<i>My Beautiful Enemy</i>: Exclusive Excerpt My Beautiful Enemy: Exclusive Excerpt Sherry Thomas A beautiful and cunning woman meets her match... <i>Prototype</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Prototype: Exclusive Excerpt M.D. Waters "Fighting Her fight lost me my husband and daughter. My memories. My entire life." <i>Hero of a Highland Wolf</i>: Excerpt Hero of a Highland Wolf: Excerpt Terry Spear Every part of him was sexy. His mouth was made for kissing... <i>Mortal Danger</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Mortal Danger: Exclusive Excerpt Ann Aguirre "I didn’t want to worry about Kian, considering how little I trusted him..."
From The Blog
July 28, 2014
True Blood 7x06 Recap
Chelsea Mueller
July 27, 2014
2014 RITA and Golden Heart Winners
Team H & H
July 25, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Hero Inspiration
Team H & H
July 24, 2014
Historical Spies from Bradley, Galen, Quinn, and More!
Jennifer Proffitt
July 24, 2014
Best Reads of July 2014
Team H & H
Wed
Jul 23 2014 11:00am

August 2014 Romance Novel New Releases Shopping List

Find your future faves with this delightfully convenient shopping list of romance novels coming out in August. We’ve divided them up by subgenre to make it easier for those who’ve got a very specific obsession and there are some great books to look forward to. Our shopping list is the biggest yet, so don’t forget to take this printable version with you when it’s time to shop!

Heroes and Heartbreakers August 2014 Shopping List!
 
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/SfR

[Check out the complete list!...]

Wed
Jul 23 2014 9:30am

First Look: Ilona Andrews’s Magic Breaks (July 29, 2014)

Ilona Andrews
Magic Breaks
Ace Hardcover / July 29, 2014 / $25.95 print / $12.99 digital

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

Books that contain huge chunks of running and fighting tend to lose my interest. You get page after page of blood-spurting, limb-lopping action, with a pause for a scene or two wound-licking and making wisecracks, which is then followed by a bunch more scenes of running and fighting.

But when it’s Ilona Andrews, I gobble those books like they’re fresh baked and I’m starved.

[Luckily, there's a new dish of Kate being served!]

Wed
Jul 23 2014 8:06am

What’s Your Grittiest Sexiest Read?

Beyond Addiction by Kit RochaWith more and more MC, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, nihilistic (and other euphemisms for 'dark') romances gaining popularity, it's time to take your recommendations for grittiest, darkest, sexiest read out there.

So what's your nomination for the grittiest, sexiest read? 

Tue
Jul 22 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Lauren Layne’s Only with You (July 29, 2014)

Only with You by Lauren LayneLauren Layne
Only with You (The Best Mistake)
Forever / July 29, 2014 / $6.00 print / $2.99 digital

Cocktail waitress Sophie Dalton doesn't exactly have a life plan. She's perfectly happy being everyone's favorite party girl. But when a Las Vegas bachelorette party goes awry and an uptight businessman mistakes Sophie for a prostitute . . . well, Sophie wonders if it's time to reevaluate her priorities. Swearing off her thigh-high boots for good, Sophie slinks back home with damaged pride-and a jackpot of a hangover.

Yet what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there. On a trip to Seattle to open a new office, Grayson Wyatt meets his latest employee—who turns out to be the same woman he recently called a hooker. Wealthy and gorgeous, Gray is a man used to getting what he wants. And it doesn't take long to figure out that smart, sassy, sexy Sophie is everything he's been looking for. As their late nights at the office turn into hot morning-afters, they realize their Vegas misunderstanding may lead to the real thing . . .

One of the more critical scenes in a book is how the hero and heroine meet. Authors have free range on devising this meeting, and readers reap the benefit of authors’ fertile imagination, especially when the hero and heroine form the wrong impression. Lauren Layne definitely has a bountiful imagination:

Sophie Dalton is in Las Vegas for her cousin’s bachelorette party. Her cousin is certainly not a favorite relative, but since Sophie’s sister is in the wedding, she is obligated to attend, so when the bride-to-be declares:

I want my bachelorette party to be hella shanky and memorable. If you’re going to be on your period that weekend, fix it.

[Sounds like the beginning to an...interesting...weekend...]

Tue
Jul 22 2014 3:20pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals for Jeannie Moon, Bronwen Evans, and Sarah Title!

Behind the curtain--covers for books by Jeannie Moon, Sarah Title, and Bronwen EvansOn the eve of the annual Romance Writers of America national conference, H&H is delighted to celebrate the genre with some exclusive news about three exciting upcoming releases.

Read on for a special first look at the covers for The Second Chance Hero by Jeannie Moon, A Touch of Passion by Bronwen Evans, and Snowed In by Sarah Title. Enjoy!

[Pull the curtain back...]

