Now Win This!: <i>Fifty Shades</i> Poster Now Win This!: Fifty Shades Poster Team H & H You've seen the poster, now here's a chance to have your own! <i>Marked</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Marked: Exclusive Excerpt Rebecca Zanetti "Heat pooled at the apex of her legs, stunning her with need..." Quiz: Who Is Your Ideal Romance Hero? Quiz: Who Is Your Ideal Romance Hero? Team H & H Forget cocoa and eggnog, we want a hero for Christmas! Read & Win: Leisa Rayven’s <i>Bad Romeo</i>! Read & Win: Leisa Rayven’s Bad Romeo! Leisa Rayven "All I can think is that I want those fingers touching me in intimate places."
From The Blog
December 17, 2014
Holiday Romance Recs, Part 3
December 12, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Unusual Historical Heroes
Team H & H
December 12, 2014
Holiday Romance Recommendations, Part 2
Jennifer Proffitt and PhoebeChase
December 11, 2014
The Last Hour of Gann Recommendations
Team H & H
December 10, 2014
5 Historical Romance Audiobooks to Try
Lucy Hargrave
Dec 14 2014 3:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (JohnLock)

I love Sherlock Holmes. I will take him in every iteration—BBC's modernization with Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr. in a historical action version, and Johnny Lee Miller in Elementary, or The Great Moust Detective. What I have loved even more is tracking the allusions to a relationship that is slightly more domestic and less platonic between Holmes and his faithful friend, John Watson.

In canon, there are hints that this domestic duo, were a little bit more than just roommates and partners in in life maybe?

BBC's Sherlock has been a particular favorite of mine—I'm a big Doctor Who fan and I feel Stephen Moffat, the writer of both, brings intelligence and hijinx to both. In Sherlock, the hints of a relationship are a lot more overt than in more historical adaptations. Sherlock and Watson, no matter what iteration we find them in, do tend to act more like an old married couple than two male roommates/crime fighters.

So this week's Shipping Sunday is going to focus on that tension between these two and all the times that Sherlock and Watson acted or were mistaken for a couple. #SecretlyMarried anyone?

Dec 14 2014 1:00pm

Angel in Armani: Exclusive Excerpt

Melanie Scott

Angel in Armani by Melanie Scott


Sara Charles is striking out on her own. With her dad out of commission, Charles Air has only one helicopter left—and only Sara to fly charters. With the family business in jeopardy, Sara needs all the clients she can get and the newest one is New York Saints team surgeon, Lucas Angelo. When an unexpected flirtation escalates into a night of pure blind passion, Sara is in agony over what she believes was extremely poor judgment on her part. She wants nothing more than to avoid Lucas. And keep her business her business. But she needs him—in more ways than one.


But there is a catch: Lucas also needs Sara. Spring training is upon him, and his schedule is madness. So he asks Sara to be his personal pilot. It’s an offer she can’t refuse. She intends to keep him at arm’s length—especially when she discovers just what different lives they have. Little does Sara know that, for Lucas, the only thing more important than business is pleasure. He only plays to win. And he intends to hit it out of the park…

Get a sneak peek of Melanie Scott's Angel in Armani (available December 30, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2.

Chapter 1

It was like having a tiger in the back of the helicopter.

The knowledge of something big and dangerous and ruthless riding behind her. Something that could squish you like a bug and not blink a big golden eye.

Of course, the man behind her had blue eyes, not golden ones. Very blue.

So maybe a tiger wasn’t the right metaphor. Maybe—

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt from Angel in Armani...]

Dec 14 2014 11:00am

First Look: Annie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s This Shattered World (December 23, 2014)

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerAmie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
This Shattered World (Starbound #2)
Disney Hyperion / December 23, 2014 / $17.99 print, $9.99 digital

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. His sister died in the original uprising against the powerful corporate conglomerate that rules Avon with an iron fist. These corporations make their fortune by terraforming uninhabitable planets across the universe and recruiting colonists to make the planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage against the military occupying his home, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as his prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape base together, caught between two sides in a senseless war.

