<i>Stepbrother, Mine</i> #1: Exclusive Excerpt Stepbrother, Mine #1: Exclusive Excerpt Opal Carew "Butterflies fluttered through her stomach as she stepped into his suite." <i>30 Days</i>: Exclusive Excerpt 30 Days: Exclusive Excerpt Christine d'Abo "I have to be honest, some guys would be weirded out by this." <i>Forsaken</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Forsaken: Exclusive Excerpt Lisa Renee Jones "Is love even possible in the midst of heartache?" Kerrigan Byrne Presents “Chasing the Storm” Kerrigan Byrne Presents “Chasing the Storm” Kerrigan Byrne "He might be an honest man now, but he still kissed like a villain..."
From The Blog
July 28, 2015
What's the Best Insult You've Ever Learned from a Book?
Jennifer Proffitt
July 27, 2015
Intro to Ménage in Erotic Romance
paranormalibrarian
July 26, 2015
2015 RITA and Golden Heart Winners!
Team H & H
July 25, 2015
Trending Names in Romance
Nicole Leapheart
July 25, 2015
H&H ICYMI: Major Cover Reveals, August Romance Shopping List, Win Ilona Andrews’s Magic Shifts, and More!
Team H & H
Tue
Jul 28 2015 9:30am

First Look: J.R. Ward’s The Bourbon Kings (July 28, 2015)

The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward
The Bourbon Kings (Bourbon Kings #1)
Penguin / July 28, 2015 / $27.99 print, $13.99 digital

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

When it comes to romance, we’re used to a pretty specific formula. At least general guidelines, an idea of what to expect. With J.R. Ward’s long-awaited, contemporary Southern saga, The Bourbon Kings, there are no expectations. It’s splashy, it’s extravagant, it’s jaw-dropping. It’s a world with characters we want to follow through, imperfect people whose lives are messes, who are at the brink of massive change, rampant scandal, and complete collapse. Ward takes risks from start to finish, and the result is new romance, told as an ensemble, a quick-paced cross between violent suspense masked under proper manners and bold romance with big emotion, within a multi-POV structure and the intrigue of modern class relations. Bourbon is both the livelihood and the drug of choice. 

[3 couples looking for more than HEA or less...]

Tue
Jul 28 2015 8:27am

What’s the Best Insult You’ve Ever Learned from a Book?

We all (probably) went through a phase, after we learned that Shakespeare's “I bite my thumb at you, sir” was the same thing thing as flipping someone the bird...or was that just us... where we used that as our insult of choice—it was both ridiculous in the modern age, but also literary! 

Romance is GREAT fodder for some really hilarious insults—the Valkyries of Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series have offered up some great ones, and Darynda Jones's Charley Davidson is always good for a few one-liners. What has been the best insult you've learned from a book?

Let us know in the comments!

Mon
Jul 27 2015 4:45pm

Time Flies: Women’s Fiction Best Bets for July 2015

If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison

Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

The past does cast a shadow. It can make you nostalgia for halcyon days; or fill you with regrets and if-only thoughts. It can hold secrets that affect those around you. Memories are very powerful, as the heroines from July’s releases discover.

If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison

Told with Beth Harbison's wit and warmth, If I Could Turn Back Time is the fantasy of every woman who has ever thought, “If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I'd do things so differently...”

Thirty-seven year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous, and she enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But despite it all, she can't ignore the fact that she isn't necessarily happy. In fact, lately Ramie has begun to feel more than a little empty.

On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives off...

Suddenly Ramie is waking up, straining to understand a voice calling in the distance...It's her mother: “Wake up! You're going to be late for school again. I'm not writing a note this time...”

Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she's lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she'll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?

Strengths: Enticing premise; Challenging decisions; Poignant scenarios; HEA
Measure of Love: Dash
Introspection Level: Medium
Thoughts: Who hasn’t wished for a do-over? You’ll love discovering if Ramie got it right the first time or the second!

[Time will fly while reading these Best Bets...]

Mon
Jul 27 2015 4:09pm

Romance News Roundup: Alma Katsu and Anne Rice Deals!

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 Taker by Alma Katsu—Deal Alert #1: Each book in Alma Katsu's The Taker trilogy—The Taker, The Reckoning, and The Descent—is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers including AmazoniBookstore, and Barnes & Noble.* Thanks to Chelsea Mueller for the heads-up! Can't get enough of this series? Read a guest post from Alma Katsu about why she believes paranormal romance will always be releavant.

—In case you missed it, here is a complete list of the Romance Writers of America's 2015 RITA and Golden Heart winners, who were honored at a ceremony Saturday night in New York City. Stand by for more about H&H's time at RWA, including a sweepstakes opportunity in the next couple weeks.

