<i>Flaming Hot</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Flaming Hot: Exclusive Excerpt Lynn LaFleur "He tilted his head the other direction and kissed her again..." <i>Slow Hand</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Slow Hand: Exclusive Excerpt Victoria Vane "Nikki closed her eyes and parted her lips on a sigh of surrender..." <i>Maybe This Christmas</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Maybe This Christmas: Exclusive Excerpt Sarah Morgan "She tried to walk past him but lost her balance and fell against his chest..." <i>Treasure on Lilac Lane</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Treasure on Lilac Lane: Exclusive Excerpt Donna Alward "It had been her first kiss, and she’d looked at him with stars in her eyes..."
From The Blog
October 23, 2014
Sweet Gestures in Romance Novels
Scarlettleigh
October 23, 2014
The Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer
Team H & H
October 22, 2014
What Do Men Need to Be Happy?
Cathy Maxwell
October 21, 2014
Spooktacular Matchmakers in Romance
Maggie Boyd
October 21, 2014
What Do You Want to See More Of?
Megan Frampton
Thu
Oct 23 2014 2:00pm

It’s the Little Things: Small, Sweet Gestures in Romance Novels from Reavis, Mann, Higgins, and Lacey

A couple of months ago, Janga talked about grand gestures in her blog, So Romantic: Favorite Grand Gestures in Romance Fiction where she stated:

First, it must be something that is inextricably linked to the particular hero and heroine and their story. Then, it must be costly. The cost does not have to be monetary; it may be costly in terms of time or effort or emotional risk. But whatever the currency, the gesture must be a gift given without measure. Finally, the truly grand romantic gesture must reveal the hero’s understanding of the heroine and who she is, what her dreams are, and what her vulnerabilities are.

There is certainly an association between the grand gestures, and the sweetest, but for the most part grand gestures are planned out, and many times cost a lot of Benjamins, like a trip to Paris, or that large diamond ring, or maybe skywriting words of love.

[We wouldn't turn down a trip to Paris, by the way]

Thu
Oct 23 2014 12:30pm

First Look: Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Shadows (Oct. 28, 2014)

Archangel's Shadows by Nalini SinghNalini Singh
Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter)
Jove / October 28, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital

In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.
This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

Fans of Nalini Singh’s dark and sensuous Guild Hunters series have waited impatiently for Ashwini and Janiver’s story. We were briefly introduced to them in the Angel’s Pawn novella, where we learned that their “frenemy” status belays a deep attraction played out in a continuous game of catch me if you can. Ash, a hunter for the Guild, has spent years hunting Janiver, a sexy infuriating vampire who often escapes his contract with his master just to get Ash to chase him. Singh builds their relationship slowly throughout the series, giving us teasing little clues as to their whereabouts and their growing feelings for one another.

[Hide and seek, Guild Hunter style!]

Thu
Oct 23 2014 11:54am

“Nothing Lasts Forever”: The Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer is out, and things don't seem to be going well for our favorite superpowered crew. Here's the official synopsis:

When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters May 1, 2015.

First impressions? Looks really dark and intense, huh? Exciting!

Except...are we the only ones disappointed there wasn't more Black Widow/Hawkeye? (Think we spotted them together in only one quick shot, which is a shame because we have hopes and dreams for that relationship in Avengers 2...)

Thu
Oct 23 2014 10:54am

You’re Dangerous, Ray Palmer: Arrow 3x03 Oliver/Felicity Discussion Thread

Oliver and Felicity didn't get much screentime in last night's Arrow Season 3, Episode 3, “Corto Maltese.” Oh, and Ray Palmer kinda sorta won us over (and, we're guessing, Felicity, too). What it is happening?!?!

Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Arrow.

Here's the official description of “Corto Maltese” from the CW:

Oliver decides it's time for Thea to come back to Starling City, so he packs for Corto Maltese, where Felicity has traced Thea's whereabouts. Lyla asks Diggle to go with Oliver because one of her field operatives, Mark Shaw, has gone dark in Corto Maltese and she'd like him to look into it. Feeling responsible for Thea's departure, Roy joins Oliver and Diggle on their journey. Shaw double-crosses Diggle, putting numerous A.R.G.U.S. agents, including Lyla, at risk. Meanwhile, Laurel meets Ted Grant, and Felicity adjusts to her new job.

What with Oliver busy trying to convince Thea to come home, and Felicity back at Queen Consolidated by day, the two didn't get to spend much time together this week, though the exchange they did have (about Felicity's ace computer skills, natch) was as adorable as ever.

