<i>One Night More</i>: Exclusive Excerpt One Night More: Exclusive Excerpt Mandy Baxter "She realized her lips had parted as though in anticipation of a kiss..." <i>Take Down</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Take Down: Exclusive Excerpt Mallery Malone "Little does Karina Armistead know, but Gabriel has decided that she will be his." <i>Lord Savage</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Lord Savage: Exclusive Excerpt Mia Gabriel "I instantly forgot everything except how he’d kissed me last night..." <i>Dark Blood</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Dark Blood: Exclusive Excerpt Christine Feehan "You can’t go around saying things like that to me when we have company."
From The Blog
August 29, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Back to School Edition 2014
Team H & H
August 29, 2014
You Down with OTP?
Sandy Hall
August 28, 2014
Alcoholic and Addicted Heroes
Willa aka willaful
August 27, 2014
Second Chances in Lori Foster’s No Limits
Tori Benson
August 27, 2014
The August 2014 Women’s Fiction Roundup
Leigh Davis
Tue
Sep 2 2014 9:30am

First Look: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Son of No One (September 2, 2014)

Son of No One by Sherrilyn KenyonSherrilyn Kenyon
Son of No One
St. Martin's Press / September 2, 2014 / $27.99 print, $14.99 digital

**Note: This post may contain minor spoilers.**

In Son of No One, next in the blockbuster The Dark-Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, it’s not easy being life’s own personal joke, but Josette Landry has made an unstable peace with the beast. Completely down on her luck, Josette takes a job with a local paranormal group as a photographer and camerawoman. Yeah, they’re even crazier than she is. The only paranormal thing she believes in is the miracle that keeps her rusted out hoopty running. But when something truly evil is released into the world, they are forced to call in reinforcement.

From the moment Josette meets Cadegan, she knows something about him isn’t quite right. Mysterious and armed with lethal sarcasm, he seems a lot older than his age.

Centuries ago, Cadegan was viciously betrayed into an immortal prison by the only person he’d ever trusted. Forced against his will to do good, he hates everything in life. All he wants is a way out. But for the damned there is only eternal suffering. And yet there is something about Josette that intrigues him. Something he can’t seem to fight and the last time he felt this way about a woman, it cost him everything.

He knows he has to stay away from her, but the unleashed demon is hellbent on consuming her soul. If one more innocent is taken, he will be sent back to an unimaginable prison that makes his current hell look like paradise. But how can he keep her safe when his being with her is the greatest threat of all?

And so another great Sherrilyn Kenyon novel is released. Son of No One is everything that encompasses Kenyon’s signature style. Fun writing with witty banter, great plot, and descriptions that throw you right into the setting, this book is an AMAZING addition to the Dark-Hunter universe.

[Give us the details...]

Tue
Sep 2 2014 8:15am

What Book Lives Up To the Hype?

The Rook by Daniel O'MalleyAs an avid book reader, chances are you're always on the hunt for something new and amazing to read. And since many of us get our recommendations from word-of-mouth (not to mention Heroes and Heartbreakers!), some of us have read something, only to find it was a disappointment that didn't live up to its advance praise.

But there are those books that do—that are as good as people have said, that you then go on and rave about to all your fellow book readers.

What book lives up to the hype? 

Mon
Sep 1 2014 4:00pm

First Look: Deborah Blake’s Wickedly Dangerous (September 2, 2014)

Wickedly Dangerous by Deborah BlakeDeborah Blake
Wickedly Dangerous
Berkley / September 2, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart…

Wickedly Dangerous, the first book in a new series by Deborah Blake, is a new paranormal series with a different flair, based on a Russian fairytale.

Russian tales state that Baba Yaga, a wicked witch with a curved-chin, beaky-nose, iron teeth, and giant chicken legs flies through the air on an enchanted mortar and pestle, to search out naughty children. And when she finds them she doesn’t discipline them, she eats them. That would keep me out of the forests and woods!

[Dangerous, indeed!...]

Mon
Sep 1 2014 1:30pm

First Look: Victoria Roberts’s My Highland Spy (September 2, 2014)

My Highland Spy by Victoria RobertsVictoria Roberts 
My Highland Spy
Sourcebooks / September 2, 2014 / $5.31 print, $6.49 digital

This Highland Laird won't bow to the Crown

Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do—he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.

But this lady spy might make him...

Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.

