<i>Eleventh Grave in Moonlight</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Eleventh Grave in Moonlight: Exclusive Excerpt Darynda Jones "I wanted to study her reaction since I couldn’t feel her emotions." <i>The Turn</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Turn: Exclusive Excerpt Kim Harrison "Love can hold the world together as a new balance is found." <i>The Room Mate</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Room Mate: Exclusive Excerpt Kendall Ryan "My fingertips tingled with the desire to reach out and touch him." <i>The List</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The List: Exclusive Excerpt Tawna Fenske "Will Simon’s big secret make that the one fantasy that can never come true?"
From The Blog
January 20, 2017
Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to Men with Dogs & Babies
Jen Wattley
January 19, 2017
Meet-Text? Romances That Began as Text Relationships
Jessica Moro
January 19, 2017
Karen Marie Moning’s Feversong SPOILER THREAD!! (MAJOR SPOILERS)
Jessica Avery
January 18, 2017
Top 5 Highlanders in Romance
Anna Bowling
January 17, 2017
Romance News & Deals from Christie Craig, Colleen Hoover, and More
Heather Waters
Thu
Jan 19 2017 9:30am

First Look: Beverly Jenkins’ Breathless (January 31, 2017)

Breathless by Beverly Jenkins

When I first open a Beverly Jenkins novel, I’m giddy with anticipation. Because I know the woman is a queen among queens with historical romance. And when I finish, I’m two-thirds satiated and one-third frustrated…because she leaves the reader hanging. Yes, Ms. Jenkins…teasing us about the next book in the series is cruel and delicious all at the same time. And as readers of my reviews know, I’m not always the most patient when it comes to waiting for my favorite authors to release their next gem of a novel.

So...Breathless. This book has everything. A yummy hero who has overcome some flaws of his past? Check. A gorgeous woman who gets more revved up looking at numbers and balancing budgets than with the idea of marrying? Check. A believable courtship that leaves the reader flying through the pages? Check. Drama causing our leads to persevere rather than fold? Check.

It’s been years since Portia Carmichael has seen Kent Randolph. The former bartender for her Uncle Rhine, Kent eventually arrives looking for work at the location of Rhine Fontaine’s new ranch. Fifteen years have passed since Kent worked for Rhine. And for a shy twelve year-old girl, eighteen year-old Kent was larger than life. Back then, six years was a big age-spread. Now? Six years is hardly worth mentioning. Moverover, Portia has no misgivings about her future and love. She's past the stage of silly girl crushes and vows she’ll never fall in love, not after what she saw love do to her mother. Portia wants nothing to do with prostitution—her mother’s occupation. Portia's an educated woman now, determined to safeguard her heart.

[And then things get turned upside down...]

Thu
Jan 19 2017 8:05am

Are There Certain Books You Wouldn’t Read as a Modern Reader?

It's important to acknowledge where romance started in order to make for a better environment in the future. A lot of times that's going back and reading the books of years gone by. Some you may enjoy, otherwise may be hard for a modern reader. 

Are there certain books you can't read now? Have you tried? On the flip side, are there books that you have re-read and found that they've held up?

Let us know in the comments!

Wed
Jan 18 2017 4:25pm

Ivan, Will & Grace: Romance News & Deals from Kit Rocha and More

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

Ivan by Kit RochaHellooooo, Ivan! Kit Rocha (a.k.a. writing team Bree Bridges and Donna Herren) have revealed the gorgeous cover for their third Gideon's Rider novel, Ivan. The Beyond spin-off series hasn't even started yet—Ashwin will be first—and we're chomping at the bit for more of these “holy warrior bikers who police the sectors, protect the weak, crush the bullies, and kill so others don't have to.” (Hot damn!)

—Karen, Jack, Will & Grace will be back on our TV screens soon! NBC has ordered a 10-episode revival of the hit 90s show, set to pick up where we left off at the end of the series. Get your juice boxes ready!

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Deal Alert: Meredith Duran's historical romance Sweetest Regret is $.99 in e-book at Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* If you only know five things about Meredith Duran, let it be these five from Janga, including that “Her prose is textured, various, and beautiful.”

