<i>Rocked by the Billionaire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Rocked by the Billionaire: Exclusive Excerpt Mandy Baxter "He (looked) so self-possessed, so goddamned gorgeous after so many years..." Now Win <i>This</i>: Kylie Scott’s <i>Lead</i>! Now Win This: Kylie Scott’s Lead! Team H & H Enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Kylie Scott's Lead! <i>The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior</i>: Excerpt The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior: Excerpt Megan Frampton "She was very far from reputable at this moment, she had to admit..." <i>Unchained</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Unchained: Exclusive Excerpt Caris Roane "He had to get inside her, so he traced his tongue along the seam of her lips..."
From The Blog
November 20, 2014
Different Types of E-Readers
Lynne Connolly
November 19, 2014
Favorite Christmas Stories
Miranda Neville, Carolyn Jewel, Grace Burrowes and Shana Galen
November 17, 2014
Shipping Haymitch/Effie (Hayffie) in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1
Jennifer Proffitt
November 17, 2014
Helpful Restrictions in the Victorian Era
Tasha Alexander
November 16, 2014
Anticipating Sarah MacLean's Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover
Nov 17 2014 4:30pm

The Walking Dead 5x06 Carol/Daryl (Caryl) Heart-to-Heart: Consumed by Chemistry

Carol and Daryl in The Walking Dead Season 7x06Show/Episode: The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 6, “Consumed.”
Ships: Carol/Daryl (Caryl)

**Note: This post contains spoilers on all aired episodes of The Walking Dead. Read on only if you're caught up!**

Okay, Walking Dead, how do you do it? This episode has no kissing, no romantic or sexual touching, and yet…and yet… this ship is in full sail. I know, I know,  no kissy stuff, but the thing is, it didn’t need it. The sheer chemistry we saw in “Consumed” says it all without showing it all, and that, my friends, is the sign of a ship that is unstoppable. Well, okay, nothing is ever guaranteed in the world of The Walking Dead, but let’s take a look at what went down.

When we last saw Carol, she was being wheeled through the halls of Beth’s creeptastic hospital on a stretcher, and this episode tells us how she got there.  Hang on, because it’s a bumpy ride.  We see Carol’s journey in bits and pieces, both solo and with Daryl, and that’s where the chemistry leaps off the screen, into our living rooms and sticks us right in the heart like a crossbow in a walker’s skull.

[Ah, l'amore!...]

Nov 17 2014 3:15pm

Bountiful Harvest: Not-Your-Usual Historicals for November 2014

As winter not-so-slowly begins creeping up on many of us, this is typically the time of year that the publishing industry slows down a bit. Most, if not all, the holiday reads were dumped on the shelves in October and we’re all looking ahead to the New Year and the bounty that spring releases always promise. And yet here we are in November with a very intriguing, and diverse, crop of unusual historicals.

The Fire of Home by Alexis Harrington

A scandalous homecoming

When Amy Layton’s family learned she planned to steal her sister’s fiancé, Amy left home in disgrace. But in 1922, she returns to Powell Springs to escape the violent man she married. Despite the town’s gossip, Amy is determined to rebuild her shattered life with the boardinghouse she inherited…and little else.

A terrible secret

Deputy sheriff Baxter Duncan senses there’s more to Amy, his new landlady, than the rumors claim. Yet Bax respects her privacy. After all, a painful secret haunts him, too. And now that he’s found a future in Powell Springs, he refuses to let his dark and wretched past destroy everything he’s built.

A redemptive journey

As Amy struggles to make amends with her family, she finds a kindred spirit in Bax. But just as they begin to trust each other, a new visitor arrives in town—and this person knows enough to ruin them both. After so much pain, can Amy and Bax still fight for their dreams…and win?

A fan favorite among many Americana and western readers, Harrington had a bit of a publishing drought in the mid-2000s until Amazon Montlake had the good sense to snap her up with 2010’s Home By Morning. The Fire of Home is the third book in her Powell Springs series.

[We'll get caught up!]

