<i>Primal Force</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Primal Force: Exclusive Excerpt D. D. Ayres "Good in bed but impossible to love." <i>Hannah and the Highlander</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Hannah and the Highlander: Exclusive Excerpt Sabrina York <i>Chalvaren Rising</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Chalvaren Rising: Exclusive Excerpt Paula Millhouse Mia wrapped her arms around his neck, their chests colliding..." <i>Wicked Lies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Wicked Lies: Exclusive Excerpt Lora Leigh "His hold tightened further on her as his head lowered, his lips brushing over her jaw."
From The Blog
August 28, 2015
Dark Romances for the Reluctant Reader
Sahara Hoshi
August 27, 2015
August Kert's Bring Me to Life
August 27, 2015
Summer Regency Anthologies Make Reading Easy!
Janet Webb
August 27, 2015
August 2015 Blogger Recommendations
Team H & H
August 26, 2015
Lovers as Property in the Medieval Romance
Aug 26 2015 4:30pm

You Belong to Me: Lovers as Property in the Medieval Romance of Madeline Hunter

When authors began leaving the Medieval romance for other  genres, one of the saddest losses was Madeline Hunter. (Though that loss was certainly to the Regency/Victorian novel's gain.) I don't know precisely why the Medieval fell into disfavor, but I suspect it may have to do with readers becoming uncomfortable with the extreme power imbalances between class and sex that are inherent in the setting. And that's exactly why I miss Hunter in the subgenre.

Hunter never went full-on bodice ripper as, for example, Brenda Joyce did in The Conqueror. (A very entertaining book, if you're not sensitive to the disturbing elements.) Nor did she try to write as if power imbalances didn't really matter. Instead she used the tension caused by those imbalances to create stories that aren't only satisfying romance, but thematically fascinating. Two of my favorites explore the effect on love when one person is literally the property of another.

In By Possession, Moira is the illegitimate child of a lord and a serf; her father granted her freedom before his death, but she's unable to prove it. She's now the legal possession of Lord Addis de Valance, and to make things more complicated, she's loved him most of her life. But Moira has no intention of following in her mother's lonely, shameful footsteps, no matter how strong the temptation.

“Can you say that these hands misuse you, Moira, and that you are not willing?”

She sorrowfully extricated herself from his hold and stepped back. She hitched the blanket back on her shoulders and grasped it closed. “I am weak to the pleasure, but what you offer me will someday bring misery and I will not endure it. I swore when just a girl that I would not be any man's whore, least of all one to a knight or a lord.”

Gold fires flamed. Dangerous fires, that spoke of more than thwarted desire.

“You say that often, and insult me with it. 'Tis you who misunderstand, and think the worst of me without cause. Those garments are not meant as a bribe to buy a bedmate for a few nights. I do not seek to make a whore of you.”

She had suspected as much when she saw him at the doorway. Better if he did only want her for brief pleasure. “What you call it will not matter. All others know such women for what they are.”

[O King, how I love her...]

Aug 26 2015 3:47pm

Romance News Roundup: K.M. Moning’s Feverborn Details & 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.

Feverborn by Karen Marie MoningKaren Marie Moning released the official description for her next Dani O'Malley/Fever novel, Feverborn, due out on January 19, 2016, on her Facebook page:

In Karen Marie Moning’s latest installment of the epic #1 New York Times bestselling Fever series, the stakes have never been higher and the chemistry has never been hotter. Hurtling us into a realm of labyrinthine intrigue and consummate seduction, FEVERBORN is a riveting tale of ancient evil, lust, betrayal, forgiveness and the redemptive power of love.

When the immortal race of the Fae destroyed the ancient wall dividing the worlds of Man and Faery, the very fabric of the universe was damaged and now Earth is vanishing bit by bit. Only the long-lost Song of Making—a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of all life itself—can save the planet.

