<i>The Mistake</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Mistake: Exclusive Excerpt Elle Kennedy "He lightly strokes my cheekbone and I have to stop myself from purring like an affection-starved cat." <i>The Harlot Countess</i>: Excerpt The Harlot Countess: Excerpt Joanna Shupe "He wanted to feel her, to hold her... to run his tongue over the smooth knob of her ankle." <i>Midnight Ride</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Midnight Ride: Exclusive Excerpt Cat Johnson "The widow realizes that some rules, like broncos, are meant to be broken…" Jay Crownover's Marked Men Series Jay Crownover's Marked Men Series Jay Crownover Get caught up in the Marked Men series with a note from the author, excerpt, and more!
From The Blog
April 23, 2015
Why Bruce/Natasha Should Be Your New Avengers’ Ship
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April 20, 2015
Introducing Gena Showalter's The Original Heartbreakers
Tiffany Tyer
April 18, 2015
20 Years of Anne Rice’s Beauty Series
Jane Kriel
April 17, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Classical Musicians
Jennifer Proffitt
April 17, 2015
Scandal 4x19 Heart-to-Heart
Nicole Leapheart
Fri
Apr 24 2015 4:50pm

Friday Beefcake: 4 Lords a-Leaping from Cavill, Smith, and More!

Friday Beefcake Lords: Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon in The Tudors

“My lord” or “My prince” is what these men like to be referred to on our TV screens. Their tactics in defending their family’s honor, not to mention their other gentlemanly qualities, make leading ladies swoon. Plus, these guys are hotter than hot and the fact that they are royalty is just the cherry on top.

Which of these guys—Henry Cavill, Sam Heughan, Chris Hemsworth, Josh Dallas, or the Fresh Prince of Bel Air himself, Will Smith—would you choose to address as “My Lord” or “My Prince"? Are we missing your favorite? Do feel free to share suggestions in the comments.

P.S. Thanks to @scandalwomen, @evangelineh, @NicolaMDavidson, @shaeconnor, Jessica M., Heather G., Kara B., Vanessa O., Cj S., Laurie M., and Jackie D. for answering the call for recommendations on Twitter and Facebook. We wish we could've included them all!

[+4 more dreamy pics...]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 11:30am
Original Story

H&H Quickies #9: Jennifer Ryan Presents “A Cowboy Country Wedding”

Jennifer Ryan

 When It's Right by Jennifer Ryan Today we are over the moon to bring you an exclusive Quickie scene from Jennifer Ryan, whose latest Montana Men novel, When It's Right, came out in March.

Earlier this month, we asked you to offer suggestions (“prompts”) as inspiration for a short original scene, and you blew us away with a ton of great prompts.

Earlier this week, newsletter subscribers got advance access to the story (to join the club and get early looks at exclusive content, become an H&H member and check “yes” to get the newsletter here!), and today we are delighted to present the full scene for all users!

Here are the prompts she chose from (with thanks to everyone who left a suggestion, because there were so many fantastic options):

  • A dirt encrusted key (Kareni)
  • Red leather boots (Kareni)
  • Chubby Appaloosa horse (lauralee1912)
  • Sunset ride (HeatherWaters)
  • a tumbledown shack (laughingcarol)
  • tall, dark and gorgeous (laughingcarol)
  • ride a dark trail (dsh) 
  • a tombstone with only one word 'beloved' on it (Tammy Lever)

Without further ado, here is Jennifer Ryan's H&H Quickie, “A Cowboy Country Wedding.”

Thank you for all the wonderful prompts. I had so much fun reading them and imagining the story they’d create. The tumbledown shack, a tall, dark, and gorgeous cowboy on a sunset ride sparked so many great ideas. I hope you like Trace and Skylar’s scene. 

