<i>Mine to Take</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Mine to Take: Exclusive Excerpt Jackie Ashenden "A subtle heat that rested on his skin like a ray of sun. Dangerous." <i>The Highland Dragon's Lady</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Highland Dragon's Lady: Exclusive Excerpt Isabel Cooper "His lean body snapped to attention and his eyes blazed with silver fire." <i>Rocked by the Billionaire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Rocked by the Billionaire: Exclusive Excerpt Mandy Baxter "He (looked) so self-possessed, so goddamned gorgeous after so many years..." Now Win <i>This</i>: Kylie Scott’s <i>Lead</i>! Now Win This: Kylie Scott’s Lead! Team H & H Enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Kylie Scott's Lead!
From The Blog
November 25, 2014
The Busybodies of Romance
Marina Adair
November 25, 2014
Gifts for Your Singular Reading Tastes
Team H & H
November 23, 2014
Mockingjay: Part 1 Belongs to Team Gale
Maggie Boyd
November 21, 2014
Friday Beefcake: NaNoWriMo Reward
Team H & H
November 21, 2014
Best Reads of November 2014
Team H & H
Nov 25 2014 6:30pm

First Look: G.A. Aiken’s Light My Fire (November 25, 2014)

Light My Fire by G.A. AikenG.A. Aiken
Light My Fire (Dragon Kin #7)
Kensington / November 25, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

The trouble with humans is that they're far too sensitive. Forget you put a woman in the local jail for a few months—and she takes it so personally! And yet she is the one trying to assassinate the queen. And now I'm trapped with Elina Shestakova of the Black Bear Riders of the Midnight…gods! That endless name!

But what am I to do? I am Celyn the Charming with direct orders from my queen to protect this unforgiving female.

Even more shocking, this unforgiving female is completely unimpressed by me. How is that even possible? But I know what I want and, for the moment, I want her. And I'm sure that she, like all females, will learn to adore me. How could she not when I am just so damn charming?

How do you keep a series relevant after so many books? G.A. Aiken seems to have the answer. Her Dragon Kin series has gone through the primary family members introduced in the series opener as well as touching on some cousins and other relatives. Light My Fire sort of brings the series home with the story of Celyn the Charming and Elina Shestakova. The romance between Celyn and Elina is hilarious, from the moment the pair meets to the time Celyn throws Elina in prison and leaves her there…for months.

[More like quench my fire, amirite?...]

Nov 25 2014 5:30pm

Sleepy Hollow 2x10 Ichabbie Heart-to-Heart: Knowledge Is Power

Ichabod Crane and Abbie Miss in Sleepy Hollow Season 2 episode 10Show/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 10, “Magnum Opus”
Ships: Ichabod/Abbie (Ichabbie), Crane/Katrina/Abraham, Katrina/Abraham (Katless)

**Reader Beware: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Sleepy Hollow, including last night's 2x10, “Magnum Opus.”**

Ichabbie Captain's Log for Sleepy Hollow 2x10We start off with some good old Ichabbie banter as a game of liar’s poker played on their phones should jumpstart Abbie and Crane’s problem solving abilities, but then (of course) Katrina summons Crane via magic mirror. If their demon spawn, Henry, finds out mommy is talking to daddy, there will be hell to pay, but Katrina had to take the chance. In two days, Moloch could take over the world. She’s a powerful witch again, how, exactly? Eh, no matter. Crane knows of a weapon that could solve everything, the sword of Methuselah, but he’ll need Katrina’s insights…except that she has to go. Big help there, Katrina. Never fear, Abbie will help Crane crack the code in Grace’s journal, and witty banter ensues. These true partners smolder in wordplay and work together like a well oiled machine.

[We ship it like FedEx...]

Nov 25 2014 5:00pm

The Busybodies of Romance from Mallery, Shalvis and More!