Nov 17 2014 2:30pm

“I Like You Better Sober”: Shipping Haymitch/Effie (Hayffie) in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 Clip

Earlier today, Yahoo shared a clip from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 in which Haymitch asked the group for a time Katniss Everdeen genuinely moved them. Effie, in a much more reserved look than we're used to seeing her, immediately offered the first time she met Katniss—when she volunteered to take her sister's place in The Games. While the clip gave us a chance to touch on the moments when Katniss moved us too—when she sang to Rue would make it to my list as well—the main thing that caught my attention was the flirtation going on between Effie and Haymitch.

I've always thought Effie and Haymitch would be perfect together—she needs to be loosened up a little, and Haymitch...well, he needs a complete overhaul, but who can blame him? The two have always had great chemistry and a spark—whether it's the approach they have toward Peeta and Katniss, or the coming rebellion, they can find something to argue about. But let's face it, that's all just foreplay, right?

Elizabeth Banks, who playes Effie, also agrees! In a 2012 interview, Banks said Haymitch and Effie had some serious sexual tension and would be “fun in the sack” together. Now, in Mockingjay: Part 1 these two will be on the same side...and maybe they'll find the time to get to know one another in between fights—both their own and in the rebellion.

So, have you always liked them together like me, did this clip sell you on their relationship, or are you still thinking they're just good foils for one another and that should be it? Let us know in the comments!

Nov 17 2014 12:30pm

The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior: Exclusive Excerpt

Megan Frampton

All of London knows the Duke of Rutherford has position and wealth. They also whisper that he’s dissolute, devilish, and determinedly unwed. So why, everyone is asking, has he hired a governess?

When Miss Lily Russell crosses the threshold of the Duke of Rutherford’s stylish townhouse, she knows she has come face to face with sensual danger. For this is no doting papa. Rather, his behavior is scandalous, and his reputation rightly earned. And his pursuit of her is nearly irresistible—but resist she must for the sake of her pupil.

As for the duke himself, it was bad enough when his unknown child landed on his doorstep. Now Lily, with her unassuming beauty, has aroused his most wicked fantasies—and, shockingly, his desire to change his wanton ways. He’s determined to become worthy of her, and so he asks for her help in correcting his behavior. 

But Lily has a secret, one that, if it becomes known, could change everything…

Get a sneak peek of Megan Frampton's The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior (available November 25, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

(Full Disclosure: Megan Frampton is the Community Manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers.)

The bell on the door jangled, letting Lily know that someone had entered the anteroom outside of the small office where she’d been working on the ledgers. She stood, feeling her back complain about her having sat for the past few hours. Each of the three proprietors of the Quality Employment Agency took turns at organizing the invoices, and this was her week.      

The agency had done well since its inception just a few months ago, providing work (and the occasional falsified reference) for women with unfortunate pasts. They’d placed no fewer than six young women, all of whom whose reputations had been sullied for one reason or another. Lily and her partners were well-aware of what an unfortunate past could do to a person’s livelihood, since each of them had unfortunate pasts themselves.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt from The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior...]

Nov 17 2014 11:42am

Lost Boys and Girls in Lost Girl Season 5 Trailer!

What's lost can be found again, especially if there is lots of sexytimes, knife-wielding, shuriken-throwing, and fierce supernatural creatures around.

Here's the trailer for Lost Girl's fifth—and final (sob!)—season. Are you psyched? What are your predictions for where the story'll go this year?

Lost Girl returns to Showcase Canada on December 7, 2014, and to SyFy in 2015. Stay tuned to H&H's Lost Girl Collection for Bo/Dyson-focused recaps when the new season premieres.

Nov 17 2014 10:45am

Not at Home (To You): Helpful Restrictions in the Victorian Era

Today we are thrilled to welcome author Tasha Alexander to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Tasha has just released the ninth book in her Lady Emily mystery series, titled The Counterfeit Heiress. Lady Emily and her husband Colin get entangled in discovering who killed a woman passing herself off as an heiress—and where the real heiress might actually be. Tasha's series is set in the late Victorian era, and Tasha is here to discuss that time period today, and how all of its restrictions might have actually helped the people of that time. Thanks, Tasha!

