Cover Reveal: Falling in Love with a Duke

Cover Reveal for my latest release and a snippet!

Falling in Love with a Duke

Chapter One

London, 1815

“Get out!” Sebastian’s drunk bellow wasn’t as terrifying as he had meant it to be, which was a blasted shame.

“You ruined me, Your Grace!” the girl, Lady something or other, cried with a hint of a swoon that would’ve earned her a contract at Drury Lane.

Not again, Sebastian bitterly thought.

The harlot disguised in gentlewoman’s clothes had sought an introduction as soon as he set foot at the Derringer’s ball. Her brassy conduct should have been the first signal to stay away from the horrid creature, but today was the anniversary of his parents’ and sister’s deaths, and Sebastian had started drinking earlier in the afternoon at White’s and never stopped. By the time he arrived at the ball, he was three sheets to the wind and in a darker mood than usual.

Dallying with a pretty piece of muslin had sounded fun at first. Even though the flirting had taken place under the vigilant, and rather avaricious, eyes of the chit’s mother, a dowager whose name Sebastian hadn’t bothered memorize—he seldom did.

The mother’s slyness at cornering him should’ve been another warning, but again, drunkards rarely had full cognition of their condition, and Sebastian always thought himself cleverer than most. Clearly a gross misjudgment on his part. Especially after the unfortunate debacle of the previous Season when several debutantes had tried their worst to be ruined by him.

Sebastian should have learned his lesson and acted with a modicum of intelligence. After all, his friend Percy had found himself shackled, victim of a particularly determined mama who had wanted to trap a duke and caught an earl in her web instead. Whereas Percy had spirited his bride to the country and— according to his letters—seemed to relish the married life, Sebastian had no intention to follow suit.

And yet, here he was, once again having to extricate himself from a most compromising position.

Without knowing exactly how the chit and her title-hunter mother had contrived so—he remembered the matron hailing the servants carrying the Champagne flutes more than once—Sebastian had been led to a shadowy place, pressed against a wall by a girl whose hands roamed freely upon him.

“Stop this nonsense at once,” he ordered. Needless to say, his command was a waste of breath for all it achieved.

“I’ve always loved you,” the debutante proclaimed, throwing both hands around his neck.

“Don’t you dare use that word.” Her touch irritated him. What would a bird-witted girl know about love? The ones who had experienced the sentiment would never talk about it with such disregard.

“It is the truth!” She blinked her long lashes in what she must have thought was a powerful weapon in her seduction arsenal. “I love you,” she repeated. It was a mistake.

“I don’t even know your name,” he scoffed. “And I doubt you care a fig about me. My title is what you’re after.”

While being a duke had numerous advantages, it came also with the unwanted headache of attracting sycophants and reckless mamas, who would go to considerable lengths to see their daughters snatch anything above a baron.

Case in point, hurried steps and excited voices carried inside their corner.

“You’ll have to marry me.” A note of triumph colored the girl’s voice.

Very few antidotes to drunkenness worked fast but being faced with sudden marriage was one of them. In possession of his wits once again, Sebastian took the girl’s hands and gently but surely unhooked them, then put as much room between their bodies as he could muster in the narrow space.

“Listen to me,” he said, using his clipped tone he reserved for special circumstances. “And listen well. I am the Duke of Wentworth and nobody will ever dream to go against me in society. When your mother and whatever witness she has enlisted in this pathetic scheme of yours find us here, the only thing that’s going to happen is that I’ll tell everyone what you did.”

“You’re bound to do the gentlemanly thing and offer for me,” the girl spluttered. Gone were her malicious grin and aura of victory.

“See, that’s where you and your mother are wrong. I viscerally despise extortion and won’t fall prey to yours.” Evidently, they had thought he was too top-heavy and that she would succeed where the other debutantes had failed. The presumption of those greedy hussies had no limits.

The steps resonated closer. The matron’s voice filtered loud and clear as the woman steered her companions toward the rendezvous point.