If she doesn't betray him first

Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?

In Victoria Roberts's My Highland Spy, Lady Ravenna Walsingham is following the family tradition of being a spy for the crown and has made herself very useful to King James in the years following Queen Elizabeth I's death. Her latest assignment is to go to the Highlands of Scotland in the guise of a governess.

[As you do...]

Mon
Sep 1 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

One Night More: Exclusive Excerpt

Mandy Baxter

One Night More by Mandy Baxter

Savvy, hard-riding, rule-breaking—they’ll go anywhere and do anything it takes to protect and serve. But this U. S. Marshal has just met his match—and playing for keeps is one sizzling game…

Getting saved from disaster by a handsome stranger—Harper Allen has no problem with that. But when he leaves without a word or a clue to his real identity, the newbie reporter writes it off as the best one-night-stand she’ll ever have. Until a year later, when Harper comes face to face with the man assigned to hide her from a senator’s killer…

Galen Kelly hasn’t forgotten a single sensual minute of his night with Harper . . . or that she betrayed him. With the FBI also on their trail, he’s got to pretend he’s never met her or risk both their lives. But as danger closes in, Galen may not be able to protect himself from taking the biggest risk of all…

Get a sneak peek of Mandy Baxter's One Night More (available September 2, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Harper didn’t know what was better: the flash drive she’d found in her bag, or the way the dark cloud of Galen’s mood had lifted. Once again she found herself feeling optimistic, and that was a very dangerous thing. Their superhero conversation was so reminiscent of the first time they’d met. Had it jogged anything in his memory? God, was it totally stupid of her to hope that it had?

She led the way to her condo as she had so many times over the past week with Galen not far behind her. His protective instinct overwhelmed Harper in its intensity. As though reassuring her on a subconscious level that he’d never let anything happen to her. Her hand shook as she retrieved her key from her pocket and slid it into the lock. She knew if she leaned her head back, it would find his shoulder. And if she did, would his strong arms encircle her like they had that night? Would he reach up and cup her breasts? Tease her nipples into aching peaks? His mouth hot against her skin?

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of One Night More...]

Sun
Aug 31 2014 11:02pm

Change Is Gonna Come: New Downton Abbey Season 5 (Series 5) Trailer!

ITV has released an intriguing new trailer for Downton Abbey Series 5 (or Season 5 here in the U.S.) and has also announced the U.K. premiere date: September 21, 2014.

Excited for the new season?

Sun
Aug 31 2014 5:00pm

Outlander Season 1, Episode 4 Recap: Party Like It’s 1743

Jamie and Claire in Outlander Season 1 episode 4Claire Randall's adventure continues in the first season of what is sure to be a long-running series on Starz based on the beloved historical fiction/fantasy/romance series by Diana Gabaldon, and we are so ready to recap and then discuss every single moment of it.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, episode 4, “The Gathering.” Enjoy!

Claire races through the forest on a misty morning. Sharpshooters on lookout towers take aim. Nope, no escape this time. Claire is running from a fierce horde of children. She takes a tumble and looks up into a kilt, worn the traditional way. Not Jamie, though. Boo. Her guards don’t want to miss the festivities of the gathering, so Claire and the kids will have to explore some other time. The hunting game was more than a pleasant diversion. It let Claire scope out two possible escape routes. Clever girl.

[Can you really escape destiny?...]

Sun
Aug 31 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Thea Harrison’s Night’s Honor (September 2, 2014)

Thea Harrison
Night's Honor (Elder Races #7)
Penguin / September 2, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

From the author of Kinked and Oracle's Moon...In the USA Today bestselling author's latest Novel of the Elder Races, a woman finds herself in need of protection—and seduced by honor…

On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past….

In this latest Elder Races story, Thea Harrison gives us our first close look at the Nightkind. At the annual New Year’s Eve Vampyre Ball, candidates wishing to become attendants in a vampyre household can get in line and make an appeal for a patron. If accepted, they provide whatever services their vampyre master needs, along with a blood donation of course. In exchange, the vampyre’s bite will give the humans a longer life and a faster healing ability. Since vampyre transformations are meticulously regulated, most human attendants hope that their services will put them on the fast track to becoming a vampyre.

[Fingers crossed!...]

