<i>Baron</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Baron: Exclusive Excerpt Joanna Shupe "He’d needed one kiss, a small taste, to get her off his mind for good..." <i>Interborough</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Interborough: Exclusive Excerpt Santino Hassell "The whole thing got me so tight that I glared at them for the rest of the class." <i>Keepsake</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Keepsake: Exclusive Excerpt Sarina Bowen "He made a soft, bitten-off sound, and I felt it in the center of my chest." <i>Change of Address</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Change of Address: Exclusive Excerpt Jordan S. Brock "Letting someone in is a tall order for two men who can't trust themselves..."
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October 21, 2016
Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to Jane the Virgin's Justin Baldoni & Brett Dier
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October 20, 2016
Cover Thursday: Exclusive reveals from Bowman, Langlais, Douglas, and Arthur
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October 20, 2016
Lauren Blakely's The Sexy One is Actually Adorable
Lime Cello
October 19, 2016
3 Things to Love About Susanna Kearsley
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Madame TBR's Recommendations Roundup!
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Showing posts tagged: Avengers click to see more stuff tagged with Avengers
Sep 14 2016 2:00pm

When Your Favorite Ship Sinks: Friends Forever (Gosh Darn It)

Ruby & Dorothy from Once Upon a Time

Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for fans who are not caught up on (or have never read) Once Upon a Time (especially FrankenWolf shippers), Little Women, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and J.R. Ward's The Shadows

In the most recent season of Once Upon a Time, the showrunners made good on the promise that had been implicit ever since Mulan (Jamie Chung) first gazed longingly into the limpid blue eyes of Princess Aurora (Sarah Bolger): They introduced a lesbian romance into the plot. However, to the surprise of pretty much everyone, that romance did not involve either Aurora or Mulan. Instead, werewolf Ruby (Meghan Ory) fell in love (over the course of a single episode) with Kansas farm girl Dorothy (Teri Reeves), and the two ended the episode–having achieved the fastest HEA ever recorded on OUAT, the producers of that show being noteworthy for the glee they take in separating lovers for seasons at a time–living the dream back in Oz.

I mean, yay! Great! Love is love is love is love is love! But at the same time…a tiny part of me (okay, maybe not such a tiny part) admits to some abashed disappointment. You see, I’m one of those crazy folks who shipped Ruby and the womanizing Dr. Whale (David Anders)…hard.

[Read more...]

Aug 31 2016 4:26pm

On the Scene with L.A. Witt, Fierce Reporters & The Protector: Romance News & Deals

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

Cover Me by L.A. WittDeal Alert: L.A. Witt's paramedic-falls-for-detective male/male romantic suspense story Cover Me is FREE in e-book at Amazon.* Witt's books are regularly recommended for readers new to male/male romance looking to discover new authors.

Deal Alert: Grace Burrowes's Lonely Lords historical Hadrian: Lord of Hope is FREE in e-book at iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Burrowes knows a thing or two about historically well-dressed men, and we expect Hadrian cuts a fine figure as well.

Deal Alert: Victoria Alexander's widow-inherits-scandalous-memoir historical The Perfect Mistress, first in the Sinful Family Secrets series, is only $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* If widowed heroines discovering their passionate side appeals, have we got recommendations for you.

Fresh Outta the Oven

“I've never felt a connection so intense I can physically feel it,” realizes Jake Sharp in a sizzling new excerpt from Jodi Ellen Malpas's bodyguard romance The Protector over at RT Book Reviews. Maybe don't read this one at work.

[+Deleted Captain America scene & fierce fictional female journalists...]

May 6 2016 3:15pm

Go Home to a Firefighter, Rock Star, AND MMA Fighter: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Cries in the Night by Kathy ClarkDeal Alert: Kathy Clark's firefighter-hero romantic suspense Cries in the Night, Book 2 in the Denver Heroes series, is discounted to $.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.* We're suckers for men in uniform.

Deal Alert: Emma Hart's rock-star contemporary Dirty Past is on sale for $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Amazon, etc.* Who are your favorite real-life rock stars? 

Deal Alert: Lori Foster's MMA fighter-hero contemporary Holding Strong is only $.99 in e-book at iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.* Tattoos, trash talk, camaraderie, and seriously hot men are only a few of the 10 reasons to love MMA, per author Sidney Halston.

