<i>In The Air Tonight</i>: Exclusive Excerpt In The Air Tonight: Exclusive Excerpt Lori Handeland "I understand that my dream of being normal is merely that." <i>The Talon of the Hawk</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Talon of the Hawk: Exclusive Excerpt Jeffe Kennedy "I turned and met his eye, allowed a slight smile." <i>Never Resist a Rake</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Never Resist a Rake: Exclusive Excerpt Mia Marlowe "Rebecca grasped John’s arm and held on for dear life." Now Win <i>This!</i>: Tatiana de Rosnay's <i>A Paris Affair</i> Now Win This!: Tatiana de Rosnay's A Paris Affair Team H & H Enter for a chance to win an ARC of A Paris Affair!
From The Blog
May 28, 2015
Best Reads of May 2015
Team H & H
May 27, 2015
A Recommendation, A Vacation Spot, and a Cocktail...Oh, My!
Jennifer Probst
May 27, 2015
Love Libs: BookCon Edition #1
Team H & H
May 25, 2015
3 Types of Series for Every Reader
Nalini Singh
May 22, 2015
If You Love Outlander, You’ll Love Nora Roberts’ MacGregors
Janet Webb
Thu
May 28 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Jessica Topper’s Courtship of the Cake (June 2, 2015)

Courtship of the Cake by Jessica Topper

Jessica Topper
Courtship of the Cake (Much “I Do” About Nothing #2)
Berkley / June 2, 2015 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

From the author of Dictatorship of the Dress comes a new novel about a woman who’s vowed to never walk down the aisle—and the two men who’ll do anything to get her to say “I do”…

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” has suited Danica James just fine…until the mysterious man who crashed her sister’s wedding steals her heart, leaves a slice of groom’s cake under her pillow, and then disappears. 

Hoping to forget her unforgettable fling, Dani takes a job as a backstage masseuse for a rock music festival, not expecting the tour’s headlining bad boy to make an offer she can’t refuse. Nash Drama needs a fiancée—and fast… Mick Spencer is the best wedding cake designer in New Hope and the town’s most eligible bachelor. But despite the bevy of bridesmaids he’s sampled, Mick can’t get the evening he spent with Dani out of his mind.

So when she shows up for a cake tasting at the Night Kitchen—with his former best friend’s ring on her finger—Mick vows to charm the woman of his dreams into choosing a sweet and sinful ever after, with him…

Looking for a book filled with rock-n-roll, a couple of bad-boy- heart-throbs and a woman with a difficult decision in her future? Then look no further than to the new release, Courtship of the Cake by Jessica Topper.

If you read Dictatorship of the Dress, then you have already been introduced to Danica. She helped guide Laney Hudson, the heroine of that book, to her happy ending. But unfortunately, Danica doesn’t have the same perceptive talent in regards to her own love life. In fact it is almost the opposite. She is always running from one thing to another, searching for that elusive missing piece in her life. She thought she had found in with Mick, the guy she met at her sister’s wedding, but that proved to be a mistake. A mistake she isn’t able to forget:

[Will she to overcome and allow herself to commit?]

Thu
May 28 2015 3:37pm

Romance News Roundup: Harlequin’s Whatever You’re Into, Lauren Dane & Alison Kent Deals, 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.

—You may have seen videos like this one around the interwebs yesterday and today, that is launching Harlequin's #WhateverYoureInto campaign. Outside of these wonderfully delightful videos (see below) there's also a fun game to go along with it! Get ready to play a round of Date, Ditch, or Marry and get a recommendation to boot! We've been playing with it all morning, so see who you'll get!

—Deal Alert #1: Are you a longtime fan of Lauren Dane, but maybe never picked up her earlier books? Undercover, book 1 in the Federation Chronicles Series, is discounted to $3.99 on e-tailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore. Get it now!*

[Plus, Diana Gabaldon on the end of Outlander's Season 1, and more deals!]

Thu
May 28 2015 2:30pm

Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Sabrina York, Donna Grant, and Kate Douglas

Today we're thrilled to reveal the covers for books from Sabrina York, Donna Grant, and Kate Douglas. First up, we have a naughty Scotsman on our hands who has found himself banished to the farmlands after participating in a kissing contest in Sabrina York's Susana and the Scot. In Donna Grant's Smoldering Hunger, Dragon King Darius is back in Edinburgh and he's about to rekindle some passion with his heroine (bonus, there are covers for the 4-part serial that Smoldering Hunger will be released in prior to the publication of the full book). Finally, the hero of Kate Douglas's Redemption is looking to reconcile with his family and is ready to move on from his past, but can his sister-in-law's rommate be part of his future? 

