<i>Force of Attraction</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Force of Attraction: Exclusive Excerpt D.D. Ayres "Her pulse ticked up with equal amounts of excitement and anxiety." H&H Quickies #8: Lavinia Kent Presents... H&H Quickies #8: Lavinia Kent Presents... Lavinia Kent "And then the woman was naked, the robe falling in a puddle of silk behind her..." <i>Under the Lights</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Under the Lights: Exclusive Excerpt Shannon Stacey "That fruity scent of hers was the smell of forbidden fruit." <i>Instinct</i>: Excerpt Instinct: Excerpt Sherrilyn Kenyon "Nick has just embraced the one person he should never have trusted."
From The Blog
March 27, 2015
Best Reads of March 2015
Team H & H
March 26, 2015
Unusual Historicals Best Bets for March 2015
Wendy the Super Librarian
March 24, 2015
The Rise and Popularity of the Billionaire in Romance Novels
Katy Evans
March 23, 2015
Qualities of the Perfect Romance Hero
Nichole Severn
March 23, 2015
H&H Is Hiring
Team H & H
Fri
Mar 27 2015 12:25pm

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of March 2015

Radiance by Grace DravenMala Bhattacharjee

My best read of March is Grace Draven's January release, Radiance. I kept seeing it recommended all over the romance Twitter and blogosphere and was a little wary of all the high praise — I tend to be underwhelmed when I finally get around to reading something everybody else loves — but picked it up with an open mind. I was more than rewarded! Draven's first Wraith Kings tale is a delightful fantasy romance where the couple actually *likes* each other. *Gasp*. Brishen is of the Kai, a humanoid race that's somewhat avian and reptilian while his arranged bride, Ildiko, is of the human Gauri. Their journey to love is filled with gentle humor and kindness, grounding a fantastical plot in real, root-worthy emotion. 

TanyaLK

Crushed by Lauren Layne

One of the funniest and quirky heroines I've read in a long time. The story is about an ugly duckling, Chloe, who is being used by the “beefcake” Michael, in order to get closer to meet the father he never knew existed. Because Chloe's sister, Kristin, is dating Michael's half-brother, Devon, whom Chloe has been in love with since...forever. And at first Michael thinks he'll use Kristin, but it's Chloe that begins to infiltrate his hardened exterior.

[+more reading suggestions from H&H's very own!...]

Fri
Mar 27 2015 9:30am

First Look: Jennifer Ryan’s When It’s Right (March 31, 2015)

 When It's Right by Jennifer RyanJennifer Ryan
When It’s Right (Montana Men Series #2)
HarperCollins / March 31, 2015 / $7.99 print, $4.99 digital

Everything's bigger in Big Sky country, including the hearts of the Montana Men

Wide open sky, rolling green hills... Gillian Tucker could get used to life in the country—one far from the violence she left behind in San Francisco. Warily accepting an invitation to the Montana ranch that belongs to her grandfather, a man she's never met, Gillian hopes this is the haven she seeks. A sexy, overbearing cowboy who shines a light on her well-hidden dreams is not at all part of her plans.

Blake Bowden's reckless past is far behind him, and as a newly named co-owner of Three Peaks Ranch, he's not taking any chances. Until a beautiful, haunted woman arrives, igniting a desire he shouldn't feel. His partner's granddaughter is strictly off limits. But the longer Gillian's there, the stronger the pull grows between them. And when a new danger surfaces, Blake will do anything to keep her safe…even if it means risking everything for her heart.

As the popular country song by Big & Rich says, “save a horse, ride a cowboy.” In the sexy romance When It’s Right by Jennifer Ryan, lucky city girl Gillian gets to ride a cowboy (and a couple of horses, for that matter).

If romance novels have taught me anything, it’s that cowboys are always brooding and horny. Maybe it’s because it’s difficult for a farm boy to find a good woman out in the middle of nowhere (at least going by Farmer Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor).

[But will this cowboy find a good woman?...]

Fri
Mar 27 2015 8:15am

Who’s the Handiest Hero/Heroine?

Man at Work by Elaine Fox

The weekend approaches, and while we prepare to take a few days off from our day-jobs, the call of home improvement beckons—especially with the nice weather just around the corner! 

What hero or heroine do you want at your side to help you get your chores done this weekend? Who do you think would be the most helpful? Who would be the most fun?

Thu
Mar 26 2015 5:34pm

Romance News Roundup: RWA Announces 2015 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists!