But those who seek the mythic Song—Mac, Barrons, Ryodan and Jada—must contend with old wounds and new enemies, passions that burn hot and hunger for vengeance that runs deep. The challenges are many: The Keltar at war with nine immortals who’ve secretly ruled Dublin for eons, Mac and Jada hunted by the masses, the Seelie queen nowhere to be found, and the most powerful Unseelie prince in all creation determined to rule both Fae and Man. Now the task of solving the ancient riddle of the Song of Making falls to a band of deadly warriors divided among—and within—themselves.

Once a normal city possessing a touch of ancient magic, Dublin is now a treacherously magical city with only a touch of normal. And in those war-torn streets, Mac will come face to face with her most savage enemy yet: herself.

[+Scoop on a Barbara O'Neal deal...]

Aug 26 2015 2:00pm

Expectations vs. Reality: The Struggles of Being Friends with Non-Romance Readers

Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey

We've all been there and dealt with it. If we're at all “out” about being a romance reader, then we've heard it all before—especially when we're the only romance reader in our friend group or family! Most non-romance readers have similar complaints: the covers (it's all Fabio), the sex scenes (we've all heard it called smut, right?), that the readers must be old maids because they can't get action anywhere else (we're all crazy cat ladies, am I right?), and the books are all poorly written and the characters are under-developed (or not!).

As the readers, we know these misconceptions are exactly that—pure myth! Yes, of course there are examples that prove these myths to be true and there was a time when Fabio was on a lot of covers (although not as many as people think), but that's not the case anymore! That hasn't stopped some people from still “not getting” what romance is all about, and when there's no one else around to back you up about what romance is really like, it can be hard to hop off the struggle bus and confidently deal with these misconceptions. Do they sound familiar...

1. No one understands that the covers are not all Fabio and heaving bosoms...

[They don't understand...but you do!]

Aug 26 2015 12:00pm

Wicked Lies: Exclusive Excerpt

Wicked Lies by Lora Leigh

He’s Tempting Fate

Jazz Lancing is the stuff of legends. A mountain-bred ex-Navy SEAL with rugged dark looks, a tall muscled frame, and gorgeous blue eyes, he can have any woman he wants in the state of Tennessee. Except Annie Mayes. The beautiful, innocent teacher refuses to fall for Jazz because she's hiding a secret more powerful than her own temptation ...

She’s In Too Deep

Jazz knows that Annie isn't who she says she is-that she's lying about her identity, her past, and her motives. But can she be trusted? Little does he know Annie has been craving his kiss for years, dreaming that Jazz would take her in his arms and save her from her demons. But telling Jazz the truth could put both of them in peril. In this deadly game of danger, deceit, and darkness, is desire worth the risk of losing...everything?

Get a sneak peek at Lora Leigh's Wicked Lies (available September 1, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.


Loudoun, Tennessee

Damn, he could feel her watching him.

It wasn’t the itch a man got when he was being hunted; he knew that feeling well. This was different. It was an awareness he’d only felt once in his life, with one other person. And if her ghost were going to haunt him, it would have started long before now.

No, the ghost of that young woman wasn’t tracking every move he made. A ghost hadn’t been tracking him for the past three months, either.

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

Aug 26 2015 11:00am

A Travis Family Reunion: A Ranking of the Travis Family Books (An Opinionated Opinion)

When I first started out reading romance, only paranormals and historicals made my to-read list. That was until I finished all of Lisa Kleypas’s historical romance series and was left wanting more. So I went onto her website and read her FAQ page. And much to my surprise, she revealed that Blue-Eyed Devil was probably her all-time favorite. Which made me stop, literally scratch the side of my head, and give an audible, “hmmph.”

