<i>Taming the Highlander</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Taming the Highlander: Exclusive Excerpt May McGoldrick "Conall and Innes must take the ultimate leap of faith..." <i>Rookie Move</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Rookie Move: Exclusive Excerpt Sarina Bowen "When he looked at her like that, the years just fell away." <i>A Scot in the Dark</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Scot in the Dark: Exclusive Excerpt Sarah MacLean "His gaze fell to her waist, where a large gold belt..." <i>Dirty Little Lies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Dirty Little Lies: Exclusive Excerpt Lora Leigh "Will surrendering to Zack end up being the biggest mistake of Grace’s life?"
From The Blog
August 26, 2016
August 2016 Unusual Historical Best Bets
Wendy the Super Librarian
August 25, 2016
Sosie Frost Makes Secret Babies Fun Again
Tori Benson
August 24, 2016
Mythology and Magic in Amanda Bouchet's Promise of Fire
Carol Malcolm
August 24, 2016
Now Win This!: Christina Dodd’s Because I'm Watching Sweepstakes
Team H & H
August 23, 2016
Why Ever After is the Best Fairy Tale Adaptation
KC
Tue
Aug 23 2016 8:23am

What Cover Trend Would You Like to See Come Back?

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinleyLater today we'll be revealing some covers that we're very excited about, but yesterday I stumbled upon a cover that got me excited too. It reminded me of old school Robin McKinley covers and I'm hoping to see more nods to the “old days” with new covers. 

What cover trend would you like to see come back? What is your favorite old school cover?

Let us know in the comments!

 

Mon
Aug 22 2016 5:32pm

Sweet Deals from Susan Donovan & Jennifer Crusie: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

I Want Candy by Susan DonovanDeal Alert: Susan Donovan's charming real-estate-agent-meets-widower-sheriff contemporary I Want Candy is discounted to $2.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.*

Deal Alert: Jennifer Crusie's rom-com contemporary Trust Me on This is only $1.99 in e-book at iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.*

Deal Alert: Alexadra Ivy's paranormal Born in Blood, Book 1 in the Sentinels series, is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.*

Deal Alert: Violet Duke's friends-to-lovers contemporary Jackson's Trust is marked down to $.99 in e-book at Barnes & NobleAmazon | etc.*

Deal Alert: Amanda Weaver's arranged-marriage historical A Duchess in Name is just $.99 in e-book at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.*

[Anne of Green Gables miniseries & Karen Marie Moning tease...]

Mon
Aug 22 2016 3:30pm

Love and Survival in Dark Age Wales

Between Two Fires by Mark Noce

Today we're thrilled to welcome Mark Noce (Between Two Fires) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. When fierce warriors can be found in your backyard, marriage—and love—is an important part of survival. Mark is here to talk about love and survival in the Dark Ages. Thanks, Mark!

During the Dark Ages, the Welsh people must have felt like it was end of the world. Saxon invaders harried their borders, bitter infighting ensued amongst the nobility, and plagues occasionally swept the land with devastating effect. Yet in the midst of all this potential bitterness, the resilient people of Wales showed extreme courage in defending those they loved. Much of the historical record of the time period has been forever erased due to the tumult of the times, but legends have naturally sprung up to fill the gap. One famous example are of course the Arthurian sagas, where knights and ladies battled the Saxons by day and kept their loved ones close at night, never knowing what tomorrow would bring. It must have been a difficult era to live through to say the least, but it doubtlessly added a zest to life knowing that the joys of today had best be enjoyed now for they might not be there tomorrow.

People lived for the moment and this added an almost modern sensibility to an otherwise very medieval era. For instance, St. Gildas noted how kings like Maelgwyn of North Wales was married, divorced, then fought a man in a duel so that he and the other man’s wife could marry. Whether his motives were for love or lust, this definitely wasn’t always an era of carefully planned alliances, but a time and place where people tried to find some genuine happiness in the short span of life allotted to them. Women often took matters into their own hands, seeking husbands as they sought fit, such as the Celtic queen of Dumonia whom clerics simply referred to as the ‘lioness’ due to her reputation for commanding her own fate and her subjects like a man.

[Love & loss in medieval Wales...]

