<i>Take Down</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Take Down: Exclusive Excerpt Mallery Malone "Little does Karina Armistead know, but Gabriel has decided that she will be his." <i>Lord Savage</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Lord Savage: Exclusive Excerpt Mia Gabriel "I instantly forgot everything except how he’d kissed me last night..." <i>Dark Blood</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Dark Blood: Exclusive Excerpt Christine Feehan "You can’t go around saying things like that to me when we have company." <i>Irresistible Force</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Irresistible Force: Exclusive Excerpt D.D. Ayres "Even his scowl was, well, damn sexy..."
From The Blog
August 29, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Back to School Edition 2014
Team H & H
August 29, 2014
You Down with OTP?
Sandy Hall
August 28, 2014
Alcoholic and Addicted Heroes
Willa aka willaful
August 27, 2014
Second Chances in Lori Foster’s No Limits
Tori Benson
August 27, 2014
The August 2014 Women’s Fiction Roundup
Leigh Davis
Sat
Aug 30 2014 3:30pm

First Look: Alice Clayton’s Screwdrivered (September 2, 2014)

Alice Clayton
Screwdrivered (Cocktail #3)
Gallery / September 2, 2014 / $15.00 print, $7.99 digital

By day, Viv Franklin is a tough-as-nails software engineer who designs programs and loves hospital corners. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.

When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?

There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.

In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian. Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?

In her latest novel in the Cocktail series, Alice Clayton is having a good time poking a little fun at the romance reader. We are a fanciful group always looking for a happily ever after with that one special person, but can we enjoy a laugh at our own expense?

[Oh, you know it...]

Sat
Aug 30 2014 1:30pm

Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Not-Your-Usual Historicals for August 2014

Slave Girl by Lisa CachHere in the States, August is the last month of freedom before the kids go back to school and the parents can celebrate a return to normalcy. It’s also the month where we all try to grab that last gasp of summertime fun before the weather turns cooler and we settle in for what we hope will not be a long, hard winter.

Why not fill your beach bag and/or your favorite digital content device with some tasty not-your-usual historical offerings? While there are a bumper crop of cowboys this month (yeehaw!), there’s still plenty of variety to tickle even the most fickle of fancies.

Ancient Rome!

Slave Girl by Lisa Cach

A sex slave who’s never been touched… National bestselling author Lisa Cach spins an erotic, passionate novel about a young Roman Empire slave who’s intended to become her king’s concubine—until a rugged barbarian prince takes her heart…and more.

Lovely Nimia is a slave to King Sygarius, who’s grooming her to be his consort as soon as she reaches full womanhood. And that time is very close. Nimia is forced to attend shocking lessons in the erotic arts; lessons that leave her body aroused and her mind conflicted. Because while she’s attracted to Sygarius’s power and eroticism, her spirit rebels at being his slave.

Then one of Sygarius’s allies comes to visit. Smart and ambitious, Clovis burns to take over Sygarius’s kingdom—and the beautiful Nimia. And though her virginity is meant for Sygarius, Clovis takes it with her enthusiastic consent.

When Sygarius learns that she is no longer a virgin, Nimia flees for her life. But can she find Clovis before the wrath of Sygarius—and imminent death—finds her first?

[+More new and unusual historicals...]

Sat
Aug 30 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Take Down: Exclusive Excerpt

Mallery Malone

Take Down by Mallery Malone

Powerful. Dominant, Unforgettable. He demands submission at all costs.

Cage fighter, Gabriel Devereaux, a man of barely leashed power, is known as the Bayou Beast.

There is one woman he will do anything , pay any amount to possess.

Karina Armistead, has come a long way from the innocent girl Gabriel used to know. An internationally known singer, she can have anything she wants. But everything tells her that getting involved with the Bayou Beast may leave her wrecked beyond repair.

Little does Karina Armistead know, but Gabriel has decided that she will be his.

He will destroy anything or anyone who stands in his way.

Get a sneak peek of Mallery Malone's Take Down (available September 2, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapter 1.

Chapter 1

It was the perfect place to beat the shit out of someone.

A rowdy ring of men of questionable morals and even more questionable hygiene filled the dilapidated warehouse. Dim fluorescent lighting high above barely illuminated the cracked concrete floor. There was no ring, no cage, no referees. No medical personnel on standby. In this run-down warehouse in Macao, you came to fight at your own risk.

