<i>Just Married</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Just Married: Exclusive Excerpt Jenna Bayley-Burke "He rubbed his hands together as he looked for her, tense with anticipation." <i>Balance</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Balance: Exclusive Excerpt Lucia Franco "His gaze openly traveled the length of my body, taking in every inch." <i>Steady Stroke</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Steady Stroke: Exclusive Excerpt A. M. Arthur "Will they let their fears control them or take a chance on something real?" <i>The Devil's Bedpost</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Devil's Bedpost: Exclusive Excerpt Lena Hart "Sometimes you have to face the devil with a demon..."
From The Blog
August 29, 2016
Just How Naughty Were Those Regency Balls, Anyway?
Vanessa Kelly
August 26, 2016
You Don't Say: Comments That Made Our Week
Team H & H
August 26, 2016
Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to Aldis Hodge
Team H & H
August 26, 2016
5 Reasons to Watch Victoria
Naz Keynejad
August 26, 2016
August 2016 Unusual Historical Best Bets
Wendy the Super Librarian
Aug 29 2016 3:30pm

First Look: Lora Leigh’s Dirty Little Lies (August 30, 2016)

Dirty Little Lies by Lora Leigh

Lori Foster
Dirty Little Lies (Men of Summer)
St. Martin's/August 30, 2016/ $7.99 print & digital

Dirty Little Lies is the latest entry in Lora Leigh’s Men of Summer romantic suspense series and it's a twisty mystery with a spicy romance between a saucy spitfire and the alpha male who will risk everything to save her.

Grace Maddox is a highly intelligent woman whose delicate looks and genteel appearance drive those who love her want to protect her, no matter the consequences. Townspeople have mistaken Grace’s genial behavior for naivety, as her fiery tendencies aren’t well known to those outside of her immediate family. What those who aren't close to her see is not the real Grace. She not only can truly kick butt verbally, which I love, but she’s also able to defend herself physically. One of those individuals under a misguided belief that Grace is a delicate flower is Zack Richards, the man Grace has been in love with for years. He is willing to protect her at all costs from a conspiracy that threatens her life, even fighting with her close family members to do it.

[Read more...]

Aug 29 2016 1:00pm

Just Married: Exclusive Excerpt

Jenna Bayley-Burke

Just Married by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Seattle attorney Miranda Rose arrives in Las Vegas determined to keep her best friend-with-benefits from making a costly mistake – marrying some stranger just to save his family trust. But once there, Miranda discovers she’s the surprise bride! One red-hot honeymoon later, they’re back to their over-scheduled lives on opposite coasts. But a marriage of convenience with regularly scheduled sexytimes turns complicated when Miranda gets the shock of a lifetime: she's pregnant...with twins.

Miranda has always wanted a family of her own, but her infertility made it impossible. Besides, Callum’s difficult upbringing places him adamantly in the no-kid zone. Now she must decide between the man she’s been in love with for years and the children she’s longed for. Or will Callum surprise her yet again and come through when it matters most?

Get a sneak peek at Jenna Bayley-Burke's Just Married (available August 30, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.


“You’re getting married.” Miranda Rose choked on the words, her throat constricting, stomach twisting, and soul shriveling like a lone grape forgotten on the vine.

“Tomorrow.” Callum Kerr’s voice held more excitement than she’d heard since their law school graduation, when he’d transitioned from student to textile mogul. From the stillness in the background, he was most likely closed in his office just like she was, only his feet were probably on the desk. And he was smiling. She could tell from the warmth in his voice.

[Read the full Just Married excerpt...]

Aug 29 2016 11:45am

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


Victoria on ITV

Long live the Queen! 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. For U.K. viewers, the beginning of their love story, and Queen Victoria's long reign, has begun with the premiere of Victoria, now airing in the U.K. (U.S. viewers, stick with us! We'll be re-posting Lou's recaps when Season 1 airs on PBS beginning in January.) We're sure you're just as eager as we are to get to it, so without further ado...

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Victoria, including last night's series premiere. Enjoy!

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...]

Aug 29 2016 10:15am

Just How Naughty Were Those Regency Balls, Anyway?

My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly

Today we're thrilled to welcome Vanessa Kelly (My Fair Princess) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Ballrooms are the backdrops to many naughty historical romance moments, but just how naughty did Regency balls get? Vanessa explains it all! Thanks, Vanessa!