Sugar's Twice as Sweet by Marina AdairToday we're joined by author Marina Adair, whose latest release, Sugar's Twice as Sweet is the first book in her new Sugar, Georgia series. Sugar's Twice as Sweet's heroine, Josephina Harrington,  is coming off a bad relationship, and sees the opportunity to turn her life around by turning her great-aunt's plantation house into a destination getaway. Of course, now that Josephina's back—and finding time to hang out with golf champion Brett McGraw—the town gossips are having a field day. Marina's here to talk about the best busybodies in romance, and how they make the hero and heroine's business their business, too. Thanks, Marina!

I may have been raised just south of San Francisco, but with a Southern father and a live-in-grannie, sometimes my childhood was closer to the Clampetts then the Cleavers. In fact, Grannie Stowell was stubborn, always carried a velvet stick, and was one of the biggest influences in my life. She never missed Sunday service or Wheel of Fortune, and made a business out of knowing everyone else’s business—bless her heart. So, it is no surprise that every book I write has a nosy old biddy who lives to “acquaint” herself with the goings-on of every character in town. 

[Bless your heart...]

Nov 25 2014 4:20pm

First Look: Tiffany Reisz’s The King (November 25, 2014)

The King by Tiffany ReiszTiffany Reisz
The King (Original Sinners)
Harlequin MIRA / November 25, 2014 / $14.95 print, $9.99 digital

Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this potent threesome can raise him to his rightful place as ruler of Manhattan's kink kingdom. 

Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side—handsomely paid in both bills and blackmail fodder—Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive apathy—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin. He plans to open the ultimate BDSM club­: a dungeon playground for New York's A-list that'll change the scene forever. 

The club becomes Kingsley's obsession—and he's enlisted some tough-as-nails help. His new assistant Sam is smart, secretive and totally immune to seduction (by men, at least). She and Kingsley make a wicked team. Still, their combined—and considerable—expertise in domination can't subdue the man who would kill their dream. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won't rest until King's dream is destroyed. It's one man's sacred mission against another's….

The King is the second book in the second quartet of Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series, the quartet that revisits the early years of Soren, Nora and Kingsley’s relationships. In The Saint, Reisz told us the story of Soren and Eleanor’s formative years from when they met, up until when they consummated their relationship, all from Nora’s point of view. 

[There are three sides to every story...]

Nov 25 2014 2:45pm

Mr. Grey, Travis Family, Thor, and More: Gifts for Your Singular Reading Tastes

Captivated by You by Sylvia DayThis time of year, it's not unusual for people to gift and receive self-help books, or to listen to music that they wish was the soundtrack for their lives. Sure, those kinds of things are fine, if that's what you're into, but what if your tastes are a bit more—to quote Mr. Grey—singular? So we've got a holiday gift list that is perfect for the romance fan, depending on your...singular tastes.

You Want a Real-Life Christian Grey:

Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series. Why? Because Gideon Cross and Eva Trammell are just as dangerously addictive and sexy as Christian Grey and Ana Steele.

J. Kenner’s Stark series. Why? Because the hero and heroine in this series are more than just their effed-up personae; Kenner delves into some real issues behind the trauma.

[Need some help putting together a holiday wish list? Let us help...]

Nov 25 2014 1:00pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Sabrina Jeffries, Stacey Kennedy, and Alexis Hall!

Cover reveal for new releases by Sabrina Jeffries, Stacey Kennedy, and Alexis HallThursday is Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and today we at Heroes and Heartbreakers find ourselves grateful for not one but THREE more romance gems. We are thrilled to reveal the shiny covers for Sabrina Jeffries' The Art of Sinning (the first book in her new historical series, Sinful Suitors), Stacey Kennedy's Witches Be Burned (the second installment of the paranormal series Magic & Mayhem), and Alexis Hall's There Will Be Phlogiston (a steampunk novella in the Prosperity universe).

[Prepare to oooh and ahhh!...]

Nov 25 2014 9:30am

First Look: Sarah MacLean’s Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover (November 25, 2014)

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLeanSarah MacLean
Never Judge a Lady by her Cover (Rule of Scoundrels)
Avon / November 25, 2014 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking—in London's darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city's most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered . . . until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems, and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana's secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear . . . including her heart.

