<i>Lawless in Leather</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Lawless in Leather: Exclusive Excerpt Melanie Scott "He took a deep breath, and more of her perfume snuck into his brain." <i>Way of the Warrior</i>: Excerpt Way of the Warrior: 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."
From The Blog
April 27, 2015
Standout Moments in Romance Novels
Sara Jane Stone
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
Mon
Apr 27 2015 3:51pm

Romance News Roundup: Lili St. Germain Deal, Magic Mike XXL, 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.

Magic Mike XXL PosterMagic Mike is making Mondays a little more tolerable with their #MagicMondays. This week, they've released the poster for the latest XXL actor to take it off—Joe Manganiello! You're welcome.

—Last week, we were teased about Fifty Shades Darker with the first image of Jamie Dornan. Now, we present some more teasing—this time, a fan video compiling all of the jokes and funny moments in Fifty Shades of Grey (and there were a lot)! Since Dakota Johnson comes from a comedy background, we're reminded of that sense of humor in this video!

—Deal Alert: Lili St. Germain's Cartel comes out in paperback on May 12, 2015, but for those who can't wait, the e-book can be yours now—and for only $0.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

—This weekend, the Daytime Emmy winners were announced and awards went to soap opera fan favorites such as Days of Our Lives, Bold and the Beautiful, among others!

*We don't know how long these deals will last so get it while it's hot!

Mon
Apr 27 2015 12:15pm

They Laughed, They Cried: Standout Moments in Romance Novels

Wild With You by Sara Jane StoneHeroes and Heartbreakers is pleased to welcome author Sara Jane Stone, whose fourth Independence Falls novel, Wild With You, hit shelves on April 14. Shere's here today to discuss what qualities make for a keeper romance, including laugh-out-loud funny moments. Thanks for joining us, Sara Jane!

As a reader, I find the little moments in a book stay with me the longest. Romance, women’s fiction, non-fiction—the heart-wrenching details haunt me long after I turn the last page. But it is the laugh-out-loud passages that lead me to reread a book over and over.

Jill Shalvis is a master of humorous moments. In Simply Irresistible, the first book in her Lucky Harbor series, I love the scene where the heroine drunk dials the hero (who happens to be the town’s master carpenter) and tells him she needs mastering. I’ve read this story more times than I wish to admit and I still laugh every time.

When I asked Codi Gary, author of Bad For Me, if she could name a standout moment, she selected a humorous moment from Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mr. Bridgerton:

“Where Colin asks Penelope to marry him and she falls out of the carriage and to the ground was funny and wonderful because it was supposed to be a romantic moment and they both butchered it.” 

Reading her words, I can clearly picture this scene. And I’m tempted to drop everything and reread Colin and Penelope’s story. This moment reflects everything I love about these characters.

[Go ahead, give in to the re-read temptation...]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 4:06pm

Romance News Roundup: Amy Schumer & Paige Tyler!

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.

—See for yourself why a sketch from last night's Inside Amy Schumer—which pulled double duty as both a parody of beloved Friday Night Lights TV couple Eric and Tami Taylor (a.k.a. Coach and Mrs. Coach) AND a PSA about campus rape—is setting the internet on fire today.

—Next week's H&H newsletter will feature an exclusive Author Spotlight with Paige Tyler (Her Wild Hero). For access to this and other members-only content, sign up to become a member of the H&H community and check “Yes” to receive the newsletter!

Fri
Apr 10 2015 8:14am

Initial Here, Here, and Here

Say My Name by J. KennerIt's Friday, and we're all a little bit brain dead, and could use a break. So, we're going to play a little game!

On the count of three, list as many authors—preferably only romance authors (we think you'll be able to come up with plenty)—who use initials as part of their pen names!

Okay, one... two... three... Go!

Thu
Apr 9 2015 8:13am

Throwback Thursday: What Was Your First Rom-Com?

Romantic comedies are some of the most watched movies on our shelves. We all have our favorites, but what's your first?

Tue
Mar 31 2015 8:03am

“I Ship It”: What Have Been Your Favorite Ships This Season?

This parody video has been around for awhile, but as many of us stare into the empty void as our favorite shows finish off their seasons, we dedicate this to you!

What have been your new “ships” of the past year? What are your all-time favorites?