“Arriving at the Masquerade…at length, you are exhilarated by the average allowance of lethargic Harlequins, drunken Hermits, buckish Magicians, sneaking Emperors, august Tinkers, dejected Merry-Andrews, hoydening Abbesses, drivelling Minervas, lusty Ghosts, etc. etc. what little character there is lying exclusively among the Dominos.”

That’s a quote from Bell's Court and Fashionable Magazine, describing a masquerade ball in 1806. If you’re a Regency miss out for a lark, this is the type of ball you want to attend. But we’ll get to the naughty stuff in a minute.

There’s nothing like a good ballroom scene to propel a story in interesting directions. In my books, all sorts of good and bad behaviour occur at balls—including sexy times between the hero and heroine, which invariably leads to a juicy scandal. Can you say marriage of convenience?

[Read more...]

Aug 29 2016 8:07am

Reader Seeks France-Set Historical with Pirate Hero

Looking down at Montemarte in Paris

Today we're especially thrilled to help a reader out because the reader in question is former Heroes and Heartbreakers community manager, Megan Frampton. Megan is looking for a book she read back in the '70s and can't quite recall the name or author of the book to help her reconnect with it. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

I have a book I read when I was in middle school (so it would've been published in the '70s, I think, if not earlier. But it feels like the '70s).

It's set in France, I think the hero is a pirate, of some sort? The heroine is spectacularly gorgeous, of course, with white-blonde hair. It's a historical, but I don't know what era. She ends up on the ship with him (as you do), and they have no-no-no-yes! sex a few times in the course of the book.

Give us your best guesses down in the comments and help reunite this reader with her childhood read!

Image via Shutterstock

Aug 28 2016 12:01pm

Balance: Exclusive Excerpt

Lucia Franco

 Balance by Lucia Franco

Adrianna Rossi is no stranger to the rigorous demands required of her body. Years of pain and determination make her one of the best. Olympic glory is the ultimate goal, and she'll do anything to achieve it. Even if that means leaving home to attend World Cup Academy of Gymnastics, a training center that serves one purpose—producing champions.

Perfection, precision, and dedication are required of his athletes. When two time Olympian Konstantin Kournakova is persuaded into training the young hopeful, he immediately regrets it. She doesn't come close to his high standards. As the relentless pursuit of her dream keeps her striving, a passion is ignited within him.

Kova's power and domination, coupled with Adrianna's fierce tenacity, reveal there is more for her body to learn. Every interaction can be misconstrued, but there’s no mistaking the darkening of his gaze, the lingering of his touch, or the illicit image of his bare skin pressed against hers. Integrity is on the line. One toe off the beam and their forbidden desires could ruin everything they’ve worked for, throwing it all off balance.

Get a sneak peek at Lucia Franco's Balance (available August 29, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Kova spun around to face me, his broad shoulders pulled back, one hand propped on his hip and the other clenched around his water bottle. “Do you think you are the first gymnast to show wear and tear on their hands from bars? You are not in Palm Beach anymore, malysh—”

[Read the full Balance excerpt...]

Aug 28 2016 11:00am

New Adult Romance Best Bets for August 2016—Give In to Temptation!

Veiled by Karina Halle

August brings a round of temptation that is too hard to resist. Our heroines and heroes find that love doesn’t come at an easy price, they might have to lose it all in order to gain what they want. From smart witty stories to dark adventures that threaten your sensibilities, get ready for a wild ride with these reads!

Veiled by Karina Halle is a paranormal spin off of her Experiment in Terror series. You don’t have to read Eit for Veiled but, it’s so good! Ada finds herself embroiled in an adventure she never saw coming. One that is filled with terror, suspense and forbidden love. Creepy goodness and full of Halle’s customary wit, Veiled is an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover is a story best read with no details before diving in. A story that delivers a punch so good, it will reverberate throughout your mind and its message can’t be missed. It’s an inspiring look into the intricacies of relationships and how easily they can shape us.

[More recs ahead!]

Aug 27 2016 12:00pm

Steady Stroke: Exclusive Excerpt

A. M. Arthur

Steady Stroke by A.M. Arthur

After a tragic accident, Lincoln West’s dreams of making it big as a guitarist fell apart. Unable to play music, he’s battling a hopeless downward spiral, and takes his friend’s offer to stay at their beach house for the summer. While at an open mike night at local bar Off Beat, he locks eyes with a busboy who doesn’t make Linc feel so broken anymore.

