<i>Midnight Ride</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Midnight Ride: Exclusive Excerpt Cat Johnson "The widow realizes that some rules, like broncos, are meant to be broken…" Jay Crownover's Marked Men Series Jay Crownover's Marked Men Series Jay Crownover Get caught up in the Marked Men series with a note from the author, excerpt, and more! <i>The Shattered Court</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Shattered Court: Exclusive Excerpt M.J. Scott "She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth..." <i>Broken Juliet</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Broken Juliet: Exclusive Excerpt Leisa Rayven "He touches my hand, then traces down my wrist and over my forearm."
From The Blog
April 20, 2015
Introducing Gena Showalter's The Original Heartbreakers
Tiffany Tyer
April 18, 2015
20 Years of Anne Rice’s Beauty Series
Jane Kriel
April 17, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Classical Musicians
Jennifer Proffitt
April 17, 2015
Scandal 4x19 Heart-to-Heart
Nicole Leapheart
April 16, 2015
Something for Every Romance Reader in Dragon Age
Elizabeth Vail
Thu
Apr 16 2015 5:00pm

Got the Magic in Me: Magical Girls Have It Tough from Sailor Moon, Laurenston, and More!

Sailor Moon and Luna from Sailor Moon
Source: sailorscoutsforever.tumblr.com

Re-watching clips of Sailor Moon, I realized that being a magical girl/heroine is pretty difficult. For those not familiar with the Sailor Moon storyline, basically the heroine is a reincarnated princess from a kingdom destroyed by evil and in her second life she must battle those same evil forces while gaining a second chance at true love.

Looking at romance novels, it’s pretty clear that heroines with magic are normally destined for a rough time. Paralleling the Sailor Moon case, Romina Russell’s young adult romantic adventure Zodiac places the fate of an entire planet on the shoulders of young Cancerian, Rho. After a tragedy strikes her home world, Rho is literally the chosen one to lead her planet. Not only does she have to convince people of the big bad threat that could destroy the Zodiac Houses, but she also has to make people trust her despite her age. As the first part of a trilogy, readers see how Rho struggles not only with her leadership role but also with a not-so-classic love triangle, add in the fact that this features astrology and you get a fun, but perilous journey of a young girl coming into her own.

[Learning lady stuff and magic stuff...]

Thu
Apr 16 2015 4:15pm

Romance News Roundup: Jo Goodman Deal & Han Solo in New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser!

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.

My Steadfast Heart by Jo Goodman—Deal Alert #1: Jo Goodman's My Steadfast Heart is currently free in e-book at e-tailers such as iBookstoreBarnes & Noble, and Amazon.* Goodman's A Place Called Home earned a spot in our Delicious Despair collection, if that helps.

—Deal Alert #2: Jennifer Estep's Touch of Frost and various other books Mythos Academy series are on sale in e-book at e-tailers including Barnes & NobleAmazon, and iBookstore.* Here's our First Look review on Touch of Frost.

—We know you know it, Han Solo, but we still love you! A new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser is here to wreck our productivity:

[+David Duchovny & Ryan Gosling news...]

Thu
Apr 16 2015 1:15pm

Love in the Age of Dragons: Something for Every Romance Reader in Dragon Age

Alistair in Dragon AgeOne of the reasons I love romance is because it can find a place in any story, in pretty much any storytelling medium. Movies, television shows, novels—and, yes, video games.

Over the years, BioWare games have earned a reputation not only for exhaustingly good worldbuilding, storytelling, and dialogue, but also for entertaining romantic storylines. When I played the Dragon Age games for the first time, not only was I able to customize my own character and determine the stories’ endings with my decisions, but I could also pursue a romance with a selection of love interest characters from my party. Pursuing each love interest, thanks to their differing personalities and backgrounds, results in a different type of romantic story each time—story types that avid romance readers like us can readily recognize. As it turns out, there’s a romance novel for everyone hiding in every Dragon Age game.

For the Fan of the Virginal Beta Male

Romancing Alistair from Dragon Age: Origins allows you to seduce the cloistered, righteous knight and help him adjust to the ramifications of his mysterious parentage. Affectionate, loyal, and happily willing to let the lady take charge, Alistair helps your character stay on the straight and narrow while building his own confidence. Play your cards right, and you just might be the first lady to charge his battlements. He’ll also give you flowers!

[Find your perfect match or collect all 6!...]

Thu
Apr 16 2015 11:15am

Arrow 3x19 Olicity Heart-to-Heart: Love and Sacrifice

Show/Episode: Arrow Season 3, Episode 19, “Broken Arrow.”
Ship: Oliver/Felicity (Olicity)

Arrow 3x19 Captain's LogNote: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Arrow, including last night's Season 3, Episode 19, “Broken Arrow.”