The problem: Felicity and Ray Palmer, her new boss, DID get some quality time in. And it was, dare we say...really cute! I mean, dude gave her Oliver's old office/the CEO's office and her very own executive assistant.

[Slick move, Ray...]

Thu
Oct 23 2014 9:30am

First Look: Mary Balogh’s Only Enchanting (October 28, 2014)

Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh
Only Enchanting (Survivors’ Club #4)
Signet / October 28, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital

The Survivors' Club: Six men and one woman, all wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendship forged during their recovery at Penderris Hall in Cornwall. Now, in the fourth novel of the Survivors' Club series, Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, has left this refuge to find his own salvation—in the love of a most unsuspecting woman…

Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, was devastated by his fiancée’s desertion after his return home. Now the woman who broke his heart is back—and everyone is eager to revive their engagement. Except Flavian, who, in a panic, runs straight into the arms of a most sensible yet enchanting young woman.

Agnes Keeping has never been in love—and never wishes to be. But then she meets the charismatic Flavian, and suddenly Agnes falls so foolishly and so deeply that she agrees to his impetuous proposal of marriage.

When Agnes discovers that the proposal is only to avenge his former love, she’s determined to flee. But Flavian has no intention of letting his new bride go, especially now that he too has fallen so passionately and so unexpectedly in love.

Mary Balogh has chosen to write about cross-class romances with some frequency throughout her career. Indeed, she uses that trope in the opening book of her current series, The Proposal. In Only Enchanting, the fourth book in the Survivors’ Club series, she gives readers a more subtle treatment of the cross-class romance with a paradoxical pair: an aristocratic, godlike hero whose war wounds were so grievous that years afterward he is not fully healed physically or emotionally and an ordinary heroine whose extraordinariness captivates the hero.

[No ordinary love!]

Thu
Oct 23 2014 8:29am

Throwback Thursday: Who Was Your First Rake?

Wikipedia tells us that, “A rake, short for rakehell (analogous to 'hellraiser'), is a historic term applied to a man who is habituated to immoral conduct, particularly womanising. Often a rake was also prodigal who wasted his (usually inherited) fortune on gambling, wine, women and song, incurring lavish debts in the process. Comparable terms are 'libertine' and 'debauchee'.”

Rakes abound in historical romance novels, of course, and they can also be found lurking within the dominating billionaire and playboys of contemporary romance, or the 'suck-'em-and-leave-'em' vampire heroes of paranormal romance.

No matter what the genre, the womanising hero (who gets tamed by the heroine!) is ubiquitous in romance novels. 

So—who was your first rake? 

Wed
Oct 22 2014 4:30pm

Sex, Food, and More: What Do Men Need to Be Happy?

The Groom Says Yes by Cathy MaxwellToday we're thrilled to welcome author Cathy Maxwell to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Cathy's latest release, The Groom Says Yes, is a delicious historical romance with an earl who's also a felon—and the only person standing between him and justice is the heroine, an avowed spinster who can't help but say yes when he asks her for help (and kisses!). Cathy is here to talk about what men really want—thanks, Cathy!

I’m always on the prowl for “motivation.” No, not pics of hunky guys (well, maybe that, too) but the basic elements that make a hero tick and explain why he makes the choices he does. Several years ago, I attended a lecture by Chris Peirson, a student of sociobiology, which is the study of man’s primal character as well as his cultural one. Her observations play to the heart of the power and popularity of the romance novel. I’ve tempered a few of her thoughts with some of my own. After all, I spend a good deal of time thinking about why people fall in love.

So here is the question: What do men need to be happy?

[Let's discuss...]

Wed
Oct 22 2014 2:35pm

First Look: Stephanie Laurens’s By Winter’s Light (October 28, 2014)

By Winter's Light by Stephanie LaurensStephanie Laurens
By Winter's Light
Mira / October 28, 2014 / $12.00 print, $7.99 digital

It’s December 1837 and the young adults of the Cynster clan have succeeded in having the family Christmas celebration held at snow-bound Casphairn Manor, Richard and Catriona Cynster’s home.

