<i>Ruptured</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Ruptured: Exclusive Excerpt Maggie Mae Gallagher "He said my name like a benediction..." <i>Misbehavior</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Misbehavior: Exclusive Excerpt Kathryn Kelly She's about to have the ride of her life... <i>Firebug</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Firebug: Exclusive Excerpt Lish McBride "I tried my best not to admire my friend as he stripped..." <i>Love on the Boardwalk</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Love on the Boardwalk: Exclusive Excerpt Christi Barth "Then she moaned as his tongue tangled with hers..."
From The Blog
September 16, 2014
5 Classic Secondary Couples
Willa aka willaful
September 16, 2014
Authors as Romance Heroines
Regina Kyle
September 15, 2014
Karen Marie Moning's Burned News!
Team H & H
September 15, 2014
Trailer for Mockingjay Part 1 Released!
Team H & H
September 12, 2014
Friday Beefcake: A Venti Hottie, Please!
Team H & H
Fri
Sep 12 2014 1:00pm

Firing Readers Up: Donna Grant’s Dark Kings Series

“They had a responsibility as Dragon Kings, a duty that no other could fulfill. An obligation caused by one of their own so very long ago."

The Dark King series by Donna Grant, has its origins a millennium ago, when dragons ruled over all the other creatures. The leaders—men who shifted into dragons—were powerful, magical and immortal, and became known as the Dragon Kings. When the humans appeared, the Kings' job was to protect them  and keep peace between both human and dragon race. Everything fell apart when a human woman who had vowed to love a Dragon King betrayed them all. The Dragon Kings had to conceal the dragon race from the human realm and placed a spell to protect any Dragon King from falling in love with a human again.

Eons later, a new evil lurks to disturb the peace the Dragon Kings have worked so hard to attain, pulling them into a war they don’t want. To make matters worse, the magic placed on the Dragon Kings is failing. One by one, the Dragon Kings are falling in love with the same race that had betrayed them all those years ago.

In the first Dark King book, Dark Craving, Hal has found his mate with the human, Cassie Hunter. The magic that was supposed to make him immune to human affection isn't working: “He wanted Cassie with an unmovable, unyielding tenacity.”

[We like that kind of tenacity...]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Firebug: Exclusive Excerpt

Lish McBride

Firebug by Lish McBride

Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hitmen . . . and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her boss, Venus, killed Ava’s mother.

When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum, in Lish McBride's Firebug.

Get a sneak peek of Lish McBride's Firebug (available September 23, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

This is why we can't have nice things

I woke up in Ezra’s car. I could tell it was his because it was ostentatious, it was immaculately clean, and the warm leather seats smelled like Ez—a combination of vanilla and smug vanity. If a peacock could drive, this was the car it would pick. Lock’s leather jacket was draped over me even though the car was warm and I had my own jacket on. Ezra was curled up, asleep, in the back seat. All the shifting between forms had worn him out. I peeked over the collar of Lock’s jacket and saw the telltale fluorescents of a minimart.

[Continue on to read the full excerpt of a selected scene from Firebug...]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 10:53am

Nalini Singh Shares Rock Courtship Cover, Excerpt, and Release Date!

Rock Courtship by Nalini SinghJust a few weeks after releasing Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh will be publishing the next book in her Rock Kiss contemporary romance series, Rock Courtship. Here's the blurb:

What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn’t know is that David is a one-woman man...and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play. 

And Singh is sharing an excerpt at her website:

Since he’d sacked out for so long, he didn’t have much time before he had to head to a downstairs conference room for the interviews. He’d steeled himself for the inevitability of coming face-to-face with Thea, but the sight of her still threatened to gut him.

Scowling, she strode over on sky-high red heels worn with a sleeveless and tailored black dress that ended just above her knees. “Did you put ice on that eye?”

He made himself speak, act normal—he’d become pretty good at that after the length of time he’d loved her. “Yeah, past few hours.”

“What about last night?”

He shrugged.

Her glare could’ve cut steel.

Read the rest at Nalini Singh's website. Rock Courtship will be released September 30, 2014.