Tue
Jul 22 2014 1:15pm

Driven to Distraction: An Argument for Adam Driver’s Sex Appeal

Adam Driver and Lena Dunham in GirlsThe French have a word, jolie laide, for “good-looking ugly women,” women such as Anjelica Huston, Bette Davis, and Tilda Swinton. There isn't such a term for good-lucking ugly men, but there should be, and one of the prime examples of that would be Girls (and future Star Wars) actor Adam Driver.

He's a really good actor—he has made his Girls character go from being a reprehensible, shirtless, sex-addicted slacker to being a caring, shirtless, sex-addicted slacker. In other words, the character has remained true to himself, even though our perceptions of him have changed dramatically through the seasons. That's due as much to Driver as it is to the show's writers.

[A little of both makes for a perfect combo...]

Tue
Jul 22 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Mortal Danger: Exclusive Excerpt

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

In Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger, Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly . . . bad things are happening. It’s a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what—she can trust. Not even her own mind.

Get a sneak peek of Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger (available August 5, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

I didn’t expect Kian to be waiting for me when I left school and he wasn’t. Russ offered me a ride home, but I shook my head. “I don’t mind the T. Thanks anyway.”

“Where’s your boyfriend today?” he asked.

“He has class. See you.”

[Continue on to read the full excerpt of Mortal Danger...]

Tue
Jul 22 2014 9:30am

First Look: Kresley Cole’s Dark Skye (August 5, 2014)

Dark Skye by Kresley Cole Kresley Cole
Dark Skye
Simon & Schuster (Gallery) / August 5, 2014 / $25.00 print, $12.99 digital

As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.

With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?

Finally, finally….FINALLY Kresley Cole has given us the story of Melanthe of the Deie Sorceri, Queen of Persuasion and Thronos Talos, Knight of Reckoning, Heir of the Skye. Dark Skye has been five long years of waiting for Immortal After Dark fans. When Thronos looked at Lanthe in Demon from the Dark and declared they would be together “soon,” little did we know that was Demonish for “freakin’ forever,” but I guess when you are immortal a few years would be considered soon.

[We learned. We learned...]

Tue
Jul 22 2014 8:00am

You Know Nothing: What’s the Last Thing You Read You Knew Nothing About?

 

With romance novel sites (such as this one!), social media, conferences, book signings, and other opportunities for virality, it's now hard to find an author about whom you know nothing

But there has to be something you picked up purely because of the blurb, the cover, or the price (no word of mouth allowed!).

What's the last thing you read that you knew nothing about before?

Image courtesy of YouKnowNothingJonSnowDaily.

Mon
Jul 21 2014 3:14pm

She’s So Unusual: Sandra Schwab’s Historical Romances

Castle of the Wolf by Sandra SchwabWhat comes to mind at the phrase, “Black Forest?” A dessert rich with dark chocolate, cherries and cream? Old World forests where maidens and orphans might as easily find danger as well as an unlikely love? Ornate castles filled with antique treasures? If you’ve read the novels of German romance author Sandra Schwab, you’re not far off.

Schwab combines her love of romance with a scholar’s attention to historical detail, and with good reason. Besides writing unforgettable historical romance novels, she also teaches English literature at the college level and studies folk and popular literature, the Victorian novel and British society and culture in her academic life. If you’re looking for historical romance rich in heart and smarts, look no further. You’ve found it.

“Nobody ever counts the gargoyles” may not be what springs to mind when thinking of a perfect first (or last) line of a historical romance novel, but in Schwab’s classic Castle of the Wolf, this chilling phrase leads the reader deep into Germany’s Black Forest and a story as rich and delicious as the cake that shares its name.

[Go on, take a big bite...]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 1:30pm

First Look: Kylie Scott’s Lead (July 29, 2014)

Lead by Kylie ScottKylie Scott
Lead
St. Martin's Press / July 29, 2014 / $14.99 print / $3.99 digital

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.  

Lena's not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him. 

Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series has taken the world by storm. While the first two books were a blend of humor, romance and angst, Scott’s Lead takes a more serious tone in this friends-to-lovers story. Focusing on Stage Dive's tortured lead singer, Jimmy, who is battling alcoholism and substance abuse, Scott presents a heroine in the form of the quirky and hilarious, Lena, Jimmy’s sobriety companion.

[And soon-to-be life companion?]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 11:30am

True Blood Season 7, Episode 5: Party at Sookie’s House

Pam and Eric in True Blood Season 7, Episode 5Believe it or not, the wait is finally over: True Blood's seventh and final (!!!) season is now under way. Tune in each week as we recap and discuss the last chapter in the story of our favorite Bon Temps residents.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of True Blood, including last night’s Season 7, Episode 5, “Lost Cause.” Enjoy!

