<i>Knight Protector</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Knight Protector: Exclusive Excerpt Rue Allyn "Desire raced in his heart, and his head swam." <i>Out of Nowhere</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Out of Nowhere: Exclusive Excerpt Roan Parrish "We kiss so slow it’s like melting together." <i>Follow Me Into Darkness</i>: Excerpt Follow Me Into Darkness: Excerpt Santino Hassell, Roan Parrish, J.R. Gray, J.C. Lillis and Kris Ripper <i>To Catch a Rake</i>: Exclusive Excerpt To Catch a Rake: Exclusive Excerpt Sally Orr “If not a touch, perhaps a pleasing stroke in just the right place?”
From The Blog
February 8, 2016
Can You Go Home Again in Marilyn Pappano's A Chance of a Lifetime?
Janet Webb
February 8, 2016
High Society in Kennedy Ryan's Until I’m Yours
JohnJacobson
February 8, 2016
Why Finn/Poe is the Star Wars Ship We Should All Be Shipping
Kate Nagy
February 6, 2016
Love Has No Rules in Jill Sorenson's Against the Wall
Janet Webb
February 5, 2016
Friday Beefcake: Hot Dudes Coloring Book!
Team H & H
Mon
Feb 8 2016 5:00pm

Can You Go Home Again in Marilyn Pappano’s A Chance of a Lifetime?

A Chance Of A Lifetime by Marilyn Pappano

A Chance of a Lifetime is firmly embedded in the soil and soul of Oklahoma. Calvin Street grew up there, surrounded by family and friends, particularly his best buddy J’Myel and their childhood friend Benita. Broken, bleeding, beset by the demons of war, Calvin is sent to Fort Murphy to recover from his mental wounds.

Just past the guard shack stood a statue of the post’s namesake, Audie Murphy, the embodiment of two things Oklahomans valued greatly: cowboys and war heroes. Despite being scrawny black kids and not knowing a damn thing about horses, he and J’Myel had wanted to be Audie when they grew up.

At least they’d managed the war hero part, according to the awards they’d been given.

They say you can’t go home again. What about memories, recollections, pivotal days? Calvin’s concerned, caring family persuades him to leave Fort Murphy briefly and come home for a family dinner. Calvin is stricken with grief when he looks at the portraits and candid shots covering the walls, especially one picture.

[It's a throwback...]

Mon
Feb 8 2016 4:02pm

Romance News: Make Friends with Deals from Robyn Carr, Chantal Fernando, and More

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Deal Alerts

Four Friends by Robyn CarrRobyn Carr's women's fiction novel Four Friends is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at the moment in e-book for Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBookstore, etc.* Scarlettleigh dishes on Four Friends in her First Look review.

Chantal Fernando's Wind Dragons MC novella Dirty Ride, which was released just this morning, is $.99 in e-book at Amazon, iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, etc.* If you haven't pledged yourself to the club yet, this could be a good way to get to know the players. In her First Look at Arrow's Hell, Sahara Hoshi describes the Winds Dragon MC as “more intense than the Kristen Ashley Chaos series but on the lighter side of the kind of events we see in Joanna Wylde's Reapers series.”

Kate McMurray's Jazz Age-set Such a Dance is on sale for $.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, etc.* Willaful named Such a Dance one of her best bets in male romance for October 2015, adding that fans of unusual historicals won't want to miss it.

[+a Jackie Ashenden deal & Beyoncé!...]

Mon
Feb 8 2016 2:00pm

High Society in Kennedy Ryan’s Until I’m Yours

Until I'm Yours by Kennedy Ryan

Billionaires, bombshells, and models have started to dwindle a bit in contemporary romance, yet Kennedy Ryan’s latest book makes a compelling argument for their return. Until I’m Yours is the fourth book in Ryan’s Bennett series. Ryan explores the ins and outs of high society with characters that challenge the status quo. Until I’m Yours follows a heroine that’s hardened and challenging, one that will be very familiar for fans of the previous books in the series. Ryan’s exploration of wealth, healing, and romance is exactly what you need if you like heroines with an edge.

Sofie Baston has made a career out of modeling. She’s outlasted the competition and made her status as a model over the age of thirty something to savor, especially in an industry that emphasizes youth as beauty. Her career has furthered the rift with her father, a high-powered man who wanted her to get a prestigious education and follow in his footsteps in the bourgeois elite. Instead, Sofie is proud of her body and the art it can contribute to.