Yet where Cynsters gather, love is never far behind—the festive occasion brings together Daniel Crosbie, tutor to Lucifer Cynster’s sons, and Claire Meadows, widow and governess to Gabriel Cynster’s daughter. Daniel and Claire have met before and the embers of an unexpected passion smolder between them, but once bitten, twice shy, Claire believes a second marriage is not in her stars. Daniel, however, is determined to press his suit. He’s seen the love the Cynsters share, and Claire is the lady with whom he dreams of sharing his life. Assisted by a bevy of Cynsters—innate matchmakers every one—Daniel strives to persuade Claire that trusting him with her hand and her heart is her right path to happiness.

By Winter's Light is a transitional novel as Stephanie Laurens brings us Cynsters: The Next Generation. The romance between governess Claire and tutor Daniel is merely tangential to introducing the children of the original six Cynster cousins, and setting up the next books in the family series.

[We are family!]

Wed
Oct 22 2014 12:30pm

Jane the Virgin Season 1, Episode 2 Recap: Milkshakes and Hot Dads

Are you loving the high drama of telenovella-based Jane the Virgin? It's miraculous! Join us each week as we track Jane, Rafael, and Michael's love triangle, as well as the other...complicated...relationships!

Beware! This recap contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 2 of Jane the Virgin. Read with Caution!

This recap contains spoilers for all episodes this season.

When we last left Jane, she’d been accidentally inseminated with her boss/old crush’s sperm. She got pregnant, didn’t want to keep the baby, decided to keep the baby and then she got engaged. Please see the Episode 1 recap for the abundance of other crazy stuff that happened in just 44 minutes.

Episode 2 opens with a flashback to Jane’s quinceañera where her mother, Xiomara, sang a rousing rendition of Kelis’s “Milkshake,” much to Jane’s horror. In the action packed present, Jane’s called a family meeting with her abuela Alba, Xiomara, and her new fiance, Michael, to discuss her plans moving forward. Jane makes it clear that this baby will not derail her life in any way. In fact she won’t even be calling it a baby. She declares that the baby will further be referred to as The Milkshake.

[That's guaranteed to make us hungry...]

Wed
Oct 22 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Flaming Hot: Exclusive Excerpt from “Fiery”

Lynn LaFleur

Flaming Hot by Lynn LaFleur

Big and bold, strong and sexy, the firefighters of the Lanville, Texas, Volunteer Fire Department know how to turn up the heat. . .

Fiery

Sparks fly the moment Eve and Quade meet. Fear of heartbreak makes them wary but neither can deny the scorching waves of desire that leave them wanting so much more. . .

Flare

Paige wonders about Cort's past but she can't ignore the heat she feels inside every time he touches her. And things only get hotter when this sexy firefighter takes her to the heights of extreme carnal pleasure. . .

Flash

For years Kirk has kept a secret that not even his twin knows. But the arrival in town of a sexy newcomer turns up the heat and keeps the flames of passion burning all night long. . .

Get a sneak peek of Lynn LaFleur's Flaming Hot (available October 28, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt from “Fiery.”

Eve set the wineglasses on the counter next to Quade so he could pour. He handed one glass to her, took the other for himself. She led the way to the living room, sat in the same spot where she’d sat last night. Quade sat a few inches closer to her than he had last night. When he stretched his arm along the back of the couch, his fingers grazed her nape.

Quade took a sip of his wine. “Mmm, that’s very good.”

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of “Fiery”...]

Wed
Oct 22 2014 11:00am

November 2014 Romance Novel New Releases Shopping List

Find your future faves with this delightfully convenient shopping list of romance novels coming out in November. We’ve divided them up by subgenre to make it easier for those who’ve got a very specific obsession and there are some great books to look forward to. Our shopping list is the biggest yet, so don’t forget to take this printable version with you when it’s time to shop!

Heroes and Heartbreakers November 2014 Shopping List!
 
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/SfR

[Check out the complete list!...]

Wed
Oct 22 2014 9:30am

First Look: K J Charles’s Flight of Magpies (October 28, 2014)

Flight of Mapgies by KJ CharlesK J Charles
Flight of Magpies
Samhain Publishing / October 28, 2014 / $4.50 digital

Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.

With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student who is flying—literally—off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane, is beginning to feel the strain.

Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.

When a thief strikes at the heart of Crane’s home, a devastating loss brings his closest relationships into bitter conflict—especially his relationship with Stephen. And as old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies paint the lovers into a corner, the pressure threatens to tear them apart.

Less than a year ago I read KJ Charles's The Magpie Lord, the first book in her Charm of Magpies series. This was my first male/male romance and I fell instantly in love. I loved her writing. I loved her characters, I loved the world building. Now I can't get enough of this series, so I was delighted to do a first look on Flight of Magpies, the third book.

