<i>The Shattered Court</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Shattered Court: Exclusive Excerpt M.J. Scott "She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth..." <i>Broken Juliet</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Broken Juliet: Exclusive Excerpt Leisa Rayven "He touches my hand, then traces down my wrist and over my forearm." <i>Court of Thorns and Roses</i>: Excerpt Court of Thorns and Roses: Excerpt Sarah J. Maas "He said my name like a caress, and his hot breath tickled my ear." <i>The Memory Painter</i>: Excerpt The Memory Painter: Excerpt Gwendolyn Womack "With their bodies pressed together, he couldn’t think, much less talk."
From The Blog
April 17, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Classical Musicians
Jennifer Proffitt
April 17, 2015
Scandal 4x19 Heart-to-Heart
Nicole Leapheart
April 16, 2015
Something for Every Romance Reader in Dragon Age
Elizabeth Vail
April 14, 2015
Ghosts, Poltergeists, and the Afterlife from Movies, TV...and Real Life?
Maggie Mae Gallagher
April 10, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Men in Kilts
Victoria Roberts
Tue
Apr 14 2015 3:22pm

Romance News Roundup: The Avengers Family Feud, RT Reviewers’ Choice Award Winners, 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.

—Romantic Times Book Reviews has announced its 2014 Reviewers' Choice and Career Achievement Winners! Honorees include Brenda Novak, Cecilia Tan, Candace Camp, Patricia Briggs, Lorraine Heath, Elizabeth Boyle, Eloisa James, Elizabeth Hoyt, Diana Gabaldon, Courtney Milan, Jill Shalvis, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Ilona Andrews, Christina Dodd, Cara McKenna, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Ginger Jamison, and more! See the entire list of winners here. Congratulations to all and thank you for such terrific reading!

—The Avengers played “Family Feud” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night and it was pretty adorable.

[Plus, deals and Gillian Anderson's book...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 2:15pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveal from Kyra Davis!

Kyra Davis introduced us to a world of clandestine affairs with Just One Night, and now we're thrilled to reveal two covers, one for an e-original that picks up right after the events in Just One Night, and another that is the new paperback cover for Just One Lie, which introduces us to Kasie's wild sister!

[Learn more about the books and see what's next...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Fling to a Thing: Beautiful Series by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren

 Beautiful Secret by Christina LaurenToday we're thrilled to have Christina Lauren on the site to introduce you to the The Beautiful Series. The latest book in the Beautiful Series, Beautiful Secret, comes out today, and continues the series featuring high-powered men and the women who put up with love them! Christina and Lauren (fun fact: yes, it's two separate people) are here today to talk about the series that started as just a standalone project. Thanks, Christina and  Lauren!

When we signed a two-book contract with Simon & Schuster's Gallery in 2012, we wondered what in the world we should do to follow up Beautiful Bastard.  Writing Chloe and Bennett is a bit like watching cartoon characters take a swing at each other, and quite simply they’re a ton of fun to write. But even though we’re both fans of series that follow a specific couple’s journey over the span of several novels, we weren’t sure that was the right road for these two hot-headed lovers. As far as we were concerned, their story had come to a natural conclusion, and there wasn’t enough material for another full-length novel.

But we weren’t ready to let them go completely, either. So, we reasoned, what if Bennett had a friend—in this case that friend was Max Stella in Beautiful Stranger—and we got to tell a new story, while still giving readers a window into what was happening with our Beautiful Bastard.  

[So Beautiful...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 10:45am

Jane the Virgin 1x18 Heart-to-Heart: Doubting Jane

Jane and Rafael in Jane the Virgin 1x18Show/Episode: Jane the Virgin Season 1, Episode 18, “Chapter Eighteen”
Ship: Jane/Rafael

Jane the Virgin 1x18 Captain's LogWe’ve seen Jane’s doubts about Rafael surface in the last few episodes and this one is no different until Alba tells Jane that you can poke holes in anything but faith is the removal of doubt. Jane must have faith in Rafael. By the end of “Chapter Eighteen,” Jane has decided not to let her head get in the way of her heart…but after a revealing encounter with his long-lost mother, Rafael is now the one with doubts.

Man, I have to tell you, even I’m getting sick of hearing Rafael’s phone going off. He keeps using the hotel as an excuse for his many absences during important parent bonding moments. Like childbirth class. Rafael won’t turn his phone off for even one hour and Jane is left to do the supported squat with a wall instead of a hunky hotelier.