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

Sat
Aug 30 2014 10:00am

First Look: Christine Feehan’s Dark Blood (September 2, 2014)

Dark Blood by Christine FeehanChristine Feehan
Dark Blood (Dark Series #26)
Berkley / September 2, 2014 / $26.95 print, $12.99 digital

At long last you are truly back with us...

Zev Hunter was an elite warrior, a dark-blood dealer of death to rogue Lycans who preyed on mankind. He was a loner, never given to personal attachments, and damned fierce at his job. But Zev begins to question his past and his purpose when he awakens in the darkness of the sacred cave of warriors—and is soothed back to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of one woman, the woman who has haunted his fantasies for centuries. She was Branislava, member of the Dragonseeker clan…

Mother Earth called the ancients to witness your rebirth… 

For this half-mage, half-Carpathian temptress, the ritual of awakening Zev to the council of warriors was the only way to save him. Locked away for his own protection, the time has now come for his rebirth, for his blood to stir with that of the ancient warriors before him. He has been assured by Branislava that their fates are entwined, that their spirits are woven together for eternity and that his new purpose in life is beyond imagining.

Now, with a blood-sworn vow of honor, mercy and endurance, and under the influence of a siren as bewitching as Branislava, Zev begins to wonder what his purpose is, what it means for the future of the Carpathians and what it is about his rebirth that he has to fear… 

Dark Blood is (amazingly!) the 26th book of Christine Feehan's Dark Series. It is the last of a trilogy in the series and this time around, the Dragonseeker Branislava has rescued the Lycan Zev Hunter from death, literally. He slowly awakes from death through his connection to Bronnie (or Branka, as he nicknames her) to find out that not only is he not dead, he is of mixed blood and his warrior expertise is needed.

[Tell us more, tell us more...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Back to School Edition 2014

Ian Harding as Ezra Fitz in Pretty Little LiarsLast year, we gave you Back to School Beefcake to celebrate all those moms sending their kids back to school. This year we're bringing it back—after all, these TV and movie teachers are part of what makes watching these shows and movies so sexy!

[We don't want school to be out...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 3:00pm

First Look: Barbara Davis’s The Wishing Tide (September 2, 2014)

The Wishing Tide by Barbara DavisBarbara Davis
The Wishing Tide
NAL / September 2, 2014 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

Five years ago, Lane Kramer moved to Starry Point, North Carolina, certain the quaint island village was the place to start anew. Now the owner of a charming seaside inn, she’s set aside her dreams of being a novelist and of finding love again. When English professor Michael Forrester appears on Lane’s doorstep in the middle of a storm, he claims he’s only seeking a quiet place to write his book. Yet he seems eerily familiar with the island, leaving Lane wondering if he is quite what he appears.

Meanwhile, Mary Quinn has become a common sight, appearing each morning on the dunes behind the inn, to stare wistfully out to sea. Lane is surprised to find a friendship developing with the older woman, who possesses a unique brand of wisdom, despite her tenuous grip on reality.

As Lane slowly unravels Mary’s story and a fragile relationship between Lane and Michael blooms, Lane realizes the three share a common bond. But when a decades-old secret suddenly casts its shadow over them, Lane must choose between protecting her heart and fighting for the life—and the love—she wants.

With some books, it is difficult to pick just “one thing” to highlight. The Wishing Tide by Barbara Davis is one of those books. The characterization, the plot, and the setting all synergistically complement each other, resulting in a beguiling, romantic, dark, and comedic story.

[In other words, you can't look away...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 12:20pm

Cover Reveal: Christine Warren’s Hard as a Rock!

Hard as a Rock by Christine WarrenToday we're thrilled to reveal the cover for Christine Warren's latest book in the Gargoyle series, Hard as a Rock. These men are hard to handle, but the women who are tied them are tough enough to handle the job.

[See the cover and learn more about the book...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 11:15am

Everyone’s Got One: One True Pairing

A Little Something Different by Sandy HallToday we're pleased to be joined by author Sandy Hall, whose A Little Something Different tells the story of an unfolding romance through fourteen different viewpoints (including a squirrel and a park bench). Everyone in the book, it seems, has an opinion about the couple in question, and of course that leads right into what Sandy is talking about today: OTPs, or One True Pairings. Thanks, Sandy!