For me, the key to any romance is the characters and the Charm of Magpies series has it in spades. By the time we have reached the third book, Stephen Day and Lucien Vaudry have established a solid relationship, although each has his concerns.

[Not trouble in paradise, though, right?]

Wed
Oct 22 2014 8:14am

Who’s the Best-Dressed in Romance Novels?

Iconic fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died this week at the age of 82. De le Renta was one of the most well-known celebrity designers, and had a several decades-long career, designing first for other houses and then under his own name. He was well-regarded for his evening gowns, and many of his craetions appeared on red carpets (as well as on Amal Clooney when she married George!).

Fashion is on our minds, so we want to ask—who's the best-dressed character, male or female, in romance novels? Whose wardrobe do you covet the most? 

Tue
Oct 21 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Eden Bradley’s Rogue (October 21, 2014)

Rogue by Eden BradleyEden Bradley
Rogue
Samhain / October 21, 2014 / $3.50, digital

Madrid, 2069

He is Rogue.

He has known no other life, no other name. Turned at the tender age of nineteen on the dark streets of London, he wanders Europe, angry and rebellious, haunted by the crime that has followed him for over a century. Always alone.

He is Ramsey.

Member of the Vampire Council, all he has are his memories of dazzling grief and unrelenting pain—his only respite is blood and sex. Until a young rogue vampire poaches in his territory…

Inexorably drawn to each other, the head of Madrid’s Midnight Playground and the rebel from nowhere will find passion in each other’s arms—and discover a dangerous secret that could irrevocably change both their worlds.

This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

Warning: Savage m/m vampire sex. Fangs and viciousness. The infamous, alluring, and dangerous Capture Gardens. Did we mention hot, kinky vampire sex? Take a breath and enter if you dare!

 

The vampire craze may have waned, but there will always be a part of me that loves a sexy vampire. Eden Bradley’s Rogue is the fifth installment in a futuristic series that explores a world run by vampires. Rogue is a novella that packs a lot of sexiness into one space. Bradley is no stranger to writing erotic romance, and like all good erotic romance, the novella is set up so that the sex scenes give the readers a window into the romantic arc and the world presented in the story itself.

It all begins with a rogue. With no memories of his human past, he roams from country to country, blatantly ignoring the laws of vampire civilization in order to remain free, in order to remain angry. He has been sneaking into the luxury estates run for the play of those in vampiric society—estates designed for any and all to enter for indulgent games, blood, and sex. The only requirement is that those that use the estates are vampires.

[So no humans, allowed?]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 3:45pm

Boo! Here’s Your Match!: Spooktacular Matchmakers in Romance

Gorgeous by Paul RudnickThe times, they are a-changin’. But in one crucial way they are still the same—in order to reach your HEA you have to first meet your Mister or Ms. Right. In real life the most popular ways to do this are to find him/her at work or school, be introduced by mutual friends or most recently, meeting online via a dating website. Of course the romance universe works a bit differently. There are the meet cutes such as the ones Leigh Davis introduced us to in her column Meet-Cute (and Not So Cute): First Encounters in Romance from Roberts, James, and More!, the arranged marriages, purchased at auction, or even  ghostly match-makers. That’s right, sometimes it takes a ghost to lead you to your true love.

But just what leads a ghost to play matchmaker? In Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick it is to fulfill a promise. Designer Tom Kelly had fallen in love with one of his models. Tom is devastated when he finds circumstances he can’t control pulling them apart. She asks him for just one thing from him before they are separated—to help her daughter:

“You have to help her in any way you can, to make sure that she’s not like me. I don’t want her to be afraid of anything. I want her to know that she can take on the world. But most of all, I want her to fall in love, with someone wonderful, and I want that person to love her right back, no matter what she looks like. You have to guarantee that baby, once she grows up; you have to make sure that she falls in love for all the right reasons.”

[No pressure or anything...]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 2:00pm

First Look: Darynda Jones’s Seventh Grave and No Body (October 21, 2014)

Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda JonesDarynda Jones
Seventh Grave and No Body
St. Martin's Press / October 21, 2014 / $25.99 print, $12.99 digital

Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out the jugular of Charley Davidson and serve her lifeless, mangled body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and the more she retraces his last steps, the more she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancé who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life. But all of that combined barely scratches the surface of her problems. Recent developments—and a few distressing prophesies—have forced her to become a responsible adult. Exactly the kind of adult she’s never aspired to be. To conquer such a monumental task, she’s decided to start small. Really small. She gets a pet. But how can she save the world against the forces of evil when she can’t even keep a goldfish alive?

