<i>Burn Down the Night</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Burn Down the Night: Exclusive Excerpt M. O'Keefe "His hand was practically burning a hole through my hoodie..." <i>The Theory of Deviance</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Theory of Deviance: Exclusive Excerpt Rebecca Grace Allen "His cheeks went hot at her censure." <i>A Promise of Fire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Promise of Fire: Exclusive Excerpt Amanda Bouchet "My chest deflates as I exhale the breath I was holding." <i>The CEO Daddy Next Door</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The CEO Daddy Next Door: Exclusive Excerpt Karen Booth "Before she could take a breath, he claimed his kiss."
From The Blog
July 27, 2016
The (Many?) Lovers of Mr. Spock
Maggie Boyd
July 27, 2016
Humiliation Kink in Erotic Romance
TamsenParker
July 26, 2016
The Pros and Cons of Falling in Love with a Fellow Soldier
Nico Rosso
July 25, 2016
J.D. Robb & Anne Rice Excerpts Ahoy!
Heather Waters and Jennifer Proffitt
July 25, 2016
Dream Destinations... Only a Page Away!
Anita Hughes
Mon
Jul 25 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

A Promise of Fire: Exclusive Excerpt

Amanda Bouchet

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Catalia “Cat” Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin's fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

Get a sneak peek at Amanda Bouchet 's A Promise of Fire (available August 2, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Beta Sinta points southeast—at least I think it’s southeast. “Six males. Tarvan. They’re definitely following us.”

“Tarvan?” Flynn scratches the auburn stubble on his jaw. “What could they want?”

Everyone looks at me.

I shake my head. “No way. I haven’t attracted attention in years.” No wonder my guard was so low when Beta Sinta showed up at the circus.

[Read the full A Promise of Fire excerpt...]

Mon
Jul 25 2016 10:00am

First Look: B.J. Daniels’s Into Dust (July 26, 2016)

KC

Into Dust by B.J. Daniels

B.J. Daniels
Into Dust  (The Montana Hamiltons #5)
HQN Books / July 26th 2016 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

It’s a big week in gossip, politically speaking. The republican candidate for president, Buckmaster Hamilton of Montana, has just bought an engagement ring for his ex-wife Sarah (..it’s complicated!) and unbeknownst to him, one of his six daughters has been kidnapped by a covert anarchist organization that goes by the moniker The Prophecy. And The Prophecy?  Well they want nothing more than to see Hamilton in office, and they’ll do just about anything imaginable to make sure that happens.

Jack Durand, a Texas boy with a businessman father, has somehow been roped into all of this. (And he’s the one that usually does the roping!) When he witnesses Cassidy Hamilton’s near-abduction, he jumps in immediately to help. Cassidy, reluctant to go public with the incident for fear of the political and personal ramifications, convinces him there’s really only one way to deal with this: she has to go into hiding. Jack, naturally, is not the type of man who will let her do that alone. So the two of them go on the run together, discovering along the way that they might have a disturbing shared history that neither of them knew about until now.

In the fifth book of The Montana Hamilton series, the action and plot begins right out of the gate. There is little time for niceties, as nearly every word is important to unraveling this story, but the author still seems to somehow paint a beautiful picture. Tracing a line from Texas to Montana, the picture that Daniels draws for us is deliciously atmospheric.

[Roped into drama...]

Mon
Jul 25 2016 8:15am

Are Labels Helpful or Harmful?

Woman walking down the beach

What's in a label? We've discussed this many times with our reader friends—both on the site and in person—many of whom are against labeling books, whether those labels be for calling out LGBT+ romances or African American romance, or something else entirely. Recently, we even had this conversation with calling out Plus-Sized or BBW (the preferred term is still up for debate) heroines. For many, labels such as these marginalize a book or an author, for others labeling helps spotlight authors and readers are able to find books that represent them.

How do you feel about labels? Do you think they're helpful or harmful?  

Sun
Jul 24 2016 1:30pm

First Look: Megan Frampton’s Why Do Dukes Fall in Love? (July 26, 2016)

Why Do Dukes Fall in Love? by Megan Frampton

Megan Frampton
Why Do Dukes Fall in Love? (Dukes Behaving Badly #4)
Avon / July 26, 2016 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Fun Fact: Megan Frampton is the former community manager of Heroes and Heartbreakers—we now love being able to talk about her historical romances!

Megan Frampton sparkles again with her very witty latest novel, Why Do Dukes Fall in Love? What do I love about this book? Pretty much everything. This character driven story features widowed Edwina Cheltam, her daughter Gertrude, Michael, the Duke of Hadlow, and Chester his dog.