Trace had been looking at the girl next door his whole life, but he’d never seen her look more beautiful than she did standing in the doorway of her grandparents’ old tumbledown shack dressed in a lace wedding gown. The tips of her red leather boots poked out the hem. That was his tried and true country girl. The building wasn’t much to look at with its sagging porch, cracked glass windows, badly patched roof, and the rotted out back wall that was mostly covered by a rambling wild rose bush. But she was a sight to behold with her blonde hair tied at the base of her neck and draped over one shoulder, spiraled into golden curls. A wreath of tiny rose buds from the bush out back crowned her head. Her blue eyes sparkled bright with the happiness that tilted her lips into a soft smile. She took his breath away.

[Read the full scene now...]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 3:35pm

Romance News Roundup: Fifty Shades Darker Tease, Grey’s Anatomy Death, 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.

Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades Darker teaserFifty Shades fans, your first look at Jamie Dornan's Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Darker is here—kinda sorta. It's an image from a Darker tease in the Fifty Shades of Grey Blu-ray, according to EW.com. What do you think? Will you be seeing the movie when it hits theaters on February 10, 2017? In the meantime, stick with H&H for updates about the next two movies and remember you can still weigh in with your thoughts on the first movie.

—OMGDidYouSee...?!!!: A MAJOR Grey's Anatomy cast member departure has rocked the fandom. SPOILERS AHEAD: Last night's Season 11, episode 21, “How to Save a Life” sank the series' hardiest ship, Derek/Meredith, as the beloved McDreamy was struck by a vehicle after saving four victims of another car crash and then receiving less-than-stellar medical treatment. Did you watch last night? How are you feeling? What stage of grief are you currently in?

—Love Darynda Jones's Charley Davidson and in need of an artistic outlet? This fan art challenge may be just the ticket!

Fri
Apr 24 2015 1:15pm

First Look: Kelly Bowen’s A Good Rogue is Hard to Find (April 28, 2015)

A Good Rogue Is Hard to Find by Kelly BowenKelly Bowen
A Good Rogue Is Hard to Find
Grand Central / April 28, 2015 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

HE THOUGHT HE'D SEEN IT ALL...

The rogue's life has been good to William Somerhall: He has his fortune, his racehorses, and his freedom. Then he moves in with his mother. It seems the eccentric Dowager Duchess of Worth has been barely skirting social disaster-assisted by one Miss Jenna Hughes, who is far too bright and beautiful to be wasting her youth as a paid companion. Now home to keep his mother from ruin, William intends to learn what's afoot by keeping his friends close-and the tempting Miss Hughes closer still.

...UNTIL HE MEETS HER

He's tall, dark, and damnably intelligent-unfortunately for Jenna. She and the duchess are in the “redistribution business,” taking from the rich and giving to the poor, and it's going great - until he shows up. But even as William plots to make an honest woman out of her, Jenna will use all her wiles to reveal just how bad a rogue he can be...

Where have you been all my life, Kelly Bowen? If Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean, and Lisa Kleypas were to extract their writing DNA, mix it in a blender, and have a love child, Kelly Bowen would be it. A Good Rogue is Hard to Find is the second book in her Lords of Worth Series and does not disappoint.

[So it's Worth the wait, eh?...]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 12:00pm

Scandal 4x20 Heart-to-Heart: Hey, Foxy!

Scandal 4x20 Come in Russell, my darling.

Note: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Scandal, including last night's Season 4, Episode 20, “First Lady Sings the Blues.”

Scandal 4x20 Liv/Russell/Jake Captain's Log

Show/Episode: Scandal Season 4, Episode 20, “First Lady Sings the Blues” 
Ship(s): Liv/Russell/Jake

So it’s just another workday and Quinn comes in to OPA, puts the papers down, and starts the coffee, only to find Jake bloodied and laid out the conference room table. Gah! “Jake is DEAD!”

But wait, in comes Huck, going straight to stealth mode and doing his best Grey's Anatomy impression. Huck gives Jake a quick assessment, declares that yes, he's pretty stabbed up, but he's still warm, and then… Wham! A well-placed punch to the chest and Jake is sucking in air again. Huck, your talents know no end.