[Check out the exclusive cover reveals...]

Thu
May 28 2015 12:00pm

First Look: A. Meredith Walters’s Follow Me Back (June 2, 2015)

Follow Me Back by A. Meredith Walters

A. Meredith Walters
Follow Me Back (Twisted Love #2)
Gallery / June 2, 2015 / $15.00 print, $7.99 digital

The sequel to Lead Me Not, this dangerously sexy second installment in the Twisted Love series continues Aubrey and Maxx’s love story, from New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters—who “writes the most beautifully flawed characters that still have you swooning” (Sawyer Bennett, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Off series).

Aubrey Duncan has loved…and lost. Should she follow a heart that’s betrayed her or a head that tells her to let go?

Maxx Demelo’s addiction almost destroyed him. It ruined his life and, most importantly, his relationship with the only girl he ever loved.

He has vowed to become the man Aubrey Duncan deserves. Even if he has to tear himself apart to do it. So he enters rehab, trying to fix the parts of him that are shattered as he longs to be healthy and whole.

Aubrey lost everything because she chose to listen to her heart. Now she has sworn to put herself first, to heal in the only way that she can…far away from Maxx and his demons.

But just as Aubrey is starting over, Maxx is released from rehab and thrust back into her world, determined to prove how much they still need each other. And the chaos that had defined them threatens to unleash once again…

But a heart, no matter how broken, is impossible to ignore.

The follow up to A. Meredith Walters’s Lead Me Not, Follow Me Back picks up right where the first one ends. Maxx is in rehab and Aubrey is facing the ramifications of her actions after deciding to have a relationship with Maxx. And while Aubrey is adamant that she has ended her relationship with Maxx, we all know that her protestations are an exercise in futility. Because Aubrey and Maxx are that couple: the couple who is meant to be together because they make each other better. The only problem is that Maxx now has to figure out how to be solid on his own first, in order to win back Aubrey’s trust.

[Winning back trust is the hardest thing to do...]

Thu
May 28 2015 11:00am

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of May 2015

Sweet Agony by Charlotte Stein

Each month, we ask our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle a bit more.

Without further ado, here’s the installment for May 2015 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the Related Posts section at the bottom of the post):

Rhyll Biest

The best read of May for me was Sweet Agony by Charlotte Stein. I just loved the hero so much, the way he's so snarky and desperate to push others away but can't resist the heroine's love of books and whimsical conversation.

Chelsea Mueller

The romance genre knows how to push boundaries, and Lilah Pace's Asking for It definitely does so. Instead of leveraging a taboo subject to sensationalize the novel, Pace has carefully crafted and elegant, emotional novel with will keep you talking for weeks. Brilliant book. It's the heady, boundary pushing big sister of Cara McKenna's Willing Victim. And that's saying quite a bit. 

[Book comparison's speak louder than...words...wait, we're mixing our sayings...]

Thu
May 28 2015 9:30am

First Look: Lilah Pace’s Asking for It (June 2, 2015)

Asking For It by Lilah Pace

Lilah Pace
Asking for It (Asking for It #1)
Berkley / June 2, 2015 / TK Prices

“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.”

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised. 

Lilah Pace’s Asking for It comes with a spoiler-y warning on the opening pages. This isn’t your standard sexy tease line about erotic romance having graphic scenes. No, this novel comes with a trigger warning. It even uses those terms. This romance—and the book firmly falls into that category—features consensual sex where the participants play out fantasies of a very non-consensual nature.

[It's edgy and utterly gripping...]

Thu
May 28 2015 8:04am

Throwback Thursday: Did You Ever Read Tanith Lee?

Prolific author Tanith Lee, whose contributions to fiction (particularly science fiction and fantasy) included more than 90 novels and 300 short stories and spanned more than 40 years. Our sister site, Tor.com, had a lovely tribute to her work. Lee once said while her stories were based in fantasy, her stock in trade was people and the human condition. What is more human than love? Many of her stories, including the one pictured here, featured love in its many phases—both the good and the bad. 