Sun
Aug 31 2014 2:30pm

First Look: Erin McCarthy’s Shatter (September 2, 2014)

Shatter by Erin McCarthyErin McCarthy
Shatter
Berkley / September 2, 2014 / $14.00 print, $5.99 digital

From the USA Today bestselling author of True, Sweet, and Believe comes a tantalizing New Adult novel about finding love in the most unexpected ways…

Kylie Warner prides herself on being optimistic, but after finding her best friend in bed with her boyfriend and flunking chemistry, her upbeat attitude has taken a dive. Even an impromptu hook-up with her sexy new chemistry tutor only brightens her mood slightly. After all, it’s not like she’ll ever see the tattooed scholar again…

While he’s a whiz at complex equations, Jonathon Kadisch has trouble when it comes to figuring out women. So when Kylie tells him that she’s pregnant after their night of passion, he’s at a complete loss. He’s prepared to be a good father—unlike his own deadbeat dad—but he’s less prepared to fall for the genuine and alluring blonde bearing his child.

With emotions running high, Kylie wonders if Jonathon’s devotion is out of growing love or looming obligation. And when heartbreak threatens to tear them apart, Jonathon will have to fight for the only girl who’s ever made him feel whole…

Erin McCarthy's True Believers series has always been a little set apart from the typical New Adults. The raw, gritty writing and the forthright way everyone just speaks their mind has been notable from the start, but in the course of four books, the topics explored have grown increasingly heavier, forcing an inherently lovable group of underdogs in a series that really shows the underbelly of college life to grow up very fast. And with Shatter, there's one issue at the forefront: unplanned pregnancy.

[That makes things more complicated...]

Sun
Aug 31 2014 10:00am

First Look: Joanne Rock’s Promises Under the Peach Tree (September 1, 2014)

Joanne Rock
Promises Under the Peach Tree
Harlequin / September 1, 2014 / $6.75 print, $4.99 digital

The trouble with Heartache

Nina Spencer swore she was done with Heartache, Tennessee, when she left the town—and her sexy ex, Mack—in her rearview mirror. But when her bakery business is rocked by scandal, she needs a place to regroup. What she doesn't need is Mack Finley reminding her of peach-flavored kisses and the hold he still has on her.

Mack never forgot Nina—not that he didn't try. Yet between caring for his family and organizing the annual Harvest Fest, he's overwhelmed and he needs Nina's help. They can work together without getting swept up in memories and the rush of brand-new passion, …right?

With my almost Pavlovian response to story arcs with reunited lovers, it is no surprise Joanne Rock’s Promises Under the Peach Tree caught my eye. Along with this favorite trope, I discovered realistic conflicts about lovers’ expectations and divided loyalties.

[Reunited and it feels so—?...]

Sat
Aug 30 2014 3:30pm

First Look: Alice Clayton’s Screwdrivered (September 2, 2014)

Alice Clayton
Screwdrivered (Cocktail #3)
Gallery / September 2, 2014 / $15.00 print, $7.99 digital

By day, Viv Franklin is a tough-as-nails software engineer who designs programs and loves hospital corners. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.

When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?

There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.

In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian. Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?

In her latest novel in the Cocktail series, Alice Clayton is having a good time poking a little fun at the romance reader. We are a fanciful group always looking for a happily ever after with that one special person, but can we enjoy a laugh at our own expense?

[Oh, you know it...]

Sat
Aug 30 2014 1:30pm

Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Not-Your-Usual Historicals for August 2014

Slave Girl by Lisa CachHere in the States, August is the last month of freedom before the kids go back to school and the parents can celebrate a return to normalcy. It’s also the month where we all try to grab that last gasp of summertime fun before the weather turns cooler and we settle in for what we hope will not be a long, hard winter.

Why not fill your beach bag and/or your favorite digital content device with some tasty not-your-usual historical offerings? While there are a bumper crop of cowboys this month (yeehaw!), there’s still plenty of variety to tickle even the most fickle of fancies.

Ancient Rome!

Slave Girl by Lisa Cach

A sex slave who’s never been touched… National bestselling author Lisa Cach spins an erotic, passionate novel about a young Roman Empire slave who’s intended to become her king’s concubine—until a rugged barbarian prince takes her heart…and more.

Lovely Nimia is a slave to King Sygarius, who’s grooming her to be his consort as soon as she reaches full womanhood. And that time is very close. Nimia is forced to attend shocking lessons in the erotic arts; lessons that leave her body aroused and her mind conflicted. Because while she’s attracted to Sygarius’s power and eroticism, her spirit rebels at being his slave.

