<i>The Last True Vampire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Last True Vampire: Exclusive Excerpt Kate Baxter "He had nothing with which to keep the frenzy in check." <i>Then He Kissed Me</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Then He Kissed Me: Exclusive Excerpt Maria Geraci "It was a toe-curling ass-kicking kiss that nearly made Lauren swoon." <i>Eighth Grave After Dark</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Eighth Grave After Dark: Exclusive Excerpt Darynda Jones "He covered my mouth with his, his tongue hot as it dived inside me..." Read & Win: <i>Born of Defiance</i> Read & Win: Born of Defiance Team H & H Read an excerpt from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Born of Defiance, and enter for a chance to win your own copy!
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May 21, 2015
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Top 7 Ballsy Women in Movies, TV, and Novels
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Maggie Boyd
May 19 2015 5:00pm

Top 7 Ballsy Women in Movies, TV, and Novels (and Why We Need More!)

Atonement by Winter Austin

Today we're thrilled to have Winter Austin on Heroes and Heartbreakers. Winter writes ballsy women—Nic, the heroine of her upcoming book, Atonement, which came out yesterday, is a former marine sniper suffering from PTSD. Nic doesn't want to accept anyone's help and is reluctant to do so when a string of suspicious suicides strike her small town. Winter is here today to talk about other ballsy women in fiction and why we need more of them! Thanks, Winter!

In Hollywood and in fiction, the “Strong Female Character” is finally having her heyday and it’s about time. The world of movies, television shows, and novels are now rife with women who take center stage and take care of business after years of only being sidelined as the love interest or the damsel in distress.

But when executed poorly, this kind of characterization can result in women who are written to behave like men. It’s still somewhat rare to find a great story that offers us a fully realized, complex kickass lady who isn’t emotionless or one-dimensional.

So here are seven favorite strong-willed, independent-minded and tough-as-nails fictional ladies who aren’t afraid to get in touch with their feminine side open up and be vulnerable and caring when it counts. They might have balls but they also have heart, and that’s something we definitely need more of in our movies, TV and books.

[Meet the Ballsy Women of Movies, TV, and Novels...]

May 8 2015 8:04am

Write the Rom-Com: Playing It Cool Trailer

Playing It Cool, starring Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan (who, it seems, is sadly doomed to wear awful wedding dresses in all her rom-coms—looking at you too, Made of Honor), sees its wide release today. This film once again poses the age-old question of whether men and women can be friends, without sex getting in the way.

Will you be seeing Playing It Cool? What do you think Chris Evans' character could learn about romance?

May 7 2015 4:19pm

Romance News Roundup: The Mindy Project, Mary Jo Putney, 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.

Mindy and Danny in The Mindy Project Season 3The Mindy Project has been canceled by FOX and we are devastated here at Team H&H, big fans of Mindy/Danny that we are. And yet, there may be a bright light at the end of the tunnel—multiple Hollywood journalists are reporting that Hulu has expressed interest in acquiring the series. The best news? They may even pick it up for two seasons at once! Fingers crossed...

—In happier TV news, iZombie has been renewed for Season 2 and Orphan Black will be back for Season 4! We've loved hearing your thoughts on Liv's romantic options in iZombie this week...

—Deal Alert #1: Rosalind James's Reality Show Western romance Welcome to Paradise is currently free in e-book at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.*

—Deal Alert #2: Mary Jo Putney's classic The Rake is currently $1.99 in e-book (as is Never Less Than a Lady, by the way) at Amazon.* Dig into all our Mary Jo Putney-related content here.

[+Chris Hemsworth nearly nude, yes, please!...]

May 7 2015 9:30am

His Bark is Worse Than His Bite: Much-Loved Beauty and the Beast Retellings

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas Today we're thrilled to welcome Sarah J. Maas to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Sarah's latest book, A Court of Thorns and Roses, came out on Tuesday and features a young huntress offered up to a vicious beast—that's right, it's a Beauty and the Beast reimagining! Sarah is here today to talk about the Beauty and the Beast retellings that reign supreme in her heart. Thanks, Sarah!

