<i>Slow and Steady Rush</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Slow and Steady Rush: Exclusive Excerpt LauraTrentham "Her bottom lip trembled ever so slightly, drawing his eye." Spring 2015’s Can’t-Miss Romance Books, Movies, and Shows Spring 2015’s Can’t-Miss Romance Books, Movies, and Shows Team H & H What's on your list for the Spring? <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."
From The Blog
March 6, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Sexy Steampunk
Bec McMaster
March 6, 2015
Ode to Bertrice Small
Anna Bowling
March 6, 2015
Top 5 Reformed Playboys
PhoebeChase
March 5, 2015
What to Read After Linnea Sinclair
Heather Massey
March 4, 2015
Romance Novels Set in France
AudraNorth
Fri
Mar 6 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Sexy Steampunk from Downey, Smith, and More!

Today we're thrilled to welcome author Bec McMaster to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Bec puts the “steam” and steampunk in her London Steampunk series. The latest book in the series, Of Silk and Steam, came out earlier this week, and today Bec is here to talk about her favorite steampunk hotties in a very special Friday Beefcake. Thanks, Bec!

Steampunk: bringing some sci-fi into your historical settings, whether it is a mish-mash of the Weird West, the Orient, or the sexy Victorian era. Expect to find dirigibles, thrilling adventures, goggles, fascinating inventions, dangerous creatures/automatons, kick-ass heroines and sexy men with a touch of the adventurer or rogue about them.

So why do I love steampunk heroes so much? There's just something about an impeccably dressed - or undressed - man that demands to be explored. All of those buttons, cravats, and sleek waistcoats that they're hiding beneath just beg to be removed. All of that suppressed sexuality of the Victorian period, can't hide the devilish glint in our steampunk heroes eye. And if you think that the Victorian period was a prudish one, then you need to go Google some of the things that those naughty Victorians got up to in the privacy of their homes!

Here to present a compelling case for what makes steampunk sexy is:

Exhibit A: Some Downey Jr action in the superb Sherlock Holmes.

[We're ready for Exhibit B...]

Fri
Mar 6 2015 3:21pm

Romance News Roundup: Not My First Rodeo Series 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.

Not My 1st Rodeo by Donna Alward, Sarah M. Anderson, and Jenna Bayley-Burke—Sarah M. Anderson, Donna Alward, and Jenna Bayley-Burke have announced a novella trilogy, Not My 1st Rodeo, featuring the contemporary romances Something About a Cowboy, Nothing Like a Cowboy, and Anything for a Cowboy. They've also launched NotMy1stRodeo.com for more about the books and, coming soon, dating profiles of the heroes and heroines.

—Mina Vaughn has revealed the sexy cover for her latest novel, How to Punish Your Playboy, and also posted a brief excerpt to give readers a taste of the story...

[+Thug Notes reviews Fifty Shades...]

Fri
Mar 6 2015 2:30pm

Ode to Bertrice Small

Skye O'Malley by Bertrice SmallThe relationship between a reader and a favorite writer cannot be terminated even by death, but the loss of Bertrice Small, one of the founding mothers of the historical romance genre as we know it, still hurts. Between the publication of her first historical romance novel, The Kadin, and her passing on February twenty-fourth of this year, Lady Small, as her devoted fans called her, gifted readers with a total of sixty-one titles. Not bad for a writer who was once told by a potential publisher that she should give up writing and concentrate on being a good mommy to her newborn. Her famous answer to that bit of advice is worthy of any romance heroine. Not only would she succeed as a writer, but she would be in the business long after that short-sighted gentleman was gone. She was.

One of the original Avon Ladies, back when Avon was not yet the romance publishing powerhouse we know now, Small made historical romance history, in more ways than one. How so? Glad you asked. This may take a while, so get comfy.

Small often described herself as a historian first and novelist second, which shows in the richly textured historicals with which she first made her mark. Some of those early historicals, such as The Kadin, Adora, and Beloved, not to mention the legendary Skye O’Malley, were based on actual historical figures. That would be Cyra Hafise, Theodora Cantecuzene and Zenobia of Palmyra, respectively. The legendary pirate queen, Grace O’Malley found herself re-imagined as Small’s iconic heroine, Skye, who snagged herself not only one happily-ever-after, but two, and spawned two successful series about generations of her descendants. Readers who have a yen for smart, powerful women who can rule their worlds and get the guy could count on finding exactly that in each new Small release, no matter the genre.

[If you haven't read her books yet, what are you waiting for?...]

Fri
Mar 6 2015 1:00pm
Excerpt

Slow and Steady Rush: Exclusive Excerpt

LauraTrentham

Slow and Steady Rush by Laura TrenthamShe lives by the book—and is still searching for her happily ever after.

Darcy Wilde has tried hard not to live up to her last name. As a librarian in Atlanta she lives a fine life far away from the football-obsessed town of her childhood. But when her beloved Grandmother needs help, Darcy takes a leave of absence and heads back to the home and past she left behind. 

He knows how to play the field—and is in no rush to settle down.

Robbie Dalton knows a thing or two about painful pasts. After bouncing around in foster care and the Army for years he is finally ready to move on and make a home for himself in Falcon, Alabama as the newest high school football coach. Sparks fly when the sexy new coach and the sharp-tongued librarian meet, but neither of them is looking to make ties.

Get a sneak peek at  Laura Trentham's Slow and Steady Rush (available March 10, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“Dude …” Logan drew out the innocuous greeting, imbuing it with a wealth of questions. He took a seat across from Robbie’s desk in the football pavilion and settled his hands on spread knees.

