<i>A Promise of Fire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Promise of Fire: Exclusive Excerpt Amanda Bouchet "My chest deflates as I exhale the breath I was holding." <i>The CEO Daddy Next Door</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The CEO Daddy Next Door: Exclusive Excerpt Karen Booth "Before she could take a breath, he claimed his kiss." <i>Dark Carousel</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Dark Carousel: Exclusive Excerpt Christine Feehan "She couldn’t believe how attracted she was to the man." <i>Roller Girl</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Roller Girl: Exclusive Excerpt Vanessa North "A lump forms in my throat and I hug him again."
From The Blog
July 25, 2016
J.D. Robb & Anne Rice Excerpts Ahoy!
Heather Waters and Jennifer Proffitt
July 25, 2016
Dream Destinations... Only a Page Away!
Anita Hughes
July 23, 2016
The Bisexual Dilemma
Deidre Knight
July 22, 2016
Yes, We Really Went There: Comments That Made Our Week
Team H & H
July 22, 2016
Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to Our New TV Crushes
Team H & H
Thu
Jul 21 2016 4:30pm

First Look at Tamsen Parker’s True North (July 25, 2016)

True North by Tamsen Parker

Tamsen Parker
True North (Compass #4)
Tamsen Parker / July 25, 2016 / $3.99 digital

Four months ago, Slade Lewis got to fulfill his wildest, long-repressed BDSM fantasies during a one-night stand. Since then, getting more has been the only thing on his mind.

When Slade manages to earn the keys to Reyes Walter’s kinky kingdom, he finds himself face-to-face with none other than Pressly Allwyn, the pearl-bedecked love of his life whom he pushed into divorce six years ago.

Now she’s back, and the fetish he was afraid would drive them apart instead draws them together. They indulge in their common kink together, but past hurts and old insecurities complicate any relationship outside their erotic exploits. Caught between the worlds of hot-button politics and even hotter bedroom games, Pressly and Slade will have to decide how far they’re willing to go for a second chance at happily ever after.

True North is the fourth book in Tamsen Parker’s The Compass series but can also be read as a standalone. This bewitching, humorous, erotically intense and emotional series introduced us to the hero -Slade Lewis- earlier and left readers with a less than stellar impression of him. Redemption of a character is a tricky trope to pull off.  You have to not only convince the reader the character is worth redemption but also give them a reasonable explanation for their previous behavior and a believable reason for the change. Finding the love of their lives isn’t always a good enough reason and when you make it a second chance romance, some readers will inevitably side eye the author and scoff BRING IT!

[Is he worth redeeming?]

Thu
Jul 21 2016 2:30pm

It’s Alive! Can Frankenstein Be Sexy?

One Night Steined by Daisy Harris

Editor’s Note: Yes, we know technically it should be Frankenstein’s Monster, but the terms have become interchangeable in the modern usage of the creature originated by Mary Shelley and for the purposes of this post, we’ll just use the term Frankenstein.

So let me clarify that we are not talking about zombies in this post, we’re talking about Frankenstein, patchwork people and people generally engineered or put together. The difference between a Frankenstein character and a zombie? The Frankenstein character has full use of his or her mental faculties, he or she does not eat the flesh of the living and finally, he or she has been brought to life or pieced together in some way.

[Not quite monster making...]

Thu
Jul 21 2016 12:30pm

The Essentials of Being a “Bad Bitch”

Bad Bitch by Christina Saunders

Today we're thrilled to welcome author Christina Saunders (Bad Bitch) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Christina's Bad Bitch features a kick ass lawyer who isn't afraid to ask for what she wants—and she always gets it. Christina is here to talk about the tips for being a Bad Bitch—just like Evan! Thanks, Christina!

Evangeline Pallida is the quintessential bad bitch. That’s why she gets her own book, a hot guy, and a happy ending. So, you might be saying to yourself: “I want all those things. How do I become a bad bitch?” Lucky for you, I happen to know these secrets and will share them with you. Without further ado, the essentials of being a Bad Bitch are listed below.

[The Bad Bitch rules...]

