<i>Force of Attraction</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Force of Attraction: Exclusive Excerpt D.D. Ayres "Her pulse ticked up with equal amounts of excitement and anxiety." H&H Quickies #8: Lavinia Kent Presents... H&H Quickies #8: Lavinia Kent Presents... Lavinia Kent "And then the woman was naked, the robe falling in a puddle of silk behind her..." <i>Under the Lights</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Under the Lights: Exclusive Excerpt Shannon Stacey "That fruity scent of hers was the smell of forbidden fruit." <i>Instinct</i>: Excerpt Instinct: Excerpt Sherrilyn Kenyon "Nick has just embraced the one person he should never have trusted."
From The Blog
March 26, 2015
Unusual Historicals Best Bets for March 2015
Wendy the Super Librarian
March 24, 2015
The Rise and Popularity of the Billionaire in Romance Novels
Katy Evans
March 23, 2015
Qualities of the Perfect Romance Hero
Nichole Severn
March 23, 2015
H&H Is Hiring
Team H & H
March 19, 2015
Poverty, Sexuality, and Male Bonding in The Truth as He Knows It
John Jacobson
Tue
Mar 24 2015 9:30am

Money Can’t Buy Love: The Rise and Popularity of the Billionaire in Romance Novels

Manwhore by Katy EvansToday we're thrilled to welcome Katy Evans to Heroes and Heartbreakers! Katy's most recent release, Manwhore, hits shelves today! The heroine of Manwhore is hired to write an exposé about the hero, who lives a less-than exemplary lifestyle. He also happens to be living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Katy is here to talk about those well-loved heroes—the billionaires—and track their popularity, with examples, naturally! Thanks, Katy!

Billionaires. They’re never out of style. These heroes are sexy, powerful, and never one to mess around.

I started where every writer begins; reading. A lot. First, Young Adult books, later Historicals, and soon I discovered the decadent Harlequin Presents line – my introduction to the billionaire trope. Sheiks, tycoons, and billionaires galore, I would devour these books one after the other. If you wanted a strong and powerful hero who didn’t mess around and who stood, proudly so, at the top of the food chain, these were the books that you picked up—the Harlequin Presents. Soon to be matched, the Silhouette Desires came out with fabulous offerings, many catering to this very well-known and beloved trope.

Emma Darcy’s titles like The Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage and The Billionaire Bridegroom lined up my shelves next to sultry Silhouette Desires by Maureen Child, Robyn Grady, and Jennifer Lewis.

[To name a few classics...]

Tue
Mar 24 2015 8:12am

Spoiler Alert: What’s a Fan to Do When a TV Show or Movie Spoils the Books?

Sansa in Game of Thrones

Source: fuckyeahreactions.tumblr.com

Yesterday i09 published a report (via Vanity Fair and the Oxford Union)that confirmed rumors/fears we've had for years: Game of Thrones, the TV show, will be surpassing the books, and since George R.R. Martin has said in the past that he's told showrunners how to end the feuding families in Westeros, it pretty much guaranteed that watching the show will ruin the books, if any more are published.

What's a faithful reader to do? Do you forge ahead with the television adaptation, and hope to enjoy the finer details in the books, if/when they're published? Are you looking forward to getting some closure on the series, even if it beats the books?

This situation seems pretty unique, can you think of another instance where a movie adaptation spoiled a book series?

Mon
Mar 23 2015 5:45pm

First Look: Julianna Keyes’s Time Served (March 23, 2015)

Time Served by Julianna KeyesJulianna Keyes
Time Served
Carina Press / March 23, 2015 / $3.99 digital

Dean Barclay had nothing to do with my decision to flee my old life, but he is 100 percent of the reason I vowed to never look back.

I've never forgotten how it felt to follow Dean—dangerous, daring, determined—away from the crowd and climb into his beat-up old Trans Am. I was sixteen and gloriously alive for the first time. When I felt his hand cover my leg and move upward, it was over. I was his. Forever.

Until I left. Him, my mom, and the trailer park. Without so much as a goodbye.

