Read & Win: Sarah Morgan's <i>First Time in Forever</i> Read & Win: Sarah Morgan's First Time in Forever Sarah Morgan Read an excerpt and enter for a chance to win a copy of your own! <i>Vampires Never Cry Wolf</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Vampires Never Cry Wolf: Exclusive Excerpt Sara Humphreys "Looks like there are lots of things you don’t know about me, Ms. Pemberton." <i>Heartbreak Cove</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Heartbreak Cove: Exclusive Excerpt Lily Everett "It was all he could do not to use the leverage to reel her in for a kiss." <i>Darker Than Desire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Darker Than Desire: Exclusive Excerpt Shiloh Walker "That was all she said before he killed her."
From The Blog
February 26, 2015
Women’s Fiction Best Bets for February 2015
Scarlettleigh
February 26, 2015
No-Catch Heroes from Friends, Love Actually, and More!
Roe Valentine
February 26, 2015
Best Reads of February 2015
Team H & H
February 25, 2015
Anne Bishop’s Others Series
Sahara Hoshi
February 24, 2015
6 Signs You’ve Become Dragon-Obsessed
Coreene Callahan
Thu
Feb 26 2015 5:30pm

Freedom in Choice: Women’s Fiction Best Bets for February 2015

New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth KendrickSeveral February books take a look at the heartrending time during World War II, so it seems apropos to use a quote by Viktor E. Frankl—“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation”as the introduction to this month’s selection.  The beauty of this quote is that it applies to all of life’s lessons. Readers have quite a variety to choose from this month, from lighthearted and humorous books to books that illuminate parts of our tragic past. No matter what your taste preference, you’ll be sure to find something that will appeal.

New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick

After growing up in privilege and marrying into money, Lila Alders has gotten used to the good life. But when her happily-ever-after implodes, Lila must return to Black Dog Bay, the tiny seaside town where she grew up. She’s desperate for a safe haven, but everything has changed over the past ten years. Her family’s fortune is gone—and her mother is in total denial. It’s up to Lila to take care of everything...but she can barely take care of herself.

The former golden girl of Black Dog Bay struggles to reinvent herself by opening a vintage clothing boutique. But even as Lila finds new purpose for outdated dresses and tries to reunite with her ex, she realizes that sometimes it’s too late for old dreams. She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something—someone—she desperately wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget...and a second chance has never felt so much like first love.

Strengths: Appealing characters, humorous setting, second chance at love, HEA
Measure of Love: Tablespoon
Introspection Level: Medium
Thoughts: It’s always great revisiting the setting of Black Dog Bay; lighthearted with hints of life’s lessons.

[+more best bets ahead...]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Anne Calhoun’s The List (March 3, 2015)

The List by Anne CalhounAnne Calhoun
The List
Penguin / March 3, 2015 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

Matchmaker and stationery shop owner Matilda Davies brings people together. For those on her list, Tilda will find the man or woman of their dreams—whether it’s for an hour or a lifetime. But due to a painful past, the British expat has never put her own name on the list. Instead, she limits herself to emotionless and commitment-free hookups. Then she meets Daniel, who wants not just her body, but also her heart…

Daniel Logan hides the soul of a poet under the suit and tie of an FBI agent. Specializing in financial crimes, he pieces together stories of greed and ensures justice is done. He plays by the rules—until he meets Tilda. He’s drawn in by her passion as well as her mysteriousness. Daniel knows that no matter her secrets, he’s the perfect match for Tilda. But even pleasure doesn’t come with a guarantee…

Let me start by saying that it was less than a year ago that I read my first Anne Calhoun book. I know. What rock have I been under? But I’m happy to say that The List is my fourth Calhoun read in said year, so that should tell you something of how I feel about her books. Two things are certain when you dive in to one of her novels. First, this is erotic romance, people, and her books deliver. But what I find just as appealing as the erotic is the emotion her characters exhibit and the way Calhoun’s exquisite attention to detail conveys the emotional turmoil necessary for her characters to experience before they can grow, and of course, The List does just that.