So, one of my earliest memories is seeing Beauty and the Beast in a movie theater. My parents’ friend had tickets to the New York premiere, and wanted to bring me along as her plus one. It all went well—until that scene where Maurice nearly gets eaten by wolves. Cue one of the most massive, epic flip-outs I’ve ever had—so bad that my parents’ poor friend had to haul me out of the theater and bring me home.

A few weeks later, my grandmother came to visit and wanted to see the film… So I was dragged to the theater again. And when that scene came on the screen, I literally crawled under the seat, sobbing, begging my grandma to take me home. My grandma, being awesome and pretty no-nonsense, refused, and told me to stick it out—she promised me that everything would be fine and that there would be a happy ending to it all.

[We like those sorts of guarantees...]

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...

—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 5 2015 2:00pm

Will You Fake Marry Me?: 3 Ways You Might Find Yourself in a Fake Engagement

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade LeeToday we're thrilled to have Jade Lee on the site. Jade's latest book, 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake starts with a fake engagement—but might end with a real one! Jade is here today to talk about the three ways you might find yourself in a fake engagement, and loving it! Thanks, Jade!

In my magical thinking, all engagements–even fake ones–end up with the couple deeply in love and living happily ever after. After many hysterical trials and tribulations, of course. But we all know that engagements often fall apart for one reason or another.

The Old Switcheroo

When I was younger, a pair of identical twins were in my girl scout troop. As much as I tried I couldn’t tell one from the other and they did, occasionally, pretend to be the other. When I was young, I loved reading those twin substitution books especially Georgette Heyer’s False Colors. The prospective groom is away when it comes time to meet the bride’s very important grandmother. So the other twin steps in and the romance is off and running with the wrong twin falling in love with the bride.

[You can always rely on family...]

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 24 2015 3:35pm

Romance News Roundup: Fifty Shades Darker Tease, Grey’s Anatomy Death, 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.

Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades Darker teaserFifty Shades fans, your first look at Jamie Dornan's Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Darker is here—kinda sorta. It's an image from a Darker tease in the Fifty Shades of Grey Blu-ray, according to EW.com. What do you think? Will you be seeing the movie when it hits theaters on February 10, 2017? In the meantime, stick with H&H for updates about the next two movies and remember you can still weigh in with your thoughts on the first movie.

—OMGDidYouSee...?!!!: A MAJOR Grey's Anatomy cast member departure has rocked the fandom. SPOILERS AHEAD: Last night's Season 11, episode 21, “How to Save a Life” sank the series' hardiest ship, Derek/Meredith, as the beloved McDreamy was struck by a vehicle after saving four victims of another car crash and then receiving less-than-stellar medical treatment. Did you watch last night? How are you feeling? What stage of grief are you currently in?

—Love Darynda Jones's Charley Davidson and in need of an artistic outlet? This fan art challenge may be just the ticket!

Apr 23 2015 4:30pm

The Complicated Beauty and Her Beast: Why Bruce/Natasha Should Be Your New Avengers Ship

Natasha and Bruce in The Avengers

Natasha Romanoff is the little black dress of The Avengers fandom. Maybe it is just her inherent awesomeness, but I can imagine her with everyone from Clint to Steve to Maria. The Black Widow has close ties to every member of the team (except maybe Thor, but he's all wrapped up in Loki…err, I mean Jane), but could she ever be with the one man who truly frightens her, Bruce Banner, AKA The Hulk? The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailers suggest a special bond may be brewing between Bruce and Natasha, and you know what? It makes sense. 

Stay with me now. Natasha has a dark past of her own. As she famously said in the first Avengers, “I've got a lot of red in my ledger; I'd like to wipe it out.” Comic book fans know Natasha was subjected to brainwashing in the Red Room as a child, and as a result she became a killer. Unlike the squeaky clean Steve or god of thunder Thor, Natasha's past is dark, and complicated by acts she had no control over.