Then one of Sygarius’s allies comes to visit. Smart and ambitious, Clovis burns to take over Sygarius’s kingdom—and the beautiful Nimia. And though her virginity is meant for Sygarius, Clovis takes it with her enthusiastic consent.

When Sygarius learns that she is no longer a virgin, Nimia flees for her life. But can she find Clovis before the wrath of Sygarius—and imminent death—finds her first?

[+More new and unusual historicals...]

Sat
Aug 30 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Take Down: Exclusive Excerpt

Mallery Malone

Take Down by Mallery Malone

Powerful. Dominant, Unforgettable. He demands submission at all costs.

Cage fighter, Gabriel Devereaux, a man of barely leashed power, is known as the Bayou Beast.

There is one woman he will do anything , pay any amount to possess.

Karina Armistead, has come a long way from the innocent girl Gabriel used to know. An internationally known singer, she can have anything she wants. But everything tells her that getting involved with the Bayou Beast may leave her wrecked beyond repair.

Little does Karina Armistead know, but Gabriel has decided that she will be his.

He will destroy anything or anyone who stands in his way.

Get a sneak peek of Mallery Malone's Take Down (available September 2, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapter 1.

Chapter 1

It was the perfect place to beat the shit out of someone.

A rowdy ring of men of questionable morals and even more questionable hygiene filled the dilapidated warehouse. Dim fluorescent lighting high above barely illuminated the cracked concrete floor. There was no ring, no cage, no referees. No medical personnel on standby. In this run-down warehouse in Macao, you came to fight at your own risk.

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

Sat
Aug 30 2014 10:00am

First Look: Christine Feehan’s Dark Blood (September 2, 2014)

Dark Blood by Christine FeehanChristine Feehan
Dark Blood (Dark Series #26)
Berkley / September 2, 2014 / $26.95 print, $12.99 digital

At long last you are truly back with us...

Zev Hunter was an elite warrior, a dark-blood dealer of death to rogue Lycans who preyed on mankind. He was a loner, never given to personal attachments, and damned fierce at his job. But Zev begins to question his past and his purpose when he awakens in the darkness of the sacred cave of warriors—and is soothed back to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of one woman, the woman who has haunted his fantasies for centuries. She was Branislava, member of the Dragonseeker clan…

Mother Earth called the ancients to witness your rebirth… 

For this half-mage, half-Carpathian temptress, the ritual of awakening Zev to the council of warriors was the only way to save him. Locked away for his own protection, the time has now come for his rebirth, for his blood to stir with that of the ancient warriors before him. He has been assured by Branislava that their fates are entwined, that their spirits are woven together for eternity and that his new purpose in life is beyond imagining.

Now, with a blood-sworn vow of honor, mercy and endurance, and under the influence of a siren as bewitching as Branislava, Zev begins to wonder what his purpose is, what it means for the future of the Carpathians and what it is about his rebirth that he has to fear… 

Dark Blood is (amazingly!) the 26th book of Christine Feehan's Dark Series. It is the last of a trilogy in the series and this time around, the Dragonseeker Branislava has rescued the Lycan Zev Hunter from death, literally. He slowly awakes from death through his connection to Bronnie (or Branka, as he nicknames her) to find out that not only is he not dead, he is of mixed blood and his warrior expertise is needed.

[Tell us more, tell us more...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Back to School Edition 2014

Ian Harding as Ezra Fitz in Pretty Little LiarsLast year, we gave you Back to School Beefcake to celebrate all those moms sending their kids back to school. This year we're bringing it back—after all, these TV and movie teachers are part of what makes watching these shows and movies so sexy!

[We don't want school to be out...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 3:00pm

First Look: Barbara Davis’s The Wishing Tide (September 2, 2014)

The Wishing Tide by Barbara DavisBarbara Davis
The Wishing Tide
NAL / September 2, 2014 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

Five years ago, Lane Kramer moved to Starry Point, North Carolina, certain the quaint island village was the place to start anew. Now the owner of a charming seaside inn, she’s set aside her dreams of being a novelist and of finding love again. When English professor Michael Forrester appears on Lane’s doorstep in the middle of a storm, he claims he’s only seeking a quiet place to write his book. Yet he seems eerily familiar with the island, leaving Lane wondering if he is quite what he appears.