Business man and entrepreneur Trevor Bishop has worked his ass off to get to where he is today. While his story of business success involves a classic dropout-from-Princeton style plot, Trevor is serious as hell about his work. His success has come from creating sustainable business models in other countries that encourage their individual agency and methods. Trevor Bishop is a good man who’s made it big—and when he sees Sofie Baston modeled on a billboard, he’s a man with a new mission in mind.

[And so are we...]

Mon
Feb 8 2016 11:45am

“It Suits You”: Embrace the Foe (Finn/Poe) in Star Wars

Foe Star Wars Finn and Poe plus Rey

Star Wars: The Force Awakens burst into theaters in December to near-universal acclaim. After the pretty but somewhat lackluster prequel trilogy, fans celebrated the return of iconic characters such as Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Chewbacca; the introduction of an unusually complex and layered villain in the brooding (and hair-tossing) Kylo Ren (Adam Driver); and the emergence of a strong, brave, and altogether compelling heroine in Daisy Ridley’s scrappy Rey.

Of course, by the end of the first screening, enough fanfiction to wallpaper the inside of Starkiller Base had already been produced, much of it involving—naturally—Rey and her mysterious origins. Other stories paired Rey with various men in the Star Wars universe, including both Kylo Ren and her likely eventual love interest, soulful ex-Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega). But another potential pairing has sparked many imaginations: that of Finn and cocky, magnetic Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).

[Finn and Poe plus Rey ...]

Mon
Feb 8 2016 9:30am
Excerpt

Knight Protector: Exclusive Excerpt

Rue Allyn

Knight Protector by Rue Allyn

Blackmailed into marrying her family’s enemy, then swiftly widowed by illness, Lady Sorcha Marr must take charge of a clan she hates as much as they hate her. But fate intervenes in the form of her husband’s twin—the man who betrayed her and led to her downfall.

Sir Colin Marr fled his Highland home in disgrace, believing he would never again see the woman he loved. Returning a decade later to root out Scottish traitors who have infiltrated his family stronghold, he must persuade Sorcha to set aside her hostility and treat him as her husband in his brother’s place. He needs the cover not only to save Scotland but her inheritance his resentful clan would gladly confiscate.

Has fate set them up to even an old score, or is it giving them a new shot at learning to trust … and love?

Get a sneak peek at Rue Allyn's Knight Protector (available February  15, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Sir Colin Marr swallowed, then wiped sweaty palms on his breeches and approached the stone bench where sat the only woman who could tie his tongue in knots. He had long imagined finding Lady Sorcha alone within the walled herb garden of his home – her smile beaming, her Mackai gray eyes dancing with mischief and delight at his presence.

But that was a fantasy. In reality, a quiet smile played on her lips, and her eyes were closed. She daydreamed he knew, nae of him but of his twin brother, Brice, while his father and her parents finished negotiating the betrothal pact for her marriage to his older twin.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt...]

Mon
Feb 8 2016 8:22am

Good Grammar Could Save Your Date?

Talk Dirty to Me by Dakota CassidyAccording to a recent Elite Daily article, good grammar won't guarantee your date goes well, but bad grammar—or use of words like girls instead of women—might certainly derail it. 

What do you think? Since we're all readers, does grammar affect any of our romantic decisions, do you think? 

And in romancelandia, do you like an articulate hero who knows how to use a semicolon, or do you prefer a man of few words?

Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Mon
Oct 26 2015 10:15am

Downton Abbey 6x06 Recap: A Kiss to Build Our Dreams On

Editor's Note (1/31/16): This article is being repromoted in honor of Downton Abbey 6x06, airing tonight on PBS in the U.S.

Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another (final, sob!) year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 6 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 6 on January 3, 2016. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 6, Episode 6. Enjoy!

This was a relatively “actionpacked” episode, so I’m going to get right to it.

The episode opens with Molesley passing out flyers in the village inviting everyone to visit the Abbey in support of the “Hospital Trust.” Back at the house, a very wan-looking Robert is adamantly against the whole scheme, but Cora reminds him that Mary and Tom have made the decision to do this, and that’s that! Downstairs, Mr. Carson is also (predictably) against the idea of having strangers traipse through the house. He’s worried about one of them “slipping the odd first edition into their back pocket!” Mr. Bates is also baffled by why people would pay money to come see the house. When Anna asks him whether or not he’d pay six pence to see the private quarters of the king and queen, he replies that it wouldn’t really tell him anything other than the fact that the royal couple sleeps in a bed and eats at a table. Thomas, on the other hand, says that he’d be curious to see the lives of those who are “having a better time” than he is. This is when Mr. Carson chimes in:

[Let us guess, not in favor of opening the house?]