[Bruce knows a thing or two about that...]

Apr 21 2015 9:30am

Eve+Roarke 4Ever: Fantasy Casting J.D. Robb’s In Death Series

Angelina Jolie as Lt. Eve Dallas

Every few years talk starts up that J.D. Robb’s In Death series will be optioned for the big screen. With this year’s release of the 40th book in the series, Obsession in Death, this past February, there was once again talk that it was past time to see these characters brought to life. 

Being a fan of the series for almost a decade, some of these characters have taken up long term residence in my brain while others have filled in along the way in “Aha!” moments. Whether or not you might agree with me, I would pay big money to able to see the world of In Death be brought to life on screen exactly like it does every time I pick up a novel.

Angelina Jolie as Lt. Eve Dallas – The series centers on Lt. Eve Dallas, the head of the homicide division of the New York Police and Security Department. Eve was abused and raped as a child by her own father.  She was forced to kill him in self-defense at the age of 8, then she was tossed into an uncaring foster system. Her name was given to her by a social worker and she made it her own. Eve dreamed of becoming a police officer and protecting the innocent. Eve gives her all to find justice for the dead.

[...and find love for herself?]

Apr 16 2015 4:15pm

Romance News Roundup: Jo Goodman Deal & Han Solo in New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser!

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.

My Steadfast Heart by Jo Goodman—Deal Alert #1: Jo Goodman's My Steadfast Heart is currently free in e-book at e-tailers such as iBookstoreBarnes & Noble, and Amazon.* Goodman's A Place Called Home earned a spot in our Delicious Despair collection, if that helps.

—Deal Alert #2: Jennifer Estep's Touch of Frost and various other books Mythos Academy series are on sale in e-book at e-tailers including Barnes & NobleAmazon, and iBookstore.* Here's our First Look review on Touch of Frost.

—We know you know it, Han Solo, but we still love you! A new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser is here to wreck our productivity:

[+David Duchovny & Ryan Gosling news...]

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.

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?

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...]

Mar 23 2015 3:33pm

Romance News Roundup: The Bridgertons and Pretty Woman!

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 Bridgertons: Happily Ever After by Julia Quinn—Julia Quinn's Bridgertons series turns 15 this year, and Bobbi Dumas—writing for NPR—looks back on the family we love dearly. For more fun with the Bridgertons, revel in our Julia Quinn collection.

—We're so close to new episodes of Outlander! Hold on just a bit longer, because come April 4, Chelsea Mueller will be recapping the show weekly so that we can all squee over Jamie/Claire together. In the meantime, keep these ideas in mind and get another fix with this hilarious video of stars Sam Hueghan and Caitriona Balfe reading fan tweets. (Best part may be Balfe's response to a fan wanting to see up Jamie's kilt: “He's my husband, stop trying to see up his kilt, or I'll come after you.” Plus Hueghan's reaction: “Yeah, watch it, she will.”)

Pretty Woman opened in theaters 25 years ago today. Can you believe that?! Did you see it in theaters, and do you find the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere romance as dreamy now as then? Be sure to enjoy ABC News' look back at the movie, including a 1990 interview with Gere and a list of some of the things that'd be different if the movie were being made today (remember the Walkman?!).

Mar 20 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Scott Eastwood

We've been looking to add to our list of movie boyfriends, and with his appearance in the upcoming Nicholas Sparks' adaptation, The Longest Ride, Scott Eastwood has earned placement on that list! Movies based on Sparks' books are known for having pretty hot leading men—Liam Hemsworth, Zac Efron, and Ryan Gosling, just to name a few!

Today, we're celebrating another hot leading man and dedicating our beefcake to Mr. Eastwood!

[Here's to some great genes...and jeans...]

Mar 19 2015 4:06pm

Romance News Roundup: Harlequins and Paper Towns!

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.

