<i>Kill or Be Kilt</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Kill or Be Kilt: Exclusive Excerpt Victoria Roberts "Ruairi wrapped his arm around her, moving his hand up..." <i>The Purest Hook</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Purest Hook: Exclusive Excerpt Scarlett Cole "Pixie and Dred have to decide what really matters..." <i>In Sickness and In Elf</i>: Exclusive Excerpt In Sickness and In Elf: Exclusive Excerpt AE Jones "Placing her down gently, he pushed a silky strand of hair..." <i>Tangled</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Tangled: Exclusive Excerpt Kate Douglas "The need was so primal, so visceral, it left her shaken..."
From The Blog
May 4, 2016
Hot Like Fire: Christine Feehan's Fire Bound
JohnJacobson
May 4, 2016
Celebrity Encounters Starring You?
Janet Webb
May 3, 2016
Listen to "Living Without You" Now!
Scarlett Cole
May 1, 2016
Ship Just Got Real in Captain America: Civil War
Sahara Hoshi and Pen Singleton
April 29, 2016
Captain America vs. Iron Man: Which Side Are You On?
Pen Singleton and Sahara Hoshi
Wed
May 4 2016 4:30pm

An Intimate Look at First Person with J.C. Cliff’s Undaunted Men

Quinn by J.C. Cliff

Most of the time, I find books written in first-person to be a little unnerving. It’s almost too intimate to bear, for one thing, but I find it can also be limiting in my experience as a reader. First person narrative means that I can only know what’s happening in the story as it’s filtered through the active character’s experience. There’s no dynamic view of the action. In J.C. Cliff’s new series, Undaunted Men, not only do we experience the story through Quinn’s first person perspective, we get the double whammy of a perspective shift from another character, too!

When mob boss Tony Moretti calls on Quinn to track down and return his missing daughter, Alexis, Quinn has no choice but to take the job. Moretti’s line of work means everything is an immediate emergency. Since Alexis has grown up in a mob family, and has access to people who can help her disappear—particularly when she’s wanted for murder (and, oh yeah, pregnant)—it’s very likely she’s taking her efforts to hide very seriously.

[We'll hide away with this book...]

Wed
May 4 2016 3:43pm

Boss/Assistant Deal & Luke/Yoda Like You’ve Never Seen Them: 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 have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan

Deal Alert: Kristen Callihan's The Game Plan is $.99 at e-tailers such as Amazon, iBooks, and more!* The Game Plan landed on Sahara Hoshi's Best of 2015 reads, as well as on mine! It also left our reviewer Lime Cello asking for a moment of silence: “I don't normally do this but ... let's all take a moment and admire that cover, shall we?” There's just so much to love about Kristen Callihan!

Deal Alert: Mary Ann Rivers's Live is on sale for $.99 at e-tailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and more!* Back in 2014, Julia Broadbooks said Rivers's full-length debut “will make you curl up with your box of tissues and cry until you’re not even sure whether they count as happy or sad tears,” while Sahara Hoshi called this woodcarver hero one that you'll fall in love with in her roundup of beloved lumberjacks! Once you one-click and dry your eyes there's even more to explore from Mary Ann Rivers.

Deal Alert: Noelle Adams' boss/assistant AND fake-fiancée romance Engaging the Boss is FREE in e-book right now at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Amazon, etc.* Is boss-assistant your trope of choice? Find more recommendations this-a way.

[+Kendall Ryan snippet & a Luke/Yoda vine to make you LOL...]

Wed
May 4 2016 2:00pm

Hot Like Fire: Christine Feehan’s Fire Bound

Fire Bound by Christine Feehan

Fire Bound is Christine Feehan with a gentle touch, and I am here for it. Granted, Feehan’s heroes are so alpha that “gentle” in this case is very subjective. It’s a wonderful example of how her books can have an emotional range with the presentation of its heroes and heroines. More than that, it’s a paranormal romance that does what Feehan does best: spies and conspiracies, fated mate romances, and lots of push and pull between the lead couple.

Glassblower Lissa Piner has found her true home. With her parents long dead and no family to speak of in the United States, she has regained a sense of life in Sea Haven with her sisters of the heart. She’s felt fulfilled by working with them on their collective farm; it gives her a space to protect the people that she cares about, something she didn’t feel like she could do many years ago. As her heart-sisters have slowly gotten married off, however, Lissa has been given the reminder that she’s the family loner.