[Plus a $1.99 Sarah Addison Allen deal and more...]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 3:00pm

Top 5 Highlanders in Romance: The Essential Highland Romance Experience

Source: Shutterstock

Kilty Pleasures!

First of all, boys in kilts. Better than that, men in kilts. Got your attention now? Good. Put the words, “Highlander,” or “Highlander,” on a book cover, and odds are, that book is getting picked off the shelf for at least a look. It’s no surprise. It’s worth a mention that, while all Highlanders are Scots, not all Scots are Highlanders. A Highlander’s devotion to their home and way of life is like none other. Doesn’t hurt that a Highland hunk isn’t hard on the eyes, either. Takes some muscle to wield that sort of weaponry, and when it’s for the right cause, well, dinna fash, lass; all will be well in the end. A strong Highland man or woman, with the right partner beside them, can be an unstoppable force, especially when it comes to commanding reader devotion. Though the motto of the  Highlander movie and TV franchise is, “there can be only one,” thankfully, that’s not even close to true in the romance genre. These Highlanders are likely to bring their whole clan along with them, for even more adventure and romance. That’s a true boon to both new and experienced reader, alike.

Read one Highland romance, and you’ll be part of the clan. Read more than one, and you’ll be ready to extend some Highland hospitality to those only now discovering all that Highland romance has to offer. Here are a few to whet the appetite:

[Delicious Lairds Ahead...]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 1:30pm
Excerpt

Ex-Con: Part 1 Exclusive Limited-Time Release!

Katana Collins

Ex-Con: Part 1 by Katana Collins

Worse than bad. Hotter than hot. These are the bad boys of the Harrison Street Crew, and they answer to no one. They take what they want. And what they want is you.

Ex-convict Shane McGill is as rugged and wild as they come. Bad to the bone and back on the streets, he’ll do anything and say anything to survive. Even if that something means joining the one car club he had worked so hard to avoid. But there’s one person out there who can match him toe-to-toe...if the hot mechanic pin-up doll of a woman with the body of a goddess and tomboy attitude would even give him a chance.

As an exclusive to H&H, all of Ex-Con: Part 1 by Katana Collins is free, available for you to read until January 27, 2017. Don't let the opportunity to read all of Part 1 pass you by!

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11


Prologue

Shane McGill walked through the courtyard for the first time. Metal hit concrete with a loud clank as a group of men to his right dropped a barbell to the ground. A few of the faces he recognized from South End. A few he’d gone to high school with. But most were strangers.

He just needed to keep his head down. No eye contact. No alliances. Even though everyone warned him going in that you don’t survive prison without them.

He kept his eyes set straight ahead, stalking toward the empty weight bench at the other end of the yard. He only had to make it five hundred feet. Well, five hundred feet and one thousand four hundred and sixty days . . . but that was beside the point. One step at a time. One day at a time.

[Keep reading Ex-Con: Part 1...]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 11:00am

The Swoonies 2017: The Nominations!

Last year Archangel's Enigma's Raphael/Elena took home the prize as 2016 Swoonworthiest's Couple in Romancelandia! This year, we're prepared for more epic battles between beloved couples, and here's the scoop on how to get your fave nominated for 2017:

Love has no rules, but The Swoonies must have a few:

1. Any couple can be nominated, even if they've never had their own book, but we've seen their romance play out as secondary characters.

2. The more nominations a couple has, the more likely they'll get into the final bracket. Don't be afraid to second a nomination that someone else has already called—the more votes, the better! However, the Heroes and Heartbreakers editorial team will determine which pairings make the final cut for the tourney.

3. The couple must appear in a book that was published between January 18, 2016, and today, January 17, 2017 (i.e. Eve and Roarke of Apprentce in Death are fair game, but Outlander's Jamie and Claire are not eligible for 2017).

4. Feel free to nominate as many couples as your heart desires, and share the love on social media, but please play nice in the comment section. Love lifts us all—even during a competition!