Last week’s episode put this season of True Blood back on track. There was plenty of Pam and Eric, including insight into the origins of Fangtasia, Arlene was rescued, and the Hep-V vampires who were hiding out at the aforementioned Shreveport club were taken out.

Where does that leave us? Anything can happen in this latest episode. We still have open story lines for Sookie and Bill (are they heading to a happily ever after?), Eric/Pam and their quest to kill Sarah Newlin, and hopefully tons more of Lafayette.

It’s time to jump into the highlights and WTFery of season 7, episode 5 “Lost Cause.”

HIGHLIGHTS

We pick up right where we left off: With a whole bunch of dead vampires at Fangtasia. While others are cleaning up outside, Willa vents her maker issues to Pam (with Eric in earshot, of course). She throws some pretty dead-on accusations, and while Eric admits his failure, he still has a request of Willa. He wants info on where Sarah Newlin might be. She barters the information for being released from him.

Turns out dear Sarah Newlin’s sister Amber is a vampire.

[Duh duh DUUUUUHHHHH....]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 10:02am

Cedar Cove Season 2, Episode 1 Recap: The More Things Change...

Cedar Cove Season 2 posterCedar Cove, the Hallmark Channel television series based on Debbie Macomber's romance novel series of the same name and starring Andie MacDowell, is back for Season 2 and H&H is all over it! Stay tuned for weekly recaps of this year's small-town shenanigans, and if you're just catching up, be sure to go back and read Rachel Hyland's Season 1 posts.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Cedar Cove, including Saturday night’s 2x01, “Letting Go: Part 1.”

Welcome, friends, back to Cedar Cove, Washingon, where the living is easy and the focus is soft upon mature beauties Olivia (Andie MacDowell) and Grace (Teryl Rothery) being expertly wooed by their attractive, appropriately grizzled, beaus. Meanwhile, among the next generation one finds romantic entanglements aplenty, with Olivia’s feisty artist daughter Justine (Sarah Smyth), Grace’s feisty curator daughter Maryellen (Elyse Levesque) and Jack’s sulky son Eric (Tom Stevens) all the object of some oftentimes problematic affections.

This year, we’re going to do a little something different with these recaps; my thinking is, since this show is based entirely on Debbie Macomber’s million-selling sweet romance series of the same name, clearly we’re in it for the relationships. So instead of a play-by-play, let’s just take this one couple at a time, shall we?

[Now boarding all 'ship passengers...]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 8:08am

What Couples Have Survived the Moonlighting Effect?


Last week, Heather reported on news that Arrow's Olicity (Oliver and Felicity) might actually become a couple.

While 'shippers might be filled with glee at the prospect, there is also concern that the couple, once together, won't be as satisfying as anticipated (see Rachel Hyland's excellent post HEA = RIP for more on this).

So we're asking today, what 'shipped couples are as good as fans thought they would be? What couples have avoided the Moonlighting Effect

Sun
Jul 20 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Read & Win: Daisy Goodwin’s The Fortune Hunter

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy GoodwinGet a sneak peek of Daisy Goodwin’s The Fortune Hunter (available July 29, 2014), with an exclusive excerpt!

One grand-prize winner will receive a copy of the book, Fortune Hunter, notecards, and a puzzle depicting the Empress Elizabeth of Austria! Click here to enter for a chance to win the sweepstakes.*

Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as “Sisi,” is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse.

Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National—until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that threatens the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and all of their futures.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C., or non-Quebec Terriroties of Canada to enter. Promotion begins March 5, 2014 at 12 pm ET, and ends March 19, 2014, 11:59 am ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[Continue on to read—or listen to—an excerpt from the book, and watch a video with Daisy Goodwin...]

Sun
Jul 20 2014 10:00am

First Look: Jennifer Estep’s Poison Promise (July 29, 2014)

Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep

Jennifer Estep
Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin #11)
Pocket Books / July 29, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

In book eleven of her New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series, author Jennifer Estep continues “one of the best urban fantasy series going on the market” (Fresh Fiction).

Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.

There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…

Gin has defeated her greatest foe, Mab Monroe, but now someone is coming to take Mab’s place. Someone who is determined to gain access to Ashland’s underworld—and rule it.

Gin Blanco, aka The Spider, is back and sharpening her knives in Poison Promise, the eleventh installment of Jennifer Estep’s dark and action-packed Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Set in a small town in North Carolina, this ever-evolving world mixes the mundane with the supernatural, as Gin struggles to keep her town and loved ones safe from the darker elements that circle the city like sharks out for blood.

[Assassins are people too...]