[+Free TV episodes & Kit Harrington photo shoot...]

May 5 2016 3:15pm

$.99 Shelly Laurenston & Mary Balogh’s Westcott Family Series: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

The Unleashing by Shelly LaurenstonDeal Alert: Shelly Laurenston's The Unleashing, Call of Crows #1, is $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Amazon, etc.* How much do H&H bloggers love Laurenston? Let's just say there's been talk of building altars and preparing sacrifices.

Deal Alert: Bella Jewel's Criminals of the Ocean e-books Enslaved by the Ocean and Where Darkness Lies are $.99 each (or $1.78 for both) at Amazon.* Enslaved by the Ocean earned a place in Brittany Melson's December 2013 New Adult roundup.

Deal Alert: Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys is $1.99 in e-book at iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.* Stiefvater hero Sam Roth, from her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, is one of Chelsea Mueller's top 5 YA Alpha heroes.

Deal Alert: Susanna Sandlin's paranormal romance series Penton Legacy is on sale  today. All four e-books—Redemption, Absolution, Omega, and Allegiance—are $1.99 each (or $7.96 for the bundle of four) at Amazon. You may know Sandlin better as Suzanne Johnson, an urban fantasy author and H&H contributor who has tackled “Urban Fantasy's Grand Passion,” among many juicy other topics.

Fresh Outta the Oven

Mary Balogh's next series will follow the Westcott family and is “based on the premise of an earl dying without a will.” The title of the first book in the 8-part Westcott series will be Someone to Love. Learn more about new heroine Anna Snow, a.k.a. Lady Anastasia Wescott, over at Balogh's BookPage interview. Reminder, as if you need it: Mary Balogh's books are genius.

[Anna Dressed in Blood movie & Captain America: Civil War review...]

Mar 10 2016 4:52pm

Romance News: Steve/Tony Tension Galore in New Captain America: Civil War Trailer!

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.

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

Deal Alerts

Manda Collins' Lords of Anarchy novel A Good Rake Is Hard to Find is marked down to $2.99 in e-book right now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, etc.* In her 2015 First Look review, Jessica Moro calls A Good Rake Is Hard to Find a “fast-paced read with two sleuths who have magnetic personalities.”

Eva Leigh's historical Scandal Takes the Stage is currently on sale for $1.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, Amazon, etc.* Leigh visited H&H last year to talk “Wickedly Witty Women Writers in Romance,” opening with: “Women who write are definitely bad girls.” You can't stop there!

Tasty Morsels

Captain America: Civil War's second trailer has dropped, and in it we're gifted a Spider-Man cameo and the Black Panther drop-kicking the Winter Soldier, among other snippets from the movie. What are you most looking forward to in Civil War? The new characters? Steve/Tony tension? The Bucky/Natasha reunion? Steve protecting Bucky? All of the above? (I'm still bummed about my Natasha/Clint 'ship, and this trailer just rubs it in, boo.)

[Watch the trailer...]

Dec 3 2015 4:49pm

Beth Ciotta and Sharon Sala Deals, Plus Richelle Mead Sneak Peek!

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.

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

Enchanting Christmas by Beth CiottaDeal Alert #1: Beth Ciotta's Enchanting Christmas (an Impossible Dream novella) is marked down to $.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and more (via ReadCheaply).* Fun fact: Ciotta's On the Naughty List anthology with fellow romance authors helped inspire our “Who's Your Ideal Romance Hero?” quiz, which you should totally take.

Deal Alert #2: Sharon Sala's contemporary I'll Stand by You is on sale for $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, Amazon, etc. (via BookBub).*

Deal Alert #3: Sydney Landon's New Adult romance Pierced is free in e-book from iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon (via BookBub).*

Richelle Mead's next YA fantasy novel, The Glittering Court, will launch a series by the same name and is “set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that's dripping with romance,” so, you know, relevant to our interests. Read the first eleven (yes, 11!) chapters of The Glittering Court before its April 5, 2016, release. Chelsea Mueller says Mead's an author who gets YA right.

[+ Batman v. Superman trailer, J.R. Ward interview...]

