<i>Far From Home</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Far From Home: Exclusive Excerpt Lorelie Brown "Her eyes go wide, and she gives me a half smile." <i>Burn Down the Night</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Burn Down the Night: Exclusive Excerpt M. O'Keefe "His hand was practically burning a hole through my hoodie..." <i>The Theory of Deviance</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Theory of Deviance: Exclusive Excerpt Rebecca Grace Allen "His cheeks went hot at her censure." <i>A Promise of Fire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Promise of Fire: Exclusive Excerpt Amanda Bouchet "My chest deflates as I exhale the breath I was holding."
From The Blog
July 29, 2016
Comments That Made Our Week
Team H & H
July 29, 2016
5 Squee-Worthy Moments from Poldark Series 2 Trailer
Jen Wattley
July 29, 2016
H&H Bloggers Recommend Best Reads of July 2016
Team H & H
July 29, 2016
Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to John Cho
Team H & H
July 28, 2016
Kidnap the President's Daughter? NBD in Hell Breaks Loose
JohnJacobson
Sat
Jul 30 2016 3:03pm

Breaking News: J.R. Ward’s The Devil’s Cut Is Next in The Bourbon Kings Series

The Angels' Share by J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward's Next Bourbon Kings Novel Is...

What better way to celebrate the release of a new Bourbon Kings novel than with scoop on the future of the series from author J.R. Ward? At an Angels' Share release party this afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, The Warden announced, among other juicy news, the title of the next book in the Bradford clan's story: The Devil's Cut!

What Do We Know About The Devil's Cut So Far?

Thanks to live tweets from the event by publisher Berkley, we already know that there will be “much more Edward and Max” in the book. Ward also shared that the Bourbon Kings series was inspired by her own personal experiences living in Louisville and that many of her ideas for the story come to her while running, which is workout inspiration if we've ever heard it.

[+Black Dagger Brotherhood news...]

Sat
Jul 30 2016 11:30am

First Look: Casey Griffin’s Must Love Wieners (August 2, 2016)

Must Love Weiners by Casey Griffin

Casey Griffin
Must Love Wieners (Rescue Dog #1)
St. Martin's Press / August 2, 2016 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital 

Must Love Wieners  is the first book in Casey Griffin's Rescue Dog Romance series!

If you’re like me, you just can’t help yourself. Publishers have got our number! They only have to mention that a dog plays a big part in a book, and they have got dog lovers ' attention.  If they mention dog rescue, then we are doubly intrigued. Mention that the book is a romance, and we’re a goner. So it’s hardly surprising that I jumped at the chance to read Must Love Wieners by Casey Griffin.

The opening of the book is pure slapstick, as the heroine Piper has one catastrophe after another in her attempt to work her three jobs at once –pizza delivery, cab driver, and singing telegram performer. Needless to say, that doesn’t go well.

But in her performer role, she does meet billionaire Aiden Caldwell. Although it is not the best introduction:

Shoving the horse’s wooden pole between her legs, she yelled, “Yee-haw!” and skipped into the room, tassels swaying, heels clicking.

The lights were dimmed, the curtains closed. Unable to see where she was going, her foot caught on something. It sent her stumbling forward. She reached out to catch her fall. The horse clattered to the floor. Her knees took the landing hard, but her hand fell on something soft. When the lights flicked on, she saw it lay nestled in a man’s lap.

Gasping, Piper fell bac and stared up at the man. He held a dripping coffee cup, a brown stain spreading across his expensive white shirt and tie. And then she saw his face.

Of course he was gorgeous. He had to be gorgeous. That was so damned typical.

[A doggone romance...]

Fri
Jul 29 2016 4:30pm

You Got Us Thinking: Comments That Made Our Week

 

 

 

 

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

 


The push and pull of wanting more story, but being wary:

Scarlettleigh in Are You Still Looking For the Story of a Tertiary Character?:

Series are definitely a double-edged sword. Because this does happen — a story never gets told or it's not told in the way readers expect — which I suspect has happened to all of us.

Both are disappointing — Although I think I much rather have a story untolded because I can imagine it, then have it told and be completely shattered by the author's attempt to spring a suprise on readers. 

Back ten years ago, even five years ago an author was at a publisher's mercy. Now, in a way not as much. My feeling is that if an author has set up a character, and then her contract is not renewed she or he should then write it and self-publish it —But please get a good editor! 