Have you ever read Tanith Lee? What was your first book? What was your favorite?

Wed
May 27 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Jessica Clare’s One Night with a Billionaire (June 2, 2015)

One Night with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare

Jessica Clare
One Night with a Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club #6)
Berkley / June 2, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

The New York Times bestselling author of The Wrong Billionaire’s Bed delivers a delicious new novel about a secret society of six men who are incredibly wealthy—but not always so successful when it comes to love…

Kylie may be a makeup artist to the stars, but she knows what it feels like to be overshadowed. Especially by her famous boss, the pop star Daphne. That’s why she’s stunned—and delighted—when one night at a party, she attracts the attention of a gorgeous stranger. But when Daphne decides she wants the handsome billionaire for herself, Cade Archer is suddenly off-limits for Kylie…

Cade has known Daphne for years, and always wondered if she might be the right woman for him—even though she never gave him the time of day. But one sizzling night with Kylie has changed everything. So why is she suddenly avoiding him? Fortunately Cade is determined to get what he wants, and he’ll do anything to show Kylie she can get everything she wants too…

With Jessica Clare’s final installment of the Billionaire Boys Club, we finally get Cade Archer’s story! Book after book, I have watched him pine over rock star Daphne Petty, patiently waiting until Daphne is able to stay clean and sober. Book after each book, I kept praying to the book Gods, Please Please, Ms. Clare, don’t have Cade end up with Daphne. And somehow this information was transmitted to said author, rendering me in reader bliss. One Night with a Billionaire is, in my opinion, Clare’s best one of the series. And how fitting that she chose to save the best for last.

[The best is yet to come...]

Wed
May 27 2015 3:43pm

Romance News Roundup: J. Kenner Deal, Pen Names, 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.

Say My Name by J. Kenner—Deal Alert #1: J. Kenner's Stark International novel Say My Name is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. Learn more with our First Look at Say My Name.

The Huffington Post's Books section has a neat post on famous historical authors' pen names and how/why they choose them. Do you or would you write under a pen name?

—Deal Alert #2: Jill Shalvis's Lucky Harbor novel One in a Million is currently $1.99 in e-book at Amazon. See all our Jill Shalvis coverage here!

Wed
May 27 2015 2:30pm

The Perfect Mix: A Recommendation, a Vacation Spot, and a Cocktail...Oh, My!

Searching for Beautiful by Jennifer Probst

Today we're thrilled to have Jennifer Probst on Heroes and Heartbreakers. Jennifer's latest book in her Searching For series, Searching for Beautiful, came out on Tuesday and features the long-awaited story of Wolfe, the adopted child of a couple from Jennifer's Marriage to the Billionaire series! Speaking of long-awaited, summer finally seems to be here, so to ring in the book of a much-loved character, Jennifer is here today to talk about her other much-loved things for this summer—including a cocktail, a reading recommendation, and a vacation spot! Thanks, Jennifer!

It’s May, and I am gearing up for a fantastic summer! My New York winter was brutal, but the long lazy days of summer are ahead and I’m ready to talk about my favorite things.

Romance books, vacay, and cocktails.

I’ve been indulging in some yummy reads and there’s nothing I love better than pairing the right cocktail with a book.

So, without further ado...let’s get on with the party!

[See Jennifer Probst's May Pick....]

Wed
May 27 2015 1:00pm

First Look: Elle Kennedy’s Midnight Captive (June 2, 2015)

Midnight Captive by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy 
Midnight Captive (Killer Instincts #6)
Signet / June 2, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

“For those who enjoy their romantic suspense on the dark and steamy side,”* here’s the blisteringly sexy new novel in the Killer Instincts series by the author of Midnight Action and Midnight Pursuits...

Former CIA agent Bailey Jones has spent months trying to forget her night of passion with mercenary Sean Reilly. An elite and methodical assassin, she has no room in her life for a reckless, rule-breaking Irishman, and she’s vowed to steer clear of the tempting bad boy who lured her into his bed under false pretenses.

When Sean is implicated in the robbery of a Dublin bank, Bailey knows something isn’t right. So what if she can’t trust him? There’s no way Sean would end up on the wrong side of the law. In fact, he’s stuck in the middle of a dark and dirty conspiracy that could put his twin brother’s life at risk with one wrong move. And Bailey’s life too when she agrees to help.