“I’ll be ruined,” the girl whispered, her eyes widening in horror.

“You should’ve considered that possible outcome beforehand.” Sebastian stepped away from her, heading out to meet the group of witnesses to his planned downfall. A smile formed of its own volition on his face.

Before he could reveal himself, another set of steps, louder and heavier, entered the scene.

“Good evening, my ladies,” the low baritone of Hawk, the Earl of Hawkshead, interrupted the feminine gaggle. “Lady Derringer.”

So, the dowager had managed to involve the hostess to give credit to the charade. Sebastian couldn’t help but chuckle at the woman’s audacity and at his friend’s timely intervention.

“I hope I won’t disrupt your stroll much, but may I ask you to accompany me back to the ballroom?” Hawk asked. “I must confess I am in need of guidance navigating this beautiful and very large home, Lady Derringer.”

Sebastian repressed a snort. What a bag of moonshine. An army of footmen patrolled the halls, and they were more than capable of giving directions.

Apparently, Lady Derringer didn’t find the notion ridiculous. The earl’s handsome features and general amiability might have been the reason for her, “Not at all,” uttered with a flirtatious tone.

“But I thought I saw my daughter heading that way,” the matron hurried to say.

“Oh, but I saw Lady Carola hastily walking toward the gardens when I was leaving the ballroom,” Hawk said. “Perhaps we should go and see that she is well, Lady Winslet.”

Sebastian could barely suppress the laughter bubbling inside his chest. His friend was a genius if he had ever met one. He waited for the group to leave before addressing the girl, who was now silently sniffing. “I would count your blessings if I were you. Your reputation is safe, Lady Carola, and make sure never to follow your mother’s schemes again. Nothing but regret will come of it.” He rounded the corner to verify that anyone was about and left.

Instead of joining the throng of guests crowding the place, Sebastian went directly to the entrance hall to ask for his coach to be brought around. Hawk was already there.

“That was a close call,” his friend commented, eyes shining with mirth.

“I owe you one.” Sebastian ruefully smiled. In truth, Lady Carola owed the earl even more for having saved her from the social ruin that had marked at least two debutantes last year and sent them to exile in the country.

“The silly chit should’ve known better, but your title made her forgetful.” Hawk looked over his shoulder in the general direction of the party. “How many attempts had you this month alone?”

“This was the third.” Being a duke was trying.

“You should guard your virtue better. Husband Hunting Season has just started, after all.”

Sebastian couldn’t help but laugh out loud, drawing the other guests’ attention. “The most dangerous time of the year for the titled bachelor.”

“Indeed, Your Grace,” Hawk mocked him.

It was done in friendship, but it reminded Sebastian, once again, that he had never wanted to acquire the title so young in the first place. If only there had been an older brother, he would have been spared the trials and tribulations associated with being the heir. Not only was there no family left, but also both his parents were only children with no relatives alive. No doting grandparents to lighten his burden with soothing embraces. No cousins or meddling aunts to share holidays. No uncles to teach him the ways of life. If it weren’t for his closest friend, Sebastian would have been all alone in a world where everyone wanted something from him.

A maudlin melancholy possessed Sebastian.

“Let’s go back to White’s and have a drink.” It turned out that he had sobered up too much for his liking.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Hawk asked.

“I don’t want to dream tonight.” Sebastian didn’t need to explain further. His friend knew about Sebastian’s nightmares.

Hawk opened his arm to the side. “Lead the way.”

Cover Reveal: Falling in Love with a Duke

Hexes & Kisses from Seattle: Cover Reveal

This is the second time, and hopefully the last one, I write this post because after composing a long, and rather witty story about Hexes & Kisses from Seattle my next series’ release, I clicked on the wrong arrow and deleted everything. The lesson here is to always save, every step of the way…

Anyway, you came here for a cover reveal, and I’ll give you three because I’m nice that way.

