<i>Way of the Warrior</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Way of the Warrior: Exclusive Excerpt Suzanne Brockmann "He was great with kids, women fainted when they met him and…" <i>The Mistake</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Mistake: Exclusive Excerpt Elle Kennedy "He lightly strokes my cheekbone and I have to stop myself from purring like an affection-starved cat." <i>The Harlot Countess</i>: Excerpt The Harlot Countess: Excerpt Joanna Shupe "He wanted to feel her, to hold her... to run his tongue over the smooth knob of her ankle." <i>Midnight Ride</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Midnight Ride: Exclusive Excerpt Cat Johnson "The widow realizes that some rules, like broncos, are meant to be broken…"
From The Blog
April 23, 2015
Why Bruce/Natasha Should Be Your New Avengers’ Ship
Sabienna
April 20, 2015
Introducing Gena Showalter's The Original Heartbreakers
Tiffany Tyer
April 18, 2015
20 Years of Anne Rice’s Beauty Series
Jane Kriel
April 17, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Classical Musicians
Jennifer Proffitt
April 17, 2015
Scandal 4x19 Heart-to-Heart
Nicole Leapheart
Tue
Apr 14 2015 3:22pm

Romance News Roundup: The Avengers Family Feud, RT Reviewers’ Choice Award Winners, and More!

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

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

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

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

Mon
Apr 6 2015 1:00pm

A Couple of (Steam)punks: Top 5 Steampunk Couples from Books, Screen, and Comics!

Today we're thrilled to host Pip Ballantine at Heroes and Heartbreakers. Pip writes steampunk romance along with her husband and writing partner, Tee Morris. Their latest book in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, The Diamond Conspiracy, came out last week. Pip's Eliza and Wellington of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences are an unstoppable duo between Eliza's cunning use of explosives and Wellington's knowledge. Pip is here to talk about other unstoppable steampunk couples that have made a lasting impression on both the silver screen and the page! Thanks, Pip!

Steampunk is a fantastic genre to write in: the corsets, well-suited men, steam-powered contraptions and airships as far as the eye can see. However, all of that is window dressing without truly awesome characters. As a reader, I always want to have a great character to connect with if I am going to spend valuable time with them.

The extra fun is when you find two characters that just click; they can be friends, lovers or even adversaries. You find the banter and tension between them totally addicting, and all you want to do is hang around and see what they will get into together.

Without further ado, I present my favorite steampunk couples...

[Let's get this ball rolling...]

Wed
Mar 25 2015 3:49pm

Romance News Roundup: Sarina Bowen Deal and Romance Comics!

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 Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen—Sarina Bowen's The Year We Fell Down is currently $.99 in e-book at e-tailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.*

Vulture has a neat profile on comics editor Janelle Asselin, who has launched a Kickstarter to help fund an R-rated romance-comic anthology series called Fresh Romance, whose debut issue includes “sundry stories ranging from a clandestine, queer high school love affair to an impeccably researched and illustrated Regency-era romance.” Issues will also include advice columns, behind-the-scenes content, and (now this sounds particularly cool) a fashion report. Are you a comics reader? Would you read a romance comic?

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

Mon
Jan 26 2015 4:39pm

Romance News Roundup: Laura Kaye Deal, Beauty and the Beast, and More!

Welcome to H&H's brand-new 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.

Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye—Deal Alert: Laura Kaye's Hard As It Gets is currently listed at $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Looks like other books in the series, such as Hard to Come By and Hard to Let Go, are also a good bargain right now. (We have no idea how long these prices will last, so get them while you can.) See all of our Kaye coverage here.

—Emma Watson (Hermione in the Harry Potter movies) has been cast as Belle in Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast film. First up, of course, will be live-action Cinderella.

—Starting today, H&H is re-reading J.D. Robb's sixth In Death book, Vengeance in Death, as part of a multi-blog celebration of the approaching publication of Robb's fortieth (!!!) Eve and Roarke book. Read all three posts in our theme-based re-read this week, and then join us February 10 for an Obsession in Death excerpt and sweepstakes you won't want to miss.

—The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, has been cast as the villain in the upcoming Netflix/Marvel superheroine series A.K.A. Jessica Jones. If you weren't already on board, has this convinced you to give it a shot? Here's everything else we know about the show so far. Stay tuned for more.

Tue
Jan 6 2015 4:37pm

Romance News Roundup: Free KJ Charles Book, Gambit, and Game of Thrones!

Welcome to H&H's brand-new 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.

K.J. Charles and her publisher, Samhain, are offering a free book set in the Charm of Magpies world. Titled A Case of Spirits, it takes place between books 2 and 3 in the series.