I'm hoping that Catherine Mann is just taking a break from her Second Chance series... because I really want the county shelter's administrator, Dahlia to get her story....and I hoping her love interest is the country music singer Billy Brock...Catherine are you listening?


[Read more...]

Fri
Jul 29 2016 3:00pm

Bang, Bang, On The Door Baby...Erotic Romance Best Bets for July 2016

Bound Beneath His Pain by Stacey Kennedy

What were the best erotic romance in July?

In 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 palette and your credit card.

July gives readers more bang for their buck as the couples below experience some intense fireworks in their relationships and learn that those bright fleeting sparks can often be used to build a lasting flame.

Bound Beneath His Pain by Stacey Kennedy

Real estate mogul Micah Holt exerts absolute control over all aspects of his life. He keeps his dark side hidden away from the press, who will chase down any hint of scandal. He’s always in command of his world, careful to expose his closely guarded secrets only to those he knows he can trust. Then Allie Bennett shakes his legendary discipline. She’s beautiful, pure, untainted. But is Micah willing to sacrifice her innocence for his own selfish obsessions?

When that sexy smile makes her body burn, Allie tries with all her might to ignore it. For one thing, Micah’s her new boss. For another, he’s as complicated as he is devastatingly handsome. Still, Allie can only fight so much before she gives into his dangerous games. She knows he’s got dark secrets. But when she discovers the true depth of his pain, Allie must decide how far she’s willing to go to light the way for love.

Fans of Stacey Kennedy’s Club Sins series will enjoy this spin off that gives new meaning to the saying, “you can’t always get what you want...but sometimes you get what you need.” Intense emotions overflow and cascade around you as a romance of epic proportions is built between a man determined to retain all the control and the one woman who has the ability to make him lose it. Light BDSM elements flavors the storyline though it isn’t as defining in the relationship as you would expect from this author.

[Read more...]

Fri
Jul 29 2016 2:20pm

Wolf Shifters & Playboys for Sale by Owners: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Spiral of Need by Suzanne WrightDeal Alert: Suzanne Wright's wolf shifter paranormal romance Spiral of Need, Mercury Pack #1, currently costs less than a cup of coffee at $.99 in e-book at Amazon.* Speaking of werewolves, Wright's Phoenix Pack series comes recommended by Sahara Hoshi.

Deal Alert: Jodi Ellen Malpas' This Man, first in the This Man trilogy, is only $1.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks | etc.* In an H&H guest post, Malpas offers insight into our collective fascination with playboys, those dangerous men who “ooze confidence and determination, and most certainly immobilise you with lust.”

Deal Alert: Megan Hart's erotic romance Naked is on sale for $.99 in e-book at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* Hart knows what she's about, with appearances on several must-read lists to prove it, so if you're the least tempted, you owe it to yourself to check her stuff out.

Fresh Outta the Oven

The Chicago Stars will rise again in Susan Elizabeth Phillips' First Star I See Tonight, a return to the sports romance series that helped launch a subgenre. You don't have to wait until August 23 to dip into Graham and Piper's story, though: See their unconventional meeting in an excerpt from First Star I See Tonight now.

[+La Belle et Le Bete trailer...]

Fri
Jul 29 2016 1:30pm

5 Squee-Worthy Moments From the Poldark Series 2 Trailer!

 

If you’re a slightly-obsessive-Aidan-loving-Anglophile like me, you’ve been waiting for your moment. Well my friends, it’s arrived.   

Thanks to the TCA (Television Critics Association), we got access to a Poldark Series 2 trailer, and OMG, it looks so good.   

Here are five moments that I cannot wait to finally see once the series returns to PBS September 25, 2016 (it returns in the UK on September 4, 2016).  

(Psst! If you haven't already, make sure you catch up on series one. It's most excellent.) 

[All the reasons to squee!]

Fri
Jul 29 2016 12:30pm

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of July 2016

Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole

What are the best new romances in July 2016?

Each 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.

Rachel Kramer Bussel:

I loved the 1960's civil rights movement romance novella Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole. It's my first, but definitely not my last, time reading her work. The writing was gorgeous and made me stop several times to reread particularly lovely sentences, and she wove so many parallels between white Jewish hero Ivan and black heroine Sofie. Both have lost their mothers and are living with controlling, angry fathers, and are finding themselves and rekindling a much frowned upon passion while also becoming budding activists. The injustices Sofie and her community face have clear parallels in what's happening today around police violence against African Americans, but this is not a polemic, though it's rooted in history. It's a love story through and through, an incredibly touching one. I loved seeing their passion and emotion build throughout the book.