Meanwhile, Mary Quinn has become a common sight, appearing each morning on the dunes behind the inn, to stare wistfully out to sea. Lane is surprised to find a friendship developing with the older woman, who possesses a unique brand of wisdom, despite her tenuous grip on reality.

As Lane slowly unravels Mary’s story and a fragile relationship between Lane and Michael blooms, Lane realizes the three share a common bond. But when a decades-old secret suddenly casts its shadow over them, Lane must choose between protecting her heart and fighting for the life—and the love—she wants.

With some books, it is difficult to pick just “one thing” to highlight. The Wishing Tide by Barbara Davis is one of those books. The characterization, the plot, and the setting all synergistically complement each other, resulting in a beguiling, romantic, dark, and comedic story.

[In other words, you can't look away...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 12:20pm

Cover Reveal: Christine Warren’s Hard as a Rock!

Hard as a Rock by Christine WarrenToday we're thrilled to reveal the cover for Christine Warren's latest book in the Gargoyle series, Hard as a Rock. These men are hard to handle, but the women who are tied them are tough enough to handle the job.

[See the cover and learn more about the book...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 11:15am

Everyone’s Got One: One True Pairing

A Little Something Different by Sandy HallToday we're pleased to be joined by author Sandy Hall, whose A Little Something Different tells the story of an unfolding romance through fourteen different viewpoints (including a squirrel and a park bench). Everyone in the book, it seems, has an opinion about the couple in question, and of course that leads right into what Sandy is talking about today: OTPs, or One True Pairings. Thanks, Sandy!

The Good News about OTPs!

Hello my name is Sandy and I am a fangirl. (Hi, Sandy.)

My novel, A Little Something Different, is told from fourteen different points of view. These POV characters are all different—different ages, different races, and different species. But they all have one thing in common: They all want to see the two main characters, Gabe and Lea, get together.

Gabe and Lea are their OTP, or in laymen’s terms, One True Pairing.

I think almost everyone has an OTP, even if they don’t think about it in those terms. The couple that you root for in whatever fandom you’re a part of, the one couple that you want to see come together and succeed. They are your endgame dream and you don’t want to miss a minute of it.

[Don't blink!...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 10:30am

First Look: Mandy Baxter’s One Night More (September 2, 2014)

One Night More by Mandy BaxterMandy Baxter
One Night More
Zebra / September 2, 2014 / $6.99 print, $7.59 digital

Savvy, hard-riding, rule-breaking—they’ll go anywhere and do anything it takes to protect and serve. But this U. S. Marshal has just met his match—and playing for keeps is one sizzling game…

Getting saved from disaster by a handsome stranger—Harper Allen has no problem with that. But when he leaves without a word or a clue to his real identity, the newbie reporter writes it off as the best one-night-stand she’ll ever have. Until a year later, when Harper comes face to face with the man assigned to hide her from a senator’s killer…

Galen Kelly hasn’t forgotten a single sensual minute of his night with Harper . . . or that she betrayed him. With the FBI also on their trail, he’s got to pretend he’s never met her or risk both their lives. But as danger closes in, Galen may not be able to protect himself from taking the biggest risk of all…

One Night More is the first in Mandy Baxter's US Marshal series, and filled with intense, fast-paced action and scorching-hot sexual chemistry between the hero and heroine. The intensity of their attraction had me immersed deep inside their minds and emotions.

[More, more, more!]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 9:30am

Trope of the Month: Separated Spouses

When the Duke Returns by Eloisa JamesAcademically put, tropes are “common or overused theme[s] or device[s],“ which makes them sound like cliches, which makes them seem like a bad thing.

But they’re totally not! Romance novel fans all have their favorite—not to mention least favorite—tropes, from friends to lovers, chick in pants, secret baby, marriage of convenience, opposites attract, May-December, boss-assistant...the list goes on.

Each month, we’ll be picking a romance novel trope and ask you to offer recommendations falling under the trope rubric (again with the academic talk!).

Sometimes you love someone, but you can't be with them—whether it's war, personality differences, or anything in between. However, these are romances, so they won't be separated for long!

Here are a few recommendations for this trope off the top of our heads:

Do you like the separated spouses trope? What do you think are some books that epitomize this trope? How do you think it differs from other “marriage” tropes?