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.

A Bollywood Affair by Sonali DevToday is a big one in the romance novel world—the Romance Writers of America* has announced its finalists for the 2015 RITA and Golden Heart awards. Congratulations to all of the nominees!

*Romance Writers of America is a nonprofit trade association for romance writers. Each year, RWA awards the RITA, for published fiction, and the Golden Heart, in unpublished fiction, to authors writing in a variety of genres.

The 2015 RITA and Golden Heart awards ceremony will be held in New York City on July 25 at the RWA national conference. Check back that night for a complete list of the winners!

(Want to learn more about the authors/books nominated? As you browse the list of finalists, click on links for past H&H coverage.)

2015 RITA Finalists

Best First Book

A Bollywood Affair
by Sonali Dev
Kensington Publishing
Martin Biro, editor

Mind Sweeper
by AE Jones
Self-published
Faith Freewoman, editor

Purely Professional
by Elia Winters
Harlequin, Carina Press
Kerri Buckley, editor

The Smuggler Wore Silk
by Alyssa Alexander
Penguin Group USA, Berkley
Julie Mianecki, editor

[See the rest of the RITA and Golden Heart finalists...]

Thu
Mar 26 2015 4:00pm

March Madness, The Secrets Game: New Adult Romance Best Bets for March 2015

The Deal by Elle KennedyThis month brought some very interesting reading material. These characters are plagued with secrets and what a tangled web you weave, when you practice to deceive. From orchestrated encounters, using someone as a front—to gain what you want, to being so painfully honest you almost wish you kept it a secret, these reads will capture your attention.

The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy is the best book I’ve read all year. Quirky, witty banter and swoonworthy scenes make this an amazing read. Garret is the BMOC, captain of the hockey team; he’s struggling with one class when his paths cross with Hannah. They settle on a deal to help each other and along the way they find a lot in common.

Confess by Colleen Hoover uses real confessions and artwork throughout the story, it makes for a compelling emotional read. The heroine, Auburn puts her heart on the line for Owen but he may be hiding a secret that could destroy them both.

[These and more best bets within!...]

Thu
Mar 26 2015 3:15pm

First Look: Rebecca Zanetti’s Total Surrender (March 31, 2015)

Total Surrender by Rebecca ZanettiRebecca Zanetti
Total Surrender
Forever / March 31, 2015 / $8.00 print, $2.99 digital

A fight he must win . . .

Piper Oliver knows she can't trust him. They warned her that the tall, dark, and sexy black-ops soldier Jory Dean would try to win her over with his steel-gray eyes and deadly charm, but she won't be conned by this man they call a traitor. All she has to do is figure out the science necessary to save his life, and she's done. Something isn't adding up, though, and she won't rest until she uncovers the truth-even if it's buried in his deep, dangerous kiss.

A passion she can't resist . . .

Jory will do anything to reunite with and save his brothers-even kidnap the gorgeous woman who's working to deactivate the deadly chip in their spines. But the forces determined to destroy his family won't let them go so easily. Keeping Piper alive is more than he bargained for—and so is his burning desire for her. But with every second bringing him closer to certain death, can he afford to lose himself in her hot and willing embrace?

Did you ever see the Kurt Russell movie, Soldier? I’m a longtime fan of Russell, harkening back to his Snake Plissken days. I think that’s why I love Rebecca Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series about a trio of hot soldier brothers with enhanced abilities. Here are three men who have never known softness or love or compassion from the laboratory where they’ve been reared or the commander who’s overseen their lives. Yet they have created their own family, forged by blood and sweat and tears…and have allowed their nature to trump the nurture they never received.

The boys don’t know who their mother is: “Who cares? We paid for eggs from extraordinary genetic pools, and those women never wanted the ensuing children.”

[Which brings us to Jory Dean and Total Surrender...]

Thu
Mar 26 2015 2:03pm

Arrow 3x17 Olicity Heart-to-Heart: Wedding Favors

Oliver, Laurel, and Felicity in Arrow Season 3, episode 17Show/Episode: Arrow 3x17, “Suicidal Tendencies”
Ship(s): Oliver/Felicity (Olicity)

Captain's Log for Oliver and Felicity in Arrow 3x17Note: There are spoilers ahead for all aired episodes of Arrow, including (especially) last night's Season 3, Episode 17, “Suicidal Tendencies.”

