<i>The Mistake</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Mistake: Exclusive Excerpt Elle Kennedy "He lightly strokes my cheekbone and I have to stop myself from purring like an affection-starved cat." <i>The Harlot Countess</i>: Excerpt The Harlot Countess: Excerpt Joanna Shupe "He wanted to feel her, to hold her... to run his tongue over the smooth knob of her ankle." <i>Midnight Ride</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Midnight Ride: Exclusive Excerpt Cat Johnson "The widow realizes that some rules, like broncos, are meant to be broken…" Jay Crownover's Marked Men Series Jay Crownover's Marked Men Series Jay Crownover Get caught up in the Marked Men series with a note from the author, excerpt, and more!
From The Blog
April 23, 2015
Why Bruce/Natasha Should Be Your New Avengers’ Ship
Sabienna
April 20, 2015
Introducing Gena Showalter's The Original Heartbreakers
Tiffany Tyer
April 18, 2015
20 Years of Anne Rice’s Beauty Series
Jane Kriel
April 17, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Classical Musicians
Jennifer Proffitt
April 17, 2015
Scandal 4x19 Heart-to-Heart
Nicole Leapheart
Wed
Apr 22 2015 10:45am

The Undeniable Sex Appeal of Zoe Forward’s Matt Ryan

Protecting His Witch by Zoe Forward

Protecting His Witch is the first book in Zoe Forward’s Keeper of the Veil series. At 252 pages this book was passionate, compelling, and sexy.

I was immediately taken with this story in the first few pages. Kat Ramsey wakes up in an unfamiliar bed, and her powers are threatening to jump her into an alternate universe. Buck naked. Unable to control this jumping ability, she fights to find clothes when she realizes she isn’t alone.

Matt Ryan has stolen my heart. For one, his dark, secretive nature—mixed with some badass—made the entire book for me. He’s burdened by responsibility, but when Kat comes back into his life for good after ten years, the reader discovers his passion, his secrets, and his undeniable sex appeal.

I love how the author focuses completely on action and reaction with these two characters. They affect each other with wild desire, and you can feel that passion on the page as you read. The sensual scenes are hopeful and romantic, and full of blistering heat. The chemistry smoldering between Kat and Matt is scorching hot and mesmerizing and I can’t wait to see if they appear elsewhere in the series.

[We can't either!]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 9:30am

First Look: Lexxie Couper’s Burn for You (April 28, 2015)

Burn for You by Lexxie Couper

Lexxie Couper
Burn for You (Outback Skies #2)
Samhain Publishing / April 28, 2015 / $3.49 digital

Harsh, rugged and unforgiving, the Australian Outback is the perfect place for Evan Alexander to hide. Up in the air, fighting fires from the cockpit of his helicopter, no one sees the scars that run clear down to his soul.

When a massive fire breaks out in a nearby national park, Wallaby Ridge becomes a media staging ground, and Evan’s daring piloting skills the center of attention. Evan finds it easy to dodge every reporter—except one. A woman from his past.

Jenna McGrath can’t believe the quiet, withdrawn man declared a hero is the same arrogant, cocky pilot she fell in love with six years ago. A cruel betrayal caused Jenna to remove herself from his world, but she’s never been able to erase him from her memories.

Their long-suppressed attraction reignites, but the walls Evan has built around himself are high. And while Jenna easily overlooks the scars on his body, she begins to wonder if molten desire is enough to melt the emotional scars binding his heart.

Warning: It’s not the flames devouring the landscape that will stir your soul…it’s the wounded, broken man fighting them from the air.

One of the finer things in life (if you’re a romance reader, that is) is to stagger home after a day’s work, kick off your shoes, toss your bra across the room and settle down with a beverage to prepare yourself for the onerous task of single-handedly sexually objectifying a fireman (or two) for a half hour or so between the covers of a good book.

[The flames are just too hot...]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 8:02am

What Are You Doing for Earth Day?

Jesse Metcalfe in Desperate HousewivesEarth Day is a great reminder that we only have one world and we need to take care of it! Will you only be reading e-books today (saving trees!), perhaps you'll unplug your e-reader altogether and save the electricity, or maybe, you'll spend the day in the great outdoors, volunteering!

How are you spending Earth Day?

Tue
Apr 21 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Penelope Douglas’s Aflame (April 21, 2015)

Aflame by Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas
Aflame (Fall Away #4)
Penguin Intermix / April 21, 2015 / $2.99 digital

The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…

Everyone wants to be me.

Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.

I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.

They all talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?

But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.

Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year! Penelope Douglas isn’t afraid to take chances. After the cliffhanger from Falling Away I couldn’t wait to see what happens to Tate and Jared. Pulling the rug out on Tate and Jared’s relationship might have seemed like a cruel move but after Aflame you’ll see why it made their journey so much more authentic.

[A heartfelt journey that leads...]

Tue
Apr 21 2015 3:16pm

Romance News Roundup: Roxanne St. Claire & Lauren Royal Deals, Chris Pratt, 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.

Secrets on the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire—Heroes and Heartbreakers is pleased to introduce you to our newest team member, Jarondakie Patrick! You'll see her around the site as J.Patrick, and we know she's looking forward to getting to know you all.

—Deal Alert #1: Roxanne St. Claire's Barefoot Bay Billionaire's novel Secrets on the Sand is currently free in e-book at e-tailers such as Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Amazon.*

Magic Mike XXL's ab campaign is one we're happy to rally behind, how 'bout you? (Thanks to Janet Webb for the heads-up!)

—Starz has released images for the next Outlander episode ahead of this weekend, so click for more Jamie/Claire goodness!

—Love Chris Pratt? Get in line! And watch the new Jurassic Park trailer, then come squee with us. Or go enjoy his edition of Friday Beefcake again.

[+Free Lauren Royal book, Hemsworth in leather, and more!...]

Tue
Apr 21 2015 2:30pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Madeline Hunter, Lauren Layne, Katie Rose, and Piper Drake!

Today, it's raining men in our weekly roundup of covers from Madeline Hunter, Lauren Layne, Katie Rose, and Piper Drake! First up, meet a very buttoned up barrister with a passionate side in Madeline Hunter's Tall, Dark, and Wicked. Then she's just “one of the guys”—but not for long—in Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne. Katie Rose continues her Boys of Summer series with The Heat of the Moment, and finally, take a walk on the suspenseful side with Piper Drake's Hidden Impact.

[See the book behind those abs...]

Tue
Apr 21 2015 1:45pm

Jane the Virgin 1x19 Heart-to-Heart: #TeamWTFJustHappened

Jane and Rafael in Jane the Virgin 1x19

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Jane the Virgin, including Monday night's Season 1, Episode 19, “Chapter Nineteen.” Enjoy! 

Jane the Virgin 1x19 Captain's Log

Show/Episode: Jane the Virgin, Season 1, Episode 19, “Chapter Nineteen.”
Ship(s): Jane/Rafael

The Shipping News

Every relationship has its ups and downs, but this is getting ridiculous. Jane hilariously goes through six of the seven stages of grief in about 16 hours and before getting to the final step, acceptance, she goes to Rafael to convince him not to give up. We’re treated to a montage of some of their most romantic moments and I’m rooting for Rafael to make an effort. He does. He agrees to couples therapy.

Jane finds a therapist with an opening and she and Rafael sit down. The therapist asks for their relationship in a nutshell and we get a quick recap of all the crazy things that have happened to them—it was like a 60-second Soap Opera Digest. They leave the therapist’s office with a list of intimacy exercises, but Rafael is not convinced they can fix what’s wrong. He’s still holding on to the “we’re too different” thing. Let it go, Rafael! Let it go!

[Follow Elsa's advice...]

Tue
Apr 21 2015 11:00am

First Look: Ashlinn Craven’s Core Attraction (April 27, 2015)

Core Attraction by Ashlinn Craven

Ashlinn Craven
Core Attraction
Crimson Romance / April 27, 2015 / $3.79 digital

Living with her dad and single since the Ice Age, Fiona Halpin's plan is to get a promotion, a swanky house, and a boyfriend - strictly in that order. So when Dr. Declan MacCarthy and his protest leaflets turn up outside the power plant where she handles public relations, she's almost too busy doing damage control to notice how gorgeous he is. Almost.

Declan has returned from Japan to settle in his Irish hometown and live a meaningful life by treating his cancer patients and joining a campaign against the biggest local employer's deadly radiation risks. But that means facing off with the fierce Fiona, who's as protective of her company as a pack of Rottweilers.

As Fiona slowly warms to Declan and his passion for his cause, a strong compatibility and common ground develop between them. But can she let down her defenses enough to let him reach her inner core, or is their passion only heading for meltdown?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

In Ashlinn Craven's Core Attraction, Fiona Halpin is on a mission to educate the public about the safety measures that DunCore, the local nuclear power plant in town, implements for the community’s safety. Also on a mission is newly arrived oncologist, Declan MacCarthy. And he’s just as determined as Fiona to inform the community about the dangerous side effects of nuclear radiation based on first-hand experience.