The Good News about OTPs!

Hello my name is Sandy and I am a fangirl. (Hi, Sandy.)

My novel, A Little Something Different, is told from fourteen different points of view. These POV characters are all different—different ages, different races, and different species. But they all have one thing in common: They all want to see the two main characters, Gabe and Lea, get together.

Gabe and Lea are their OTP, or in laymen’s terms, One True Pairing.

I think almost everyone has an OTP, even if they don’t think about it in those terms. The couple that you root for in whatever fandom you’re a part of, the one couple that you want to see come together and succeed. They are your endgame dream and you don’t want to miss a minute of it.

[Don't blink!...]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 10:30am

First Look: Mandy Baxter’s One Night More (September 2, 2014)

One Night More by Mandy BaxterMandy Baxter
One Night More
Zebra / September 2, 2014 / $6.99 print, $7.59 digital

Savvy, hard-riding, rule-breaking—they’ll go anywhere and do anything it takes to protect and serve. But this U. S. Marshal has just met his match—and playing for keeps is one sizzling game…

Getting saved from disaster by a handsome stranger—Harper Allen has no problem with that. But when he leaves without a word or a clue to his real identity, the newbie reporter writes it off as the best one-night-stand she’ll ever have. Until a year later, when Harper comes face to face with the man assigned to hide her from a senator’s killer…

Galen Kelly hasn’t forgotten a single sensual minute of his night with Harper . . . or that she betrayed him. With the FBI also on their trail, he’s got to pretend he’s never met her or risk both their lives. But as danger closes in, Galen may not be able to protect himself from taking the biggest risk of all…

One Night More is the first in Mandy Baxter's US Marshal series, and filled with intense, fast-paced action and scorching-hot sexual chemistry between the hero and heroine. The intensity of their attraction had me immersed deep inside their minds and emotions.

[More, more, more!]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 9:30am

Trope of the Month: Separated Spouses

When the Duke Returns by Eloisa JamesAcademically put, tropes are “common or overused theme[s] or device[s],“ which makes them sound like cliches, which makes them seem like a bad thing.

But they’re totally not! Romance novel fans all have their favorite—not to mention least favorite—tropes, from friends to lovers, chick in pants, secret baby, marriage of convenience, opposites attract, May-December, boss-assistant...the list goes on.

Each month, we’ll be picking a romance novel trope and ask you to offer recommendations falling under the trope rubric (again with the academic talk!).

Sometimes you love someone, but you can't be with them—whether it's war, personality differences, or anything in between. However, these are romances, so they won't be separated for long!

Here are a few recommendations for this trope off the top of our heads:

Do you like the separated spouses trope? What do you think are some books that epitomize this trope? How do you think it differs from other “marriage” tropes?

Fri
Aug 29 2014 8:29am

What Are You Planning to Read on Your Long Weekend?

Joe ManganielloIt's the unofficial end of summer in the United States with Labor Day coming on Monday, giving Americans a day off.

An extra day to do whatever you want—sounds amazing, right? So make sure you take some time for yourself and do what you like doing best—reading, naturally! (What did you think we meant?)

So what are you planning to read on your long weekend? 

Thu
Aug 28 2014 3:00pm

First Look: Grace Burrowes’s The Laird (September 2, 2014)

The Laird by Grace BurrowesGrace Burrowes
The Laird (Captive Hearts)
Sourcebooks Casablanca
/ September 2, 2014 / $7.99 print and digital

He left his bride to go to war...
After years of soldiering, Michael Brodie returns to his Highland estate to find that the bride he left behind has become a stranger. Brenna is self-sufficient, competent, confident-and furious about Michael's prolonged absence.

Now his most important battle will be for her heart
Brenna is also hurt, bewildered, and tired of fighting for the respect of those around her. Michael left her when she needed him most, and then stayed away even after the war ended. Nonetheless, the young man who abandoned her has come home a wiser, more patient and honorable husband. But if she trusts Michael with the truths she's been guarding, he'll have to choose between his wife and everything else he holds dear.