Rafael’s been working the phones to get to the city commissioner and plead his case for the reinstatement of the Marbella’s liquor license. Things are looking good, until the city commissioner is in the lounge of the hotel while Jane is working and behaves incredibly rudely. Jane tells her off. Then the city commissioner tells off Rafael. No liquor license.

[Uh oh...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 9:30am

First Look: Charlotte Stein’s Taken (April 14, 2015)

Taken by Charlotte SteinCharlotte Stein
Taken (Under the Skin #3
Avon Impulse / April 14, 2015 (digital); May 12, 2015 (print) / $3.99 print, $2.99 digital

It was just a prank I didn't want to be a part of. I never meant to hurt anyone, least of all Johann Weir. You wouldn't know that he sells literature for a living. He has these wild eyes—eyes that light something up in me—and he must be twice as big as I am, with strong, warm hands. Hands I try not to imagine everywhere.

He scares me. And thrills me.

But now the deed is done, and I have to face the consequences. He says he just wants to hold me here until the police come, but it's been hours and I'm still here.

Chained to a pipe in his back room like a prisoner.

The only person I have to talk to is Johann, and I tell him dark, shameful secrets—secrets that involve the metal around my wrist and him standing over me. But I can't stop. I need him to know everything. I need him.

Johann has his own secrets—ones he wants to tell me too. And more than anything, I want to listen. And maybe, before he sends me away, he'll punish me.

Just a little.

Just enough.

Charlotte Stein is an author with a certain set of skills (Liam Nesson joke made!) in terms of writing what I call the most awkward meet-cutes in the genre. Taken is no exception, as it begins with a lovely bit of larceny that Rosie, the main character, kind of stupidly agrees to. After getting caught because that’s probably what would happen to most of us, she ends up handcuffed in the basement/pseudo-bedroom of one possibly werewolf/crazy Johann, the hero and a quirky bookseller.

[He could be a killer...or a romance hero!...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 8:07am

What Fictional Servant Would You Want on Your Staff?

You're queen for a day! Romances (historical romances, in particular) are littered with memorable servants—from side characters like Celeste Bradley's Button, who was more confidante and friend, to leading ladies like Maggie Robinson's Harriet Benson, who, of course, ends up as the heroine of The Unsuitable Secretary. What fictional servants would you want on your staff? What ones have stood out?

Hat tip to blogger Janet Webb for the idea!

Mon
Apr 13 2015 5:00pm

First Look: Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Secret (April 14, 2015)

Beautiful Secret by Christina LaurenChristina Lauren
Beautiful Secret (Beautiful Bastard #4)
Gallery / April 14, 2015 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

AN UPTIGHT BRITISH EXECUTIVE. AN ADVENTUROUS AMERICAN NEWBIE. A SEXY INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL IN THE MAKING.

New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Christina Lauren’s Beautiful and Wild Seasons series hook up in Beautiful Secret for an erotic intercontinental romp that celebrates the best of both worlds!

When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task. The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice.

Not one for letting loose and breaking rules, recently divorced Niall would describe himself as hopeless when it comes to women. But even he knows outgoing California-girl Ruby is a breath of fresh air. Once she makes it her mission to help the sexy Brit loosen his tie, there’s no turning back. Thousands of miles from London, it’s easy for the lovers to play pretend. But when the trip is over, will the relationship they’ve built up fall down?

It’s the Christina Lauren plot we love best: boss and intern. Where else do we get phrases like “topography of his crotch” and “business porn” in our romance? But in Beautiful Secret, this time Ruby has a huge crush on her very Mr. Darcy-like office exec, Niall Stella. He’s perfectly British, proper and closed-off, and she’s a younger, freer Cali girl with every bit as much to teach him as he can give her. At first it’s a comedy of errors - her secret crush, his discovery - but soon enough it has the potential to be a fantasy of epic proportions when Ruby’s sequestered with Niall for a month on a work trip in NYC.

[This author does love to push people together...]

Mon
Apr 13 2015 3:31pm

Romance News Roundup: Captive Prince Cover & Cora Carmack and Lara Adrian Deals!

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.

Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat—Deal Alert #1: Cora Carmack's All Broke Down for $.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.* Catch up on all things Cora Carmack here!

—C.S. Pacat (previously known as S.U. Pacat) has revealed the title and cover for the final book in the Captive Prince trilogy, Volume 3: Kings Rising (see the cover here on the right!). Find out why you simply must try the series from fan Mandi Schreiner, and then, once you've finished Volume 2, speculate about what might happen in Volume 3 with Victoria Janssen.

—Deal Alert #2: Lara Adrian's Marked by Midnights (a Midnight Breeds Novella) is just $.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.* If you're new to the series, this Midnight Breeds spotlight is just for you.