We start with the arrival of a new baddie in town…a metahuman who can fry people with his eyes. Meanwhile, Roy is arrested and Oliver is released, thanks to Laurel’s quick legal maneuvering. Things are a bit awkward between Ray and Felicity. He’s recovered from his injuries but not from her slight towards his affections. He tells her not to make a big deal out of it. Poor Ray.   

Over at the police station, Oliver visits Roy in the interview room. He’s already dressed in prison orange. Roy swears to Oliver that this is what he needs to do, that this is the first time he’s felt okay since he learned he killed the cop last year. He stands firm that the city needs the Arrow more than it needs Arsenal. Its an emotional moment for the two and the bro-ship is strong here.

[The bro-ship is strong in this one...]

Thu
Apr 16 2015 9:30am

First Look: Jeannie Lin’s A Dance with Danger (April 21, 2015)

A Dance with Danger by Jeannie LinJeannie Lin

A Dance With Danger (Rebels and Lovers #2)

Harlequin Historical / April 21, 2015 / $6.50 print & $5.99 digital

After a failed assassination attempt on a corrupt general, Bao Yang is a wanted man. Taking refuge with an ally, Yang accidentally compromises the man's daughter when they're discovered alone. To save her honor, he must marry the beautiful Jin-mei immediately!

In Yang's arms, Jin-mei feels alive for the first time. She's determined not to lose him, even if it means joining his perilous mission... But when she realizes just how destructive Yang's path could be, can she convince him that their life together could be so much sweeter than revenge?

Jeannie Lin returns to the world of her 2013 novel The Sword Dancer, as well as Tang Dynasty China, as a sheltered but bold magistrate's daughter and a rebel leader unite in marriage and go toe-to-toe in A Dance With Danger.    

Fans will remember outlaw Bao Yang, sword dancer Li Feng's mysterious and driven ex-lover. Here, he is on the run, seeking out allies wherever he can, and still gunning for revenge on General Wang. A chance encounter with Magistrate Tan's daughter, Jin-mei, kicks off a passionate tale of staying the course vs. letting love win—and Lin delivers romance, poetic language, and the feel of historical China at every turn.

[History...love...a rich setting? What more can we want!?]

Thu
Apr 16 2015 8:16am

Throwback Thursday: Which Jane Austen Character Are You?

Emma Thompson in Sense and SensibilityOn this day in H&H History, Myretta Robens discussed which Jane Austen character are you? Sure you've taken the quizzes, but this post came with handy-dandy modern recommendations. Are you a fan of Sense and Sensibility's Elinor Dashwood, then believe it or not, you might find some similarities to Jessica from Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels.

What Jane Austen character do you relate to the most? What was your first Austen book?

Wed
Apr 15 2015 5:00pm

Protective, Possessive, and Passionate: The Alpha Heroes of J. Lynn’s Wait for You Series

Wait for You by J. Lynn

J. Lynn aka Jennifer L. Armentrout’s New Adult series Wait for You is a witty, sexy look into a group of friends that are more like family. Since the first, Wait for You to Fall with Me I’ve devoured each of these books. Each of the main characters carry complexities that drive their stories to new levels. As we enter book 4 of the series, Fall with Me, J. Lynn/Jennifer Armentrout further emphasizes what makes her writing so fun, witty and downright sexy.  She gives unique twists to what could be tired stories of the good girl meets bad boy.

She isn’t afraid to GO THERE, some serious issues are addressed with sensitivity and no judgment. These are journeys that are taken with ups and downs and everything in between. It pulls at your heartstrings. There are some hard life lessons that are learned with serious consequences like in Be with Me when Tess figures out she could no longer dance and saw her entire future change or in Wait for Me when Avery confronts her parents after radio silence from them. But among all the craziness what stands out is the witty banter and her Alpha Male heroes.

Bring on the Alpha! I’m a huge fan of them and they roam a plenty in the series. Cam, Jase, Jax, and Reece exponentially raise the stakes on alpha hotness. They made me laugh and swoon, I even experienced some insane jealousy of their heroines. Their hilarious zingers and sometimes cheesiness really captures your attention and doesn’t let you go.

[We like a bit of cheese with our alphas...]

Wed
Apr 15 2015 3:35pm

Romance News Roundup: Jay Crownover Deals & Sexy Avengers 2?

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.