First our heroine Edwina. She’s smart. Like mega-clever with numbers smart. But when her husband dies and her brother-in-law squanders away all of her late husband's fortune, she is left with nothing but her brain and her ability to work. The last thing she wants is to be burdened to said brother-in-law who gives her and me the heebie-jeebies. She finds employ with the Duke of Hadlow as his personal secretary and the match is perfection. More on that in a moment.

Now let’s meet our beloved Duke. He’s a peculiar one and a bit of a savant, this Duke of Hadlow. Had he been alive today, I’m certain we would diagnose him as having a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome. He doesn’t care for social settings, needs routine and preciseness, and has no need for friends and likes it that way. Good thing he’s a duke—where everyone caters to his needs and demands. Except Edwina. She’s possibly the first person who has defied his demands.

[Read more...]

Sun
Jul 24 2016 11:30am

First Look: Ainslie Paton’s Damaged Goods (July 29, 2016)

Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton

Ainslie Paton
Damaged Goods (Sidelined #2)
Supervised by Cat / July 29, 2016 / #3.99 digital

Jesus Heist, this book—which follows Offensive Behaviour, book one in the Sidelined series—is great.

Here’s why it kept me turning pages way past oh-shit-I-have-work-tomorrow o’clock.

I love that it challenges the ‘a-hard-wang-is-everything’ myth of sexuality. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against wang and I’ve met plenty of hard wangs in romance that I’ve loved. But I’ve also always been a little uncomfortable with the notion (frequently found betwixt book covers) that all one needs for great sex is a boner that a dog couldn’t chew through and the stamina to vigorously apply it Mixmaster or Ditch-witch style to the heroine’s nether regions.

Anyone with a basic acquaintanceship with human sexuality knows that this is rot, and yet much of our culture (and Viagra sales) is built on the notion that a hard wang is both the ultimate symbol of masculinity and essential for fun times in the theme park known as Bonking World. There’s also an unstated (but almost universal) assumption that both parties must orgasm or they may as well as have spent their time knitting instead. (No disrespect to knitting intended.)

For those reasons alone it was very refreshing to meet a hero unable to get an erection or have an orgasm, and to meet a couple sensible and inventive enough to work on making their sex lives satisfying without those things. What delighted me was the way Paton’s writing translated those differences into sex scenes that will leave readers reaching for their asbestos underwear. A sample:

[It's not so hard...]

Sat
Jul 23 2016 1:30pm

“The Bisexual Dilemma”: When Writing Becomes True to Life

Butterfly Tattoo: The Ultimate Edition

Today we're thrilled to welcome Deidre Knight (Butterfuly Tattoo). Deidre is well known in the industry as a literary agent, but has worn many hats, including the one she wears today as an author. Butterfly Tattoo features a bisexual character named Michael, and Deidre is here today to talk about how Michael's journey came to reflect her own. Thanks, Deidre!

I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of my contemporary romance, Butterfly Tattoo: The Ultimate Edition. This reissue contains a deleted scene, reader questions, and a long interview about the book. Still, even as excited as I am to share my “baby” with readers anew, I have to make a totally frank admission: for whatever reason, I’ve struggled more with this particular blog post than any I can recall.

I’m certainly no stranger to writing blog posts, or (in my capacity as literary agent) pitch letters and synopses, which can put a real strain on one’s abilities as a writer. But this has been even more difficult. That’s probably because Butterfly Tattoo is an intensely personal book, even if it might not appear to be so at first glance. Then again, that’s one of the major themes of the novel: how large parts of a person’s identity—who they really are inside—can be obscured by the more glaringly obvious surface aspects.

The heroine, Rebecca O’Neill, bears scars all over her body from a stalker’s attack that occurred many years earlier. She’s ashamed of them, not only because she feels disfigured but, more important, because she fears they’ve redefined her against her will. Thanks to those scars, she has settled for a desk job behind the scenes of the entertainment industry.

[Don't settle...]

Sat
Jul 23 2016 11:00am

First Look: Jaci Burton’s Don’t Let Go (July 26, 2016)

Don't Let Go by Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton
Don't Let Go (Hope #6)
Jove / July 26, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

By their wares shall you know them? Megan’s pastries and Brady’s bikes are superlative manifestations of their passions and talents. Unfortunately, the undeniably gorgeous and sensitive Brady is a reluctant suitor. He’s haunted by memories of his dead brother in his hometown of Hope, Oklahoma. What will it take for Brady to break out of his self-imposed prison of work and loneliness?