Maybe I shouldn’t be so narrow-minded with the sub-genres that I read. So off I went to the local library, made my way to K, and there it was, staring at me. Blue-Eyed Devil in a hardbound copy. Did I think to also check out the other Travis books in the series that were on the bookshelf? Nooo. Of course not. Because I was determined to dislike contemporary romance. In particular, one that features a modern-day Texan renegade. But it was Lisa Kleypas…so I was willing to give it a shot. And am I ever glad I did. Because it had me sobbing, blushing, seething, talking to the characters—because, you know, they can hear me—and then breathing a sigh of relief that the HEA I knew was coming actually occurred. Of course, the next day I went back to the library to pick up Sugar Daddy and Smooth Talking Stranger.

This was immediately followed by a thorough scouring of the internet, trying to investigate when Joe’s story would come out. Months then years went by and *finally* a release date was given.

Now that the date is rapidly approaching, to celebrate the final Travis story, I rate the four couples from this most excellent series.

[Which is your favorite?]

Aug 26 2015 9:30am

First Look: Amanda Forester’s The Highlander’s Bride (September 1, 2015)

The Highlander's Bride by Amanda Forester

Amanda Forester
The Highlander’s Bride (Highland Trouble #1)
Sourcebooks Casablanca / September 1, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

All Highland warrior Gavin Patrick wants is to get back to his native Scotland. But before he can leave the battlefield, he's given a final mission-escort Lady Marie Colette to her fiancé. Under no circumstances is he to lay hands on the beautiful, clever-tongued heiress...no matter how desperate the temptation.

Forced to pose as a married couple to make their escape from France, Gavin and Marie Colette find themselves thrown into peril...and each other's arms. As the danger mounts, so does their forbidden passion. But it isn't until Marie Colette is taken from him that Gavin is forced to decide-is he willing to lose the woman who stole his heart, or will he jeopardize his honor, defy his promise, and steal her in return?

Lady Marie Colette has been raised as a precious object, rare and beautiful, pure and idolized, her sole duty to serve her family in marriage. In Amanda Forester's The Highlander's Bride, the time has come, and her father the duc has betrothed her to a Scottish earl in exchange for troops to help fight the English in the Hundred Years War. Gavin Patrick has been tasked with escorting her and her enormous retinue to her betrothed. Gavin reconciles her to the journey with the lure of the Highlands.

He stepped close to her, moving with a fluid grace that made her heart beat faster. “In the Highlands we dinna have all yer comforts, but what we do have we hold fast and fiercely defend.”

He was so tall, she had to tilt back her head to see him, putting her headdress dangerously out of alignment. “What do you have?” she asked in a voice barely above a whisper.

“Freedom. We have freedom. No one to order ye about. No one to say what ye can or canna do. Ye can wear what ye wish, eat what ye wish. Ye can ride a horse as long and as fast as ye wish. In the Highlands, m’lady, ye would be free.”

Free? She stared up at him. He dangled before her the one thing all her riches could never buy. He offered her freedom.

[Her journey with the highland warrior turns into adventure...]

Aug 26 2015 8:20am

Who Are Your Favorite Dogs of Romance?

Today is National Dog Day! Dogs are man's best friend but the ladies love 'em too! Heroes and Heroines alike have a very special bond with their animals and some authors really know how to integrate dogs and other pets into their stories! Sometimes a dog is what brings the pair together, sometimes it's a point of contention, and other times the dog is a character all on its own!

What dogs have you enjoyed in romance? What authors do you think integrate animals the best?

Let me know in the comments!

Aug 25 2015 4:30pm

First Look: D.D. Ayres’s Primal Force (September 1, 2015)

Primal Force by D.D. Ayres

D.D. Ayres
Primal Force (K-9 Rescue #3)
St. Martin's Press / September 1, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

Passion is always worth fighting for…

Jori Garrison trains dogs for Warrior Wolf Pack, which provides service animals for disabled veterans. Four years ago, she was wrongly convicted of a crime—thanks to her no-good ex- fiancé. Now she just wants to live her life in peace with her beloved dogs. No men, no complications. But it's hard to play it cool when a lethally hot male is on her tail—and the attraction is fierce, mutual, and dangerous….


