Quiz: What Small Town Do You Belong In? Quiz: What Small Town Do You Belong In? Candis Terry <i>The Highwayman</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Highwayman: Exclusive Excerpt Kerrigan Byrne "Lowering his head to kiss her on the mouth once more..." Fall 2015’s Can’t-Miss Romance Fall 2015’s Can’t-Miss Romance Team H & H What's on your list for the Fall? <i>Texas Thunder</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Texas Thunder: Exclusive Excerpt Kimberly Raye "She swallowed against the sudden tightness in her throat."
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Fri
Aug 14 2015 1:30pm

Superhero Sweeties: Does the Translation from Page to Screen Change the Ship?

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey from Spider Man 2

Superheroes and love stories go together like peanut butter and chocolate.  Virtually every superhero has a love interest (or two or three) in their comic book canon.  Peter Parker/Spider-man has Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacey. Clark Kent has Lois Lane and Lana Lang. Bruce Wayne/Batman has Selina Kyle and Vicki Vale.  Mr. Fantastic has the Invisible Woman. Everywhere you look, in comic books, in television shows and in films, a superhero has a love interest. 

Sometimes, there can be a touch of disparity between the mediums.  A couple might make it from comic book page to screen and be a success with audiences, as we’ve seen many times with Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane.  Other times, the hero is given a new love interest for the screen, such as with Tony Stark/Iron Man and Pepper Potts.

[Superheroes always need the perfect mate...]

Wed
Aug 5 2015 3:25pm

Romance News Roundup: Deadpool Trailer, #FreeTheBacon, Deals, 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.

Wicked Ever After by Delilah S. Dawson

—Fans of Delilah S. Dawson's Blud series will be glad to see the return of Criminy and Tish from the first book in Dawson's October novella, Wicked Ever After. Isn't the cover gorgeous? Learn more about the book (available October 5, 2015) at Simon & Schuster. Not familiar with Tish and Criminy? Meet the power couple with our first look at Wicked as They Come.

The Deadpool trailer premiered (warning: it's the Red Band trailer, so NSF -work or -children) last night on Conan, and while Ryan Reynolds didn't get much face time (literally, his face was covered...or scarred), his voice was very evident behind the mask. The humor is dark, the action looks gritty...and we already appreciate the use of '90s hip-hop. What did you think of the darkly funny trailer? Have you added it to your to-be-watched list?

—Deal Alert: Are step-brothers your catnip? Alexis Abbott's Criminal: A Bad-Boy Stepbrother Romance is on sale for $0.99 on Amazon.* For more stepbrother romances, we have the evolution of the stepbrother romance (Clueless, anyone?) for you here.

—In a mock-PSA for Mashable, Kevin Bacon calls all Hollywood men to action: Free the Bacon. And by “bacon,” he means full-frontal nudity. It seems appropriate that this PSA should be issued on the day we're talking about euphemisms on the site. In all seriousness, let's have more male nudity—if Game of Thrones is allowed to have gratuitous boob shots, let's have some gratuitous male nudity. Just saying. Let's all #FreetheBacon.

—Do books get you in the mood to travel? These 7 books are sparking our wanderlust, do they sparks yours too? Scotland or Greece, anyone?

Mon
Aug 3 2015 4:30pm

Time-Stopping Orgasm: Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Comic Sex Criminals

Sex Criminals Vol 1 by Matt Fraction

Time Magazine awarded Sex Criminals (2013; Image Comics) by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky the number one spot in its list of Top Ten Comics and Graphic Novels of 2013, and there are plenty of good reasons why.

In 2014, Sex Criminals won an Eisner Award for Best New Series, and there are plenty of good reasons why.

In 2015, Universal TV announced it had optioned Sex Criminals for a series, and there are plenty of good reasons why.

I just finished glomming issues 1-10 of Sex Criminals and—wait for it!—there are plenty of good reasons why.

The number one reason is the premise: A couple gains the power to stop time when they orgasm.

When I first heard about this comic, I was a bit wary. Its high concept premise sounded pretty gimmicky. And it is gimmicky—there's no way around that fact. Sex sells, eh? Despite my misgivings, the gimmicky angle plus my interest in science fiction romance and superhuman stories made it a foregone conclusion that I'd read it. When I became the happy owner of a tablet, and thus able to order the series digitally from comiXology, I took the plunge.

Image Source: Thoughtballoons

[Hello, comic strip sex...]

Tue
May 26 2015 3:45pm

Romance News Roundup: Victoria Vane Deal, Sam Heughan Appreciation, 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.

Slow Hand by Victoria Vane—Deal Alert #1: Victoria Vane's Slow Hand is currently $.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Barnes & NobleiBookstore, and Amazon.* Want to try the book on for size? Read an excerpt from Slow Hand here.

—BuzzFeed Celeb says “We Need to Talk About Sam Heughan” and, I mean, we can't disagree. The man is a gift. Here's hoping Outlander lasts forever and a day while still giving him time to do a ton of other cool projects so that we can see him onscreen year-round! P.S. Don't forget that the Season 1 finale of Outlander (ahhhhh!) airs this Saturday and we'll be here for all your reactions the next day with the recap!

—Deal Alert #2: Gina Conkle's Meet the Earl at Midnight is currently $1.99 in e-book at Amazon.* Want to see if this romance is for you? Check out a preview of Meet the Earl at Midnight here.

—Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) devotees can watch him answer questions about his television series The Fall (in which he plays serial killer Paul Spector opposite Gillian Anderson's Stella Gibson) via a Gold Derby Emmys Chat livestream on May 28 here. (Thanks to H&H blogger Janet Webb for the heads-up.)

—The first issue of romance comic Fresh Romance has arrived. We first wrote about the comic back in March, when its creators launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the anthology. Are you a comics fan? Will you be reading?

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

Wed
May 13 2015 8:12am

Lady Thor’s Identity is Revealed

Thor tries to pull out mjolnir in ThorYesterday, Thor writer Jason Aron revealed the identity of Lady Thor, which you can find out here. Last year when the news initially broke, it was met with mixed results. However, with this new information, it does raise an interesting point. Here's what we know without revealing the identity, for those not wishing to be spoiled:

At some point, Thor, through an unknown circumstance, has become unworthy of the mythical hammer, Mjolnir. 

Now we will unleash the spoiler bots upon the comments—so stay away if you don't wish to be spoiled! What event do you think caused Thor to be deemed unworthy of his hammer? We also know that the mortal version of Lady Thor is weakened every time she uses the hammer, what do you think of the idea of a superpower vanquishing the bad guys, but also harming its user? How do you think that changes the narrative and what examples can you think of in romance?

Let us know in the comments!

Fri
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...]

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”...]