Emmett Westmore lives for the anonymity of busing tables in his aunt’s quirky bar where no one pities him for the fire that killed everyone he loved. He blames himself for the fire, and he doesn’t want anyone to see him—except for Linc. Emmett’s walls drop when he’s around the gorgeous blue-eyed guitarist, but he has a secret that could destroy his budding relationship with Linc.

Both Linc and Emmett are looking for a way to live again…will they let their fears control them or take a chance on something real?

Get a sneak peek at A.M. Arthur's Steady Stroke (available September, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Chapter One

“Damn, Linc, you’re worse than my mom when she’s expecting guests.” Roxy Bounds leaned against the now-sparkling kitchen counter and crossed her arms. “It’s not the president, dude, chill.”

Lincoln West kept scrubbing the sink with Comet, determined to get the thing to shine before he gave up. “Unless you want to grab a rag and help, go away.”

“I told you when we moved in that I dust and vacuum. I don’t do kitchens or bathrooms.”

[Read the full Steady Stroke excerpt...]

Aug 27 2016 11:00am

First Look: Susan Donovan’s Stealing Taffy (August 30, 2016)


Stealing Taffy by Susan Donovan

Susan Donovan
Stealing Taffy  (Bigler, North Carolina Series)
St. Martin’s Press / August 30th 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

This book snuck up on me and clobbered me over the head with awesome. I honestly wasn’t sure what I would think about it at first. For some reason I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. A few chapters in, though, and I could see that I was very, very wrong. It turned out to be a truly wonderful, enjoyable, and funny read. I cannot say enough good things about it.

Set in her Bigler, North Carolina Series, Susan Donovan’s Stealing Taffy begins in the airport with Tanyalee Newberry, just coming back from a stint in rehab (forgery, kleptomania, and love addiction—it’s a long story), and Dante Cabrera, a DEA officer, crossing paths and spending one wild night in a hotel room together. After that, Tanyalee (also known as Taffy) leaves Dante, thinking the two of them will never see each other again.

He glanced around the room again, and that’s when he saw it - something shiny near his right shin. He stared at the bracelet. What the hell? Then he noticed a small piece of paper underneath. Dante snapped everything up and read Taffy’s words—“something to remember me by.”

He laughed. Damn, that girl was good.

[Read more...]

Aug 26 2016 4:30pm

You Don’t Say: Comments That Made Our Week

We at Heroes and Heartbreakers are so proud of and thankful for this wonderful community. Thank you for always adding a little extra sparkle to our week. In honor of Fan Friday, we want to give a special shoutout to a few of our favorite comments, and the readers behind them. We love your work!

eLTe doesn't understand the squick...

eLTe in The Science of Squick?

Admittedly, there are some words I just love to say and some ... not-so-much. Perhaps the meaning, connotation or implication of a word may cause extreme displeasure, but to have the word itself cause intense aversion, can't say I ever experienced that. In the case of “moist” - my apologies if this horrifies anyone, but for me moist conjures up the image of cake ... as in “moist and fluffy”.

[Read more...]

Aug 26 2016 3:00pm

Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to Aldis Hodge


A photo posted by Aldis Hodge (@aldis_hodge) on

Dear Aldis Hodge,

We fell pretty hard for you in Leverage as the smart, sexy, and brash Alec Hardison. You were funny, charming, and always came through for the team even when the odds were stacked against you.

[Read more...]

Aug 26 2016 2:00pm

Set Sail for Summer Island: Deals & 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

Summer Island by Kristin HannahDeal Alert: Kristin Hannah's women's fiction novel Summer Island is only $1.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks | etc.* “In her intense, emotional tales, [Hannah] focuses on strong women facing multiple challenges and realizing that the only way through their travails is to move forward and embrace love.”

Deal Alert: Diana Palmer's contemporary western Untamed is on sale for $.99 in e-book at Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | etc.* If your hero hero is a grouch and “specifically has a *mat* of chest hair,” you're probably the heroine of a Diana Palmer novel!

Fresh Outta the Oven

—Power couple Merit and Ethan are in fighting shape in the newly revealed cover for Chloe Neill's Blade Bound, the next and last (gasp!) Chicagoland Vampires novel. And something tells us you'll like the look of the accompanying excerpt almost as much as Ethan appreciates his view. In case you need a refresher, here's why you need to read the Chicagoland series.

