H&H Quickies #5: Desiree Holt Presents... H&H Quickies #5: Desiree Holt Presents... Desiree Holt Read an original Quickie scene from Desiree Holt! <i>Seventh Grave and No Body</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Seventh Grave and No Body: Exclusive Excerpt Darynda Jones "Reyes kissed my neck while she was talking...I kind of tuned her out." Watch & Win: Nicholas Sparks's <i>The Best of Me</i>! Watch & Win: Nicholas Sparks's The Best of Me! Team H & H Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Best of Me! <i>Lailah</i>: Excerpt Lailah: Excerpt Nikki Kelly As if he were sampling a glass of wine, he swirled his tongue, nuzzling at my flesh.
From The Blog
October 1, 2014
Fish Out of (Historical and Fantasy) Water
Maggie Boyd
September 29, 2014
Best Reads of September 2014
Team H & H
September 26, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Falling for Ginger Guys
Team H & H
September 20, 2014
Immortal/Mortal Love in The Shadowhunters Series
Willa aka willaful
September 19, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Foxy Flannel
Team H & H
Oct 2 2014 9:30am

First Look: Sarah M. Anderson’s Tempted by a Cowboy (October 7, 2014)

Tempted by a Cowboy by Sarah M. AndersonSarah M. Anderson
Tempted by a Cowboy (Beaumont Heirs)
Harlequin Desire / October 7, 2014 / $5.25 print / $4.99 digital

How can she resist the cowboy's smile when it promises so much pleasure?

Phillip Beaumont likes his drinks strong and his women easy. So why is he flirting with his new horse trainer, Jo Spears, who challenges him at every turn? Phillip wants nothing but the chase…until the look in Jo's haunted hazel eyes makes him yearn for more….

Sure, Jo's boss is as jaded and stubborn as Sun, the multimillion-dollar stallion she was hired to train. But it isn't long before she starts spending days and nights with the sexy cowboy. Maybe Sun isn't the only male on the Beaumont ranch worth saving!

Given that I read a lot of it, I’m often asked what makes a good category romance. Oh sure, I could wax poetic for a while, give you a laundry list of do’s and don’ts—but the simple answer? I know it when I read it. Tempted by a Cowboy is the second book in Sarah M. Anderson’s series about a family-owned brewing dynasty (think Anheuser-Busch, right down to the horses) and it’s a “I know it when I read it” kind of story. The kind of story that runs a lot deeper than any back cover copy could hope to convey.

[We're tempted, too!]

Oct 2 2014 8:30am

Throwback Thursday: Old School Romance Book Club Takes on Julie Garwood’s The Bride

Each month, the Old School Romance Book Club is reading a new (old) book together. This month, it's Julie Garwood's The Bride, an iconic book of the genre.

By edict of the king, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie, youngest daughter of Baron Jamison...a feisty, violet-eyed beauty. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her...forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this highland barbarian.
He was everything her heart warned against—an arrogant scoundrel whose rough good looks spoke of savage pleasures. And thought Kincaid's scorching kisses fired her blood, she brazenly resisted him...until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills, and something far more dangerous than desire threatened to conquer her senses... 

It's set in 1100 Scotland, and has a Scottish laird and an English heroine. If you've read it, was it your first Scottish-set historical? Or your first medieval? Perhaps the first one where a heroine had to be “tamed” by the hero? If you haven't read it, are you going to give it a try?

Oct 1 2014 5:15pm

Fish Out of (Historical and Fantasy) Water

The Famous Heroine by Mary BaloghAll of us have been the odd man out at some point in time. Whether it is the memory of our first day of kindergarten, or the first day at a new job, we can all relate to that weird mix of exhilaration and fear that marks starting something that is, to us at least, brand new. When it comes to literature, that emotion is often best communicated through the fish out of water trope. By placing the character in a situation that is completely alien to them, the author can use the character as a reference point through which they can introduce us to a strange new world, whether that is on an alien planet, in a time long ago or even just some place a bit off the beaten path for the average reader. As Leigh Davis alluded to in her article on the fish out of water trope, this is a writing device that is prevalent in romance novels. In her blog she covered the contemporary and comedy genres. For this piece I will be looking at how the trope works in historical romance, paranormal romance and futuristic romance novels.

