<i>Make Me Stay</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Make Me Stay: Exclusive Excerpt Jaci Burton "She wants a real, permanent, forever kind of love." <i>Midnight Wrangler</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Midnight Wrangler: Exclusive Excerpt Cat Johnson "He thought about doing more than kissing her." <i>For His Pleasure</i>: Exclusive Excerpt For His Pleasure: Exclusive Excerpt Suzanne Rock “Stop worrying and enjoy the moment.” <i>Coming Apart at the Seams</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Coming Apart at the Seams: Exclusive Excerpt Jenna Sutton "He’ll do whatever it takes to win her over."
From The Blog
November 21, 2015
Gothic Romance Movie Night: 3 Classics
Lauren Smith
November 20, 2015
Love for Bibliophiles in Whispers in the Reading Room
Maggie Boyd
November 19, 2015
A Ranking of the Lunar Chronicles Series Couples
November 18, 2015
Victoria Dahl Plays Your Heartstrings Harlot
Rebekah Weatherspoon
November 18, 2015
Romantic Suspense to Get Your Heart Racing
Dolly Sickles
Nov 22 2015 5:35pm

Sweet Christmas: Recharge with Jessica Jones Power Couple Jessica/Luke

Jessica and Luke basking in afterglow
Via nickmarino.tumblr.com

Have 13 hours to spare? Take it from me: You're going to need 'em all when you queue up Jessica Jones Season 1 on Netflix for the first time. Consider it a chance to recharge your battery as you stare transfixed at the screen, because Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter are impossible to tear your eyes away from as reluctant superheroes and power couple Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.

Sure, to their minds, Jessica and Luke are merely a private investigator and bar owner, respectively, just trying to earn a living and stay under the radar, but from the beginning it's clear there's so much more to them than that. And though their relationship is insanely complicated due to some dark, bloody history that ties them together, the two are clearly a perfect match.

But why tell you when I can show you? (SPOILERS for Season 1's Jessica/Luke moments ahoy.)

Here are 5 reasons Jessica and Luke make a weekend spent on the couch binge-watching Jessica Jones not merely totally acceptable but—in case anyone's asking—possibly even your sworn duty as a romance evangelist tasked with sharing word of good romances with the world:

[Jessica Jones and Chill...]

Nov 22 2015 12:00pm

Coming Apart at the Seams: Exclusive Excerpt

Jenna Sutton

Coming Apart at the Seams by Jenna Sutton

Love can take some time to break in...

Teagan O’Brien, heiress to the Riley O’Brien & Co. denim empire, is anything but a spoiled rich girl. She’s worked hard to secure her place in the family business and can hold her own, in and out of the office. Only one man has ever been able to get under her skin—sexy football star Nick Priest. Years ago they crossed the line from friends to lovers, but he left her heartbroken. Since then, she’s been determined to keep him at arm’s length—no matter how tempting he looks in his jeans…

Nick has fortune, fame, and looks that make most women hot and bothered. But he doesn't have the woman he really wants. He knows he screwed up when he walked away from Teagan, and now that he has a second chance, he’ll do whatever it takes to win her over—no matter how tongue-tied he gets…

Get a sneak peek at Jenna Sutton's Coming Apart at the Seams (available December 1, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Nick sipped his hot cider, enjoying the crisp sweetness of apples and the warm bite of cinnamon against his tongue. Next to him, Teagan stumbled a bit on the uneven sidewalk, and he grabbed her arm with his free hand.

“Hold on to me,” he ordered.

“I should have worn tennis shoes,” she said as she linked her arm though his and wrapped her hand around his forearm. “I don’t know what I was thinking. Stupid.”

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

Nov 21 2015 2:00pm

Gothic Romance Movie Night: 3 Movies to Add to Your Queue Tonight

Rebecca, 1940 Rebecca with (Joan Fontaine) and (Laurence Olivier) as Maximilian "Maxim" de Winter

Every fall I get lost in the turning colors of the leaves, the whisper of them as they scuttling along the streets like spiders. The deep orange hue of pumpkins lit by candlelight and the eerie chill of an early winter wind sweeping down from the north to caress my neck causes the fine hairs to rise and goosebumps to break out. This season, ever shadowed by the press of a coming winter and the weight of snow, seems to fill me with a strange and wondrous need to explore the macabre and indulge in gothic flights of fancy. There’s no better way to do this than to watch some good old-fashioned gothic romance movies.