The men that these women have married all hail from the Prakenskii family. The Prakenskiis are trained assassins with enemies everywhere. It means that a woman that loves a Prakenskii is subject to his stubborn personality and his constant desire to keep her protected. While Lissa isn’t with a Prakenskii man, her pseudo-brothers-in-law still want her to be safe. They decide to put their brother Casmir on the job of shadowing her while she goes to Europe to sell her handmade glass chandeliers.

[I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier...]

Wed
May 4 2016 12:00pm

From My Mother’s Bookshelves: Celebrate Mother’s Day with Classic Romance

My love affair with romance fiction began more than half a century ago with books borrowed from my mother’s bookshelves. The summer I turned ten, my mother, weary of my whining about being bored and having nothing to read, pointed me toward her bookshelves and ordered me to find something to read. I found Emilie Loring.

Love Came Laughing By by Emilie Loring

Loring’s is not a name frequently mentioned in romance fiction circles these days, but over a million copies of her romance novels were in print by the time of her death in 1951 (a number of years before my tenth summer). Loring’s novels would be classified as “kisses only” by today’s standards, but they seemed quite daring to a ten-year-old in a more innocent age. I still remember my shocked delight at one scene in a marriage-of-convenience tale when the hero plunged his hand down the heroine’s housecoat (far more glamorous apparel than the humble noun suggests) to retrieve a key she had dropped there to prevent his venturing into danger. I read a dozen or so Loring books that summer, I remember the titles—Here Comes the Sun (1924), The Solitary Horseman (1927), Today is Yours (1938), Love Came Laughing By (1949)—but details of characters and plots are beyond the scope of memory. What I do remember is the joy I found in the independent heroines, the strong heroes, and the happily-ever-after endings, qualities that I still look for in my romance reading all these years later.

[That's some staying power...]

Wed
May 4 2016 9:30am

Imagine This... “Celebrity Encounters Starring You”

Imagines by Anna Todd et al.

Anna Todd (#1 internationally bestselling author of the After series) headlines this unique anthology of “imagines”—the first book of its kind—stories from Wattpad writers that immerse you in a fantasy world of fame, adventure, and flirtation with your favorite celebrities.

Imagine running around the city, dodging paparazzi with Jennifer Lawrence…

Imagine Justin Bieber setting up a romantic scavenger hunt for your anniversary, retelling the story of your love…

Imagine selfies have been outlawed, making Kim Kardashian a freedom fighter who needs your help in bringing justice and good lighting to the people…

Let your fantasies take over! That’s what the top Wattpad authors have done in this special collection of fictional scenarios that bring you up close and personal with the real celebrities you love—star alongside Zayn Malik, Cameron Dallas, Kanye West, Selena Gomez, Dylan O’Brien, Tom Hardy, Jamie Dornan, Benedict Cumberbatch, and many more!

Authors included in the book are Leigh Ansell, Rachel Aukes, Doeneseya Bates, Scarlett Drake, A. Evansley, Kevin Fanning, Ariana Godoy, Debra Goelz, Bella Higgin, Blair Holden, Kora Huddles, Annelie Lange, E. Latimer, Bryony Leah, Jordan Lynde, Laiza Millan, Peyton Novak, C.M. Peters, Michelle Jo Quinn, Dmitri Ragano, Elizabeth A. Seibert, Rebecca Sky, Karim Soliman, Kate J. Squires, Steffanie Tan, Kassandra Tate, Anna Todd, Katarina E. Tonks, Marcella Uva, Tango Walker, Bel Watson, Jen Wilde, and Ashley Winters.

Wattpad is a writing community in which users are able to post articles, stories, fanfiction, and poems about anything either online or through the Wattpad app.

Note: Although this book mentions many real celebrities, they have not participated in, authorized, or endorsed its creation.

For folks who aren’t familiar with Wattpad, it’s been called a YouTube for writers. Users are “able to post articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems” … and readers are invited to comment as the creative projects unfold. Imagines is a cornucopia of choices—writers who span the globe, sharing their imaginative encounters with celebrities young and old, male and female, in vastly different settings. The scope is huge and the approaches are varied.

[Here's your chance to be Jennifer Lawrence's BFF...]

Wed
May 4 2016 8:08am

Do You Like Heroes/Heroines Who Are Similar to You?

Fiction, for many, is escapism—pure and simple. However, for some that means one of two things: they look for characters who are very similar to themselves, or they look for characters who are the polar opposite.

What camp do you fall into? Let us know in the comments?