[So we should put in on our list...]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 3:53pm

Romance News Roundup: The 100 Kissing and Susan Mallery Deal!

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

Clarke and Lexa in The 100 2x14, Bodyguard of LiesLast night's episode 2x14 of The 100, “Bodyguard of Lies,” turned up the heat on two relationships, Clarke/Lexa (Clexa) and Raven/Wick (Wicken). What did you make of all the kissing? While I hope to see Bellamy/Clarke (Bellarke) happen one day because their personalities complement each other so beautifully, it's awesome to hear that, as showrunner Jason Rothenberg tweeted last night:

In #The100, they don't label themselves. If Clarke's attracted to someone, gender isn't a factor. Some things improve post-apocalypse. ... Clarke is a bisexual character. Remember that in this society, no one's worried about it. They're worried about spears to the chest.

—Deal Alert: Susan Mallery's Delicious, first in the Buchanans series, is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers including Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Amazon. For more, don't miss Janga's post on “Finding Family with Susan Mallery.”

Thu
Feb 26 2015 3:11pm

What’s the Catch?: Good-Guy Heroes from Friends, Love Actually, and More!

Today we are pleased to welcome to the site Roe Valentine, whose release, Left to Forever, came out on Tuesday. The hero of Left to Forever is a rare commodity in romance and the real world—there's no “catch!” Roe is here today to talk about other no-catch heroes and why we should love them just as much as the alpha! Thanks for joining us, Roe!

I’ll be honest, all my heroes are loosely based on real men I’ve known (or a combination of them). But that’s what writers do: take reality and give it a fun twist—or not so fun. I recently asked myself why all of my heroes are basically the same, minus the various hunky exteriors, and the only thing I can think is:  therapy. Writing is a great way to express any feeling, good or bad. And it’s also super fun to give a story the ending you want.  From there, I move on to tell other stories in learning about myself and others, but what’s ever so clear is I have a “type”.

As I think further about this “type” I gather that all the heroes I adore have some very distinct things in common, not including typical hero physical characteristics (tall, handsome, wealthy, etc.), but something more. He’s a genuine good guy. And though we wait for it, he doesn’t seem to have a “catch”. He’s a no-catch guy. What does this mean? Well, he’s not necessarily tormented by some tragic past and he genuinely believes in love. In the case of Jacob, the hero in Left to Forever, this is probably due to the unconditional love he’d witnessed between his parents—or maybe he just has intact self-esteem.

[That would be nice for a change...]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 2:30pm

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of February 2015

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy NelsonEach month, we ask our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle a bit more.

Without further ado, here’s the installment for February 2015 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the Related Posts section at the bottom of the post):

Willaful:

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson was such an excruciating read, it has to be my best book of the month. :-) The narrative is cleverly and fiendishly designed to cause as much pain and suspense as possible; I won't spoil the ending, but the payoff is worth it. It's also gorgeously written, and would be a great choice to give to anyone who sneers at Young Adult literature.

Chelsea Mueller:

Risking It All  by Tessa Bailey

I've been a fan of Bailey's books for some time, but Risking It All is my favorite. I'm a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers trope, and she's a master. What's best about this particular novel—the first in a new series—is the way she twists the trope in a new and exciting way. Also, she writes some of the best dirty-talkin' alphas out there. Swooning for Bowen Driscol is guaranteed.

[+More delicious blogger recommendations...]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 12:15pm

First Look: Patricia Briggs’s Dead Heat (March 3, 2015)

Dead Heat by Patricia BriggsPatricia Briggs
Dead Heat (Alpha and Omega #4)
Ace / March 3, 2015 / $26.95 print, $12.99 digital

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal—or at least it starts out that way...

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

As humans, it is hard enough to face our own mortality.  When you mix in the world of the supernatural, it gets worse.  Werewolves, vampires and the like can all live for centuries. In a supernatural world, making friends with humans is like having a pet goldfish.  Our lives are fragile and short and just when they are getting to enjoy our company and our individual quirks, *flush* it is time for us to go.