Johnse Hatfield and Roseanna McCoy. Romeo and Juliet. Tony and Maria from West Side Story. Rose and Jack from Titanic. Writers have adored the star-crossed lovers trope since, well, since we’ve been telling tales. Evidence of this motif goes back as far as A.D. 8, when Ovid’s Metamorphoses was published, including the fable of Pyramus and Thisbe, lovers forbidden to wed because of their parents’ rivalry. Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner revise this popular theme in their latest novel, the second book in their Starbound series.

[Oooh, let's get started then...]

Dec 13 2014 1:00pm

Surviving DrOutlander: Bridging the Gap of 20 Years

The following post includes spoilers for the Outlander series. Like big, honking ones. No, seriously. Proceed at your own risk.

I’ll admit, I’m reaching deep to get through the long, dark days between the end of Outlander S1 part one this October and the debut of part two on STARZ network April 4, 2015. I came this close to adding Jamie’s eye-sexxing as my mobile wallpaper talisman to make it through. Here at Heroes and Heartbreakers, we’re pushing through this six-month Droughtlander on a steady diet of nekkid JAMMF GIFs and banked episodes on our DVRs.

Why—WHY—must they torture us so?!

Looking ahead, this may be a small drop in the Long Wait Pond. It’s already been announced that Outlander the television series plans to film one season for each book in the Outlander saga. This means season two will be based on Dragonfly in Amber (DIA) and season three on Voyager. Anyone who has read these two books knows that Jamie and Claire are separated at the end of DIA in a pretty freaking definitive way. They remain apart for the first third of Voyager as they (unknowingly) wait 20 years on either side of a 200-year divide to be reunited.

So the question has to be asked: how will Outlander the series handle their 20-year separation?

[I have a few ideas...]

Dec 12 2014 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Unusual Historical Heroes from Vikings, Outlander, Marco Polo, and More!

Clive Standen in VikingsYou guys know we love a good unusual historical—we could have a duke any day, but a viking? Or a Highlander? What about a late-Victorian era detective, or a few gangsters from post-WWI England? Yeah, that's the stuff of dreams! While we offer you monthly books set in unusual venues with our Not-Your-Usual Historicals Shopping List, we decided to take it to the screen and present our favorite beefcake who portray men from all sorts of times and places—even if they aren't always hero material.

[It's like time travel without a TARDIS...]

Dec 12 2014 3:43pm

Romance News Roundup: Macomber and MacLean Deal Alerts, Outlander Jewelry, and More

It's Tea Time Afternoon Tea bannerWelcome to H&H's brand-new 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.

—Searching for your next holiday read? Heads-up that it looks like Debbie Macomber's The Christmas Basket is currently marked down to $1.99 at e-tailers such as iBooks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Google.* (Find out why blogger Janga loves Macomber's books here.)

—And in more deal news, Julianne MacLean's Pembroke Palace #4, Married by Midnight, is currently free at e-tailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (Get the scoop on Julianne MacLean, including guest posts from the author herself (!!) here at H&H.)

Outlander fans looking for a piece of the show to take home may be interested to learn that the series' official store is selling a replica of Claire's wedding ring, among other goodies. (For more Outlander content at H&H, including episode recaps and book discussions, visit our Outlander Collection.)

—The Insurgent (sequel to Divergent) movie trailer is here and previews some Four/Tris sexytimes:

—Chloe Neill's Lucky Break, a Chicagoland Vampire series novella, is $1.99 at e-tailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble (looks like this is the normal price, as it's a novella, but we figure it's of interest to Chicagoland fans.)

[More romance news this way...]

Dec 12 2014 1:30pm

25 Romances of Christmas: Holiday Romance Recommendations, Part 2

The Keepers: Christmas in Salem by Heather Graham, Deborah LeBlanc, Kathleen Pickering, and Beth CiottaWhile the holidays are creeping in, it might be just the time to start in on that list—the books on your To Be Read list, that is. Over the next few weeks Phoebe Chase and Jennifer Proffitt will be delivering a little something naughty and nice in the form of the 25 Christmas books you should be adding to your wish list. See what they recommended in Part 1.