Tue
May 3 2016 4:30pm

First Look: D.D. Ayres’ Rival Forces (May 3, 2016)

Rival Forces by D.D. AyresD.D. Ayres 
Rival Forces (K-9 Rescue #4)
St. Martin's Press / May 3, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

At times, there is a character that that intrigues the reader from the first introduction. If you’ve been reading D.D. Ayres’ K-9 Rescue series, then you know which character I’m talking about: Yardley Summers.

Yardley burst into reader’s vision in Irresistible Forces, the very first book in this riveting series. In fact, Yardley opens this story and this series with the very first line:

“What the hell?” Yardley Summers crossed the parking lot of Harmonie Kennels to greet her latest students, her expression reflecting her thinking. None of it was good.

And of course the description of her only ramped up our intrigue:

In the male-dominated field of K-9 law enforcement, Yardley Summers was both an enigma and a rock star. Rumor tagged her as everything from a retired Special Ops to a sometimes still operative spook. What she did have was access to the highest echelons of both political and military arenas.

Now, with Rival Forces, readers get what they’ve long been waiting for—Yardley’s story.

It’s not a simple story, because Yardley is not a simple woman. However, she is the type of woman we as readers love to read about. Strong yet vulnerable.

[There's something about Yardley...]

Tue
May 3 2016 3:45pm

Julian Fellowes’ British Period Drama Doctor Thorne to Stream in U.S. and More: 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 have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Rumor Has It by Cheris HodgesDeal Alert: Cheris Hodges' love-on-the-campaign-trail contemporary Rumor Has It is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.* “The scandalous look into the political world is an exciting ride,” says Jessica Moro in her First Look at Rumor Has It.

—Deal Alert: Tara Wyatt's Bodyguard romance Necessary Risk is discounted to $2.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, etc.* Who doesn't love a hot bodyguard?!

Deal Alert: Emma Chase's Legal Briefs contemporary Sustained is only $.99 in e-book at iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.* “There are many books that have tried to follow the male POV–only trend or dual points-of-view,” Sahara Hoshi writs in her First Look at the book, “but Sustained is another installment that shows Chase is a master of portraying the male lead voice in a humorous, endearing and yet fallible light.”

Fresh Outta the Oven

Downton Abbey showrunner Julian Fellowes' Doctor Thorne has been picked up by Amazon Prime for streaming in the U.S. (it aired in the U.K. in March). The Hollywood Reporter calls his latest period drama a “classic Fellowes tale of fortune, poverty, illegitimacy, marriage and entitlement—all set around a quintessentially British country estate.” Doctor Thorne stars Tom Hollander, Ian McShane, and Allison Brie. The real test: Can the 3-part series help fill the Downton Abbey–shaped hole in our hearts?

[+booklover's pillow & Met Gala fashion...]

Tue
May 3 2016 3:00pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Lilah Pace and Tamsen Parker!

Today we're thrilled to reveal the covers for not one but FOUR beautiful books coming out this year from Tamsen Parker and Lilah Pace. First up, Tamsen Parker's next book in her Compass series, True North, tells the story of Slade, a hero just starting to get in touch with his kinky side—and the woman he can never forget. Then we have another cover from Tamsen with School Ties, a forbidden romance you won't want to miss! Finally, Lilah Pace is here to reveal two covers for her new Royal duology with His Royal Secret and His Royal Favorite, a male/male romance featuring a royal heir and the journalist he falls for. 

Truth North by Tamsen Parker

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.

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of True North by Tamsen Parker, available July 25, 2016:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at iTunes

 

 

[There's more where that came from...]

Tue
May 3 2016 12:30pm

Scarlett Cole & Band Bishop Collaborate—Listen to “Living Without You” Now!

The Purest Hook by Scarlett Cole

Today Heroes and Heartbreakers is thrilled on two levels to welcome Scarlett Cole to the site. First, Scarlett's The Purest Hook releases today (yay!), and second, Scarlett has brought with her the world premiere of a song that was written exclusively for the release of The Purest Hook (double yay!): Bishop's “Living Without You.”

Listen to the world premiere of Bishop's “Living Without You,” written and performed exclusively for the release of The Purest Hook by Scarlett Cole:

 

Plus, to celebrate the newest book in her Second Circle Tattoos series, Scarlett introduces some of the songs that say it for Pixie and Dred, and for her:

Ever had that moment when a song comes on and it feels as though the lyrics were written just for you? Like the time in 1984 when my friend Joanne was convinced Wham had read her mind before writing Last Christmas. Or have you associated a song with a period of your life so strongly that every time you hear it you’re transported back there? I can’t hear “Nightswimming” by REM without thinking about a packed Japanese Airlines flight to Tokyo.