Lauray “Law” Batisse is a Military Police veteran who was wounded in Afghanistan. Haunted by the loss of his K-9 partner in combat, he's reluctant to accept a service dog named Samantha into his life. But once he meets her trainer—the gorgeous Jori Garrison—he can't fight his primal instincts. And neither can Jori. This sexy alpha male might be the only man strong enough to unleash her desires. And when unseen enemies start hunting them down, he and his new K-9 partner might be her only hope…to survive.

Primal Force by D.D. Ayres is a wonderful concoction of mystery, romance, and service dogs. It also highlights a dog training program using incarcerated inmates. Many states, like my own, have a variation of this type of program, so it was great to see it get some recognition. However, it is the heartfelt story of two damaged people finding love and the fiercely loyal Samantha, a golden doodle (part golden retriever and poodle) who looks a Cheese Doodle that make this book shine.

[Another addictive story about love and animals...]

Aug 25 2015 5:35pm

Have You Seen Brianna? Outlander Casting Jamie and Claire’s Daughter

Spoiler Alert: This Outlander news contains spoilers for all-aired episodes of Outlander, but may also come as a surprise for those who have not already read the books. Read with caution!

According to E! News, Outlander is seeking its Brianna. For those who have read the books you'll recognize this as the name of Jamie and Claire's daughter! According to the post, it appears the show will indeed be looking to follow closely to the books...sort of! 

The show described Brianna as:

 ...a young 20-something American who's “strong-minded, intelligent beyond her years with an effortless charm and sparkling sense of humor (traits inherited from both her mother and father). She also has a scholastic mindset, with a healthy dose of American strength, having been born and bred in Boston under the watchful eye of professor and historian Frank Randall.” 

For more on the physical type, the call is looking for a tall, red-head with high cheekbones and blue eyes—sound like anyone we know? Like father, like daughter! Once Claire returns to 1940s England, however, it'll be Frank who takes on the father duties...and young Brianna who takes on Frank's name! For those who have read the books, this comes as no surprise...what may come as a surprise is the timeline shifts the show will be making, in that Brianna will be following Claire back to (1700s) Scotland during Season 2—an event which does not happen until book 4. What do you think of this shift in the story?

Back in 2011, Rachel Hyland fantasy cast Outlander, and while none of her picks were in the final cast, we do have to say, one of the picks could still be in the running—Karen Gillan as Brianna, anyone?  Who would you like to see in the role? What do you think of the show continuing on with the 20-year time hop?

Update 8/27/15: Sam Heughan doesn't seem opposed to the idea of Karen Gillan joining Outlander as Brianna. Okay, that might be a stretch, but if he has her on his radar, then maybe so will the casting directors! Check out this tweet from this morning:

Aug 25 2015 3:24pm

Romance News Roundup: Tiffany Snow & Vanessa Kelly Deals, 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.

Power Play by Tiffany Snow—Deal Alert #1: Tiffany Snow's Risky Business novel Power Play is $1.99 right now in e-book at e-tailers such as iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon (via ReadCheaply).* To get the scoop, read TanyaLK's First Look at Power Play.

—Deal Alert #2: Mary McNear's Moonlight on Butternut Lake is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble (via BookBub).* If you enjoy small-town romances and heroines taking care of injured heroes, you'll definitely want to learn more with Janga's First Look at Moonlight on Butternut Lake.

—Deal Alert #3: Vanessa Kelly's Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard is $2.51 right now in e-book at Amazon (via ReadCheaply).* New to this author? Learn more about Vanessa Kelly's books here.

[+Good news for Arrow's Olicity fans...]

Aug 25 2015 1:00pm

First Look: Joelle Knox’s Anything But Broken (August 25, 2015)

Joelle Knox
Anything But Broken (Hurricane Creek #1)
Joelle Knox / August 25, 2015 / $4.99 digital

After five years, tragedy brings Hannah Casey back to Hurricane Creek to bury what’s left of her family. She’s flunking out of college, haunted by scandal, and the only person who cares is Sean Whitlow, an irresistible bad boy with a soft spot for her. The problem? He’s her dead sister’s ex.