Lavender & Cinnamon: Book One

The pastry chef witch & the billionaire dragon-shifter: Not your usual meet-cute…
So… it doesn’t happen every day that you see a dragon shifter’s junk, up close and personal. 
Well, you’d think it’s this witch’s lucky day, but nope. Not even close. In fact, this day has been disastrous so far.
But let me rewind the story for you. Hi, my name’s Aubrey, and I own Lavender & Cinnamon, the award-winning pastry shop conveniently located in one of the coziest neighborhoods in Seattle. My life’s filled with cupcake and hexes, and I like it exactly the way it is.
Yesterday, I received ominous news from Mr. Stuart, my landlord—you guessed correctly, he’s the owner of the junk mentioned before. Anyway, he wants to evict my shop to build a high-rise on top of it.
The last thing I need is a domineering billionaire who thinks he can do whatever he wants because he’s rich. Sure, the man is unbearably handsome, generously endowed (I took a good look at it) and makes me weak in the knees… but rest assured I won’t give up my shop without a fight.
PS
If you want to know more about the junk incident, you need to buy the book…

Lavender & Cinnamon: Book Two

Hi! It’s me, Aubrey, again! Lavender & Cinnamon remains open! Yeah for me! 
Unfortunately, that’s the least of my worries.
It turns out Andrew (you remember Mr. Stuart and his enormous… attitude) and I were hexed and chained together by an invisible rope. It could be worse, you might think, being him a hunk and all.
I’d agree with you if it weren’t for the small detail of the striking blonde who just entered the scene. She’s Andrew’s fiancée. What?
Did you see that coming? I sure didn’t…
Andrew better have a very good explanation for forgetting to mention he was engaged while he was enthusiastically groping me, or the chain hex will be the least of his problems.

Lavender & Cinnamon: Book Three

Where were we? Right… I’m Aubrey, the witch and pastry chef from Seattle who got hexed alongside a handsome dragon-shifter.
In the meantime, I might’ve fallen for the hunk (okay, I’ll admit I’m head over heels in love with him), and he seems to be quite smitten with me as well—which, given my sparkling personality, shouldn’t come as a surprise. 
The only problem is that both my dad and Andrew’s ex-father-in-law are vehemently opposed to our idea of happily ever after and are fighting us with fangs and spells. Plus, it would seem that our story started a few centuries ago…
But love always conquers all, right? 

Hexes & Kisses from Seattle: Cover Reveal

The Fifth Moon’s Wolf is a Kobo Indie First in Series Reads!

Howdy! Let me brag a little bit–I promise I’ll keep it short 😉 It doesn’t happen often that one of your books is chosen by Kobo for one of their promotions. So you can imagine how stoked I was when I received the email confirming that my novel, the Fifth Moon’s Wolf, was among the titles featured in the Indie First in Series Reads, UK edition. It’s a good day to be an indie author!

PS

here’s a sneak peek

The Fifth Moon’s Wolf is a Kobo Indie First in Series Reads!

Renegade Vampire

After a long hiatus from blogging, I am happy to announce I am back with news about my Immortals. Book #12 in the series, Renegade Vampire is finally out. In the last year and a half, I’ve been so focused on my publishing schedule and advertising that I forgot about popping here for an update. Since my last post, I wrote more than I could publish, I experimented with shared-world projects and collaborations, I spent money on Facebook and Amazon ads… I have learned a thing or two in the process, but the most important lesson is that I need to take it easy. So here I am, hopefully sticking to the resolution.

See you soon,

Monica

PS

If you’d like a sneak peek from Renegade Vampire, head here.

Renegade Vampire

A Vampire’s Thirst: Adrian–Cover Reveal

It’s official, in 2017 I wrote more books than I could publish, but hopefully, I’m right on schedule with my contribution to A K Michaels’ A Vampire’s Thirst series. Adrian will release January 19th, 2018, starting this new year with a personal bang, because I not only wrote the story, but I also created the covers for this brand-new series. I know I’m biased, but I really love this cover!