May 8 2015 3:15pm

Move Over Hulk and Hawkeye: Why I’m Here for Avengers’ Black Widow and Winter Soldier

Black Widow in Avengers
Source: mtv.com

Hawkeye/Natasha. Bruce Banner/Natasha. And here I am about to sally forth with my own 'ship manifesto. I know what it looks like: We're gleefully, even shamelessly, pairing Black Widow up with everything in pants because she's the only female member of the movieverse Avengers. Let me get three things out of the way. 1.) Despite the off-color comments some castmembers have made, it's safe to say the Avenger most likely to bed-hop is international playboy Tony Stark. Remember the stripper-pole-sex-plane? Oh, the exploits JARVIS must have seen. 2.) My chosen partner isn't even an Avenger. So there. 3.) Natasha Romanoff is a total badass and a strong character in her own right and she doesn't need a love interest to be validated.

But when you're this amazing, why shouldn't you have someone to cuddle up with at night? Or at least someone to clean your guns with and reminisce with about the old days when you used to be an evil secret agent. Nat is awesome. She should get it.

[Get it, girl...]

May 5 2015 3:49pm

Romance News Roundup: Kresley Cole’s Sweet Ruin, Jeaniene Frost Teaser, 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.

Sweet Ruin by Kresley ColeKresley Cole's Sweet Ruin, Book 16 in the Immortals After Dark series and the followup to Dark Skye, has a cover! Who is that on the cover, do you think? Whose story are you hoping to see told next? More details (including an official description) as we get them, of course. In the meantime, feel free to speculate away with us on this and/or who would be perfect for Nix when she gets her own book...

Follow up 6/3/15: Cover copy has been released for Sweet Ruin, find out the couple here. 

—Jeaniene Frost has shared a teaser for her next Broken Destiny release, The Sweetest Burn. Read the snippet here.

—Lori Handeland's Nightcreature novella Red Moon Rising has been published as a standalone e-book (it was previously part of the anthology Stroke of Midnight). Next month, in June, she launches the Sisters of the Craft trilogy—In the Air Tonight, Heat of the Moment, and Smoke on the Water—which will be released in back-to-back months this summer. See the spellbinding (see what I did there?) covers here.

—Avon Books has announced that Avon FanLit—a writing challenge in which aspiring authors “have the chance to write, read and vote for five chapters of a historical romance” with tips from the likes of Julia Quinn, Lorraine Heath, Tessa Dare, and Beverly Jenkins—is back! Avon is partnering with JukePop to kickstart the program again, and the storytelling portion starts May 8, with the grand prize winner being announced on July 20. Avonfanlit.com has all the details.

[+Star Wars and Avengers odds and ends...]

May 4 2015 3:59pm

Romance News Roundup: Royal Baby, Marsha Canham Deal, 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.

Through a Dark Mist by Marsha Canham—Deal Alert #1: Marsha Canham's Robin Hood Trilogy #1, Through a Dark Mist, is currently $.99 in e-book from e-tailers such as iBookstoreBarnes & Noble, and Amazon.* Read up on all our Marsha Canham posts here.

—Great Britain has a new Royal Baby! Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana (!!!!) of Cambridge was born over the weekend, and she's pretty adorable. Awww.

—Deal Alert #2: All three books in Rebekah Weatherspoon's Fit trilogy—Fit, Tamed, and Sated—are currently priced at $.99 in e-book at e-tailers including AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iBookstore.* Read Jessica Moro's spotlight on Fit here. (Full disclosure: Rebekah Weatherspoon is also a Heroes and Heartbreakers blogger.)

[+Saturday Night Live's Black Widow: Age of Me trailer...]

Apr 15 2015 3:35pm

Romance News Roundup: Jay Crownover Deals & Sexy Avengers 2?

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.

Rowdy by Jay Crownover—Deal Alert: A few of Jay Crownover's Marked Men novels—including Rome, Rowdy, and Nash—are currently marked down in e-book to between $.99 and $1.99 at e-tailers such as AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iTunes. Look for a First in the Series post this Sunday to introduce you to the Marked Men series if you're new to the books! Until then, you can find all our Jay Crownover coverage here.

H&H blogger Kwana Minatee-Jackson (writing as K.M. Jackson) has announced a new book to be published with Kensington imprint Dafina called Insert Groom Here, about a “Manhattanite dumped on-air [who] attempts to salvage her public persona by participating in the network's new show to find a replacement groom for her original wedding date.”

Orange Is the New Black has been renewed for Season 4 by Netflix!