Usually when humans are mixed into an Urban Fantasy, it is either in a discussion of friends long gone or in the present tense, with human friends in their prime of life.  In Patricia Briggs’s latest Alpha and Omega novel, Dead Heat, she makes Charles face the pending death of his long-time friend, sinceeven a werewolf of Charles’s power and strength cannot fight the ravages of human mortality.

[It is quite a juxtaposition...]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 11:30am

Arrow 3x15 Olicity Heart-to-Heart: Up, Up, and A.T.O.M. Away

Show/Episode: Arrow 3x15 “Nanda Parbat”
Ship(s): Oliver/Felicity (Olicity), with mentions of Ray/Felicity (Raylicity)

Oliver Felicity Captain's LogNote: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Arrow, including last night's Season 3, Episode 15, “Nanda Parbat.”

Ra’s is lounging in the Lazarus Pit when Nyssa busts in, upset that Oliver is alive and back in Starling.  Ra’s admits he knew and that Oliver is not Sara’s killer.  He’s just a smart guy, isn’t he?  Nothing gets past him.  Back in Starling, Malcolm, Thea, and Oliver are training and everyone is generally angsty about everything.  Welcome to another episode of Arrow!

In flashbacks, after his debriefing Oliver is let go to travel to Japan with the Yamashiros and from there he can go home. On the way to the boat, the family and Oliver are ambushed by ARGUS agents.  They’re pinned down by gunmen and the whole family is unable to make it to a covered truck together.  This isn’t looking too good for the Yamashiros. 

Thea opens up to Roy about killing Sara and of course he knew but he shares his own struggle with knowing he killed under the influence.  I love the scenes with them this episode, how Roy reassures Thea and tries to help her to find her way out of her guilt.

[Do we smell a reconciliation up ahead?]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 8:15am

Throwback Thursday: What Was the First Romance Book You Saw On-Screen?

A Novel RomanceFifty Shades of Grey is just the latest version of a book-to-screen adaptation that exposes non-book readers to a popular romance book. As a romance reader, no doubt you've seen some of your favorite (or not favorite) romance books hit screens, either big or small.

What was the first one you remember reading first, and then seeing the movie or television version? What was the first romance book you saw on-screen? 

Wed
Feb 25 2015 4:30pm

Come for Olicity Stay for Gina L. Maxwell’s Tempting Her Best Friend

Tempting Her Best Friend by Gina L. MaxwellLast week on Twitter, I noticed a conversation between two romance authors, Gina L. Maxwell and Rebecca Yarros.  They were talking about Olicity (Oliver and Felicity, from the CW’s Arrow) and Gina mentioned that she shipped them so much that she based her characters from her novel Tempting Her Best Friend on them.  Naturally, this caught the attention of all the Olicity shippers on Twitter and word spread like wildfire.  The discussion even made it to Tumblr.  As a result, sales of the book have skyrocketed and fans all over Twitter are discussing it using the hashtag #olicitybookclub.

Character inspiration aside, this book is more than capable of standing on its own.  For one thing, the heroine is the sort that you identify with right off the bat:

Normally, she didn’t cook anything quite so fancy, but tonight was the eve of her long-awaited weekend trip and she was in the mood to celebrate. Besides, they said the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. She figured if kickass food had that much influence over the heart, then she should have no problems targeting his sense of adventure.

Tomorrow she would finally arrive at the Masquerade Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for the eighteenth annual Romance Lovers Convention. Three whole days of planned spontaneity and throwing caution to the wind in a moderately controlled environment. And with any luck, she’d convince Dillon to come along and then they could extend the trip through next week. The longer she had with him there, the better her chances of getting out of the damn friend zone and returning to Colorado as his girlfriend.

Or maybe even…wife? She gnawed on her lower lip and started slicing mushrooms as that crazy thought took root in the back of her brain.