For me, that carries over to writing stories. I want my characters to have that kind of connection to music too. Whether it is a memory of their own that gets written into the story, or music that inspires the scene I am writing.

[+Discover Scarlett's Purest Hook playlist!...]

Tue
May 3 2016 11:00am
Excerpt

Kill or Be Kilt: Exclusive Excerpt

Victoria Roberts

Kill or Be Kilt by Victoria Roberts

It's been three years since Lady Elizabeth Walsingham ended her childish crush on Laird Ian Munro, the fierce Highlander who scared everyone but her. She's a grown woman now, heading to London to find a proper English gentleman. But when the wild Highland laird walks through the door, she's that breathless youth all over again.

Ian tries hard to avoid the young lass who's confounded him for years. But now that they're attending court, he must keep watch on her night and day. Danger is at every turn and advisors to the Crown are being murdered. Ian soon realizes the girl he's been protecting is a beautiful lady who needs his help, almost as much as he needs her.

Get a sneak peek at Victoria Roberts's Kill or Be Kilt (available May 3, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

 Ian was ready to turn the archery tournament into a bloody battle in the middle of the field. If not for Fagan who rested his hand on Ian’s shoulder with a restraining grip, there would’ve been bloodshed.

The way Condell gazed at Elizabeth made Ian’s blood boil, especially when the lass seemed to return the actor’s favor. Whatever this was between Elizabeth and Condell, Ian couldn’t let it continue. He needed to tell the lass the truth and decided no matter what, it would be tonight. Enough was enough.

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

Tue
May 3 2016 9:30am

First Look: Valerie Bowman’s The Untamed Earl (May 3, 2016)

The Untamed Earl by Valerie Bowman

Valerie Bowman
The Untamed Earl (Playful Brides #5)
St. Martin's Press / May 3, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

Valerie Bowman's Playful Brides series continues with The Untamed Earl. It's a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew—with some twists.

Lord Owen Monroe is a rake of the highest order. Living up to his father’s disappointment and low expectations has been Owen’s mission since he was forced to leave Eton. Family squabbles and misunderstandings aside, Owen must find a wife and settle down if he wishes to see another dime of his allowance. Enter Lady Lavinia Hobbs. If Owen is the veritable rake, Lavinia takes shrewdness to a new level. And Lavinia and Owen’s parents have it all planned out: Owen must make Lavinia fall in love with him. This would be all fine and dandy, if it weren’t for the fact Alexandra Hobbs, Lavinia’s younger sister, is head over heels in love with Owen. And Owen much prefers the younger sister to the elder.

And so a deception begins. Alex will help Owen woo her sister in exchange for a dance at the ton balls with Owen in order to bolster her reputation after a dismal first season. With more attention from the men of the ton, perhaps she could secure the interest from the man of her dreams. Of course we know that man is Owen, and what fun it is to watch as the story unravels. Even though Owen is clueless of Alex’s feelings, it is only a matter of time before he realizes he is courting the wrong sister.

He shrugged casually. “I don’t know. You seem a bit…anxious.”

“Anxious? Me? No!” Again, the words were uttered far too quickly, and her chest was rising and falling rapidly, indicating that her breathing was increasing. Though he had to admit he was enjoying the view of her décolletage, which was on full display…

“Not anxious?” he asked, slowing their pace a bit, hoping to put her at ease.

“N-n-not at all.” She pushed up her chin, and Owen had to give her a mental point for her bravery. She was clearly filled with nerves but didn’t want to admit it.

[You have permission to woo me Lord Monroe ...]

Tue
May 3 2016 8:33am

How Many Books Do You Read in a Week?

Ron eating and reading in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Source: giphy.com

Spring has sprung, kind of. Many children are on their way back from Spring Break, while many more are looking forward to having summer off very soon. And during that time, that means a lot of reading can get done! However, it's the adults we're concerned with here at H&H. Do you find you get more or less reading done during the summer? How many books can you read in a week? Does your average shift from winter to summer? 

Let us know in the comments!