—BuzzFeed has a list of “21 Types of Romance Novels You Have to See to Believe.” Thoughts? Any you'd add to the list?

—On Friday, Yasmine Galenorn shared the cover for her October 27, 2015 release of Autumn Thorns, the first book in her Whisper Hollows Series. Can't get enough? She also offered up a snippet from her July 7, 2015 release, Flight from Death, as part of her Monday Snippet. Get a taste here! For more Yasmine Galenorn, check out our spotlight on her Bewitching Otherworld Series!

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

Mon
Apr 13 2015 1:45pm

Game of Thrones 5x01 Heart-to-Heart: Up in Smoke

Daenerys in Game of Thrones 5x01 This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Game of Thrones, including last night’s Season 5 premiere, “The Wars to Come.” Enjoy!

Game of Thrones 5x01 Captain's LogShow/Episode: Game of Thrones 5x01 “The Wars To Come”
Ship(s): Daenerys/Daario

First reaction on watching tonight: Yay! Game of Thrones is back on my TV! I can’t wait!

Second reaction on watching tonight: Sweet mercy, I forgot what a hot mess this show is.

So without further ado, here my recap for the season premiere of Game of Thrones. Be forewarned; its a bit all over the place, just like the show. And, holy cow, I’m reminded of all the craziness that made up last season. What am I getting myself into?

We open on a flashback of young Cersei dragging a reluctant friend through a swamp to have her fortune read by a witch in a cave. She doesn’t get good news: while she will marry a king (and not a prince), he will have twenty children while she only has three and they all three will die before a younger queen takes her place. Yowza! Well, you can’t say she wasn’t warned.

[Forewarned wasn't necessarily forearmed...]

Mon
Apr 13 2015 12:20pm
Excerpt

A Court of Thorns and Roses: Exclusive Excerpt

Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasWhen nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristen Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

A Special Introduction from Sarah J. Maas: In this scene, though Feyre has been warned by Tamlin to stay away from the festivities of Fire Night (or Calanmai, a Faerie ceremony in which the magic created during a mating ritual helps regenerate the land for the year ahead), she disobeys his orders and sneaks out to witness the Rite anyway. But after being taunted and terrified by the Fae at the ceremony, she flees back to the safety of Tamlin's manor, where she learns that this night, Tamlin must choose a mate for the Rite. Worse, she learns that if she had remained there, Tamlin's growing attraction to her would have likely compelled him to choose Feyre as his partner. But with the land's magic coursing through him, Tamlin would not be the gentle Fae warrior Feyre has come to know—but rather something and someone far more feral…

Get a sneak peek at  Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses (available May 5, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

At some point, I dozed off while sitting at my vanity. I awoke the moment the drums stopped. A shuddering silence went through the house, and the hair on my arms arose as magic swept past me, rippling outward.

Though I tried not to, I thought about the probable source and blushed, even as my chest tightened. I glanced at the clock. It was past two in the morning.

Well, he’d certainly taken his time with the ritual, which meant the girl was probably beautiful and charming, and appealed to his instincts.

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

Mon
Apr 13 2015 11:30am

Bitten 2x10 Clay/Elena Heart-to-Heart, Plus 7 Things We Learned from Laura Vandervoort and Greyston Holt!

The Troops in Bitten 2x10Show/Episode: Bitten, Season 2, Episode 10, “Fine Temporum” (Spoilers, natch)
Ship(s): Clay/Elena, Nick/Paige

Bitten 2x10 Captain's LogWith remnants of last week’s emotional episode still so fresh, watching as Nick is crippled with pain doesn’t bode well for how this week will go either. The Pack and Paige are standing outside the Delphi building in Boston. Jeremy recognizes Nick’s pain as part of the Change process. We already know if Aleister isn’t killed by dawn, whoever is a wolf then will stay a wolf forever. That matter is brushed aside though when Elena sees Cain and wants to kill him. Clay and Cain quell her “why aren’t you dead” concerns quickly but another upset follows immediately after. Nick asks where Logan is. Jeremy has to break the news to them, emphasizing the honour with which he fought and died. It’s small consolation for them. He explains Rachel is still with him at Stonehaven and the Pack will look after the burial when they return. Is this an opening for a reversal off all things Aleister if he loses? Dare I hope?

[We're hoping too...]