Sean doesn’t bleed red, he bleeds motor oil. During the week, he struggles to turn his auto repair shop into a profitable business. But when Saturday night rolls around, he’s the reigning stock-car king of the local race track. He doesn’t know how to lose–or how to walk away and leave Hannah alone with her grief.

Between her grades and her wealthy family’s dark secrets, Hannah’s barely holding her life together. And the last thing Sean needs is to get tangled up with another Casey girl. As the attraction between them spins out of control, they’ll either find a love with no limits–or go up in flames.

Joelle Knox’s Anything But Broken is a tale of grief and redemption built around the core of engaging romance and undeniable chemistry.

Hannah Casey has spent her life wearing the Casey mask, being the perfect daughter and living out the life her mother told her she would have. Now she’s back home in Hurricane Creek because her parents were in a terrible car accident. Her father died in the crash, but her mother is brain dead and on life support. Her strained relationship with them doesn’t matter when she’s the only living relative. She has to be at the hospital with her mom, she has to make decisions. It’d be different if her sister Cait were still alive, but she’s not. Hannah is alone and no longer has anyone around to tell her how to feel.

[Compromising for a shot at love...]

Aug 25 2015 11:00am

Hidden Gems from Old Favorites like Crusie, Donovan, and More!

Knock Me Off My Feet by Susan Donovan

The world is full of terrifying, gruesome, depressing headlines … often. It’s one of the reasons I love the romance genre. Of course there’s the romance and the sexy time, and the hot alpha heroes, but mostly it’s the potential—the hope—for a happy ending. Hope fixes a lot of things. Hope keeps you going.

My go-to subgenre is romantic suspense, but I also love contemporary romances. On a broad scale, contemporary means, “existing, occurring or living at the same time; belonging to the same time.” When referencing art, contemporary art is “art made and produced by artists living today … [who] work in and respond to a global environment that is culturally diverse, technologically advancing, and multifaceted.” And when referencing contemporary romance, we’re talking about “novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship.” Great contemporary romances reflect this time in which we live.

There’s a lot of leeway in the genre, and probably as many great contemporary romance authors as there are stars in the sky. Here are a handful of my favorite contemporaries, with a couple suggestions for you to check out on your own.

[Can't go wrong with contemporary romance...]

Aug 25 2015 9:30am

First Look: Emma Chase’s Sustained (August 25, 2015)

Sustained by Emma Chase

Emma Chase
Sustained (Legal Briefs #2)
Gallery / August 25, 2015 / $15.99 print, $7.99 digital

Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, returns with a brand new funny, romantic, sexy story!

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy and Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that—that, I know how to do.

A lot of people fell in love with Emma Chase’s male point-of-view novel, Tangled. That success led to a number of sequel titles and now the spin-off series, The Legal Briefs. As much as I enjoyed Overruled, the first book in the series, I was really chomping at the bit for Sustained. Sustained brings back the all-male point-of-view that readers fell in love with in Tangled. Specifically, you have the great formula of an asshole hero, Jake Becker, defense attorney, pitted against loving aunt, Chelsea McQuaid, legal guardian to six children.

[It's Jake vs. The Family...]

Aug 25 2015 8:18am

One Book, One Celebrity...

Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn

In a twist on the “what celebrities (alive or dead) would you invite to a dinner party,” I want to know what celebrity (living or dead) would you lend a book to...and what book would you lend. This book is likely your favorite of all time, or your gateway book, but it could also just be a book that you think they would enjoy, based on what you know about said celebrity. For example, maybe you would give the Shakespeare-loving Tom Hiddleston Eloisa James's Shakespeare influenced Once Upon a Tower

So, who's your celebrity and what's your book?