The Keepers: Christmas in Salem by Heather Graham, Deborah LeBlanc, Kathleen Pickering, Beth Ciotta

Vampires, witches, elementals, and selkies co-mingling in Salem, Mass.? No, I don’t have the wrong holiday, this really is a Christmas romance. Total darkness has engulfed Salem as Christmas nears. Four authors spin connected stories centered around four cousins who are Keepers, humans charged with overseeing a particular supernatural community. They put their hearts on the line to save their beloved town from an encroaching evil that threatens Salem and beyond. I really loved the way this anthology connected all the stories with one central holiday plot and how each novella furthered the story, bringing us closer to the happily ever.

[We like getting closer to that HEA...]

Dec 12 2014 12:00pm

Blood Assassin: Exclusive Excerpt

Alexandra Ivy

Blood Assassin by Alexandra Ivy

They are the outcasts of humanity. Blessed with power. Cursed by fate. Driven by passion. The Sentinels have returned. . .

Out Of The Shadows

At six-foot-three and two-hundred-fifty pounds, Fane is a natural born guardian. A flawless mix of muscled perfection and steely precision, he has devoted years of his life to protecting a beautiful necromancer. But after she found love in the arms of another, Fane has been a warrior adrift. He swears allegiance only to the Sentinels. And no woman will ever rule his heart again. . .

Into The Fire

Not only a powerful psychic, Serra is that rare telepath who can connect to minds through objects. When the daughter of a high-blood businessman is kidnapped, Serra agrees to help. But when she stumbles onto a conspiracy involving secrets sects and ancient relics, her life is in mortal danger—and Fane is her only hope. Is the warrior willing to risk his body, his soul, and his heart, for Serra? Or will one last betrayal destroy them both?

Get a sneak peek of Alexandra Ivy's Blood Assassin (available December 30, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“True.”  Fane tried to dismiss the problem from his mind.  Soon enough he would be in the seclusion of the monastery and the dangers of the world would no longer be his concern.  Right?  “It sounds like you have it covered.  I’ll send you more warriors when they’ve completed their training.”

“Dammit, Fane...”  Wolfe bit off his words as the atmosphere in the gym abruptly changed.

Both men turned to discover what had happened.

Or rather...who...had happened.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt from Blood Assassin...]

Dec 12 2014 10:45am

Bones 10x10 Heart-to-Heart: Vintage Love

Booth and Bones in Bones 10x10Show/Episode: Bones 10x10, “The 200th in the 10th—Feels like the First Time”
Ship: Booth and Bones

**Note: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Bones, including last night's 200th Episode.**

Right off the bat, we're not in Kansas anymore, as a 1950s' style newsreel presents us with vintage versions of Emily Deschanel and David Boreanz celebrating their tenth movie together. What strange new world have we fallen into?

It's the 200th episode of Bones, a Hitchcockian minimovie with a midcentury flavor. Just go with it. We're talking total alternate universe here and the attention to detail is gorgeous. Booth is a jewel thief and Bones the cop hot on his tail, in more ways than one. Bones follows Booth to a posh mansion, where a dead body turns everything upside down. Bones gets called on the carpet by her boss, police chief and dad, Max. He wants her gun and badge, but she's adamant to prove herself as a good detective anyway. Her first stop? Waiting for oh so suave Booth in his bachelor abode. Oh the classy chemistry, so smooth, so restrained, but still smoldering. Bones knows of the perfect way to save her career and Booth's life; they can work together to find the real killer. The unlikely allies toast to their new partnership.

[We like partnerships...they lead to partnerships of a different variety...]