Sun
Feb 7 2016 10:00am

First Look: Molly McAdams’ To the Stars (February 9, 2016)

To the Stars by Molly McAdams

Molly McAdams
To the Stars (Thatch #2)
William Morrow / February 9, 2016 / $14.99 print, $4.99 digital

In the second standalone book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was two and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

After reading To the Stars by Molly McAdams, I laid in bed with my eyes open trying to process everything that just happened. So bear with me folks, as I muddle through this review. Not because the book was bad or that I didn’t like it–quite the contrary. But I need to be honest–as important of an issue domestic violence is, it’s still a hard read.  

[Real issues and an unforgettable love triangle ...]

Sat
Feb 6 2016 4:00pm

Love Has No Rules in Jill Sorenson’s Against the Wall

Against The Wall by Jill Sorenson

The eternal allure of the bad boy, especially a bad boy trying his damnedest to make good, is a trope that never falls out of fashion. Eric Hernandez is coldly analytical about the restrictions imposed on his life after being released from prison. He’s not exactly “free” because of the rules and regulations that govern his choices every day. Where he lives, what he does, with whom he associates … it’s all codified. What isn’t controllable is the feeling he has for the one person that is imbedded in his heart, Meghan Young. When his sister April and her husband Noah throw a welcome-home party after his release, Meghan is on Eric’s mind.

Meghan won’t be happy to see me. The last time I saw her, when she’d visited the jail where I was processed, I said a lot of nasty things to her. I said she was an easy lay, that I’d had better, that I didn’t care for her.

Lies.

Noah doesn’t seem mad at me for disrespecting his little sister, so I’m assuming she didn’t share the details of our breakup.

Life moved on during the three years Eric was in prison. Meghan has a new boyfriend, rich, handsome, athletic, but he’s also a guy who’s used to having his girlfriends “fall in line,” especially if they’re live-ins.

Our relationship hit the skids as soon as I moved in with him. Then he stopped pursuing me and started trying to control me. It’s almost as if he considers me his property now that I live in his apartment. He seems to want a maid, a cook, and blowjobs on demand. I wouldn’t mind taking care of his needs if he returned the favor.

[Love has no rules and sometimes you need a do-over ...]

Sat
Feb 6 2016 2:06pm

Man Seeking Better Half: Sleepy Hollow 3x09 Ichabbie Heart-to-Heart

Ichabod, Jenny, and Joe in Sleepy Hollow Season 3, episode 9Show/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 9, “One Life”
Ship(s): Ichabod/Abbie (Ichabbie), Joe/Jenny (Joenny)

Ichabod and Abbie aka Ichabbie relationship tracker graphic for Sleepy Hollow 3x09For a show as dependent on the chemistry of the leads as Sleepy Hollow, coming back from a mid-season break with an episode featuring only one half of the pair can be a gamble. It’s been a month since Abbie disappeared, and Crane is desperate enough to steal the jug Orpheus used to get back Eurydice from the underworld. Sure, the spell is best used immediately after the disappearance, but this is Crane we’re talking about. Think he's going to let a little thing like that stop him from going after his Lieutenant? Not a chance. Jenny insists she and Joe are in on this, too. If Crane burns out, he's no good to them, or to Abbie. Let them carry the ball for a while.

Once Joe and Jenny depart, Crane gives the jug spell a shot, and...nothing. His stifled sob of disappointment soon gives way to something else—he'd like to know why Sophie is following him. To her credit, she does have a good answer. Crane is a person of interest in Abbie's disappearance. Is he being charged? No? Then kindly leave him alone, thanks.

[Crane without Abbie makes no sense...]

Sat
Feb 6 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

Out of Nowhere: Exclusive Excerpt

Roan Parrish

Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish

The only thing in Colin Mulligan’s life that makes sense is taking cars apart and putting them back together. In the auto shop where he works with his father and brothers, he tries to get through the day without having a panic attack or flying into a rage. Drinking helps. So do running and lifting weights until he can hardly stand. But none of it can change the fact that he’s gay, a secret he has kept from everyone.

Rafael Guerrera has found ways to live with the past he’s ashamed of. He’s dedicated his life to social justice work and to helping youth who, like him, had very little growing up. He has no time for love. Hell, he barely has time for himself. Somehow, everything about miserable, self-destructive Colin cries out to him. But down that path lie the troubles Rafe has worked so hard to leave behind. And as their relationship intensifies, Rafe and Colin are forced to dredge up secrets that both men would prefer stay buried.

Get a sneak peek at Roan Parrish's Out of Nowhere (available February  29, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

I’ve been remembering things lately. There was this kid I knew in middle school. Charlie Lancaster. He was kind of strange, always talking about morbid stuff like death and skeletons and plagues. But after Mom died, all the things he was talking about kind of made sense to me.