Mon
Aug 22 2016 1:30pm

We Want to Be a Part of Kerrigan Byrne’s World

The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne

World building is a facet of historical romance that’s often overlooked. Contextually, it’s assumed that even though what you’re reading is fictitious, it’s still happening in a past that doesn’t need much explanation because it’s grounded in something very real and researchable. It’s unlike the structure of world building in paranormal or sci-fi fiction because it’s expected to be easy to grasp.

While this is true, I’ve found through reading historical romances that there are extensive missing elements—like people of color.

It may seem like an inconsequential thing, but if you study the breadth of historical romances and put them all together as your basis of what the past could have actually been like, there’s an enormous chasm between what was and what’s on the page.  

That’s why when I found Kerrigan Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series and began to read, I was so delightfully, pleasantly, and wholly enamored with the world Byrne presented us because it actually mimicked a world full of delightful color. Through her wealth of characters, she brings a sense of completeness to the world of her historicals.

[A world full of color...]

Mon
Aug 22 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

Dirty Little Lies: Exclusive Excerpt

Dirty Little Lies by Lora Leigh

THE HEART HAS ITS SECRETS

Zack Richards knows he’s asking for trouble. Trying to protect a member of the notorious Maddox family could get a man killed—even a battle-scarred, muscle-ripped alpha like Zack. But the woman who has captured his wildest fantasies is nothing like the rest of her power-hungry clan. She’s innocent, beautiful, and has quickly become the one shining light in his dark, desperate world. The only woman worth fighting for…and dying for...

BUT PASSION NEVER LIES

Her name is Grace Maddox—and everybody knows that she is a marked woman. Targeted for her family’s sins and hunted like a wild animal, Grace has no choice but to accept Zack’s protection. In his arms, she finally feels safe. In his eyes, she sees an insatiable desire that mirrors her own. But the truth is dangerous—and could end up tearing them apart. Will surrendering to Zack end up being the biggest mistake of Grace’s life?

Get a sneak peek at Lora Leigh's Dirty Little Lies (available August 30, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

chapter one

Annapolis, Maryland
Brigham Estate

Damn, he didn’t want to be here.

Pulling into the circular drive of the Brigham Estate, home of the Brigham Security Agency, Zack Richards fought back the coil of rage and betrayal that tensed in his gut every time he was ordered to show up.

The Brighams liked to call themselves his family; he liked to call them a pain in the ass. He would gladly have kept well away from them if only that were possible. Unfortunately, his uncle, the head of the Brigham family, had found a way to get Zack back to D.C. periodically.

[Read the full Dirty Little Lies excerpt...]

Mon
Aug 22 2016 9:30am

First Look: Lauren Layne’s For Better or Worse (August 30, 2016)

For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne
For Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles, Volume 2)
Pocket Books / August 30, 2016 / $5.99 print, $2.99 digital

I think I might be one of Lauren Layne’s biggest fans. She’s an automatic buy for me regardless of the topic. I just know that I’ll love whatever she releases. For Better or Worse is a prime example. I saw the book was releasing August 30th, did a little happy dance, and added it to my to-read list.

For Better or Worse is the second in The Wedding Belles series and gives us wedding planner Heather’s happily ever after, which starts off a bit inauspicious. She moves into her dream apartment in NYC only to be woken up by her neighbor’s guitar playing at two in the morning. Not one to simper behind closed doors, she immediately knocks on said man-child’s door to provide the imminent smack-down-hello-neighbor-and shut-the-hell-up-so-I-can-sleep introduction. This goes to plan, and Heather is brilliant (my kind of gal). Except she doesn’t expect the fun she has bantering and definitely does not appreciate how disgustingly good looking said neighbor is. His nickname for her of 4C (her apartment number) isn't winning him any brownie points either.

[The Girl in 4C is a firecracker...]

Mon
Aug 22 2016 8:12am

What Does Ideal “Reading Weather” Look Like?

“Reading Weather” is often associate with dreary days and cool temperatures. However, for some, reading weather looks the most perfect with the sun on your face and a book in your hand. 

What does “reading weather” look like to you? 

Let us know in the comments!

Image via Shutterstock

Sun
Aug 21 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

The Butch and the Beautiful: Exclusive Excerpt

Kris Ripper

The Butch and the Beautiful by Kris Ripper

Jaq Cummings is a high school teacher who really wants a committed relationship-as long as it doesn't keep her out late on school nights or interrupt Sunday mass with her dad. She is absolutely not about to fall for the hot-mess divorcée she hooks up with even if said hot mess pushes all her buttons. Jaq's white knight days are over.