And so, the legend of Chase comes to an end. Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover is the final novel in Sarah MacLean's Rules of Scoundrels series and the identity of the ever-elusive Chase has been revealed. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book for what seems like forever. The build up behind MacLean’s latest novel has been growing to a fever pitch. Let me tell you, this book smashed my preconceived theories out of the park. This is a gripping tale of a woman who has been ostracized by society and fights tooth and nail for revenge.

[Covering up her own secrets?]

Nov 25 2014 8:03am

What’s the First Book You’re Diving Into Today?

Books from Evan Bench's FlickrToday is a huge release day, and includes some very big authors—Jennifer Estep, Sarah MacLean, Laura Kaye, Gena Showalter, Tiffany Reisz—and if you're an avid reader (and we know you are!), chances are you've got at least one, if not more, books headed your way today.

What November 25 release are you reading first? How did you make your decision? 

Photo courtesy of Evan Bench's Flickr.

Nov 24 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Lauren Dane’s Broken Open (November 25, 2014)

Broken Open by Lauren DaneLauren Dane
Broken Open (Hurley Brothers)
Harlequin HQN / November 25, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

Five years ago, Tuesday Eastwood’s life collapsed and left her devastated. After an empty, nomadic existence, she’s finally pieced her life back together in the small Oregon town of Hood River. Now Tuesday has everything sorted out. Just so long as men are kept for sex, and only sex….

Then she met him.

Musician and rancher Ezra Hurley isn’t the man of Tuesday’s dreams. He’s a verboten fantasy—a man tortured by past addictions, whose dark charisma and long, lean body promise delicious carnality. But this craving goes far beyond chemistry. It’s primal. It’s insatiable. And it won’t be satisfied until they’re both consumed, body and soul…

I have two words for you, readers: Beard action!

What I liked best about Lauren Dane's Broken Open is that it’s actually a love story with three main characters: Tuesday, Ezra and Ezra’s beard. (If beard ménage is not a trope, it should be.) Hipsterish bearded men with tats are, in the immortal words of Paris Hilton, so hot right now, and whole Pinterest boards dedicated to sexy bearded dudes have sprouted like daisies of late. Dane cleverly capitalizes on this growing beard-fetish movement by paying homage to the beard throughout Broken Open.

[Worship at the beard temple!...]

Nov 24 2014 2:30pm

First Look: Megan Hart’s Lovely Wild (November 25, 2014)

Lovely Wild by Megan HartMegan Hart
Lovely Wild
MIRA / November 25, 2014 (print), December 1,2014 (digital) / $14.95 print, $9.99 digital

Brought up in the savage captivity of her unstable grandmother's rural Pennsylvania home, Mari Calder once yearned for rescue. Now she struggles every day to function as an adult in the confines of normal society. Left with only a foggy recollection of her childhood, she's consumed with being a dutiful wife to her husband, Ryan, and mother to their two children.

But an unexpected twist of events returns her to that long-forgotten house in the woods. Soon, Mari is greeted with reminders of a past life, the clarified memories only inviting a new level of strangeness into her fragile world. To protect her family, she must find the beautiful, powerful strength hidden in her inner chaos. Because someone is bent on exploiting Mari's trauma, and as normal and wild begin to blend, a string of devastating truths force Mari to question all she thought she knew. 

Megan Hart has done it again, writing a book that gave me chills and kept me turning the page. One of the things I love about Hart’s books is that she writes strong female characters, and Lovely Wild is no exception. 