Thu
Jul 21 2016 9:30am

First Look: Molly Harper’s Where the Wild Things Bite (July 26, 2016)

Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper

Molly Harper
Where the Wild Things Bite (Half-Moon Hollow #8)
Pocket Books / July 26, 2016 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Molly Harper does her best to make sure that you cross camping, and really anything involving airline flights, off your list of vacation destinations this year.   I am devastated by the way the great outdoors is portrayed here.  Well, actually not.  Camping and I go together like Peanut Butter and sardines.  Yes, just the idea of going camping makes me a bit queasy.  So I think Molly Harper does a wonderful job portraying what spending a week in the great outdoors means to me in her latest novel, Where the Wild Things Bite.

Anna Whitfield is agoraphobic, germaphobic, aviophobic, and at best, social awkward.  This bibliographer would have been happier staying in her quiet, little apartment but she was determined to return the rare and valuable book on shapeshifters to its owner, Jane Jamison-Nightengale.  She just wished taking the flight to Jane’s little town of Half-Moon Hollow would have allowed her to take a real airplane rather than the flying car that was sitting on the tarmac.  

An evil transportation-hating monster had devoured my plane.  And in its place, the monster had left a little, bite-size plane crumb behind.

[An excellent case against camping...]

Thu
Jul 21 2016 8:17am

Where Is Your Favorite Place to Get Books?

In New York City, there's a great bookstore called The Strand. It has thousands (okay, I'm spitballing here) of books within its walls—though a very tiny romance section. In California, The Ripped Bodice was kickstarted by many of those in the romance community as the first romance-only bookstore. Libraries, church book sales, your mom's closet... the possibilities are endless to get your fix for physical books. 

 

Do you have a go-to place to get books? Why do you like it?

Let us know in the comments!

Wed
Jul 20 2016 5:27pm

Fantasy Deals & Daveed Diggs’ Next Role: Romance News

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Rescue Me by Jaci BurtonDeal Alert: Jaci Burton's Rescue Me is on sale for $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* Burton certainly knows her hot heroes—treat yourself to some specially curated Vee-Day Beefcake this Hump Day.

Deal Alert: Kaitlyn Davis' Beauty's-the-cursed-one fantasy romance Withering Rose is only $.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* You may have noticed the book headlines Maggie Boyd's recently published post “Magic Hinges to a Magical World: Fantasy Romances You Should Be Reading.”

Deal Alert: Kristen Callihan's Darkest London novella Entwined is discounted to $.99 in e-book at iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Callihan's series is another one on the list of fantasy romances you should be reading, and now that the last Darkest London book is in stores, you can feel free to load up your e-reader and prepare to binge-read.

[+Hamilton's Daveed Diggs joins the cast of...]

Wed
Jul 20 2016 3:00pm

Tackling Disabilities in Historical Settings: Joanna Lowell’s Dark Season

Dark Season by Joanna Lowell

Tainted. Degraded. Doomed. Doctors told Ella Arlington that her epilepsy would prevent her from living a normal life. When her cousin tries to put her in an institution, she flees to London, determined to control her own destiny. But while at a seance, Ella's epileptic fit is mistaken for spiritual possession. Loath to reveal her scandalous condition, she goes along with the misperception, and soon finds herself attracting the attention of a devilishly handsome viscount determined to keep the past buried.

Viscount Isidore Blackwood's fiancee died with secrets he's vowed to keep, but nothing could have prepared him for the arrival of a mysterious woman who's rumored to have contacted her ghost. He doesn't believe for a moment that Ella possesses supernatural powers. Her presence, however, shakes him to his core and when he accuses Ella of being a con artist, sparks unexpectedly ignite between them.

When some surprising truths come to light about Phillipa's death, Isidore concocts a plan to stage a spectacle of a séance for the ton with Ella's help. Their devil's pact might just flush out a killer, but will Isidore let his fury and guilt consume his own soul in the process? And can Ella trust him enough to gamble on a future she never thought she could have?

I’ve read several romances that featured a disabled heroine–blindness, deafness, a clubbed foot–but I’ve never read one whose heroine suffered from epilepsy. It is a difficult disease with which to cope–especially in an historical setting where there was incomplete medical knowledge surrounding the condition. Dark Season by Joanna Lowell tackles this demanding subject with sensitivity, taking Ella Arlington from a place of fear, melancholy and resignation to hope, joy and love.

[Read more...]