[More great recommendations ahead!]

Fri
Jul 29 2016 11:00am

Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to John Cho

 

Source: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com

Dear John Cho,

You're currently winning over hearts with your latest turn in Star Trek Beyond as Sulu—not that we're surprised. You're vibrant and charasmatic, you're smoldering and funny. You're really the complete and total package, honestly. (And you're giggly friends with Chris Pine?? Be still my heart.)

[Heart eyes...]

Fri
Jul 29 2016 8:04am

What is the Best Book You’ve Read this Month?

Die for You by Michele Mills

Later today, you'll be finding out the answer to this question from our bloggers, however, right now we're giving you the opportunity to answer the question for yourself! What is the best book you've read this month? We'll give you the same guideline we give our bloggers: 

—It doesn't have to have been published this month, it just has to be something you've read this month and loved!

—It doesn't even have to be romance! Though that's what we love the most, we'll never turn down a recommendation!

Why was it your favorite read? Share the love down in the comments!

Fri
Jul 29 2016 5:12am
Excerpt

Far From Home: Exclusive Excerpt

Lorelie Brown

Far From Home by Lorelie Brown

My name is Rachel. I'm straight ... I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn't serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I'd marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she's willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt.

My off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible. We get along as friends. She's really romantically cautious, which I find heartbreaking. She deserves someone to laugh with. She's kind. And calm. And gorgeous. A couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good. If some of Pari's kindness and calm rubs off on me, that'd be a bonus, because I'm a mess-anorexia is not a pretty word-and my little ways of keeping control of myself, of the world, aren't working anymore.

And if I slip up, Pari will see my cracks. Then I'll crack. Which means I gotta get out, quick, before I fall in love with my wife.

Get a sneak peek at Lorelie Brown's Far From Home (available August 1, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

When a shadow crosses over me, I’m almost relieved. I crack one eye open and squint up. At first I don’t know who it is because their face is cast in deep shadow. Then I do.

It’s Pari.

“Hi!” I lean up on an elbow and shield my eyes with a hand at my brow. “You decided to come down?”

[Read the full Far From Home excerpt...]

Thu
Jul 28 2016 5:03pm

Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower E-Deal & Jodi Ellen Malpas Video Excerpt: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Devil in Winter by Lisa KleypasDeal Alert: Lisa Kleypas' third Wallflowers historical, Devil in Winter, is a steal at $1.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks | etc.* Evie and St. Vincent's son's book is in the works! Get scoop on Devil in Spring, coming February 21, 2017.

Deal Alert: Eva Leigh's Wicked Quills of London historical romance Forever Your Earl is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at Amazon.* In her First Look at the book, PhoebeChase writes: “Witty. Smart. Subversive. Charming. These are all terms that define the hero and heroine of Forever Your Earl, but can also be ascribed to the book overall.

Deal Alert: S.C. Stephens' rock-star contemporary romance Thoughtful is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* Stephens' novel Thoughtless, set in the same universe, is one of two New Adult romances on our list of the ”27 Best Romance Novels—Your Ultimate TBR Pile" from TanyaLK and Lucy Hargrave.

Deal Alert: Carla Neggers' second Sharpe & Donovan romantic suspense novel, Heron's Cove, is discounted to $.99 in e-book at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* What happened when our former Romance Virgin read his first romantic suspense, Linda Howard's treasure of a book Mr. Perfect? Well, he revisited his issues with the classic movie Speed, for one...

[+Jodi Ellen Malpas' video excerpt & Arrow Season 5 trailer...]

Thu
Jul 28 2016 3:30pm

July 2016 Women’s Fiction Best Bets—Laugh as Much as You Cry

We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
-Maya Angelou

Every month there seems to be a great selection, but this month seems especially abundant in books that will make you laugh; books that will make you cry; and books that make you rejoice that the characters did try to love someone, and gain the courage to accept the love in return.

We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman

Fans of Jojo Moyes will love We Are All Made of Stars,” raves Good Housekeeping. Rowan Coleman’s beautiful, life-affirming novel tells an unforgettable story about second chances, the power of words, and the resilience of the heart.