Nov 24 2014 1:15pm

The State of The Affair: We Need to Talk About Cole

Joshua Jackson and Ruth Wilson as Cole and Alison in The Affair 1x07It’s Episode 7 of The Affair and the Lockhart Ranch manure has officially hit the fan. The affair is revealed to the spouses, the Solloways leave the island, and the drug trafficking problems get worse. But before we get to that…

—Did Joshua Jackson not absolutely knock it out of the park tonight or what? My interest in this show began with his casting, and I’ve been waiting for them to really give him something to chew on and oh boy, did he deliver tonight: anger, tears, confessions, chivalry, punching out the villain…whoo boy. Romance fans, is Cole Lockhart not the quintessential strong-but-silent alpha hero with a tender heart that we all swoon over? His confession about the pain he felt over Gabriel was just heartbreaking. I ask again, how could Alison cheat on this man? HOW!? He finds out he was cuckolded and still cares enough to make sure she doesn’t get her dress dirty sitting on a Manhattan curb (a total Pacey Witter move, by the way). Damn lady! You crazy!

[You deserve better, buddy...]

Nov 24 2014 12:00pm

Mine to Take: Exclusive Excerpt

Jackie Ashenden

Mine to Take by Jackie Ashenden

First in a brand new series by Jackie Ashenden featuring the members of the Nine Circles Club—friends bound together by power, secrets, need…and the love they will find and stop at nothing to keep.

Passion always comes at a price.

Gabriel Woolf is unstoppable. A ruthless businessman, he has perfected the art of revenge. Ever since his mother’s death, Gabriel has harbored only one wish: To take down the man who ruined their lives. But all bets are off when he meets his father’s step daughter, Honor St. James. Beautiful and innocent, she is everything Gabriel never knew he wanted—and now there’s no turning back...

Is her desire worth the risk?

Honor wasn’t born yesterday. She knows that Gabriel is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, willing to cross any line to get what he wants…herself included. But Gabriel’s passion for Honor—in spite of her connection to the man he hates the most—cannot be denied…and the feeling is utterly mutual. Can Gabriel be trusted? The only thing she knows for sure is how he makes her feel. And she can’t keep herself from coming back to him, over and over again…in Mine to Take.

Get a sneak peek of Jackie Ashenden's Mine to Take (available November 25, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2.

Chapter 1

Gabriel Woolf walked into the quiet of St. Sebastian’s, his mother’s favorite church, and stopped, stamping the snow from his motorcycle boots. He hadn’t been inside the church for over twenty years but he still remembered the smell, of old stone and incense. Candle wax and piety. And guilt. Lots and lots of guilt.

Yet it wasn’t guilt that brought him here. It was a promise of the worst kind. The kind you make to someone on their deathbed. His mother’s deathbed to be exact. And there was no getting out of a promise like that. No fucking way.

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

Nov 24 2014 11:30am

First Look: Night Shift Anthology (November 25, 2014)

Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla VaneNight Shift Anthology
Penguin / November 25, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark...

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight, as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals, when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself. 

It’s seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin ’s Lucky Charms.

Night Shift is an anthology by authors Nalini Singh, Illona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane with stories that straddle two genres, Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. All of these stories stand alone, but also are set in long-standing series, making Night Shift for fans of the respective authors’ work and new fans alike.

[Come one, come all...]

Nov 24 2014 9:30am

First Look: Megan Frampton’s The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior (November 25, 2014)

The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior by Megan FramptonMegan Frampton
The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior (Dukes Behaving Badly)
Avon / November 25, 2014 / $5.99 print & digital

All of London knows the Duke of Rutherford has position and wealth. They also whisper that he’s dissolute, devilish, and determinedly unwed. So why, everyone is asking, has he hired a governess?
When Miss Lily Russell crosses the threshold of the Duke of Rutherford’s stylish townhouse, she knows she has come face to face with sensual danger. For this is no doting papa. Rather, his behavior is scandalous, and his reputation rightly earned. And his pursuit of her is nearly irresistible—but resist she must for the sake of her pupil.

As for the duke himself, it was bad enough when his unknown child landed on his doorstep. Now Lily, with her unassuming beauty, has aroused his most wicked fantasies—and, shockingly, his desire to change his wanton ways. He’s determined to become worthy of her, and so he asks for her help in correcting his behavior.

But Lily has a secret, one that, if it becomes known, could change everything.