Wed
Jul 20 2016 12:06pm
Excerpt

Dark Carousel: Exclusive Excerpt

Christine Feehan

Dark Carousel (Dark Series #30) by Christine Feehan

The moment Charlotte Vintage walks into his club, Tariq Asenguard’s blood is set on fire. The ancient Carpathian had given up hope of finding his lifemate, but now he will do anything to make Charlotte his own. What Tariq doesn’t know is that Charlotte is using herself and her best friend as bait—to try to draw out the bloodthirsty killers who have already murdered Charlotte’s brother and mentor.

Charlotte is familiar with Tariq. Not only is he one of the richest and most eligible bachelors in the city, but he’s also a renowned collector of old carousel horses, which Charlotte restores. Their shared passion opens Charlotte up to trusting him with her life and with the desire she can no longer control. But it also makes her vulnerable to a centuries-old curse that will unite her and Tariq in a war against the enemies of humans and Carpathians alike...

Get a sneak peek at Christine Feehan's Dark Carousel (available August 2, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

A subtle breeze came off the lake and stroked over her face, touching her with cool fingers and rifling her hair. Charlotte held herself very still, her arms wrapped around her middle, afraid her legs would give out on her. Now that the danger had passed for the moment, her body went into a kind of shock. She didn’t want Tariq to notice, so she kept her face averted as she studied her surroundings.

[Read the full Dark Carousel excerpt...]

Wed
Jul 20 2016 11:00am

First Look: J.R. Ward’s The Angels’ Share (July 26, 2016)

The Angels' Share by J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward
The Angels' Share (Bourbon Kings #2)
NAL / July 26, 2016 / $28.00 print, $14.99 digital

The Angels' Share is the second book of J.R. Ward’s The Bourbon Kings series, and in true Ward fashion she weaves a captivating story and tells it by her own rules. The saga of the Bradford Bourbon Company and the family that runs it continues right where The Bourbon Kings left off. Full of delicious drama, devious deeds, and plot twists, The Angels' Share will be the beach read you need to finish out the summer.

This will be a spoiler-free review, but there are two quick caveats; 1) a significant death in the first book is the driving force for the second book and 2) those that expect a Happily Ever After for any romantic couples this time around will have to stick around and ride the drama train to the next book. (A book I already want, by the way.) Ward continues the episodic storytelling she began in the The Bourbon Kings; we see the world through the narration of the major players in the game and yet they still manage to surprise us with secrets kept close to their chest.

[Drama, deviousness, and plot twists...]

Wed
Jul 20 2016 9:30am

First Look: Rowan Coleman’s We Are All Made of Stars (July 26, 2016)

We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman

Rowan Coleman
We Are All Made of Stars
Ballantine Books / July 26, 2016 / $27.00 print, $13.99 digital

Oh, how I loved We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman. Let me rephrase that…this book is fan-freaking-tastic. Several player’s stories are woven together in this tale about life, death, forgiveness, and love. Told from the viewpoints of Hope, Stella, and Hugh, we witness the intricacies of relationships and how illness and death provide a platform for reconciliation and/or reassurances of love.

Stella is a nurse on the night shift at a hospice care facility. We learn early on that her husband has returned from war, suffering from PTSD and a lost limb. It doesn’t take us long to realize her relationship is in strain. While on shift, Stella begins writing letters for patients that she will mail out only after the patient has passed away. It’s a beautiful gift, allowing a person to pen their final thoughts to those they hold dear or wish to impart one last communication. Perhaps a replacement for the communication see longs to have with her husband.

[Look at the stars...]

Wed
Jul 20 2016 8:11am

Book Nerds: A Love Story

In just about the sweetest story to happen on the internet, two readers fell in love over Twitter. When Victoria, a London resident, developed a wee bit of a crush on the voice behind the Waterstone's bookstore Twitter handle, she surely never expected that crush to respond... or to marry him four years later. 

This is the stuff fictional meet-cutes are made of, and it's so sweet to see it play out in the real world too. 