When thinking about the past, people often have the tendency to focus on the bits that strike them as unacceptably inconvenient, and as a longtime student of Victorian culture, I can assure you that there are few eras in history more rife with the restrictive rules, both social and legal. We can congratulate ourselves on living in the twenty-first century, when women aren’t forced to squeeze themselves into corsets, can own property separately from their husbands, and (gasp!) are allowed to vote. We have antibiotics and modern dentistry and no need to worry about a yellow fog descending upon our hometowns, bringing with it illness and death. And while no one would argue that all of these things make contemporary society enormously appealing, it is important not to judge the Victorians and their mores without a full understanding of the context of the time.

[We're ready to be given context...]

Nov 17 2014 9:30am

H&H Quickies #6: Alexandra Ivy—Prompt Me!

Blood Assassin by Alexandra IvyIf you can never get enough of your favorite authors (and who can?!?), you are going to love H&H's author writing challenge, H&H Quickies. Not only will you get to read fun, original scenes by awesome romance authors, but said awesome romance authors will be writing those scenes based on YOUR prompts!

Following up on wonderful Quickie scenes by Manda Collins, Kristina Matthews, Lora Leigh, Valerie Bowman, and Desiree Holt we are pleased to announce today that Alexandra Ivy will be the sixth author to participate in the H&H Quickies challenge! Here are the details:

The idea

For the next week, H&H readers are invited to leave comments on this post with writing prompts/ideas for Alexandra Ivy with a paranormal theme. Once the prompting period is over next week, Alexandra will read over all of the prompts and pick at least two that she finds inspiring, and use them to write a short original scene. H&H will then post the scene for everyone to read and enjoy (yay!), as well as reveal which prompts Alexandra used for the scene (woo-hoo!) for bragging rights.

The rules

Prompting is open from right now until Monday, November 24, 2014, at noon EST.

Prompts can be anything, like a word (curse), a setting (limbo), a situation (slaying a demon), a description (Alpha hero)...the sky's the limit! Just one requirement, to keep things interesting: the prompts for this particular challenge should be paranormal-themed.

After you leave some prompts, that's it, your job is done for now! Just be sure to check back on December 8 for an original scene from Alexandra Ivy based on your suggestions!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or email us at  info@heroesandheartbreakers.com.


Sounds like a blast, right? Let's get prompting!

Nov 17 2014 8:20am

Head Female in Charge: Queen Elizabeth

Cli e Owen and Cate Blanchett in ElizabethQueen Elizabeth I—the Virgin Queen—succeeded to her throne on this day back in 1558, ushering in close to fifty years of a woman ruling over one of the most influential countries of the time. Her story of navigating the court and marriage and sexual politics amid a shifting European political landscape is fascinating, and her era brought us Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and and John Donne.

There have been many films featuring Elizabeth as well, from Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson, Judi Dench, and Cate Blanchett, among others. Romance novels set during Elizabeth's era include books written by Jude Deveraux, Amanda McCabe, Susan Wiggs, and Suzanne Robinson.

Have you read any books set during Elizabeth's era? 

Nov 16 2014 2:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Get in on the Ground Floor of The 100’s Bellamy/Clarke (Bellarke) Romance

Clarke and Bellamy embrace in Season 2 of The 100

I didn't give The 100 a fair shake last spring. The CW's post-apocalyptic teen drama sounded interesting in theory, but to be honest, I didn't have high expectations. And while the pilot episode had cool ideas—rag-tag fleet, surprisingly likable heroine, right-out-of-the-gate deaths, etc.—I felt almost smug when it proved to have what I felt were destined to be major problems, including some painful dialogue, flawed logic (what kind of society fighting for a future would sacrfice its healthy teenagers first?), and silly behavior (like deciding to go swimming in unknown conditions—when you don't know how to swim because you grew up in space). I didn't watch more and didn't have much cause to regret that. Until...