Dec 12 2014 9:30am

“Oy with the Poodles Already!” or Top 10 Reasons The Gilmore Girls Will ALWAYS Be Fabulous

What If by AJ Pine Today we're joined by author A.J. Pine, whose book What If is just out, and is the second in her If Only series. What If's heroine has issues with her memory, while the hero can't help but remember what his parents want him to do, even as he tries to forget what he wants. A.J. is here talking about one of her pop  culture references, the Gilmore Girls, and is listing just what made the show so fabulous. Thanks, A.J.!

**Spoiler Alert: This post may contain spoilers, squee-ing, fangirling, and swooning in response to all aired episodes of The Gilmore Girls.**

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a pop culture addict. It’s a part of who I am, and because of this, it’s a part of who my characters are too. Pop culture references I’ve made in books so far? Friends, Dead Poets Society, '90s Brit Pop songs, The Vampire Diaries, and in my NA romance What If,, I paralleled the love story with one from one of my favorite shows ever, Gilmore Girls. It’s always a risk infusing pop culture into a book because you want the relevance to be untouched by time. So in case you were worried that Gilmore Girls wouldn’t hold up against the years (I know…pshaw, right?), I’m here to ease your mind.

10. BOOKS.

We read the books because we love the books! Of course this has to be the first reason. Rory Gilmore will always be the best example of a true bookworm. She even brings a book to her first dance with Dean. Be still my book-loving heart! Throughout the series, Rory is seen reading 339 books! HERE you can see how many of Rory’s books you’ve read. Or even better—take the Rory Gilmore reading challenge! And then there’s Jess (more on him later), who stole Rory’s book TO MAKE NOTES IN THE MARGIN.

[That's our kind of man...]

Dec 12 2014 8:30am

“I Feel It In My Fingers": Happy Birthday, Bill Nighy (NSFW for Language)

Today is Bill Nighy's birthday, and since the holidays are soon approaching, we thought we'd share this clip from Love Actually, a movie many romance readers love (actually!). Because any excuse to show Nighy as Billy Mack works for us.

Happy Birthday, Bill!

Dec 11 2014 4:30pm

Top 10 Treasures from the Past from Howard, Brockway, and More!

Exposure by Susan AndersenIn Megan Frampton’s blog The Ten Romance Novels You Should Read (An Opinionated Opinion), Megan mentions Anne Stuart, Julia Quinn, J.D. Robb, E.L. James, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Laura Kinsale, J.R. Ward, Jennifer Cruise, Lisa Kleypas, and Loretta Chase. If you have been reading romance for a while, you’ve come across these names frequently in romance board discussions, as recommendations and on lists of top selling books.

Many of these authors have been writing books for a long time. Not to give away anyone’s age, but most of these authors published their first book in the 1980s. And the rest—except J.R. Ward and E.L. James, they’re the newcomers on the block—published their first book in the 1990s.

The eighties and nineties seemed to be the start of many popular authors’ careers, and the heyday of early romance— at least in terms of growth and some might say in originality. There were some great books published then – books that deserve to be remembered, most by authors still writing today. Here, in my opinionated opinion, are some wonderful treasures from the 80’s and 90’s that are just waiting to be discovered by today’s readers:

10. Exposure by Susan Andersen
Most readers know Susan Andersen as a romance author, but her first published book in 1993, Present Danger was romantic suspense. Exposure published in 1996 hit all the right buttons then and now.

[ALL the buttons!]

Dec 11 2014 3:43pm

Romance News Roundup: Golden Globes and Kisses

It's Tea Time Afternoon Tea bannerWelcome to H&H's brand-new 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.

—Golden Globe nominations were announced today. Among the surprise nods? Jane the Virgin for Best Comedy, and JtV star Gina Rodriguez for Best Actress in a Comedy! We're not saying, we're just saying...if you're not watching this show, you're missing out.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Miles Teller for "Kisses" by The New York Times MagazineThe New York Times Magazine has produced 9 videos featuring “this year's best actors pair[ed] up in a series of intimate encounters.” Basically, they're inviting us to be voyeurs and watch 9 hot kisses. Obviously, we are in! Which one's your favorite? (This lady's is the Gugu Mbatha-Raw/Miles Teller matchup.)