A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.

We’re doomed.

Charley Davidson, the heart and soul of Darynda Jones's fantastically funny Grim Reaper series, is growing up. She's wearing more hats than ever, but it's not just about her, and not even just about her and Reyes anymore. Charley is more than the sum of all of her self-named body parts and deadpan one-liners,  and she's becoming stronger with each installment of this heroine-centric series.

[You go, girl!]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 12:30pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Tracy Wolff, Kate Baxter, Nadia Lee, and Jessica Evans!

Today we're thrilled to reveal the covers for some great new books—some of which can be in your hot little hands very soon! Kate Baxter introduces a fresh new series featuring a vampire's salvation...in the form of the heroine, of course, in The Last True Vampire. Meanwhile, Tracy Wolff and Nadia Lee offer heroines in need of rescuing in Wolff's latest Extreme Risk novel, Slashed, and Lee's second Pryce Family book, The Billionaire's Holiday Obsession. Finally, ever wonder what Mr. Darcy would look like in a leotard? Find out when Pride and Prejudice goes to the ballet in Jessica Evans's The Muse.

Find out more about each book and see the hot covers—we count two six-packs, and one sweet kiss!

[Let the good times (and the hot covers) roll...]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 9:30am

First Look: Jeannie Moon’s Second Chance Hero (October 21, 2014)

Second Chance Hero by Jeannie MoonJeannie Moon
Second Chance Hero
InterMix / October 21, 2014 / $3.99 digital

After her fiancé dies in her arms in Afghanistan, combat nurse Kim Torres decides to get as far away from men and the war as she can. Now a nanny to a little girl, she’s trying to date again, but her heart just isn’t in it. Not even for a man as sexy as Owen Kent…

When Major Owen Kent returns from his deployment with the Marines in Afghanistan, he discovers how much things have really changed. The billionaire CIO’s friends are settling down and having families—things a serial dater like Owen doesn’t expect to do. But he’s also not expecting his friend Harper’s new nanny to be the woman who stole his heart half a world away. Kim may want nothing to do with Owen, but he’s not about to surrender without a fight.

One of the things readers love about romance novels is watching characters go on a healing journey towards love and happiness—inside and outside, thoughts and feelings, no holds barred. Second Chance Hero by Jeannie Moon portrays a healing journey that is emotional, strong and beautiful. And it is, most importantly, the heroine’s journey.

Kim Torres is a tortured heroine in the traditional genre based sense of the term—she’s got serious emotional trauma in her past, some of it deriving from the death of her fiancé, some of it deriving from the fact that he cheated on her, the rest of it deriving from the fact that she found out about his cheating on his deathbed …in Afghanistan.

[Gah, that's a tough pill to swallow...]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 8:39am

What Do You Want to See More Of?

Romance novels feel like the Wild West, with authors blazing trails all over the place, from criminal heroes with no plans to change, to addicted heroines, to a lizard hero. And there are so many other genres and tropes and characters and settings being written that never would have been imagined possible as short a time as five years ago.

So—if you had your druthers, what would you want to see more of in romance? 

Mon
Oct 20 2014 5:15pm

Could You Love a Hedgehog?: Unusual Shifters in Young Adult and Adult Romance from Aiken, Singh, Kenyon, and More!

When we think of shifters in paranormal romance we typically think of bears, wolves, etc. However, the world of shapeshifting opens up a lot of possibilities for the reader and for author’s imaginations.

For example, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s Hawksong introduces Danica, an avian shapeshifter and her nemesis/love interest, Zane, a cobra shapeshifter. Hawksong is a young adult paranormal with a Romeo and Juliet set-up. Atwater-Rhodes doesn’t stop there; her follow-up books in the series include wyverns, wolves and falcons.

Avian shifters aren’t unusual to young adult or adult romance. Nalini Singh has included them in her Psy-Changeling series, and one of my favorite side characters of hers is Tijan, the Rat. Nevertheless, avian shifters are unusual enough that they’re worth talking about, and even more unusual is an avian shifter gay romance, such as Kim Dare’s Avian Shifter series. The avian shifters have a clear class system, as demonstrated in Duck!, Magpie and others. Usually the weaker bird of the two is the sub (these books include BDSM, also) and the stronger bird like a hawk or predator bird is the dominant. 

[Color us intrigued...]