[Will their connection be nuclear too?]

Tue
Apr 21 2015 9:30am

Eve+Roarke 4Ever: Fantasy Casting J.D. Robb’s In Death Series

Angelina Jolie as Lt. Eve Dallas

Every few years talk starts up that J.D. Robb’s In Death series will be optioned for the big screen. With this year’s release of the 40th book in the series, Obsession in Death, this past February, there was once again talk that it was past time to see these characters brought to life. 

Being a fan of the series for almost a decade, some of these characters have taken up long term residence in my brain while others have filled in along the way in “Aha!” moments. Whether or not you might agree with me, I would pay big money to able to see the world of In Death be brought to life on screen exactly like it does every time I pick up a novel.

Angelina Jolie as Lt. Eve Dallas – The series centers on Lt. Eve Dallas, the head of the homicide division of the New York Police and Security Department. Eve was abused and raped as a child by her own father.  She was forced to kill him in self-defense at the age of 8, then she was tossed into an uncaring foster system. Her name was given to her by a social worker and she made it her own. Eve dreamed of becoming a police officer and protecting the innocent. Eve gives her all to find justice for the dead.

[...and find love for herself?]

Tue
Apr 21 2015 8:35am

Trigger Happy: What Words Make Something an Auto-Buy?

Fall with Me by Jennifer L. ArmentroutWe all love tropes that make a book an auto-buy for us. Last week, Team H&H was passing around J. Lynn (aka Jennifer Armentrout)'s Fall with Me, and thanks to some keywords in the cover copy, it got Heather Waters interested!

I got 3 sentences into copy: friends + one night + he didn't love me back

What keywords can get you to automatically pick up a book, based on the cover copy? How carefully do you read copy? What hooks you about cover copy? How important is good/catchy cover copy in determining whether you will read a book?

Mon
Apr 20 2015 4:36pm

Romance News Roundup: Darynda Jones Re-Read & Julie James Deal Alert!

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.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones—Darynda Jones is hosting a First Grave on the Right re-read event on Wattpad starting today and running through May 4. (Looks like a sweepstakes for a call with Jones is also involved, so yeah: don't miss this whether you're a longtime fan or a newbie looking to join Charley Davidson's adventures for the first time.) For more, visit our Darynda Jones tag here on H&H, and if you'll be at the Romantic Times Booklover convention in Dallas next month, be sure to attend H&H's reader panel featuring Darynda Jones, Eloisa James, and Sylvia Day!

—Deal Alert: Julie James's Love Irresistibly (Book 4 in the FBI/US Attorney series) is currently $1.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.* If you haven't yet tried James and want to know more, this author spotlight is made for you.

[+The X-Files casting news you've been waiting for...]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 3:00pm

Small Town Showalter: Introducing Gena Showalter’s The Original Heartbreakers

The One You Want by Gena ShowalterGena Showalter’s take on small town romance in her new series the Original Heartbreakers is all her own.

This series, named after the heartbreakers themselves - Dane, West, Jase, and Beck - actually plays up the men, their relationship, their past, and their connection to each other. It’s a real part of the story, not just a throwaway. And Showalter gives them real secrets, real struggles, and real baggage to earn their titles. We’re convinced these bad news bad boys that have just moved to Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, are here to do some damage. And this time they just may have their hearts handed to them.

Any small town contemporary romance series that opens with the stepbrother/stepsister trope gets instant attention. Forbidden but with built-in conflict and chemistry when done right, Dane and Kenna’s story is no different. It’s sexy and emotional and perfect as a novella. And though their parents have been in a long-term relationship, Dane and Kenna really couldn’t be more different, so when they come together, it’s everything that maybe shouldn’t work but does.

[Isn't that amazing...]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 1:15pm

Game of Thrones 5x02 Heart-to-Heart: Nothing’s Ever Black and White

Arya in Game of Thrones 5x02This post contains SPOILERS and speculation from all aired episodes of Game of Thrones, including last night’s Season 5, Episode 2, “The House of Black and White.” Enjoy!

Game of Thrones 5x02 Captain's LogShow/Episode: Game of Thrones 5x02 “The House of Black and White”
Ship(s): Daenerys and Daario, Jon Snow and ME (kidding, but not really), Bronn and Jamie (bromance)

 It begins with a new location. Arya has finally reached her destination and she’s enraptured with the sights. The city is mostly water and you can see the people trading. I’m not sure where they filmed but it looks a lot like Venice. She arrives at the House of Black and White, where she asks for help and shows the coin Jaquen gave to her. The mysterious man tells her they have no one by that name there. As night falls and Arya has nowhere to go she repeats her “kill list” to herself to keep her company and give her strength. She has no where to go. She wanders the streets practicing her skills on unsuspecting pigeons. I felt horrible for those birds when she sliced their heads off. When she’s cornered in the village, the attackers are scared off by the man who refused her entry. She follows him and demands to know why they were scared of him and his face contort to Jaquen, he was testing her. I definitely didn’t see that coming and as Arya disappears into the house I’m wondering what she’s gotten herself into.