The first book that comes to mind whenever this trope is mentioned to me is The Famous Heroine by Mary Balogh. In this novel Cora Downes, daughter of a wealthy merchant, finds herself being taken into society by a duchess. She finds herself in this unusual situation as a result of an even more unusual event:

The truth was—at least, it was not quite the truth but what was perceived to be the truth—that Cora had saved little Henry from drowning in the shadow of the Pulteney Bridge in Bath and that out of gratitude the duchess, little Henry’s grandmamma, had taken Cora into her own home to mingle with her daughters and to be elevated to the ranks of gentlewomanhood long enough to find an eligible gentleman.

[That's very generous...]

Oct 1 2014 3:45pm
Original Story

H&H Quickies #5: Desiree Holt Presents a Special Scene for Finding Julia

Desiree Holt

Finding Julia by Desiree HoltToday we are so excited to bring you an exclusive Quickie scene from Desiree Holt, whose brand new book—Finding Julia—was released in September.

Last 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.

Want to be alerted for our next Quickie? Become an H&H member and newsletter subscriber to get your quick fix, and all other romance news, reviews, and excerpts!

Desiree is here today to introduce you to her scene, and you'll be able to spot some familiar names from her book Finding Julia. Thanks to everyone who left a suggestion, because there were so many fantastic options:

With tragedy and distress dogging her every step, the one bright spot in Julia Patterson’s life, besides her children, is her best friend and business partner, Claire Westbrook. Claire is her confidante, her support system, her go-to person, and the only one she feels really comfortable with. It is early summer, Julia is expecting her third child and dealing with antagonism from a lot of people. Claire has convinced her to come spend the afternoon away from everything, including her twins who are at a play date, and just relax for a change.

As they sit in the warmth of the day and sip iced tea, Julia realizes she has never really heard the entire story of how Claire and her husband, Brad, met. The couple always laughs and shares a secret look when she asks, but today seems like a good day to push the envelope.

Here are the prompts Desiree chose:

  • 65 Ford Mustang
  • A jar of Nutella
  • A pair of orange socks
  • 80s pop music
  • Taking the wrong cell phone from a bar.

And now for a very special scene...

They were relaxing on Claire’s shaded patio drinking iced tea and enjoying their favorite snack of Nutella and crackers. Beth and Andy were at a play date and Claire’s husband was away for the weekend. So it was just them, relaxation and girl talk. Julia lifted her face to the sun, embracing its warmth. Despite the fact they were closing in on the heat of summer, she still felt cold all the time. She was sure her emotional distress was a major factor, the threats Charles still held over her from the grave. And dwelling on it didn’t help the baby growing in her stomach. She needed to turn her thoughts in another direction.

[Continue on to read the full scene...]

Oct 1 2014 3:00pm

First Look: Eileen Wilks’s Unbinding (October 7, 2014)

Unbinding by Eileen Wilks

Eileen Wilks
Unbinding (World of the Lupi #11)
Berkeley / October 7, 2014 / $7.99, print / digital

After questing through the sidhe realms with her ex-hellhound lover, Nathan, Kai Tallman Michalski has finally returned home. But she knows Nathan will eventually be called back to serve his queen—and Kai will have to decide whether to enter her majesty’s service as well. Sure, the job comes with great bennies, but there’s one big downside: she would have to swear absolute fealty to the Queen of Winter.

For now, though, Kai is glad to be home, and glad that Nathan completed his mission for his queen with surprising ease. But what seemed to be a quick conclusion turns out to be anything but. The two of them helped thwart the sidhe god of chaos—and he is not happy about that. He’s got plans for them. Plans, too, for the sidhe who killed him some three millennia ago. Nor has he abandoned his plans for Earth, as they learn when chaos begins bursting out all over.