Now Dean's back, crashing uninvited into my carefully cultivated, neat little lawyerly life. Eight years behind bars have turned him rougher and bigger—and more sexually demanding than any man I've ever met. I can't deny him anything…and that just might end up costing me everything.

Men returning from prison—and the women who love them—is one of the most compelling tropes out there. In addition to the hero’s hard time, Julianna Keyes brilliantly shows how the heroine’s working world can seem like hard time of its own. Poet Richard Lovelace’s words: “Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage,” come to mind and attorney Rachel Moser is hitting the glass ceiling hard. Like lawyer Cara Adams in Dorien Kelly’s Do-Over, Rachel struggles while other more ambitiously deft colleagues climb higher and faster up the ladder of success. When Rachel becomes reacquainted with her high school boyfriend, Dean Barclay, an ex-con, it turns out their personal lives have a lot in common: conflict and competition have made both of their lives fraught with tension. 

[Of the sexual variety...?]

Mon
Mar 23 2015 4:30pm

In Pursuit of Perfection: Qualities of the Perfect Romance Hero from Ward, Weber, and More!

Her Fallen Protector by Nichole SevernToday we're thrilled to welcome Nichole Severn to Heroes and Heartbreakers, whose latest release, Her Fallen Protector, came out last month. In Her Fallen Protector, former archangel has to jump through a lot of hoops to help his long-lost love, and it kind of earns him status as a perfect hero... Nichole is here today to talk about the qualities of a perfect hero and wherelse you can find them in romance. Thanks, Nichole!

I don’t know about you, but one of the main reasons I read romance is the vast array of swoonworthy heroes. I may be slightly embarrassed to admit no matter how the plot plays out or which bimbo he ends up with (shove off, Beth from Dark Lover!), I catch myself envisioning myself as the heroine in every book. But I’m sure I’m not the only one.

There’s just something about finding the perfect man in all these stories that makes us fall head over heels and pick up yet another romance. The heroes elicit passion, desire, and maybe a few too many fantasies. ***clears throat*** Every romance reader has their favorite “book boyfriend,” but what is it about these fictional men that makes them perfect for thousands of readers?

THE PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

The very first thing heroines notice of their heroes are looks and isn’t that true for us here in the real world as well? Sight is the first sense to register attraction, but the mind’s eye can be just as satisfying if not more so.

[A little scruff never hurts, for instance...]

Mon
Mar 23 2015 3:33pm

Romance News Roundup: The Bridgertons and Pretty Woman!

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.

The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After by Julia Quinn—Julia Quinn's Bridgertons series turns 15 this year, and Bobbi Dumas—writing for NPR—looks back on the family we love dearly. For more fun with the Bridgertons, revel in our Julia Quinn collection.

—We're so close to new episodes of Outlander! Hold on just a bit longer, because come April 4, Chelsea Mueller will be recapping the show weekly so that we can all squee over Jamie/Claire together. In the meantime, keep these ideas in mind and get another fix with this hilarious video of stars Sam Hueghan and Caitriona Balfe reading fan tweets. (Best part may be Balfe's response to a fan wanting to see up Jamie's kilt: “He's my husband, stop trying to see up his kilt, or I'll come after you.” Plus Hueghan's reaction: “Yeah, watch it, she will.”)

Pretty Woman opened in theaters 25 years ago today. Can you believe that?! Did you see it in theaters, and do you find the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere romance as dreamy now as then? Be sure to enjoy ABC News' look back at the movie, including a 1990 interview with Gere and a list of some of the things that'd be different if the movie were being made today (remember the Walkman?!).

Mon
Mar 23 2015 2:45pm

First Look: Vivienne Lorret’s The Elusive Lord Everhart (March 24, 2015)

Vivienne Lorret
The Elusive Lord Everhart (The Rakes of Fa
Avon / March 24, 2015 / $4.99 print, $0.99 digital

Vivienne Lorret, the USA Today bestselling author of Winning Miss Wakefield, returns with a new series featuring the three roguish bachelors of Fallow Hall.