Mon
May 2 2016 5:00pm

First Look: Mary Alice Monroe’s A Lowcountry Wedding (May 3, 2016)

A Lowcountry Wedding by Mary Alice Monroe

Mary Alice Monroe
A Lowcountry Wedding (Lowcountry Summer)
Gallery / May 3, 2016 / $16.00 print, $11.99 digital

Nothing could be more enchanting than a summer wedding—or two!—in Charleston’s fabled lowcountry. A centuries-old plantation, an avenue of ancient oaks dripping moss, a storied ballroom, a sand dune at sunset … it’s all picture perfect, and half-sisters Dora, Carson, and Harper and their grandmother Marietta “Mamaw” Muir couldn’t be more excited. Venues are booked, favors selected, and delectable cakes tasted. What could possibly go wrong?



The answer, the Muir clan is soon to find out, is everything. Carson can’t wait to be Blake’s bride, until she realizes it means giving up her freedom … Harper makes a discovery that will change the course of her and Taylor’s lives, not to mention their impending wedding … and a newly unfettered Dora has no plans to walk down the aisle at all—but she just might, if Devlin has anything to say about it.

Just when it seems things couldn’t get more complicated for the Muir sisters, a stranger arrives bearing a long-held family secret that has the potential to upend even the most carefully laid-out plans. With the weddings mere weeks away and the sisters in flux, it’s up to Mamaw to come to the rescue and see her Summer Girls through to their very own happily-ever-afters.

When a series ends and an unintended sequel follows, will it be perfunctory, saccharine, or simply unnecessary? These scenarios occur all too often. Luckily, Mary Alice Monroe’s A Lowcountry Wedding wraps up her “Summer Girls” series tidily but also satisfyingly and not easily.

With Mamaw happily ensconced in Lucille’s old cottage, Sea Breeze is now a reflection of its new chatelaine, Harper, whose wedding to Taylor is some two months away. Her book is soon to be published, she’s deliriously happy and in full-out housewife mode. Taylor’s support is a constant, but when Granny James arrives from England and insists upon a prenup, the couple must confront how Harper’s money will affect their marriage.

[More money, more problems...]

Mon
May 2 2016 4:37pm

Buzz Books & Julie Ann Walker Deal: 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 have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Hell or High Water by Julie Ann WalkerDeal Alert: Julie Ann Walker's Deep Six romantic suspense novel Hell or High Water is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at Amazon.* If you like Sons of Anarchy's Jax Teller, Walker's gritty romances, with their larger-than-life alpha heroes, may be the books for you...

Deal Alert: Katee Robert's marriage-of-convenience contemporary The Marriage Contract is only $.99 in e-book right now at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Amazon, etc.* “A marriage of convenience spawned because of a desire for protection or power brings forward an element of danger that only ups the sexiness factor as far as I’m concerned,” writes Robert in her 2015 guest post “Marraige Contracts as Business Contracts in Romance Novels.”

Deal Alert: Brenda Novak's small-town contemporary When Summer Comes is a bargain at $.99 in e-book at iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.* Why do we love small-town romances so much? Scarlettleigh investigates.

[+Buzz Books samplers, will Castle kill Beckett? and more...]

Mon
May 2 2016 2:15pm

Secret Keeper Shelf: The Best Kept Secret Identities in Romance

Temptation of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh

Today we're thrilled to welcome author Eva Leigh to the site. Eva's recent release of Temptation of a Wallflower came out on April 26 and features a hero and heroine who have been keeping secrets from each other—big secrets! We love a good secret (in romance) and Eva is here to talk about some of the most memorable secret-keepers in romance! Thanks, Eva!

P.S. SPOILER warning: In case the title didn't make it obvious, secrets will be revealed—that means spoilers will abound too, read with caution!

Is there anything more delicious than a secret identity? We have been obsessed with secret selves for hundreds of years—from The Scarlet Pimpernel to Batman, we love to watch a hero or heroine keep their true identity hidden, especially from their loved ones. When will the secret come out? What will happen when the truth is discovered?

Naturally, when thinking of a romance character with a secret identity, I can’t help but think of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series. In 18th century London, a masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles prowls the streets, righting wrongs and protecting the innocent. I won’t spoil the books to reveal just which character (or characters) dons the mask each night. If you’re looking for a very hot, deeply addicting series, then look no further.

[But we can actually keep looking, right?]

Mon
May 2 2016 12:00pm

First Look: Mary Balogh’s Only Beloved (May 3, 2016)

Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh
Only Beloved (Survivors Club #7)
Signet / May 3, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again. 

Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.

For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?