The team now complete with Liv and David, they all decide—against David’s wishes—not to call an ambulance but instead to take Jake somewhere secret to patch him up. Once at their secret warehouse location they get Charlie to call on a shady surgeon friend to help Jake.

Meanwhile, Mellie is now on the campaign trail in Virginia and saying all the right things. Too bad Sally now has her own watchdog show, “The Liberty Report,” and is on television punching holes in Mellie’s well-crafted campaign.

[Mellie for what, again?...]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 11:00am
Excerpt

The Mistake: Exclusive Excerpt

Elle Kennedy

The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2) by Elle Kennedy

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Get a sneak peek at  Elle Kennedy's The Mistake (available April 28, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“It’s Friday night—how come you’re sitting around watching action movies?”

The question makes me bristle. “What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing.” Logan shrugs. “I’m just wondering why you’re not out partying or something.”

“I was at a party last night.” Don’t remind him you saw him, don’t remind him you saw him— “I saw you there, by the way.”

He seems startled. “You did?”

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

Fri
Apr 24 2015 9:30am

First Look: Leisa Rayven’s Broken Juliet (April 28, 2015)

Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven

Leisa Rayven
Broken Juliet (Bad Romeo #2)
St. Martin's Press / April 28, 2015 / $14.99 print, $7.99 digital

Some loves never let you go…

Cassie swore she'd never forgive Ethan for breaking her heart when they were in acting school years ago. He was her one great love, and when he refused to love her back, a part of her died forever…or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he's determined to win her back. Finally he's able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago…but can she believe him? Has he really changed, and what makes this time different from all his other broken promises?

The answer lies somewhere in the past, and now the truth will come to light. Will Cassie rediscover what it's like to be trusting and open again—the way she was before Ethan? Or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?

Don't miss this mesmerizing final chapter in the Bad Romeo duet, the unforgettable love story that captured the hearts of over two million fans online.

Just as the title suggests, Broken Juliet explains how Cassie became so broken. The follow up to Bad Romeo, we finally get the answers we desperately wanted. It starts off right where we left off, Cassie on the edge of making a major decision regarding Ethan. The first book chronicled the beginning of their relationship and their present questionable status. Broken Juliet shows you all the pieces that were broken by Ethan and how it occurred. There are no hidden pieces, Ethan and Cassie embrace purging themselves of all these hurts. Leisa Rayven’s writing shines through in this edition. Gripping, witty, and articulate, Broken Juliet is an uphill battle that leaves you looking for something to brace on while also soothing your hurts.

[The journey is worth it...]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 8:16am

Would You Read a Romance About Online Dating?

In the digital age, the way we meet our prospective partners is changing. Online dating, which was once-upon-a-time only a mode for the desperate, divorced, and/or doddering, but now people are just as likely to meet their significant others online, as they are at work or school.

Have you read any romances where the couple meets online? If you haven't, would you ever pick one up?

Thu
Apr 23 2015 4:30pm

The Complicated Beauty and Her Beast: Why Bruce/Natasha Should Be Your New Avengers Ship

Natasha and Bruce in The Avengers

Natasha Romanoff is the little black dress of The Avengers fandom. Maybe it is just her inherent awesomeness, but I can imagine her with everyone from Clint to Steve to Maria. The Black Widow has close ties to every member of the team (except maybe Thor, but he's all wrapped up in Loki…err, I mean Jane), but could she ever be with the one man who truly frightens her, Bruce Banner, AKA The Hulk? The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailers suggest a special bond may be brewing between Bruce and Natasha, and you know what? It makes sense. 

Stay with me now. Natasha has a dark past of her own. As she famously said in the first Avengers, “I've got a lot of red in my ledger; I'd like to wipe it out.” Comic book fans know Natasha was subjected to brainwashing in the Red Room as a child, and as a result she became a killer. Unlike the squeaky clean Steve or god of thunder Thor, Natasha's past is dark, and complicated by acts she had no control over.

[Bruce knows a thing or two about that...]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 3:24pm

Romance News Roundup: Robin Covington Deal & Rainbow Rowell Cover!