—Deal Alert #2: Anne Rice's (writing as A.N. Roquelaure) latest Beauty novel, Beauty's Kingdom, is $2.99 right now in e-book at e-tailers such as Barnes & NobleAmazon, and iBookstore.* Jane Kriel wrote “Return to the Kingdom: 20 Years of Anne Rice's Beauty Series” in honor of this new installment.

—Did you know H&H is on Pinterest?! Please do connect with us if you hang out there as well.

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

Mon
Jul 27 2015 2:00pm

You Know You’re a Party Girl in 1920s London When….

The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig

Today we're thrilled to welcome Lauren Willig to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Lauren's latest release, The Other Daughter, came out on July 21 and features a young woman whose future has been undeniable rocked when she finds out she's not only lost her mother, but she's not exactly legitimate. What's a girl to do but reinvent herself in the party-scene of 1920s London. Lauren is here today to talk about the 10 signs that you might be a '20s party girl. Thanks, Lauren!

The papers called them the Bright Young People.  They racketed around London in taxis; they threw parties with every theme they could imagine and some you wish they hadn’t (Circus parties, Bath & Bottle parties, Impersonation parties, Second Childhood parties); they bobbed their hair; drank champagne like water; and watched the sun rise over the Thames as they came home from yet another night that began at the Gargoyle Club and ended with bacon butties and strong coffee in the cabbies’ shelters.  One has to wonder what the cabbies thought about that… But, being London cabbies, they had probably seen it all before.

[What kind of party girl are you?]

Mon
Jul 27 2015 12:00pm

First Look: Sophie Jordan’s All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue (July 28, 2015)

All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue by Sophie Jordan

Sophie Jordan                  
All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue (The Debutante Files #2)     
Avon / July 28, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

First friends, then enemies . . .

Lady Aurelia hasn't always hated Max, Viscount Camden, her brother's best friend. In fact, as a besotted girl, she thrived under his kind attention— sure that he was the most noble and handsome man in the land. Until her young heart discovered what manner of rogue he really was. Now, though she enjoys nothing more than getting on his last nerve, she can't deny Max drives her to distraction— even if she tries to pretend otherwise.

Now something more...

Max cannot recall a time when Aurelia did not vex him. If she was not his friend's sister, he would stay far away from the infuriating vixen. Unfortunately, they are always thrown together. At parties and family gatherings...she is always there. Mocking him, tossing punch in his face, driving him mad...until one night, she goes too far and he retaliates in the only way he can: with a kiss that changes everything.

Sophie Jordan’s new historical series is something different, a new dimension for the author who’s well-versed in historical and expanded to Young Adult, Paranormal, and New Adult. In this case, her foray into New Adult has added heat and depth to her latest Debutante Files book: it’s bolder, sexier, and riskier, and all the better for it. The first book, The Good Debutantes Guide to Ruin, is an historical stebsibling story, Christmas novella An Heiress for All Seasons harkens back to classic romance sagas with big emotion and big reward, and this second entry, All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue, is a spicy enemies-to-lovers tale where the fighting is foreplay, the brassy heroine gives as good as she gets, and the journey to giving in is as good as the destination.

[Heat up your TBR list...]

Mon
Jul 27 2015 11:00am

Intro to Ménage in Erotic Romance: Terms, Tropes, and Tons of Recommendations

Their Virgin Captive by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Ménage romance really is a guilty pleasure of mine.  I accidentally discovered it last year, when one popped up as a suggested reading in my Amazon feed.  I’m not sure how it got there, as 99% of my reading from Amazon is historical/Regency romance, with the occasional non-fictional history and work-related book, but I clicked on it out of curiosity.  My Kindle and my credit card haven’t been the same since. 

While I’m positive there are some ménage romance novels that have one man paired with two women or more, the books I read are just the opposite: one girl to two (or more) men. There are some novels that have “mega-ménages” that have as many partners as the author wishes.  Personally, I can’t handle reading anything more than a foursome just because the novels aren’t long enough to properly develop the characters.  And, let’s be honest here, any more than three men and I have a difficult time of keeping track of who is doing what where during the sex scenes. 

So what is the attraction about ménage romances?   Just imagine: two men who love a woman so much that they decide to share her rather than fight each other or force her to choose between them.   Here’s a quote from one of my favorite ménage authors that I think explains what a ménage is:

“They (The men) don’t simply share a woman.  They share a life. They share a family and their problems and their worries. They take comfort in the presence of the other.  It’s a beautiful thing.”
—From “Pure Bliss” by Sophie Oak.