His parents had been killed in a car crash when he was ten, and he managed to sit with me and talk and not spout a bunch of shit about how sorry he was for me. Useless comments that made me want to scream and punch people right in their weepy, sympathetic mouths. Instead, Charlie and I talked about what it meant for someone to suddenly cease to exist. About the space someone can leave behind.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt...]

Fri
Feb 5 2016 5:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Hot Dudes Coloring Book!

Football Player from Hot Dudes Coloring Book

It's Friday and while adult coloring books are all the rage, we're happy to take a break today and share with you our own adventures with the Hot Dude Coloring Book. Like a proud parent, we're here to post our coloring exploits! We hope you like the pages, and have fun coloring in your own hot dudes! 

[Let the coloring begin...]

Fri
Feb 5 2016 4:33pm

Romance News: A Simply Sexual Deal and More

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Deal Alerts

Simply Sexual by Kate PearceKate Pearce's first erotic House of Pleasure novel, Simply Sexual, is currently on sale for $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBookstore, etc.* If this book lights your fire, read JenniferPorter's 2015 piece “Hotter Than a Crowded Ballroom: Kate Pearce's Erotically Charged Writing” for more reading suggestions to suit your mood.

Carrie Ann Ryan's tattoo-artist-hero romance Delicate Ink, first in the Montgomery Ink series, is FREE in e-book for the moment at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, etc.* Donna Cummings wrote about the appeal of tattooed romance heroes in her 2011 article “Marked by Love,” if you're looking for more men with ink. 

Tasty Morsels

In more Fifty Shades Darker movie casting news, Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows) will portray Leila Williams, one of Christian Grey's exes. Last week we learned that Kim Basinger joined the cast as Elena Lincoln.

*We don't know how long deals will last, so get 'em while you can!

Fri
Feb 5 2016 2:30pm

Cover Friday: Exclusive Reveals from Lora Leigh and Susan Donovan

Today we're thrilled to reveal covers from Lora Leigh and Susan Donovan. Leigh is giving us another hot novel from her Men of Summer series.

In Dirty Little Lies, Grace is Zack's wildest fantasy that has just become his reality, but the relationship may be a dangerous choice. 

Susan Donovan is ending her Bigler, North Carolina trilogy with Stealing Taffy. Tanyalee “Taffy” Newberry is out of rehab and before she knows it, she's having a smoking night with Special Agent Dante. In honor of the trilogy's conclusion, I Want Candy and Cheri on Top are being reissued.

[Learn more about the books and check out the amazing covers ...]

Fri
Feb 5 2016 1:15pm

Ready to Play: Football Highlights from Burton, Callihan, Stacey, and More!

Unexpected Rush by Jaci Burton

Super bowl looms ever closer and it’s time to make a confession.  It’s time to confess that we love the game as much as our men.  We just love those players in their uniforms with their tight pants and their fanny pats.   Those hot men in uniforms catching the football with those big strong arms.  Admit it ladies, that’s why there are so many series featuring gorgeous football players that we want to huddle with ourselves.

Jaci Burton has given us plenty to hot hunks to play with in her Play by Play series.  This series features brothers from both the Riley family and the Cassidy family and their teammates.   While some of her heroes might have chosen to play those more girly games like professional hockey and major league baseball, Jaci Burton keeps bringing us back to those massive men of football.  In her upcoming release, Unexpected Rush, Barrett Cassidy plays for the NFL, unless his twin brother Tucker “Mr. Perfect Game” Cassidy.  Barrett knows that there is no better game than football and no more important Guy Code than don’t touch your buddy’s sister.  Barrett might a success in the game of football, but can he keep from breaking the Code when the temptation is too great.

[More Football romances for Superbowl 50 ...]

Fri
Feb 5 2016 12:01pm

“I Swear Fealty to You”: The 100 3x03 Bellarke & Clexa Heart-to-Heart

Lexa and Clarke face off in The 100 Season 3 episode 3, Ye Who Enter HereThe 100 Season 3: That's the dream. And now it's a reality, too. Welcome to H&H's weekly romance-focused episode reviews dedicated solely to tracking the Bellamy/Clarke and Clarke/Lexa relationships, with reactions from two very different perspectives: Camp Bellarke (Heather Waters & Jennifer Proffitt) and the Clexa Cabal (Phoebe Chase & Angela Craft). If this show has taught us anything, it's that this is going to be one wild ride, so buckle up!