Rowdy by Jay Crownover—Deal Alert: A few of Jay Crownover's Marked Men novels—including Rome, Rowdy, and Nash—are currently marked down in e-book to between $.99 and $1.99 at e-tailers such as AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iTunes. Look for a First in the Series post this Sunday to introduce you to the Marked Men series if you're new to the books! Until then, you can find all our Jay Crownover coverage here.

H&H blogger Kwana Minatee-Jackson (writing as K.M. Jackson) has announced a new book to be published with Kensington imprint Dafina called Insert Groom Here, about a “Manhattanite dumped on-air [who] attempts to salvage her public persona by participating in the network's new show to find a replacement groom for her original wedding date.”

Orange Is the New Black has been renewed for Season 4 by Netflix!

—Apologies to Black Widow/Halkeye fans, but Attention, Black Widow...Hulk shippers? Joss Whedon obviously doesn't know how a shipper's brain works if, only after the scene was rendered, did he realized how sexy the Hulk/Black Widow scene could be construed in a new Avengers 2: Age of Ultron clip. Now H&H's Heather is in fits over this potential new couple, but Whedon says he can see the appeal of both the instinct-driven Hulk and the intellectual Bruce Banner to the team's femme fatale. What are your thoughts? Do you think this is just a bait-and-switch for the real couple of Avengers 2, or do think this is Whedon's OTP? See Joss Whedon's full “instant commentary” of the scene that certainly got us talking.

Wed
Apr 15 2015 3:00pm

Showered with Choices: Male/Male Best Bets for April 2015

Carry the Ocean by Heidi CullinanPart of what I love about romance novels are the many different reading desires they can satisfy. The April m/m possibilities offer something for most moods, whether you're looking for realistic explorations of genuine human concerns, or just for certain tropes that that make your insides go perk when you see them in a blurb.  

Living with Disability
Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan

Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.

But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.

As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.

Warning: Contains characters obsessed with trains and counting, positive representations of autism and mental illness, a very dark moment, and Elwood Blues.

Autistic characters are positively trendy in romance these days, but kudos to Cullinan for writing one without glamorizing or downplaying it as a disability, or making it pathetic. This New Adult romance is also unusual in featuring two disabled heroes, who both need to learn how how to balance their own needs with maintaining the relationship. It's a very good everyday kind of story, but never pedestrian.

[It's raining men...]

Wed
Apr 15 2015 12:00pm

My Mad Fat Diary: The Best First Love Story You Will Ever Watch

Rae and Finn in My Mad Fat DiaryThere are few romantic tropes as intoxicating as the first love trope, and I have never encountered a book, movie, or television show with a better first love story than My Mad Fat Diary. Based on the real diaries of author Rae Earl, My Mad Fat Diary (MMFD) is a British series about Rae, a teenager in the mid-1990s who is trying desperately to fit her definition of normal. Rae struggles with abandonment, food, and mental health issues that make it hard for her to see how awesome she is. She is awesome, though. Rae is one of us. She is quick to confess that she is mad for boys and prone to romance novel worthy daydreams. All of her daydreaming aside, Rae believes deep down that she does not deserve to be loved because she isn't thin or petite. One guy sees through all of Rae's defenses, though, and that one guy's name is Finn Nelson.

Finn is the guy every girl (and many guys) wished they had met in high school. He is cool, laconic and absolutely gorgeous. He is, as Rae puts it, “the fittest guy at college.” The kid will melt your heart with his puppy dog eyes and quiet devotion to Rae. Everyone wants him, but he only has eyes for her, a fact that Rae cannot understand. In one memorable scene, Rae confronts Finn about why he fancies her, and his response is perfect: “You don't tell me who I can and can't fancy, all right! That's mine. That belongs to me! No one else, no one, not even you!”

[You can't not love Finn, basically...]

Wed
Apr 15 2015 8:32am

Tax Day Poll: How Do You Reward Yourself?

Death, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses by Diane KellyToday, April 15, is Tax Day here in the U.S., the due date for filing individual tax returns with the government, which is never fun and oftentimes very stressful.

Obviously, we all deserve to reward ourselves for making it through another tax day. So, how will you treat yourself?

Is there a book you've been dying to buy or start reading? Are you going to make any home improvements with your tax return? Go out to a nice dinner?

At the very least, be sure to pat yourself on the back and enjoy the rest of your day!

Wed
Apr 15 2015 7:00am
Excerpt

Broken Juliet: Exclusive Excerpt

Leisa Rayven

Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven

Some loves never let you go…

Cassie swore she'd never forgive Ethan for breaking her heart when they were in acting school years ago. He was her one great love, and when he refused to love her back, a part of her died forever…or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he's determined to win her back. Finally he's able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago…but can she believe him? Has he really changed, and what makes this time different from all his other broken promises?