[Grab a cold towel to cool off...]

Mon
Jul 27 2015 9:30am

First Look: Katie MacAlister’s Dragon Fall (July 28, 2015)

Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister

Katie MacAlister
Dragon Fall (Dragon Fall #1)
Forever / July 28, 2015 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

Katie MacAlister is one of those authors that has many published works that I’ve never really thought about reading. Dragons, however, are always a good spot for me—in romance especially, thanks to Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound. MacAlister also has a reputation for being humorous, which appeals to me as a reader that tends to go for high angst. I decided to go into her latest book with open arms in the hopes of finding that enjoyable mix of laughing and dragons—and maybe some awesome romance added in, too.

Aoife Dakar never expected to get wrapped up in the supernatural world. Truth be told, all she wanted to do was attend a gothic fair with her most recent date—a dark and handsome dude that seemed to take the fair’s paranormal leanings a little too seriously. It goes well, until Aoife gets handed a “magical” ring by her date, to then have him promptly destroyed in a puff of smoke. She tells the authorities that he’s dead just in time for him to reappear in front of her.

[Quite a magician to wrap your head around...]

Mon
Jul 27 2015 8:33am

Are You a Writer?

We are all readers, first and foremost at Heroes and Heartbreakers. However, some among us are also writers! With Team H&H just coming off the Romance Writers of America conference, we want to know—are you a writer? Do your writing and reading tastes differ? For example, do you read a lot of historical romance, but write high concept paranormal?

Let us know in the comments!

Sun
Jul 26 2015 3:00pm

RWA Announces 2015 RITA and Golden Heart Winners!

Run to You by Clara KensieOh, what a night! Romance writers and readers gathered together for the annual RITA awards ceremony honoring the year's best works in romance at the conclusion of the 2015 Romance Writers of America national conference, held at Times Square's Marriott Marquis in New York City.

In March, we brought you a list of the nominees. Now, read on for a complete list of the 2015 RITA and Golden Heart winners!

2015 RITA Winners

Best First Book
Run to You
by Clara Kensie
Harlequin, TEEN
Natashya Wilson, editor

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

Sun
Jul 26 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Stepbrother, Mine #1: Exclusive Excerpt

Opal Carew

Stepbrother, Mine #1 by Opal Carew

Dana's always had a clear vision of what she wanted out of life. But when her father dies during her final year of college, Dana's whole world threatens to topple down. In desperate need of money, she comes up with an idea. It's scandalous. It's HOT. And it's got everybody talking. . .Is Dana really going to auction off her own virginity? And at what cost?

Get a sneak peek at Opal Carew's Stepbrother, Mine #1 (available July 28, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Dana stared at the letter in her hand, all the blood rushing from her face. Her fingers began to tremble and the paper nearly slipped from her grip.

She sank down in the chair.

“Hey, what’s up?” her roommate Elli asked, as she walked past and slumped on the couch across from her. “You’re white as a ghost.”

“I … uh…” Dana glanced up at the slim, tall blonde who shared the small, two-bedroom apartment with her. It was a bit dumpy, but it was only a ten-minute walk from the university. “It’s from my mom.”

“Oh? What does the bitch have to say?”

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

Sun
Jul 26 2015 10:30am

First Look: Emilie Richards’s The Color of Light (July 28, 2015)

The Color of Light by Emilie Richards

Emilie Richards
The Color of Light
Mira / July 28, 2015 / $14.95 print, $7.99 digital

The deeper the darkness, the brighter the light

For more than a decade minister Analiese Wagner has felt privileged to lead her parishioners along a well-lit path. Her commitment has never been seriously tested until the frigid night she encounters a homeless family huddling in the churchyard. Offering them shelter in a vacant parish house apartment and taking teenage Shiloh Fowler—a girl desperate to rescue her parents—under her wing, she tests the loyalty and faith of her congregation.

Isaiah Colburn, the Catholic priest who was her first mentor and the man she secretly longed for, understands her struggles only too well. At a crossroads, he's suddenly reappeared in her life, torn between his priesthood and his growing desire for a future with Analiese.

Divided between love and vows they've taken, both must face the possibilities of living very different lives or continuing to serve their communities. With a defeated family's trust and her own happiness on the line, Analiese must define for herself where darkness ends and light begins.

Emilie Richards' The Color of Light illuminates the journey of three solitary characters, all responsible to and for others, as they come together in a complicated, heartfelt pattern. Analiese ministers to a privileged community, she’s daughter, sister, and servant—but has she ever had to guide her congregation so Biblically before? Shiloh is a homeless teenager, a daughter turned parent. She’s wise, wary, and vulnerable—can she learn to trust again? Isaiah, the priest at the crossroads: how can he create a way forward that allows him to integrate everything he believes in and loves?