—Apologies to Black Widow/Halkeye fans, but Attention, Black Widow...Hulk shippers? Joss Whedon obviously doesn't know how a shipper's brain works if, only after the scene was rendered, did he realized how sexy the Hulk/Black Widow scene could be construed in a new Avengers 2: Age of Ultron clip. Now H&H's Heather is in fits over this potential new couple, but Whedon says he can see the appeal of both the instinct-driven Hulk and the intellectual Bruce Banner to the team's femme fatale. What are your thoughts? Do you think this is just a bait-and-switch for the real couple of Avengers 2, or do think this is Whedon's OTP? See Joss Whedon's full “instant commentary” of the scene that certainly got us talking.

Mar 4 2015 4:36pm

Romance News Roundup: Avengers 2 Trailer and Kelly Bowen Deal!

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.

—The latest and greatest full Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer is here, and shipping issues aside, it's badass. Widow, particularly, has some cheer-worthy moments:

A new Outlander poster is here, and as BuzzFeed's Jarett Wieselman notes in his tweet, it's REALLY smart, the way it echoes the original poster while also indicating how much as changed for Claire since the first episode.

—As a romance fan, you have to have a sense of humor about covers, especially some of those delightfully over-the-top poses on clinch covers of the '80s and '90s. Cosmopolitan has an entertaining story today in which “real people” reenact romance novel covers. (Thanks to @SignetEclipse to bringing it to my attention.)

[+Deal Alert and Saturn Award nominees...]

Mar 3 2015 4:49pm

Romance News Roundup: New Luther & Jeaniene Frost Deal!

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.

Idris Elba as Luther—More Luther is in the works! Star Idris Elba and network BBC1 announced the news via a brief video clip. Here's hoping Ruth Wilson's loveable psychopath Alice Morgan is back as well, because you can't have Luther without Luther/Alice, in our books (I point to our Luther/Alice Shipping Sunday as proof.)

—SyFy has announced the U.S. premiere date for Lost Girl Season 5 and Bitten Season 2—April 17! When the new seasons begin airing, we'll re-promote our Lost Girl recaps from Kiersten Hallie Krum and Bitten recaps from Jackie Lester, which have followed the Canadian seasons, so be on the lookout!

—Clint/Natasha (Avengers) shippers, brace yourselves: This new teaser does not bode well for our favorite pairing, as it strongly implies another... (beware of minor SPOILERS in the trailer, of course—it's a trailer). Please feel free to console me in the comments here or in my apparently way-off-track Avengers 2 speculation post.

—Deal Alert #1: Former H&H community manager Megan Frampton's The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers including AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iBookstore.*

[+Another Deal Alert and a new cover...]

Jan 7 2015 2:32pm

Mystery Date: Who’s Agent Carter’s Future Mr. Carter?

The cast of Marvel's Agent CarterThis post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Agent Carter, including last night's two-part series premiere, “Pilot” (1x01) and “Bridge and Tunnel” (1x02).

Agent Carter, I do believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Marvel's latest foray into television is a 1940s-set Captain America: The First Avenger spinoff starring fan-favorite Allied spy Margaret “Peggy” Carter (played by the wonderful Hayley Atwell). And it is GOOD. Described by the showrunners as a sort of “Alias in the 1940s” (!!!), Agent Carter picks up soon after the “death” of Peggy's love, Steve Rogers, at the end of World War II and follows her on her adventures as an officer with the Strategic Scientific Reserve agency. (As Marvel fans know, she'll go on to co-found SHIELD with Tony Stark's father, Howard Stark.)

[Here's to the Peggy Carter show we deserve...]

Nov 25 2014 3:45pm

Mr. Grey, Travis Family, Thor, and More: Gifts for Your Singular Reading Tastes

Captivated by You by Sylvia DayThis time of year, it's not unusual for people to gift and receive self-help books, or to listen to music that they wish was the soundtrack for their lives. Sure, those kinds of things are fine, if that's what you're into, but what if your tastes are a bit more—to quote Mr. Grey—singular? So we've got a holiday gift list that is perfect for the romance fan, depending on your...singular tastes.

You Want a Real-Life Christian Grey:

Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series. Why? Because Gideon Cross and Eva Trammell are just as dangerously addictive and sexy as Christian Grey and Ana Steele.