As the stakes are raised and Bailey finds herself torn between two brothers, the fine line between danger and desire is crossed…and it’ll take more than a killer instinct to survive.

*New York Times bestselling author Christy Reece

In Elle Kennedy’s latest Killer Instinct novel, Midnight Captive, Sean Reilly is the man who has all the information.  He can dig up everything on anyone.  There are no secrets that you can keep from him.  But right now he is stuck between his old life and the one he wants and he wishes someone had the answer to his problem.

Sean is being forced to rob a bank for his former boss, Eamon “Rabbit” O’Hare, the leader of the IRA faction group, the Irish Daggers. Rabbit is holding Sean’s twin brother, Ollie, as insurance that Sean gets him the information being kept in one of the safety deposit boxes. Sean and Ollie’s father was a staunch supporter of the cause before he died. He brought Sean and Ollie in as young men, but they soon realized they weren’t interested in following their father’s footsteps.

As he’d gotten older, he’d come to understand the politics behind it, but the cause hadn’t interested him and Ollie.  They’d left Dublin to work as mercenaries, eventually becoming some of the most sought-out information dealers on the map, and neither one of them had looked back.

But the past has a funny way of dragging you back in.

[Sean's love is in love with someone very close to him...]

Wed
May 27 2015 12:00pm

June 2015 Romance Novel New Releases Shopping List

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

Jump to New Releases for the Week of:
June 1-6 | June 7-13 | June 14-20 | June 21-27 | June 28-30

Heroes and Heartbreakers June 2015 Shopping List!
 
Week of June 1 through June 6

[Check out the complete list!...]

Wed
May 27 2015 11:00am
Excerpt

In The Air Tonight: Exclusive Excerpt

In The Air Tonight by Lori Handeland

Four centuries ago, in a small Scottish village, three baby girls escaped the wrath of a witch hunter. Today, one young woman will learn about her secret history, her heart's destiny, and the sisters she never knew she had...

With her blue-black hair and dark eyes, Raye Larsen has never fit in with the Scandinavian community of New Bergin, Wisconsin. Being adopted is part of the reason she feels like an outsider, but what really sets Raye apart is her ability to see dead people. Everywhere. She's learned to keep her visions to herself...until she stumbles onto the ghost of a murder victim who needs Raye's help. Enter Bobby Doucet, a distractingly handsome homicide detective who has been tracking a killer all the way from New Orleans. Could this be the break in his case he's been looking for all along? Meanwhile, the deeper Raye gets involved with the case-and with Bobby-the closer she comes to unlocking the mystery of her own origins. What she discovers about herself could destroy everything she knows...and everyone she loves. Is finding the truth worth the risk?

Get a sneak peek at  Lori Handeland's In The Air Tonight (available June 2, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Chapter 1

The Present

I understand that my dream of being normal is merely that.

For one thing, I'm adopted and everyone knows it. In a town like New Bergin, Wisconsin, adoptions are rare. Strapping Scandinavian farm folk produce blond-haired, blue-eyed children quick as bunnies. Which means my blue-black hair and so-brown-they'll-never-be-blue eyes make me stand out like the single ugly duckling in a lake full of swans. Even before factoring in that I'm an only child.

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

Wed
May 27 2015 9:30am

Love Libs: BookCon Edition #1

Hello, H&Hers! In honor of the BookCon festivities ahead this weekend, we have a special treat we hope you'll enjoy: a Mad Libs-inspired word game we've dubbed Love Libs!

Come play with us in the comments today, and if you'll be in New York City this weekend, please do join us for what we're calling a “live-action blog post,” our BookCon panel “Heroes and Heartbreakers: We <3 Romance,” featuring authors Laurelin Paige and Kayti McGee (a.k.a. the writing team Laurelin McGee), and St. Martin's Press Executive Editor Monique Patterson, with Team H&H's Heather Waters and Jennifer Proffitt to moderate and generally gab about romance. 

Here's more about the panel:

“Heroes and Heartbreakers: We <3 Romance”
Javits Center in New York City
Saturday, May 30
3:00-4:00 p.m.
Macmillan Meeting Room 3139 on the Show Floor

(Note: This is a ticketed event, head to booth 3056, starting at 10:00 a.m. for a free ticket!)

Can't make it to the panel? Worry not! We'll do our best to tweet and Facebook all about it that day, and in the days after, we'll be hosting a post-BookCon sweepstakes for a chance to win goodies here on the site!