Brady is isolated and glad to be so. But bakery owner Megan seems determined to break through his cone of silence. Her weapon of choice: fresh-baked goodies, accompanied by fresh-brewed coffee. As she says to Brady,

“Okay, I make a really great cup of coffee. I’m surprised you haven’t come into the bakery, since it’s so close to the auto shop. Most everyone who works around here pops in.”

It’s impossible for Brady to ignore the force that is Megan. He thinks to himself, “Man, she could really talk. He’d noticed that the couple of times they’d been together in social situations.” Conversation is something that Brady has really missed.

[Read more...]

Fri
Jul 22 2016 4:30pm

Yes, We Really Went There: Comments That Made Our Week

We at Heroes and Heartbreakers are so proud of and thankful for this wonderful community. Thank you for always adding a little extra sparkle to our week. In honor of Fan Friday, we want to give a special shoutout to a few of our favorite comments, and the readers behind them. We love your work!


We sometimes still feel too young, too, Kareni:

Kareni in Do You Think You Were Too Young When You Read Your First Romance?

I'm another one who started reading romances as a young teen, and I ended up with a 100 plus collection of Barbara Cartland romances. (And I'll admit that I'd be afraid to read any of her books today.) I don't think I was too young for the romances I read. Now ask me about the twisted pornographic book that was being passed around school when I was in 7th grade; I'm stilltoo young for that one as it made Fifty Shades of Grey look tame.

[Read more...]

Fri
Jul 22 2016 3:25pm

E.L. James on Instagram and a Wonder Woman Poster: Romance News

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Fresh Outta the Oven

Wonder Woman official poster E.L. James is taking over the @fiftyshadesmovie Instagram to reveal pictures from the Fifty Shades movies filming in France. Remember, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed are currently filming back-to-back with director James Foley; the second installment of Christian and Ana's story will hit theaters on February 10, 2017, while the trilogy's conclusion will follow the next year, on February 9, 2018.

Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is ready to save the world in her new official poster, which reads simply: “Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.” Diana Prince was the best part of Batman vs. Superman, so we're pleased as punch her standalone film's coming up.

The first Luke Cage trailer is here! Watch Mike Colter kick a lot of ass and then join us in our breathless anticipation of Luke “just getting started” on September 30. Anyone else hoping we'll see at least a cameo from Jessica Jones? As we've learned, Luke and Jessica make quite the power couple.

If Rami Malek could play another Mr. Robot character, it would be... Angela! Vulture has a theory about why that may be as we head deeper into Season 2 of the show...

[+Sarah Addison Allen & L.J. Shen deals...]

Fri
Jul 22 2016 2:30pm

First Look: Kelly Bowen’s A Duke to Remember (July 26, 2016)

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

Kelly Bowen
A Duke to Remember (Season of Scandal #2)
Forever / July 26, 2016 / $5.99 print & digital

A Duke to Remember is book two of Kelly Bowen’s s Season of Scandal series. I am in love with everything about this book. Right away, I’m curious why a duke disappears as a child, and why he doesn’t surface as an adult. I’m digging the bad-ass-ness of our heroine, and swooning over their love story of love-at-first-sight that only builds as their relationship develops.

Elise DeVries is a partner at Chegarre and Associates. Their mission is to fix problems in society that no one else is able to do. In this case, the Duchess of Ashland is locked away in Bedlam for lunacy. The Duchess’s daughter, Abigail, seeks out Chegarre and Associates to help remove her mother from this awful prison. This would be an easy problem to fix if it weren’t for the fact that the Duke has passed away and a scheming cousin Francis will stop at nothing to ensure the Duchy becomes his—including committing his aunt to Bedlam for believing her son still alive. And if Noah Ellery does indeed still exist, Francis is desperate enought to ensure Noah’s disappearance is permanent. If Elise can discover the new duke’s whereabouts and convince him to return to society, the duchess can be saved and the Duchy of Ashland remains under the control of the true Duke.

[Read more...]

Fri
Jul 22 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

The CEO Daddy Next Door: Exclusive Excerpt

Karen Booth

The CEO Daddy Next Door by Karen Booth

He wants a mother for his child. She won't settle down. And now they're living together…

After one disastrous date, reality TV personality Ashley George and devastatingly handsome British billionaire Marcus Chambers are roommates! When a fire destroys her apartment, Ashley leans on her Manhattan neighbor for help—and soon finds herself falling for the father and his baby. But despite their off-the-charts attraction, Marcus only dates women who would be suitable mothers for his daughter. His free-spirited neighbor is completely unsuitable. So why can't he seem to keep her out of his bed…and out of his heart?