Vampire Thirst Monica La Porta Final

A Vampire’s Thirst: Dark, Dangerous, and Undeniable
In his two thousand years on earth, Adrian, a day-walking vampire, has seen it all and done it all, and it’s left him jaded and aloof. He governs every aspect of his private life with an iron will, but his control is threatened when he begins suffering from a mysterious thirst wreaking havoc on his mind and body to the point that he fears for his sanity.
Lavinia, a werewolf half-breed, longs for stability, something she’s never known after a childhood spent on the run from purist shifters intent on ending her kind. When she finally believes her life is set on the right path, her roommate is savagely murdered, and Lavinia is thrown into a nightmare of hellish proportions.
On the night of the Directive’s Masquerade Gala, the thirst plaguing Adrian irresistibly draws him to Lavinia, like a moth to the flame. It’s an encounter that changes their fates forever.
Fleeing her enemies, Adrian and Lavinia fight for their lives while the fiery sparks of their passion threaten to burn them to cinders.
Monica La Porta brings you book 4 in A K Michaels’ brand-new world, A Vampire’s Thirst, full of hot as hades alpha males in this smoking paranormal romance story.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon DE

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

iTunes

Kobo

A Vampire’s Thirst: Adrian–Cover Reveal

The Alpha’s Gift: A BAD Novel

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As I mentioned a few times already, 2017 has been my most exciting year as a writer. I’m pleased to say that I’m working from dawn to dusk to finish Dragon trilogy and Adrian, but I’ve never been as happy as I am now, and that’s worth celebrating with another announcement.

In the spring of 2018, my Bad Alpha Dad novel, The Alpha’s Gift will be published! A multi-author project, BAD stories are about alphas and their kids, and the women who help them deal with their fatherhood.

The Alpha’s Gift

Max Prize is a dragon shifter billionaire who thinks that Seattle is his playground. One night, a special package is left at his doorstep, and Max’s life is changed for the best.

The arrogant alpha billionaire, the unexpected baby girl & the sassy nanny who will take care of both.

And here is a snippet for you:

Prologue

Max parked his yellow Lambo in the garage of the Wild Ride Nightclub. He popped a mint into his mouth and exhaled the cold aroma slowly, savoring the bite. It was two o’ clock in the morning and the night had just started.

Chuckling at the memory of his last heated encounter, he looked at his reflection in the rearview mirror and smiled. The brunette had left a small hickey on his throat, and the skin on his back still tingled from the woman’s long nails’ attention. Her screams of pleasure had almost given them away as he slammed into her in the dark back corridor of True, one of the many clubs that were his hunting ground in Seattle. His dragon had growled the entire time, enhancing his pleasure.

Life was truly wonderful for a billionaire alpha shifter in Seattle.

His cellphone rung. He checked the caller ID with a frown. It was from his penthouse’s doorman.

“Hugo, what is the matter?” Max asked, leaning against the black leather seat. Boy, that woman had scratched her way through his back well and good, and the pain had only excited him more. He grew hard at the mere thought of her long, black nails curved in a come-hither gesture—

His doorman’s voice interrupted his pleasant wandering. “Mr. Prize, I apologize for calling you this late at night—”

“What is it the matter?”

“Mr. Prize, you should come back home,” the man said in a rush.

“I’m kind of busy right now.” Or he would be soon. Max had every intention to make his statement a certainty the moment he entered True.

In fact, he remembered two blondes in their late twenties frequenting the club for the last two or three months, and forever giving him not-so-subtle glances from the opposite end of the bar. Tonight, early morning, whatever, he had in mind to take them both back to one of the hotels he owned in the city for some fun. His dragon paced in his mind, anticipating the celebratory flight Max always indulged in after a night of pleasure.

“I apologize again, sir, but a situation has arisen that needs your immediate attention.” Hugo’s voice was somehow covered by what sounded like a wail of some sort.

