<i>Slow Hand</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Slow Hand: Exclusive Excerpt Victoria Vane "Nikki closed her eyes and parted her lips on a sigh of surrender..." <i>Maybe This Christmas</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Maybe This Christmas: Exclusive Excerpt Sarah Morgan "She tried to walk past him but lost her balance and fell against his chest..." <i>Treasure on Lilac Lane</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Treasure on Lilac Lane: Exclusive Excerpt Donna Alward "It had been her first kiss, and she’d looked at him with stars in her eyes..." <i>A Beaumont Christmas Wedding</i>: Excerpt A Beaumont Christmas Wedding: Excerpt Sarah M. Anderson "She stopped breathing as his hands skimmed over her..."
From The Blog
October 20, 2014
Unusual Shifters in YA and Adult Romance
Sahara Hoshi
October 17, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Magic Mike XXL Cast
Team H & H
October 17, 2014
H&H Debriefing: Binge Reading—Do You Do It?
Team H & H
October 16, 2014
5 Anime Series You Must Watch This Fall
Sahara Hoshi
October 15, 2014
Dysfunctional Parents in Romance
Maggie Boyd
Oct 20 2014 5:15pm

Could You Love a Hedgehog?: Unusual Shifters in Young Adult and Adult Romance from Aiken, Singh, Kenyon, and More!

When we think of shifters in paranormal romance we typically think of bears, wolves, etc. However, the world of shapeshifting opens up a lot of possibilities for the reader and for author’s imaginations.

For example, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s Hawksong introduces Danica, an avian shapeshifter and her nemesis/love interest, Zane, a cobra shapeshifter. Hawksong is a young adult paranormal with a Romeo and Juliet set-up. Atwater-Rhodes doesn’t stop there; her follow-up books in the series include wyverns, wolves and falcons.

Avian shifters aren’t unusual to young adult or adult romance. Nalini Singh has included them in her Psy-Changeling series, and one of my favorite side characters of hers is Tijan, the Rat. Nevertheless, avian shifters are unusual enough that they’re worth talking about, and even more unusual is an avian shifter gay romance, such as Kim Dare’s Avian Shifter series. The avian shifters have a clear class system, as demonstrated in Duck!, Magpie and others. Usually the weaker bird of the two is the sub (these books include BDSM, also) and the stronger bird like a hawk or predator bird is the dominant. 

[Color us intrigued...]

Oct 20 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Jennifer Blackwood’s Unethical (October 20, 2014)

Unethical by Jennifer BlackwoodJennifer Blackwood
Entangled / October 20, 2014 / $10.99 print / $.99 digital

Love burns hotter the second time around…

Two years ago, the medical world was shaken by scandal, and Payton Daniels's family was at the center of it. The second she graduated, Payton left everything behind―her high school sweetheart, her family, and the controversy surrounding her mother's death—and hid within the anonymity of college. But Payton’s ex, Blake Hiller, hasn't forgiven her for leaving, and when he enrolls in the same medical ethics class, she panics. She can’t run the risk of him telling everyone who she really is.

As if being at the same university isn’t enough, both Blake and Payton land the same internship. Forced together, their passion for each other reignites, but when Payton is asked to testify in her father’s high-profile trial, she must choose between risking her acceptance into medical school to help her father, and losing every connection to her past—including the only guy she’s ever loved.

Payton Daniels has a lot on her plate. Two years ago, Payton’s mother was suffering from cancer and her father (a physician) assisted in her decision to commit suicide. He was arrested, and the case has become a sensationalized major news story. Distraught by her father’s seeming betrayal, Payton leaves her hometown and escapes to school in Florida, using her mother’s maiden name and leaving behind a boyfriend, an incarcerated father, and the pain of her mother's death.

[Running away always helps, right?]

Oct 20 2014 2:45pm

Downton Abbey Series 5 (Season 5), Episode 5 Recap: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marigold?

Edith in Downton Abbey 5x05Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

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

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

This week, we start with Rosamund coming over to the Abbey for a visit. Now we all know that’s a ruse! She’s probably there to figure out what’s going on with Edith! And, of course, she is. She tells Edith to come see her in her room before dinner. Uh oh! Any way, Rosamund finds out that Marigold is staying with the Drewes, and that Mrs. Drewe is not too keen about Edith stopping by all the time. She tells Edith that they are in a bad position, where Edith’s reputation is on the line, but there is no emotional reward at the end. I hope she can figure something out. I’m honestly tired of Edith being miserable all the time.