We begin with Oliver arriving at Dig’s wedding and he’s late. He insists there are 15 minutes until the wedding. But apparently pictures were an hour earlier. Oops. Felicity shows up with Ray and the eye-sex between Felicity and Oliver commences while Dig quietly threatens to hide the body if Ray ever hurts Felicity. The good vibes are interrupted by the news that Dig’s officiant was just deployed and Ray, who is a minister apparently, graciously steps in. So he’s a minister now too? What can’t this guy do? 

During the ceremony, Oliver can’t help but sneak little peeks at Felicity, causing my little heart to flutter. After the wedding, we have the reception.  Felicity caught the bouquet and Laurel congratulates her on the catch. Then she walks off, leaving Oliver and Felicity to talk. She asks if its okay if she’s there with Ray and he tells her that as long as she’s happy, that’s what he wants. He tells her she deserves a good guy and a normal life. What remains unsaid is that Oliver is a good guy and he deserves that life too. WITH HER. They watch John and Lyla dancing and it’s so clear that they would love to be in their place that it makes your chest ache.

[Let's admit it: We secretly love the angst...]

Thu
Mar 26 2015 1:30pm

Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Megan Erickson and Katee Robert!

Today we're thrilled to reveal covers for Megan Erickson and Katee RobertFirst up is Erickson's Dirty Thoughts, which takes us away from her Bowler University series, and gives us a group of men who are very...hands on! Then, it's a modern day marriage-of-convenience in Katee Robert's The Marriage Contract!

[Learn more about the books and see the full covers...]

Thu
Mar 26 2015 12:40pm

First Look: Eloisa James’s Four Nights with the Duke (March 31, 2015)

Four Nights with the Duke by Eloisa JamesEloisa James
Four Nights with the Duke
HarperCollins / March 31, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Eloisa James returns with another fabulous romance in her New York Times bestselling Desperate Duchesses series!

As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia's audacious proposal, but there's one thing he won't give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil's bargain . . . he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can't afford to lose.

Eloisa James is known for her ability to create enchanting heroines who are both sophisticated and naive, intrepid and tentative. Her heroes are arrogant and confident but most of the time clueless about love. You also know when you open a book by James that you’ll be getting a wonderful farcical story that will entertain and charm you—like Four Nights with the Duke does.

[Charmed, I'm sure...]

Thu
Mar 26 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Force of Attraction: Exclusive Excerpt

D.D. Ayres

 Force of Attraction by D. D. Ayres

The only thing more powerful than fear is desire…

A seasoned K-9 officer with the police in Maryland, Cole Jamison has left her old life behind her. With a new home and a new partner—a protective canine named Hugo—Cole is ready for fresh challenges. A crucial position on an important drug task force is exactly what she wants…until she discovers her gorgeous, infuriating ex-husband will be the DEA agent in charge.

FORCE OF ATTRACTION

Agent Scott Lucca may be a pro when it comes to undercover assignments, but this job is daunting even for him. Posing as a happy couple on the dog competition circuit means he and Cole need to get a lot closer than they've been in years. Playing a live-in couple should seem like a walk in the park compared to tracking a brutal criminal, but suddenly nothing could be more dangerous than the passionate fire they've rekindled...

Get a sneak peek at D. D. Ayres's Force of Attraction (available March 31, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapter 1.

CHAPTER ONE

“Here you go. One good bite deserves another.”

K-9 Officer Nicole “Cole” Jamieson placed the doggy bowl on her kitchen floor.

Her partner, Hugo, greedily gulped down the first of his two daily meals then checked her out with a hopeful stare from soulful black eyes.

Cole shook her head. “No more for now.”

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

Thu
Mar 26 2015 9:30am

Love Is In the Air: Not-Your-Usual-Historicals Best Bets for March 2015

March is that time of year when we’re all desperate for daffodils and Easter candy, but would happily settle for someone to dig us out of the snow bank where we’ve been imprisoned for months on end.  After the longest, coldest winter that never seems to want to end, what better way to get ready for spring than with a new crop of unusual historicals!  And this spring really has sprung with some Regency era romances featuring twists, a gritty Victorian that set my heart racing, and a plethora of titles launching brand new series.

Artist!

His Wicked Reputation by Madeline Hunter

Gareth Fitzallen is celebrated for four things: his handsome face, his notable charm, his aristocratic connections, and an ability to give the kind of pleasure that has women begging for more. Normally he bestows his talents on experienced, worldly women. But when he heads to Langdon’s End to restore a property he inherited—and to investigate a massive art theft—he lays plans to seduce a most unlikely lady.