There are three which stand out most that I absolutely must recommend for my fellow romance readers. Rebecca, Suspicion and The Uninvited.

[What are your type Gothic Romances? ...]

Nov 20 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: 14 Instances of Eyebanging with Mehcad Brooks

You know how some people have a...less than nice “resting face”? Well, my working theory is that Mehcad Brooks has a resting eyebanging face. He has to work hard NOT to look like he's banging you with his eyes. 

In honor of all the eyebanging the internet has to behold from Mehcad (yes, I'm on a first name basis. Ok, fine, no I'm not really), here are some of my favorite instances of eyebanging from Mehcad Brooks. 

The “I don't even need a gif to eyebang you” eyebang (above)

[Plus so many more instances of eye-banging...]

Nov 20 2015 3:49pm

Romance News: Crash Into Deals from Paige Tyler, Tracy Wolff, 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.

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

Wolf Trouble by Paige TylerDeal Alert #1: Paige Tyler's paranormal romantic suspense Wolf Trouble (SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team) is only $.99 in e-book right now at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore (via Sourcebooks).* John Jacobson says this book is perfect for fans of alpha brotherhoods, shapeshifters, and high stakes.

Deal Alert #2: Tracy Wolff's rock star/brother's-best-friend romance Crash Into Me is discounted to $.99 in e-book for the moment at iBookstoreBarnes & Noble, and Amazon (via BookBub).* And if you find yourself wanting to mainline Wolff's books afterward, Miss_D also recommends her Play Me series.

Deal Alert #3: Michele Gorman's women's fiction/romantic comedy The Curvy Girls Club is on sale for $.99 in e-book right now at Amazon (via ReadCheaply).* If you're looking for other recommended reads featuring curvy heroines, Kelly Faircloth's “Top 10 Phattest Plus-Size Heroines” is exactly what you need.

[+an extra deal & genre news!...]

Nov 20 2015 2:00pm

Love, Bibliophile Style: Shelley Gray’s Whispers in the Reading Room

Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray

Love between bibliophiles is the delightful theme squarely at the center of Shelley Gray’s Whispers in the Reading Room.  

Librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself riveted by a patron who defines the words tall, dark and handsome but it is not his pleasing features that capture her attention; it’s the expression they convey that wins her interest:

She still remembered the expression on his face last week when he’d finished and closed the last tome. He’d looked pleased and just a bit melancholy. She knew those dual feelings well – the satisfaction of completing a well-written piece of literature while also coming to terms with the fact that those few moments of pure bliss would soon be replaced with a longing for more.

For his part, Sebastian Marks has noticed certain things about Lydia as well:

Only when he was alone again did Sebastian dare to let his mind drift back to Miss Lydia Bancroft. The way she rarely chattered on like most females of his acquaintance. The way she shelved books like they were old friends. How she seemed to be more at ease with a room full of books than with people.

Sebastian’s life as a gambling den owner has made him tough and cynical. To him, the reading room is a place of sanctuary:

The lending library gave him some solace. For a few hours’ time he was able to be the man he had wished to become – back before he realized his life in the slums wasn’t about being smarter than the bullies on the street but about being stronger.

[Two book lovers find love ...]

Nov 20 2015 1:00pm

The Big Bang Theory 9x09 Shamy Heart-to-Heart: Just Friends-giving

TV Recap: The Big Bang Theory 9x09 ShamyTV Recap: Captain's Log The Big Bang Theory 9x09 Shamy

Show/Episode: The Big Bang Theory Season 9, Episode 9, “The Platonic Permuation”
Ship(s): Sheldon/Amy (Shamy), Leonard/Penny

Thanksgiving time has come around again, but this year, the gang isn’t assembling en masse. Leonard and Penny will cook their first holiday meal as a married couple, while Bernadette, Howard, Raj and Emily plan to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Normally, Sheldon would do the traditional thing (well, for Sheldon) and hit the Thanksgiving buffet at the aquarium cafeteria, but that’s hard to do when his tickets are for two, and he’s only one. He offers the tickets to Amy, via video chat, so she can take whoever she wants.

