<i>Lost and Found Sisters</i>: Exclusive Excerpt (+Sweepstakes) Lost and Found Sisters: Exclusive Excerpt (+Sweepstakes) Jill Shalvis "His hands went to her hips, gripping hard as they stared at each other..." Choose Lora Leigh's <em>Collision Point</em> Cover! Choose Lora Leigh's Collision Point Cover! Team H & H Which Lora Leigh cover belongs on bookshelves? Vote now! <i>Shameless</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Shameless: Exclusive Excerpt Nana Malone and M. Malone "You know, I hear you can go blind if you use those things too much." <i>Wed to a Spy</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Wed to a Spy: Exclusive Excerpt Sharon Cullen "Aimee closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath..."
From The Blog
May 24, 2017
The Dirty Dancing Remake: The Good, the Bad, and Baby
Elizabeth Poteet
May 24, 2017
Will Elizabeth Swann Get the Happy Ever After She Deserves in New Pirates of the Caribbean?
Darlene Marshall
May 23, 2017
Dirty Dancing’s Johnny and Baby Last Forever
Mala Bhattacharjee
May 23, 2017
Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Bennett, Douglas, Witt, Dee, York, Willoughby, Dean, and Vaughn
Team H & H
May 23, 2017
Bonnie and Clyde: History's Most Infamous Couple
Jenni L. Walsh
May 24 2017 2:00pm

The Dirty Dancing Remake Is ... Fine

Dirty Dancing on ABC

Before we go any further, there’s something I want y’all to know. I am not a Dirty Dancing superfan. Not by a longshot. I grew up “watching” the movie at sleepovers in between prank calling school crushes and playing MASH, and while I own the soundtrack, I don’t listen to it regularly. It was an impulse buy from a bargain bin at Walmart. I can’t tell you which song belongs to which scene or recite any lines from the original film other than the iconic “baby in the corner” one.

Needless to say, I didn’t go into watching the TV remake with any real expectations. I wasn’t prepared to hate it, I wasn’t prepared to love it. I’m Switzerland.

Now, if you love the original, I think we both know why you’re reading this post. You want to hear all about how horrible it was. How little Miss Sunshine is no Baby. How the TV movie pales in comparison to the theatrical release. If that’s the case, superfans, don’t watch the TV movie. You’re gonna hate it. Don’t read this post, you’re gonna hate that too.

Because, as we established, I’m not a fan, and I found the remake to be perfectly fine.

Let’s break down some of the good, the bad, and the baby.

[The good, the bad, and the Baby]

May 24 2017 9:30am

Will Elizabeth Swann Get the Happy Ever After She Deserves in New Pirates of the Caribbean?

Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Will Elizabeth and Will End Up Together Forever?

It’s summer, time for another installment in the iconic Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Take your eyes off of Jack Sparrow for a moment and ponder the magnificence of the true hero of the Pirates of the Caribbean films….Elizabeth Swann. 

Ahoy! Spoilers ahead, mateys!

In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, young Elizabeth saved shipwrecked youth Will Turner by stealing the gold coin he wore so Will wouldn’t be accused of piracy. As the movie progresses, it’s Elizabeth who continues taking action to save herself and true love Will, parlaying with Barbossa, hiding her and Will’s true identity, rescuing herself and Jack Sparrow when they’re marooned on a desert island.

Following in the bootsteps of true-life pirate Mary Read, Elizabeth is all about saving her man, no matter what it takes. In the first film she was cast more-or-less as a love interest, but by the second and subsequent films, Elizabeth Swann grows into a woman of action, a pirate captain, someone who twists the plot to save the day. She chains Jack Sparrow to a mast to allow everyone else to escape in Dead Man’s Chest. She vows revenge for her father’s death and becomes Pirate Lord of the South China Sea in At World’s End, and she marries Will, but he becomes bound to the cursed Flying Dutchman and can only visit her once every ten years…or so we’re led to believe.

[Read more...]

May 23 2017 3:00pm

Dirty Dancing’s Johnny and Baby Last Forever—And You Can’t Tell Us Any Different!

Dirty Dancing

Baby and Johnny live happily ever after. Sure, it’s easy to write off the events of 1987’s beloved Dirty Dancing as a beautiful summer fling set to a kickass 1960s soundtrack—most people do—but I’m here to tell you that they make it. They survive past the credits and the last strains of “The Time of My Life.”

