<i>Deep</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Deep: Exclusive Excerpt Kylie Scott "Slowly, a smile curved his lips, making my heart jump with glee." <i>Tamed</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Tamed: Exclusive Excerpt Stacey Kennedy "The heat from his body encased her, swallowing her whole." <i>Start Me Up</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Start Me Up: Exclusive Excerpt Nicole Michaels "He tightened his grip on her waist as he growled into her ear." <i>Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid</i>: Excerpt Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid: Excerpt Suzanne Enoch "Dunnae throw down yer wee glove unless ye’re ready fer someone to take(it) up."
From The Blog
March 4, 2015
Romance Novels Set in France
AudraNorth
March 4, 2015
Finding the Balance in Science Fiction Romance
Christie Meierz
March 3, 2015
Hygiene, Hot Sex, and the Historical Romance
HopeTarr
March 3, 2015
How Much Is Enough?
Jennifer Proffitt
February 27, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Eddie Redmayne
Team H & H
Thu
Mar 5 2015 3:23pm

Romance News Roundup: Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens Joins Beauty and the Beast 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.

Dan Stevens in Downton AbbeyDownton Abbey's Dan Stevens (we miss you, Matthew Crawley) is joining the cast of Beauty and the Beast as the Beast alongside Emma Watson as Belle and Luke Evans as Gaston.

—Speaking of Downton Abbey, series fan Princess Kate (a.k.a. Kate Middleton, a.k.a. the Duchess of Cambridge) will be visiting the set to meet the cast and crew next week, lucky duck. Find all of our Downton Abbey coverage here, including comprehensive episode recaps.

Rumor has it the Fifty Shades of Grey Blu-ray/DVD release will feature deleted scenes. What are you hoping to see in any extra footage? And if you haven't already weighed in on the movie, good or bad, you can join the conversation here.

Thu
Mar 5 2015 1:15pm

Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Manda Collins, Sarah Castille, and Jackie Ashenden!

Cover reveals from Manda Collins, Sarah Castille, and Jackie AshendenWhat are we supposed to do with a pack of bad boys? Read books about them, of course! First up in Manda Collins's Good Earl Gone Bad, we have an earl who wins an unexpected prize at the gaming tables—a wife. And did we mention she's also suspected of murder? Then, Sarah Castille offers us a biker who wants the one thing he can't have—a rival biker's girlfriend in Sinner's Steel. Last, but not least, the hero of Jackie Ashenden's You Are Mine can have any woman he wants, but he wants the one woman he's put off limits to himself.

Find out more about the books and see the yummy covers!

[Let's sneak a peek behind the curtain...]

Thu
Mar 5 2015 9:30am

First Look: Wendy LaCapra’s Lady Vice (March 9, 2015)

Wendy LaCapra
Lady Vice
Entangled / March 9, 2015 / $2.99 digital

Not every lady plays by the rules...

Lady Lavinia Vaile knows what happens to a woman who puts her faith in society. For her, it was a disastrous marriage to a depraved man—one she threatened to shoot when she left him. Now Lavinia lives outside of society’s strict conventions, hosting private gambling parties. It’s only when her husband is shot dead that Lavinia finds herself in terrible danger...

A former judge in India’s high court, Maximilian Harrison will do anything he can to help Lavinia. In the darkest of times, he held on to thoughts of her and the love they once shared. Now he risks his own position in society—along with his ambitions—in order to clear her name. Yet as desire reignites between them, Lavinia remains caught up in secrets and shame. Her only salvation is to do the unthinkable...and trust in both Maximilian and love.

Who wouldn’t want a second chance at a long lost love? Especially if you never stopped loving each other?

Lady Lavinia Vaile has a problem. Her husband was found shot in the *ahem* nether regions, in the same manner she herself had once threatened to do. While she is relieved that her abusive husband no longer exists, the matter of her innocence and freedom is at stake. And it seems that Maximilian Harrison, the only man she has ever loved, is now the only man who has a remote chance at proving her innocence. This would seem like a no-brainer for Lavinia to accept this former high judge of India’s help were it not for the fact that he abandoned her to seek his fortune on another continent.

[Well, that's not nice!]

Thu
Mar 5 2015 8:28am

Throwback Thursday: Who Was the First Cover Model You Remember?

Rogue by FabioFabio is the cover model all romances have become associated with, even though it's been quite some time since he graced a cover. However, in a recent Jezebel article, it rapidly became clear that he was only associated with a select few of the many romance titles that came out in the 80s and 90s. Was Fabio your cover guy or was a different cover model the one catching your eye on every cover? Share the covers and the models—if you know them—in the comments!