Mon
Apr 13 2015 9:30am

First Look: Lauren Layne’s Crushed (April 14, 2015)

Crushed by Lauren LayneLauren Layne
Crushed (Redemption #2)
Random House / April 14, 2015 / $2.99 digital

Lauren Layne’s latest novel about the healing power of redemption tells the story of a crush gone wickedly wrong, proving that what you want isn’t always what you need.

Growing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is dating Michael’s new half brother, Devon.

Kristin’s mouthy, curvy sister Chloe has always been in love with Devon Patterson. So when Michael offers to help Chloe break up Devon and Kristin, Chloe agrees to a deal that seems too good to be true. Before long, Chloe finally gets her man, only to make a startling discovery: She no longer wants the guy she had to fight for—she wants the one who stood by her side.

After all he and Chloe have been through, Michael swears he’s damaged goods. Can Chloe convince him that love is worth the risk?

Crushed is the second (well, technically third) book in the Redemption series by Lauren Layne and I am in love. I’m in love with Chloe, Michael, and Lauren Layne for writing a New Adult romance novel that had my husband giving me bizarre looks because I couldn’t stop laughing and hitting him on the shoulder (because I was dying, in a good way). This refreshing new take on the Ugly Duckling trope will have readers falling in love with Chloe and wanting to smack Michael in the head for taking so long to fight for the swan transforming in front of him.

[Fight for love...]

Mon
Apr 13 2015 8:10am

What Romance Author Do You Think Should be Immortalized?

The Stone Prince by Gena ShowalterIn Gena Showalter's The Stone Prince, an out-of-this-world warrior is turned into a statue and later released back into his mortal form by a very modern, human woman. Outside of Romancelandia, statues rarely come to life, but life can be immortalized as a statue (or other monuments to greatness). Recently, a stamp of Maya Angelou made the rounds—especially since the quote on it was incorrectly attributed to Maya Angelou—as did a terrifying statue of Lucille Ball.

What romance authors do you think deserve to be immortalized in some form?

Sun
Apr 12 2015 3:00pm

Short, Dark, and Handsome: Average Height Heroes in Romance Novels from Balogh, Bujold, and More!

Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro“Tall, Dark and Handsome.”

What a cliché! How boring to always have the same old, same old in our novels and films. How do you recognize the hero? He’s the tall one! The villain or comic relief? Short. Only in Austen Powers films do we find the hero and villain to be physical equals, and who wouldn’t rather watch the more interesting Dr. Evil, anyway?

I know, I know, study after study shows taller men get paid more, have a better chance of being elected president (at least in the 21st century—let’s hear it for James Madison!) and in romance novels definitely have a better shot at getting the girl.  

Open your minds to a new definition of hero! After all, Tom Cruise and Daniel Radcliffe didn’t get to the top of the film food chain standing on the shoulders of giants. They showed that men who don’t shop in the Big & Tall department can still win the day and the girl, lead the Mission Impossible team, and even defeat He Who Must Not Be Named (who was pretty tall, I might add).

In real life, Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated combat soldiers of WWII was 5’5”. He also parlayed his fame into a modest career as a Hollywood star, and got the girl in the movies too.

[Getting the girl even when you're only a little taller than her... *gasp*]

Sun
Apr 12 2015 1:09pm

Outlander 1x10 Jamie/Claire Heart-to-Heart: Convincing the Duke

Jamie and Claire in Outlander Season 1, episode 10Claire 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.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, Episode 10, “By The Pricking of My Thumbs.” Enjoy!

Show/Episode: Outlander Season 1, Episode 10, “By the Pricking of My Thumbs”
Ship(s): Jamie/Claire

Captain's Log graphic for Outlander 1x10Last week’s Outlander premiere saw Jamie and Claire returning to Castle Leoch and beginning to understand how their marriage will need to work. If you missed last week’s recap, I suggest jumping back and checking out the comments. There’s an intelligent discussion on the controversial scene from last week that is absolutely worth the read. And everyone also agrees that Sam Heughan is delicious.

Let’s jump into more of that deliciousness now, by chatting about episode 10, “By The Pricking of My Thumb.”

Outlander wasn’t about to let us forget that Jamie and Claire made up at the end of the last episode. This week we opened the show with Jamie pleasing his wife, and that Scot worked hard. Others were banging at the door and he refused to quit until Claire was thumping her hand against the headboard. Good man.

[We should all be so lucky...]

Sun
Apr 12 2015 10:00am

Shipping Sunday: Scott & Bailey’s Janet Scott/Andy Roper

Recently, I started watching a British crime TV show, Scott & Bailey. The show follows Major Incident Team detectives Janet Scott and Rachel Bailey. Many times, their personal lives impede on the professional cases they cover.