“One weekend changes everything,” promises the sensual cover for H&H blogger and author Jennifer Blackwood's Landing the Marshal. Start prepping now for the first Snowpocalypse novel and a long weekend in.

[+Today on H&H...]

Aug 26 2016 12:00pm

The Devil’s Bedpost: Exclusive Excerpt

Lena Hart

The Devil's Bedpost by Lena Hart

He had it all…

Good looks. Thriving business. Beautiful fiancée. Life for casino owner David Carrone and his sweetheart Athena Lewis was at its peak—until a scandal of lies, a secret from his past, and an unspeakable tragedy tore a wide rift between them.

He lost it all…

With his reputation in question, his business in ruins, and his world crumbling around him, David sets out to find the bastards who dared to come after all he holds dear. But he isn’t the only one out for revenge and when the last good thing in his life is taken, David is no longer playing by the rules.

He risked it all…

For the woman he loves, David is prepared to give his life. But death is not an option. He has to find Tena. But to do that, he must face his demons and unleash the monster he keeps buried within…Because when risking it all for the one you love, sometimes you have to face the devil with a demon...

Get a sneak peek at Lena Hart's The Devil's Bedpost (available August 30, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“I’m so sorry I’m late!”

David glanced up from the email he was reading on his phone just as Tena slid into the curved booth beside him. He’d been sitting at the restaurant for about half an hour waiting for her. Giovanni’s was their go-to spot at the resort because of its quiet, private nooks. Even now, the restaurant was filled with the dinner crowd but the atmosphere remained quiet and relaxed.

 “Glad you finally decided to show up,” he said coolly, trying not to let too much of his irritation surface. “For a second there, I thought I was going to be stood up.”

[Read the full The Devil’s Bedpost excerpt...]

Aug 26 2016 11:15am

5 Reasons Every Downton Abbey Fan Will Want to Watch Victoria


Queen Victoria as portrayed by Jenna Coleman, ITV

When we think about Queen Victoria, we think of the old, stuffy, and quite repressed monarch dressed in black, looking bleak and foreboding. The Victorian era elicits images of rigid societal rules and regulations, much moderated behavior, and the emergence of the famous British “stiff upper lip.” But that wasn’t the case when Victoria first ascended the throne. This Sunday, ITV will begin airing its new miniseries Victoria (airing in the U.S. in January of 2017, in the coveted Downton Abbey time slot on Sunday nights), giving us a glimpse into the real Victoria from the time of her ascension as a (probably terrified) 18-year-old through her marriage to the love of her life, Prince Albert. So, here are five reasons why you should watch this show:

[You're gonna love Victoria...]

Aug 26 2016 9:30am

Back to School: Not-Your-Usual Historical Best Bets for August 2016

Silk, Swords, and Surrender by Jeannie Lin

What historical romances will you be reading this month?

If they didn’t get a jump start in July, August is definitely the time of year when parents everywhere look at the calendar and think, “Why are these kids not back in school yet?!”  It also, traditionally, means back to school clothes shopping.  And while you’re buying Little Johnny a new pair of shoes, why not spend a little money on yourself by indulging in some Not-Your-Usual historicals?


Silk, Swords, and Surrender by Jeannie Lin

Be swept away to a land of silk and swords, passion and surrender 

From USA TODAY bestselling author Jeannie Lin comes a tantalizing new five-story volume. Take a journey to Tang Dynasty China and join five unique heroines as they fight, seduce and steal their way into their heroes' hearts. 

Rediscover four reader-favorite stories and immerse yourself in The Touch of Moonlight, the brand-new sexy novella from this highly-acclaimed author!

I loved the now-defunct Harlequin Historical Undone line but with a higher price point (between $2-$3 for a 50-70 pages story), it was hard for the line to remain competitive in a growing digital marketplace.  All of Lin’s previously published stories for Undone are included in this anthology, along with one brand new story–making this one a bargain for readers who skipped over the shorts the first go around.

[More Unusual Historicals Ahead!]

Aug 26 2016 8:08am

If You Wear Plaid You’ll Get Jamie Fraser?