Fun Fact: Did you also know that in addition to being on many romance covers, Fabio, in collaboration with other authors, has written eight romances in his own right?

Wed
Mar 4 2015 4:40pm

The Je Ne Sais Quoi of Romance Novels Set in France

Recently, I read two France-set romances back to back: Laura Florand’s Once Upon a Rose and Cole McCade’s A Second Chance at Paris. Those novels got me wondering what it is about France that lends a little extra magic to love stories. Is it the language? The Eiffel Tower? The chocolate?

In Laura Florand’s books, it’s all of those things and more. Her Amour et Chocolat series is gorgeous and made me perpetually hungry. But in her latest release, Once Upon a Rose, I think it’s the sense of smell that is most associated with the je ne sais quoi of French-inspired love. Set in a rose-filled valley in Provence, scent—and the relationship between scent and the sensual in French perfumes, food, and ambience—seems to be a part of every exchange between the hero, Matthieu “Matt” Rosier, and the heroine, Layla Dubois. For example, in this scene, Matt, a rosarian descended from a long and impressive line of rosarians, and Layla, a rising star singer-songwriter, are in the car together, driving through the valley:

She took a deep breath, and that sense of nothing shimmered like a mirage before all the things that filled her lungs. An air rich with scents and with the vitality of the man beside her. Cliff-hills rose and narrowed around them as they headed into the pass that led out of the valley. All the rest of the world seemed so far away here. Songs lurked in the scents of rosemary and thyme and pine and roses in this car…

[Wine should immediately come with every book set in France...]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 3:36pm

Romance News Roundup: Avengers 2 Trailer and Kelly Bowen Deal!

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.

—The latest and greatest full Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer is here, and shipping issues aside, it's badass. Widow, particularly, has some cheer-worthy moments:

A new Outlander poster is here, and as BuzzFeed's Jarett Wieselman notes in his tweet, it's REALLY smart, the way it echoes the original poster while also indicating how much as changed for Claire since the first episode.

—As a romance fan, you have to have a sense of humor about covers, especially some of those delightfully over-the-top poses on clinch covers of the '80s and '90s. Cosmopolitan has an entertaining story today in which “real people” reenact romance novel covers. (Thanks to @SignetEclipse to bringing it to my attention.)

[+Deal Alert and Saturn Award nominees...]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 2:50pm

First Look: Colleen Hoover’s Confess (March 10, 2015)

Confess by Colleen HooverColleen Hoover
Confess
Simon & Schuster / March 10, 2015 /

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

Colleen Hoover’s gift for captivating narratives and complicated characters makes for stories of intense emotional conflict. You feel everything that the characters to. I never know what to expect when I start a Colleen Hoover book, I just know that I'm going on one hell of a journey. Confess did not disappoint. It grabbed me from the prologue and the characters lodged themselves firmly in my heart.

[They're nice and cozy in there...]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 1:00pm

H&H Quickies #8: Lavinia Kent—Prompt Me!

If you can never get enough of your favorite authors (and who can?!?), you are going to love H&H's author writing challenge, H&H Quickies. Not only will you get to read fun, original scenes by awesome romance authors, but said awesome romance authors will be writing those scenes based on YOUR prompts!

Following up on wonderful Quickie scenes by Lora Leigh, Valerie Bowman, Charlotte Stein, and more (see all the Quickies, here), we are pleased to announce today that Lavinia Kent will be the eighth author to participate in the H&H Quickies challenge! Here are the details:

The idea

For the next week, H&H readers are invited to leave comments on this post with writing prompts/ideas for Lavinia Kent with a historical theme. Once the prompting period is over next week, Lavinia will read over all of the prompts and pick at least two that she finds inspiring, and use them to write a short original scene. H&H will then post the scene for everyone to read and enjoy (yay!), as well as reveal which prompts Lavinia used for the scene (woo-hoo!) for bragging rights.

The rules

Prompting is open from right now until Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at noon EST.

Prompts can be anything, like a word (cravat!), a setting (a ballroom!), a situation (a scandal!), a description (a Master marquis!)...the sky's the limit! Just one requirement, to keep things interesting: the prompts for this particular challenge should be historical-themed.

After you leave some prompts, that's it, your job is done for now! Just be sure to check back on March 25 for an original scene from Lavinia Kent based on your suggestions!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or email us at  info@heroesandheartbreakers.com.

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Sounds like a blast, right? Let's get prompting!