But one hookup with Hannah becomes two, then coffee, then more incredibly hot sex. And unlike most of Jaq's exes, Hannah's not looking for someone to come on strong. In fact, Hannah comes on plenty strong enough for both of them. But she's just out of a disastrous marriage, she's in the process of moving across the state, and Jaq can't take a chance on yet another relationship where she defaults to being a caregiver instead of a partner.

Just when Jaq decides her relationship with Hannah is far too precarious, a crisis with a student reminds her of her priorities and makes it clear that sometimes, you have to take big risks to get what you really want.

Get a sneak peek at Kris Ripper's The Butch and the Beautiful (available August 22, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

I knew that hair. That tight braid. I knew the curve of her jaw, her neck.

What the hell was Hannah doing at St. Agnes?

I would have expected a shot of arousal, but what hit me instead was a shot of . . . yearning. I wanted to run my fingers through her hair again. I wanted to kiss the divot of her clavicle.

[Read the full The Butch and the Beautiful excerpt...]

Sun
Aug 21 2016 11:00am

Our Love of The Magicians Won’t Pull a Disappearing Act

As anyone who’s watched The Magicianwill know, there’s a boat-load of ‘shipping material in that show. Plus, there’s also enough eye-candy to leave your average viewer in a diabetic coma, and yet the series is so much more than pretty faces. But that’s a whole separate post, this post here be all about the ship and nothing but the ship. (For those who haven’t yet watched season one, beware the spoilers.)

Alice & Penny of The Magicians

At the top of my ship list is Penny and Alice. Penny has been rocking the bad boy ‘tude since day one (hence his hook up with Kady), whereas Alice (daughter of the most sex-crazed parents you’ll ever meet) is dressed to repress and super-uptighty. So when these rode the bus to pound town (a revenge fuck following Quentin’s infidelity to Alice) I was beside myself with shippy joy.

However, if Quentin and Alice get back together, I’d love to see Penny paired with Professor Sunderland. There’s a smoking hot scene when he tries to seduce her, saying there’s things they can ‘teach each other’. Goddamit if I didn’t have to rush my ovaries to the freezer to save them when they caught on fire because those two have chemistry coming out the whazoo. Abracadabra, indeed.

[A shippers sci-fi paradise...]

Sat
Aug 20 2016 11:00am

First Look: Rebecca Zanetti’s Shadow Falling (August 30, 2016)

Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti
Shadow Falling (The Scorpius Syndrome #2)
Zebra / August 30, 2016 / $7.99 print, $4.99 digital

When the world as we’ve known it comes to an end, finding safety is the key, but is there really such a thing as “safe” or is it only an illusion, something to tell ourselves so we can go to sleep at night?

“There is no crying after the apocalypse.”

In Shadow Falling, Rebecca Zanetti takes us once again to the shattered world recovering from the aftereffects of the Scorpius bacterium.  The Vanguard territory, outside of what is left of Los Angeles, is being hceld together by Jax Mercury and Dr. Lynn Harmony.  With the rest of the Vanguard residents, they are trying to do more than survivor Scorpius, they are trying to rebuild a life out of the rubble.  Part of that rebuilding is getting Lynn to a secret government laboratory only known as the Bunker.  They only have vague references that it even exists and if it does, it appears to be located somewhere in California.   Lynn is certain that several of her former colleges from the CDC are still working there trying hard to find a way to survive total annihilation because as it stands, no woman who has become pregnant before or after being infected with Scorpius has given birth.  Where Scorpius failed to wipe out humanity, infertility might just finish the job.

“The uninfected might be humanity’s only chance to continue.”

“Everyone is gonna catch Scorpius at some point, so our better bet is to find a way to promote successful pregnancies,” Tace said.  “The bacteria lives both in survivors and on surfaces, so someday there won’t be an uninfected person alive.”

[Read more...]

Fri
Aug 19 2016 6:00pm

Couple Reveal + Sneak Peek for Brighton Walsh’s Our Love Unhinged!