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.

Temptation by Robin Covington—Daily Book Deal Alert: Robin Covington's Temptation is currently free in e-book at e-tailers including Amazon and iBookstore.* Plus, find out why Temptation made it onto Jess Moro's New Adult recommendations last August.

—The cover for Rainbow Rowell's Carry On (a spinoff, of sorts, from Fangirl) has been revealed at BuzzFeed. Are you excited to read Baz and Simon's tale, described as “a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama”? And if you want more Rowell, don't miss her H&H guest post about the most satisfying love stories in books, movies, and TV—you may find yourself nodding along with her suggestions or finding something new to try.

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

Thu
Apr 23 2015 2:15pm

First Look: Cheris Hodges’s Rumor Has It (April 28, 2015)

Rumor Has It by Cheris Hodges

Cheris Hodges
Rumor Has It
Kensington / April 28, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Liza Palmer couldn't be happier when her best friend and sorority sister, Chante Britt, and her closest guy friend, Robert Montgomery, hit it off. And she's beyond thrilled when they announce their engagement. Robert is an up-and-comer running for the North Carolina senate. Chante is a partner at a prestigious law firm. They're a power couple made in heaven—until Liza discovers Robert in a compromising position—with another woman. . .

Liza can't possibly continue to support Robert's campaign, much less let him marry Chante. But when she tries to reveal the truth, Robert pulls out every corrupt trick in the book—including turning Chante against her. Her only choice is to seek out his opponent, Jackson Franklin, and help him take Robert down. But to Liza's great surprise, Jackson won't play dirty—and Liza finds him irresistible. As sparks fly, personally and politically, Liza and Jackson may become a winning team in more ways than one. . .

Cheris Hodges Rumor Has It is a political romance novel rife with scandal. Set in the middle of a tight race for Senate, the heat will be raised by two opponents. Liza is a social media queen. She can twist anyone’s bad decisions into positives using twitter. Jackson is a veteran who has battled his demons; he now gives back to the community at the veteran center. When the center is set to be shut down, he does the only thing he an think of to keep it going. He enters the race for Senate chair of North Carolina. He doesn’t realize the crazy, manipulate world he’s entering and Liza might just be his calming force.

Liza is a campaign manager for Jackson’s rival, Robert. They’ve been best friends since college and she would do anything to help him. This becomes quite a problem when she starts falling for Jackson. Can they keep their political ties out of their relationship?

[Politics and love are always a little messy...]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 1:00pm

Cover Spotlight with A.C. Arthur and Scarlett Cole!

Cover reveal graphic for A.C. Arthur's Primal Heat serial and Scarlett Cole's The Strongest SteelToday we're thrilled to reveal the covers from A.C. Arthur and Scarlett Cole! Last month we showed you the paperback cover for Arthur's Shadow Shifters novel Primal Heat, and now we can share with you the mouthwatering covers for the four-part serial edition of the book! Plus: In the market for a tat? Head on over to Scarlett Cole's Second Circles Tattoos novel The Strongest Steel for some inspiration from hot hero and tattoo artist Trent!

[Take a peek...]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 12:03pm

Arrow 3x20 Olicity Heart-to-Heart: Let’s Get It On

Oliver and Felicity have sex in Arrow 3x20, The Fallen
Image via Scu11y22

Arrow 3x20 Oliver/Felicity Captain's Log

Show/Episode: Arrow Season 3, Episode 20, “The Fallen”
Ship: Oliver/Felicity (Olicity)

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Arrow, including last night's Season 3, Episode 20, “The Fallen.”