[Bankrupt on happiness...]

Sat
Jul 25 2015 2:00pm

Signed with an X: Trending Names in Romance

The Billionaire's Game by J.S. Scott

The subject of hero naming trends never gets old. With the popularity of some books or television shows we see an influx of heroes with familiar sounding names (hello Christian and Jax!) However, there are some hero names that are staples in the romance genre that make me wonder “Who really has this name?” or “Why are so many authors choosing this name?” I’m talking about names that seem to be exclusive to romantic novels across sub-genres. It occurred to me that I was reading a lot of books with similarly uniquely named heroes, and I did a quick bit of personal research on the names most popular in certain sub-genres. For instance:

1) Cade

Cade has been credited with having Gaelic roots, short for Caden. Perhaps Margaret Mitchell is the trend setter in modern times as she named a character Cade in Gone With the Wind. It seems these days everyone has a hero named Cade or the popular variation, Kade. I’m not complaining! I have yet to meet a Cade/Kade that I didn’t want to be rescued by. Cade had strong western romance beginnings, but now a lot of Cades seem to be dangerous urban alpha heroes with a score to settle.

[Name that trend...]

Sat
Jul 25 2015 12:00pm

First Look: J.S. Scott’s The Forbidden Billionaire (July 28, 2015)

The Forbidden Billionaire by J.S. Scott

J.S. Scott
The Forbidden Billionaire (The Sinclairs #2)
Montlake Romance / July 28, 2015 / $12.95 print, $4.99 digital

All of Jared Sinclair’s wealth still can’t ease the pain from his terrible childhood…or his guilt over a recent tragedy. Unable to forgive himself, the billionaire property investor buries his emotions, toughens his skin, and becomes a notorious womanizer, refusing to commit his heart to a woman when he’s convinced she wants only his wallet.

But ever since Jared arrived in Amesport, Maine, he’s been intrigued by Mara Ross, the petite and sexy shop owner who asks nothing of him. When Mara’s store is purchased without her knowledge, she stands on the brink of losing her home, her livelihood, and generations of family history. Then the irresistibly persuasive Jared proposes a business deal to Mara…and soon draws her into a steamy, sensual affair, convincing her that he’s anything but cold. However, when a revelation shakes Mara’s fragile trust to the core, Jared must finally confront the truth about his past.

In The Forbidden Billionaire, J.S. Scott brings the next chapter in her passionate Sinclairs series to life.

J.S. Scott's book has an unusual opening for a romance novel. We first meet the billionaire hero not when he’s closing a business deal, or buying trinkets for his harem, but when he’s in what one would call ‘a state of liquid exuberance’. It’s also clear that Jared’s not the fun type of drunk who twerks provocatively for the benefit of a floor lamp or plays Goon of Fortune. No, he’s one very surly and unhappy drunk, and his drinking is an attempt to forgot two unnamed people who have BETRAYED him.

[Meet the new and improved Jared...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Men Who Played Writers on Screen

Joseph Fiennes as Shakespeare in Shakespeare In Love

Don't know if I can say that writers are the best lovers, but these characters made us believe in their words, books, and ablities to create a New York Times' Bestseller. Taye Diggs evoked every emotion from betrayl to sympathy as Harper Stewart in The Best Man. Ethan Hawke had us wondering about the one that got away as he played Jesse in Before Sunset.

Not all actors have played love-struck writers. Sean Connery was a writer/mentor in Finding Forrester and Jack Nicholson still scares me as Jack Torrance in The Shining. A round of applause because being a writer isn't easy.

So, in honor of the Romance Writers of America Conference (#RWA) we have rounded up a few of the most desirable actors who have played writers in movies. 

Also, please comment below your favorite actor who has played a writer or your favorite male romance writer in the comments below! 

[Mad, funny, or just plain sexy hot writers...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 2:00pm

Second Chances in a Small Town: Laura Trentham’s Caught Up in the Touch

Caught Up in the Touch by Laura Trentham

“Unlike his cousin, he’d never fought the ties that bound him to Falcon. He’d gone away to college, but his heart ached for home like a tree cut off from its nourishing roots.”

Small town reads are one of my favorite troupes. It’s the sense of community and family in each one that can make this “setting”, into an actual character that lives and breathes. This can be said of the town of Falcon, the setting of Laura Trentham's Caught Up In the Touch.