Gabriel Ludlow, Viscount Everhart, will never marry, and thus is sure to win the bachelors' wager amongst his friends. Assuming, of course, that his deepest secret—a certain letter containing a marriage proposal made in a moment of passion—doesn't surface. After all, without Calliope Croft to tempt him, there's no danger of losing. Or of falling in love.

Calliope wants revenge. Five years ago, an anonymous love letter stole her heart and ultimately broke it. Now Casanova has struck again, and Calliope vows to unmask the scoundrel, stopping him from breaking any more hearts. Yet, time and again, Gabriel distracts her from her task, until she can no longer deny that something about him calls to her …

Gabriel was a fool to ignore the depth of his feelings for Calliope, but the threat that kept him from her five years ago remains. Now he must choose between two paths: break her heart all over again or finally succumb to loving her … at the risk of losing everything.

Vivienne Lorret graces us with the start of a new spin off series from her Wallflower Wedding series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall, and I couldn’t be happier (insert squee). In this first installment, The Elusive Lord Everhart, we see a twist on long-lost-love-realized between Calliope Croft, sister to Griffin Croft, and Gabriel Ludlow, Viscount Everhart.

[But whose secret love will be revealed?]

Mon
Mar 23 2015 2:05pm

Want to Join the Heroes and Heartbreakers Team? We’re Hiring!

Heroes and Heartbreakers is recruiting! If your interests include digital production, copywriting, and romance novels, we want to hear from you!

Check out the official job listing here to learn more about the position of production associate contractor and to find out how to apply. (Full disclosure: H&H is owned by Macmillan Publishers/St. Martin's Press.)

Mon
Mar 23 2015 1:00pm

The Swoonies 2015, Championship Round: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron/Tory vs. Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie/Claire

Welcome to H&H’s very first couples battle, The Swoonies, where romance’s most popular pairings go head-to-head for the title of H&H’s Swoonworthiest Couple of the Year!

Schedule of Events:

  • Round 1: February 13-20
  • Round 2: February 23-27
  • Round 3: March 2-6
  • Round 4 (The Wildcard Round): March 9-13
  • Round 5 (The Final Four): March 16-20
  • Round 6 (The Championship!!!): March 23-27
  • Winners Announced: March 27

The Leaderboard

Keep up with who’s currently battling whom and who’s winning in each conference by visiting the full Swoonies bracket:

#Swoonies15

Want to campaign for your favorite couple? Make your cases in the comments and with the hashtag #Swoonies15 on social media to be heard! And if you don’t see your favorite couple in the running, let us know that, too...there may be a wild card round up ahead…

[Vote for your favorite couple...]

Mon
Mar 23 2015 12:05pm
Excerpt

Instinct: Excerpt

Instinct by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Chronicles of Nick

Zombies, demons, vampires, shapeshifters—another day in the life of Nick Gautier—and those are just his friends. But now that he's accepted the demon that lives inside him, he must learn to control it and temper the very emotions that threaten the lives of everyone he cares for. Something that's hard to do while trying to stay off the menus of those who want his head on a platter. And no one wants him more than the dark gods who created his race. Now that they know where he is, they will stop at nothing to reclaim him. And without knowing it, Nick has just embraced the one person he should never have trusted. The one person who will hand him over to his enemies to get back the life they lost.

Nick has finally accepted his fate, now he must learn to defy his destiny, and the dark, deadly forces that will stop at nothing to destroy everyone he loves so that they can again return to the world of man and own it, in the next Chronicles of Nick novel, Instinct, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Get a sneak peek at Sherrilyn Kenyon's Instinct (available March 31, 2015) with an excerpt of Chapter 1.

CHAPTER 1

“Nickaboo? Hurry, child! You’re about to be late for school!”

Nick Gautier dropped the towel from the damp hair he was drying as he glanced to the clock on his nightstand to confirm the fact that his mother was still the most vigilant and accurate timekeeper in the history of all mankind. At least when it came to his home, school, and work schedules.