Amy’s choice of date? Sheldon, but as a friend. Though Sheldon has concerns this might be awkward, due to their breakup, Amy allays his fears. It’s a Thanksgiving buffet at an aquarium cafeteria. Awkward is pretty much a given. They, however, will be fine.

[We haven't given up, we're rooting for you Shamy ...]

Nov 20 2015 12:00pm

The Harder You Fall: Exclusive Excerpt

The Harder You Fall by Gena Showalter

Millionaire video-game creator Lincoln West has a dark and tragic past. The sought-after bachelor lives by a rigid schedule and a single rule—one relationship per year, lasting no more than two months. No exceptions. When he gave up the big city for a small town, he hoped to escape the worst of his memories—until a brash beauty dredges up long-buried emotions.

A reformed party girl, Jessie Kay Dillon is determined to walk the straight and narrow. But her love-hate sizzle with West is just too irresistible. They can't be near each other without tearing off their clothes, but the last thing she needs is to be his next two-month dump. Will she become the one exception? Because as any former girl-gone-wild knows: rules are made to be broken.

Get a sneak peek at Gena Showalter's The Harder You Fall (available November 24, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

In the living room, West stood in profile at the bay window, peering into the waning darkness, and oh, wow, he looked good. A black shirt hugged his biceps. He’d tucked a pair of roughed-up jeans into combat boots, the combination lethal to her resistance. A leather cuff circled one of his wrists, and two silver rings glinted on his fingers.

He was a bad boy in the flesh. A mountain she wanted so badly to climb. The desire only he was capable of summoning weakened her limbs. Jessie Kay trembled… overheated.

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

Nov 20 2015 11:00am

Sleepy Hollow 3x08 Ichabbie Heart-to-Heart: Tis Because We Care

TV Recap: Captain's Log Sleepy Hollow 3x08 Ichabbie

Show/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 8, “Novus Ordo Seclorum”
Ship(s): Ichabod/Abbie (Ichabbie)

The Witnesses face off against an actual god in the fall finale of Sleepy Hollow. Let me break it down for you.

That hooded guy with the scythe? None other than Pandora’s husband The Hidden One, not a monster, but “a living, breathing god” she summoned from the underworld to restore his power, power derived from a gem and known as The Hidden Eye. Paul Revere encased the gem in a sphere to protect mankind from its destructiveness, and there it remained until Nevins broke the sphere and its power entered Jenny.

If The Eye looks familiar, remember that Sleepy Hollow is lousy with Freemasons. They’re the reason—specifically, Benjamin Franklin, the Freemason and Founding Father who continues to confound Crane—the Eye of Providence ended up on our currency. But unless you’re a high-level Freemason, good luck putting it all together. Crane, however, is a high-level Freemason and realizes the answers they seek are found in a Colonial treatise whose sole copy is in an Old Masonic lodge that is part of a university in Albany. Team Witness arrives on campus and secures the book in the midst of a toga party very much like the one in Animal House, including a black singer belting out “Shout.”

[What is going on here? ...]

Nov 18 2015 1:00pm
Original Story

H&H Quickie #14: Valerie Bowman Presents The Irresistible Rogue Prequel Scene

The Irresistible Rogue by Valerie Bowman

We are honored and thrilled to share with you a brand-new, exclusive, original Quickie prequel scene to The Irresistible Rogue by Valerie Bowman, which came out earlier this month.

H&H newsletter subscribers were the first to read the Quickie, which we're now thrilled to post for all readers! We hope you enjoy.

Want to be alerted for our next Quickie? Become an H&H member and check “yes” to become a newsletter subscriber and get your quick fix of all other romance news, reviews, and excerpts!