Full Disclosure: Megan Frampton is the community manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers.

There’s no easy way to transition from being an ordinary man to becoming a duke, or so it seems to Marcus, the new Duke of Rutherford in Megan Frampton's The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior. When Marcus’s new friend Smithfield asks him, in the face of Marcus’s bellyaching about his new ducal status, “…what did you do six months ago, before you inherited? Or better yet, what would you rather be doing?” Marcus, relaxed after imbibing brandy, has a ready answer.

Disappearing. Leaving. Being free of all responsibilities and cares. Never having to answer to anyone. “I used to walk a lot, just walk. That made me almost happy.”

[It's the simple things...]

Nov 24 2014 8:00am

Best Family Romance Novels?

A Small Town Thanksgiving by Marie FerrarellaThis week, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, which is a time to return to family and reconnect with friends. It can be awesome (pumpkin pie! post-turkey naptime! seeing people you haven't seen in years!) or difficult (creamed onions! having to help wash up! seeing people you haven't seen in years!), and it's a natural time for some romances to begin—seeing that person you never quite got over at a high school reunion, or while picking up some cranberries at the grocery store.

Since it there is such a focus on family during this time, we wanted to ask you what your favorite family-based romance novels are. What warms you up during this time of year?

Nov 23 2014 3:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Have an Alien Blast with Roswell’s Max/Liz

Jason Behr and Shiri Appleby in Roswell 1x01, PilotAs the couple that first inspired me to seek out fandom, Roswell's Max and Liz will always hold a special place in my heart. I mean, I. Was. Obsessed. I had a GeoCities site devoted to them (R.I.P.). Made my parents stop in Roswell, N.M., on our trek to the Grand Canyon. Had every episode of the series recorded on VHS. Can still to this day quote most of the pilot episode. THAT kind of obsessed. Why?

Their story grabbed me from that very first scene, in which Liz is accidentally shot in her parents' diner and Max uses his secret magical alien healing powers to heal her, all set to Sarah McLachlan's “Fear,” of course, because this was 1999. Now, can is that the most romantic thing ever, or is it the most romantic thing ever? Their lives are changed forever, and then their bond gets EVEN deeper when Max lets Liz see inside of his mind (as he'd uninentionally gotten into hers while he healed her) and she discovers that he's loved her from afar since they were kids. SWOON! I was a goner. Thirteen-year-old me wanted to be Liz Parker and marry Max Evans, let's just say that.

Unfortunately, the show got REALLY weird in late Season 1 and never recovered, in my eyes (I'm sure others would beg to differ), but it still had its moments (like Season 2's “The End of the World,” in which Liz learns Max's love for her could DESTROY THE WORLD, oh the ANGST!) and I stuck with it until the very end and was very very pleased with my beloved pairing's HEA in 2002.

Did you watch the show? Did you ship Max/Liz, or were you a Michael/Maria fan? What are your favorite episodes? Now I want to go rewatch a few, like the solid-gold “Pilot,” “Leaving Normal,” “Heat Wave,” and “Blind Date.”

[Max/Liz picspam, here we come...]

Nov 23 2014 12:05pm

6 Reasons Why Mockingjay: Part 1 Belongs to Team Gale

This post contains SPOILERS for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. Enjoy!

This is the darkest of the Hunger Games films yet, which is saying something when you consider this is a series based on teens fighting to the death.  In this film the Capitol and the Districts are at war and Katniss and company are integral parts of the battle. There are no moments devoted to mind boggling fashions, few seconds are played for laughs. However, there is a tender romantic thread that runs almost from start to finish. Fans of Gale Hawthorne, played by the wonderful Liam Hemsworth, finally get to see their boy take center stage in the Peeta/Katniss/Gale triangle. It was worth the wait. Here are the six moments I thought most memorable:

1. The Fight Sequence: Early in the film Katniss goes to District 8 to visit a hospital and see firsthand the destruction done in the area by the Capitol’s bombers. When the Capitol catches a glimpse of her through their spy cams, they send bombers into the area to target the hospital and punish those supporting the Mockingjay. Katniss, unwilling to cower with her camera crew in a bunker, rushes out to confront the ships armed with her quiver full of exploding arrows. Gale is with her every step of the way, physically shielding her from shrapnel when a bomb explodes the building in front of them and firing arrows beside her as the ships bear down on them. Their movements are so perfectly in sync, the two working marvelously together, that you can see the long years of their hunting relationship bearing fruit in this moment.