“What’s happening?” Max’s thoughts went immediately to the most probable scenario. A woman had found her way to his penthouse and was now threatening the doorman to make a scene if Max didn’t show up.

“You’ve received a package…” the man’s voiced trailed at the end, drowned again by the most infernal ruckus Max had ever heard.

“What in the name of all that’s holy do you have there?” Had Hugo brought a cat to work?

“The package’s content I’m afraid,” Hugo said. “Please, Mr. Prize, hurry. I’ve already taken the liberty to call Mr. Wilson, and Grant is here with me.”

Max’s frown deepened as he swore in several languages. If Hugo had called Wilson, Max’s best friend and PR, whatever the situation was at his penthouse, it needed professional handling.

With a last, disappointed look at the club’s elevators, Max turned the engine of his sports car, shifted into reverse and let the Lambo’s roar fill the silent garage.

The Alpha’s Gift: A BAD Novel

A Vampire Thirst

Surprise Cover Blood and LogoI can’t believe that it’s fall already. 2017 has been, so far, one of my most productive years as a writer, and the best is yet to come. Among the many projects I’m involved, A Vampire Thirst sees me in the double role of invited author and cover artist, and I can’t wait to share more of it with you… but all in due time. If you wish to know more about this exciting new world created by New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author A K Michaels, pop over to the A Vampire Thirst’s Facebook page for cover reveals and snippets. My cover is up next.

A Vampire Thirst

I made it! There is a new Usa Today Bestselling Author in town

USA TODAY Bestseller BannerThe title says it all! After five years of tears, and sometimes laughter, ups and downs, and long nights spent writing, I am finally a USA Today Bestselling Author. Yesterday, the box set Creatures made the list. The Fifth Moon’s Dragon is in it alongside twenty other novels, most of them, like mine, exclusively for the set. I am giddy with happiness and barely coherent, but here you go, hard work eventually pays. Pursue your dreams with wild abandon and live at the fullest. It’s the only way, really.

I made it! There is a new Usa Today Bestselling Author in town

A Wolf’s Hunger: Kendall ~ Sneak Peek

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If you have read Ax: A Wolf Hunger Alpha Shifter Romance, you’ve already met his brother Kendall, who is dealt the worst possible hand. In the same week, he buries his father and his betrothed runs away with his brother Ax. Several readers asked in their reviews for Kendall’s story, and I listened. I don’t have a cover for Kendall yet, but here is a snippet from the book that should come out in the next month.

A Wolf’s Hunger Series

Prologue

Kendall grabbed his fishing vest from the back of the chair and headed out of his office, thanking the Goddess it was Friday and a whole weekend of much-deserved solitude awaited him.

A week dealing with the aftermath of yet another renegade attack on the Seattle Pack’s property would be enough to sap any alpha’s energies, but combine marauders with two weddings and you have the perfect storm. Kendall would’ve rather confronted murderers and thieves than doling out good wishes and smiles to the newly-married couples. The look of happiness on those faces mocked his true feelings regarding mating. Although he couldn’t prohibit people from looking disgustingly cheerful in his presence, they could, at least, show a fucking bit of respect for him. He wasn’t asking that much, was he? But no, members of his pack insisted in getting hitched and wanted the alpha to perform the ceremony.

He was already closing the heavy wooden door of his office when the phone on his desk rang, interrupting his morose thoughts. Any call coming from the landline meant business, so he lowered the handle and stepped into the large foyer, eager to start his weekend. Every month, he reserved a few days away from the pack, and only Little Wolf, his beta, knew his whereabouts. Kendall never went far—his sense of duty wouldn’t allow him to forget his responsibilities—but he was free to get drunk without anyone pitying him.

“Are you going to answer that?” Little Wolf asked from the veranda.

“It’s past five pm.” Kendall walked past his beta, who lounged on the comfortable glider bench with a cold beer handy.