Fri
Sep 12 2014 9:30am

First Look: Connie Brockway’s The Songbird’s Seduction (September 16, 2014)

Connie Brockway
The Songbird's Seduction
Montlake Romance / September 16, 2014) / $9.99 print, $3.99 digital

Effervescent bon vivant Lucy Eastlake is a young operetta singer whose star is on the rise in Edwardian London. Though struggling to maintain her beloved great-aunts’ household, she holds fast to the belief that “things will work out.” Now, with the fiftieth anniversary of a siege her great-aunt Lavinia lived through approaching, it looks like Lucy is right, because a fortune is due to be divided among the survivors. All Lucy and her great-aunts have to do is travel to a small Pyrenees town to claim Lavinia’s share of a fabulous treasure in rubies. What could be more simple?

Professor Ptolemy Archibald Grant is the brilliant, straitlaced grandson of a British lord who also withstood the siege. When his grandfather asks him as a matter of honor to escort his old love on the journey, the about-to-be married professor agrees, not expecting Lucy to be part of the bargain. Losing the great-aunts en route, the handsome, buttoned-down professor finds himself caught up in Lucy’s quirky, bewildering, and probably illegal efforts to reunite with them, as he is drawn further and further into an inexplicable infatuation with the free-spirited singer. What could be more complicated?

But when unwilling attraction gives way to sizzling passion, both will be forced to confront the ages-old question of whether love trumps honor…or the other way around.

Oh, Connie Brockway's The Songbird's Seduction was a fun read! The setting is refreshingly different, set in 1908 Edwardian England, and has a distinct Bringing Up Baby vibe, a 1938 screwball comedy starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Our hero's name is even Ptolemy Archibald Grant (Archibald is Cary's real name) and he's a professor of anthropology. His heroine is Lucy Eastlake, and up and coming operetta singer and general free spirit. And while Cary Grant looked perpetually gob-smacked in the movie, poor Archie is similarly caught up in Lucy's whirlwind and left wondering what the heck happened to his well-ordered life.

[Seduction of the zaniest!]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 8:04am

What’s the Longest You’ve Gone Without Reading a Book?

Viggo Mortensen in Lord of the Rings

Home, work, relationships, family, school, a favorite television series or a big movie (or series of movies*); sometimes you get derailed from constantly reading (that's okay!)

Worse is when you just can't get into anything, so you decide to take a break from reading for a bit to get your excitement back.

No matter what the distraction, we're wondering—what's the longest time you've gone without reading a book? 

*We don't blame you; Aragorn is easy on the eyes.

Thu
Sep 11 2014 3:00pm

Looking for Love in Fall’s Returning Shows

Source: theaerogram.com

**Spoiler Alert: This post will contain many HUGE spoilers from previous seasons of New Girl, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Vampire Diaries. Only read if you're caught up with each show or don't care about spoilers**

Networks have been airing previews, and we've gotten some tantalizing hints about what's in store for our favorite TV couples. Below, I take a look at four of my personal favorites—New Girl, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine Nine (side note: I'm really into FOX shows right now, if you couldn't tell), and The Vampire Diariessome of which had MAJOR shakeups back in April/May, and speculate on what could happen next.

New Girl:

Where we left off: After a whirlwind relationship and a surprisingly mature break up, Nick and Jess were on rocky ground trying to figure out how to navigate their new dynamic while living in the same apartment. In the season finale, they acknowledge that, while they still feel for each other, they can put those feelings on hold and finally go back to being friends.

[That doesn't sound like an HEA...]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 12:00pm

Star-Struck and Bewitched: Top 5 Couples from Barbara Samuel

A Bed of Spices by Barbara SamuelIf I described my top five couples from the fiction of Barbara Samuel without giving title and author, you might justifiably conclude that the pairs figured as protagonists in novels by five different authors. How likely is it that a single author would write a cross-culture medieval set in 14th-century Germany, a contemporary featuring a recovering alcoholic heroine and a twice-divorced Native American hero, an American historical interracial romance set in WW II Texas, a contemporary romance/women’s fiction hybrid with a homecoming theme that pairs a heroine a few steps away from forty, responsible for a best friend dying of AIDS and a seventeen-year-old son, with a bad-boy, motorcycle-riding hero, and a women’s fiction novel with a biographer protagonist who falls in love with a needy, wounded blues aficionado who also raises orchids? But yet all these stories were penned by the remarkable Barbara Samuel, who has the gift of delivering a potent emotional punch in prose that falls on the ear like music and lingers in the memory like the lyrics of a favorite song.