[She deserves something better...]

Oct 20 2014 12:00pm

Slow Hand: Exclusive Excerpt

Victoria Vane

Slow Hand by Victoria Vane

In rural Montana...

Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who's torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He's on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She's a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots...

Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds—until her father's death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can't resist a cowboy with a slow hand...

Get a sneak peek of Victoria Vane's Slow Hand (available November 4, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

By the time they arrived at the cabin the sun was already dipping like a red-gold ball of fire below the blue-tinged mountain peaks on the western horizon. The experience was almost enough to make her forget her raw backside—at least until she dismounted. Her legs protested as well, turning suddenly to rubber, and nearly giving out when her feet touched down. She cast a critical eye over the crude structure that was little more than a shed. “Is this the camp you were talking about?”

“I warned you it would be rough,” Wade replied without apology. “It was put up for cattle gathering and hunting, not for recreation. There’s two cots and a small wood stove. That’s about it.” Wade pointed to a place higher up the mountain where the cattle appeared as no more than black dots to Nikki’s eyes. “It’s too late to do anything about them now,” he said. “So we might as well just get settled for the night and bring them down at sunrise.”

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

Oct 20 2014 9:30am

First Look: Rachel Lacey’s Unleashed (October 28, 2014)

Unleashed by Rachel LaceyRachel Lacey
Unleashed (Love to the Rescue)
Forever / October 28, 2014 / $6.00 print, $5.99 digital

Cara Medlen has a serious case of animal attraction. And it's not because of all the foster dogs she's rescued. She's got it bad for her incredibly sexy neighbor. Her one rule: Don't get attached. It's served her well with the dogs she's given to good homes and the children she's nannied. Yet the temptation of Matt's sexy smile might just convince her that some rules are made to be broken.

Matt Dumont doesn't need his skills as a private investigator to detect disaster on the horizon. Cara is everything he thought he'd never find-gorgeous, funny, and caring. But there's no way he can start a relationship just as he's about to move to another state. Talk about bad timing. As their attraction sizzles too hot to deny, they'll have to make a decision: forget the consequences and let loose, or forget each other and let go...

One of my favorite type of romances are the ones that feel like real life—ones with genuine scenarios, realistic characters, and a credible conflict. And if the author includes a topic near to my heart and hers, then so much the better. I found all of this in Rachel Lacey’s very first published book, Unleashed.

[Is it off the chain good?...]

Oct 20 2014 8:27am

What’s Your Favorite Revenge Romance?

Crazy, Sexy Revenge by J.D. MasonEarlier this month, we featured J.D. Mason's Crazy, Sexy Revenge, and that book joins legions of others where revenge is the motivating factor for either (and sometimes both!) the hero and heroine.

Do you like revenge stories? Which one is your favorite? 

Oct 19 2014 2:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Doctor Who’s Danny Pink and Clara Oswald (Oswink)

Whatever your feelings might be on the new Doctor—personally I love Peter Capaldi—or on his companion, Clara—again, I have only compliments—the chemistry between Clara Oswald and fellow teacher, Danny Pink, is of galactic proportions! They are the highlight of every Doctor Who episode for me and I so want them to work out, unlike some other famous Doctor Who companion relationships.

What are your thoughts on Oswink? Are you watching Doctor Who?

[The cuteness continues...can you handle it?!...]

Oct 19 2014 10:00am

Maybe This Christmas: Exclusive Excerpt

Sarah Morgan

Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan

This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O'Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he's simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he's never ruined, and he's not about to start now.

Ski pro Brenna Daniels knows all about the perils of unrequited love—she's been in love with Tyler for years. But living with him is absolute torture. How can she concentrate on being his friend when he's sleeping in the room next door? Then when Tyler kisses Brenna, suddenly the relationship she's always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it. Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true?

Get a sneak peek of Sarah Morgan's Maybe This Christmas (available October 28, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“They crunched through the snow, Kayla sliding and grumbling, while Brenna wondered why she’d ever thought a drink with her friends might solve the problem.

Her head spun, her limbs felt shaky and she was scrabbling in her bag for her key when Tyler opened the door.