Was it all that crazy? When she truly thought about it, they were practically married already, sex being the only thing missing, much to her dismay. And it was Vegas, Land of the Spontaneous Weddings, so it wasn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility…was it? Alyssa pressed a hand to her belly, which suddenly felt like an industrial leaf blower was stirring things into a frenzied cyclone and making one hell of a mess in there.

[That does seem like a Felicity-like response now that you mention it...]

Wed
Feb 25 2015 3:17pm

Romance News Roundup: Bertrice Small and More

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

The Kadin by Bertrice Small—We're sorry to report that beloved romance author Bertrice Small has passed away. Our thoughts go out to her loved ones. RT Book Reviews is celebrating her life and career, and H&H's Anna Bowling, a big fan, has written about her favorite Small heroines and rulebreaker heroes.

—BuzzFeed rounds up “24 Clever and Cute Bookmarks Every Bookworm Needs.” Personally, I wanna see/hear about your bookmarks!

—Johnlock shippers, a.k.a. fans of who see a romantic relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, as well as shippers in general, got a surprisingly lovely shoutout from The New York Times the other day.*

*H/t to Chris Morgan for the reading rec

Wed
Feb 25 2015 1:00pm

Telling the Truth in Blood: Anne Bishop’s Others Series

Written in Red by Anne BishopWarning: This post contains SPOILERS for Anne Bishop's Others series.

Written in Red, the first book in Anne Bishop's urban fantasy series, starts off almost like many a romantic suspense novel: a mysterious character is on the run from her captors. What makes this scenario totally different, however, is where she finds refuge.

Readers are introduced to Meg Corbyn, a character who is mentally not quite a girl but not quite a woman on the run from those who have held her prisoner. There is magic in Meg’s blood—she is a cassandra sangue which translates to “blood prophet.” That means Meg gets glimpses of the future. The only problem? You have to cut Meg’s skin to do so. And there are a limited amount of times a cassandra sangue can be cut before she goes insane.

Meg ends up fleeing to the Lakeside Courtyard. There, Meg meets Others leader and shapeshifter Simon Wolfguard. To make a long story short, the two form a friendship where Meg now serves as the Liaison for the Others (vampires, shape shifters, etc.) who want human goods. Meg is basically a UPS store for the Others. As the leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, Simon is one part Meg’s boss, one part Meg’s friend, and one part Meg’s potential love interest.

[Love interest, did you say? Hmm!...]

Wed
Feb 25 2015 12:35pm

March 2015 Romance Novel New Releases Shopping List

Find your future faves with this delightfully convenient shopping list of romance novels coming out in March. We know you each have your favorite subgenre, but we also know many of you read across genre and care more about the release date!

Below, we've separated the new releases out by release week. Within each week, we then separated it by subgenre. We hope you find this more helpful, but let us know your thoughts!

But...Who says you can't have your cake and eat it, too! Don’t forget to take this printable version with you when it’s time to shop (now seperated out by subgenre)!

Jump to New Releases the Week of:

March 1-7 | March 8-14 | March 15-21 | March 22-28 | March 29-31

Heroes and Heartbreakers March 2015 Shopping List!
 
Week of March 1 through March 7

[Check out the complete list!...]

Wed
Feb 25 2015 9:30am

First Look: Chloe Neill’s Dark Debt (March 3, 2015)

Dark Debt by Chloe NeillChloe Neill
Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11)
NAL / March 3, 2015 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan's dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don't know whether he's friend or foe. But they'll have to figure out soon, because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.

At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs....

The connections to Chicago's Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last....

The question of how to keep a long-running series fresh is a challenge. There is no perfect way to end a series, and we've seen series either last too long, thus leading readers to quit reading, or end before what we think it's their time. Dark Debt is the eleventh book in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series, and at this point it's valid to ask what else can be explored. 

[Spoilers ahead!...]

Wed
Feb 25 2015 8:17am

Easy-Peasy: Be Smart, Well-Educated, and Have a Good Job

Owning Violet by Monica MurphyLooking for love? Just be smart, well-educated, and have a good job.