The premise of Caught Up In the Touch is one of second chances, at love and remaking their lives on their terms, for both characters. Jessica Montgomery heads to Falcon to try to recruit Logan Wilde for her father’s company. When she lands in Falcon, a series of events unfold that forces her to stay longer than expected, and she’s charmed by the magic of the town. Jessica has been struggling under her father’s thumb and the people, especially Logan, fill her with a peace that she has been missing.

[Taking some time away helps to open the heart...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

30 Days: Exclusive Excerpt

Christine d'Abo

30 Days by Christine d'Abo

For years, Alyssa has been going to bed with a memory. Is she ready to wake up with a fantasy?

Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mate, but not Alyssa Barrow. She met Rob at nineteen, and they were set to live happily ever after—until he became ill. In his final days, Rob urged his beautiful, young wife not to abandon happiness—or pleasure. He even left her a special gift, a sexy game plan to help her move on: Thirty cards with instructions for thirty days of passion. You’ll know when the time is right, he’d said. Now it’s two years later, and when Alyssa meets her hot new neighbor, Harrison Kemp, she begins to think the right time is right now…

From his sculpted thighs to his devilish grin, Harrison is the kind of man women want. Before she can lose her nerve, Alyssa tells Harrison about her long-ignored cards…and asks him to help her fulfill them. It’s a favor he’s more than happy to, um, perform. With his skillful touch, and the hot press of his lips against her skin, Alyssa finds herself re-awakening to life—and a host of other sensations. But what began as not-so-innocent fun soon grows into true intimacy, and Alyssa realizes she’s opening herself up not just to sex…but to love. When it comes to a future with Harrison, what’s really in the cards?

Get a sneak peek at Christine d'Abo's 30 Days (available July 28, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

I’d been standing in front of Harrison’s front door for the better part of ten minutes, wondering how much of an ass he thought I was. God, I’d had my moments of being an idiot in the past, but this was the first time I’d embarrassed myself this badly. I had no choice but to apologize—he hadn’t deserved me losing my shit on him like that, and at the very least I owed him a new shirt.

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

Wed
Jul 22 2015 9:49am
Original Story

H&H Quickie #10: Kerrigan Byrne Presents “Chasing the Storm”

Kerrigan Byrne

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

We are honored and thrilled to share with you a brand-new original Quickie by Kerrigan Byrne, who took your prompts and ran with them to craft not just a scene but a short story that's sure to leave you with a smile and happy sigh as we wait for Kerrigan's next full-length novel, The Highwayman, out September 2, 2015. Enjoy!

***

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.

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

  • Cornwall's windswept-moors and a stolen/forbidden kiss (Tiffinie Helmer)
  • Highwayman and ribbon (anitaclenney)
  • Romantic dance at a masquerade ball (Debra Burge)
  • A skeleton key (VR Barkowski)
  • Love letter found tucked between the pages of a book (Yendo)
  • In the bright flash of the fierce lightning storm she sees a dark looming figure (sonia Bissonette)

Without further ado, allow us to present Kerrigan Byrne's H&H Quickie, “Chasing the Storm.”

[Read “Chasing the Storm” here...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 9:30am

Earth, Wind, Fire, and Air...and More: Cassandra Gannon’s The Elemental Phases Series

Queen of the Magnetland by Cassandra Gannon

I took a look on my Amazon recommendations and saw a title called The Queen of Magnetland. Seeing as this was the first book in a series and I was jonesing for something X-Men/fantasy-like I decided to one-click the first book in Cassandra Gannon’s Elemental series, Warrior from the Shadowland. What I didn’t know at the time is that I would spend the next five days reading this cracktackular series.

The Elemental Phases is completely different from any other paranormal/fantasy world out there. The basic idea is that immortal beings called Phases that exist keep the world moving. Each Phase is born into an Elemental house. Where this idea gets really cool is that the Phases aren’t just earth, water, air, fire a la Captain Planet. Instead there are Cloud Phases, Color Phases, Magnet Phases, Electricity Phases, etc. each of which upholds that element on Earth. When the series starts, the Elemental Phase community has been decimated by a plague released by the Air House. Now, literal elements in the universe are falling apart because there are not enough of individual Phases left in some of the Houses to sustain a particular element. One example is Cloud House, the Cloud Phases are extinct so now clouds look flat and have no shape to them.

In addition to the cool array of elements included in the series, you also have a fated mate trope as Phases want to find their Phase-Match, basically their soul mate. At the beginning of the series, Cross, the last of the Shadow Phases finds his soulmate in Nia of the Water House. The two must work together to try and find a cure for the plague that is decimating their people while at the same time falling in love. The sex scenes, known as Phasing, aren’t particularly graphic but still romantic.

[Join the elements of ....]