Get a sneak peek at Karen Booth's The CEO Daddy Next Door (available August 9 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

In this scene, British gin maker Marcus and his neighbor, Ashley, are avoiding a meddlesome tabloid reporter by hitting the dance floor at the premiere party for Ashley’s wildly popular reality TV show, The Manhattan Matchmaker.

“I don’t want to be old-fashioned,” Marcus said, “but it is generally considered the man’s job to lead.”

Ashley wasn’t good at this part. Even at the age of seven, she’d been accused of trying to lead. “After all of that with Maryann, you’re going to give me a hard time about leading?”

He yanked her tightly against him, sending a surprising shock through her entire body. “Just relax.”

[Read the full The CEO Daddy Next Door excerpt...]

Fri
Jul 22 2016 11:00am

Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to Our Potential TV Crushes

This weekend is San Diego Comic Con. It's always the perfect time to let our inner geek shine, but it's also the perfect time to pick our new TV boyfriends—here are a few from upcoming shows this fall who are definitely crushworthy.

Source: Luke Cage for Netflix

Dear Mike Colter,

We know you've graced our screens before, but this time you're going to be on your own, kicking ass and taking names as Luke Cage. Last time we were unprepared, but this time we're ready to be mesmerized by your disarming smile and incredible strength. We're also ready for any scene where you'll appear shirtless. 

At least we think we're ready.

[Fall is gonna be fun...]

Fri
Jul 22 2016 9:30am

First Look: Beth Harbison’s One Less Problem Without You (July 26, 2016)

One Less Problem Without You by Beth Harbison

Beth Harbison
One Less Problem Without You
St. Martin's Press / July 26, 2016 / $26.99 print, $12.99 digital

Meet Prinny, Chelsea and Diana. Prinny is the owner of Cosmos, a shop that sells crystals, potions, candles, and hope. It’s also a place where no one turns down a little extra-special cocktail that can work as a romance potion or heal a broken heart. But Prinny is in love with her married lawyer and she’ll need nothing short of magic to forget about him.

Chelsea works as a living statue at tourist sites around Washington, DC. It's a thankless job, but it helps pay the rent. That, and her part-time job at Cosmos. As her dream of becoming a successful actress starts to seem more remote and the possibility of being a permanently struggling one seems more realistic, Chelsea begins to wonder: at one point do you give up on your dreams? And will love ever be in the cards for her?

Diana Tiesman is married to Leif, a charismatic man who isn’t faithful. But no matter how many times he lets her down, Diana just can't let him go. She knows the only way she can truly breakaway is if she leaves and goes where he will never think to follow. So she ends up at Cosmos with Leif’s stepsister, where she makes her homemade teas and tinctures as she figures out whether she'd rather be lonely alone than lonely in love.

In Beth Harbison's One Less Problem Without You, three women suddenly find themselves together at their own very different crossroads. It will take hope, love, strength and a little bit of magic for them to find their way together.

There are all types of problems with love. There is not having someone to love; there is loving the wrong person; and there is obsessive, unhealthy love. In her latest book, One Less Problem Without You, Beth Harbison entertains readers as her three heroines, Prinny, Chelsea, and Diana, struggle with their own personal albatrosses in the game of love.

[The power of three...]

Fri
Jul 22 2016 8:02am

What’s the Most Unique Meet-Cute You’ve Read?

Over the Fence by Melanie Moreland

The meet-cute. It's the fantastic opportunity for a writer to introduce not only their two characters to each other, but for those two characters to make a lasting impression on the reader. As it's so perfectly described in the movie, The Holiday, two people go into a department to buy pajamas they've forgotten on a trip—the man says, I just need a bottom, the woman just needs a top. Et voila! The meet-cute is born. Recently while reading Over the Fence by Melanie Moreland, I “met” two characters who only know each other through the fence bordering their properties—think Norm Abrams from Home Improvement. The characters haven't even met yet face-to-face, and I'm already in love with them. What's the most unique meet-cute you've read?

Let us know in the comments!

Thu
Jul 21 2016 5:16pm

Sherrilyn Kenyon Deal & Book Soundtracks: Romance News

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Son of No One by Sherrilyn KenyonDeal Alert: Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter novel Son of No One is on sale for $2.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* Are you a Menyon? Discover the 10 signs you're addicted to Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series.

Deal Alert: Jamie K. Schmidt's contemporary romance Life's a Beach is only $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* How do you choose your beach reads? What even makes a book a “beach read,” anyway? 