Last month, we asked you to offer suggestions (“prompts”) as inspiration for a short original scene, and you brought your A-game!

Here are the prompts Valerie chose as inspiration (with thanks to everyone who left a suggestion, both here at H&H and on Wattpad, because there were so many fantastic options):

  • A hero with a scar (PhoebeChase)

  • Stale tea cakes (lauralee1912)

The London Docks
Approximately one year before The Irresistible Rogue begins

Ok, this was it. Daphne was going to kiss Rafe Cavendish if it was the last thing she did. Tonight. On this ship. They had only two more days before it was all over. Their mission, that is. She’d spent the last nearly two weeks with him aboard The True Love pretending to be his cabin boy, married to him, and he hadn’t made so much as one inappropriate advance on her whatsoever. It was entirely possible this mission would end without any sort of inappropriate advance being made on Rafe’s part and Daphne had made up her mind. If an inappropriate advance was going to be made, apparently she was the one who was going to make it. So be it.

[Read the full scene now...]

Nov 20 2015 8:05am

Who Is Your Sexiest Man Alive for 2015?

David Beckham may have nabbed the titled this year, but there are plenty of sexy men out there. Do you agree with People's choice for Sexiest Man Alive? Who would you have picked in his place, if you weren't on Becks side?

Let us know in the comments (share a pic or two), and come back later today for some more eye-candy with our Friday Beefcake. 

Nov 19 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue’s Before the Dawn (November 30, 2015)

Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue
Before the Dawn (The Ending #4)
L2 Books / November 24, 2015 / $3.99 digital

A year ago, the Virus killed off most people in the world. 

A year ago, strange things started happening to those who survived. Some of them transformed into something dark and sinister, while others evolved, becoming something more, something beyond human.

A year ago, Dani and Zoe were lost. They traversed the country to find one another, losing some of the people dearest to them along the way. They fought for their right to simply live, uncovered long-buried secrets, and discovered irreversible truths. And after everything Dani and Zoe have been through—even with the battle wounds that they bear—they’re still not safe.

It’s time for the struggling to end, for survivors to take back their lives, their families, their safety. It’s time to really begin to live, and to do that, they must wait for the first rays of dawn.

Before the Dawn by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue is the fourth and finalish story in The Ending series. I say finalish because it looks like there will be another story told, but this book definitely closes the chapter on a harrowing, exciting, romantic, and dangerous. The world created here is rich and dynamic; there are several novellas that accompany the series that are worth a read for anyone who is addicted to The Ending series (like me!).

[Get in on this sci-fi series ...]

Nov 19 2015 4:03pm

Romance News: Never-Before-Published Edith Layton & Sugar Cookie Sweetheart 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.

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

Peaches and the Queen by Edith Layton

Edith Layton was a historical romance powerhouse. Sadly, she passed away in 2009, and many of her works went unpublished. Edith's daughter, Susie Felber, has been working to get some of those unpublished treats into fans' hands, and today we're happy to share the cover and synopsis for Edith Layton's never-before-published Peaches and the Queen, a holiday novella featuring a much-loved cat and, of course, Queen Victoria:

Presenting a never-before-published, holiday short story from Regency author Edith Layton! 

Christmas is coming to Victorian London. A poor boy living with his milliner sister in a marginal part of town discovers his cat is missing. His old dog can’t live without the cat, so he searches—and hears that the Queen has kidnapped his cat! Queen Victoria’s favorite moggie strayed, and her minions scooped up the wrong cat—or so the boy and his sister think. 

This Christmas novella tells how an earnest young Beefeater, his world-weary superior, and one of the wiliest criminals in London each try to find the right cat without disturbing the old queen, win the boy’s cat back—and woo the pretty sister—before the Queen leaves London for her Christmas holiday. 

From the servants at the palace and the Queen’s own chambers, to Billingsgate and the mudlarks’ favorite taverns, the adventures are many among the high- and low-life of Victorian London.

Pre-order Peaches and the Queen today at Amazon before its November 30 release.

[+Sweet, sweet deals...]