Thea isn’t dead but it’s a near thing. The doctor tells Oliver there’s nothing they can do to save her, that her injuries are too vast. The way Stephen Amell plays Oliver’s emotions during all this is heart-wrenching. His horror and grief and helplessness is palpable and makes your throat ache to watch it. Maseo tells Oliver that Ra’s will bring Thea back via the Lazarus Pit if he just accepts his calling. Since Oliver is a man who will do anything to save his sister, he packs a bag. After briefly attempting to dissuade him, Dig and Felicity insist on going with him. Felicity goes to Ray to ask to borrow his jet. Ray, who sees this as the final clue in the puzzle that is Oliver and Felicity’s relationship, gently breaks off his relationship with her while still bestowing the jet for her use. In the end, a very nice guy. Go with God, Ray.

[And now: Bon voyage! The Olicity ship officially sets sail!...]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 9:30am

First Look: Jennifer Estep’s Cold Burn of Magic (April 28, 2015)

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Jennifer Estep
Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)
Kensington / April 28, 2015 / $9.95 print, $7.99 digital

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's blood-iron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call—get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her.

I love Jennifer Estep’s writing. She is one of the few authors I have read who was able to cross from adult fiction to youth adult with no missteps or awkwardness in the transition. She has a powerful appealing voice that resonates through her characters. Her stories contain a good balance of normal everyday normal life with strong magical world building. Estep’s unique twists and turns keeps the pacing steady while witty dialogue and dynamic characters keep you entertained.

Jennifer Estep’s latest urban fantasy adventure revolves around a magical and deadly version of Disneyland and a reclusive teenager whose reluctantly dragged into a long standing family feud. Action, intrigue, suspense, and a healthy dose of snark introduces a new world that blends modern sensibilities with magical charm.

[Lose yourself in the magical land...]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 8:04am

Throwback Thursday: What Was Your First Office Romance Novel?

In Bed with Her Boss by Brenda JacksonMany couples meet in the work place‚ after all, it's where we spend a lot of our adult life. Office romances—particularly of the boss-secretary variety—are very popular in romance novels. Do you remember your very first office romance trope? What was it? Is it your favorite trope? What about office romances do you love the best?

Let us know in the comments!

Wed
Apr 22 2015 4:45pm

Storm Brewing: Women’s Fiction Best Bets for April 2015

The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick

I'm not afraid of storms,
for I'm learning to sail my ship.
~ Louisa May Alcott ~

There is no greater fear than being rudderless in a storm—not knowing which direction to turn or what decision to make. April’s heroines have their own storms to weather, but lucky for them, they are not traveling down new paths, because in most cases their future resolution is hidden in the past.

The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick

Years of long workdays and little sleep as a political campaigner are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey's boss is entering the White House. But when her estranged older sister, Alice, unexpectedly dies, Lucy is drawn back to Nilson's Bay, her small, close-knit, Wisconsin hometown.

An accident in her teens left Alice mentally impaired, and she was content to stay in Nilson's Bay. Lucy, meanwhile, got out and never looked back. But now, to meet the terms of Alice's eccentric will, Lucy has taken up temporary residence in her sister's cottage—and begins to see the town, and Alice's life, anew. Alice's diverse group of friends appears to have little in common besides an interest in quilting. Yet deep affection for Alice united them and soon Lucy, too, is brought into the fold as they share problems and stories. And as she finds warmth and support in this new circle, Lucy begins to understand this will be her sister's enduring gift—a chance to move beyond her difficult past, and find what she has long been missing. . .

Strengths: Poignant sibling bond; Engaging friendships; HEA
Measure of Love: Teaspoon
Introspection Level: Medium
Thoughts: Winning story of how you can go home again. Even in death, Alice is such notable presence.

[More Best Bets for April 2015...]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 4:06pm

Romance News Roundup: Amy Schumer & Paige Tyler!

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.

—See for yourself why a sketch from last night's Inside Amy Schumer—which pulled double duty as both a parody of beloved Friday Night Lights TV couple Eric and Tami Taylor (a.k.a. Coach and Mrs. Coach) AND a PSA about campus rape—is setting the internet on fire today.

—Next week's H&H newsletter will feature an exclusive Author Spotlight with Paige Tyler (Her Wild Hero). For access to this and other members-only content, sign up to become a member of the H&H community and check “Yes” to receive the newsletter!