—We will get to see Channing Tatum on film as Gambit from the X-Men Universe in October 2016 in Gambit's standalone movie. Gambit is a mutant who can mentally create and control pure kinetic energy. He often throws a card imbued with that energy. 

—Game of Thrones will also be hitting the big screen—but as a special IMAX event, not its own movie. HBO is releasing the final two episodes of the show’s fourth season in theaters, and the screening will also include an exclusive trailer for the upcoming season. 

Thu
Dec 11 2014 1:30pm

Top 5 Romantic Thriller Movie Heroes: Wolverine, Bond, and More!

Today we welcome author Susannah Sandlin to Heroes and Heartbreakers. The second in Susannah's Collectors series, Deadly, Calm and Cold, has all the elements of delicious romantic suspense: lost treasure, secrets, a ruthless secret agency, and two characters caught in the middle. Susannah is here to share her picks for the top romantic thriller movie heroes. Thanks, Susannah!

Face it, most of our romantic book boyfriends are action kinds of guys. Try telling Wrath or Zsadist of the Black Dagger Brotherhood they aren’t action heroes—but let me move out of the way first so I don’t get hurt. (And, granted, Phury’s kind of a wimp…don’t tell him I said that.)

Even our favorite gentrified historical romance heroes can aim a mean dueling pistol or horsewhip. The modern heroes? The ones who aren’t former paramilitary dudes might as well be.

“Thrillers” and “romance” don’t often go hand-in-hand in fiction; we usually turn to the big screen for that. When we want our hard-core action fix with a touch of romance, who do we turn to?

[Let's hear your choices...]

Tue
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.

Thu
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...)

Fri
Aug 8 2014 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt for Men's HealthBy now, everyone has seen or read about Chris Pratt's amazing body transformation for his role as Star-Lord in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. At first, Pratt was given a hard time for his body pictures he shared on social media...and his regrettable male version of a duck face. Now, however, people are sitting up and taking notice of the body Pratt shows off in GotG. And we're happy to help him celebrate his lifestyle change and body transformation—as well as the success of Guardians of the Galaxy at the box office!

Do you like Chris Pratt's new transformation (both in his career shift from comedian to action star, and his body)?

[There's more Chris where that came from...]

Sat
Jul 12 2014 1:00pm

What the Heart Wants: Summer 2014’s Can’t-Miss Romance Books, Movies, and Shows

Team H&H eats, breathes, and sleeps romance, but even we have trouble keeping track of all the amazing content released throughout the year. To make life a little easier for all of us, we’ve compiled a must list of some of our most anticipated books, movies, and television shows for July and August. Let us know what you think, whether it’s showering us with praise or educating us about what we’ve missed (or both)!


Ray Donovan (television)
While it looks like the Terry/Frances relationship that H&H’s Wendy the Super Librarian was rooting for is over (poor Frances!), Liev Schreiber alone is enough to tune in to the Season 2 premiere of Ray Donovan. (Premieres at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime)
  Masters of Sex (television)
Thanks to history and human sexuality classes, we always knew where William Masters and Virginia Johnson’s relationship was going. And sure enough, in Masters of Sex Season 2, their research isn’t all that’s going to new heights. (Premieres at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime)
 
 

[Check out the complete list!...]

Fri
May 16 2014 2:00pm

X-Tra Special: What to Read if You Love the X-Men

X-Men: Days of Future Past movie posterX-Men is a defining Marvel work and spans multiverses, literally. The premise however, of a rag-tag group of genetically different individuals fighting crime while facing oppression from the outside world is a simple yet profound concept. With X-Men: Days of Future Past set to hit the big screen this summer, here are some recommended reads if you enjoy people with power.

The first recommendation is an author who writes for Marvel as well, Marjorie M. Liu’s Dirk and Steele series. The first book, Tiger Eye, is especially recommended for those enjoyed Gena Showalter’s The Pleasure Slave or Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Fantasy Lover. Sexy hero locked inside a puzzle box? Check. Psychic heroine? Check. The pair make a winning combination for the first entry into a great series about the Dirk and Steele agency.

[Seems like all the boxes are checked!]

Tue
May 13 2014 2:00pm

Cajun Invasion: Channing Tatum Will Be X-Men’s Gambit

Apparently everyone’s favorite Kinetic Cajun is on has lined up his first solo film, but who was chosen to glow purple and wear that fabulous trench coat? None other than Magic Mike himself, Channing Tatum.  Word is that Tatum has been officially cast as the master thief turned hero and all around Southern charmer, but the real question we have is who is going to be his Rogue?

