<i>Hard to Fight</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Hard to Fight: Exclusive Excerpt Bella Jewel “This man has demons, all men with faces like his do.” <i>Smoke on the Water</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Smoke on the Water: Exclusive Excerpt Lori Handeland "He stilled, gaze on mine, but he didn’t stop me from touching him." <i>Lady Emily's Exotic Journey</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Lady Emily's Exotic Journey: Exclusive Excerpt Lillian Marek “I begin to think that this will be a most interesting voyage." <i>That Night with the CEO</i>: Exclusive Excerpt That Night with the CEO: Exclusive Excerpt Karen Booth “Hey, you’re the one suggesting showers. Not me.”
From The Blog
August 3, 2015
The Orgasmic Appeal of Sex Criminals
Heather Massey
August 1, 2015
H&H ICYMI: RITA and Golden Heart Winners, The Bourbon Kings, Age of (Digital) Discoverability, and more!
Team H & H
July 31, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Tom Hiddleston vs. Sam Heughan
Team H & H
July 31, 2015
Popular LGBTQ Ships in Pop Culture
Megan Erickson
July 31, 2015
10 Things You Should Know About Eve Langlais
Heather Massey
Fri
Jul 31 2015 8:26am

What’s the Big Deal?

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

We think August is going to be a great month for romance. With Read a Romance Month kicking off tomorrow, and the publication of NPR's Top 100 Romances—as voted on by readers and commented on by romance experts Bobbi Dumas, Sarah Wendell, Sherry Thomas, and Michelle Monkou—not to mention all the great releases coming out, we have a good feeling!

However, as is always the case with romance, when the “outside world” gets to look beyond the curtain of the romance world—after the comments about porn, Fabio, and 50 Shades subside—the overwhelming tone of the questions is: What's the Big Deal?

What is the biggest deal about romance? What makes you the most excited about it? If you could only say one thing about the genre to a nay-sayer, what would you say?

 

Thu
Jul 30 2015 4:30pm

First Come, First Served: New-to-You Romance Authors and the Age of (Digital) Discoverability

Run To You by Clara Kensie

Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference has just ended and the winners’ books are getting a lot of buzz – which it is as it should be. These authors’ books have given us hours of reading pleasure. There are numerous winners in different categories—best book in a series, best historical, best romantic suspense, but one of my favorites is best first book.

We have all read the stories of how difficult it is to get published. Only one to two percent of manuscripts submitted to literary agencies make it to publication. And once an author does get published, only fifty percent of books find an audience. Plus even if their book does find an audience, that doesn’t mean they can quit their day job. Most authors work during the day and write in the early morning or late at night. They are literally working two jobs. And many of them do this for years.

I can only imagine the excitement of the nominees in this category—Authors Sonali Dev (A Bollywood Affair), Natalie Meg Evans (The Dress Thief), Beck Nicholas (Fake), Kate Breslin (For Such a Time), AE Jones (Mind Sweeper), Elia Winters (Purely Professional), Clara Kensie (Run to You), Alyssa Alexander (The Smuggler Wore Silk), and Patience Griffin (To Scotland with Love). They have to be walking on air. While there is only one winner, Clara Kensie for Run to You, these authors are all winners in the long run. What a publicity bonanza for them all.

[New writers tell some of the best stories...]

Thu
Jul 30 2015 3:16pm

Romance News Roundup: “Gritty” Little Women and a Walking Dead Butt-Grab!

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.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott—Television network The CW has announced that a “gritty” adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women is being developed for TV. If the project moves forward (far from guaranteed), we will find the March sisters “band[ing] together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia.” Horrified? Join the club.

—Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) get handsy in a new Entertainment Weekly cover shoot with Melissa McBride (Carol Peletier) for The Walking Dead. I repeat, ANDREW LINCOLN AND NORMAN REEDUS GET HANDSY. Do not miss this amazing butt-grab picture.

—I'll be on vacation next week, so look for news roundups by my esteemed colleague Jenn Proffitt!

Thu
Jul 30 2015 2:00pm

Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Christine Warren and Amelia Grey!

Today Heroes and Heartbreakers is thrilled to reveal covers for Christine Warren and Amelia Grey. First up is the next book in Christine Warren's Gargoyle series that proves a good man is hard to find in Rocked by Love. Then, we love a good wedding! So let's crash this one in Amelia Grey's Wedding Night with the Earl. 

[Learn about the books and check out the amazing covers...]

Thu
Jul 30 2015 12:00pm

Top 10 Quotes from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Series!