Dec 11 2014 2:45pm

Team H&H Ask Us (Almost) Anything: The Last Hour of Gann Recommendations

The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee SmithWe're opening up a brand-new feature where we give you the opportunity to ask us (almost) anything. Can't think of “that one book”? Looking for recommendations? Want to hear our thoughts on the latest OMG moment of a TV show? Whatever your question, we're here for you!

To submit a question, drop us a line here in the comments or via e-mail. We will publish your question along with our answer on the site, so if you're sending an e-mail ask, please let us know if it's OK to use your username or if you'd like to remain anonymous.

You asked...

Late last week, we had a commenter ask us for reading suggestions after reading a book that had everyone buzzing in 2013: R. Lee Smith's The Last Hour of Gann. They were looking for something with intricate worldbuilding coupled with a compelling love story.

H&H sez...

Since that book was published, we've seen some interesting trends in paranormal romance—mostly the resurfacing of fantasy romance and science fiction with romantic elements. With that in mind, here are our reading recommendations:

Add to Your TBR:

Posts About Sci-Fi and Fantasy Romance:

Agree or disagree with our picks? What books would you recommend to someone looking for something similar to Last Hour of Gann? Let us know in the comments!

Dec 11 2014 12:30pm

Top 5 Romantic Thriller Movie Heroes: Wolverine, Bond, and More!

Today we welcome author Susannah Sandlin to Heroes and Heartbreakers. The second in Susannah's Collectors series, Deadly, Calm and Cold, has all the elements of delicious romantic suspense: lost treasure, secrets, a ruthless secret agency, and two characters caught in the middle. Susannah is here to share her picks for the top romantic thriller movie heroes. Thanks, Susannah!

Face it, most of our romantic book boyfriends are action kinds of guys. Try telling Wrath or Zsadist of the Black Dagger Brotherhood they aren’t action heroes—but let me move out of the way first so I don’t get hurt. (And, granted, Phury’s kind of a wimp…don’t tell him I said that.)

Even our favorite gentrified historical romance heroes can aim a mean dueling pistol or horsewhip. The modern heroes? The ones who aren’t former paramilitary dudes might as well be.

“Thrillers” and “romance” don’t often go hand-in-hand in fiction; we usually turn to the big screen for that. When we want our hard-core action fix with a touch of romance, who do we turn to?

[Let's hear your choices...]

Dec 11 2014 11:05am

Arrow 3x09 Olicity Heart-to-Heart: All the Feels

Show/Episode: Arrow 3x09: The Climb
Ship(s): Olicity (Oliver x Felicity), mentions of Ray x Felicity

*Note: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Arrow including last night's Season 3, Episode 9, “The Climb.”*

Olicity log in Arrow 3x09True story: As my niece and I were preparing to watch the episode, my husband asked flippantly, “So, who’s dying tonight?” We both replied in unison: “Oliver.” There was no spoiler that we heard, this was just our biggest fear/gut feeling. Then we laughed at our synchronicity. Then we cried because OMG.

And now I’m still crying because I HATE BEING RIGHT. 

Okay, after hyperventilating for the last two hours, I’ve realized there’s no way I can properly recap this episode right now. If you are reading this, I am trusting that you saw the episode and you know what happened. Quickly, I will hit the highlights: Oliver was framed by Malcolm as Sara’s killer, using the DNA evidence Felicity gave to STAR labs. When Oliver confronts Malcolm, he reveals video (apparently he was there that night with a handy cameraphone) showing Thea was the one who killed Sara. She was given a special drug to make her suggestible and forgetful of her actions; she has no idea she killed Sara. Ra’s al Ghul, however, has given Oliver 48 hours to apprehend Sara’s killer and there’s no way Oliver can hand over his own sister. So he elects to give himself up instead, closing to climb to the top of a mountain in “neutral territory” to meet Ra’s in a trial by combat. I think that’s the important bits. 

[So let's get to the REALLY important bits...Olicity!]