Christ, had Logan divined the confused, lustful thoughts Robbie had entertained about his cousin? He’d seen Darcy in the bleachers. Normally, he tuned out the buzz of female chatter and laughter during his practices. He lasered his attention on conditioning the team for their first game, but his gaze had darted to her more times than he cared to admit. Her swinging ponytail, T-shirt, and shorts were in sharp contrast to the rest of the bleacher babes.

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

Fri
Mar 6 2015 12:20pm

What the Heart Wants: Spring 2015’s Can’t-Miss Romance Books, Movies, and Shows

March | April | May | Printable Version

Even the most avid romance fan has trouble keeping track of all the amazing content released throughout the year. We’ve compiled a must list of some of our most anticipated books, movies, and television shows for March 2015 through May 2015.

What are your most anticipated romance of the season?

March



Dark Debt by Chloe Neill (book)
We hear the eleventh Chicagoland Vampires novel features fresh challenges, plenty of action, and a strong-as-ever Ethan/Merit relationship. Sold!
 
Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid by Suzanne Enoch (book)
It’s tough to get over your childhood crush—even harder when that childhood crush finally opens his eyes and realizes he’s in love with you. That’s exactly what Rowena faces in the latest from Enoch!
   

[See what's up this spring...]

Fri
Mar 6 2015 11:10am

Scandal 4x14 Heart-to-Heart: The Mirror Has Two Faces

Liv at a crime scene in Scandal 4x14Show/Episode: Scandal Season 4, Episode 14, “The Lawn Chair”
Ship(s): Liv/Marcus Walker, with mentions of Mellie/Fitz

Scandal 4x14 Captain's LogNote: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Scandal, including last night's Season 4, Episode 14, “The Lawn Chair.”

Good day Gladiators, so nice to see you all back again. When we last left off, Liv was fresh back from the virtual auction block, saved by her good friend Abby and ex-Gladiator Stephen. She was clearly not feeling like herself (a bit too much in my opinion), and lashing way out at Fitz for doing exactly what she said he would do and going to war to save her. Who knows, maybe it was the few flat-iron-free days that sent Liv over the edge. Either way that whole blow up worked my very last nerve.

Coming into this week, though, we were smacked dead on with an episode that was quite the departure from what we are used to. Our Dear Ms. Rhimes went and stepped full on into the of-the-moment cultural arena, with Liv being called down to fix a situation where an officer had shot an unarmed teen, Brandon Parker, on a DC street. The teen’s father was now standing over his body with a shotgun, demanding justice. From the very start, my stomach was twisted into knots as thoughts of Ferguson, riots, and lives taken way too soon pricked at skin.

[Straight from the headlines...]

Fri
Mar 6 2015 9:30am

Change Is Good: Top 5 Reformed Playboys from Day, Kleypas, Phillips, and More!

Source: supagirl.tumblr.com  

One of the reasons I love Jane the Virgin is our hero, Rafael Solano, and his status as a reformed playboy. I enjoy seeing a bad boy tamed and vowing to change his ways after he meets his match— a woman who makes him sit up and take notice. 

And Rafael was definitely a playboy. Living off of the family money and doing things in Bora-Bora that get him arrested. And speaking of being arrested, Rafael has been in the back of a police cruiser several times. He was coasting along in life, riding his father’s coattails and waiting for the keys to the hotel business empire to be handed to him when those keys ended up in the hands of his rival, Lachlan. So Rafael stole Lachlan’s fiancé and married her. Ouch!

Rafael was on his way to reforming after surviving cancer, but falling in love with Jane was the final and most important piece. That moment when the playboy realizes his flavor-of-the-month/week/day ways are no longer palatable? I eat it up.

Here are my top five heroes who changed their playboy ways for the love of a good woman.

[Let's add some more ficitional boyfriends to the list...]

Fri
Mar 6 2015 8:08am

What’s Your Friday Read?

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

The beautiful thing about the weekend is that it offers endless hours of reading time!

Heather's reading Elle Kennedy's The Deal, while I'm tackling Mary Balogh's the Survivor's Club series.

What books are you polishing off your TBR list this weekend? 

Thu
Mar 5 2015 4:30pm

If You Like Science Fiction Romance: What to Read After Linnea Sinclair

Games of Command by Linnea SinclairAuthor Linnea Sinclair was one of the game changers in science fiction romance for two reasons. One, she infused her books with as much science as romance and achieved a balance many readers found satisfying. Two, she was a relentless advocate and marketer of the genre. In fact, for a few years, she was the face of sci-fi romance. And her influence over the genre is still felt today.

Linnea Sinclair's first book with Bantam, Accidental Goddess, was published in 2005. During and after the appearance of her sci-fi romances, digital publishing exploded. This has meant more interest in sci-fi romance as well as many more choices for readers who enjoy it.

It was easy to find and pick Linnea Sinclair's books since they came out at a time when it seemed like all the sci-fi romances in existence could be counted on one hand. These days, readers have hundreds of books to choose from. But where's a reader to start if Linnea Sinclair was her main gateway to sci-fi romance?

To make the search easier, I'm going to build a bridge between some of Linnea Sinclair's most popular contributions to SFR and the genre's current offerings by presenting you with an array of titles that have elements in common with her books.

Games of Command

The least you need to know: Admiral Branden Kel-Paten is a tough “biocybe” military soldier with a heart of gold. During a mission to protect the galactic Alliance, he tangles with Captain Tasha “Sass” Sebastian, a woman who finds a way into his heart despite his strict anti-emotion programming.

[Let the recommendations begin...]

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.

***

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?