Show/Episode: The 100 Season 3, Episode 3, “Ye Who Enter Here” (SPOILERS for this episode ahead, natch)
Ship(s): Bellamy/Clarke (Bellarke), Clarke/Lexa (Clexa)

Clarke/Lexa aka Clexa captain's log relationship tracker graphicClexa Cabal

Can you feel it, Clexa Cabal? Can you feel the DEFCON1 UST? (That's unresolved sexual tension for those not down with romancelandia acronyms.) As a grown woman of almost 50 years and a suburban mother of three, I was on the edge of my seat this entire episode. Right from the opening scene, Clarke and Lexa are throwing down and diving right into the Big Betrayal at Mt. Weather. You know who does that? People that have strong, intense feelings for each other, that's who. 

Lexa defends her decision and tells Clarke that she would have done the same to save her people. These two women have so much in common, are so similar at their core. Lexa sees it, but Clarke isn't ready to admit it. The many, many close-ups of both actresses during these scenes shows just how good they are. The emotions and things being left unsaid were so evident in their faces.

[More Clexa thoughts + Bellarke recap...]

Fri
Feb 5 2016 11:20am

Will Meemaw Approve?: The Big Bang Theory 9x14 Shamy Heart-to-Heart

Show/Episode: The Big Bang Theory Season 9, Episode 14, “The Meemaw Materialization”
Ship(s): Sheldon/Amy (Shamy), Raj/Emily

TV Recap The Big Bang Theory 9x14 Sheldon and Amy Captain's Log

February sweeps start off with the two remaining Big Bang bachelors caught between two women, in very different ways. While Raj’s chance encounter with a fellow Frozen fan in the comic book store leads to a moral dilemma, Sheldon is the one in most immediate danger, as he finds himself playing referee when Amy and his Meemaw meet. Oh, sparks are flying, for sure, but are they the kind anybody wants? Let’s take a look.

We’ll get Raj’s potential triangle out of the way first, because big things happen when Amy and Meemaw collide. One of the friendly arguments over geeky minutiae that Raj and Howard do so well gets an unexpected third opinion when Claire, a fellow patron, takes Raj’s side. We have introductions, we have a little banter. Claire is a bartender-slash-screenwriter whose attractive exterior covers a few quirks that aren’t that too far removed from Raj’s own. He follows up with a similar introduction, which delights Claire. She’d love to get together with him and pick his brain, because she’s writing a science fiction film for children. Raj would love to help, and takes her number...which is when Howard has his. Is Raj going to tell Emily about this? Emily, Raj’s girlfriend? Umm...good question.

[The Big Bang is about to turn into a Bang! ... ]

Fri
Feb 5 2016 9:30am

Habeas Corpus: Emma Chase’s Appealed

Appealed by Emma Chase

When it comes to Emma Chase’s Legal Briefs series, she saved the best for last. And with the friends-to-lovers turned enemies-to-lovers, ugly-duckling-turned-beauty, and reunited-love tropes all working together seamlessly, there’s a lot to love about Kennedy and Brent in Appealed. Everything, in fact.

This is all about history. And Kennedy and Brent’s is so rich it fuels the whole story and gives it weight. But there’s a lot of resolution due after a bad parting years ago, and the perfect backdrop is the courtroom where, poetically, Kennedy and Brent face off as prosecutor and defense attorney and it all becomes about so much more than just a case. Soon they’re sparring outside of work, and when they take it to the bedroom, it’s fiery. The banter is always there, always hilarious, every exchange on point, even as the dynamic shifts because Brent’s in it for good this time and he’s out to prove it.

“But—whether we want to talk or not, it looks like I need to lay some ground rules.” My gaze burns into hers and my voice is almost as hard as my dick. “Rule number one—you don’t set one pretty toe out of my bed without waking me up first. Ever.”

I lean in and skim my nose up the delicate line of her neck, then I drag my tongue down the same path to her pulse point—wrapping my lips around it and sucking—hard enough to leave one bitch of a mark.

But… that’s the price she pays.

“I jerked off twice in the shower,” I hiss against her skin. “And I was still hard as a goddamn rock watching you in court.”

[Whoa Sir! You really are feeling me ...]

Fri
Feb 5 2016 8:13am

Me Before You Support Group

Was anyone else totally gutted on the trailer of Me Before You? On Wednesday we were talking about the perfect casting of Emilia Clarke, but seeing these two in action brought out literally every feeling we have. It hurt SO GOOD. 

Now... discuss! Have you read the book? Will you be seeing the movie? Were you already sobbing over the trailer?

Let us know in the comments (and for those of you who haven't read the book, the comments may get spoiler-y)!