In her most recent novel, The Traitor, Grace Burrowes accomplished the difficult challenge of rehabilitating Sebastian St. Clair, formerly a professional torturer in Napoleon’s employ.  The Laird is a book for anyone who found The Traitor too-light-hearted. The story of Sebastian’s boon companion Michael Brodie and Michael’s long-estranged wife Brenna, The Laird details sensitively yet frankly with a very dark topic indeed: the sexual abuse of a child. Although Burrowes is not gratuitous in her handling of this topic, neither does she pull any punches. This has been your trigger warning.

[We are warned...]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 1:30pm

A Journey, Not a Destination: Alcoholic and Addicted Heroes in Recovery

Exclusively Yours by Shannon StaceyEven with the modern disease model, there's so much societal shame around addiction that romance authors probably approach it cautiously as a potential conflict. As Leigh Davis pointed out in her article on addicted heroines, we're more likely to see it in heroes than heroines, and we're more likely to see it as a situational response to some other trauma.

Looking at romance heroes with addictions, it seems that we also tend not to see them in active recovery. Perhaps because of the way masculinity is associated with strength, self-sufficiency, and control, romance heroes are more likely to successfully tough it out and go it alone; often they've basically recovered before the story really begins. Typical examples of more macho recovery are Joe in Shannon Stacey's Exclusively Yours, who quit drinking cold turkey after breaking his brother's nose in a rage, Zane in Cut and Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux, who flushes his pills and stays clean, “because that was what Ty had wanted,” or Declan in Kresley Cole's Dreams of a Dark Warrior, who declares that he'll never shoot up again because, “I don't need to suppress my strength or get mindless again — I need to be strong and clear to protect what's mine.”

It's not usually that simple; just taking the first step of seeking help can be very hard, even for a supernatural warrior. In Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward, vampire Phury goes to his first NA meeting and, “all he could think about was getting gone again.”

[Running from your problems doesn't help you solve them...]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 12:00pm

Between a Rocker and a Hard Place: August 2014 New Adult Recommendations

Ugly Love by Colleen HooverIn this month’s New Adult roundup we see plenty of rockers. But even among the non-rockers and rockers alike, the common theme is choices. These characters are in some tough situations and they must make up their minds in order to move forward.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover focuses on Miles and Tate’s budding relationship. Fast burning through the lines of friends with benefits, they embark on journey of rediscovery. Featuring a mature narrative with rich characters, Ugly Love weaves a tale of taking chances, choosing to move beyond the past, and finding forgiveness.

[Find out what else is new in New Adult...]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 9:30am

First Look: Patricia Briggs’s Shifting Shadows (September 2, 2014)

Shifting Shadows by Patricia BriggsPatricia Briggs
Shifting Shadows (Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson)
Penguin / September 2, 2014 / $26.95 print, $12.99 digital

Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…

A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…

One of the stories in Patricia Briggs's new Mercy Thompson collection, “Silver,” takes place long before Moon Called, and it's the story of Ariana and Samuel’s first meeting, the first half of the story that continues in Silver Borne. It tells the very difficult background of Bran and Samuel and how they came to be how they are now. Silver is a painful story because the reader is given a glimpse into Bran’s story before he was the all-powerful Marrok. It is a little humbling to find him down and hurting.

[Aww! Bran!...]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 8:16am

Throwback Thursday: Old School Romance Book Club

Author Sarah MacLean has started a Facebook group titled Old School Romance Book Club for readers interested in reading some old school romance. Each month, the club will read a book published before 2000 and the club will discuss it for the whole month.

The first book for the club is Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor:

Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there...until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past — or the grand adventure that lay before them.

Have you read A Knight in Shining Armor? Do you want to go back and meet (or revisit) the classics? 

Wed
Aug 27 2014 4:30pm

10 Signs You’re Addicted to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Series

With a series that shows no signs of slowing down, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series has made for some amazing reading. And some Menyons are obsessed. Are you wondering if you’re a Menyon or just a reader? Here’s a surefire way to know if you’re a Menyon:

1. When you hear the words “BBQ sauce” or “QVC,” you immediately think of the Simi and wish she was around. In all honesty, you really wish she were your best friend.