But how odd … he’d had almost forty minutes just a heartbeat ago when he’d left the bathroom.

How long did it take to pull on a pair of jeans and one really foully ugly Hawaiian shirt, anyway?

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

Mon
Mar 23 2015 10:30am

Bitten 2x07 Nick/Paige Heart-to-Heart: Compromising Position

Jeremy and Elena in Bitten 2x07We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. We loved Season 1, and we're pumped for Season 2! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the Monday after the show airs in Canada on Space. We'll be reposting recaps as episodes air on SyFy, starting April 17!

Show/Episode: Bitten Season 2, Episode 7, “Bad Dreams” (spoilers, natch)
Ship(s): Nick/Paige, with mentions of Clay/Elena

Bitten 2x07 Captain's LogSavannah is seeing something. She’s screaming and being chased, eventually seeing Elena being eaten by someone. Ominously, Elena predicts everyone will be dead by dawn. The stuttering camera work and bloody effects add a horrible gravity to the words.

In the real world, Elena, safely back at Stonehaven, hasn’t yet shaken off whatever Aleister did to her. Even the background view of Clay’s naked backside can’t distract her from her deep retrospection, seeing her own truths now. It’s Clay’s kind words that finally draw her out but they come after a self-induced hair makeover.

Paige is in Aleister’s abandoned lair. His spinning top is disintegrated by the spell she chants.

[Well, that's a step in the right direction...maybe?]

Mon
Mar 23 2015 8:28am

What Do You Do When You Realize You’re Reading Out of Order?

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia QuinnSometimes we read books out of order: I'll leave you time to recover from the shock that brings to some readers. It just can't be helped—especially in the days before we could obsessively track the next book by our favorite author, or make sure we're starting a series from the very beginning by popping onto their website. However, mistakes do happen, and you find that you are reading book 2 or 3 without every laying eyes on book 1. Do you soldier on, and hope for the best? Put the book down automatically (and maybe run for the hills)? Or, do you deliberately pick books later in the series, based on tropes, hero/heroines, etc?

Sun
Mar 22 2015 2:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Community’s Jeff/Annie

The sixth season of Community started on March 17 and, of course, the question we all asked was WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH JEFF AND ANNIE?! Well... maybe some of you are asking “what's going to happen with Jeff and Britta?” That's okay too — there's no shipping discrimination here at Heroes and Heartbreakers, even though you are terribly, terribly wrong.

Study group buddies Jeff and Annie have been a huge question mark since Season 1, when they first noticed each other as more than friends.

[“More than friends” is our second favorite set of three-word phrases...]

Sun
Mar 22 2015 11:00am

Come for Aidan Turner Skinny-Dipping, Stay for Love: A Preview of Poldark 2015

Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson as Ross and Demelza in Poldark 2015

If you were on Twitter this past weekend, you may have noticed quite a bit of chatter about a new Poldark miniseries starring Being Human (UK)'s Aidan Turner. The 8-part series is airing weekly now on the BBC in the U.K. and will debut as part of PBS's Masterpiece Theater in the U.S. this June. Whether you're watching each week now or anticipating its release in your neck of the woods, we hope you'll enjoy this preview of the show (with fond comparisons to the books and to the original TV series—which you can read all about in our 2011 post “Romp & Circumstance: Poldark—so please be aware there could be minor plot SPOILERS).

In the 1970s, a fever took the British nation. Poldark fever, to be precise. Robin Ellis took the lead part in this original BBC series, and it kept the nation riveted to its armchair for an hour every Sunday. Everyone said that the show couldn’t be bettered, that nobody should ever try, and this seemed to be borne out by an attempt at a revival by ITV in 1996. It became a cult. Mothers sent their children to bed early so they could drool over Robin Ellis in peace. Fans dressed up, and although this was years before conventions really got under way, they still met to re-enact their favourite scenes.

However, these are different times, and in 2015, a new Poldark (also from BBC) has the nation at it again—especially the female part. Twitter caught fire last Sunday after the second episode aired, and the new version threatens to become every bit as popular as its predecessor.