Fresh Outta the Oven

Rachel Grant's Body of Evidence, coming to a theater near you? Maybe! Word is, producer Nancy Cartwright's company Spotted Cow Entertainment has secured the movie and TV rights to the romantic suspense novel about an archaeologist and the sexy U.S. attorney who aren't sure how to trust each other but who definitely want to jump each other's bones. Yum.

[+Book soundtracks & Luke Cage interview...]

Thu
Jul 21 2016 4:30pm

First Look at Tamsen Parker’s True North (July 25, 2016)

True North by Tamsen Parker

Tamsen Parker
True North (Compass #4)
Tamsen Parker / July 25, 2016 / $3.99 digital

Four months ago, Slade Lewis got to fulfill his wildest, long-repressed BDSM fantasies during a one-night stand. Since then, getting more has been the only thing on his mind.

When Slade manages to earn the keys to Reyes Walter’s kinky kingdom, he finds himself face-to-face with none other than Pressly Allwyn, the pearl-bedecked love of his life whom he pushed into divorce six years ago.

Now she’s back, and the fetish he was afraid would drive them apart instead draws them together. They indulge in their common kink together, but past hurts and old insecurities complicate any relationship outside their erotic exploits. Caught between the worlds of hot-button politics and even hotter bedroom games, Pressly and Slade will have to decide how far they’re willing to go for a second chance at happily ever after.

True North is the fourth book in Tamsen Parker’s The Compass series but can also be read as a standalone. This bewitching, humorous, erotically intense and emotional series introduced us to the hero -Slade Lewis- earlier and left readers with a less than stellar impression of him. Redemption of a character is a tricky trope to pull off.  You have to not only convince the reader the character is worth redemption but also give them a reasonable explanation for their previous behavior and a believable reason for the change. Finding the love of their lives isn’t always a good enough reason and when you make it a second chance romance, some readers will inevitably side eye the author and scoff BRING IT!

[Is he worth redeeming?]

Thu
Jul 21 2016 2:30pm

It’s Alive! Can Frankenstein Be Sexy?

One Night Steined by Daisy Harris

Editor’s Note: Yes, we know technically it should be Frankenstein’s Monster, but the terms have become interchangeable in the modern usage of the creature originated by Mary Shelley and for the purposes of this post, we’ll just use the term Frankenstein.

So let me clarify that we are not talking about zombies in this post, we’re talking about Frankenstein, patchwork people and people generally engineered or put together. The difference between a Frankenstein character and a zombie? The Frankenstein character has full use of his or her mental faculties, he or she does not eat the flesh of the living and finally, he or she has been brought to life or pieced together in some way.

[Not quite monster making...]

Thu
Jul 21 2016 12:30pm

The Essentials of Being a “Bad Bitch”

Bad Bitch by Christina Saunders

Today we're thrilled to welcome author Christina Saunders (Bad Bitch) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Christina's Bad Bitch features a kick ass lawyer who isn't afraid to ask for what she wants—and she always gets it. Christina is here to talk about the tips for being a Bad Bitch—just like Evan! Thanks, Christina!

Evangeline Pallida is the quintessential bad bitch. That’s why she gets her own book, a hot guy, and a happy ending. So, you might be saying to yourself: “I want all those things. How do I become a bad bitch?” Lucky for you, I happen to know these secrets and will share them with you. Without further ado, the essentials of being a Bad Bitch are listed below.

[The Bad Bitch rules...]

Thu
Jul 21 2016 9:30am

First Look: Molly Harper’s Where the Wild Things Bite (July 26, 2016)

Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper

Molly Harper
Where the Wild Things Bite (Half-Moon Hollow #8)
Pocket Books / July 26, 2016 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Molly Harper does her best to make sure that you cross camping, and really anything involving airline flights, off your list of vacation destinations this year.   I am devastated by the way the great outdoors is portrayed here.  Well, actually not.  Camping and I go together like Peanut Butter and sardines.  Yes, just the idea of going camping makes me a bit queasy.  So I think Molly Harper does a wonderful job portraying what spending a week in the great outdoors means to me in her latest novel, Where the Wild Things Bite.

Anna Whitfield is agoraphobic, germaphobic, aviophobic, and at best, social awkward.  This bibliographer would have been happier staying in her quiet, little apartment but she was determined to return the rare and valuable book on shapeshifters to its owner, Jane Jamison-Nightengale.  She just wished taking the flight to Jane’s little town of Half-Moon Hollow would have allowed her to take a real airplane rather than the flying car that was sitting on the tarmac.  

An evil transportation-hating monster had devoured my plane.  And in its place, the monster had left a little, bite-size plane crumb behind.

[An excellent case against camping...]