The answer lies somewhere in the past, and now the truth will come to light. Will Cassie rediscover what it's like to be trusting and open again—the way she was before Ethan? Or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?

Get a sneak peek at Leisa Rayven's Broken Juliet (available April 28, 2015)—the sequel to Bad Romeo—with an exclusive excerpt from Chapters 5 & 6.

FIVE
PERFECT DISGUISE

Six Years Earlier
Westchester, New York
The Grove

For two weeks, Ethan is everything I’d ever hoped for. He’s affection- ate and attentive, and we have standing dates on Friday and Saturday nights. He’s even bought me flowers. Twice.

I can’t believe the change.

Neither can anyone in our group of friends.

[Please log in or register to read the full excerpt...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 4:45pm

Spooked: Ghosts, Poltergeists, and the Afterlife from Movies, TV...and Real Life?

Today we're thrilled to welcome Maggie Mae Gallagher to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Maggie Mae's Remember Me, book 1 in her Mystic Series, just came out on April 7, and features a psychic who is working with the police to find a missing child. Maggie Mae is here today to talk about all things supernatural, and especially ghosts! It may not be Halloween, but get prepared for things to get spooky! Thanks, Maggie Mae!

As a paranormal author, I write about many different types of supernatural events. One of the first things I do is research. I love research, getting the chance to head down the proverbial rabbit hole and seeing how deep into the subject matter I can venture into the various mediums that are at play in a novel or that I am wanting to include. Some of my research has led me down some interesting pathways.

Since I was exploring different beliefs about the soul, I wanted to share with you some of the interesting factoids I discovered. There is a large percentage of the world’s population who believe in an afterlife, that is, that the life of the soul continues in some form after the physical body has died. This ideology is found in most of the major religions, and even some science has begun waffling on their staunch anti-afterlife position.

[So speaking to the dead could just be a matter of a really long distance phone call?]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 3:22pm

Romance News Roundup: The Avengers Family Feud, RT Reviewers’ Choice Award Winners, 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.

—Romantic Times Book Reviews has announced its 2014 Reviewers' Choice and Career Achievement Winners! Honorees include Brenda Novak, Cecilia Tan, Candace Camp, Patricia Briggs, Lorraine Heath, Elizabeth Boyle, Eloisa James, Elizabeth Hoyt, Diana Gabaldon, Courtney Milan, Jill Shalvis, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Ilona Andrews, Christina Dodd, Cara McKenna, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Ginger Jamison, and more! See the entire list of winners here. Congratulations to all and thank you for such terrific reading!

—The Avengers played “Family Feud” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night and it was pretty adorable.

[Plus, deals and Gillian Anderson's book...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 2:15pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveal from Kyra Davis!

Kyra Davis introduced us to a world of clandestine affairs with Just One Night, and now we're thrilled to reveal two covers, one for an e-original that picks up right after the events in Just One Night, and another that is the new paperback cover for Just One Lie, which introduces us to Kasie's wild sister!

[Learn more about the books and see what's next...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Fling to a Thing: Beautiful Series by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren

 Beautiful Secret by Christina LaurenToday we're thrilled to have Christina Lauren on the site to introduce you to the The Beautiful Series. The latest book in the Beautiful Series, Beautiful Secret, comes out today, and continues the series featuring high-powered men and the women who put up with love them! Christina and Lauren (fun fact: yes, it's two separate people) are here today to talk about the series that started as just a standalone project. Thanks, Christina and  Lauren!

When we signed a two-book contract with Simon & Schuster's Gallery in 2012, we wondered what in the world we should do to follow up Beautiful Bastard.  Writing Chloe and Bennett is a bit like watching cartoon characters take a swing at each other, and quite simply they’re a ton of fun to write. But even though we’re both fans of series that follow a specific couple’s journey over the span of several novels, we weren’t sure that was the right road for these two hot-headed lovers. As far as we were concerned, their story had come to a natural conclusion, and there wasn’t enough material for another full-length novel.

But we weren’t ready to let them go completely, either. So, we reasoned, what if Bennett had a friend—in this case that friend was Max Stella in Beautiful Stranger—and we got to tell a new story, while still giving readers a window into what was happening with our Beautiful Bastard.  