5. Have fun! 

[Are you ready to get nominating?]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 9:30am

How Can I Ignore The B613 Agent Next Door? Loving Scandal’s Charlie

Charlie on ABC's Scandal

Note: This post may contain spoilers for all aired episodes of Scandal. Read with caution!

With all the intrigue going on in Washington, D.C., many of us cannot wait to see what The Gladiators will be up against this time, white hats or not.

And while most of us shift our loyalties between promises of Vermont or Standing-In-The-Sun, for me, Scandal is all about promises of Charlie.

Charlie (played by George Newbern), is still our adorable, yet confounding B613 spy. And he’s still completely smitten with Gladiator Quinn Perkins.

If you don’t already recognize George Newbern by name or face, you for sure know him by voice. He is the narrator of some of the most prolific audiobooks in recent years (A Man Called Ove, Moonglow, Every Fifteen Minutes, Seabiscuit…). Gamers will know him as Sephiroth from Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. And DC Comics fans will know him as Superman in the Justice League series.

[An Alpha-Beta Anti-Hero?]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 8:04am

Men with Dogs or Men with Babies?

Animals and babies: two of the internet's greatest Achilles heels. They're also two things often leveraged for romance readers to enjoy on their covers along with the hunky men cuddling them. 

 

However, for some people, men and dogs fall short of the sweet men with babies, or on the opposite side, men with babies have readers clicking away to something else. 

So, what side are you on? 

 

Tue
Jan 17 2017 6:15pm

The Future of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series: Totally Baseless and Unsubstantiated Speculation

Note: This post contains spoilers for all Fever books by Karen Marie Moning, except for Feversong, which came out TODAY and which we are still in the process of reading. This is baseless speculation that is meant to be a fun exchange for readers. None of this has been confirmed by Karen Marie Moning or any of her camp. Have fun speculating with us, but also be warned that spoilers for Feversong may come up in the comments!

Fans of long-running series often feel like detectives when trying to figure out where the story will go. We have to read between the lines to find out what couple may get the next book and dig through author blog posts for any mention of upcoming projects. The job is never done—but we're all in this together!

Here's what we know about the future of the Fever series: 

[So let the speculation begin...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 4:30pm

Kick Up Your Heels for Romance News & Deals from Christie Craig and More

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

Only in Texas by Christie CraigDeal Alert: Christie Craig's contemporary romance Only in Texas is $1.99 in e-book at Kobo | iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Our beoved genre has so much to offer—don't miss Craig's “5 Lessons Readers Can Learn from Romance.”

Deal Alert: Nana Malone's down-on-her-luck-event-planner-meets-carefree-playboy contemporary romance Sexy in Stilettos is FREE in e-book at iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | etc.* Try as we might, we can never resist the appeal of “the ultimate dangerous men,” as author Jodi Ellen Malpas puts it.

Deal Alert: Colleen Hoover's new adult romance Hopeless is $.99 in e-book at Amazon.* “Hopeless walks the razor’s edge between being a YA and new adult book telling a beautiful tale of first love amidst the dark, ugly secret of abuse that can lurk behind closed doors of a place that is supposed to be a safe haven, but all too often is not, a place called home,” writes H&H contributer Tina Allen in her 2013 post about the best new adult books.

Deal Alert: Liora Blake's new adult/rock star romance True Devotion, second in the True series, is $1.99 at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* Between a cowboy, soldier, and rock star, what's your romance novel hero “type”?

[+ An Ocean's Eight hottie...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 2:00pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Laura Trentham and Kate Baxter!

Today, Team H&H has two great covers for you from authors Laura Trentham and Kate Baxter. Trentham's Cottonbloom Series gets another addition with Leave the Night On, a tale of betrayal and finding real love where you least expect it. And in Baxter's The Lost Vampire, a vampire and a fae can't fight destiny, even though the risk is eternal doom. 

Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham

Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter...

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancé’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames...