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon

August 4 sees the release of the nineteenth book in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series, Dragonbane. To ring in the next installment, we're celebrating with some of our favorite Dark-Hunter quotes. You know, the ones that make our hearts sing, that make us sigh, laugh, and pant for the next book in the series. These quotes were some of the top-rated lines from Goodreads and definitely earned our vote on the site. By no means do we think this is a complete list of the best quotes, so read what we chose and then share your own favorite Dark-Hunter lines—as well as why they're so memorable for you—in the comments! And then stay tuned for the top quotes from Dragonbane, coming soon!

  • “Life isn't finding shelter in the storm. It's about learning to dance in the rain.”
    ― Acheron
  • “She didn't understand that. “How can anyone be afraid of love?”
    “How can they not?” His face was completely aghast. “When you love someone... truly love them, friend or lover, you lay your heart open to them. You give them a part of yourself that you give to no one else, and you let them inside a part of you that only they can hurt—you literally hand them the razor with a map of where to cut deepest and most painfully on your heart and soul. And when they do strike, it's crippling—like having your heart carved out. It leaves you naked and exposed, wondering what you did to make them want to hurt you so badly when all you did was love them. What is so wrong with you that no one can keep faith with you? That no one can love you? To have it happen once is bad enough... but to have it repeated? Who in their right mind would not be terrified of that?”
    ― Devil May Cry

[These lines are memorable...]

Thu
Jul 30 2015 11:00am

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of July 2015

Playing with Trouble by Chanel Cleeton

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.

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

Janet Webb:

My favorite book of July 2015 is Playing with Trouble: Capital Confessions Book 2 by a new-to-me-author, Chanel Cleeton. Will I read her again? Most definitely. The plot, a law student falls in lust and fantasy with her law professor, or is it he who falls into constant mesmerizing about her? Cleeton deftly shows Blair and Gray interacting in class, in a shared pro bono activity and more, through the addictively readable method of alternating first person.

Adults fall in love. They do so in myriad ways and a classroom is not sacrosanct. Did I say adults? Blair and Gray realize that a professor/student relationship is not on, no matter the feelings, during the length of time the class is in session. Do they engage in massive foreplay? Oh yeah. Blair is one of three sisters and her story is the second in the Capital Confessions trilogy. It is to Cleeton’s credit that it’s easy to grasp the story that came before (and still want to read it!). If a preppy princess falling for a brilliant bad boy is a trope that interests you, you’ll love Playing with Trouble.

[Good read recommendations for your TBR...]

Thu
Jul 30 2015 9:30am

10 Ways to Ruin a Rogue

All The Ways to Ruin a Rogue by Sophie Jordan

Today we're thrilled to welcome Sophie Jordan to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Sophie's latest release in her Debutante Files series, All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue, came out July 28. Sophie is here today to talk about just 10 delicious ways to ruin a rogue. Thanks, Sophie!

1.     Draw an unflattering picture of him and leave it for people to find (oops!).

2.     Insult his manhood in his teenage years so that all his friends invent a rude nickname for him that follows him into adulthood (did not predict that happening!).

3.     Show up at his club (where no gently bred young lady should go) and challenge him to a game of cards (this time not an oops!).

4.     Win his clothes in said card game so that he ultimately sits bare-assed in front of you and a houseful of people (yes, doing this on purpose now and enjoying self immensely). 

[Sometimes they deserve it...]

Thu
Jul 30 2015 8:08am

Throwback Thursday: What ’80s Romance Should I Read?

Source: 80booksblog.com

We're going to break the fourth wall for this morning's Morning Coffee because it's true confession time: My name is Jenn and I've never read an '80s romance. Early '90s, sure, but I've never read any of the heaving bosoms or the bodice rippers that made the genre infamous. For a newbie, what would you recommend as the epitome of 80s romance...that might still be palatable to a reader in 2015? Who were your favorite authors in the 80s and are they still writing today?

Let me hear your suggestions in the comments!

 

Wed
Jul 29 2015 4:30pm

Wait...Where’s the Rest?!: The 12 Feels You Feel Reading Serialized Fiction

30 Lays in 30 Days by Kate J. Squires

Today we're thrilled to welcome Kate J. Squires to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Kate became a master of serialized fiction when she journeyed into the world of Wattpad. Kate's latest release, 30 Lays in 30 Days came out on July 23 and is a product of her time on Wattpad. However, Kate's addiction to love of the serial harkens back to television, and the cliffhangers we had to endure on shows like Grey's Anatomy. Kate is here today to talk about all the feels you fell when reading serial fiction—with a little gif help from good ol' Shonda Rhimes. Thanks, Kate!