[A whole lot of trouble, we're guessing...]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Midnight Ride: Exclusive Excerpt

Cat Johnson

Midnight Ride by Cat JohnsonOne bucking bronco…

Oklahoma ranch hand Tyler Jenkins is too young, too sexy, and too damn wild to be tied down by any single woman—for more than a few steamy hours…

One hard-working widow…

Widowed rancher Janie Smithwick is too busy paying off her debts to play rodeo with a reckless young cowboy like Tyler—no matter how hot he gets her…

One midnight ride they’ll never forget…

As a rule, Janie should be dating a man her own age, like her handsome neighbor Rohn—not the twenty-four-year old ranch hand he employs. But once Tyler gets Janie alone—held tight in his arms, pressed against his hard muscled body, burning with desire—the widow realizes that some rules, like broncos, are meant to be broken…

Get a sneak peek at  Cat Johnson's Midnight Ride (available April 28, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

After an early dinner, Janie lay in bed in her pajamas, flipping through channels and finding nothing to watch. Finally she turned off the television and grabbed the paperback that had sat on her nightstand for months. Most nights she was too tired to read. Tonight, it seemed she couldn’t settle her brain to sleep, so she might as well give the book another try.

She’d just thumbed to the point where she’d left off when a sound caught her attention. Was that someone out in the drive? She sat up, torn between fear and excitement. At the soft knock on the back door, her hope grew.

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

Mon
Apr 20 2015 11:00am

Outlander 1x11 Heart-to-Heart: About Those Witches

Claire and Jamie Fraser's epic romance continues in the second half of first season of Outlander, based on the beloved historical fiction/fantasy/romance series by Diana Gabaldon, and we are so ready to recap and then discuss every single moment of it.

Outlander 1x11 Captain's LogThis post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, Episode 11, “The Devil's Mark.” Enjoy!

Show/Episode: Outlander Season 1, Episode 11, “The Devil's Mark”
Ship(s): Jamie/Claire

Last week’s episode ended with Claire being arrested for witchcraft alongside Geillis Duncan. We were all frustrated that she’d ignored all the good advice of staying at the Castle and dashed off to visit Geillis thanks for a fraudulent note from everyone’s favorite scheming teenager Laoghaire.

We begin this week’s episode, “The Devil’s Mark,” with Jamie off with Dougal MacKenzie (the man Geillis loves and who’s child she is caring) and Claire being thrown into the thieve’s hole, which is basically a storm sewer. It’s not the first time we’ve seen the old-school justice on Outlander (remember the boy with the nail in his ear?), but this episode took us into darker places.

[So dark...]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 9:30am

First Look: Becca Jameson’s Bound to Be Tempted (April 21, 2015)

Bound to Be Tempted by Becca JamesonBecca Jameson
Bound to Be Tempted (Emergence #4)
Samhain / April 21, 2015 / $15.00 print, $5.50 digital

In the six months since Margaret Donovan broke up with her girlfriend, she has prowled Emergence, hoping to find a Dom to help her explore her bisexuality. The only man who's caught her interest in all that time is the bouncer.

He's a firm Dom, and after all, it's just a trial run. An experiment. He doesn't need to know the details of the troubled past that makes her long to get over her aversion to being under anyone's thumb.

Carlton Fisher's keen eye has been tracking Maggie, as well. She looks exactly like the childhood sweetheart who's haunted him for over a decade, but she doesn't need to know that. Two weeks' instruction should get her over her hump, give her the confidence she needs to work with a Dom...and get her out of his system.

Neither is prepared for the floodtide of explosive emotions. It's cathartic and therapeutic, but if they can't purge themselves of the pain of the past, their hearts could suffer irreparable damage.

Warning: This book contains intense submission from established participants in the BDSM world. If nipple clamps, edging, public nudity, restraints, gags, blindfolds and flogging make you squeamish, move along!