He was wearing a blue sweater pushed up to the elbows and a pair of jeans that made it obvious why her mother thought him dangerous. No woman in her right mind would look at him and see anything other than trouble.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Maybe This Christmas...]

Oct 18 2014 12:00pm

The Ties that Bind: Siblings in Romance Novels from Ashley, Roberts, Andre, and More!

Rock Chick by Kristen AshleyComing from a large family, I always enjoy reading romance books that also feature sibling relationships. Protectors, confidantes, and allies all rolled into one, your siblings can prove to be your best and worst enemy—sometimes working in conjunction with you and other times driving you absolutely insane. 

These are some of my favorite sibling bonds in romance: 

1. The Nightingales in Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick series

First making their appearance in Rock Chick, book one of the series, the Nightingales constantly keep us—and each other—on our toes. Lee, Hank and Ally are close in age and have a tight relationship. Lee and Hank were the quintessential big brothers, keeping  a close eye on Ally. They have their hands full, operating on all sides of the law—Lee as a P.I. and Hank as a police officer— and Ally usually gets in a lot of mischief, especially with her band of rock chicks.

2. The Mackenzies in Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzies series

This Scottish family features a tight knit of brothers. Banding together from infancy against a common enemy, their father, the brothers leaned on each for support. Each of these strong men went on to better themselves with the help of their family.

[Did your favorite family make the cut?]

Oct 17 2014 5:00pm

Friday Beefcake: Magic Mike XXL Cast

Can you believe it's already been two years since Channing Tatum made Magic Mike aka “that male stripper movie.” It blew most people's expectations out of the water, and now the wait is almost over as the sequel Magic Mike XXL is set to come out in July 2015. For those rabid fans who happen to live in or near to Georgia, you have a chance to be cast as an extra in the movie. For those who are eagerly anticipating, but will miss the opportunity to be an extra, H&H always has your back with a look at the eye candy that's been cast in the sequel.

What actors are you looking forward to stripping down. Will you be seeing the sequel?

[Get ready for the full monty...]

Oct 17 2014 4:17pm

Nalini Singh Announces Title of Next Psy-Changeling Book: Shards of Hope

Shield of Winter by Nalini SinghNalini Singh has announced that Shards of Hope is the title in the next novel in the Psy-Changeling series, which will be out in 2015 and which follows this year's release, Shield of Winter.

But wait, there's more! Singh also released Shards of Hope's official description:

The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action”* of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

What will happen when two Arrows get romantically involved? 

Stay tuned for more news as we get it, including the release of the cover!

Oct 17 2014 3:15pm

H&H Debriefing: Binge Reading—Do You Do It?

Another day, another way to follow H&H—we're now on YouTube! Subscribe to the HeroesnHearts channel to catch weekly Debriefings in which Team H&H's Heather, Megan, and Jenn discuss what's hot in romance.

Today we're hear to talk about binge reading! We've talked before about whether you do, and what was the last thing you binged on, but now Heather, Megan, and Jenn weigh in on what their reading habits are!


Oct 17 2014 2:00pm

Tricks, Treats, and Thrills: Erotic Recommendations For October 2014

Riding Dirty by Jill SorensonIn need of some sexy reading material to fill your e-reader? I’m here for you. Each month I will bring you an assortment of erotic pleasure reads to tempt your palate—and your credit card....

Magic premeates the air when our lovers find themselves getting more then they bargained for in the following offerings.

Riding Dirty by Jill Sorenson

Psychologist Mia Richards wants revenge. Her new client, tattooed Cole “Shank” Shepherd, provides the perfect means. She just has to manipulate the felon-turned-informant into eliminating her husband's killers—members of Cole's rival motorcycle club. The first step, seducing Cole, is simple. As for walking away before she falls hard—it's already too late.…

Dirty Eleven practically raised Cole, and he plans to double-cross the cops rather than sell them out. But smart, sexy Mia is an irresistible distraction. While she's evaluating his mind, all he can think about is her body… until he discovers her true intentions. Walking a fine line between desire and betrayal, they'll have to outrun her past, his enemies and the law for a love that's dangerously real

A one night stand turns into something more when a single night of exquisite no holds barred passion spills over into the light of day.