J. Kenner’s Stark series. Why? Because the hero and heroine in this series are more than just their effed-up personae; Kenner delves into some real issues behind the trauma.

[Need some help putting together a holiday wish list? Let us help...]

Oct 28 2014 3:28pm

Marvel Announces Captain Marvel Movie, Super-Sized Avengers 3, and More!

Captain Marvel #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez, and Lee LoughridgeBIG news out of Marvel's fan event today, including the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe's (MCU's) first female-led film, Captain Marvel, is in the works! While it's not the Black Widow (with or without Hawkeye) movie this fan had hoped to see (sigh), this is wonderful news for those of us who've been clamoring for a woman to finally get her own standalone story.

Other major announcements from Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige:

  • Black Panther will hit the big screen on November 3, 2017; even bigger news, it already has a star—Chadwick Boseman, clearly our newest superhero crush
  • Avengers 3: Infinity War will be released in TWO parts, a year apart: Part 1 will be out on May 4, 2018, and Part 2 following (relatively) shortly after, on May 3, 2019 (WOW that all feels far away for more of our beloved Avengers)
  • Captain America 3's subtitle is “Civil War,” confirming all the rumors we've been hearing about what a beast of a film that'll be (Robert Downey Jr. will return as Iron Man for this one); it'll be in our eyeballs May 6, 2016 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier was SO good that we have high high hopes for this one)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be released May 5, 2017, earlier than expected
  • Doctor Strange (which may or may not star Benedict Cumberbatch, as the Hollywood trades are reporting) will bow May 6, 2016
  • Thor: Ragnarok will see the return of both Thor AND Loki on July 28, 2018 for a third Thor standalone
  • Inhumans was perhaps the biggest Phase 3 surprise (at least, I hadn't heard any rumblings about this one) and will be released on November 2, 2018

Anybody else suffering from sensory overload? How are we feeling? Who wants to join me in clamoring for Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff (so terrific as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace)  as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel?

ETA 10/28/14 4:46pm: Fiege had this to say to Entertainment Weekly in response to questions about a potential Black Widow standalone film:

Black Widow couldn’t be more important as an Avenger herself. Her part in Avengers: Age of Ultron is very, very big and further develops and further enhances her character. The plans we have for her throughout the rest of the Avengers saga is very, very big. A lynchpin, in fact, to those films. So instead of taking her out, instead of doing a prequel, which we haven’t done yet, we’re continuing the forward momentum and continuity of the cinematic universe of which Widow is a key, key part.

So it looks like that's a no on the standalone, at least for now, but that Marvel's aware she's beloved and will continue to play a big role in future films, which...hey, maybe a character as enigmatic as she is just works better this way. I admit I love what we've seen of her so far and that it's been great seeing her show up as often as she has.

Oct 23 2014 11:54am

“Nothing Lasts Forever”: The Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer is out, and things don't seem to be going well for our favorite superpowered crew. Here's the official synopsis:

When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters May 1, 2015.

First impressions? Looks really dark and intense, huh? Exciting!

Except...are we the only ones disappointed there wasn't more Black Widow/Hawkeye? (Think we spotted them together in only one quick shot, which is a shame because we have hopes and dreams for that relationship in Avengers 2...)

Apr 8 2014 6:33pm

Avengers 2 Speculation: Are Black Widow and Hawkeye an Item?

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for Captain America: The Winter Soldier as well as major speculation about and potential spoilers for next year's Avengers sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Read at your own risk.

Nearly two years have passed since Clint “Hawkeye” Barton and Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff stole scenes and hearts in The Avengers, the end of which saw the pair of SHIELD agents/assassins driving off into the sunset together for parts unknown. Ever since then, many fans—myself included—have been dying to know if there actually is more than friendship between them (I made my case back in 2012 for why I believe they're TOTALLY in love) and how their relationship will be depicted in future films.

Based on new evidence gathered from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (in which Natasha had a part but Clint was mysteriously absent), interviews with the directors and cast about that movie, and a blind item posted by an entertainment blogger, I am inclined to think that not only is there more than friendship between them but we'll get to see at least hints of their romance on screen in Avengers 2. Basically, fellow Clint/Natasha fans, I do believe our ship is about to set sail.