Originally Poldark was a series of novels by Winston Graham about his beloved Cornwall in the late eighteenth century. The central character is Ross Poldark, home from the American Wars to discover his father has died and the estate he has inherited is in disarray. Oh, and the woman he loves, Elizabeth, is about to marry his cousin Francis.

[How does the new TV series stack up?...]

Sat
Mar 21 2015 2:00pm

Keep Your Enemies Closer: Best Enemies and Frenemies in Series Romance

Devil in Winter by Lisa KleypasA common scene in romance: the hero introduces his new love to his friends and their heroines from previous books. There is immediate bonding, and sympathy for whatever the new heroine has endured. She's invited to their girls night out, BDSM dungeon, or sewing circle/reading group/secret mystery-solving organization (depending on genre). If a heroine is introducing her hero, there might be more initial butt-sniffing, but pretty soon there'll be convivial barbecuing and/or imbibing. Babies tend to abound; newbies are sometimes even invited to the hospital when a previous heroine is in labor!

It's generally a pleasure to see former characters that you liked being happy together, and it's certainly in the spirit of the genre. (I once skipped ahead to the end of a book in which the hero and heroine wind up as outcasts, completely estranged from both of their families, and I immediately DNF'd it. I don't care how all-consuming your love is, that's just too damn depressing.) But it can also be very entertaining to see your favorite characters in a different light, with some antagonism in the mix to spice things up.

[The line between love and hate is a thin one...]

Fri
Mar 20 2015 7:30pm

Farewell, Lord and Lady Grantham: Downton Abbey Will End After Season (Series) 6

It's official, this year we'll be saying goodbye to the Crawleys and Downton Abbey for good. According to TVLine, Season 6 will be Downton Abbey's last. Earlier this year, we heard rumors that the end of the show was near, however, it's been made official. We are sad to see the show go, but we're glad that Julian Fellowes, the writers, and actors, will all have a chance to do the final season justice.

What are you hoping will be resolved in the final season?

For more news and recaps, stay tuned to our Downton Abbey Collection.

Fri
Mar 20 2015 5:04pm

Romance News Roundup: Cynthia Eden and Kristi Rose Deal Alerts!

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.

Burn for Me by Cynthia Eden—Deal Alert #1: Cynthia Eden's Phoenix Fire novel Burn for Me is currently $2.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.* Read Jennifer Proffitt's review of Burn for Me to get a taste of the book.

—Deal Alert #2: Kristi Rose's The Girl He Knows, a No Strings Attached novel, is currently $.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Amazon.* Get to know the author with a guest post she wrote for us entitled “Men in Uniform: Hot or Not?”

Orphan Black Season 3 posters are here! Will you be watching this year?

ETA: Zoe Archer has just revealed the cover for her next book, writing as Eva Leigh, Forever Your Earl.

*Reminder that we don't know how long these deals will last, so grab 'em while you can!

Fri
Mar 20 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Scott Eastwood

We've been looking to add to our list of movie boyfriends, and with his appearance in the upcoming Nicholas Sparks' adaptation, The Longest Ride, Scott Eastwood has earned placement on that list! Movies based on Sparks' books are known for having pretty hot leading men—Liam Hemsworth, Zac Efron, and Ryan Gosling, just to name a few!

Today, we're celebrating another hot leading man and dedicating our beefcake to Mr. Eastwood!

[Here's to some great genes...and jeans...]

Fri
Mar 20 2015 1:45pm

First Look: Kate Meader’s Flirting with Fire (March 24, 2015)

Flirting with Fire by Kate MeaderKate Meader
Flirting with Fire (Hot in Chicago #1)
Simon & Schuster / March 24, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

The first installment in Hot in Chicago, a brand-new, sizzling series from Kate Meader that follows a group of firefighting foster siblings and their blazing hot love interests!