“It’s still ringing.” Little Wolf looked over his shoulder.

Damned their sensitive ears and that blasted phone.

“It’ll stop.” Kendall grabbed his cowboy hat from the hook on the porch column.

“It could be important.”

“They’ll call back on Monday.” Kendall brought a finger to the brim of his hat and lowered it to shield his eyes from the afternoon glare.

The long days of summer made for good fishing and hunting trips, or just good, old-fashioned hideouts from society. A man deserved some privacy to nurse a hangover, and he couldn’t wait to start his drinking project. The vest and the poles hanging from the frame of his Rubicon Jeep were just for show.

“I don’t know about that.” His beta scratched his mane, his brow furrowed. The persistent rings cut through the peace and quiet like screeching banshees. “Did you turn off the answering machine again?”

“It’s the fucking weekend.” They had this conversation before and agreed to disagree on the holiness of Saturdays and Sundays. “The pack has priority, but the rest of the world can go—”

“I’ll go and see who it is.” Little Wolf raised his big body to his full height and stomped inside, taking a long swig from his beer.

“Suit yourself.” Kendall walked to the front of his Jeep and grabbed the bar to hoist himself up on his seat. His foot itched to press on the accelerator, but he waited until his beta reappeared at the porch. It might be important and Little Wolf would call him soon after while he was driving.

“So?” Kendall leaned out of the door-less frame, giving his friend a raised brow and added a scowl for good measure.

Little Wolf stopped under the shade of the porch, a smug smile on his large face.

“What did you do?” Kendall growled.

“I accepted Juliette Kewada’s invitation for you.”

“You did what?” Kendall purposely didn’t answer Juliette’s email about the Summer Solstice Celebration organized by the Honolulu Wolves, her pack. He didn’t want to fly to Honolulu for the weeklong party and spend the entire time fending off questions about the disgraceful end of his betrothal to Aimee.

Even though almost a year had passed since his dear brother stormed in and stole his future bride, people still felt necessary to pester Kendall with friendly advices and unrequested words of wisdom about the Hunger. No, he definitely didn’t want to hear anything else about how Ax and Aimee didn’t have a choice because the Hunger marked them as soulmates. He didn’t care about old folklore or fated mates’ tales. His heart lay broken in his chest and only darkness resided in it.

Little Wolf answered his rhetorical question with a shrug. “I couldn’t say no.” He finished his beer before adding, “She says, ‘He’s coming, right?’ and you know how those alphas are, they’re all bossy and make demands, and I says, ‘Of course. He wouldn’t miss it for the world.’”

“I’m going to have your hide—”

“Some Hawaiian diet will do you good.” Chuckling, Little Wolf winked at him. “I don’t think there’s another woman from here to Seattle that you haven’t bedded already.” Little Wolf reached down into the beer cooler to pick up another can. “You need a change of scenery.”

“And you need to find another pack and soon.” Kendall floored the accelerator and left before he would strangle his beta.

A Wolf’s Hunger: Kendall ~ Sneak Peek

The Fifth Moon’s Dragon: Cover Reveal

Dragon subtleThe High Lord of Solaria, Dragon Sol has recently returned to his planet to marry his two promised brides, but instead of savoring the pleasures of his wedding night, he finds himself fighting an enigmatic assassin sent to kill him.
A skilled mercenary, Jade belongs to the Assassin Academy and lives for the thrill of the chase, but her latest mission goes awry since the moment she throws that first arrow at her intended target.
Dragon proves to be Jade’s worthiest opponent yet, and what starts as any other mission becomes so much more, reversing the roles of hunter and prey. Before either of them can stop the inevitable, a deep connection takes roots until their hearts and not their lives are at stakes.

The First Moon’s Dragon, first book in the second Fifth Moon’s Tales trilogy series will be published in the box set Creatures, alongside 21 more novels, and it’s available for preorder for only 99 cents.

The Fifth Moon’s Dragon: Cover Reveal