Mon
Mar 16 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Tessa Bailey’s Chase Me (March 17, 2015)

Chase Me by Tessa BaileyTessa Bailey
Chase Me (Broke and Beautiful #1)
Avon Impulse / March 17, 2015 / $4.99 print, $2.99 digital

College drop-out Roxy Cumberland moved to New York with dreams of becoming an actress, but her dwindling bank account is quickly putting the kibosh on that fantasy. To make some quick cash, she signs up to perform singing telegrams. Her first customer is a gorgeous, cocky Manhattan trust-funder if she ever laid eyes on one. And what could be more humiliating than singing an ode to his junk, courtesy of his last one night stand? Maybe the fact that she’s dressed in a giant pink bunny costume…

After a night out to celebrate winning his last case, lawyer Louis McNally the Second isn’t prepared for the pounding in his head or the rabbit serenading him from the front door. But the sassy wit and sexy voice of the girl behind the mask intrigue him, and one look at her stunning face—followed by a mind-blowing kiss against his doorjamb—leaves Louis wanting more.

Roxy doesn’t need a spoiled rich boy who’s had everything in life handed to him on a Tiffany platter. But there’s more to Louis than his sexy surface and he’s determined to make Roxy see it...even if it means chasing her all over NYC.

In Tessa Bailey’s Chase Me, we are treated to a laugh-out-loud raunchy romantic comedy.

Louis McNally the Second is a playboy lawyer who gets the surprise of his hungover life when an actual, true-to-life singing telegram shows up at his door. Despite the pounding headache, he can tell from the pink bunny’s voice that he wants—no, needs—to know more about her.

[And learn more about her he does...]

Fri
Mar 6 2015 4:21pm

Romance News Roundup: Not My First Rodeo Series 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.

Not My 1st Rodeo by Donna Alward, Sarah M. Anderson, and Jenna Bayley-Burke—Sarah M. Anderson, Donna Alward, and Jenna Bayley-Burke have announced a novella trilogy, Not My 1st Rodeo, featuring the contemporary romances Something About a Cowboy, Nothing Like a Cowboy, and Anything for a Cowboy. They've also launched NotMy1stRodeo.com for more about the books and, coming soon, dating profiles of the heroes and heroines.

—Mina Vaughn has revealed the sexy cover for her latest novel, How to Punish Your Playboy, and also posted a brief excerpt to give readers a taste of the story...

[+Thug Notes reviews Fifty Shades...]

Wed
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...]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 3:30pm

Comedic Sci-Fi Romance: Sex, Jokes, and Science in Space

Knight of a Trillion Stars by Dara JoyOne of life's literary challenges involves the combination of science fiction, romance, and comedy—three genres competing for center stage in a single story. Blending these three genres well is no small feat—I imagine it’s like trying to juggle a watermelon, a pineapple, and a kiwi fruit.

Despite my interest in all three of these genres, I harbor some fears about them in combination. What if a story winds up lacking strong emotional impact or depth? Funny and meaningful aren't mutually exclusive. Or a story might fall into campy territory and fail to offer any satire or humorous social commentary. I don't always want to turn off my brain just because a story is humorous.

I take my sci-fi romance seriously in that I have a general preference for serious fare. That's not to say I avoid reading SFR with humorous elements or situations. Such scenes can provide crucial balance in an otherwise dark story. But all-out comedy? That's another matter.

Also, as in the case of parody, the story is inviting me to laugh at my favorite genre. Sometimes I can do that and do so with glee; other times I have difficulty suspending my disbelief over a comedic approach to serious issues. This area, of course, is where execution is key, because I also know that compelling stories will draw me in despite any misgivings I may have.

There are really only a handful of comedic sci-fi romances. It's not a big surprise, given the literary juggling act involved in writing them. But they're out there. Here are a few that, despite my doubts, made a memorable impression on me. They're listed in order of publication date.

[Read on for a good time...]

Fri
Feb 6 2015 9:13am

We Ruined a Romance: Replace A Letter Ruin A Romance Results!

Earlier this week, we had so much fun with #ReplaceALetterRuinARomance on Twitter —and we think you guys did too! As a treat—and as an extension of Friday Reads—we wanted to share the results with you! Flip through the hilarious titles, and let us know your Friday Read, and, more importantly, play another round of Replace a Letter with it!
Mon
Dec 29 2014 1:00pm
Excerpt

All About that Bite: Kerrelyn Sparks on the Love at Stake Series

Kerrelyn Sparks

Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire by Kerrelyn SparksToday we're thrilled to welcome Kerrelyn Sparks to the site. Kerrelyn's much-loved Love at Stake series will see its final book, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Vampire, published today. In her first book in the series,  How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, Kerrelyn got curious about what would happen if suddenly a vampire lost one of his fangs. Well, he'd turn to a dentist, of course! She's here to discuss how the Love at Stake series came about and introduce you to Roman and his female-mortal-dentist-turned-lady-love, Shanna. Thanks, Kerrelyn!