[Awww, yes!...]

Nov 23 2014 10:00am

First Look: Jennifer Estep’s Black Widow (November 25, 2014)

Black Widow by Jennifer Estep Jennifer Estep
Black Widow (Elemental Assassin)
Pocket / November 25, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital

There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan.

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.

The twelfth installment of Jennifer Estep’s high octane urban fantasy Elemental Assassin series takes a different tone than normal from the other books in this series. Rather than the usual blood and multiple kills, Gin and her friends are forced to fight on a more emotional level as their battles take them through a tangled web of deceit put in place by a woman who is hell bent on making Ashland her territory and making herself its queen. The heavily character driven plotlines continue to bode well for an exciting future of the series and its heroine, Gin Blanco.

[Is Gin on ice again?]

Nov 22 2014 2:15pm

First Look: Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Touch (November 25, 2014)

The Darkest Touch by Gena ShowalterGena Showalter
The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld)
Harlequin / November 25, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin's every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeleycael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean her end, but resisting her is the hardest battle he's ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can't win.

Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series has reached national as well as international fame, spawning a spin-off and a manga series. What’s so compelling about each book in the series is not only watching the heroine and hero come together, but it’s watching the hero’s internal struggle. Each of the Lords is unique as he or she is possessed by a demon. In The Darkest Touch, fan-favorite Torin, keeper of Disease, finally gets his chance at a happily-ever-after.

Torin’s demon is unique; Disease has rules that comes with it such as no-hand-to-hand, skin-to-skin contact, or otherwise a plague spreads. In addition, the disease that manifests itself is unique each time. If Torin touches an immortal who might weaken but survive the disease, he or she still becomes a carrier for whatever strain Disease decides to produce at that point. Enter Keelycael, the Red Queen, the last of an enigmatic species called Curators and powerful enough to take Torin as well as Disease on.

[Look who's finally met his match...]

Nov 22 2014 10:30am

3 Things the Fifty Shades of Grey Film MUST Get Right

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as Christian and AnaLove it or hate it, E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey is a cultural phenomenon. It's a polarizing work inside and out of romance circles, but its bestseller status many times over and overwhelming penchant as watercooler talk made a transition to the big screen basically inevitable. The thing is, its popularity means that just about everyone has an opinion on the idea of a BDSM romance novel translating to theaters. It's really the first exposure of the genre to blockbuster feature film status. And regardless of the final product, Fifty Shades of Grey struck a chord with people across the globe for a reason, and above all, the film version has to respect that. The Fifty Shades film should make us love it for the same reasons the book resonated with so many. It must reflect the story we've come to know and in order to do that, it has to nail three things: the extreme sex, the proper articulation and balance of the romance, and Christian Grey.

As a film, Fifty Shades of Grey has one objective to accomplish: Walking the tightrope of honoring what fans and readers love about the addictive quality of the work while doing justice to our overactive imaginations as we've devoured the story and know it well. It needs to take itself seriously but not too seriously.

The intensity that should have come across in the first official trailer released this summer at times unfortunately just feels slow, boring, and even cold. So often BDSM is portrayed poorly and inaccurately, and with the visual component of the props and the Red Room of Pain, it cannot be a bunch of cheap thrills. It can't be stereotype and it can't just be an extreme version of Twilight. Execution of the BDSM lifestyle here is a concern, and it's one of the main hit-or-miss elements upon which the film's success hinders, and there will be plenty of fact-checkers in the audience.

[What else will fans be expecting?...]