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham, available August 1, 2017:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

Buy at IndieBound

Buy at Kobo

 

 

 

[Check out The Lost Vampire...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 12:00pm

Smut Peddler: Naughty Comics by Women, For Women

Smut Peddler Graphic Novel

Last time I wrote about comics, I gave them a rating based upon the subjective criteria “can you read this on the train” and “how explicit is this.” This time, I’m just going to tell you: do not read this on the train unless you want some awkward pants feelings with sweaty strangers giving you creepy looks. I also suggest reading this book when not in the presence of children, your parents, etc. I DO suggest reading it with your significant other (battery-operated or human).  

Smut Peddler, aka The Best Name Ever, is an anthology of dirty comics written by an all-star team of writers and illustrators in the indie comics world. I was brought to the volume by my love for one of the contributors, Jess Fink. Her comic, Chester 5000 XYZ is AMAZING.  (It’s a steampunk sexy romance with a robot and you can read it for free here.) Chester was my first erotic comic and I haven’t talked about it much because it felt like talking about porn, which isn’t something we do in “polite company.” Erotic comics have always felt more accessible to me though because they aren’t real people, which removes the icky ethical issues that have always stopped me from enjoying porn. (This isn’t a judgment of anyone who does watch porn, as I know it’s a healthy part of many people’s sexual experiences.) ANYWAY, I’m going to tell you about Smut Peddler and if you like what I have to say, please buy the comic and support a fantastic group of female artists.

This review is based on the 2014 Edition, a thick volume in black and white that showed up on my doorstep in a completely innocuous media mail envelope. Little did my mail carrier know, subversive comics lay within! The subheading on this book is “A Superior Pornucopia for Classy Dames (and the Forward-Thinking Gentleman).” With that in mind, here we go!

[Dig in...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 9:30am
Excerpt

Kate Douglas & A. C. Arthur Excerpt: Claimed by the Mate, Vol. 3

A. C. Arthur and Kate Douglas

Claimed by the Mate, Vol. 3 by Kate Douglas, A. C. Arthur

In Dangerous Passions, Feral Passions Resort is the place for women to find romance and seduction with a hot, hard werewolf alpha mate. Traker Jakes and Evan Dark of the Trinity Alps pack have yet to find a strong, sexy BBW woman to consume with heady pleasure. But a special woman has arrived at Feral Passions Resort. The one who will burn with passion between these two sexy werewolf shifters. Desire will reach its peak…and the best these three can do is hold on to the sensations that erupt between them.

In Bound to the Wolf, Phelan Sava is a lycan werewolf shifter with a dark side to his soul. He lives for pleasure and revels in pain. But what burns for more than anything is a woman to dominate with his unbridled passion and desperate lust for good. Marena Panos is an attorney with a dark secret that follows her into the mountains and into the bed of a Phelan Sava. And when she is hunted by the feral beast that ravishes her body and claims her soul, Marena has no choice but to give in with no intention of ever looking back.

Get a sneak peek at Kate Douglas, A. C. Arthur's Claimed by the Mate, Vol. 3 (available January 17, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Dangerous Passions by Kate Douglas

Evan watched Trak head down to Growl with the little shifter in tow. He’d been absolutely shocked when Trak introduced her as the florist. Obviously the man knew she was a shifter, but with Darnell sitting here sipping on her margarita it wasn’t like he could announce it to them.

Evan wished he knew her story. She seemed like such a timid little thing, and she had to be rogue to be here in their territory without a pack. Trak would let them know when he could. That was one thing about this pack. They really were more of a democracy. Unusual among werewolf packs. Generally the alpha was the supreme commander of his pack. He wielded the power of life or death over each of the members.

[Read the full Claimed by the Mate, Vol. 3 excerpt...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 8:07am

What’s a Favorite Piece of Slang or Catchphrase You’ve Learned from Romance?

Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner

This weekend on Twitter, Rose Lerner was sharing some of her favorite Regency era slang—from blanket hornpipe to to blow the grounsils. Outside of historical romance, authors like Darynda Jones and J.R. Ward, among many others, use fun slang and catch phrases in their writing. 

What are some of your favorite slang words or phrases that you've learned in romance? Do certain authors make great use of catchphrases?

Tell me about it in the comments!