Way back in 2004, when I still considered myself a historical romance writer, I came down with the flu.  While high on Nyquil, I wrote three zany chapters about a vampire who lost one of his fangs, biting something he shouldn’t have. Oh, the shame!  Would he spend the rest of eternity as a lopsided eater?  I had no idea what would happen to that vampire or the female mortal dentist he kidnaps, but I soon had to figure that out, for an editor at Avon Books read those three chapters and offered me a two-book contract! That first book became How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, and to my shock and amazement, it flew right out of the bat cave and onto a bestseller list.  So Avon wanted more vampire books, and the Love at Stake series was born.  I would have never believed the series would go on for sixteen books!

If it’s not apparent by now, I write romantic comedy.  Yes, my vampires and shifters have a sense of humor.  How could you manage to live 500 years without a sense of humor?  And my heroines also have a sense of humor.  It helps them cope when a werewolf husband sheds on the furniture or a vampire husband drops his glass of blood on the carpet.  I should point out that there are some positive things about having a vampire husband.  They never snore.  You never have to cook for them.  And while they’re dead during the day, you have free access to their credit cards.

[Definite advantages...]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 9:30am

We Laugh Because We Love: Top 10 Romance Parodies

Photo courtesy of 50 Shades, The Musical! websiteObviously, we all love Romance as a genre. None of us would be here if we didn’t. (Here, as in at this site obviously, not here as in alive and in the world.) But loving something does not mean we cannot mock it, or enjoy it when others do so for us. In fact, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then parody must surely be the sincerest form of affection; to spoof anything really well you must know it inside and out, and such thorough acquaintance with the minutia of anything can only either lead to—or, more likely, be born out of— a deep and profound fondness.

Here then, the Top 10 romance parodies that are funniest when you know enough—and love enough—to really get the joke…

10. 50 Shades! The Musical (2013)
Parody of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

This stage parody promising live BDSM (“Best Damn Songs and Music”) was a hit in Chicago before making its way to Manhattan, the New York Post reporting that “the opening scene centers on a middle-aged ladies’ book group, then plunges, like a cougar’s neckline, into sketches making fun of the erotic, best-selling novel.” Conceived by musical improv comedy troupe Baby Wants Candy, the show features songs like “Red Room” with lyrics such as “How much can you take/How much can you handle?/Clamps upon your nipples?/Hot wax with a burning candle?” Rarely, if ever, has soft-core erotica been so jaunty.

[We like a little laughter with our bondage...]

Sat
Aug 30 2014 3:30pm

First Look: Alice Clayton’s Screwdrivered (September 2, 2014)

Alice Clayton
Screwdrivered (Cocktail #3)
Gallery / September 2, 2014 / $15.00 print, $7.99 digital

By day, Viv Franklin is a tough-as-nails software engineer who designs programs and loves hospital corners. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.

When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?

There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.

In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian. Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?

In her latest novel in the Cocktail series, Alice Clayton is having a good time poking a little fun at the romance reader. We are a fanciful group always looking for a happily ever after with that one special person, but can we enjoy a laugh at our own expense?

[Oh, you know it...]

Fri
Jun 6 2014 10:45am

Larger-than-Life Humor and More in Rebekah Weatherspoon’s Fit

Rebekah Weatherspoon's Fit, the first book in the Fit series, follows the story of fiery Violet, who is not your typical romance novel heroine. She’s plus sized, Asian and hilarious. Fit is a short story with an introduction to some light bondage and makes for a quick, fun read.

What stands out most in this book is Violet’s snarky, humorous responses. She is funny and quick-witted, which keeps the story light even while dealing with a heavy topic like self-image. She works in Hollywood, which is not pleasant for someone plus-sized.

[Achieving image consciousness!...]

Mon
Mar 31 2014 12:00pm

Big Love on the Small Screen: Top 10 Current TV Sitcom Romances

Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina in The Mindy ProjectFOX’s The Mindy Project comes back on Tuesday, April 1, after more than two months on hiatus. Two months spent by many in a fever of anticipation, wondering what the future will hold for frenemies Mindy (Mindy Kaling) and Danny (Chris Messina), whose slow-burn snark-filled almost romance has become one of the most captivating on TV, as H&H’s Heather Waters so gleefully articulated in her post regarding the show’s game-changing winter finale.

Of course, romance in comedy is hardly new, and on the small screen, and in the half-hour format, we have seen a lot of compelling relationships develop under our amused, at times angst-filled, eyes. From 86 and 99 to Joni and Chachi to Sam and Diane to Ross and Rachel, we’ve seen many a love bloom under the aegis of a helpful laugh-track (or, so it is often claimed, a “live studio audience”-track), and it is most when dealing with the vagaries of such emotions that sitcoms elevate themselves from mere short bursts of entertaining nothingness to actual thought-provoking worthiness, by delivering a surprising punch of piquancy, passion, and pathos.