In the comics, Gambit, or Remy LeBeau, was a New Orleans street urchin turned master thief who eventually joined up with Professor Xavier’s team of heroic outcasts, the X-Men. Gambit tended to chafe when it came to authority, and wasn’t ever really all that keen on being “heroic” but when he met fellow Southerner Rogue, he was hooked. Personally, there really isn’t a Gambit without Rogue, I mean they even made runner up in best super hero couples suited for Romance, so only time will tell if we get to see the current Rogue, Anna Paquin, meet with the X-Men’s answer to Han Solo.

What do you think about a solo Gambit movie starring Channing Tatum?

Fri
May 2 2014 1:45pm

The Final Frontier: The Quest for Cosplay and SF Conventions in Romance Novels

Live long and prosper! Today we're pleased to welcome author Susanne Matthews to Heroes and Heartbreakers to talk about science fiction conventions in romance novels—the lack of them, and why she decided to set her book Just for the Weekend at one. In addition to a kindergarten teacher heroine, and a millionaire hero, there's costuming, a quickie marriage, and a disappearing bride. Thanks, Susanne!

I’ve been a sci-fi fan all my life, and since my husband is also a fan, our home boasts a Star Trek room—not as elaborate as some, it’s true, but with enough movies, calendars, posters, tree ornaments, miniatures, games, dolls, magazine issues, paperback books, and porcelain plates to satisfy anyone who knows a tribble from a targ.

So it was natural to set my new novel, Just for the Weekend, in Vegas at a fictional version of the annual Star Trek convention that the city hosts. (Fellow trekkies, take note: It’s being held at the Rio Hotel and Casino in July.) My shy heroine Cleo James takes a risk and tackles cosplay for the first time, dressing as an Orion slave girl, and she quickly meets her Cardassian knight in chainmail armor, Sam Mason.

[To boldly go?...]

Tue
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”...]

Fri
Apr 4 2014 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Chris Evans and the Captain America Cast!

Chris Evans post-transformation

For those of you have been anticipating the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, wait no more! For those of you who haven't, feast your eyes on the sexy cast that make up the movie's main cast—Chris Evans as Captain America, Anthony Mackie as The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldie nee Bucky Barnes—and you might change your mind!

[+5 more manly Marvel men...]

Fri
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!...]

Fri
Mar 7 2014 5:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Billionaires from Amell, Bale, and More!

Jamie Dornan as Christian GreyWe might like billionaires. Like, a lot. At least of the fictional variety. Whether you prefer Gideon Cross, Christian Grey, or any of the others that have come into our lives, there's something for everyone! We only wish there were as many hot billionaires in real life as there are in fiction!

Who is your favorite billionaire in romance? Let us know in the comments!

[+4 more beefcake worth billions...]

Wed
Jan 8 2014 10:30am

With Sticks and Stones, Can Romance Bloom?: Bullying in Romance

Bully by Penelope DouglasMost little girls are told at some point that if a boy is picking on her, that means he likes her. But what happens when bullying goes from juvenile to adolescence to adulthood? A few new releases are tackling the topic.

Penelope Douglas's New Adult book, Bully, tells the story of Tate, a young woman who has been tormented by her former friend, Jared (Douglas has donated part of the profits from the book to PACER.org, an anti-bullying organization). At its heart, Bully is the story of two friends whose relationship becomes tempestuous and rife with angst. Jared previously went out of his way to make Tate’s life unpleasant and her only real reprieve was when she was studying abroad in France. Since it is a romance, love blossoms and readers later find out the reasoning behind Jared’s actions. Douglas follows up with Jared and readers are even given further perspective in a follow-up book, Until You.

[Bully to love interest?...]

Wed
Dec 18 2013 11:00am

Can Money Buy Love?: Male Escorts in Romance

Price of a Kiss by Linda KageHeroes and Heartbreakers has covered the topic of male escorts in romance novels before, but since then, there have been more examples of male prostitutes/male escorts as the hero. (Be warned going into this post, male prostitutes tend to have ridiculous names.)

New Adult readers will fall in love with Linda Kage’s Price of a Kiss. The friends-turned-lovers story is full of twenty-some-odd angst and drama as well as Reese, the witty heroine. Reese is smart, sassy and sticks to her guns about her best friend and the story’s gigolo, Mason. Mason does sell his body for honorable reasons, but his profession is obviously a sore point between the two would be lovers.

Fans of NA sensation Abbi Glines are treated to a hero who sells himself for sex in Just for Now. Part of the popular Sea Breeze series, Preston is a bad boy who has it bad for his friend’s sister, Amanda. The selling-himself-for-sex thing is the main point of conflict between the two protagonists in addition to the whole dating the brother’s friend trope common in romance novels.

[Pay the toll to Click to read more...]

Thu
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!...]