You're invited to a wedding! We are pleased to bring you the couple reveal and teaser for Brighton Walsh's Our Love Unhinged, the final novella in the Reluctant Hearts Series.

Throughout the week, pieces of the cover and snippets from the novella have been revealed on different blogs. A full list is available here at Walsh's website. Check them out! Now, without further ado, allow us to introduce the soon-to-be-married couple from Our Love Unhinged...*drumroll*...Winter and Cade!

Our Love Unhinged by Brighton Walsh

Our Love Unhinged by Brighton Walsh

Despite everything she thought she knew, Winter fell in love, and she fell hard. Living with the security of Cade’s unconditional devotion for the past two years has been a welcome reprieve from the decades of loneliness that came before him.

So when he pops the question, she says yes. Of course she does. But two years isn’t long in the grand scheme of things, and certainly not enough time to erase the memories of the past.

Sometimes, even the greatest love can’t silence fears.

[+Read an exclusive sneak peek!...]

Fri
Aug 19 2016 3:00pm

Seductive Sylvia Day & Courtney Milan Deals: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

One with You by Sylvia Day—Deal Alert: Sylvia Day's Crossfire series finale, One with You, is on sale for $2.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* Only once you've turned the final page in the story can you pop into our One with You spoiler-filled discussion thread or share your personal top Eva/Gideon moment...

Deal Alert: Courtney Milan's fortune-teller-meets-skeptical-marquess historical Proof by Seduction, first in the Carhart series, is just $1.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* Is Milan's writing your “flavor of book addiction,” too?!

—Deal Alert: Margaret Mallory's Scottish historical Captured by a Laird, Book 1 in the Douglas Legacy series, is only $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* Why are Scottish men so appealing as heroes? Actually, we've given this some thought!

[+Today on H&H...]

Fri
Aug 19 2016 1:10pm

Romances Shines: Comments That Made Our Week

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


Edwina understands the power of Romance

Edwina Bailey Brown in Romance: A Light in Dark Places, When All Other Lights Go Out

This article touches on the main reason I am an avid romance reader and that is being emotionally engaged with the characters, the situations they find themselves in, and the satisfaction of a fight well fought with hope kept alive at the end. I love the fact that I have so many romantic sub-genres to choose from; my favorites are historical western romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. I feel sorry for people who deny themselves a wonderful reading experience based on their genre prejudices.

[Read more...]

Fri
Aug 19 2016 12:30pm

Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to the 22 Push Up Challenge

Dear 22 Push Up Challenge,

Thank you for bringing awareness to a situation we might not have known about before. You started out as a way to bring mainstream attention to the rampant problem amongst our military veterans—men and women—who committ suicide daily because they feel unable to cope after returning from combat.

We are so grateful to the men and women who proudly serve our country, and we do not take the sacrifices you make for granted. If you are a vet going through a rough patch, please reach out and know we appreciate you. 

Thank you to those who've taken the challenge to raise awareness and put this in everyone's minds. Your help is so important. 

Source: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson's Instagram, gif by H&H

Here's a list of some of our favorites doing the 22 Push Up Challenge featuring half of our favorite Chrises and puppies!

Source: Chris Evans on Twitter, gif by H&H

 

Fri
Aug 19 2016 9:30am

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally Are Relationship Goals

KC

 

Source: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of seeing Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), probably my all-time favorite celebrity couple (and a couple of darn fine comedians!), perform their comedy variety show Summer of 69: No Apostrophe at The Carpenter Theater in Richmond, Virginia.

If you were not already aware that this dynamic duo was on tour this summer, I know that right now you’re probably scrambling for your wallet to get your tickets. But before you place an order for the whole family, please know that this is definitely an R-rated, NSFW affair! The two talk (and sing! So much singing!) not only about love (and their deep love for each other), but relationship and dating advice, sex, politics (only for a minute!), marital bliss, sex with jesus, marital spats, poodles, marital vows, the moral conundrum of woodworking, irritable bowel syndrome and sex with celebrities. In other words: sex (and marriage!).

[R-rated fun!]

Fri
Aug 19 2016 8:06am

A Quiet Passion Will Have You Squeeing—Here’s Why

  1. Emily Dickinson (many people's favorite poet) 
  2. Jennifer Ehle (a.k.a. quite possibly one of the best (THE best?) Elizabeth Bennetts ever?) 
  3. A pretty period piece that seems both the perfect balance of “women in pretty dresses” and “emotionally wrought biopic” 

Are you excited for this movie? What do you think of the trailer? Let us know in the comments!