A new survey conducted by Match.com finds that “87 percent of single men would date someone who's more intellectual and more educated than they are—and the same number of guys would have no problem dating a woman who makes more money than they do,” while 44 percent of men say they seek out career-driven women.

Tue
Feb 24 2015 5:15pm

First Look: Vicky Dreiling’s What a Devilish Duke Desires (February 24, 2015)

What a Devilish Duke Desires by Vicky DreilingVicky Dreiling
What a Devilish Duke Desires
Grand Central / February 24, 2015 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

WILL A FEW FLIRTATIOUS STEPS

Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle's title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it's all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.

LEAD TO A SCANDALOUS SEDUCTION?

Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome—not to mention wealthy—duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man's trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry's scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn't change it first.

Back when it first released, I glommed Vicky Dreiling’s How to Marry a Duke. It was a fun Regency romance with a Bachelor-like premise. I’m not a fan of most reality television, but I am a fan of authors that can take a cute concept and execute it well. Dreiling’s What a Devilish Duke Desires is as much of a success, but with shades of the film Pretty Woman and the show Dancing with the Stars. It’s a Regency palate-cleanser that enchants you with its adorable romance and its depiction of class movement.

[Prepare to be enchanted...]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 4:30pm

6 Signs You’ve Become Dragon-Obsessed

Fury of Obsession by Coreene CallahanToday we are pleased to welcome to the site Coreene Callahan, whose fifth Dragonfury paranormal romance, Fury of Obsession, is out today. She's here to let you know that if you're a big fan of dragons, you are not alone. Thanks for joining us, Coreene!

I have a confession to make. I love dragons. And have ever since I was thirteen years old. There is just something about them, isn’t there? Incredible power. The absolute majesty. The potential for terrible violence in the blink of an eye. All that wrapped up in a single species that is as legendary as it is mythical. Is it any wonder then, I love writing about a world in which a pack of smokin’ hot dragon-shifters rule? I think not. So I guess it’s time I buck up and admit it. I’m dragon-obsessed all the way. Which begs a question…am I the only one? Or are you with me? Keep reading to find out.

6 Signs You’ve Become Dragon-Obsessed

1. You watch the How to Train Your Dragon movies, even when the kids aren’t around.

Gif via giphy.com

[+5 more signs to watch out for...]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 3:47pm

Romance News Roundup: Kylie Scott’s New Series and...Power Rangers?!

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

Deep by Kylie Scott—Stage Dive series author Kylie Scott has revealed the name of her next romance series, Dive Bar, and linked to a Pinterest board to give readers some idea of what to expect. Ready to “rough it a bit” with a new group of heroes and heroines?! We'll keep you posted about the new series, so keep an eye out for more news as we get it. In the meantime, enjoy all our Stage Dive coverage here.

Parks and Recreation will air its series finale tonight (sob!), and all sorts of send-off pieces are floating about the Internet right now. One of our favorites is this look back at the sweet and surprising Andy/April romance.

—Deal Alert #1: Miranda Neville's second book in the Wild Quartet, The Ruin of a Rogue, is currently $1.99 in e-book at Amazon.* Before buying, you can check out our First Look of The Ruin of a Rogue here.

—Deal Alert #2: M. Pierce's Night Owl, first in a trilogy, is currently $2.99 in e-book at e-tailers including Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Amazon.* Learn more about the series by reading Robin Bradford's thoughts on Night Owl here.

—Just when you thought The Mindy Project creator/star Mindy Kaling couldn't get cooler... In this extended version of her “Unlikely Leading Lady” American Express commercial, Kaling goes deeper into why it's so important to her to be a role model for young women and how she doesn't want to “mess it up.”

[More Minday Kaling + Power Rangers?!!!...]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 3:00pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Lily Everett, Charlotte Stein, Lilah Pace, Missy Johnson, and Laura Marie Altom!

