should it be to her? “Not a problem. I, ah…don’t mind.” She felt her cheeks burn hotter as she realized how that had sounded, so she hastened to explain. “I mean, I got used to being kissed when I was studying in Paris.”

Alain raised one dark eyebrow. He didn’t smile, but his eyes were amused. “Indeed?”

“Not…like that. It’s just that all my friends—older men, younger men, everyone—kissed me,” she stammered. “Women too, of course.”

Now Alain’s lips twitched, and Veronica realized she’d made it even worse.

She took a step closer. “I, ah…just go ahead,” she said, sticking her face forward and closing her eyes. Her heart pounded a deep tattoo in her chest.

She expected a quick, businesslike press of his cheek to each of hers, with an air kiss, but instead she felt his large, warm hands on her shoulders as he slowly kissed one hot cheek, then the other. His lips were incongruously soft. Before he stepped back, he said quietly, “I don’t mind, either.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aurora is originally from the frozen tundra of the upper-Midwest (ok, not frozen all the time!) but now loves living in New England with her real-life hero/husband, two wonderfully silly sons, and one of the most extraordinary cats she has ever had the pleasure to meet. But she still goes back to the Midwest to visit, just never in January. She doesn't remember a time that she didn't love to read, and has been writing stories since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has always liked the romantic scenes best in every book, story, and movie, so one day she decided to try her hand at writing her own romantic fiction, which changed her life in all the best ways.

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GUEST POST:
The Most Romantic Place I Have Ever Visited
by Aurora Russell


Since my latest book, The Au Pair and the Beast, has a French hero and is set in Maine, and I also have a series of books, my Anywhere and Always series, about a powerful French-Canadian family which has a variety of settings including Mexico, Montreal, Boston, and Vermont, with more to come, I feel like I should answer this question with any of those locations, and certainly somewhere people speak French. To be fair, I absolutely love Quebec, New England, and everywhere I have traveled in France (except for maybe the random empty sports stadium that I accidentally ended up at once due to a horrible misreading of the Paris Metro signs). However, I am going to totally go in another direction and answer with two cities as the most romantic places that I have ever visited: Venice, Italy and Salem, Massachusetts.

Venice, Italy:
Venice isn’t just romantic. Venice is romance itself. With narrow streets and pathways, the unique quiet born of the lack of motorized vehicles and the constant, soothing sound of the water lapping at the stones…I can honestly say that I have never been anywhere else like it. Even the light seems different in Venice – softer, gentler, more golden.

The first time I visited, I thought maybe I was just caught up in the beauty and novelty of it. Afterward, I thought I must have exaggerated it in my memory. Then I had the chance to go back, and it was still just as magical as I remembered. People of Venice, you have an incomparable jewel in your fair city, and I would jump at the chance to return again! As I write this, I feel like I need to set a story in Venice ASAP!

Salem, Massachusetts:
Odd choice, right? Famous for a very sad mass persecution of witches, although now redeemed as a haven for witches and other people who enjoy being a bit different, Salem is a great place for history buffs as well. It’s also where I met and first lived with my husband.

There is a great coffee shop down by the waterfront where two near-strangers got coffee and began to fall in love. We walked together many times around the Common at the center of town, and along the cobblestone pedestrian walkways in the downtown area. We visited restaurants, cafes, museums, and shops. For me, Salem might just be the most romantic place in the world.
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GIVEAWAY:
Aurora Russell will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different blog stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

66 comments:

  1. I liked the excerpt, thank you for sharing.

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  2. Sounds like a great read! I like the excerpt

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  3. I like the cover. It has very nice artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  4. Contemporary Romance - I would enjoy this.
    And the cover is so romantic.
    Thank you for sharing the review.

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  5. I love the cover and think the book sounds good.

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    1. Thank you, Sherry! My publisher created such a perfect cover for this story!

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  6. sounds like a fun one

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  7. Sounds like the kind of book i could get lost in for hours!

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  8. I wish I lived in a castle, No beast though. Looks like an excellent book.

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    1. I would love to live in a castle, too! Especially this one!! Thank you so much, Paige.

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  9. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover.

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  10. I love the cover and it sounds amazing! I am french and love, love, love the title!

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    1. Thanks so much and I am just delighted...such kind words!

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    1. Thank you! I think the cover truly complements the story!

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  12. I want to know more about Alain's past and if he is really a beast!

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    1. So glad you’re interested, Tracy! I don’t want to give too much away, but he definitely has a mysterious and shadowed past...

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  13. Sounds like a good book to be squirreled away in a castle in the forest with a sweet boy and a budding romance.

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  14. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

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    1. Hi Deborah! Thanks for your question. This book took me a few months to write, interspersed with lots of trips to Maine for inspiration (and fun!). Once I started, the characters just really started to come to life!

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  16. So sorry for the delayed thanks! I was having technical issues all day and couldn’t fix them until this evening!

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  17. Nice cover. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  18. David HollingsworthFebruary 25, 2021 at 1:30 AM

    Sounds a like a steamy and intriguing read.

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  19. Love the cover pic.. great color..

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  20. Thanks for the great post. I would love to read more.

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  21. Great blog post- love finding new (to me) authors

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  22. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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  23. I LOVE what I read above! I cannot wait to read more!

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  24. Nice cover. I enjoyed reading both the excerpt and guest post.

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  25. Author, is the first or the last chapter the easiest to write?

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  26. Awesome expert with a touch of French.

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  27. Great cover for a very interesting book I would love to read too.

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  28. LAST DAY
    Thanks for the contest.

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  29. I added this to my to read list so that i can remember to read it!

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  30. a sweet and slow burn of a romance ... I so here for it!

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  31. I love the cover and it sounds like and interesting book.

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  32. Love the title and the cover looks romantic!

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  33. Not only does the book sound awesome, but the cover is spectacular as well

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  34. Sexy cover! Thank you for the giveaway, and best of luck with the book.

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