Here, a list of the Top 10 couples from TVs current sitcom crop that have brought us more than just the funny. (A note on the use of the word “sitcom”: true, some of the shows on this list don’t necessarily fit the textbook definition of the term, what with the variable sets and the lack of laugh-track, but “Top 10 TV Half-Hour Comedy Romances” just doesn’t really have the same ring.)

[Did your favorites make the cut?...]

Fri
Feb 28 2014 10:30am

Kiss Me Kate: Ilona Andrews’s Magic Bites

Magic Bites is the first book in Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series and, well, I should probably start this review by making the same observation I always wind up making about volume one of a series, which is that the first book inevitably has to do a whole lot of heavy lifting. Magic Bites is set in an alternative Atlanta, some time after a magical apocalypse. The basic premise is that technology and magic sort of compete for control of the world, and one or the other will be “up” at a time, at semi-regular intervals. During tech, magic is unpredictable, during magic, tech is unpredictable. Hilarity ensues. And by “hilarity” I of course mean “a series of grisly murders.”

Oh, as always, I should say that there are spoilers coming. I mean technically the “grisly murders” thing was a spoiler but…seriously when aren't there grisly murders?

Our heroine is a mercenary with unknown and mysterious supernatural heritage. At the start of the book, she discovers that her guardian has been brutally killed which, given that he was a member of some kind of superpowered magic warrior cult, suggests that there's something very powerful and very nasty running around. She wangles her way onto the investigation (there's some indication that the superpowered magic warrior cult is deliberately using her as a distraction), and proceeds to kick over every pile of rocks she can find until something shows up.

[As you do...]

Thu
Feb 13 2014 9:30am

Like Crazy: A Cinematic Break Up

A Brooklyn-based comedy troupe called POYKPAC has made a clip of a couple breaking up using only titles from movies.

At least it's better than texting that you want to break up, right?

Mon
Feb 10 2014 5:30pm

Officially Better Than the Queen: Cecilia Grant’s A Lady Awakened

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia GrantI read Cecilia Grant's A Lady Awakened not so much over Christmas as on Christmas, ignoring my partner’s family, the Queen’s speech, and even Toy Story 3 to finish reading it. Because it’s honestly that good. I think it’s unavoidable to make more of the things you read at the end of the year compared to the beginning, but A Lady Awakened simply has to stand has one of the most original, intriguing and tiny-mind-blowing books I read in 2013.

The book opens with the heroine, Martha Russell, childless, newly widowed and about to return to her brother’s home to live out the rest of her days as a quiet burden upon his family, a fate she has no choice but to resign herself to enduring. Her solicitor, however, encourages her to remain at her late husband’s estate until it is absolutely certain that no heir has been conceived. Martha knows that she isn’t pregnant, but she has her own commitments to Seaton Hall: specifically the servants and tenants, who rely on the family for their livelihood, and the building of a local school, to which she has given her support. She also learns that the man who stands to inherit is a dissolute character, who previously forced himself upon some of the women of the household. Realising that all these problems would be solved if she was pregnant, Martha strikes a deal with her new neighbour Theo Mirkwood, temporarily exiled from London for extravagance and general debauchery. They’ll have sex every day for a month, and Martha will pay him, “regardless of issue” to quote the lady directly.

[There's an unusual deal for you...]

Wed
Jan 22 2014 6:25pm

Love and Laughter: Humor in Romance

In a Fix by LInda GrimesWriting a post on the most humorous characters in romance should be easy peasy, right? I thought so, since there is nothing that I love better than a book that makes me laugh. But figuring out what makes a character funny stumped me because of trying to decide which came first—the scenario (chicken) or the character’s witticism (egg).

Many of my favorite authors plop their characters in outlandish, embarrassing scenarios—usually a cute meet—and then the chaos begin. In contemporary books, authors such as Susan Andersen, Christie Craig, Rachel Gibson, Jane Graves, Kristan Higgins, Julie James, Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell, and Pamela Morsi  are experts at creating the cute meet. I am not as knowledgeable and current in the fantasy or historical genre but I do recall hilarious books like Maggie Osborne’s westerns and MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead books. Recently I also discovered Linda Grimes’s smart, snappy tongue-in-cheek In A Fix books and Molly Harper’s Naked Werewolf series. And last year I read the sweet and hilarious Dog Days by Elsa Watson.

Along with the cute meet, some authors have the ability to take it to the next level by adding perfect repartee. You know, the precise witticism that you and I only dream of saying. Usually we think of what we should have said, hours or days after the scenario.

[Oh, I know exactly how that is...]