Wed
Apr 22 2015 2:45pm

First Look: Anna Campbell’s A Scoundrel by Moonlight (April 28, 2015)

A Scoundrel by Moonlight by Anna Campbell

Anna Campbell
A Scoundrel by Moonlight (Sons of Sins #4)
Grand Central Publishing / April 28, 2015 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

Anything can happen in the moonlight . . .

Justice. That's all Nell Trim wants-for her sister and for the countless other young women the Marquess of Leath has ruined with his wildly seductive ways. Now she has a bold plan to take him down . . . as long as she can resist the scoundrel's temptations herself.

From the moment Nell meets James Fairbrother, the air positively sizzles. Yet for all his size and power, there's something amazingly tender in his touch. Could he really be such a depraved rogue? The only way to find out is to beat the devil at his own game . . . one tempting kiss at a time.

Deception is a theme in many romances, and for a reason. If a relationship starts in dishonesty, how can the two lovers get to the place of vulnerability required to form a life-long bond? An important question to be sure, and Anna Campbell plays with multiple levels of this in A Scoundrel by Moonlight, the fourth entry in her Sons of Sin series.

Eleanor Trim, commonly known as Nell (and pay attention to names here, as Campbell plays them like a maestro) makes a promise to her dying half-sister, Dorothy; Nell will find the heartless rake who seduced and ruined Dorothy and make him pay. Not only for his crimes against Dorothy. Oh no, nothing as straightforward as that. The Marquess of Leath, as Dorthy names him, has an entire diary, detailing the multiple girls he’s ruined, and of his pride in doing so. Dorothy wants Nell to find this book and make it public, thus bringing about Leath’s ruin for revenge. She’s a brave one, our Nell, so Dorothy can rest easy. Nell’s in.

[So, let the plotting begin.]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 1:30pm

Cover Spotlight with Kate Baxter, Kate Douglas, A.C. Arthur, and Audra North!

Today we're thrilled to reveal the covers from Kate Baxter, A.C. Arthur, Kate Douglas, and Audra North! First up, we have two paranormal covers. Could Bears be the New Black with Kate Baxter's Stripped Bear? Then, great read to meet your mate...and your other mate. Who says three's a crowd in Kate Douglas and A.C. Arthur's Claimed by the Mate. Then to save her team, a heroine becomes fake-engaged to a man she can't stand! We imagine that won't last for long in Audra North's In the Fast Lane.

[See these covers up close!]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

The Harlot Countess: Exclusive Excerpt

Joanna Shupe

The Harlot Countess by Joanna Shupe

Lady Maggie Hawkins's debut was something she'd rather forget—along with her first marriage. Today, the political cartoonist is a new woman. A thoroughly modern woman. So much so that her clamoring public believes she's a man...

FACT: Drawing under a male pseudonym, Maggie is known as Lemarc. Her (his!) favorite object of ridicule: Simon Barrett, Earl of Winchester. He's a rising star in Parliament—and a former confidant and love interest of Maggie's who believed a rumor that vexes her to this day.

FICTION: Maggie is the Half-Irish Harlot who seduced her best friend's husband on the eve of their wedding. She is to be feared and loathed as she will lift her skirts for anything in breeches.

Still crushed by Simon's betrayal, Maggie has no intention of letting the ton crush her as well. In fact, Lemarc's cartoons have made Simon a laughingstock. . .but now it appears that Maggie may have been wrong about what happened years ago, and that Simon has been secretly yearning for her since. . .forever. Could it be that the heart is mightier than the pen and the sword after all?

Get a sneak peek at  Joanna Shupe's The Harlot Countess (available April 28, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Simon rapped on the door of a large townhouse on Charles Street. “We might very well be turned away.”

The Duke of Colton snorted. “I’ve never been refused entrance at a dissolute party in my life.”

The revelry from inside reached the front steps, a steady hum of noise. In addition to the voices, notes from a string quartet played. Simon could only wonder what the neighbors thought.

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