Today we're thrilled to reveal covers on Heroes and Heartbreakers that are a whole lot naughty, and just a little bit nice! First we stop off at Sanctuary Island for Home for Christmas by Lily Everett. Then, forbidden romances take center stage when a man falls for his mentor's daughter in Missy Johnson's Code of Honor. Meanwhile, let's introduce you to two heroes who make their living by less-than-legal means in Never Loved by Charlotte Stein and The Escort by Laura Marie Altom. Finally, we'll stop off in the dark world of Lilah Pace's Asking for It and Begging for It.

[Learn more about the books...]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 2:00pm
Excerpt

Read & Win: Sarah Morgan’s First Time in Forever

Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan's First Time in Forever

Windswept, isolated and ruggedly beautiful, Puffin Island is a haven for day-trippers and daydreamers alike. But this charming community has a way of bringing people together in the most unexpected ways…

It's been a summer of firsts for Emily Donovan. From becoming a stand-in mom to her niece, Lizzy, to arriving on Puffin Island, her life has become virtually unrecognizable. Between desperately safeguarding Lizzy and her overwhelming fear of the ocean—which surrounds her everywhere she goes!—Emily has lost count of the number of “just breathe” pep talks she's given herself. And that's before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her…

Ryan knows all about secrets. And it's clear that newcomer Emily—with her haunted eyes and the little girl she won't let out of her sight—is hiding from something besides the crazy chemistry between them. So Ryan decides he's going to make it his personal mission to help her unwind and enjoy the sparks! But can Puffin Island work its magic on Emily and get her to take the biggest leap of trust of all—putting her heart in someone else's hands?

Get a sneak peek at Sarah Morgan's First Time in Forever, available today, with a short excerpt of a selected scene! Then leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win a copy of First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan!*

“You know a lot about children.” And she hadn’t expected that. He seemed like the type of man who saw children as nothing more than an inconvenient by-product of sex. And then something occurred to her, something that made her stomach lurch. “Are you divorced? Married?”

“You think I left my wife in bed to come here and eat breakfast with you? You have a low expectation of relationships, Emily. And I’m not married.” He looked at her in a way that made her heart beat faster and her insides melt, but what really worried her was the sudden and unexpected lift of her mood that came from the knowledge he was single.

Why should she care that he was single?

[Log in or register to read the rest of the excerpt and leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win a copy of the book...]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 1:00pm

First Look: Julia Harper’s Once and Always (February 24, 2015)

Once and Always by Elizabeth Hoyt, writing as Julia HarperJulia Harper (a.k.a Elizabeth Hoyt)
Once and Always
Forever / February 24. 2015 / $6.00 print, $5.99 digital

Small town cop Sam West certainly doesn’t mind a routine traffic stop: speeding ticket, stern warning, and sayonara. With a whopper of a blizzard closing in, that’s all he has time for. But the lawbreaker he pulls over is anything but typical. From her mile-long legs to her razor-sharp wit, Maisa Burnsey is like nothing Coot Lake, Minnesota, has ever seen … and she’s about to take Sam on the ride of his life.

Whoever said blood was thicker than water probably wasn’t related to a former Russian mobster. But an innocent mix-up and rumors of stolen diamonds soon have the Russian mob taking an unusual interest in the sleepy little town – and Maisa facing heated scrutiny from a certain tall, dark, and handsome deputy. Sam’s dazzling blue eyes beg her to reveal all her secrets, but how much should she tell? Getting snowed in with the sexiest lawman in the frozen north may not be the worst way to decide …

(Elizabeth Hoyt writing as) Julia Harper's contemporary romantic suspense novel, Once and Always, like her 2008 Hot and For the Love Of Pete, pits a man on the right side of the law against a woman unstintingly loyal to family with criminal associations. Conflict vies with burning attraction in every encounter. Banter-filled conversation and fraught physical skirmishes abound. Once and Always’s Maisa’s devotion to her Russian mobster uncle, her dyadya Uncle George, and her penchant for exceeding speed limits bring her face-to-face with her emotional and lust-challenging nemesis, Deputy Sam West.

[Once loyal...]