A dedicated nurse, Stella finds comfort at the hospice where she works the late shift, especially since her husband returned from Afghanistan—cold, distant, and shattered by painful memories he refuses to share. The hospice at night is another world, where the dying receive closure by creating the letters that Stella helps them write. The pages are filled with love and humor, sometimes regret, and, occasionally, even instructions for a perplexed husband on how to run appliances. There’s one rule: The letters are mailed only after the patient has passed.
 
Suddenly Stella is faced with a dilemma: A woman under her care, Grace, has written a confession to the son she abandoned many years before. The letter clearly needs to be read before Grace dies. But if Stella mails it now, she breaks the rule—and risks tampering not only with Grace’s wishes but also with fate.
 
Navigating passion and grief, loyalty and loss, and a marriage threatened by silence and secrets, Stella discovers that letters hold a special power: granting solace, saving memories, nurturing relationships. As the words endure, love redeems.

Strengths: Exceptionally moving; Wonderful handling of end of life and illness; Authentic martial conflict; Uplifting Ending
Measure of Love: Teaspoon
Mood: Poignant with tissue alert
Thoughts: Emotional and touching in an authentic way.  Loved it! Couldn't Put It Down!   

[More recommendations ahead...]

Thu
Jul 28 2016 1:30pm

First Look: Faith Hunter’s Blood of the Earth (August 2, 2016)

Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter
Blood of the Earth (Soulwood #1)
Roc / August 2, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her. Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville. Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nelland the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…

Faith Hunter’s powerful voice and exceptional skills comes through crystal clear in her latest urban fantasy series that expands upon her very popular Jane Yellowrock world. Blood of the Earth stars Nell Ingram, a young woman who wields a dark and potentially deadly elemental power rooted deep in the earth itself.

“I am not a witch. I am something far more dangerous. "

[Dark and deadly...]

Thu
Jul 28 2016 11:00am

Criminals are a Girl’s Best Friend in Sophie Jordan’s Hell Breaks Loose

Hell Breaks Loose by Sophie Jordan

When Sophie Jordan comes to play, she brings an alpha male and a plot that will leave you dizzy. Hell Breaks Loose is no exception to that. The second book in her Devil’s Rock series takes the volatile combination of one kidnapped president’s daughter and one escaped convict and turns it into a romance. Folks, this book is a great example of a story that will have you running to the bookstore (or to your ereader) if you love a romance steeped in moral ambiguity.

Being the daughter of the current President of the United States is not easy. Grace Reeves spends most of her life under security detail. Well, when she’s not attending society events or luncheons for nonprofit groups. Her life is holed up. She can’t go out and eat by herself, much less walk around like a normal human being. Grace already struggles with feeling invisible. Under her father’s shadow, she’s all but disappeared.

Grace decides to sneak out. To grab one burger for herself. To finally do something for herself. She’s in Texas and she’s someplace relatively safe – it should be an easy win; a few hours away for dinner before Grace has to return to her political family and the recent news of the man that her parents have arranged for her to marry. A man she has no sexual interest in whatsoever. Yet, when Grace steps out of sight, she gets kidnapped.

[Not for the faint of heart...]

Thu
Jul 28 2016 9:30am

First Look: Debbie Macomber’s Sweet Tomorrows (August 2, 2016)

Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber
Sweet Tomorrows (Rose Harbor #5)
Ballantine / August 2, 2016 / $26.00 print, $12.99 digital

There’s a reason why Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and with Sweet Tomorrows, we get another dose of women’s fiction perfection. What I loved most about this book was the telling of the story from four points of view, told in first person (Jo Marie, Emily Gaffney, and Mark Taylor) and third person (Nick Schwartz). With the first person, the story is immediate and happening right in front of me. I feel the intensity of emotions as if I were the characters. When Macomber shifts to the third person for Nick’s story, it presents like a movie, illustrating the enormity of his situation, traumatic in a different way than the other three. Finally, the driving conflicts in the story are relevant - from classified military ops in the Middle East, to loss of loved ones. Macomber highlights how if we look in the nooks and crannies of small-town life, we'll find significance, beauty, and love.

So enough vague-speak…let’s get to the meat of this book: the couples.

Jo Marie and Mark Taylor. Jo Marie is a widow, having lost her husband to the war in the Middle East. Mark Taylor is the handyman she hires to fix up the B&B she owns and runs following her husband’s death. And this B&B, the Rose Harbor Inn is a place of healing. Before she realizes it, she has fallen in love with Mark Taylor when he tells her he has to leave.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jul 28 2016 8:10am

Are You Still Looking for the Story of a Tertiary Character?