Savvy PR guru Kinsey Taylor has always defined herself by her career, not her gender. That is, until she moved from San Francisco to Chicago to be with her fiancé who thought she wasn’t taking her “job” of supporting him in his high-powered career seriously enough—and promptly dumped her for a more supportive and “feminine” nurse. Now, as the new assistant press secretary to Chicago’s dynamic mayor, she’s determined to keep her eye on the prize: no time to feel inferior because she’s a strong, kick-ass woman, and certainly no time for men.

But that all changes when she meets Luke Almeida, a firefighter as searingly sexy as he is quick-tempered. He’s also the second oldest of the Firefightin’ Dempseys, a family of foster siblings who have committed their lives to the service—if Luke’s antics don’t get him fired first. When Luke goes one step too far and gets into a bar brawl with the Chicago Police Department, Kinsey marches into Luke’s firehouse and lays down the law on orders from the mayor. But at Engine Co. 6, Luke Almeida is the law. And he’s not about to let Kinsey make the rules.

 

Flirting with Fire by Kate Meader focuses on the romance between Luke Almedia, a sexy fire fighter whose stubborn, over-protective, ex-military and a complete alpha, and Kinsey Taylor, a woman who has always put her career before a relationship, despite moving to Chicago to be closer to her ex-fiance.

[Hmmm, that seems counterproductive...]

Fri
Mar 20 2015 1:00pm
Excerpt

A Good Rake is Hard to Find: Exclusive Excerpt

Manda Collins

A Good Rake is Hard to Find by Manda Collins

A Dangerous Game

Heartbroken by the loss of her brother, Miss Leonora Craven vows to uncover the truth about his “accident,” which seems to have been anything but. Jonathan Craven was involved with the Lords of Anarchy, a notorious driving club, and Leonora can't help but suspect foul play. But the only way she can infiltrate their reckless inner circle is to enlist the help of Jonny's closest ally, Lord Frederick Lisle. If only he didn't also happen to be the man who broke Leonora's heart…

An Undeniable Desire

Frederick isn't surprised to find gorgeous, headstrong Leonora playing detective, but he knows that the Lords of Anarchy mean business—and he has no choice but to protect her. A sham engagement to Leonora will allow Frederick to bring her into the club and along for the ride. But it isn't long before pretending to be lovers leads to very real passion. With everything to lose, is their tempestuous affair worth the risk?

Get a sneak peek at Manda Collins's A Good Rake is Hard to Find (available March 31, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

One

“I’d like to know what the deuce Craven was thinking to get himself killed like that,” Lord Frederick Lisle said from his favorite chair in the corner of Brooks’s.

As was his custom, he had been the first of his friends to arrive, and therefore had his choice of seats. Freddy, as he was known to his friends, was a planner. It was rare that he came into a situation not already knowing every possible outcome. And social gatherings were no exception.

But he’d dashed well not planned on his friend Jonathan Craven dying unexpectedly. None of them had.

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

Fri
Mar 20 2015 11:25am

Scandal 4x16 Heart-to-Heart: Hey Sailor

Abby and Olivia in Scandal 4x16Show/Episode: Scandal Season 4, Episode 16, “It's Good to be Kink” (Spoilers, natch)
Ship(s): Fitz/Jake, Abby/Leo, with mentions of Olivia/Jake, Olivia/Fitz

Scandal 4x16 Captains LogAhoy there Gladiators! Anyone else feeling the need for a life raft today? I know I sure do. Right now I’m feeling like I’ve been set emotionally adrift with no easy way back to shore.

When we last left off it was with Huck turning states evidence and spilling the beans on B613 so that he can finally get some closure with his wife and hopefully get his life back. We also had a small bit of hope when Liv packed up her stained couch cushion and sat ready to indulge in a huge bowl of popcorn and a monster glass of wine that she too would be moving on.  

But nuh uh. This week things took yet another turn with the show opening with our Super Gladiator/ Press Secretary, Abby having a big ol row with Leo over a hot new tell proposal that was making the rounds to publishing houses in which Leo is highlighted in one of the chapters as “The Dustbuster”. I’ll hangout her for a moment while you go look that reference up…. Are you back and have the images been burned into your brain? Grrrreat.

[Once you've seen, you can't unsee...]