Most of the time, the personal mess comes from newbie, Rachel Bailey—after all, the first boyfriend we're introduced to is a cheater/crooked barrister-turned-attempted murderer. But early on in Season (Series) 1, drama stems from Janet's relationship with her sergeant, Andy Roper, following a one-night stand.

[Fling to a thing?...]

Sat
Apr 11 2015 12:00pm

First Look: Sara Jane Stone’s Wild With You (April 14, 2015)

Wild with You by Sara Jane StoneSara Jane Stone
Wild With You (Independence Falls #4)
Avon Impulse / April 14, 2015 / $1.99 digital

One night with a hero is just what she needs. But more spells trouble...

Dr. Katherine “Kat” Arnold left Oregon and never looked back at the town that failed her as a child. But when a new patient from Independence Falls joins her clinical trial, she returns determined to show everyone in her hometown how she has thrived—including her high school crush.

Brody Summers saves people. For years, he looked out for his younger siblings and ran the family business. Now he works search and rescue. After a failed mission, Brody plans to take an evening off. When a blonde city girl knocks him off his feet, he refuses to walk away from desire. But it doesn't take long for Brody to realize the past is returning to haunt him—and it goes back farther than one wild night.

The last thing Kat wants is a reason to extend her stay in Independence Falls. But she can't escape the memory of Brody's wicked touch. As their passion heats up, Brody wonders if he's falling for the one woman who doesn't need rescuing.

Brody Summers is the perfect man. He’s rugged, sexy, caring, does search and rescue in the mountains of Oregon, and has a fierce dedication to his sister and brothers. He also happens to be the long-time crush of one Kat Arnold, former foster care child who has never experienced security and support from a forever family. Kat learns early on that the only person she can rely on is herself. Now one of the nation’s top neurologists, Kat returns to her hometown to work with Brody’s brother who is part of Kat's clinical trial on short-term memory loss.

[She may be here to learn about memory, but she's about to make some...]

Fri
Apr 10 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Men in Kilts with Mamoa, Heughan, and More!

Sam HeughanToday we're excited to have Victoria Roberts on Heroes and Heartbreakers. Victoria's latest release, Kilts and Daggers, comes out May 5, and in the process of writing her book, stumbled upon a few pictures of men in kilts! She's here today with a special guest beefcake, counting up the many ways and reasons to love men in kilts—with examples. Thanks, Victoria!

What is it about a lovely Scottish brogue, kilt swagger, and the rippling muscles of a Scottish rogue that makes every woman swoon? Throw in the beautiful Scottish landscape, and I’m probably a good person to ask.

I’ve been fascinated with all-things Scotland ever since my critique partner gifted me with my first Hannah Howell book. I was swept away to a time in the past when kilted heroes and alpha-male warriors had chivalry, honor, and fought for freedom, protecting their lands and loved ones with mind, body, and soul.

[You have our hearts...]

Fri
Apr 10 2015 3:49pm

Romance News Roundup: Jenn Bennett Deal & Cookie Lyon Insults!

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.

—Deal Alert: Jenn Bennett's Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell #1) is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iBookstore. Visit our Jenn Bennett tag for more on her books.

—Readers and writers alike will enjoy this New York Times profile of John Green's editor and publisher of Dutton Children's Books, Julie Strauss-Gabel, who's famous for her “stinging critiques” that nevertheless have led to some of our favorite books, including The Fault in Our Stars. Read our review of TFiOS here.

—Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly) has revealed the cover for her YA fantasy novel Truthwitch, which according to the description will feature not one but two fierce heroines, and we're seeing comparisons to books by the likes of Megan Whalen Turner and Jacqueline Carey. Might there be some romance too? Fingers crossed!

[+Everyone loves Cookie—except Taraji P. Henson?!?!...]

Fri
Apr 10 2015 1:00pm

Haters Gonna Hate: Why Game of Thrones’ Sansa is a Total Boss

Sansa in Game of ThronesIn any given discussion of Game of Thrones and the badassery of its characters, you'll hear about Arya Stark, the mischievous daughter of Ned Stark of Winterfell, who must find her way alone after his execution. Charged with learning to “stick them with the pointy end” and hiding amongst her enemies, the wily and troubled Arya is a fan favorite and often lauded as the strongest and most feminist character in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. But, here's the thing, over the course of five books and four seasons, I think it's clear that her older sister Sansa Stark is a badass, too. She may not handle a sword, or seek out the Braavosi trick of shifting faces, but she handles equally sharp things and wears her own mask.

[Behind the mask of a spoiled child lurks a badass, you say?]