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“Amelia, to be honest about my intentions, I want to court you.”

“Court me?” She stepped back.

He grabbed her wrist, as if desperate to keep her near him. His eyes impaled her, making her breathless. Was it too soon to think of always and forever with him? Had he really changed? Her heart believed so. Now, she just had to convince her head.

“I have no one to ask for permission, but you. Search your heart. I care for you deeply. I want to explore this, Amelia, but only if you do. I swear I’m ready for this.”

Her lips trembled as she stepped forward, moved by the conviction in his voice. Dare she fall in love again? The chance was worth it. “Yes.”

“Thank you.” He wrapped his arms around her, infusing her with his warmth. She melted against the length of his body, savoring the contact. It felt right.

He parted from her, placed his hands on her upper arms, and looked at her. “The feelings I have when I’m near you are nothing like I’ve had before, but–“

“Go on.” She prompted when he delayed too long.

“But I have a secret, too — a secret that chokes me when I think of telling you.”

“Anton–” A secret?

He held up his hand. “Let me finish. I promise to tell you, but I can’t right now. I can only give you clues.”


“You must accept this, Amelia. I know it may be unusual, but it’s the only way I can think of to be honest with you.”

Taken off guard, she faced him. Anton’s full lips and smoldering eyes riveted her to him. In fact, his looks were everything she was attracted to in a man, but it all came down to trust. Could she trust him? If she said yes to him right now, then she was giving him her trust, which included his secret.

“How many clues do you have?”

“Three. Once you know my secret, if you want to break our courtship, you can. I’ll understand.”

Her body shivered. Was his secret dangerous? Even if it was, did she care? A part of her just wanted to throw herself into his arms and let come what may. Another part of her told her to keep her feet firmly on the ground.



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Count Anton Varga is haunted by the curse of the moon. It tugs on his emotions, ravishing his soul. Anton abhors the beast he must learn to tame if he is to find peace.

Lady Amelia Andrassy is an accomplished pianist, but her life in Budapest has been filled with heartache. When Amelia faints in the Duma’s bookstore, it’s Anton’s strong arms that cradle her fall. His unusual eyes spark with hers, replacing their individual loneliness with the promise of feral passion.
After a two-month separation, Anton is ready to walk into Amelia’s life again, but is Amelia ready to fan the spark they shared into a flame?

5***** – A Hot Wolf – in many ways

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Stephanie Buckhart did it again. She managed to write an unusual story in a very popular genre where so many other authors have just been writing more of the same. But I shouldn’t be surprised as this is the third book by her that I read and Stephanie always pulls that off. Plus she knows how to make your temperature rise – maybe that’s so yours match Anton’s. LOL

And have I mentioned he is H-O-T? Oh yes I have. See how I got distracted just thinking of Anton? I guess I should blame it on his mesmerizing eyes. But you’ll have to read this to know what I’m talking about because I don’t like writing spoilers. All I can say is that I’ve just finish the book and I’m already missing my newest book boyfriend. *sighs*

Jokes aside The Count’s Lair is an excellent read for many reasons: well-developed and likeable characters, both the main and the secondary ones; a complex and intriguing plot complemented by engrossing subplots; an unusual and fascinating setting; and a steady pace. As a reader, these are the main things I look for in a book. As a writer, I know how hard it is to accomplish all of them. Hats off to Stephanie for keeping this level of quality in her books!

Finally, although this is Book 2 in the Budapest Moon series, it is a standalone.


B & N





Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD.  She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.  After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks.  She’s also a den leader for her son’s Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has 3 children’s books published with 4RV Publishing.









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