Now, onto the Love Lib!*

Here's how to play: Fill out the list below with the appropriate (or totally inappropriate) noun, verb, adjective, name, or body part. Complete the Love Lib by selecting the word from your list that corresponds with the bolded direction in the parentheses, and let hilarity ensue! Share your results by copying and pasting the list/Love Lib—that might make filling it out a little easier, too!—down in the comments, and/or tag us on Twitter with the funniest snippets at @heroesnhearts and @bookbrag, and follow all the fun with the hashtag #bookbrag.

*With many, many thanks to St. Martin's Press's Lizzie Poteet, the romance genius behind this particular Love Lib

[Let the shenanigans begin...]

Wed
May 27 2015 8:18am

Who Is Your Most Trusted Recommender?

Asking for It by Lilah Pace

In the past we've talked about our reading twins—the people in our lives (both on- and offline) whose taste parallels ours. However, there are other people who may not always read the same books that we do, but who just “get” our reading style. This person may be our mom, sister, best friend, Twitter buddy, or librarian, but there's always a person! 

Whose recommendations do you trust the most? Give them a shoutout in the comments, and maybe a virtual high-five on social media for always giving you a great recommendation!

Tue
May 26 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Jessica Lemmon’s Rescuing the Bad Boy (May 26, 2015)

Rescuing the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon

Jessica Lemmon
Rescuing the Bad Boy (Second Chance #2)
Forever / May 26, 2015 / $6.00 print, $5.99 digital

For Donovan Pate, the lake town of Evergreen Cove is a minefield of tough memories-including the day he had to let go of Sofie Martin. Years later he still can't forget the taste of her lips and the feel of her killer curves. He knows he's too damaged, that he should stay away for her own good. But what the head says and the heart wants are two very different things . . .

Seven years ago, Donovan broke Sofie's heart. Now her career depends on playing nice in order to pull off the charity fund-raiser of the decade. She vows to keep things professional . . . yet working by his side every day doesn't make it easy to fight temptation, and it isn't long before she finds herself falling for this bad boy all over again. But loving Donovan means helping him face his past-so they can fight for a future together.

Jessica Lemmon is really getting into her stride with this book. While the first book featured a bad boy who wasn’t bad at all, the hero of Rescuing the Bad Boy behaves so badly in the prologue that I wondered if he could ever redeem himself.

Don’t worry, he does.

I will avoid spoilers, although it’s tricky with this book. I’ve kept any detailed comments to the Prologue and first three chapters.

I love the way Lemmon turns the tables in this book. The bad boy has reason to be bad. He has sex with the heroine, Sofie (who he calls Scampi) in the Prologue, then leaves town. When he discovers he has taken her virginity, he says flatly, “I don’t do virgins,” and leaves her devastated.

However, he has a secret that nobody knows about. Two, actually, but one only comes out later in the book, so I’ll leave that to discover for yourself. The first is that he left home after his Dad’s abuse got too much. He is the battered one, not her.

[Battered, but still loveable.]

Tue
May 26 2015 3:45pm

Romance News Roundup: Victoria Vane Deal, Sam Heughan Appreciation, 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.

Slow Hand by Victoria Vane—Deal Alert #1: Victoria Vane's Slow Hand is currently $.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Barnes & NobleiBookstore, and Amazon.* Want to try the book on for size? Read an excerpt from Slow Hand here.

—BuzzFeed Celeb says “We Need to Talk About Sam Heughan” and, I mean, we can't disagree. The man is a gift. Here's hoping Outlander lasts forever and a day while still giving him time to do a ton of other cool projects so that we can see him onscreen year-round! P.S. Don't forget that the Season 1 finale of Outlander (ahhhhh!) airs this Saturday and we'll be here for all your reactions the next day with the recap!

—Deal Alert #2: Gina Conkle's Meet the Earl at Midnight is currently $1.99 in e-book at Amazon.* Want to see if this romance is for you? Check out a preview of Meet the Earl at Midnight here.

—Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) devotees can watch him answer questions about his television series The Fall (in which he plays serial killer Paul Spector opposite Gillian Anderson's Stella Gibson) via a Gold Derby Emmys Chat livestream on May 28 here. (Thanks to H&H blogger Janet Webb for the heads-up.)