At the end of the previous book in Eileen Wilks’s Lupi series, Ritual Magic, major changes spun out—not just Lily and Rule’s long-awaited wedding, but a plot twist that could change the entire course of the Lupi’s magical war against the evil goddess they oppose. However, in book eleven, Unbinding, branches off, expanding the world of the Lupi yet again to explore the plots of a crazed Sidhe god of chaos, the complex balance between the elven Queens of Winter and Summer, and a strange pocket universe where normal physics don’t really apply. It’s a little frustrating, since I was hoping for a direct continuation from Ritual Magic, but at the same time I know from previous side trips in the series that events in Unbinding will likely become very, very important later on.

[Binding everything together?]

Oct 1 2014 1:00pm

Anticipating The Vampire Diaries Season 6: Say It Ain’t So!

The Vampire Diaries Season 6 PosterLet me start off by saying, SPOILERS. If you are not caught up on TVD, for the love of the undead, SHIELD YOUR EYES.

I’m not going to sugarcoat this—I have severe emotional attachments to my beloved vamps, weres, and vamp hunters. Oh my! And after five seasons I’ve learned that even when TVD rips my heart out and kills off one of my favorite characters (I love you, Alaric), the heartache may not be permanent. Sure, I’ve cried in more than one episode over the years (don’t judge), but the creators have also thrown some pleasant surprises our way (welcome back, Alaric). This is television after all, and these are supernatural creatures. There’s always a way for someone to return.

But season five’s ending was a whopper. Elena sobbing her good-bye to Damon, not knowing he was there to hear it all, and Damon trapped on the other side trying to comfort her? I’m sorry. Let me go mop my heart up off the floor because it exploded out of my chest watching that. Still, I’ve spent the summer rationalizing to myself that Damon and Bonnie can’t be gone for good.
So I’m here, TVD fans and creators, to muster up the strength and prove to all of us that Damon and Bonnie will find a way back, and my heart will beat steadily for my favorite undead, damaged man and the witch who loves to hate him again.

10 Reasons Damon and Bonnie Need to Return

[Let's get counting then...]

Oct 1 2014 12:00pm

Seventh Grave and No Body: Exclusive Excerpt

Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones

Lead me not into temptation.
Follow me instead! I know a shortcut!

Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out Charley Davidson’s jugular and serve her body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and as she retraces his last steps she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancé who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life. But all of that barely scratches the surface of her problems. Recent developments have forced her to become a responsible adult.  To conquer such a monumental task, she’s decided to start small. Really small. She gets a pet. But how can she save the world against the forces of evil when she can’t even keep a goldfish alive?

A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.

We’re doomed.

Get a sneak peek of Darynda Jones's Seventh Grave and No Body (available October 21, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapter 3. Want to begin at the beginning? Click here to read Chapters 1 & 2.

Chapter 3

I’m diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

I tried to convince Reyes to sit outside the courtroom, that I’d only be a minute, but he insisted on going in. We emptied our pockets for the guard, went through the metal detector as my purse was inspected, then went inside. Ubie—that’s the nickname I used to call him before I changed it—sat in the third row, his shoulders straight as he listened in rapt attention. I tiptoed to sit beside him. The captain was on his other side. And like any delinquent forced to enter a courtroom, Reyes chose a seat in the back of the room. He spread out, threw an arm over the back of his pew, and made himself comfortable. Ubie, on the other hand, looked anything but comfortable. He glanced over at me, slid his brows together in consternation, then returned his attention to the witness on the stand.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Seventh Grave and No Body...]

Oct 1 2014 10:55am

Twilight Returns, Sort Of!

Bella and Edward in New MoonIt's not truly nighttime yet!