Dec 11 2014 9:30am

First Look: Kayla Perrin’s Flames of Passion (December 16, 2014)

Flames of Passion by Kayla PerrinKayla Perrin
Flames of Passion (Love on Fire)
Harlequin Kimani / December 16, 2014 / $6.50 print, $5.99 digital

Their spark is burning hot…

Betrayed by love in the past, Nya Lowe has vowed to steer clear of future heartbreak. But when she sees her deceitful ex at a party, she does something totally out of character and puts the moves on sexy San Diego firefighter Tyler Johansen. Her payback plan backfires when her counterfeit “boyfriend” starts breaking down her defenses…kiss by sizzling kiss.

Tyler risks his life every day, but he isn't ready to gamble with his heart again. Yet ever since the sultry photographer kissed him, all he wants is to keep Nya in his arms. As they stoke the flames of a dangerous desire, a suspicious fire and near-fatal collision raise the stakes for them. Will they both be burned again? Or can they trust each other enough to turn their pretend romance into a forever love?

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. For Nya Lowe, the heroine of Kayla Perrin’s Flames of Passion, good intentions lead her to the path of lasting love.

[Spark it up!]

Dec 11 2014 8:04am

Throwback Thursday: What Was Your First Sheik Romance?

The Sheik starring Rudolph ValentinoEarlier this week, Megan Mulry referenced a Maisey Yates book titled To Defy a Sheikh, and that reminded us that sheik/sheikh romances have been thick on the ground from 1919, when Edith Maude Hull published The Sheik, later made into a film of the same name starring Rudolph Valentino.

Have you ever read a sheikh romance? And if so, what was your first, and what do you remember about it? 

Dec 10 2014 4:45pm

Listening to History: Historical Romance Audiobooks to Try

The holiday season is upon us and I don’t know about you, but for me that means a lot of travelling, shopping, present wrapping and cooking. Initially this would not seem the ideal time for reading, but the secret weapon for romance reading during the Christmas period is audiobooks. I have loved audiobooks since I was a child and first listened to The Secret Garden on tape. Throughout the years I have listened to a fair few books, both romance and non-romance. To help you feed your romance reading addiction through the holiday season I invite you on a trip through the ages.

Late Medieval:

By Right of Arms by Robyn Carr

This is by far my favourite medieval romance on audiobook, partly due to Nicola Barber’s fantastic narration. Set during Prince Edward’s reign of England, it focuses on a French castle that has just been taken over by the English knight Hyatt. All that stands his is way is the young and newly widowed Aurelie who pledges to honor her late husband, although she is now being forced to marry the conquering knight. One of the reasons I loved this audiobook is the strength of Auriele’s character despite being born in a time when women were often seen as second-class citizens, regardless of rank.

I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys the marriage of convenience trop and relishes watching a strong alpha fall to an equally strong heroine.

[We love a good trope...]

Dec 10 2014 3:43pm

Romance News Roundup: Jennifer McQuiston, Mindy Project, and More!

It's Tea Time Afternoon Tea bannerWelcome to H&H's brand-new 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.

TIME has awarded its Person of the Year to Ebola fighters, including romance author Jennifer McQuiston, who took her dayjob experience of working at the CDC to Sierra Leone, where she worked on distributing information on how to prevent the disease.

Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano in The Mindy Project Season 3, episode 10The Mindy Project's annual Christmas episode, naturally titled “Christmas,” gifted fans with adorable Mindy/Danny moments AND some pretty great character growth, if not a major, er, question we'd halfway expected. Creator and showrunner Mindy Kaling discusses the episode with Vulture here.

—This week marks the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and there's a new book out called When Books Went to War, which details how publishers produced pocket-sized books (“the size of a smartphone”) that soldiers could carry with them. Especially popular were romance novels such as Lillian Smith's Strange Fruit, because “this book has sex scenes and a lot of them.”

—Popsugar offers the “23 Examples of Outlander's Sam Heughan Looking Very, Very Sexy.”

—Peggy Carter's a cool noir lady in a new poster for Marvel's Agent Carter, which premieres January 6.