A fan video caught my eye the other day (the one below, to be exact), and, well, see for yourself—it's good! Turns out all I needed to get back on board was Bellamy/Clarke, a pairing that reminds me an awful lot of my beloved Starbuck and Apollo from Battlestar Galactica. Two strong-willed people forced into leadership roles they never wanted in a world that's trying to kill them at every turn? Sign me up!

[Let the siren song of Bellarke lure you in...]

Nov 16 2014 10:00am

Give Up the Chase: Anticipating Sarah MacLean’s Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean**Note: This post contains spoilers on the Chase storyline from Sarah MacLean's The Rules of Scoundrels series and Love by Number series. If you are not caught up, stop now!**

With this month’s release of Sarah MacLean’s Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, The Rules of Scoundrels series come to a close. In this one, MacLean finally tells the story of Chase, the mysterious proprietor of the Fallen Angel hell which has been the focal point of the four books in this series. But Chase’s roots go much further back than the start of The Rules of Scoundrels. They can be found in MacLean’s first historical romance series, Love by Numbers.

The Love by Numbers series features three books: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord and Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart which detail the happily ever afters of three siblings: twins Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston and Lord Nicholas St. John and their scandalous half sister Juliana Fiori. In Nines Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ralston meets his match in Lady Calpurnia Hartwell, a proper spinster who conceives a bold plan in order to live the live she wants. She writes a list of nine rules of society that she plans to break. Gabriel ends up becoming her guide, her companion and her love.

[So rule-breaking started early, did it?]

Nov 15 2014 12:00pm

NSFW (Not Shy for the World): Counting Down the Top Moments of On-Screen Male Nudity

Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey

While you won't be seeing Jamie Dornan in the altogether when Fifty Shades of Grey comes out in theaters in February 2015, there are other actors who have agreed to bare their all in film, on television (cable television, of course!), and in pictures. So as a rebuttal (repenisal?) to Dornan's modesty, we present actors who haven't shied away from their full exposure. In order of penile magnificence, natch. 

*THIS POST IS NSFW. IT'S BARELY SFH (safe for home)—Double check to make sure no one's over your shoulder!*

**We're serious. SO NSFW it's ridiculous.**

***Okay? Okay. You know what you're getting into.***

[The pen_is mightier than the sword!]

Nov 14 2014 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: We Support No-Shave November with Cavill, Ejiofor, Elba, and More!

Idris ElbaNovember might be one of our favorite months, purely because it gives us No-Shave November, or Movember, if you're a fan of moustaches. Facial hair has often been a topic of interest for the team whether it's asking where have all the bearded cover models gone, who your favorite bearded heroes are, or cataloging those memorable bearded heroes and beefcake. What can we say, we love 'em in all their scruffy goodness. What are your thoughts? Do you like facial hair on a man, do you prefer him clean shaven? Or is it a case by case basis?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

[We don't want these guys to ever shave...]

Nov 14 2014 3:00pm

H&H Debriefing #20: Fifty Shades of Adaptations

It's that time again! In a new edition of the H&H Debriefing, Team H&H's Megan, Jenn, and Heather discuss the new Fifty Shades of Grey trailer and open up the floor to a wider discussion on the best/our favorite book-to-screen adaptations. We talk Pride and Prejudice, Outlander, Nora Roberts, and a whole lot more! What is your favorite adaptation? Do you like them at all, or do you stay as far away from them as possible?

Let us know in the comments!

Nov 14 2014 2:00pm

Two Angry Men: Pistols at Dawn

His Wicked Seduction by Lauren SmithToday we're joined by author Lauren Smith, whose new League of Rogues novel, His Wicked Seduction, stars a best friend's little sister and a rakehell. Sounds like an awesome combination! Lauren's book includes a duel, and she is here to discuss dueling and how to get into the proper dueling mood. Thanks, Lauren!

When writing a book, a good writer gets into their characters’ heads. When I wrote His Wicked Seduction, the second book in my League of Rogues series, I knew two of my heroes would be engaging in a duel. But why and how? To find these answers and get into the proper dueling mood, I did a little research.