Wed
Mar 4 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Deep: Exclusive Excerpt

Kylie Scott

Deep by Kylie Scott

Their one night stand wasn't supposed to end this way…

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the devastatingly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man who's ever made her feel out of control with desire? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister, and no matter how hot the chemistry between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben has a moment of weakness in Sin City, he learns that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible...but will it lead to a true connection of the heart?

Get a sneak peek at  Kylie Scott's Deep (available March 31, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

PROLOGUE

Positive.

I reread the instructions, doing my best to flatten out the creases in the piece of paper one-handed. Two lines meant positive. Two lines sat on the test. No, not possible. My gaze darted back and forth between the two, willing one of them to change. I shook the test and turned it this way and that. I stared and stared, but just like with the first one sitting rejected beside the sink, the answer remained the same.

Positive.

I was pregnant.

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

Wed
Mar 4 2015 10:15am

Ray Guns and Relationships: Finding the Balance in Science Fiction Romance

Today we're thrilled to welcome Christie Meierz to the site, whose latest release The Fall, came out on Monday. Christie writes science fiction romance, and love in a galaxy far, far away are no strangers to each other. Christie is here today to talk about some of the romances that are iconic in science fiction romance, and how love—a human emotion—isn't such an alien experience to these intergalactic characters. Thanks, Christie!

The die was cast when I was thirteen years old and discovered Andre Norton's Forerunner Foray in my junior high school library. After that, I read science fiction voraciously—and the Harlequin romances my mother hid in her book closet. Problem? No problem! It was only later that I discovered I was reading in two different worlds.

Science fiction tells stories about the future, whether we long for it or dread it, and what might happen when we get there. Adventures or calamities, ray guns or relationships, science fiction considers the way things might be and asks, “And then what happens?” Its readers are usually looking for something new, whether that’s a new way of looking at the future, the past, or an alternative to the now, and so science fiction changes radically every decade or so. But there’s usually a mix of adventure and longing, and a fascination with what makes us human.

And what’s more human than romance?

[Good question...]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 8:21am

“This One for the Footmen”: Downton Funk

Wanting to catch up on Downton Abbey, but just don't have the time to devote to four seasons of British Period Drama goodness? Or maybe you're already missing the Crawleys after Sundays season finale? Never fear, College Humor is here for you! You can catch up on major Downton plot points and get this catchy tune stuck in you head! Be warned, “Downton Funk” is set to the tune of Mark Ronson's “Uptown Funk,” featuring Bruno Mars, and it will get stuck in your head!

What do you think, would Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, approve of this mash-up?

Tue
Mar 3 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Monica Murphy’s Stealing Rose (March 3, 2015)

Stealing Rose by Monica MurphyMonica Murphy
Stealing Roses
Bantam / March 3, 2015 / $15.00 print & $5.99 digital

Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Emma Chase—the second novel in New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy’s sizzling series about three powerhouse sisters and the men who would have their hearts.

People say the youngest child has it easy, but nothing can be further from the truth. Unlike my two sisters, Violet and Lily, I’m never in the limelight. I just work my butt off for Fleur Cosmetics and get little to no thanks for it. I’ve been pushed too far one too many times, and I’m finally brave enough to do something about it.

Maybe my newfound courage has something to do with the amazing pink and white diamond necklace I wear to the party in Cannes. The instant those dazzling heirloom jewels touch my skin, they excite some deep, aching need inside. And when that guy—that totally gorgeous guy—locks eyes with me, I know this nice girl is going to be naughty.

For once it’s my turn. My turn to say no to my father, to outshine my sisters, to walk away from it all—straight into the arms of a mysterious stranger. But what if Caden is much more than I bargained for? Sure, he makes me feel sexy and free in a way I never have before, but there’s something else I can’t quite place—something dangerous. Maybe our “chance” meeting wasn’t so random. Maybe he was looking for me for a reason. Whatever his motive, there’s no going back now.

And maybe I don’t want to.

Sometimes when I’m reading a romance, I want a story that builds and a love that grows, making my heart squee as the two leads work for their HEA. Other times I need something that is raw, steamy, and reckless. A story that punches reality from me and leaves me asking myself, “How the hell did they make that work? But it does work.” And that’s Stealing Rose by Monica Murphy.

[Brace yourself for the hit...]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 3:49pm

Romance News Roundup: New Luther & Jeaniene Frost Deal!

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.