Baby for Keeps by Janice Maynard—Deal Alert #1: Janice Maynard's Kavanaghs of Silver Glen novel Baby for Keeps is currently $.99 at e-tailers such as Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Amazon.* (For more baby-focused reading suggestions, check out Scarlettleigh's Pregnancy in Romance Novels post.)

—Jezebel's Kelly Faircloth chronicles the history of Harlequin—and how the brand name became almost synonymous with “romance novel.” Her conclusion? “They're fucking fun.” We agree! Kelly has also written some fabulous pieces for H&H, including her list of the Top 10 Phattest Plus-Size Heroines.

—Deal Alert #2: Jasinda Wilder's Falling into You is currently free in e-book at e-tailers such as Amazon, iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble.* Stop by our Jasinda Wilder tag for more about her books.

[Watch the first trailer for Paper Towns...]

Mar 18 2015 4:30pm

Why Can’t We Be Friends (With Benefits): A Guide to Friends with Benefits

Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha YoungIn my quest to help all H&H readers out with all their needs, I’ve come up with some helpful advice on “Friends with Benefits” (for street cred, I’m using the acronym FWB). In a nutshell, FWB is when two friends embark upon some kind of mutually fulfilling sexual arrangement without any expectation of a romantic relationship.  It’s all the sweetness of the “friends to lovers” trope with the added sexiness of a no strings attached carnal arrangement.

Some of you may be adventurous enough to consider a practical application of these tips out in the field.  In which case, I wish you the best of luck. But for the more timid, this guide can merely serve as a taste of the zeitgeist, giving you some helpful recommendations on what to read or watch if you want more of the FWB trope. Either way, this post is intended to offer you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about FWB but were too afraid to ask.

1.    It changes the way that friends see each other

In Samantha Young’s Before Jamaica Lane, Liv makes sure to think of her friend Nate in strictly platonic terms:

“Nate would never see me in a sexual way, so there was no point in even allowing my thoughts to go there. I think I knew more about the real Nate than most people did, so it wasn’t hard to put him in the friend zone.”

[But maybe it's hard to keep him there...]

Mar 15 2015 12:05pm

Shipping Sunday: The DUFF’s Bianca/Wes

Robbie Amell and Mae Whitman in The DUFF

Based on the novel by Kody Keplinger, The DUFF is a charming teen rom-com that has recently won my heart thanks in large part to the charisma Parenthood's Mae Whitman and The Flash's Robbie Amell exude as Bianca and Wes. Even at the beginning of the movie, when Wes is a complete tool toward Bianca and she lets him know it, you sense something between them. And as the minutes pass and the story unfolds, you can't help but start to root for them to find love, given all the delightful banter and genuine warmth between them.

Have you seen the movie and/or read the novel? Did you find yourself 'shipping Bianca/Wes?

[+More cuteness ahead...]

Mar 12 2015 3:52pm

Romance News Roundup: Outlander at PaleyFest, Castille Deal, and Beyond Series Teaser!

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.

In Your Corner by Sarah Castille—Attention, Outlander fans! Tonight members of the cast and writing team will be attending PaleyFest in L.A. to discuss the show. The best part? Yahoo! will be streaming the whole thing live here.

—Deal Alert: Sarah Castille's In Your Corner (Book 2 in the Redemption series) is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers including Amazon, iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble.

—Are you O'Kane for Life? Then don't miss the teaser from Beyond Innocence that Kit Rocha posted earlier today!

—If you loved Frozen as much as we—and, okay, much of the world—did, you'll be happy to hear that star Kristen Bell confirms a sequel, Frozen 2, is officially in the works.

—Need a pick-me-up? Watch “bionics expert” Robert Downey, Jr. help deliver a bionic arm to a young boy.

—Ever wonder where Saved By the Bell's Kelly and Zac would be these days? Series star Tiffany Thiessen predicted yesterday in an AMA that “She'd probably be living in the Midwest somewhere, with 5 children probably and Zac Morris, ahahaha!” We're content with that vision—we do love our HEAs.

*Reminder that we don't know how long these deals will last so get 'em while you can!