The film company that produced Twilight has announced that it is teaming with Facebook to produce five short films based on Twilight characters. According to Entertainment Weekly, “A group of female panelists will choose from five aspiring female directors to direct the films, titled The Storytellers—New Creative Voices of The Twilight Saga...The panel includes Kristen Stewart; The Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer; Kate Winslet; Octavia Spencer; Julie Bowen; Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke; producer Cathy Schulman; and Frozen co-director Jennifer Lee.” The films will appear exclusively on Facebook, and will not feature any of the original cast.

Whose stories do you want to see? Will you watch movies on Facebook?

Oct 1 2014 9:30am

Watch & Win: Nicholas Sparks’s The Best of Me!

Get a sneak peek at The Best of Me (in theaters October 17, 2015) with a look at the trailer, and a featurette with star Liana Liberato, below.

Excited for the movie? Click here to enter for a chance to win a movie tie-in edition of the book, a mug, and a gift card to go see the movie!*

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C., or non-Quebec Terriroties of Canada to enter. Promotion begins October 1, 2014 at 9:30 am ET, and ends October 7, 2014, 9:29 am ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[Continue on to watch the Liana Liberato Featurette...]

Oct 1 2014 8:10am

“I Won’t Because All of Me Wants To": What’s the Ultimate Sacrifice in Romance Novels?

This is not a romance (um, spoiler, he sends her to jail), but the romance between the protagonist and the femme fatale is real, and so it makes his sacrifice that much more intense.

If all I've said doesn't mean anything to you, then forget it and we'll make it just this: I won't because all of me wants to, regardless of consequences, and because you counted on that with me the same as you counted on that with all the others.

Sometimes honor means more than love, and that moral code (albeit occasionally twisted) is currently being played out excellently in motorcycle club romances, for example, like when a heroine feels as though she has to do something that could land her love interest in hot water, either legally or otherwise. 

What was the most difficult decision a hero or heroine had to make regarding their love interest in recent romances? 

Sep 30 2014 4:30pm

First Look: R.C. Ryan’s The Maverick of Copper Creek (September 30, 2014)

The Maverick of Copper Creek by R.C. Ryan

R.C. Ryan
The Maverick of Copper Creek
Forever / September 30, 2014 / $8.00 print / $7.99 digital

Ash MacKenzie broke his share of hearts when he left Copper Creek all those years ago and struck out on his own. Tall, tough, and proud. That's how Brenna always remembered him, and from the looks of things, he hasn't changed much. Once, she thought he could save her-whisk her away from her rough childhood home and start fresh together. Now she knows better . . .

Ash isn't planning to stick around town long. As soon as he uncovers the truth about his father's death and makes sure the family ranch is safe, he'll be back out on his own. And then he runs into Brenna Crane. It broke his heart to leave her once-a herd of stampeding horses couldn't make him do it again. But Brenna has made a new life for herself, one that doesn't include him. Now he just has to convince her to give their first love a second chance. 

If my history of reading romance proves anything, it’s that I have a weakness for cowboys with chest hair. I liked it in Diana Palmer, and I liked it in R.C. Ryan’s The Maverick of Copper Creek. But beyond the physical makeup of Ryan’s hero, I also found myself with a weakness for the setting and its inhabitants. 

[Chest hair + Setting + Inhabitants = A good read!]

Sep 30 2014 2:45pm

September 2014 New Adult Roundup: The Mind is a Battlefield

Shatter by Erin McCarthyTurmoil and angst abound in September’s NA Releases. Many of these characters are struggling with new relationships while trying to tame their inner demons. Sometimes, your biggest enemy is yourself and these characters prove that. Overcoming the limitations you set on yourself can be the hardest task of all.

An uncompromising New Adult story, Shatter by Erin McCarthy features Kylie and Jonathan who have what they thought was going to be a one-night-stand. Eight weeks later consequences rear their ugly head. Told in Dual POV, this is the end of a series I’ve followed religiously and greatly enjoyed. McCarthy holds nothing back for these characters and I’m sad to see them go.

Told in Grant and Harlow’s POV One More Chance by Abbi Glines is the sequel to Take a Chance. Reeling from Harlow’s unexpected news, Grant must quickly make a decision, will he chose Harlow? A heart-wrenching, gripping story —make sure you keep the tissues handy.