Nov 19 2015 2:45pm

A Ranking of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles Series Couples: An Opinionated Opinion

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Now that Winter has been released, I take a moment to reflect on the four main couples driving the Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer. Below, I give you in descending order, saving the best for last, my very opinionated ranking of the four main couples.

4. Winter and Jacin

Maybe I’m not as enamored with them because they don’t really enter into the picture until late in book 3 and then book 4. Thus they don’t have as much facetime with the reader as the other couples. However, Jacin’s love and devotion is the stuff romances are made, even though he is charged with killing his beloved. Before he stages her death in order to rescue her, they have their first real swoon-worthy kiss.

“Jacin,” she said, with a shaky smile. “You must know. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love you. I don’t think such a time ever existed.”

His eyes filled with a thousand emotions. But before he could say whatever he would say, before he could kill her, Winter grabbed the front of his shirt with both hands and kissed him.

He thawed much quicker than she’d expected. Almost instantly, like he’d been waiting for this moment, he grabbed her hips and pulled her against him with a possessiveness that overwhelmed her. His lips were desperate and starved as he leaned into the kiss, pressing her against the rail. She gasped, and he deepened the kiss, threading one hand into the hair at the nape of her neck.

Her head swam, muddled with heat and a lifetime of desire…

…Jacin’s hand slipped out of her hair. His arm encircled her.

He held her against him like they couldn’t get enough.

Like he meant to absorb her body into his.

[See who is the top couple in the Luna Chronicles series ...]

Nov 19 2015 1:30pm

A Bountiful Cornucopia: Not-Your-Usual Historicals Best Bets for November 2015

A Treasure of Gold by Piper Huguley

November means Thanksgiving, spending time reflecting on our many blessings and trying not to throttle Aunt Gertrude over the turkey when she makes yet another snide comment that you can’t seem to hang on to a man.  In the name of family harmony, why not ignore ol’ Aunt Gertie by diving into a historical romance?  The options this month are plentiful!

20th Century!

A Treasure of Gold by Piper Huguley

When you follow your heart, never count the cost.

Migrations of the Heart, Book 3

Trusting in the One who orders her steps, Nettie Bledsoe is determined not to deviate from her route to the charity kitchen. Don’t stop for anything, her sisters say. Pittsburgh isn’t like Georgia, they warn.

Yet when low moans of unholy suffering drift from an alley, she can’t help but investigate. It’s a man. The most beautiful man she’s ever seen. Despite his scandalous reputation, something within her responds to his sinfully rich voice. 

Jay Evans is trying hard to stay on the straight and narrow, and doesn’t want help from any church do-gooder. But until his wound heals, he needs help caring for his young daughter, Goldie. Especially since Nettie saw fit to fire Goldie’s barely competent nanny. 

Despite their mismatched backgrounds, Nettie and Jay fight a losing battle against their growing attraction. But it’s only when Nettie is kidnapped that Jay realizes that if he doesn’t get her back safe and sound, his heart will shatter into uncountable pieces.

This third book in Huguley’s Migrations of the Heart series follows middle sister Nettie as she learns to navigate the urban streets of Pittsburgh after leaving rural Georgia behind.  The beautiful cover is also a finalist for RT Book Reviews Best Cover of the Month poll.

[Enticing historicals to get you through the Thanksgiving ...]

Nov 19 2015 11:00am

Arrow 4x07 Olicity Heart-to-Heart: In the Light of Day

TV Recap: Captain's Log Arrow 4x07 Olicity

Show/Episode: Arrow Season 4, Episode 7, “Brotherhood”

Ship(s): Oliver/Felicity (Olicity)

Last week’s episode was heavy on the Olicity action. There was fear, conflict, a mother in town, kissing, making up. Basically, last week was a ‘shipper’s dream. So, of course, going into “Brotherhood,” we had to slow it down. There was a lot to cover with Digg and uncovering his brother was still alive. Thea is battling the effects of the Lazarus Pit. Ollie is still on target to run for Mayor.

In other words: It’s damn busy in Star City.