Aug 24 2015 4:30pm

Why The Wrong Guy Just Might Be Mr. Right

Right Wrong Guy by Lia Riley

Today we're thrilled to welcome Lia Riley to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Lia's second book in her Brightwater series, Right Wrong Guy, came out on August 4 and features a small-town bad boy who falls for a big-city heiress—talk about opposites attract. Lia is here today to talk about finding the right person when you think they're absolutely the wrong one. Thanks, Lia!

Man oh man, I’m all about those tropes, the beloved time tested plot devices used by romance authors to bring together two (and sometimes more!) love interests. Paula Abdul famously sang about my personal all-time favorite trope when she belted out how “opposites attract.” It’s such fun to watch two characters who don’t appear to have much in common on the surface slowly discover a meaningful connection at more fundamental levels. Who didn’t get a little twitterpated during As Good as it Gets, when Jack Nicholson’s character tells the single mom and waitress, played by Helen Hunt, that “You make me want to be a better man”?


As an author, it’s a real treat to rummage around in the character’s very different personalities and be challenged to find a way to make their relationship viable to the reader. In my recent release, Right Wrong Guy, a bad boy wrangler from a small ranching community rustles up a prim New York heiress who just so happens to be a runaway bride. Throwing these seemingly polar opposites together was addictive fun and I got a kick seeing how they played off the strengths and weaknesses of the other. Today I want to share four of my favorite “opposites attract” reads…books where the hero appears to be the wrong guy for so many reasons and yet by the end it’s clear he’s Mr. Right.

[Sometimes Mr. Wrong is Mr. Right...]

Aug 24 2015 3:38pm

Romance News Roundup: Victoria Dahl’s Harlot, Phyllis Bourne Deal, 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.

Harlot by Victoria Dahl—Victoria Dahl has announced her first historical in two years, and a Western, at that: Harlot. The erotic e-book will be “edgier” than most of her books, according to Dahl, who goes on to say: “Be prepared for a little wrongness. Just the right amount of wrong, hopefully.” Intrigued? Same! See the cover here and read the book's official description at Dahl's site. Harlot will be released in October 2015. Visit our Victoria Dahl archive for more on her books.

—Deal Alert: Phyllis Bourne's A Moment on the Lips is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon (via @FarrahRochon).* And if you're craving more from Bourne, may I recommend this cover reveal post for Taste for Temptation?

USA Today's HEA blog has an excerpt from Lori Foster's Ultimate novel Tough Love, an MMA romance out tomorrow, August 25. Bonus: The book will include a free Buckhorn novella, Back to Buckhorn. New to the Ultimate series? Here's some background to get you started—a binge session may be in order!

—ICYMI: Friday evening, Deadline Hollywood revealed that J.R. Ward's The Bourbon Kings is being adapted as a television pilot for NBC. Will we see it on our TV screens one day? Only time will tell... What do you think about it's chances?

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

Aug 24 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Meredith Duran’s Luck Be a Lady (August 25, 2015)

Meredith Duran
Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless #4)
Pocket / August 25, 2015 / $6.99 print

They call her the “Ice Queen.”

Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.

Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not...

Catherine Everleigh’s raison d’etre is her family’s auction house. She learned the trade at her father’s side, but now her brother Peter is embezzling the funds to promote his political career. She cannot allow the house to fail, for her entire identity is bound up in it.

But for her, Everleigh’s was everything. Their father’s legacy. Her sacred birthright. Everleigh’s made her who she was – which was not merely a spinster, the “Ice Queen” that rude wits had dubbed her. She was a person of business. An expert in the field of fine arts. A learned professional, regardless of her sex.

[She learns to give her heart to more than business...]