 

Mon
Jan 16 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

L.A. Witt Excerpt: Afraid to Fly

L.A. Witt

Afraid to Fly by L.A. Witt

Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It's been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he's sober now and getting his life back on track. He's traded drones for a desk, and he's determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

Clint has been on Travis's radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it's a disaster, but there's a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

It's all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint's never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

Get a sneak peek at L.A. Witt's Afraid to Fly (available January 16, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

He was in uniform, of course, and even though I’d seen him a million times, I couldn’t stop staring. The blue digital camouflage uniforms were not my favorite thing about the Navy. There was something about the uniform that seemed to strip away all semblance of individuality. Which was sort of what uniforms were meant to do, but this one in particular seemed to erase everything. Facial features, skin tones, even eyes—they all seemed to turn generic when people wore these uniforms. I’d had coworkers I didn’t recognize in their civvies because I’d only seen them in blue camouflage.

Travis, though . . . I couldn’t mentally blend him into a crowd if I wanted to. No amount of camouflage dulled a single thing about him. After seeing him in his dress uniform? Jesus.

[Read the full Afraid to Fly excerpt...]

Mon
Jan 16 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Jennifer Blackwood’s The Rule Maker (January 16, 2017)

The Rule Maker by Jennifer Blackwood

Jennifer Blackwood
The Rule Maker (Rule Breakers #2)
Entangled / January 16, 2017 / $17.99 print, $3.99 digital

What is there to say about Jennifer Blackwood's The Rule Maker? Two words. Flipping Funny. (Did you like the alliteration?) Picture this. I’m waiting in the lobby as my daughter has her viola lesson at our local music school. All the parents (male and female) are perusing their phone, or reading a book, or looking outside the window. You get the picture. They’re being respectful and quiet. And me? I’m on my Nook, reading along, enjoying the spunk of our heroine, Zoey Reynolds. Especially after she realizes she must work with the brother of her client, redesigning and renovating a dilapidated ski resort.

Problem one, he was the biggest mistake of a one-night stand.

Problem two, she’ll never have that awesome sex again.

Problem three? (Technically it’s my problem one) I’m snorting and laughing so hard, I’m leaning over myself, face in my coat, trying to muffle the laughs.

[Quite the conundrum...]

Mon
Jan 16 2017 9:30am

The Case For Book Boyfriend Status: Piper Huguley’s Lawrence Stewart from The Lawyer’s Luck

The Lawyer's Luck by Piper Huguley

Lawrence “Lawyer” Stewart, from Piper Huguley’s The Lawyer’s Luck, has everything a romance hero needs to confirm book boyfriend status. Should it please the court (or the readership) his qualifications can be summed up in the following five points:

1) He loves his work. Making it through the rigors of law school takes intelligence, dedication and drive. Doing all of the above without the benefit of the internet, energy drinks or a permanent place to live, that takes something extra. Doing all of the above as a man of color in the nineteenth century, that takes even more. Lawrence pursues his life’s calling from the back of a horse, as he rides circuit for his mentor, a judge who can no longer take on the arduous duty of being the law for a series of towns and settlements. He takes his responsibilities seriously, whether it’s conducting marriage ceremonies, settling disputes, leveling judgements, or tracking down the runaway horse he absolutely needs if he’s going to make his circuit in time to take his law exams.

2) He has a strong moral code. When Lawrence believes something, he believes it. He has a strong Christian faith that he relies upon, but does not push on others, and checks himself and his choices against that non-negotiable fact. Because of his belief that slavery is wrong, he risks his livelihood to help Realie, the enslaved woman who stole his horse in her own bid for freedom, he’s willing to put his own goals aside to ensure she gets what’s best for her. Though he has more than one opportunity for casual sex—both with Realie, and with another woman—that’s not for him, and his resolve remains firm. Everything he’s got is for his future wife, (because she’s getting it all; oh lucky, lucky Realie) and that’s not open for discussion.

[A total dreamboat...]

Sun
Jan 15 2017 11:19pm

Nalini Singh’s Writing Venom’s Book, Archangel’s Viper!