[So Beautiful...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 10:45am

Jane the Virgin 1x18 Heart-to-Heart: Doubting Jane

Jane and Rafael in Jane the Virgin 1x18Show/Episode: Jane the Virgin Season 1, Episode 18, “Chapter Eighteen”
Ship: Jane/Rafael

Jane the Virgin 1x18 Captain's LogWe’ve seen Jane’s doubts about Rafael surface in the last few episodes and this one is no different until Alba tells Jane that you can poke holes in anything but faith is the removal of doubt. Jane must have faith in Rafael. By the end of “Chapter Eighteen,” Jane has decided not to let her head get in the way of her heart…but after a revealing encounter with his long-lost mother, Rafael is now the one with doubts.

Man, I have to tell you, even I’m getting sick of hearing Rafael’s phone going off. He keeps using the hotel as an excuse for his many absences during important parent bonding moments. Like childbirth class. Rafael won’t turn his phone off for even one hour and Jane is left to do the supported squat with a wall instead of a hunky hotelier.

Rafael’s been working the phones to get to the city commissioner and plead his case for the reinstatement of the Marbella’s liquor license. Things are looking good, until the city commissioner is in the lounge of the hotel while Jane is working and behaves incredibly rudely. Jane tells her off. Then the city commissioner tells off Rafael. No liquor license.

[Uh oh...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 9:30am

First Look: Charlotte Stein’s Taken (April 14, 2015)

Taken by Charlotte SteinCharlotte Stein
Taken (Under the Skin #3
Avon Impulse / April 14, 2015 (digital); May 12, 2015 (print) / $3.99 print, $2.99 digital

It was just a prank I didn't want to be a part of. I never meant to hurt anyone, least of all Johann Weir. You wouldn't know that he sells literature for a living. He has these wild eyes—eyes that light something up in me—and he must be twice as big as I am, with strong, warm hands. Hands I try not to imagine everywhere.

He scares me. And thrills me.

But now the deed is done, and I have to face the consequences. He says he just wants to hold me here until the police come, but it's been hours and I'm still here.

Chained to a pipe in his back room like a prisoner.

The only person I have to talk to is Johann, and I tell him dark, shameful secrets—secrets that involve the metal around my wrist and him standing over me. But I can't stop. I need him to know everything. I need him.

Johann has his own secrets—ones he wants to tell me too. And more than anything, I want to listen. And maybe, before he sends me away, he'll punish me.

Just a little.

Just enough.

Charlotte Stein is an author with a certain set of skills (Liam Nesson joke made!) in terms of writing what I call the most awkward meet-cutes in the genre. Taken is no exception, as it begins with a lovely bit of larceny that Rosie, the main character, kind of stupidly agrees to. After getting caught because that’s probably what would happen to most of us, she ends up handcuffed in the basement/pseudo-bedroom of one possibly werewolf/crazy Johann, the hero and a quirky bookseller.

[He could be a killer...or a romance hero!...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 8:07am

What Fictional Servant Would You Want on Your Staff?

You're queen for a day! Romances (historical romances, in particular) are littered with memorable servants—from side characters like Celeste Bradley's Button, who was more confidante and friend, to leading ladies like Maggie Robinson's Harriet Benson, who, of course, ends up as the heroine of The Unsuitable Secretary. What fictional servants would you want on your staff? What ones have stood out?

Hat tip to blogger Janet Webb for the idea!

Mon
Apr 13 2015 5:00pm

First Look: Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Secret (April 14, 2015)

Beautiful Secret by Christina LaurenChristina Lauren
Beautiful Secret (Beautiful Bastard #4)
Gallery / April 14, 2015 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

AN UPTIGHT BRITISH EXECUTIVE. AN ADVENTUROUS AMERICAN NEWBIE. A SEXY INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL IN THE MAKING.

New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Christina Lauren’s Beautiful and Wild Seasons series hook up in Beautiful Secret for an erotic intercontinental romp that celebrates the best of both worlds!

When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task. The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice.

Not one for letting loose and breaking rules, recently divorced Niall would describe himself as hopeless when it comes to women. But even he knows outgoing California-girl Ruby is a breath of fresh air. Once she makes it her mission to help the sexy Brit loosen his tie, there’s no turning back. Thousands of miles from London, it’s easy for the lovers to play pretend. But when the trip is over, will the relationship they’ve built up fall down?

It’s the Christina Lauren plot we love best: boss and intern. Where else do we get phrases like “topography of his crotch” and “business porn” in our romance? But in Beautiful Secret, this time Ruby has a huge crush on her very Mr. Darcy-like office exec, Niall Stella. He’s perfectly British, proper and closed-off, and she’s a younger, freer Cali girl with every bit as much to teach him as he can give her. At first it’s a comedy of errors - her secret crush, his discovery - but soon enough it has the potential to be a fantasy of epic proportions when Ruby’s sequestered with Niall for a month on a work trip in NYC.

[This author does love to push people together...]