Idris Elba as Luther—More Luther is in the works! Star Idris Elba and network BBC1 announced the news via a brief video clip. Here's hoping Ruth Wilson's loveable psychopath Alice Morgan is back as well, because you can't have Luther without Luther/Alice, in our books (I point to our Luther/Alice Shipping Sunday as proof.)

—SyFy has announced the U.S. premiere date for Lost Girl Season 5 and Bitten Season 2—April 17! When the new seasons begin airing, we'll re-promote our Lost Girl recaps from Kiersten Hallie Krum and Bitten recaps from Jackie Lester, which have followed the Canadian seasons, so be on the lookout!

—Clint/Natasha (Avengers) shippers, brace yourselves: This new teaser does not bode well for our favorite pairing, as it strongly implies another... (beware of minor SPOILERS in the trailer, of course—it's a trailer). Please feel free to console me in the comments here or in my apparently way-off-track Avengers 2 speculation post.

—Deal Alert #1: Former H&H community manager Megan Frampton's The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers including AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iBookstore.*

[+Another Deal Alert and a new cover...]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 3:00pm
Reprint

Like a Crazy Family Reunion: Lynsay Sands’s Argeneau Series

Lynsay Sands

The Immortal Who Loved Me by Lynsay SandsToday we're thrilled to welcome Lynsay Sands her editor, Erika Tsang, to Heroes and Heartbreakers. We've had 21 adventures with the Argeneau family, with the latest book, The Immortal Who Loved Me, coming out just last week. Here today is Erika to talk about falling in love with the Argeneaus and getting to know this quirky clan.

Did you know that the first Argeneau book published was not actually the first book in the series?

Love Bites was my introduction to Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau series.  I’ve always loved paranormals, but the ones being published back then were mostly dark and tortured, and I was in the mood for something light.  When I found Love Bites, the cover looked fun and the summary description made me laugh.  I didn’t know it was part of a series; I just fell in love with the Argeneaus.  Their family dynamics was just like any other family – from sibling rivalry to the slightly quirky relative—it played out in my head like a tv sitcom. Except these were vampires.  And I was hooked. Then…

…an agent called.  She had just signed a new client, Lynsay Sands.  I almost leapt out of my chair!  When I finally got the chance to talk to Lynsay herself—after I stopped gushing like a fan girl—she told me that her previous publisher had published the series all out of order, and that the true start of the series—A Quick Bite—was unpublished.  Needless to say, I jumped right on that.

[And then we jumped on the series too...]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Nicole Michaels’s Start Me Up (March 3, 2015)

Start Me Up by Nicole MichaelsNicole Michaels
Start Me Up
St. Martin's Press / March 3, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

WHY DO DO-IT-YOURSELF…

Single mom Anne Edmond can handle—and hand-make—just about anything. From table settings to party favors, floral arrangements to nursery décor, there is no project her creativity and a glue gun can’t tackle. But dating? That’s a whole ’nother story. Case in point: Mike Everett. He’s a gorgeous mechanic and known car-whisperer, a man who can work with auto parts like nobody’s business. And he has thrown a monkey wrench into Anne’s carefully-crafted life…

WHEN YOU CAN DO IT TOGETHER?

One look at Anne is enough for Mike to know that she’s no fixer-upper. She’s perfect just the way she is—and the chemistry between them works like a charm. Mike’s always been a no-strings kind of guy, but Anne’s impressive self-reliance—and gorgeous exterior—gives him pause. This time, a fast joyride just doesn’t seem like enough. But first he has to convince Anne that he means to take her all the way…

Fans of love at first sight definitely need to check out Nicole Michaels’s Start Me Up, because it’s a book that you’ll be sure to enjoy. 

It’s Saturday, and Mike Everett has big plans for a nap and later a hot date but instead of his siesta Mike gets conned into dropping his niece off at a birthday party. After taking just one look at the hostess, Anne Edmond, he discovers that there “Ain't no mountain high enough”or decorations pink enough—to keep him away.

[When Mike met Anne...]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 1:30pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Megan Erickson and Sophie Jackson

Bad behavior and scandal dominate the cover reveals today. First up, in Megan Erickson's Changing His Game, an editor gets caught with a dirty gif on her computer by the hot IT guy. One (more) problem...he's secretly her boss! Then, Sophie Jackson takes us behind bars, when a teacher at a prison is attracted to one of her students in A Pound of Flesh. 