Here's everything I know so far. Let's get to speculatin'. (And to be absolutely clear: This is JUST speculation based on rumors extrapolated from interviews and such, NOT actual knowledge of future films. Your guess about what will happen is as good as mine.)

[“Love is for children; I owe him a debt”...]

Apr 4 2014 3:00pm

Amaztasticful!: An Obviously Super Impartial Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier*Disclaimer* I am an unabashed Marvel fangirl. I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I've seen Marvel's The Avengers in the theater nineteen times, thus far, and, more recently, I saw Thor: The Dark World in the theater five times before a back injury seriously curtailed my ability to binge on movies. I have already seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier two times, though today is the official opening date and I also managed to sneak in a re-viewing of the first Captain America movie, as well. What can I say; I'm an overachiever. I say all of this to let you know that I am supremely qualified to offer a review of this movie, but I also may be the slightest bit biased. Just a smidge. You've been warned. Since most have not yet seen the movie (seriously, what are you waiting for?), I'll keep this spoiler-free.

Because I love and crave all things Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have been anticipating Captain America: The Winter Soldier for months. I've watched all the sneak peeks, I've read all the theories, I've watched the interviews with the cast, I read all of the early reviews, etc. I participated in anything that was intended to ratchet up interest in the movie and the mission was accomplished; if I could have, I would have somersaulted everywhere all day long on Tuesday, so giddy was I that I was going to see the Advance Screening of the movie that night. One of the things I knew going in was that this movie is part traditional superhero movie but also part spy thriller. In honor of that duality, I will present this review in two parts. The first part will be a traditional, spoiler-free review and the second part will be a full-on fangirlgasm wherein I will abuse exclamation marks and make up brand new words. Because I must.

[Two parts, all awesome? You tell us!...]

Dec 12 2013 1:45pm

Superheroes for the Ladies? Sneaking Romance into “Boy” Movies

Twisted by Laura K. CurtisToday we're joined by author Laura K. Curtis, whose Twisted is a romantic suspense with a true-crime writer heroine who is trying to solve the true crime in her own life—the murder of her mother—and the chief of police hero who helps her. Laura is here to discuss the evolution of superhero movies, and who they're really aimed at. Thanks, Laura!

Recently, when my husband was out of town, I streamed the entire first season of Arrow, then followed it up with the various Marvel superhero movies. Why did I wait? Because, despite the comic books from which all these franchises are derived being written for young men, the screen versions don’t seem designed to appeal to the same audience at all.

I grew up with an older brother and a younger brother, which means I grew up with comic books. The ones I remember best were Batman, Fantastic Four, and X-Men, but Spider-Man made an appearance on occasion as did several others. We watched both Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk on television. (Naturally, the boys pooh-poohed at Wonder Woman, but we watched anyway.)

[News flash: Girls are comic readers too!...]

Nov 7 2013 2:00pm

Thor and Loki, Styxx and Acheron, the Lannisters: Sibling Rivalries

Thor and Loki in ThorMarvel’s Thor: The Dark World will be in theaters on November 8th in the United States, although it's been premiering all over the world outside the U.S. for the past month. In red carpet interviews, it stars, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, seem to have an easy friendship, which is in direct contrast to the troubled relationship their characters Thor and Loki share onscreen. Their contentious sibling rivalry has been the root of the drama that fueled both 2011’s Thor movie and Marvel’s The Avengers movie, as well. The trailers for Thor: The Dark World seem to indicate that Thor and Loki will spend at least a bit of time working side by side in this movie, even though their relationship looks to remain thorny.

Loki is my favorite character in the Marvel Universe right now, which is totally due to the fact that Tom Hiddleston plays him ( I went to see The Avengers eighteen times in the movie theater). I’m going to see it a nineteenth time on November 7th, as part of the special Thor Marathon that will include Thor, The Avengers, and the premiere of Thor: The Dark World. I am most looking forward to Thor and Loki’s scenes together partly because Hemsworth and Hiddles are just so much pretty in one frame, but mainly because my reading and viewing history has taught me that familial strife can lead to some of the best stories. There’s just so much angst, misery, snark and even begrudging loyalty that comes with warring family members. And if the stories include sorcery, royalty and/or Gods, similar to Loki and Thor, they seem to be all the better! They can be found in different mediums, across various genres and can run the gamut from comedy to tragedy.

[I'm just his brother, not his keeper...]