Sat
Jul 19 2014 12:07pm

First Look: Mina Vaughn’s How to Reprimand Your Rock Star (July 21, 2014)

How to Reprimand Your Rock Star by Mina VaughnMina Vaughn
 How to Reprimand Your Rock Star
Pocket Star / July 21, 2014 / $4.99 digital

Thea is a star basketball player at UConn on track to be Rookie of the Year. That is, if she can stay focused on the game. Lately that hasn’t been going so well, as her knee has been bothering her. But that’s not the only thing on her mind…

Ever since rock star Keaton Lowe surprised her in the girl’s locker room, Thea can’t stop thinking about him. On top of his status and enticing ways, he seems to know everything about her. But some of his actions cross the line, and Keaton needs to be punished. Will Thea keep her head in the game, or get distracted by her other favorite pastime—reprimanding her rock star?

As the follow up to How to Discipline Your Vampire, Mina Vaughn takes a foray into the world of New Adult and adds a bit of female domination to the mix. Thea, short for Athena, is a star basketball player at the University of Connecticut; she’s also a freshman who comes across the sexy rock star, Keaton Lowe. After a sexy interlude in the locker room sparks fly.

[Rock on!...]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Tim Howard

Tim Howard made headlines for some of us here in America, not because of his outstanding performance in The World Cup, but because of his subsequent appearance on the July 14 issue of AdWeek where every woman perked up and took notice of what his mama (and career as an athlete) gave him!

After extensive research—our jobs are so hard—we discovered that Tim took a lot of opportunities to pose shirtless. Most particularly when he appeared as part of PETA's “Ink Not Mink” campaign.

If Howard is part of the next World Cup, do you think you'll be tuning in a bit more closely? What other sexy soccer players did you spot?

[Ink Not Mink (or Clothes)  is a slogan we can get behind...]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 2:00pm

Sherlock and Spock: Brainy is the New Sexy

The Longest Night by Kara BradenToday we're joined by author Kara Braden, whose The Longest Night is a contemporary romance with a military heroine suffering from PTSD and the brilliant criminal defense lawyer who is suffering from his own hurts. Together, they find a way to overcome their respective odds. Kara's brainy hero has his roots in two very smart iconic characters, Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Spock, and she is here to discuss just what makes them so, so appealing. Thanks, Kara!

In the BBC’s modern Sherlock remake, A Scandal in Belgravia, Irene Adler states, “Brainy is the new sexy.” For me, though, there’s nothing new about it. Brainy has always been sexy—because hiding under the coldly logical exterior is the potential for an incredible depth of love.

That’s why Ian Fairchild, the hero of my debut romance, The Longest Night, is a genius criminal attorney, rather than a buff, brawny type. While it’s fun to have the eye-candy that comes with a firefighter, special forces soldier, or MMA fighter, there’s something glorious about a brainy hero, especially for a heroine who knows all that brainpower is focused on her.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes was my close companion all through childhood. I read and re-read the original mysteries, always delighting in how Sherlock could piece together the most obscure clues to solve the mystery and catch the thief or murderer. It seemed extraordinary that someone valued logic so highly could have such deep insight into human emotion and motivation.

[All those warm fuzzies that Sherlock is above...]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Driving with the Top Down: Exclusive Excerpt

Driving with the Top Down by Beth Harbison

Three women, two weeks, one convertible: sometimes life doesn't take you in the direction you expect...

Colleen Bradley is married with a teenage son, a modest business repurposing and reselling antiques, and longtime fear that she was not her husband’s first choice.  When she decides to take a road trip down the east coast to check out antique auctions for her business, she also has a secret ulterior motive.  Her one-woman mission for peace of mind is thrown slightly off course when sixteen year old Tamara becomes her co-pilot.  The daughter of Colleen’s brother-in-law, Tamara is aware that when people see her as a screw-up, but she knows in her heart that she’s so much more.  She just wishes her father could see it, too.

The already bumpy trip takes another unexpected turn when they stop at the diner that served as Colleen’s college hangout and run into her old friend, Bitty Nolan Camalier.  Clearly distressed, Bitty gives them a story full of holes: angry with her husband, she took off on her own, only to have her car stolen.  Both Colleen and Tamara sense that there’s more that Bitty isn’t sharing, but Colleen offers to give Bitty a ride to Florida.

So one becomes two becomes three as Colleen, Tamara, and Bitty make their way together down the coast.  It’s a road trip fraught with tension as Tamara’s poor choices come back to haunt her and Bitty’s secrets reach a boiling point.  With no one to turn to but each other, these three women might just discover that you can get lost in life but somehow, true friends provide a roadmap to finding what you’re really looking for.

Get a sneak peek of Beth Harbison's Driving with the Top Down (available August 5, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2.

Chapter 1
Colleen

Colleen Bradley hung up the phone—a tiny beep at the push of a fake on-screen button, as opposed to the satisfying slam of a good old plastic receiver—and rubbed her eyes in exasperation.

An hour and a half.

An hour and a half she had just spent on hold with that stupid hold music playing, and then the second she got a real person and not a robot, she was transferred, heard half a hopeful ring, and the call got dropped.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2 from Driving with the Top Down...]