Picture this: You’re a popular English gentleman, good with the ladies, excellent with a pistol. You’re chilling at your local club when some dude you don’t even know comes up and demands satisfaction because you allegedly slept with his sister...

Okay, sure. You’re spoiling for a fight because you happen to be an excellent pugilist (a boxer). But this guy wants to challenge you to an official duel over some chick you can’t even…? Let’s rewind for a second, because if you’re going fight a duel there’s a few things you need to know.

First off, the history of dueling. We all have that infamous image in our minds of two men in a field counting paces, then turning to fire pistols at each other. How did this trial by single combat develop though? Weren’t we originally a bunch of guys in fur loincloths running around with clubs trying to clobber each other? How the heck did we go from that to two chaps pointing pistols at each other over ladies?

[That is a good question...]

Nov 14 2014 12:00pm

Unchained: Exclusive Excerpt


Stalked by a vampire. Stolen in the night. Seduced by a lover. Anthropology student Shayna Prentiss wakes up to find herself trapped in a world she never knew existed—with a man she cannot escape…nor resist.


Drawn to her beauty. Driven by lust. Doomed by his destiny. The vampire Marius knows he must bond with this captivating mortal with hidden powers…or both their races will be destroyed forever.


Bound by a blood chain that seals their fates together, Marius and Shayna must stand and fight the ultimate enemy—a madman hell-bent on destruction who will test every ounce of their strength, their power, and their passion. When the final weapon is unleashed, will their love remain unbroken? Or will darkness shatter their chains…for eternity?

Get a sneak peek of Caris Roane's Unchained (available November 25, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2.

Chapter 1

Shayna Prentiss left the bar near the University of Washington, wondering if someone had slipped her a roofie. She felt light-headed and from the corner of an eye, she was sure she saw a man, dressed in black, floating in the air. When she turned to look, though, nothing was there.

Had to be drugs.

But she’d been so careful, never letting guys buy her drinks and, once she had a drink in hand, keeping it there. In her undergrad days she’d been through the gauntlet of insanity that accompanied the college journey and had made it a point to learn vicariously from stories that traveled like wildfire around the dorms. More than one student had ended up in the hospital.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of a selected scene...]

Nov 14 2014 10:45am

Scandal 4x08 Olitz Heart-to-Heart: You Dropped a Bomb on Me

Show/Episode: Scandal Season 4, Episode 8, “The Last Supper”
Ships: Olivia/Fitz, Olivia/Jake, Mellie/Andrew, Cyrus/Michael

**Reader Beware: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Scandal, including last night's, “The Last Supper.”**

Here we are with only one episode left before the mid-season finale of Scandal and it’s literally as explosive as the promos said it would be. The episode opened right where it left off last week with Fitz, Liv and Jake—the world’s most uncomfortable threesome—in Fitz’s underground Bunker. Jake was fresh from being on lock down, so feeling, I guess, a mite testy. Going on to Fitz about calling him ‘Captain Ballard’ or some such nonsense to make himself feel more important, trying his best to secure a position as the alpha in the room when clearly the pecking order went: Liv, then Fitz, then speakerphone, then chair and then maybe Jake. But whatever floats your boat, Captain Ballard. The three went back and forth for a bit to come up with a plan to get to Rowan, which included keeping Jake on lockdown while using the secret B613 files. 

[There's a lot going on...]

Nov 14 2014 9:30am

First Look: Jeffe Kennedy’s The Tears of the Rose (November 25, 2014)

The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe KennedyJeffe Kennedy
Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms #2)
Kensington / November 25, 2014 / $15.00 print, $13.50 digital

Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir;the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition;and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?

And they lived happily ever after is supposed to be the end of a fairy tale romance. Jeffe Kennedy turns that convention on its head in her latest fantasy romance novel, Tears of the Rose. This adult retelling of Beauty and the Beast shows that true love can occur more than once in an enchanted life time.