On the Olicity front, this week had zero smooching, but we did get a little flash of Stephen Amell’s abs as Felicity tended to Ollie’s wounds following a nasty battle with the Ghosts.

[Let's dive straight in ...]

Nov 19 2015 9:30am

First Look: Lynn Kurland’s Stars in Your Eyes (November 24, 2015)

Lynn Kurland
Stars in Your Eyes
Jove / November 24, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

New York Times bestselling author Lynn Kurland presents a sweeping romance in which true love can go beyond time...

Imogen Maxwell is on a hunt for rare, antique items to use on a period movie set. The last thing she expects to discover in the peaceful Scottish countryside is a pristine medieval sword...or to suddenly find herself facing its very vintage owner in a far too authentic castle.

Phillip de Piaget has run out of patience with his recalcitrant Scottish betrothed and is determined that she will join him, once and for all, in front of the altar. Only the lass he captures fleeing his would-be keep seems more interested in running away from him than talking to him. In fact, she seems to have no idea who he is.

But taming his reluctant bride is the least of his worries; it seems someone else wants him at the chapel...in a stone box. As for Imogen, how can he let her go, when she holds the key to not only the castle, but his heart?Imogen Maxwell dreams of life as a movie producer/director, knowing she has to pay her dues as an underling at the outset. Unfortunately for her, Imogen’s life path does not sit well with her over-achieving family’s view of the world, and she typically faces not only their criticism and ire, but also countless pranks by her older siblings.

Despite her family’s attitudes and behavior, Imogen makes her way to the UK for a film shoot. As an assistant to the set designer, her task is to scout for locations and items that look medieval. Unfortunately, Imogen’s sister, Prissy, sees fit to set her up with as many plane and flight changes/transfers as possible, ensuring Imogen’s exhaustion upon arrival. When her suitcase spills open at the train station, even the assistance of the very helpful handsome man who speaks of chivalry does not quite improve her mood.

[The chaos doesn't last forever ...]

Nov 19 2015 8:14am

Throwback Thursday: Do You Miss the Stepback?

When the Duke Returns by Eloisa James

Let me preface this Morning Coffee by saying yes, I know stepbacks are still around. I have several sitting on my desk here and I love them. So I know they're still out there! However, as covers get more explicit, and as readers spend more time at online bookstores than physical bookstores, the step back has faded away outside of some Historical Romance. 

Once upon a time, the step back was part of almost every romance reader experience. At the bookstore or library, we would pick up a romance from the shelf look at the safe cover of a rose lying on a pillow and peal it back to the next page—the stepback—to see a couple in the classic clinche pose, or lounging on a bed or couch. 

Do you miss the stepback? What stepbacks were memorable to you? Are you glad covers are steamier now or did you prefer the more demure covers with the steamy stepback of years gone by?

Nov 18 2015 4:30pm

Victoria Dahl Plays Your Heartstrings Like A Banjo With Harlot

Here’s the deal. I went in for the sex, okay? A few years ago I picked up The Wicked West (Victoria Dahl writing as Holly Summers, the pseudonym of the heroine in Talk Me Down). I’m a sucker for historical Westerns and I love erotic romances. Mix the two and I’m in heaven. The Wicked West gave me exactly what I wanted. The smoking hot sexy times, mixed with the dirt under the nails and buck baths that come with the old West setting. When I heard about Harlot, I almost broke my nail on that one-click pre-order button. I was ready for more of Dalh’s brand of old timey sexy times. Yeah, yeah, I read the disclaimer on her website.

Warning: Harlot is an erotic romance and is darker than most of my books. Be prepared for a little wrongness. Just the right amount of wrong, hopefully.

Bring on the dark wrongness! Bring it! I was ready and, again, I got exactly what I wanted. Harlot is filled with drool-worthy sex scenes between a couple who has waited years to finally share a bed. But I got something else I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t expecting to feel all the feels. I wasn’t expecting to be up in the middle of the night, pretending I wasn’t dashing tears out of the corners of my eyes while I stared at my e-reader.

[Change your reading experience with this book ...]