5. Rica der Esslingen and Solomon ben Jacob, A Bed of Spices (1993)

Rica, the daughter of a German aristocrat, and Solomon, the son of a Jewish merchant, are separated by class, race, and religion, but these barriers are not enough to stop them from falling in love at first sight. Samuel’s description of their first awareness is perfection: “Like a lady stricken with the beauty of a knight in one of the poems the priest had forbidden her, Rica felt faint and star-struck and bewitched. She smiled at him. He swallowed, then glanced away quickly, a dusky stain on his cheekbones.” As they come to know each other, they fall more deeply in love, and with every scene, no matter how often I reread the book, I fall more deeply in love with these characters and this author.

[+ 4 more favorites...]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 9:30am

Top 5 Leading Ladies in Kinky Romance

Linger by Lauren JamesonToday H&H is joined by author Lauren Jameson, whose Linger is just out, and super-hot, pairing a female Dom with an Alpha male sub with some explosive results. Linger is unusual in that the Dom is female, although there are more of those pairings than you might think. And Lauren is here to share her five favorite dominant women in erotic fiction. Thanks, Lauren! 

1. Lauren in Holding The Cards by Joey W. Hill

This was the first BDSM story that I read with a dominant heroine. I was hesitant at first, and I know I’ve heard the same thing from many readers about Linger... they just don’t know if they’re going to enjoy that role reversal. But Joey Hill paints such an intensely beautiful, emotional connection between Lauren and Josh in this book that at the end that I absolutely feel in love with them both. And I want to say that by the end I didn’t care WHO was in charge, so long as they were together... but the characters were drawn in such a way that their dominance and submission was integral to who they were.

[And we're submitting to the gloriousness of this list...]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 8:19am

Throwback Thursday: Do You Recall Your First TSTL Heroine?

“How could she DO that?” Maybe you've asked that of a heroine from one (or more) of the romance novels you've read. She's put herself deliberately in danger, she hasn't spoken up when she should have, she's misunderstood something that was obvious to everyone else; if you've ever encountered one of these heroines, you have met a heroine who's Too Stupid to Live (TSTL, in shorthand romance terms).

Today for Throwback Thursday we'll ask—when's the first time you encountered a TSTL Heroine? 

Wed
Sep 10 2014 4:30pm

Hit the Road: Top 10 Motorcycle Club Heroes

Jax and Tara in Sons of Anarchy

Source: fanpop.com

As of last night,Sons of Anarchy is back on our TV screens. Jax Teller is the epitome of the MC hero: tough as nails attitude, loyal, caring and hoooooottttt. MC books have become quite the rage and it seems this type of hero won’t be fading away any time soon.

What makes a great MC hero? Tough love, alphatastic attitude, a deep loyalty for their brothers, and they’re incredibly sexy!

Here’s a list of my top gritty, rough and tumble, love to hate ‘em MC heroes (in no particular order):

[Let's get this show on the road...]

Wed
Sep 10 2014 2:00pm

First Look: Maggie Robinson’s The Unsuitable Secretary (September 16, 2014)

The Unsuitable Secretary by Maggie RobinsonMaggie Robinson
The Unsuitable Secretary
Penguin / September 16, 2014 / $4.99 digital

Harriet Benson takes her work at the Evensong Agency seriously, but lately, between convalescing from an illness and tending to her father and two young brothers, she’s had to shorten her hours. So when a promising position opens up for part time work, she immediately accepts, despite the fact that her new boss is scandalously indecent—and dangerously appealing.

Though his reputation paints him as a scoundrel, Sir Thomas Featherstone is more proper than anyone would guess. But Harriet’s wit and luscious curves are driving him to distraction. She’s the perfect woman to fill his office requirements, and other desperate needs he’s been ignoring…

Harriet has always held firm to the rule that a secretary must never fall in love with her employer. Only Thomas is determined to win her affections—and he’s willing to risk any cost to make her his…

The Unsuitable Secretary features two of romance readers' favorite tropes: the Virgin Hero and the Plus-size Heroine.

[Ooh! Not unsuitable at all!]