Alex eating ribs in Happy Endings
Source: blumfly.tumblr.com

 

[Count 'em down...]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 2:45pm

Sweatpants Are the New Wranglers: Hot Heroes in Cotton

Make It Right by Megan EricksonToday we've asked author Megan Erickson to come talk about a very serious topic: Men wearing sweatpants. Megan's upcoming release, Make it Right, is a companion book to Make it Count. Both books are part of the Bowler University series, and Make it Right's hero, Max Payton, teaches a self-defense class, so of course he has to don casual, comfortable clothing to do so. Making the heroine (and us!) very happy indeed. Thanks, Megan!

Sweatpants.

On hot guys.

Are hot.

And I’m going to tell you why you need to join me over on the 100% cotton Dark Side. I know what you’re saying. “Ew, Megan. Sweatpants? I like worn jeans on my guy or nothing at all.”

I KNOW. But hear me out? Or actually, let me start with some visual inspiration:

[We're ready to be inspired...]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 1:30pm

Second Chance at Love: Lori Foster’s No Limits

In Lori Foster's new release, No Limits, the hero Cannon Colter is an MMA champion on his way back from his Supreme Battle Championship fight in Japan when he receives news that an old friend, Tipton Sweeny, has passed away and Cannon is mentioned in his will. Upon hearing the contents of the will, Cannon is surprised to learn that Tipton has left him half of everything he owns with instructions asking Cannon to help his granddaughter find her way home. Cannon grew up with Tipton’s granddaughter, Yvette, and helped save her life when she was kidnapped by a group of sadistic rapists. Cannon has always known of Yvette’s crush on him but her age negated any reciprocal feelings on his part. 

Yvette Sweeny left town after the kidnapping, hoping to make a fresh start in California. She can’t stand the thought of coming home and having everyone look at her with pity, especially Cannon. Yvette buried her crush on him, likening it to a byproduct of her youth and has come to terms with the fact that any feelings he has for her was due to their shared ordeal and will never go beyond that. She hopes Cannon will allow her to buy him out of his inheritance so she can sell everything off and head back to the life she has in California.

When Cannon sees Yvette again, he notices that their three years apart has changed her both physically and mentally. She is older, even more beautiful, and her scars run deep. Cannon cannot believe the punch of lust and protectiveness that hits him and decides that the time has come to see where this attraction can lead. Cannon is determined to see Yvette come home...and hopefully stay forever.

No Limits is the first book in Lori Foster’s new Ultimate series. I was excited to see her writing a new MMA series as her SEC series remains a favorite of mine to date. Ultimate is a spin off of her Love Undercover series, and in this book, Foster revisits some secondary characters from that series, giving them a voice of their own. Cannon Coulter was first introduced in Getting Rowdy and later again in Dash of Perils. You don’t have to read the Love Undercover series to understand this one, though some characters and storylines do crossover.

[Always great to see familiar faces...]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Lord Savage: Exclusive Excerpt

Mia Gabriel

Lord Savage by Mia Gabriel (e-book cover)

I’d never felt so vulnerable, at once both lost and found, as I now did sprawled half-naked across Savage in this foolish throne-chair. His strength was my solace, my comfort, and there was nothing better than hearing the beating of his heart beneath my ear.

Once trapped in a loveless, pleasure-less marriage, Evelyn Hart leaves her home in New York for the glittering ballrooms of London. When she arrives, she meets the Earl of Savage, a dark, powerful man who seems to live up to his name. Despite his noble trappings, he’s also a man who can possess her with just one look. Soon Evelyn finds herself pulled into Savage's world - a world of passion and seductive games unlike any she has ever experienced. Evelyn's heart is captured with no hope of escape. But can they overcome the tortures of the past together...?

Savage never imagined someone like Evelyn walking into his life. As soon as he sees her he knows he must have her, no matter the cost, in Lord Savage by Mia Gabriel.

Get a sneak peek of Mia Gabriel's Lord Savage (available September 9, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“You say your husband did not satisfy you. Did you ever love him?”

I hadn’t expected that, especially not so soon after I’d awakened. I considered dissembling, the way I’d always done with Arthur; really, our entire marriage had been a lie. But with Savage I felt drawn to tell the truth, especially about this.

“No,” I said softly. “I never loved him, nor did he love me.”

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