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

Tue
Mar 3 2015 12:05pm

Keeping “It” Clean: Hygiene, Hot Sex, and the Historical Romance Novel

Claimed by the Rogue by Hope TarrToday we are thrilled to welcome author Hope Tarr to Heroes and Heartbreakers, whose Claimed by the Rogue is out today in paperback! Claimed by the Rogue, like most historicals, required some research to lend an element of real-life to fantasy. Hope is joining us today to talk about some of the very real-life hygiene habits of historical periods, and why they maybe were left out of their romantic counterparts. Thanks, Hope!

Recently, I returned to writing historical romance after a five year hiatus spent exclusively on contemporaries. In many ways, Claimed By The Rogue represents a homecoming of sorts. Historical romances were what began my love affair with the genre all those many moons ago when, as a curious sixth grader, I found a battered copy of The Lion Triumphant, a Tudor era romance by the incomparable Phillippa Carr, better known as Victoria Holt, at the back of my school library. I was hooked. Even before I set out to write my own book, the ensuing decades saw my love affair with historical romance deepening. The high-stakes scenarios, the sweeping settings, the relative freedom from political correctness—it’s all really rather glorious, and yet…

[And yet, indeed...]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 9:30am

First Look: Lorelei James’s Unraveled (March 3, 2015)

Unraveled by Lorelei JamesLorelei James
Unraveled (Mastered #3)
Penguin / March 3, 2015 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

Shiori Hirano and Knox Lofgren are left to run the martial arts program at Black Arts while Ronin Black travels. On the surface, the two highest ranked belts appear to cooperate—but in private, they butt heads constantly, despite the undeniable attraction between them. Soon their power exchanges start to make for a sweltering dynamic in the bedroom…

At first Knox is shocked to be living out his submissive desires, but Shiori sets out to prove that embracing his true sexual nature doesn’t make him a weak man. But even while their sexual relationship grants him a power and fulfillment he finds surprising, there’s no training regimen for the fight that comes with loving a strong woman…

Unraveled is the third novel in Lorelei James’s Mastered series, and this one focuses on Shiori, the tough-as-nails sister of Ronin Black, who was the focus of the previous novels. Ronin, who runs the Black Arts dojo, is off traveling with his new wife,and has left Knox in charge of things in his absence. This grates on Shiori, as she outranks him in her mastery of martial arts. 

[But we sense she's about to even the odds...]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 8:14am

How Much Is Enough?

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

We've talked about when you want the first kiss in a romance, and how soon is too soon for the first consummation. But between kissing and (after) consummation, there are quite a few levels of heat and frequency to consider.

What are your preferences when you're reading: is one love scene enough to solidify the connection between the main characters, or do you want the love scenes early on and often? Do you look for a minimum number as your ideal?

Fri
Feb 13 2015 3:15pm

The Swoonies 2015: An EPIC Couples Battle!

Welcome to H&H’s very first couples battle, The Swoonies, where romance’s most popular pairings go head-to-head for the title of H&H’s Swoonworthiest Couple of the Year!

Starting today, in Round 1, you get to decide the fates of 32 couples in 16 battles across 4 conferences (Paranormal, Contemporary, Historical, and Romantic Suspense) by voting for your favorites in each poll. Over the coming weeks, couples will be eliminated via weekly polls until just one couple is left standing.

We recognize this won’t be easy, but hope you’ll enjoy the thrilling matches! Here’s everything you need to know:

Schedule of Events

  • Round 1: February 13-20
  • Round 2: February 23-27
  • Round 3: March 2-6
  • Round 4 (The Wildcard Round): March 9-13
  • Round 5 (The Final Four): March 16-20
  • Round 6 (The Championship!!!): March 23-27
  • Swoonworthiest Couple Announced: March 27

Index of Polls/Battles

Round 1: Polling is now closed, on to the next round!
Round 2: Polling is now closed, on to round 3!
Round 3 Battles
   —Vote for your favorite paranormal couples here
   —Vote for your favorite contemporary couples here
   —Vote for your favorite historical couples here
   —Vote for your favorite romantic suspense couples here
Round 4 Battles
Round 5 Battles
Round 6 Battle

The Leaderboard
Keep up with who’s currently battling whom and who’s winning in each conference by visiting the full Swoonies bracket:

 

 

#Swoonies15
Want to campaign for your favorite couple? Make your cases in the comments and with the hashtag #Swoonies15 on social media to be heard! And if you don’t see your favorite couple in the running, let us know that, too...there may be a wild card round up ahead…

 

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For a weekly roundup of the hottest romance news, sneak peeks, reviews, cover reveals, TV recaps, sweepstakes, and much more, sign up for the Heroes and Heartbreakers newsletter.