Eva Russell lives a spinster’s life of precarious finances and limited dreams while clinging to her family’s old gentry status. She supports herself by copying paintings while she plots to marry her lovely sister to a well-established man. Everyone warns her of Gareth’s reputation, and advises her to lock her sister away. Only it is not her sister Gareth desires. One look, and she knows he is trouble. One kiss, however, proves she is no match for this master of seduction.

A Regency-era romance with a twist, Booklist says, “Hunter’s PhD in art history stands her in good stead in this fascinating, danger-tinged novel, the first in a new trilogy.”

[What else awaits this month?...]

Thu
Mar 26 2015 8:02am

Throwback Thursday: What Were Your First Impressions of Pretty Woman?

Pretty Woman turned 25 this week, and with such a momentous birthday, comes reflection! What were your first impressions of the movie? Did you watch it when it first came out, or years later when statements like “You're sitting on my fax,” seem dated? 

Wed
Mar 25 2015 12:00pm
Original Story

H&H Quickies #8: Lavinia Kent Presents “The Angel Discovers a Rake”

Lavinia Kent

Today we are over the moon to bring you an exclusive Quickie scene from Lavinia Kent, whose latest Bound and Determined novel, Bound by Bliss, came out in February.

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.

Newsletter subscribers got the first sneak peek, but the full scene is now available all site visitors!

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

  • An Orchestra Pit (an anonymous user)
  • A Rake (JessicaMoro)
  • A Pug (Kareni)
  • Never in a Million Years (Celvia)

Without further ado, here is Lavinia Kent's H&H Quickie, “The Angel Discovers a Rake.”

How long was her brother going to be?  It was highly improper that she was here at all. Felix had promised to only be gone a few moments and now it must at least twenty minutes. Oh, she should never have agreed to this.

Tapping her toe anxiously, Lady Angela Ripon soothed the small dog in her arms. Puggles was clearly sensing her agitation, his small tail held still as he looked up at her with large worried eyes, his sharp nails digging into the silk of her sleeve.

[Read the full scene now...]

Wed
Mar 25 2015 4:40pm

Love Is A Battlefield: Erotic Romance Best Bets for March 2015

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

Even though it’s only March, this year is already showing signs of being the hottest ever and thanks to the offerings below...it’s about to get even hotter.

Time Served by Julianna Keyes

I've never forgotten how it felt to follow Dean—dangerous, daring, determined—away from the crowd and climb into his beat-up old Trans Am. I was sixteen and gloriously alive for the first time. When I felt his hand cover my leg and move upward, it was over. I was his. Forever.

Until I left. Him, my mom, and the trailer park. Without so much as a goodbye.

Now Dean's back, crashing uninvited into my carefully cultivated, neat little lawyerly life. Eight years behind bars have turned him rougher and bigger—and more sexually demanding than any man I've ever met. I can't deny him anything…and that just might end up costing me everything.

Fans of Cara McKenna are sure to enjoy this steamy, complicated, multi layered story that addresses the need to outrun one’s past; especially when it comes back to stare you in the face. Emotionally plump with well developed characters and a strong well plotted storyline, Keyes builds a lush, erotic, and at times volatile second chance romance between two broken stubborn souls whose innate fears cause many a stumbling block.

[But they'll have one another to catch them when they fall...]

Wed
Mar 25 2015 3:49pm

Romance News Roundup: Sarina Bowen Deal and Romance Comics!

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 Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen—Sarina Bowen's The Year We Fell Down is currently $.99 in e-book at e-tailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.*

Vulture has a neat profile on comics editor Janelle Asselin, who has launched a Kickstarter to help fund an R-rated romance-comic anthology series called Fresh Romance, whose debut issue includes “sundry stories ranging from a clandestine, queer high school love affair to an impeccably researched and illustrated Regency-era romance.” Issues will also include advice columns, behind-the-scenes content, and (now this sounds particularly cool) a fashion report. Are you a comics reader? Would you read a romance comic?

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

Wed
Mar 25 2015 3:00pm

The Mindy Project 3x21 Dandy Heart-to-Heart: The Gesture

The group is back together in The Mindy Project 3x21

Show/Episode: The Mindy Project Season 3, Episode 21, “Best Man” (Spoilers, naturally)
Ships: Mindy/Danny (Dandy)

The Mindy Project 3x21 Captain's Log

Peter crashes a staff meeting his wedding, and is met with nothing but love...until Danny assumes the wedding is off. It's not, so Morgan's first concern is bachelor party, until he learns Peter is in the market for a new best man. Can Morgan fill the bill? Nope, that honor goes to Mindy.