There’s an urban legend surrounding how Stephen King released the Green Mile. He originally published it in serial form, six paperbacks over six months —because apparently his mother would always insist on reading the last page of all his books first, and this was his way of forcing her to wait for the ending.

Who knew that a little delayed gratification could be such a beautiful thing? Serialized fiction, where writers post stories in instalments over a period of weeks or months, is becoming more and more popular these days. With the rise of websites like Wattpad, and the ability to post writing on Tumblr or personal blogs, it’s become our new addiction. 

[Serial fiction is the new addiction...]

Wed
Jul 29 2015 3:12pm

Romance News Roundup: NPR’s 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances & Coreene Callahan Deal!

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

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux—NPR has a summer book list of “100 Swoon-Worthy Romances” based on reader votes and then a panel of reviewers Bobbi Dumas and Sarah Wendell as well as authors Sherry Thomas and Michelle Monkou. Do you spot your all-time favorites on the list? If you enjoy roundups like these, don't miss our Top 10 lists in Regency romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and much more. Plus, find out which romance novels former H&Hcommunity manager Megan Frampton considers essential when asked to pick just 10 ('cause we're mean like that).

—Deal Alert: Coreene Callahan's Fury of Obsession is currently $2.00 in e-book at Amazon.* In honor of the book's release, Callahan guest blogged for H&H on “6 Signs You've Become Dragon-Obsessed...

*We don't know how long deals will last, but get 'em while you can!

Wed
Jul 29 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Kieran Kramer’s Trouble When You Walked In (August 4, 2015)

Trouble When You Walked In by Kieran Kramer

Kieran Kramer
Trouble When You Walked In
St. Martin's Press / August 4, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

She's a woman of her word.
Cissie Rogers likes to do everything by the book. Literally. The town librarian in Kettle Knob, North Carolina, she's determined to preserve the future of literature—and the library's romantic legend—for her patrons. It's not easy when the mayor himself, Boone Braddock, wants to close the library down. There's only one way for Cissie to put a stop to him: By running for mayor herself!

Is he a player—or does he mean business?
Boone is Kettle Knob's favorite son, a champion athlete and stellar football coach with deep local roots. Cissie will need more than a savvy slogan and a pair of three-inch high heels to stand a chance at the polls. But what about the campaign that's underway in her own heart? What began as professional rivalry has transformed into a simmering attraction that neither contender can ignore. Could it be that the keeper of the town's card catalog and the legendary football hero are ready to team up…and write their own storybook romance?

There are five key “players” to Kieran Kramer's Trouble When You Walked In that make this story about a small town in North Carolina warm and scrumptious, like fresh baked apple pie.

[Time to let loose and learn a thing or two about love...]

Wed
Jul 29 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Dragonbane: Exclusive Excerpt

Out of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it's hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a fifty foot wingspan.

Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded.

But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames, in Dragonbane.

Get a sneak peek at Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dragonbane (available August 4, 2015) with a special excerpt of a selected scene.

“Kill me.” Maxis had handed her his own dragon-headed dagger and lain back in bed, arms spread, his throat offered in sacrifice. “If you can’t bear this union, then free us both from it. I’d rather be dead than damned to no comfort whatsoever.”

Growling in fury, she’d straddled him, fully intending to take his offer. But as she looked into those calm, receptive, human eyes that waited for her killing blow, she’d been unable to deliver it. While she, like her mother before her, had slain countless dragons in battle, she’d never murdered a man.

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

Wed
Jul 29 2015 9:30am

First Look: Angela Knight’s Without Restraint (August 4, 2015)

Without Restraint by Angela Knight

Angela Knight
Without Restraint (Southern Shield #1)
Penguin / August 4, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

The first novel in the explosive new Southern Shield series from New York Times bestselling author Angela Knight explores the intoxicating games between a female cop and a Navy SEAL—and the killer instincts of a secret enemy watching every move they make.

Atlanta deputy Alexis Rogers and Navy SEAL Frank Murphy know all about power and restraint, necessary force, and pushing their limits. When they meet in the darkness of a BDSM club, their skills are put to use. With each successive night comes a new adrenaline rush, and while they’re falling into something perilously close to love, their games are still too private, too extreme, and too daring ever to be exposed.