Set in the violent unpredictable world of onepercenters, Sorenson builds a erotically charged romance suspense between a woman bent on revenge and the ex con she chooses to as her weapon. Dark and intensely sensual, deception and betrayal where our hero and heroine’s journey begins. 

[We like those sorts of journeys...]

Oct 17 2014 12:00pm

Treasure on Lilac Lane: Exclusive Excerpt

Donna Alward

Treasure on Lilac Lane by Donna Alward

Once upon a time, Rick Sullivan had a promising future. One of Jewell Cove's star athletes and reigning heartthrobs, he joined the Marines and had the world in the palm of his hand...until it all came crashing down. His honorable discharge doesn't make him the hometown hero everyone wants him to be, and there's little reprieve from the demons that haunt him at night. Still, even though it seems that all hope is gone, fate has something else in store...

Just hearing Rick's name is enough to give Jess Collins a headache. Years ago, they'd been close. Now she barely knows the man Rick has become since his return from service...then again, Jess isn't that same young, naïve girl anymore either. And while there's a powerful attraction between them—one that yields a greater passion than Jess could have ever imagined—both are wary about opening their hearts to love...and loss. 

But happy endings don't come easily when long-buried secrets insist on rising to the surface. Will their pasts tear them apart—or can love find a way to heal them both?

Get a sneak peek of Donna Alward's Treasure on Lilac Lane (available October 28, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2.

Chapter 1

Jess Collins hated funerals.

She avoided attending when she could, though in a close-knit town the size of Jewell Cove, that wasn’t easy. When she found herself in these types of situations, she often offered condolences and got away as fast as she could.

Funerals brought back too many painful memories. Too many reminders of a time when life started to unravel. As a teenager, losing her father had been the worst thing she’d ever experienced. How she’d handled her grief, however, had led to something far more traumatic. Something she could never forget no matter how hard she tried.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Treasure on Lilac Lane...]

Oct 17 2014 11:15am

Scandal Season 4 Episode 4 Recap: Drop the Mic

Source: katherinedeestrickland. tumblr.com  

Can't get enough Scandal? Join the club—really. Tune into H&H for weekly recaps from Kwana Minatee-Jackson and Nicole Leapheart. Need to catch up? Don't miss our previous recaps and posts on Scandal. And now, let's dive into H&H's recap of Season 4, episode 4, “Like Father, Like Daughter.”

NOTE: This post may contain spoilers for all aired episodes of Scandal. Enjoy!

Is everyone still in recovery from this past episode of Scandal? I know I am. Let’s get into it because it is juicy, it is shocking, and it is scandalous!

When the episode opens, Jake AKA Captain Swag is walking to his car, but something just doesn’t feel right. As he approaches his car, he notices a red flashing light underneath. He immediately knows what it is, and turns around in the other direction. Just to prove how badass he is, he hits his car fob to turn his car on and it explodes. This of course makes him a little late for dinner at Liv’s house, who wanted to be domestic. She invites him in and tells him “Let’s talk about our day...I’ll go first.” Of course you will, Liv. Before Jake gets a word in, Liv’s phone rings and she is out the door on a case like a bat out of hell.

[That's so nice of you, Liv...not!]

Oct 17 2014 9:30am

Because Nothing Says Love Like a Makeover: Top 10 Pygmalion-Style Romances

The MakeoverFirst performed a century ago this very year, George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion has long captured the public fancy. The tale of ragamuffin flower seller Eliza Doolittle learning to better herself at the hands of disdainful linguist Professor Henry Higgins in pre-WWI London, the play was named for the Roman sculptor of myth who created himself the perfect woman—though in Shaw’s lengthy postscript to the play, Eliza ends up marrying not her maker but Freddy, her respectable, but ultimately improvident suitor.

With ABC’s Selfie recently arrived on our screens, in which Karen Gillan plays social media obsessed millennial Eliza Dooley to John Cho’s disdainful marketing expert Henry Higgs, the time seems right to look at some previous attempts to bring the story, much like Galatea, to vibrant life. The “Pygmalion” trope, by the way, is vastly different to the “Ugly Duckling to Swan” trope, since it is as much the presence of the ever-so-superior teacher and his (or her) stormy relationship with the spirited student that defines it, as much as does that student’s requisite new beauty and/or ability to use the right fork.

So that being understood, I here submit my favorites...