The final book in this trilogy, The Certainty of Violet and Luke by Jessica Sorenson brings on the angst. The story picks up right where book two ended and it doesn’t slow down. The finality of their story is focused on their character growth. The encompassing love between Violet and Luke seems to be on the way to a happy ending despite the gloom that surrounds them. When secrets are revealed their foundation is once again rocked. These tormented characters have a long road to reach a place of absolution and happiness.

[We bet it's a bumpy road too...]

Sep 30 2014 1:15pm

First Look: Amanda Scott’s Moonlight Raider (September 30, 2014)

Moonlight Raider by Amanda ScottAmanda Scott
Moonlight Raider (Border Nights #1)
Forever / September 30, 2014 / $8.00 print  / $7.99 digital

Border lord Walter Scott of Rankilburn, grief-stricken after burying his father, goes to the forest seeking solace. Instead he finds a half-naked young lady fleeing pursuit. Wat offers his protection, but honor demands that he return the golden-eyed beauty to her rightful husband-even though the last thing he wants is to see her in another man's arms.

Molly Cockburn has fled her home, family, and the brutal scoundrel she was forced to wed. Her pursuers are closing in when the powerful new Lord of Rankilburn bravely intervenes, then promises to help prove her marriage unlawful. Though fiercely loyal to her family, Molly fears they might harm the man she is coming to love, and now she must decide whether to remain faithful to her blood . . . or to her heart.

Moonlight Raider, the first book in Amanda Scott's new Border Nights series, is a must-read for Scottish history buffs and avid historical romance fans. She does a brilliant job of pulling the reader into the Late Middle Ages of Scotland. Before the Jacobites, there were Border lords—or Border Reivers (according to Wikipedia) during the time of the Stewarts in Scotland and the Tudors in England.

“The attitudes of the English and Scottish governments towards the border families alternated between indulgence or even encouragement, as these fierce families served as the first line of defense against invasion from the other side of the border, and draconian and indiscriminate punishment when their lawlessness became intolerable to the authorities.”

So Molly’s fear for being “returned” to her home, and her bridal bed with her gross villainous illegally-enforced husband, is quite valid. This is not to be confused with her delightful bridal bed with her handsome and heroic legally-enforced husband. Well, it’s more like they’re trying to find a loophole in the marriage laws in order to save Molly. And of course, because Wat is honorable and good-hearted, he wants to properly convince Molly to marry him, since he is the one protecting her from her own family.

[Bound by honor!]

Sep 30 2014 12:00pm

Lailah: Exclusive Excerpt

Nikki Kelly

Lailah by Nikki Kelly

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve darker forces. Jonah and the few like him are fighting with help from an unlikely ally, a rogue Angel named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

Get a sneak peek of Nikki Kelly's Lailah (available October 7, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Lucan, Ireland

LIGHTNING STREAKED AND FORKED INTO THREE, the thunder pounded in waves of two, and the silence fell at once.

In the stained-glass window, the lightning forks illuminated an image of the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus in her arms. In the vestry, the devoted clergyman desperately scrawled his panicked thoughts, pausing only to add more coal to the fire behind him. Another clap of thunder exploded and, startled, he hesitated, scraping his hand through his graying hair.

[Continue on to read the full excerpt of Lailah...]

Sep 30 2014 11:00am

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Lavinia Kent and Violetta Rand!

Today we're revealing two covers that only hint at the hotness within—both feature independent women who can only be tamed by the right man. The first, Lavinia Kent's Bound by Bliss, is an erotic historical that shows what it's like when a woman loses control, while the heroine of Violetta Rand's Surrendered loses control only when there's a man strong enough to handle it. 

[Get ready to be seduced by these covers...]

Sep 30 2014 9:30am

First Look: Larissa Ione’s Chained By Night (September 30, 2014)

Chained by Night by Larissa IoneLarissa Ione
Chained by Night
Pocket / September 30, 2014 / $7.99 print / digital

Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation.To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?