Archangel's Heart by Nalini SinghHave you heard? Nalini Singh has announced the title of her tenth Guild Hunter series novel: Archangel's Viper!

What's more, she revealed the book, which she's writing now, will star none other than Venom, one of Archangel Raphael's Seven. According to the short description Singh shared on Facebook with the news, “[E}ven this powerful vampire has no idea what awaits when he returns to New York...to a woman who might be the greatest threat of all...”

Now we're desperately wondering...who's his heroine? Is it Sorrow, or someone else?

You can be sure we'll share more information as we get it! If the book follows previous installments, it'll be out sometime this fall. In the meantime, if you haven't read Book 9, Archangel's Heart...well, what are you waiting for?

Tue
Aug 30 2016 9:30am

Anyone Else Feeling the Love Between Lord Melbourne and Queen Victoria? Victoria Season 1 (Series 1), Episode 2 Heart-to-Heart

Long live the Queen! Victoria is one of Great Britain's most well-known monarchs, and she's well known in the romance community for the great love she shared with her husband Prince Albert. The episodes are now airing in the U.S. on PBS Masterpiece, so we're re-posting our recaps from the U.K. run in Fall 2016. If you're eager to see what's next, you can read future recaps—just beware of spoilers!

Note: This episode originally aired as episode 2 in the U.K. It is the second hour of the two-hour premiere of Victoria on Masterpiece PBS.

Recap: Victoria, Season 1, Episode 1 | Victoria, Season 1, Episode 3 | See all our Victoria coverage here

The second episode of Victoria continues with the same dramatic, angst-filled vibe that the first one set up so beautifully.  This time, we are treated to some delicious ‘will they’ or ‘won’t they’ moments between the innocent Queen and her dashing Lord Melbourne as they struggle with the emotional conflict of what they want versus what is right.  There’s more underhand plotting from the dastardly trio of Conroy, the Duchess and the Duke of Cumberland.  There are even more treats from below stairs as Lehzen continues to face opposition from the other members of staff.  All of which has me gripped, just as I was after the first episode of Downton, itching for what the latest turn of events will be, and in a heap of muddled feelings by the time the credits roll.

[Read more...]

Mon
Aug 29 2016 10:45am

Long Live the Queen! Victoria Season 1 (Series 1), Episode 1 Heart-to-Heart

Long live the Queen! Victoria is one of Great Britain's most well-known monarchs, and she's well known in the romance community for the great love she shared with her husband Prince Albert. The episodes are now airing in the U.S. on PBS Masterpiece, so we're re-posting our recaps from the U.K. run in Fall 2016.

Note: Tonight, PBS aired the first TWO episodes of the series, so make sure you click over to the second episode's recap once you've finished reading this one!

Next Recap: Victoria, Season 1, Episode 2 | See all our Victoria coverage here

So why should you watch?

For anyone with a love for a particular style of period drama that has been left bereft after the end of Downton Abbey, fear not because the savior has arrived.  Or to be more precise, the Queen has arrived, in the form of the gloriously written & magnificently styled Victoria (broadcasting on ITV in the UK).  The 8-part series charts her early life as she ascends the throne at the tender age of 18, navigating her role as Head of State during what was a turbulent time for Britain, and equally importantly, her introduction to the man who would go on to be her greatest passion in life.

Penned by novelist Daisy Goodwin, her first foray into the world of screenwriting comes from encountering the young Victoria’s diaries as part of her university studies, something which she admits made the task of telling the story that much easier. 

Production is bolstered by a stellar cast led by Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Death Comes to Pemberley) as the woman predominantly portrayed throughout history as a notoriously stoic monarch clad in ‘widow’s weeds’.  Her flawless performance is beautifully supported by the enigmatic BAFTA nominated Rufus Sewell (The Man in the High Castle, Parade’s End... A Knight's Tale) as Lord Melbourne, Victoria’s first prime minister and long-time confidant. But don't start shipping them yet, as Episode 3 will introduce the historic trifecta with the arrival of the dashing Tom Hughes (The Game, Dancing on the Edge, Silk) as the love of Queen Victoria’s life, Prince Albert.

[Read more...]