Wed
Sep 10 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Love on the Boardwalk: Exclusive Excerpt

Christi Barth

Atlantic City is the perfect place for detective Bradley Hudson to nurse his broken heart. A week of beer and strippers is sure to erase his former fiancée from his memory for good. What he didn’t count on was running into a sassy redhead from his past. Maybe a rebound romp is an even better plan…

Trina Trimble, private eye in training, is thrilled to be reunited with the hottie she almost hooked up with last summer. She’s undercover on her first solo case, but there’s always time to lock lips with a sexy cop. Besides, a fun fling with Brad doesn’t have to last beyond his week in town.

Brad and Trina are supposed to be just flirting, not forging a new forever. Brad’s still healing, and although Trina changes careers the way other women change shoes, she has finally found her calling in her new life of disguises and stakeouts. But when an irresistible job offer threatens to lure her away, Brad will need to decide to let her go or bet it all on love and risk his heart again.

Get a sneak peek at Christi Barth's Love on the Boardwalk (available September 22, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“How about we not talk about the past anymore? I’m here to forget it, remember?”

Good enough. Trina’s heart lurched into a skip. Or maybe that was all the blood pounding straight to her girly parts in anticipation. She curled her hand around his forearm. His thick, hard forearm. “I thought that if you were still at least a tiny bit sad, you might need cheering up. A distraction. Something to make you be glad in the moment. The now.”

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Love on the Boardwalk...]

Wed
Sep 10 2014 9:30am

Hot Guys and Cool Dogs Have a Lot in Common

Irresistible Force by D.D. AyresToday we're pleased to welcome author D.D. Ayres to Heroes and Heartbreakers. D.D.'s new release, Irresistible Force, offers not only a hero and heroine, but a canine best friend to both of them. D.D. is here to talk about our four-legged besties and what makes them similar to some of our favorite two-legged heroes. Thanks, D.D.!

The saying is a dog is a man’s best friend.

However, we female dog owners know that a dog can also be a woman’s bestest friend. Writing the K-9 Rescue Series about hunky dedicated guys in uniform and their smart hard-charging K-9 partners has made me realize these Alpha male partnerships share a lot of traits desirable in romantic human relationships. I’m thinking that looking for these canine traits in a guy might very well help a woman find a sexy, reliable, adoring male of her own.

Desirable Traits in a Dog and A Romance Hero:

[Fetch...let's get this ball rolling!]

Wed
Sep 10 2014 8:20am

When Good Guys Go Bad

We've covered many instances of when bad guys turn good (the villain in one story who becomes the hero of the next), but what about the other way around?

Jax Teller of Sons of Anarchy started out his journey wanting to do the right thing, but events conspired against him, and now he's not. Charlie Hunnam, who plays Jax says in an interview with TV Guide, “Jax was always so tortured by the pull of who he thought he should be. There's something really liberating about being rid of the sense of having to be a good guy. This season is about Jax deciding... if he's got no reason to leave [the outlaw world], he may as well be what this world demands you be.”

Are there examples in romance where the good guy goes bad? 

Tue
Sep 9 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon’s Mending Him (September 9, 2014)

Mending Him by Bonnie Dee and Summer DevonBonnie Dee and Summer Devon
Mending Him
Samhain / September 9, 2014 / $5.50 digital

As his world collapses, love opens his heart.

Robbie Grayson has always felt like a bit of an outsider in the Chester family, though he’s related by blood. An orphan taken in at a young age, he is further set apart by a limp inflicted by a childhood illness.

Nevertheless, he’s content enough with his quiet country life—until a mercurial wastrel named Charles Worthington explodes into it. And Robbie is assigned to play nursemaid to an invalid with an attitude.

Injured in a carriage accident, Charles arrives at the Chester estate drunk as a lord and with empty pockets. Despair consumes him as his broken body slowly heals, but the kindness of quiet, thoughtful Robbie saves him from drowning in self-pity.

Over chess matches and conversation, these polar opposites challenge each other to break out of old patterns, until desire burns through the thin veneer of pure friendship. Yet their passion could destroy the family bonds they value so highly. Especially when someone catches wind of their relationship—and threatens blackmail.

The immense angst of m/m historical romance is hard to beat.  Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon have co-written several of these m/m historical romances, the latest of which is Mending HimMending Him follows two characters, one who lives with disability and one who is recovering from an injury, and throws them together in a place where their attraction is far too electric to ignore.   