Vampires and humans being at odds isn’t a new storyline in paranormal romance (PNR). You can easily swing a stick in a bookstore and hit a multitude of books with that exact storyline at any given time. But what makes Larissa Ione’s take on the storyline both unique and engaging is her character dynamics; while the arc is invigorating and written to maximise the story’s ability to branch off in a multitude of directions, giving us the security it won't be ending soon, it’s her characters who make this series what it is.

[Bound to be awesome!]

Sep 30 2014 8:14am

Outlander Thoughts and Predictions?

Now that you've digested the first half of Outlander's season, what do you think of the series? Are you on-board for the second half of the season? What were your favorite parts? What were your least favorite parts?

What do you want to see when Outlander resumes in April?


Gif from Outlander-Starz

Sep 29 2014 4:30pm

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of September 2014

Always to Remember by Lorraine HeathEach month, we ask our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle a bit more.

Without further ado, here’s the installment for September 2014 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the Related Posts section at the bottom of the post):

Willa aka Willaful

I finally read Lorraine Heath's classic historical Always to Remember and
have been kicking myself ever since for waiting so long. The hero is one of a kind, a deeply committed conscientious objector who's been suffering the scorn of his town and family after refusing to kill during the Civil War. In a twist on the usual cruel hero, the war widow heroine misjudges him and seeks revenge. Then she starts to see how much courage it required for the supposed town coward to stand up for his beliefs. Thought-provoking and a tearjerker!

[We'll get the Kleenex...]

Sep 29 2014 2:00pm

First Look: Lisa Henry’s Sweetwater (September 29, 2014)

Sweetwater by Lisa Henry

Lisa Henry
Riptide / September 29, 2014 / $6.99, digital / $16.99, print

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.

Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.

When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time.

It's Wyoming, 1870 in Lisa Henry's Sweetwater. Elijah, the adopted son of the town doctor, is seen as mentally handicapped by most people who know him—and they don't even know about his shameful, terrifying feelings. Today he'd be called gay and sexually submissive, but he lives in a time which has no good words for either of those things. And Elijah doesn't trust words anyway. Partially deaf from the scarlet fever that killed his entire family, words for him are a source of struggle to be understood, a tool for others to torment him, and a symbol of a world he can't join.

[There are no safe words]

Sep 29 2014 1:00pm

Downton Abbey Series 5 (Season 5), Episode 2 Recap: Uncertain Futures

Mary and Gillingham in Downton Abbey 5x02Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5 premiere. Enjoy!

This week’s episode starts with the staff cleaning up Edith’s burnt-out room. As Mrs. Hughes and Anna go through the singed items, Anna finds a picture of a baby under Edith’s pillow, which she promptly hands over to Mrs. Hughes. Oh oh. We all know both these ladies are pretty smart, so they’re going to figure it out.

Jimmy in Downton Abbey 5x02Jimmy leaves (after a heartfelt, friendly farewell scene with Thomas) and the downstairs staff bemoans the lack of a “bonny lad” in their ranks. Molesley is happy about being the first footman, until Mr. Carson reminds him that since he is the only footman, there really isn’t much of a distinction.

Luncheon is a rather tense affair with Mary accusing Edith of behaving like an  idiot for setting her room on fire, and Robert berating the revolution in Russia for displacing so many people who have to establish new communities in order to preserve their culture. He directs his comments to Tom, who of course, immediately responds that he feels bad for anyone who has been exiled from his country! Meanwhile, Charles Blake is going to stop by for a visit (yay!) with an art historian friend of his to look at a della Francesca painting. Mary reminds the family that she’s going to be off with her friend Annabelle for a rambling-through-the-countryside holiday, but of course WE know that she’s going away with Gillingham. When Isobel mentions the addition of a wireless at the hospital, Rose hints at getting one installed at the Abbey to which Robert responds with an emphatic “No.”

[But it's the future!...]