10. The Makeover (2013)

Thank you, Hallmark, for this gender-flipped attempt, in which uptight and unlikeable politico Hannah Higgins (Julia Stiles) grooms charismatic delivery guy Elliot Doolittle (David Walton) for office—when what he believes she’s training him for is an office job. While I think we can all agree that Stiles hit her rom-com peak with 10 Things I Hate About You and that Walton’s handsome charm is the kiss of death when it comes to TV (every show he’s starred in has barely lasted a full season), nevertheless this cotton candy-light exploration of honesty in politics, embarrassing family members—Frances Fisher as Elliot’s blousy mother is a hoot—and the snobbery directed against South Boston accents is as enjoyable as it is, most surprisingly, thought-provoking. But... Doolittle for Congress? Isn’t that just a given?

[Yeah, they didn't really think about this, did they...]

Oct 17 2014 8:29am

Handsome Men Getting Wet: In the Heart of the Sea Trailer

Chris Hemsworth heads In the Heart of the Sea next spring in a new Ron Howard film. The movie is based on the Nathaniel Philbrick book of the same name, the true survival story of the whaling ship Essex, which inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick

In the Heart of the Sea will be in theaters March 2015.

Oct 16 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Allison Merritt’s Wystan (October 21, 2014)

Wystan by Allison MerrittAllison Merritt
Wystan (Heckmasters)
Samhain / October 21, 2014 / $5.50 digital

Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff.

The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

In Allison Merritt's Wystan, Rhia Duke feels hopeful about her chances for the advertized position of a schoolteacher in Berner, New Mexico—until she arrives and gets a good look at the deserted town. Doubts begin when Rhia and her twelve-year-old sister, Sylvie, see the ominous looking angel statue that greets them upon their arrival, and intensify when their mule team gets spooked and runs off with Sylvie at the reins, almost running over a man. Luckily, the mules stop just in time, and the man appears more concerned about Rhia, Sylvie, and their sick travelling companion, Beryl, than he does about what almost happened to him. However, when the man, who introduces himself as Eban Heckmaster, the doctor, tells Rhia that the town does not even have a school, her confusion and sense of foreboding return.

[Heck, this doesn't seem good]

Oct 16 2014 3:00pm

Brain Candy: Not-Your-Usual Historicals for October 2014

Jazz Baby by Tea CooperTrick or treat, new historicals cannot be beat! In between watching the leaves turn, unpacking your warm winter clothes, sipping apple cider, and pilfering all the mini-Snickers bars from your kids’ Halloween candy haul, why not check out some of the new not-your-usual historicals that are hitting retailers this month? Remember, costume and dress come in all sorts of styles, not just empire waist.


Jazz Baby by Téa Cooper

Sydney is no place for the fainthearted – five shillings for a twist of snow, a woman for not much more, and a bullet if you look sideways at the wrong person.

Dolly Bowman is ready and willing to take on all the brash, bustling city has to offer. After all it is the 1920s, a time for a girl to become a woman and fulfil her dreams. Turning her back on her childhood, she takes up a position working as a housemaid while she searches for her future.

World War I flying ace Jack Dalton knows he’s luckier than most. He’s survived the war with barely a scratch, a couple of astute business decisions have paid off, and he’s set for the high life.

But a glimpse of a girl that he had forgotten, from a place he’s tried to escape suddenly sets all his plans awry. Try as he might he can’t shake the past, and money isn’t enough to pay the debts he’s incurred.

Cooper writes for Escape Publishing, a digital imprint with Harlequin’s Australia. Known for her historicals set in Australia, she continues to diversify, having set stories in rural locales and this time out, the bustling city of Sydney.

[You lead, we'll follow...]

Oct 16 2014 2:02pm

Cover Alert: Darynda Jones’s Eighth Grave After Dark!

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

Darynda Jones has revealed the cover for her next Charley Davidson book, Eighth Grave After Dark.

There's no official blurb yet, but we feel it's safe to say it will be fast-paced and filled with Charley's snarky wit and, with any luck, loads of Reyes sightings.

Stick with H&H for more Charley news as we get it, and until then feel free to browse our official Darynda Jones collection for more coverage.

And if you haven't already, be sure to read our original Charley Davidson short story “For I Have Sinned,” as well as a guest post by Jones on how to prepare for the apocalypse.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones, out May 19, 2015:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Indiebound