[Sparks fly!]

Tue
Sep 9 2014 2:00pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Opal Carew and Christina Lee!

Today we've got two covers to show you—both contemporaries featuring sexy men who know, and like, being in charge, and the women who won't let their vulnerability get in the way of taking what they want. Opal Carew's Riding Steele has danger, excitement, and the leader of a motorcycle club, while Christina Lee's Two of Hearts is all about second chances with a first love.

[Learn more about the books and see the full covers...]

Tue
Sep 9 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Hope Burns: Exclusive Excerpt

Jaci Burton

Hope Burns by Jaci Burton

Molly Burnett dreads returning to her hometown of Hope for her sister’s wedding, especially knowing she’ll have to endure a weekend with the one man she never wants to see again. It’s only a couple of days, so Molly will try to forget her painful past with high school sweetheart Carter Richards. Because despite the bitter memories, she still can’t forget what they once meant to each other.
 
But when Molly is forced to extend her stay, Carter sees this as his second chance to do things right, to start over again with the only woman he’s ever loved. This time, he isn’t going to let Molly run. Together they’re going to confront the past and put it behind them, and hope for a future as bright as the flame that still burns hot between them.

Get a sneak peek at Jaci Burton's Hope Burns (available September 9, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

As Molly had suspected, the festival closed up at ten p.m., and it was ten thirty by the time they got there.

“Not a problem,” Carter said. “I checked my phone and there are some late-night venues continuing on at some of the clubs. We’ll go to one of those, grab something to eat, and listen to some music.”

“Providing we can get in. Some of those events are sold out in advance.”

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

Tue
Sep 9 2014 11:00am

First Look: Nalini Singh’s Rock Addiction (September 9, 2014)

Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh
Rock Addiction
TKA Distribution / September 9, 2014 / $3.99

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media's harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that's all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he'll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn't only her body that's become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

Rock Addiction is Nalini Singh’s first foray into the self-publishing sphere, but this is not her first contemporary. Her early Harlequin contemporaries addressed some of the same themes in Rock Addiction, such as implied class differences and being in the spotlight versus wanting to hide from it.. Similar to her earlier Harlequin titles, the sexual experience is on a whole different plane with the experienced rock star and the everyday woman. Fox knows what he wants and is ready for it—his pursuit of Molly is akin to what a reader might see in the Psy-Changeling series when a pair has a mating bond. Fox is most definitely the pursuer. Molly is definitely the pursued.

[The hunter gets captured by the game?]

Tue
Sep 9 2014 9:30am

Heroines to Die for from Armstrong, Howard, Robb and More!

Exit Strategy by Kelley ArmstrongFraming a love story around characters with a dark past is a challenge. The angst the character deals with internally often causes the story to take a morose twist that makes the believability of a romance impossible. The actions the character takes in the present to help them wrestle with their demons can do the same. Yet when the author can make us believe in the character and their journey enough the love story shines even brighter against this black background.

Heroines who kill have gone down the darkest path. Whether they kill to defend themselves, defend others, or just as a means of survival, the road they travel is one filled with ghosts. Not only must the author convince us that our hero or heroine can find love in spite of the horrors of their past, they also have to create a sympathetic character who can engage the reader enough to have them set aside whatever inhibitions the reader would normally feel towards someone with that behavior.

While dark pasts tend to be distributed evenly between heroes and heroines, violent reactions to such pasts tend to be far more the purview of men than women. Most kick ass heroines tend to draw the line at killing their opponent. Which ones do seek out violence as a way to lay their demons to rest? Which ladies are willing to go as far as pulling the trigger?

Nadia Stafford from Kelley Armstrong’s Exit Strategy, Made to Be Broken, and Wild Justice is the first who comes to mind. Nadia’s life took a turn for the macabre when she went from being a cop to being a gun for hire.

[That's quite a change...]

Tue
Sep 9 2014 8:03am

Who’s the Most Important Baby in Romance?

News of the royal pregnancy broke yesterday, and naturally we thought about babies in romance novels. Often they are mentioned as part of the Happily Ever After epilogue, and sometimes they are a more crucial part of the plot, whether they are the Secret Baby or the hero or heroine has to suddenly take care of a baby, requiring assistance that leads to romance.

 

 

So we want to ask you—who's the most important baby in romance?