Tue
Jul 19 2016 4:56pm

Stephenie Meyer’s The Chemist and X-Files Origins: Romance News

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

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

Fresh Outta the Oven

The Chemist by Stephenie MeyerTwilight author Stephenie Meyer's next book will be The Chemist, an adult thriller that she describes as “the love child created from the union of my romantic sensibilities and my obsession with Jason Bourne/Aaron Cross.” Hello! The Wall Street Journal has more scoop about the book, out November 15, and its former-secret-agent heroine. Can we expect another Bella/Edward-level romance, or will there not be time for love? (There's always time for love. #priorities)

Prepare to investigate teenage Mulder and Scully in The X-Files: Origins. Kami Garcia's Agent of Chaos will follow Mulder at 17, while Jonathan Maberry's Devil's Advocate is 15-year-old Scully's story. See the covers and official descriptions for both young adult X-Files books, which will hit stores the same day, January 3, 2017. Until then, I'm always here to commiserate with you over the exquisite torture of shipping Mulder/Scully.

[+ Christine Feehan trailer & 4 sweet deals...]

Tue
Jul 19 2016 4:15pm

Magic Hinges to a Magical World: Fantasy Romances You Should Be Reading

Withering Rose by Kaitlyn Davis

“The Bookshop has a thousand books,
All colors, hues, and tinges,
And every cover is a door
That turns on magic hinges.”

― Nancy Byrd Turner

Magic hinges to a magical world, that’s what a good fantasy romance novel provides. And fortunately for those of us who love them, fantasy romances are “in” right now. All of us have probably indulged in the more popular series like Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson, Karen Marie Moning’s Fever novels and Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels books but what do you do when you’ve read all the big names and are still anxious for more?

Here are a few fantastic fantasy romances that might not have made it on to your radar yet:

[Get swept up in the magic!]

Tue
Jul 19 2016 12:30pm

5 Books to Read If You Love Lost

KC

Where was I on the evening of September 22nd, 2004?

That’s easy. I was in my parent’s living room, mouth agape, falling in love with a little TV show they called Lost. And it would go on like that for six, agonizing, exhilarating seasons.

There’s always been something magical about the idea of discovering (through hell or high water) your very own deserted island: uncharted territory, tropical locales, all to yourself. From Blue Lagoon to Gilligan’s Island, this is a theme that just won’t go away. And we eat it up! Sadly, no one in recent history has done it as good as Lost did it. Throw in some mysticism, some cage-sex, time travel, maybe a smidgen of stockholm syndrome, plus a whole host of really attractive castaways, and we’ve got ourselves a heck of a good time. There really is no question that during its run Lost had some of the greatest small-screen love stories (and triangles, and trapezoids…) of the day. Whether you were all about the burning chemistry between Sawyer and Kate, or if the heart-wrenching long-distance love of Penny and Desmond was more your style, there was a couple (or ten) that every viewer could root for. (My shipper heart, it beats!)

So what to do (or read) in the absence of such greatness? You’re in luck, because I’ve got some suggestions!

[Become a castaway...]

Tue
Jul 19 2016 9:30am

First Look: Nalini Singh’s Rock Wedding (July 19, 2016)

Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh
Rock Wedding (Rock Kiss #5)
Nalini Singh / July 19, 2016 / $5.99 digital

I feel that a lot of readers including myself, were inclined to dislike Sarah's character based on the brief glimpses we had in the other books where we saw Sarah and Abe's messy divorce. In Rock Wedding, the reader gets a glimpse of addicted Abe from Sarah's point of view. The reader also gets to see how Sarah picks herself off the ground and goes from victim to victorious in her own right as a business owner. 

As I read the provided ARC (advance reader copy) I messaged Nalini Singh saying that this book is both beautiful and breaks my heart. There are a lot of issues dealt with in the book including: addiction, loss of a infant, divorce, domestic abuse and homelessness among others. What differentiates Rock Wedding from the previous installment Rock Redmeption is that most of the issues have happened in the past so rather than dealing with a man who has his demons calling him head on like Noah, Abe has had actual treatment for his issues so he can confront them in healthy situations such as exercise. The point I'm trying to make is that there is a lot less angst in Rock Wedding and more reflection on where the characters have been and where the characters are going.

[Rock on...]

Tue
Jul 19 2016 8:15am

Do You Think You Were Too Young When You First Read Romance?

Young Reader

Team H&H is recently back from the Romance Writers of America Conference in San Diego, and one of the most-asked questions—for obvious reasons—is what is your first romance romance. It seems almost inevitable that if anyone started reading romance when they were a child that the phrase “I was too young to be reading it, but it was great” usually comes into the conversation. 