Mad for Plaid!Earlier this week, as they do, fashion and celebrity blog Tom and Lorenzo noticed the shocking amount of plaid to be found on the runways this season. They attribute some of the trend to the success of Outlander—the TV adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's much-loved series (like we need to tell you twice)—and it's a trend we've seen in books too. Holy Highlanders, Batman! 

While plaid has always been a fall staple in many closets, do you think you'll be finding your closet stocked with enough tartan to entice your own Jamie Fraser over to this side of the pond?

Image via shutterstock

Aug 25 2016 4:45pm

Wicked Nights with a Caged Warrior: Deals & 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

Wicked Nights by Gena ShowalterDeal Alert: Gena Showalter's Wicked Nights, the first Angels of the Dark book, is only $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | etc.* A weakness for one woman and courage are two of the top 5 qualities of alpha book boyfriends, says Showalter—and her heroes display them all.

Deal Alert: Lindsey Piper's demonic-gladiators paranormal Caged Warrior, first in the Dragon Kings series, is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* “Fans of urban fantasy and dystopian worlds will likely appreciate this series as well as those who are looking for a new type of paranormal romance,” says Victoria Janssen in her First Look at Caged Warrior.

Deal Alert: Sally MacKenzie's historical What to Do with a Duke makes us ready to join the Sisterhood of Spinsterhood. If you're ready to sign up for the sisterhood too, pick up the first Spinster House book for $1.99 at Barnes & NobleAmazon | iBooks | etc.* Not ready to commit? Read an excerpt from What to Do with a Duke first.

Fresh Outta the Oven

I have loved Dev Patel ever since he was a geeky virgin on UK's Skins. I loved him more when he was the enthusiastic entrepeneur in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (yeah, yeah, Slumdog Millionaire was good, too). However, I think my love for him has shot to new heights (you could say, climaxed) with his turn in Lion. The movie isn't even out yet, but holy hotness, Batman—with slightly longer hair and some shaggy scruff, I'm head over heels for Dev Patel. You'll be joining the club once you see the first trailer for Lion at Entertainment Weekly.

[Today at H&H...]

Aug 25 2016 4:20pm

First Look: Lenora Bell’s If I Only Had a Duke (August 30, 2016)

If I Only Had A Duke by Lenora Bell

Lenora Bell
If Only I Had A Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes)
Avon / August 30, 2016 / $7.99 print, $4.99 digitial

If I Only Had a Duke is the second in Lenora Bell’s debut series, The Disgraceful Dukes, and I loved it just as well as the first. If this is Bell’s standard, I’m adding her to my auto-buy list! This book is seriously trope-a-riffic. It’s a mish-mash of things I love and it works brilliantly! Here’s what you should know:

Bell Doesn’t Take Herself Too Seriously

Romancelandia is plagued with dukes. I mean, how many dukes can there possibly be in England in 1820? And how many single, handsome dukes in their late twenties to early-thirties? Bell has based an entire series on matching renegade dukes with equally scandalous ladies. It’s completely delicious, but also improbable, and she has a character sum it up in fantastic fashion right out of the gate.

“Handsome dukes are suchrare creatures. Rather like silvery snow leopards, one imagines. “ She stared out the window dreamily. “Crouching on remote mountaintops, taunting hunters, and then melting into the brush.”

[Renegades and scandalous women...]

Aug 25 2016 2:30pm

First Look: Rachel Lacey’s Run to You (August 30, 2016)

Run to You by Rachel Lacey

Rachel Lacey
Run to You (Risking It All #1)
Forever / August 30, 2016 / $5.99 print & digital

Rachel Lacey charmed readers with her wonderful stories about dog rescue organizations with her Love to the Rescue series. Now she’s back with a brand new series—Risking It All.  Run to You is the first full length book in the series, after the novella Rock with You.

One of the most charming tropes is the pretend relationship one, because readers know that sexual attraction, plus proximity, equals sparks. And that is exactly what happens when Ethan Hunter and Gabby Winters agree to a sham love affair for the sake of Ethan’s grandmother, Dixie Hunter:

And all that went out the window the instant her lips touched Ethan’s. His were warm, and soft, and sent a shot of sizzling heat right through her core. His eyes widened and his hands settled on her hips. He didn’t pull her closer, didn’t trap her against him. In contrast the contact felt warm and safe.

“Hey baby,“ he murmured against her lips. Then he slid an arm around her shoulders and started walking back toward the office he’d just come from. “If y’all will excuse us for a minute...”

[Read more...]