Mindy invites Danny to her parents' going away party before they move to India. Danny might want to bring gifts, but not talk baseball. She's digging Danny's new scruff, but her parents will hate it, so it's got to go before the party.

Jeremy tries to beg off Peter's wedding, despite Peter's pleas. Sure, Jeremy, it's all dedication to work, not that you still have a thing for the bride.

In Boston, Mindy, looking gorgeous in in a stunning sari, gets a phone call from a scruffy, scrubs-clad Danny, fresh from the operating room, who regrets there's no way he can make it to dinner in time. Mindy says she understands, but we're suspecting otherwise.

[Okay, but not okay...]

Wed
Mar 25 2015 2:20pm

First Look: Shelly Laurenston’s The Unleashing (March 31, 2015)

The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston

Shelly Laurenston
The Unleashing (Call of Crows #1)
Kensington / March 31, 2015 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

Winging It

Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn't for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even see her die.

In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera. He knows one way to save her life—but she might not like it. Signing up with the Crows will get Kera a new set of battle buddies: cackling, gossiping, squabbling, party-hearty women. With wings. So not the Marines.

But Vig can't give up on someone as special as Kera. With a storm of oh-crap magic speeding straight for L.A., survival will depend on combining their strengths: Kera's discipline, Vig's loyalty... and the Crows' sheer love of battle. Boy, are they in trouble.

Author Shelly Laurenston creates a whole new world in her newest novel, The Unleashing.   She puts her own twist on Norse Mythology and creates the nine clans who fight evil—and each other—to keep the balance between the light and the dark.  The gods also want warriors to fight at their side during the Ragnarok.  While Odin and Freyja choose their warriors by tracing their lineage back to the original Vikings tribes, the only culturally diverse Clan amongst them are The Crows.  The Goddess, Skuld, takes the dead and gives them a second life on earth in exchange for service to her as a Crow.  Skuld doesn’t discriminate on race or skin color.  She is looking for strong and smart women who will be an asset to her warriors.    

[So the only requirement is that you're a bada**? That's a goddess we can sign up with...]

Wed
Mar 25 2015 12:30pm

April 2015 Romance Novel New Releases Shopping List

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

Jump to New Releases for the Week of:
April 1-7 | April 8-14 | April 15-21 | April 22-30

Heroes and Heartbreakers April 2015 Shopping List!
 
Week of April 1 through April 7

[Check out the complete list!...]

Wed
Mar 25 2015 9:30am
Excerpt

Under the Lights: Exclusive Excerpt

Shannon Stacey

 Under the Lights by Shannon Stacey

They Were the Golden Boys of Fall

Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship winning football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again…

Chase Sanders’s life has taken a lot of crazy turns lately. But returning to his hometown to help his old coach keep his high school football team afloat might be the craziest thing to happen to him yet. That is, until he starts falling for the last person he should—Coach’s gorgeous daughter…

Kelly McDonnell learned the hard way that cocky, charming men are nothing but trouble, so she knows Chase is bad news. Still, she can’t resist his smile—or the rest of him. But when his loyalty to her father conflicts with their growing attraction, any hope for a relationship might be blocked before it can even begin…

Get a sneak peek at Shannon Stacey's Under the Lights (available May 26, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Coach ran his finger down the menu, making sounds of indecision as he read. “I usually have the hash and cheese omelet since the wife won’t let me have them after my cholesterol check, but I’m not that hungry this morning.”

“Me neither, to tell you the truth.”

Amusement crinkled the corners of Coach’s eyes. “Make sure you tell your mom we said thanks for the pie.”

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

Wed
Mar 25 2015 8:35am

What Other Romance Revivals Would You Want to See?

Mulder and Scully in The X-FilesYesterday came the news that many X-Files fans and especially Mulder/Scully shippers had been longing to hear: The series, which ran for 9 seasons and spawned two feature films, will be returning to television for a 6-episode event series starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as FBI-partners-turned-lovers Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. With a new season comes new glimpses into the pair's relationship all these years later, as we can only assume their love affair continues.

What other romances—whether in books, movies, TV series, or other media—would you like to check back in on after a long hiatus? Or do you prefer that the end of the original story be the last, to let your imagination fill in the rest? Do tell!