Do you think you were too young to start reading romance? If you could go back, would you have waited (if you knew what you know now)? 

Let us know in the comments!

Mon
Jul 18 2016 4:30pm

I Need a Hero: Arrow’s Oliver Queen

Luck Love, & Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert

Today we're thrilled to welcome Amy E. Reichert (Luck, Love, & Lemon Pie) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Amy may write women's fiction, but at night she has a secret identity—as a fan of Oliver Queen (and Stephen Amell). Amy is here today to talk about that love! Thanks, Amy!

I have a lot of favorite heroes: Harry Potter-duh, Simon Lewis from the Shadowhunter books—a great combo of nerdy, devoted, and resourceful, Samwise Gamgee—seriously, they never would have destroyed the ring if it weren’t for him, the Cynster boys from Stephanie Laurens’s historical romances, Chris Evans, Chris Evans’s beard…okay, I may be getting side tracked.

[Holding out for a hero...]

Mon
Jul 18 2016 3:02pm

RITA Winner E-Deal & Book Nerds in Love: Romance News

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Must Love Chainmail by Angela QuarlesDeal Alert: Angela Quarles' RITA Award–winning paranormal Must Love Chainmail, Book 2 in the Must Love series, is on sale for $.99 in e-book at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* And what do you know, you're in luck: Must Love Kilts hit stores just last week—learn more in our cover reveal from June.

Deal Alert: Kelly Harms' debut women's fiction novel, The Good Girl of Shipwreck Lane, is discounted to $2.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* On the hunt for beach reads? Don't miss genre expert Scarlettleigh's roundup of June 2016 women's fiction best bets.

Deal Alert: Kristan Higgins' contemporary romance Somebody to Love, Gideon's Cove #3, is only $.99 in e-book at Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Heroine Lucy's feline companion, Fat Mikey, is terrific comic relief, says Myretta Robens in her article “Going to the Dogs in Kristan Higgins's Romance Novels.”

[When book lovers fall in love, Sarah J. Maas & Comic Con...]

Mon
Jul 18 2016 1:30pm

The Top 10 Nora Roberts Novels as Decided Upon By A Very Biased Party

Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts’s novels were amongst some of the first I picked up in the romance genre and I consumed them voraciously. I love the way she draws her characters, I love the way her stories fit so well together, I love the visuals she paints so vividly.

So when I got asked to make a list of my top ten Nora Roberts novels, I said, “heck yeah! Let’s do this!” Then I realized that’s really hard to do. Seriously. I’ve rewritten this list no fewer than ten times and started this ‘Top 10’ post about the amount of times.

I think I’ve finally decided on some things. I think. Maybe. Let’s see how this goes.

[On to the list!]

Mon
Jul 18 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

Roller Girl: Exclusive Excerpt

Vanessa North

Roller Girl by Vanessa North

Recently divorced Tina Durham is trying to be self-sufficient, but her personal-training career is floundering, her closest friends are swept up in new relationships, and her washing machine has just flooded her kitchen. It's enough to make a girl cry.

Instead, she calls a plumbing service, and Joanne “Joe Mama” Delario comes to the rescue. Joe is sweet, funny, and good at fixing things. She also sees something special in Tina and invites her to try out for the roller derby team she coaches.

Derby offers Tina an outlet for her frustrations, a chance to excel, and the female friendships she's never had before. And as Tina starts to thrive at derby, the tension between her and Joe cranks up. Despite their player/coach relationship, they give in to their mutual attraction. Sex in secret is hot, but Tina can't help but want more.

With work still on the rocks and her relationship in the closet, Tina is forced to reevaluate her life. Can she be content with a secret lover? Or with being dependent on someone else again? It's time for Tina to tackle her fears, both on and off the track.

Get a sneak peek at Vanessa North's Roller Girl (available July 25, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Later, we move the party into the backyard. I pull a chair up next to the grill, watching Ben cook while Eddie and his date dance in a corner of the yard. Elvis collapses at my feet, side-eying the swimming pool.

“Hey, buddy.” Ben glances over. “How’s the washing machine?”

[Read the full Roller Girl excerpt...]