In the first novel in this series, Mark of the Tala, heroine Ami met the handsome Prince Hugh when he came to court her elder sister. The two were drawn to each other instantly and although she was the baby of the family, Ami was allowed to marry her sister’s suitor with great pomp and ceremony. Her eldest sister Ursula and older sister Andi both wished her well as she rode off to her new kingdom by the sea. Her beauty combined with his good looks and wealth had her convinced she was stepping into her happily ever after. She just knew everything would be absolutely wonderful from here on out.

[Famous last words...]

Nov 14 2014 8:03am

What is Your View of Romantic Love?

Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn KenyonThere are as many different interpretations of what love is, and how it feels, as there are romance novels (else why would there be the need for more romance novels?) There is the view that romantic love completes someone:

“You're the other half of me.”—Lisa Kleypas's Again the Magic

That love is more important than mere functioning:

“One day you will kiss a man you can't breathe without, and find that breath is of little consequence.”—Karen Marie Moning's Bloodfever

And that functioning can be painful if you love:

"When you love someone... truly love them, friend or lover, you lay your heart open to them. You give them a part of yourself that you give to no one else, and you let them inside a part of you that only they can hurt—you literally hand them the razor with a map of where to cut deepest and most painfully on your heart and soul. And when they do strike, it's crippling—like having your heart carved out. It leaves you naked and exposed, wondering what you did to make them want to hurt you so badly when all you did was love them. What is so wrong with you that no one can keep faith with you? That no one can love you? To have it happen once is bad enough... but to have it repeated? Who in their right mind would not be terrified of that?”—Sherrilyn Kenyon's Devil May Cry

What is your view of love?

Nov 13 2014 10:22pm

“It’s You That’s Changing Me”: Extended Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Arrives

As promised earlier today, an extended Fifty Shades of Grey trailer premiered during tonight's Scandal (check back in the morning for a Heart-to-Heart recap!). If you missed it, watch it here and now!

The first trailer left a lot to the imagination—what do you make of this one, which delves deeper into the tension between and issues facing Christian Grey and the woman he can feel changing him? Are you buying Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in the roles, or are you reserving judgment? Ready to fall for Christian and Ana all over again? Sound off in the comments!

Revisit all of H&H's Fifty Shades trilogy coverage here, and check back regularly for more news as we get it! As a member of the Official Fifty group, we'll be hosting sweepstakes for some pretty cool swag in the near future, and you won't want to miss that!

Nov 13 2014 4:30pm

Family Issues and Finding Love in Janice Kay Johnson’s One Frosty Night

One Frost Night by Janice Kay Johnson Janice Kay Johnson is one of my absolute favorite writers of category romance because she doesn’t shy away from giving her characters complicated problems, usually related to family, that never have easy solutions. Her romance plots play out against the background of people facing difficult choices, and the relationships can be interrupted or damaged by the familial issues, just like in real life. That may sound depressing, but it makes her stories anything but boring. When her characters finally do arrive at solutions to their problems, imperfect as those solutions may be, it’s much more emotionally satisfying than an ending they (and you) didn’t have to work towards.

One Frosty Night, her latest release, is one of Johnson’s more melancholy offerings. It opens with a local woman discovering the unidentified body of a young girl, who appears to have frozen to death; her death has far-reaching implications for the entire town. Soon after the girl’s body is found, we meet heroine Olivia Bowen, who gave up her job in the big city to come home and take care of her ailing father and run the hardware store he owns. When the book opens, her father has recently died, and Olivia has discovered her parents were inexplicably estranged from each other shortly before his death. Hero Ben  Hovik was Olivia’s high school boyfriend and first lover; he broke up with her and went on to marry someone else. Now he’s also back in their home town, having escaped a disastrous marriage to an addict, and is raising his teenaged stepson.

Ben is still carrying a torch for Olivia, while Olivia is trying to pretend to herself that she’s past their teenaged relationship. But talking to each other, helping each other with problems, leads them to a new, deeper intimacy on their way to romance.

[Torches, you say? We like torches...]