With Only Beloved, Mary Balogh finishes her delightful and moving Survivor’s Club Series, with the long-awaited story of George, the Duke of Stanbrook, who founded the group. After the death of his son in the Napoleonic Wars and subsequent suicide of his wife, George turned his Cornwall estate into a hospital for survivors of the war and a group of seven became especially close. These dear friends have recovered from their wounds—both physical and emotional—and the last one has just gotten married.

Was it downright contrary of him to be feeling ever so slightly depressed this morning? They had moved on with their lives, those six, and left him behind. And what a blasted pathetic, selfpitying thought that was. He was lonely, damn it. To the marrow of his bones and the depths of his soul.

[Don't be lonely, George!]

Mon
May 2 2016 11:15am

Here Comes the Baby Carriage: Mothers to Look Up to in Inspirational Romance

Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

We are doubtless all familiar with the playground chant that describes the road to maternity—first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes you with the baby carriage. While modern mothers may choose to forgo the second part of this childhood rhyme, most roads to motherhood do still start with the initial step: first comes love.

Reminding us of just how wonderfully fun and exciting that first step to parenthood is are some recent releases from Inspirational romance authors, just in time to celebrate Mom on her special day.

First Comes Love

Two people burned in the past find that love can be an Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin’s latest novel. Lillian Avery is a woman in a man’s world. One of the few female pharmacists to graduate from her class she knows she only got a job because Pearl Harbor meant the men are all enlisting for the War. She heads to Boston determined to prove that the she may have gotten the position because the boss was desperate but she’ll keep it due to merit.

Ensign Archer Vandenberg went against his family’s wishes when he joined the Naval Academy and set out to sea. A rich man, he wants nothing to do with the trappings of wealth and is bitter that women seem more interested in his pocketbook than his character. Then he meets Lillian and begins to hope that not all women are gold diggers.

This woman wasn’t like the society girls angling for the best husband or the shopgirls digging for gold.

Not Lillian Avery. She’d gone to college to learn, not to snag a man. She had a career and plans and dreams and didn’t need Arch Vandenberg or his wealth. And his good looks and charm didn’t seem to affect her.

If he could win the heart of a woman like her, it wouldn’t be due to his name or looks or money, but due to who he was inside.

[Isn't that what we all want?...]

Mon
May 2 2016 9:30am

First Look: Monica Murphy’s Never Let You Go (May 3, 2016)

Never Let You Go by Monica Murphy

Monica Murphy
Never Let You Go (Never Tear Us Apart #2)
Bantam / May 3, 2016 / $16.00 print, $5.99

Dear Ms. Murphy,

I cursed you several times for making Never Tear Us Apart into a two-book series. But I understand. Now that I have finished Never Let You Go, I have forgiven you.

Never Let You Go picks up right where Never Tear Us Apart ends. For those of you who have not read Never Tear Us Apart, be forewarned, there are some spoilers from that book in this review.

At the start of Never Let You Go, Katie and Ethan/Will are separated now that Katie knows Ethan’s true identity as Will Monroe—the boy who saved her life. We feel the conflict that Katie has regarding Ethan, absorbing the love she still craves from him and the hurt from his deception.

I meet his gaze for the briefest moment and I can feel him. Feel his presence, his strengths, his weaknesses, but most of all I feel him unequivocal yearning reaching toward me. The yearning he feels for me. For this.

For us.

My traitorous body answers, everything within me growing warm and loose. I quickly turn away, my breath short, my hear thumping like a wild thing, the blood roaring in my ears. One look at him, one single moment of our gazes meeting, and I’m lost. His hold on me is so incredibly baffling, so unbelievably dangerous, I’m not sure what to do.

I don’t know how to resist, even though I know I should.

[Picking up where we left off ...]

Mon
May 2 2016 8:45am

Frenemies in Romance—The Characters We Love to Hate?

I stumbled upon a recent post in which people wrote to the frenemies who had passively aggressively “supported them” through years of friendship. The notes were refreshing, empowering, and embodied everything you would like to say to our frenemies. The concept, especially to our younger selves, is one that is so familiar that we find it quite often in fiction. If the heroine has a friend, she's either hyper supportive... or the gateway to a breakthrough for the heroine when she realize this friend was actually an enemy all along. 

What do you think about the concept of the “frenemy” both in fiction and in real life? When we portray female friendship in romance, do you like seeing all sides of female friendship—from the faithful best friend to the “enemy that you keep around because you live in a small town and you can't not be friends with her”? Or do you think the presence of the frenemy in female friendship perpetuates the myth that it's “ok” to be mean?

Let us know in the comments!