But their intimate lives are upended when a fellow deputy of Alex’s is killed. It’s not a tragic hazard of the job. It’s cold-blooded murder. And he’s not the last to be taken out. Now Alex and Frank have found themselves more vulnerable than ever—and exposed to a killer with a twisted vendetta who turns desire into the most dangerous sensation of all.

Without Restraint begins with a bang, if you’ll pardon the pun, as the first scene is set in the BDSM basement of Cap, a former SEAL who plays Cupid by setting up the hero and heroine on their first BDSM blind date.

[Martial art is there foreplay...]

Wed
Jul 29 2015 8:05am

What Subgenre Are You Currently Reading the Most?

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

Over the years, we've learned and observed that people read all over the genre. Very few people are strictly one subgenre category or another. However, we have noticed that many people go through phases where they read one subgenre almost exclusively for a few months—whether that's a New Adult phase, Historical phase, Paranormal phase, or something else. 

What subgenre are you currently glomming? Is your glom even more specific—for example, hockey romances, small town contemporaries, or governess historicals?

Let us know in the comments!

Tue
Jul 28 2015 4:30pm

Danger, Curves Ahead: Positive Body Image and Romance Novels

The Gilded Cage by Lauren Smith

Today we're thrilled to welcome author Lauren Smith to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Lauren's latest release in her Surrender series, The Gilded Cage, came out last month, and the first book in the series The Gilded Cuff, featured a heroine who was not stick thin or classically beautiful and, in fact, battled quite heavily with body image. However, like in any good romance, our heroine found a man who embraced her for all she was. Lauren is here today to talk about body image, and the perception of curves in society, and of course, romance novels. Thanks, Lauren!

Whoever thought that romance novels would play a positive role in perception of female body image for readers? I certainly hadn’t. When I first started reading romances, I read the classics. You know the ones with the tiny heroines who weighed like 80 pounds dripping wet, with delicate bones, tiny feet and child-like hands. Now I don’t know about you, but I am certainly not like that. My point is…I’m normal. 

Normal is important. I think there’s been far too much stress on size, rather than health in recent years when it comes to female body image. After reading a lot of these older romances and seeing how the heroes loved these petite women, I would glance down at my own body with a mixture of disgust and despair. My child-bearing hips and full breasts were not something that these old-fashioned romance heroes wanted in a woman? What a horrible thought, right? Yeah, it didn’t go over well with me either. So color me delightfully surprised to find that newer romances go against this tradition and present readers with heroines more like me.

[Embrace the curves...]

Tue
Jul 28 2015 3:05pm

Romance News Roundup: Sylvia Day and D.D. Ayres Deals!

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.

Irresistible Force by D.D. Ayres—Deal Alert #1: D.D. Ayres's K-9 Rescue novel Irresistible Force is currently $2.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore. You may recall that our romance virgin TeddyP is reading this right now! Stay tuned for a post with his thoughts in the next few weeks.

—Indie Spotlight: Sabrina York has shared an excerpt from her newly released self-published novel Laird of Her Heart, Book 1 in the Dundragon Time Travel trilogy. Read a scene from the book here.

—BuzzFeed Books has a humorous post imagining the Airbnb reviews you might see for famous houses in literature, including a few romance fans will recognize, like Pemberley and Thornfield Hall.

—Deal Alert #2: Sylvia Day's historical romance Seven Years to Sin, which inspired the characters in her Crossfire series, is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Barnes & NobleiBookstore, and Amazon.* If you're looking for more Day to try, may we recommend reading Sage Spelling's post “Sylvia Day's Writing Is Worthy of Being Bared to You”?

—Diversion Books' EverAfter Romance has announced it will launch a “groundbreaking print program for self-published romance authors” to enable indie authors to “finally have access to the greater print market,” which we assume will make readers happy too!

*We don't know how long deals will last, so get 'em while you can!

Tue
Jul 28 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Lauren Layne’s Frisk Me (July 28, 2015)

Frisk Me by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne
Frisk Me (New York's Finest #1)
Forever / July 28, 2015 / $6.00 print, $5.99 digital

Officer Luc Moretti had no idea that his dive into the East River would have him drowning in a media frenzy. No matter how many times he tells reporters he was just doing his job, they're determined to make him into NYC's newest hero. Coming from a long line of NYPD's finest, Luc knows that being a cop has nothing to do with headlines and viral videos, and he's more than ready to get back to life away from the cameras-until he meets the gorgeous but jaded journalist assigned to film a TV special on him . . .