Carlton Fisher has had a wary eye on on Margaret Donovan for a while now. She is practically the doppelganger of his first (and only) love, who died tragically and suddenly years ago, before he was even a Dom. He's stayed away from Maggie, which for a time was easy because she had a girlfriend/Domme and they were a very public couple at the exclusive BDSM club Emergence. As the head of security at Emergence, Carlton works the door most nights, keeping an eye on everything and everyone, but he has always had an extra eye out for Maggie. When Maggie breaks up with her girlfriend and shows some interest in taking on a Dom, Carlton knows exactly what kind of Dom she needs, and he's willing to take her on—temporarily—as his submissive.

[Temporarily, huh?...]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 8:05am

So Meta: When Characters Ship Within Their Own Show

When stumbling through Tumblr, we saw this lovely quote about Mama Smoak on her love of the Olicity Ship:

“Donna Smoak vice president of the Olicity ship”

A lot of times, characters within a show that we're watching or a book that we're reading will point out that a couple is meant to be...before the couple in question even acknowledges their own feelings. Can you think of characters who pointed out to their clueless friends that they just might already be with The One? What are the biggest steps OTHER characters have taken to get a couple together?

Image via sparksfly-olicity.tumblr.com.

Sun
Apr 19 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Better Together: Jay Crownover’s Marked Men Series

Jay Crownover

Asa by Jay CrownoverToday we're thrilled to have Jay Crownoever on the site to introduce you to the Marked Men Series. Asa, which comes out April 21, is the final book in the Marked Men series, which features a group of men who form a bond that defies the old adage that “blood is thicker than water.”

The key element that has always tied the Marked Men together is the idea of family being more than blood. That as you come into your own as an individual, you get to make the choices of who you dedicate your time and energy to. The friendships in this series are vast,this crew has created their own idea of family, and I take great pride in thinking you won’t ever find a more loyal or invested bunch out there in romancelandia.

Part of Rule’s journey, which ultimately led to all the other guys’ journeys, was learning to listen to the people that loved him and had his best interests at heart—always. He was so closed off, so resistant to letting anyone else inside of his battered heart that it really took his brother and his friends pointing out to him that “Hey…this girl gets you, she accepts you, she won’t try and change you, she has always—always loved you….” to get him to open his eyes. He was so stubborn that he would have never seen Shaw as anything else without that nudge.

In turn, Rule often ended up being the catalyst, the voice of reason for the rest of the guys as they met their matches along the way. He could attest to how much better life was with the right person so he became the friend handing out eye-opening advice just like his buddies did for him at the beginning.

[So many men...]

Sat
Apr 18 2015 3:00pm

Return to the Kingdom: 20 Years of Anne Rice’s Beauty Series

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne RiceFor many readers (and their mothers), Anne Rice’s Beauty trilogy was their first foray into the world of erotic romance. Writing under the pseudonym of A.N. Roquelaure, the trilogy comprised of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (1983), Beauty’s Punishment (1984), and Beauty’s Release (1985).

The political context of this book series is interesting, at the time many feminists were very opposed to pornography arguing that it is inherently harmful or exploitative to women. However, Rice disagreed and she resisted all efforts to politicize or sanitize women’s fantasies. She firmly believed that women should be able to write and read whatever erotica they wanted, a sentiment probably supported by many in the H&H community. Unafraid to make a political statement, Rice released her hardcore fantasy erotica and it came to be considered a classic of the genre and a departure point for many discussions concerning the role of feminism within erotica.

The trilogy is not for the faint of heart; by comparison it makes a lot of today’s erotica look very tame. A lot of the action is non-consensual and the slavery theme is not for everyone. The series is loosely based on the fairy tale, it is set in a medieval fantasy world. The action starts when the young protagonist princess Beauty is awakened from a 100 year sleep by the Prince through having sex with her (apparently a chaste Disney kiss wasn’t going to do it). Beauty is then stripped naked and led to Kingdom where she joins other princes and princesses who have been sent to court to be trained as sexual slaves. Both submissives and dominants are male and female. It’s explicit material—degradation, sadomasochistic punishment, pony play, bisexuality and homosexuality. While there is a plot, it’s interspersed between the sex scenes, which are the focus.

[A little plot can go a long when when sexytimes are involved...]

Sat
Apr 18 2015 12:41pm

Lost Girl 5x01 Discussion Thread: Come Hell or High Water

Kenzi in Lost Girl Season 5, episode 1The first half of the final season of Lost Girl has finally begun in the U.S! Kiersten Hallie Krum's recaps return next week (!!!). Until then, we welcome discussion about the Season 5 premiere, “Like Hell, Part 1,” in which Bo proves she will stop at nothing to find and rescue Kenzi in Valhalla. Except...is the afterlife really so bad?

What did you think of the episode, and what are you hoping to see the rest of the season?