Enchanted by Elizabeth Lowell

Earlier this week, we received an email from Reader Brenda. Brenda, like many of us, has been looking for the story of a tertiary character—a story she fears will never be written. If any of you have read Elizabeth Lowell's medieval series, then you may be experiencing a similar desire for the story of Erik. As Brenda said, when she Googles it (and we verified when we did our own research), “Erik” pops up as one of the suggested search terms. 

Has an author left you pining for a character's story? Did or could you do anything about it? Did you try to get more information out of the author? 

Let us know in the comments!

Wed
Jul 27 2016 5:05pm

Gilmore Girls Premiere Date and Christina Dodd 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 to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Fresh Outta the Oven

Gilmore Girls returns with 4 all-new episodes November 25! In a move we will be truly thankful for (yes, that's the Friday after Thanksgiving), Netflix made the news official with the first trailer for “A Year in the Life,” which includes a clip of Lorelai and Rory bantering about Amy Schumer—“Do you think Amy Schumer would like me? No.”—the Corpse Flower—“that plant... that only blooms once every 50 years and smells disgusting”—and...oh, we can't do it justice, you'll just have to watch for yourself:

The '80s are making a comeback in Jenny Holiday's New Wave Newsroom series. If you're hungry like the wolf for '80s-set romance, you'll want to tear into The Fixer, The Gossip, and The Pacifist. Feast your eyes on the covers and an excerpt at USA Today's HEA blog.

We never tire of that Ross/Demelza clinch. Gaze upon the Poldark Series 2 promotional picture.

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Deal Alert: Christina Dodd's Castles in the Air (yep, the one notoriously first published with a three-armed heroine on the cover) is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* The e-book may have new packaging, but you can always revisit the old edition in our laugh-out-loud roundup of the worst (best) covers ever.

[+Robyn Carr deal & free Carly Phillips e-book...]

Wed
Jul 27 2016 4:30pm

The (Many?) Lovers of Mr. Spock—It’s Not the Size of Your Starship That Counts

 

Spock & Uhura, Star Trek, 2009

Mr. Spock was my first crush. As a six year old watching a sci-fi program for probably the first time in her life, I totally fell in love with the enigmatic alien. That crush has stuck through the years and I still harbor a special place in my heart for this wonderful, cool, logical, intelligent character. I want the best for him. I want love for him.  I’m not alone. Fandom has long shipped Spock with the women who walk in and out of his life and in the 2009 J.J. Abrams reboot of the series many finally got their wish when Abram’s alternate reality universe had Spock and Uhura as lovers.

Naturally, there are nay-sayers who prefer to see this beloved character as a romantic loner, a man whose only close relationships are the platonic ones he has with Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy. However, that idea of a Lone Ranger style Spock is in many ways a myth. A close look at the original Trek TV series shows that he did, in fact, have several romantic (or almost romantic) relationships over the course of that original five year mission. Here are just a few of the loves (and near loves) of First Officer Spock:

[Spock needs love, too...]

Wed
Jul 27 2016 3:30pm

Baby, You’re a Firework: Not-Your-Usual Historical Best Bets for July 2016

A Gift of Guile by Alissa Johnson

What historical romances should you be reading this month? Find out!

We’ve watched the fireworks (and tried to ignore our neighbors who were still setting them off on July 5th!), consumed an unhealthy amount of barbeque, and now it’s time to lounge by the pool, or on your favorite beach, with some of these historical best bets for July 2016!

Bad Girls, Bad Reputations!

A Gift of Guile by Alissa Johnson

She's a liar.
She's a con.
She's a thief.
And God help him, but he'll do anything to keep her safe.

Beautiful and conniving, maddening and brilliant, Esther is everything private detective Samuel Brass shouldn't want. Esther knows she's put herself in terrible danger, but nothing will stop her from making amends-not her family's enemies, not old fears, and certainly not the domineering, interfering, and undeniably handsome former officer of the Scotland Yard. Yet whenever he's near, Samuel makes her long for a life that can never be hers...and wish she were worthy of being saved.

Like the first book in the series, A Talent for Trickery, Johnson has earned her second starred review in a row from Publisher’s Weekly who says, “This series is pure pleasure.”

[On to more unusual finds...]