Aug 24 2015 12:00pm

What To Do With A Duke: Exclusive Excerpt

Sally MacKenzie

What To Do With A Duke by Sally MacKenzie

Welcome to the charming, fatefully named village of Loves Bridge, where a woman destined for spinsterhood can live a life of her own choosing—or fall unexpectedly, madly in love…

Miss Isabelle Catherine Hutting would rather be lounging in the library than circling the ballroom in search of a husband any day. So when Cat hears that the town’s infamous Spinster House is open for a new resident, she jumps at the chance to put all this marriage business behind her. But first she must make arrangements with her prospective landlord, Marcus, the Duke of Hart—the most handsome man she’s ever seen, and the only man who’s ever impressed her in the least…

With her wit, independent spirit, and not least of all her beauty, Marcus can’t help but be stirred by Cat. It’s terribly unfortunate he’s not looking to marry, given the centuries-old curse that left his family with the Spinster House to begin with. No duke shall live to see his heir’s birth. But is there a chance the curse could be broken—in true fairy-tale fashion—by an act of true love? The race to Happily Ever After is about to begin…

Get a sneak peek at Sally MacKenzie's What To Do With A Duke (available August 25, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

The duke was going to let her have the Spinster House. Her dream was about to come true. Cat almost skipped up through the graveyard and around to the back of the church.

“I wonder why Randolph—that is, Mr. Wilkinson— didn’t say anything about the Spinster House being empty and swore my father to secrecy as well,” she said as they approached the back gate.

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

Aug 24 2015 11:00am

The Sweetest Taboo: Male/Male Best Bets for August 2015

Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher

Along with some new titles by popular authors, I noticed a number of... not really taboo, but more unusual or challenging themes in this month's male/male offerings—particularly a number of heroes in the clergy.

Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher (L.A. Witt)

Isaac Morris has devoted his life to preaching against the sin of homosexuality. But when his sister proposes a documentary to demonstrate once and for all that it’s a choice—with Isaac choosing to be gay as proof—he balks. Until he learns his nephew is headed down that perverted path. Isaac will do anything to convince the teenager he can choose to be straight . . . including his sister’s film.

When Isaac’s first foray into the gay lifestyle ends with a homophobic beating, he’s saved and cared for by Colton Roberts, a gentle, compassionate bartender with a cross around his neck. Colton challenges every one of Isaac’s deeply held beliefs about gay men. He was kicked out by homophobic parents, saved from the streets by a kind pastor, and is now a devout Christian. Colton’s sexuality has cost him dearly, but it also brought him to God.

As the two grow closer, everything Isaac knows about homosexuality, his faith, and himself is called into question. And if he’s been wrong all along, what does that mean for his ministry, his soul, his struggling nephew—and the man he never meant to love?

Inspirational Christian male/male romances are certainly not thick on the ground! Gallagher, who writes steamy male/male under the name L.A. Witt, offers a tender, slow-burn romance with a little sizzle, but closed bedroom doors. It may not be quite a typical inspie, but Christian faith and redemption are major themes. If you're a fan of Witt's, you'll also run into into some old friends from the Distance Between Us series.

[Male/Male romances don't hold back...]

Aug 24 2015 9:30am

First Look: Tessa Dare’s When a Scot Ties the Knot (August 25, 2015)

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare
When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After #3)
Avon / August 25, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.

In When a Scot Ties the Knot, the third novel of her Castles Ever After series (after Romancing the Duke and Say Yes to the Marquess), Tessa Dare chooses a liar and a blackmailer as her heroine and hero—not exactly what readers expect of the lead characters in a Regency historical romance. Madeline Eloise Gracechurch is a most atypical heroine in ways other than her less than faithful adherence to truth. Rather than having aspirations of becoming a belle, she is a Cinderella wannabe.

Oh, to be Cinderella in all her soot-smeared, rag-clad misery. Maddie would have been thrilled to have a wicked stepmother lock her in the tower while everyone else went to the ball. Instead, she was stuck with a very different sort of stepmother—one eager to dress her in silks, send her to dances, and thrust her into the arms of an unsuspecting prince.

[Maddie prefers Cinderella over belle...]