 

Thu
Aug 18 2016 5:00pm

Vivienne Lorret & Kerrelyn Sparks E-Deals Yours to Claim: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

The Debutante Is Mine by Vivienne LorretDeal Alert: Vivienne Lorret's The Debutante Is Mine is only $.99 in e-book at Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Lorret is an expert at depicting both the sisterhood of spinsterhood and heroes who bet on bachelorhood.

Deal Alert: Kerrelyn SparksLess Than a Gentleman is on sale for $2.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks | etc.* Did you know the author of the Love at Stake series started out writing historical romance? True story.

Deal Alert: Mercedes Lackey's Hunger Games-ish YA novel Hunter, the first in a series, is discounted to $.99 in e-book at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* Lackey's books can be an effective gateway drug to romance novels, fyi.

Fresh Outta the Oven

—Beverly Jenkins makes us catch our breath with her Old West series...so get an oxygen tank before the January release of Breathless, because this cover looks amazing, and what's inside is going to be even better!

If you love raunchy rock stars, you already know to look no further than Olivia Cunning. Once you've wrapped your tour with the Sinners, prepare to become a groupie for Exodus End. Come check out the cover for Outsiders, the first book in this new series. 

[Thor without Jane?...]

Thu
Aug 18 2016 2:30pm

Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Lecia Cornwall, Jamie Howard, Addison Fox, and Victoria De La O!

Team H&H has four more fantastic covers for you this week from authors Lecia Cornwall, Jamie Howard, Addison Fox, and Victoria De La O! Family, duty, and responsibity are major themes amongst these four titles starting with When A Laird Finds a Lass by Lecia Cornwall where Malcolm finds himself caught between duty and love in a story that promises scandal, mystery, and conquering the darkest of fears. In Jamie Howard's All the Ways You Saved Me, the death of Bianca's best friend takes her life from predictably boring daughter-of-a-senator to a life filled with adventure and romance. In At Last by Addison Fox, Emma has to choose between her family's legacy and falling in love. And finally, in Tell Me How This Ends, Lizzie finds herself between and rock and a hard place...and two brothers. 

When a Laird Finds a Lass by Lecia Cornwall

When a Laird Finds a Lass by Lecia Cornwall

She is his greatest enemy and his only salvation.

Malcolm MacDonald, a lawyer in Edinburgh, unexpectedly inherits his father’s title of Laird of Dunbronach, forcing him to return to a place he hasn’t seen since he was a small child. To gain the trust of a wary clan, Malcolm must act upon their insistence that he cast aside his English betrothed and marry a Highlander. 

However, they have one condition—no lasses of the barbaric clan MacLeod.

When he finds an unconscious woman in the sea, he brings her back to his clan but not before doing the one thing that could save her life—hiding her all too telling MacLeod plaid. When she wakes with no memory of who she is, Malcolm vows to keep the little he knows about her identity a secret. As new dangers threaten his clan, the mysterious lass teaches Malcolm some very important lessons about how to be a Highlander and a laird.

But secrets never stay secret for long, and when she finds her plaid, her memory returns and she flees. Malcolm is forced to make a difficult choice to win her back, facing his darkest fears and his worst enemy for a chance at true love.

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of When a Laird Finds a Lass by Lecia Cornwall, available November 1, 2016:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

 

 

[More covers ahead!]

Thu
Aug 18 2016 1:00pm

Come Slyther In: Why Snape Might be the Best Character in the Harry Potter Universe

 

Severus Snape as played by Alan Rickman

If you haven’t read The Harry Potter Series—where have you been for the last 20 years? Needless to say, Spoiler Alert!

In Harry Potter and The Sorceress’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, Professor Snape was perceived as a mysterious and dark man. His velvety voice and his long sweeping black robes added to his allure, (I’ve always wondered what he wore under those robes *grin*) but it was his ability to command a room that really got my attention.

 “You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making,” he began. He spoke in barely more than a whisper, but they caught every word —Snape had the gift of keeping a class silent without effort. “As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses...I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death—if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.”

[Mysterious and divisive...]