Ava Sims may be the only woman in NYC who isn't in love with Officer Moretti. That's why she's going after the real story-to find out about the man behind the badge. Ava's determined to keep things strictly professional, but the more time she spends around Luc, even she has to admit there's something about a man in uniform...and she can't wait to get him out of his.

I think that Lauren Layne is my favorite “new-to-me” author discovery of the year. Her writing voice and style are excellent, and she has a magical touch with creating dynamic characters. I really enjoyed Frisk Me, and it's not even my favorite book by her. But let's talk about Frisk Me. It was great that New York City is such an integral part of the book. Too often there are stories set in the city, that other than the label, could be anywhere else. I liked the nod to the history and majesty of The Statue of Liberty, woven into a scene where Luc and Ava are riding the Staten Island ferry. 

[I support you, team blue...]

Tue
Jul 28 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Perfect Touch: Exclusive Excerpt

Elizabeth Lowell

Perfect Touch by Elizabeth Lowell

An art dealer and owner of her own design studio, Perfect Touch, Sara Medina travels the world to find the ideal artwork for her clients. Her sophisticated, comfortable life in San Francisco is light years away from the poverty of her family’s dairy farm, and Sara will do whatever it takes to keep her business strong. A dedicated urban career woman focused on her work, she doesn’t have time or energy for a family or distracting romantic entanglements.

Jay Vermillion recently inherited Vermillion Sky, a working ranch near Wyoming’s breathtaking Grand Teton Mountains—and the estates of the rich and restless. While he was fighting in two wars, his father tried to keep the homestead running, until illness stole his fight and then his life. Jay’s determined to restore Vermillion Sky, but first he’s got to settle a vicious battle with his former stepmother over some of his late father’s paintings. The last thing on his mind is a finding a wife and creating a seventh generation of Vermillions.

When Jay hires Sara to handle his father’s artwork, it’s love at first sight—a mutually inconvenient attraction that is soon complicated by a double murder at the edge of the ranch and a potential betrayal even closer to home. Working together to unmask a murderer, Sara and Jay try to fight the intense heat between them. Then the killer targets Sara. And suddenly, Jay, the war-weary soldier, finds something he’s once again willing to die for...

Get a sneak peek at Elizabeth Lowell's Perfect Touch (available July 28, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Skunk gave a sharp bark, jerking Jay out of his uncomfortable thoughts. The dog was standing—or racing around, when needed—between the cattle and the tumbling, frothing stream. The cows were moving uneasily, bawling. They knew what was coming and would try their best to avoid it.

But first they would drink.

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

Tue
Jul 28 2015 11:00am

Out of the Zone: New Adult Best Bets for July 2015

When You’re Back by Abbi Glines

This month’s round up includes some pretty hot badasses of new adult that can break down barriers whether it be emotional or even, the friend zone. Being stuck in the proverbial friend zone can be the absolutely worst but, these men show that you can be nice and friendly while maintaining their alpha selves.

When You’re Back by Abbi Glines is the second in the Mase and Reese story but the 12th Rosemary Beach novel. I can’t believe there’s so many and I’ve read them all — think the OC meets the South in this series, as it heats up. What happens when Mase and Reese reunite and there’s a lot more obstacles in their path than they originally thought? Will their fairy tale romance come to an end?

Fighting Shadows by Aly Martinez is a fight to the finish. Ash Mabie shines throughout the story with her resilience, and pure joy at experiencing life. Flint is drowning in his bitterness over his condition, lost love and struggling to keep it together. When they meet, sparks fly but is it enough to bring Flint out of the darkness?

[A different kind of love...]

Tue
Jul 28 2015 9:30am

First Look: J.R. Ward’s The Bourbon Kings (July 28, 2015)

The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward
The Bourbon Kings (Bourbon Kings #1)
Penguin / July 28, 2015 / $27.99 print, $13.99 digital

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

When it comes to romance, we’re used to a pretty specific formula. At least general guidelines, an idea of what to expect. With J.R. Ward’s long-awaited, contemporary Southern saga, The Bourbon Kings, there are no expectations. It’s splashy, it’s extravagant, it’s jaw-dropping. It’s a world with characters we want to follow through, imperfect people whose lives are messes, who are at the brink of massive change, rampant scandal, and complete collapse. Ward takes risks from start to finish, and the result is new romance, told as an ensemble, a quick-paced cross between violent suspense masked under proper manners and bold romance with big emotion, within a multi-POV structure and the intrigue of modern class relations. Bourbon is both the livelihood and the drug of choice. 

[3 couples looking for more than HEA or less...]