—The first issue of romance comic Fresh Romance has arrived. We first wrote about the comic back in March, when its creators launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the anthology. Are you a comics fan? Will you be reading?

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

Tue
May 26 2015 2:00pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Kate SeRine, Calista Fox, Claire Kent, Tracy Wolff, Cecy Robson, and Laura Drewry!

Today we're thrilled to reveal the covers for books from Kate SeRine, Calista Fox, Claire Kent, Tracy Wolff, Cecy Robson, and Laura Drewry. Tracy Wolff gives us the next installment in her Ethan Frost series with Flawed. Then, you'll get burned by desire in Calista Fox's Flash Burned. One alpha agent is about to get his broken heart mended when he returns home in Stop at Nothing by Kate SeRine. Next, one playboy is about to turn in his player card in Darker the Release by Claire Kent. Cecy Robson welcomes you to the O'Brien Family in Once Kissed. Finally, see what happily-ever-after looks like Laura Drewery's How Forever Feels. 

[See the full covers and learn more about the books...]

Tue
May 26 2015 12:00pm

When Opposites Attract: Erotic Romance Best Bets for May 2015

Taken by Charlotte Stein

In need of some sexy reading material to fill your e-reader? I’m here for you. Each month I will bring you an assortment of erotic pleasure reads to tempt your palate—and your credit card....

Taken by Charlotte Stein

It was just a prank I didn't want to be a part of. I never meant to hurt anyone, least of all Johann Weir. You wouldn't know that he sells literature for a living. He has these wild eyes—eyes that light something up in me—and he must be twice as big as I am, with strong, warm hands. Hands I try not to imagine everywhere.

He scares me. And thrills me.

But now the deed is done, and I have to face the consequences. He says he just wants to hold me here until the police come, but it's been hours and I'm still here.

Chained to a pipe in his back room like a prisoner.

The only person I have to talk to is Johann, and I tell him dark, shameful secrets—secrets that involve the metal around my wrist and him standing over me. But I can't stop. I need him to know everything. I need him.

Johann has his own secrets—ones he wants to tell me too. And more than anything, I want to listen. And maybe, before he sends me away, he'll punish me.

Just a little.

Just enough.

Though this is the third installment in Stein’s Under the Skin series, this stand alone has a lighter, more humorous tone than the first two; revealing a shy awkward hero with a kinky side he fears and a quirky sexually uninhibited heroine who wants everything he has to offer. Laughter and erotic escapades enhance this pseudo-captive scenario as romance and kink offer the perfect base on which this couple finds love.

[Who says kink and happily-ever-after can't go together?]

Tue
May 26 2015 9:30am

First Look: Sara Richardson’s No Better Man (May 26, 2015)

No Better Man by Sara Richardson

Sara Richardson
No Better Man (Heart of the Rockies #1)
Grand Central Publishing / May 26, 2015 / $6.00 print, $5.99 digital

When it comes to business, Avery King always comes out on top. So after a very public breakup, work is the perfect excuse to flee the Windy City for the gentle breezes of Aspen, Colorado. Her mission: acquire the land of a rundown mountain ranch. Avery expects an easy win . . . until she meets the rugged and irresistible rancher who won't give up his property without a fight.

Bryce Walker is stunned by the stubborn beauty determined to get what she wants. But what she wants is his last connection to the life he used to have. Bryce has plans to return the ranch to its former glory and no way will he sell his family home. Yet the more time he spends with Avery, the more her sweet touch makes him forget his painful memories. Now Bryce must decide whether living in the past is worth losing his future...

Ahhh, small-town America, where the living is easy and romance heroes don’t wear suits unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Married an L.A. doll and brought her to this small town

Now she’s small town just like me

No, I cannot forget where it is that I come from

I cannot forget the people who love me

Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town

And people let me be just what I want to be.

Those John Mellencamp lyrics kept running through my head when I was thinking about Sara Richardson’s debut, No Better Man. Our hero, Bryce Walker, embodies what I picture when you tell me small-town and Rocky Mountains. In a word, rugged.  He looks good in jeans and a flannel shirt. He drives a big ‘ol truck and yes, as a matter of fact, there is a dog riding in the back. He works with his hands and knows what do to do with them when the workshop gets traded for the bedroom, or in one case, the cab of his Ford F-450.

[Oh! He wears blue jeans and a flannel shirt and he drives a truck...]