The basic plot of the movie involves a privileged, sheltered, college-bound girl, played by Jennifer Grey, falling for Patrick Swayze’s blue-collar dance instructor. But like so many romance novels we’ve devoured and loved, the emotional core is that they connect despite their differences — and they admire each other because of them. I’ve read summaries that describe Johnny as the worldly one in the relationship — and maybe he is sexually, but in all other ways...? Baby holds the power. Yes, she’s wealthy and educated, but she’s also fearless and brave and strong in her convictions. She goes after what she wants—and who she wants. That floors Johnny. Ultimately, he’s the one seduced, not her. 

Johnny: “I've never known anyone like you. You think you can make the world better. Somebody's lost, you find them. Somebody's bleeding—”

Baby: “I go get my daddy. That's really brave, like you said.”

Johnny: “That took a lot of guts to go to him! You are not scared of anything.”

[Read more...]

Apr 25 2017 12:35pm

Will We Have the Time of Our Life with Dirty Dancing Remake?

After being teased with casting news, set photos, and more for almost a year, the trailer is finally here for ABC's Dirty Dancing remake. Starring Abigail Breslin as Baby, we'll also be seeing familiar faces with an all-star cast including Debra Messing, Katey Segal, and Sarah Hyland. According to People, the movie will not just be a remake of the original movie, but also give us a glimpse into Baby and Johnny's happily ever after: what happens after the summer and what's up with some of the other beloved characters. 

Baby and Johnny in the Dirty Dancing remake

So, do you think you'll love the Dirty Dancing remake? What are your thoughts on knowing what happens after the summer? Do you want to know? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

If you never want the summer to end, stay tuned for a post on the best Baby and Johnny scenes coming soon. 

SEE ALSO: Dance Movies That Give Romance a Good Whirl


Apr 15 2017 1:00pm

Movie Night! 9 Books and the Movies That Inspired Them!

Tell Me Something Good by Jamie Wesley

If you spend time on Heroes and Heartbreakers, or with other groups of engaged readers, you'll notice that many of us love the idea of our favorite books becoming movies. But the pleasure can also flow in the opposite direction. I'm not talking about novelizations, but about books that get a little extra kick of interest from evoking our favorite movies.

The movie-book connection doesn't have to be a literal retelling, or even necessarily intentional. As soon as I read the plot description of Jamie Wesley's opposites-attract romance Tell Me Something Good, I knew I had to read it, because the story of battling radio personalities given a show together made me think of one of my favorite movies, “He Said/She Said.” The fact that there are plenty of differences in characters and plot just made it more intriguing and made me want to see where the author would take it. (Though sadly, no one throws a mug.

Other romances which use movie plots as a take off point include Eloping with Emmy by Liz Fielding (“It Happened One Night,” but with a goodhearted rather than arrogant heroine), Short Straw Bride by Dallas Schulze (“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” if it stopped with the first wedding) and My Favorite Bride by Christina Dodd (“The Sound of Music,” but with a heroine from the Regency slums rather than a convent. On her website, Dodd writes, “I get ideas everywhere — from the news, movies, books, friends, songs” so a number of her books fall into this theme. IIRC, Just The Way You Are uses several, including the musical “Bells Are Ringing.”)

[Read more...]

Apr 12 2017 1:30pm

The Best Nora Roberts Books That Have Been Turned Into Movies... So Far!


Seeing a beloved book adapted for film is a rare thrill for readers. Especially in romance, since very few of our books have been turned into movies. But in fact, one of the most adapated authors is one of the Romance genre's most prolific as well—Nora Roberts. Everyone has a different favorite Nora movie, but that's because there are many excellent choices! If you're not in the mood to read, watch an adaptation of some of our favorite Nora titles. 

We've ranked the top ten must-see Nora movies in order of necessary viewing. Don't think it's quite right? Feel free to debate with us down in the comments. Now, on to the list! 

10. Tribute

The late Brittany Murphy stars in this movie as Cilla McGowan, a woman who traded in child-star fame in order to restore old homes. She sets her sights on her grandmother's former home that's in need of rescuing only to end up haunted by memories of her. Throw in a romance with a hunky graphic novel writing hero, and this is one spooky and satisfying ghost story. 

9. Sanctuary

Famous photographer Jo Ellen Hathaway is being stalked, so she returns to the small island town she grew up in only to have her problems follow her back home, but don't worry—there is a wonderful second-chance-at-love story as well. 

[Where will your favorite fall??]

Mar 17 2017 4:30pm

Rebel With a Cause: Romance News & Deals from Maisey Yates, Christina Lee, and More!

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Last Chance Rebel by Maisey Yates

Deal Alert: Maisey Yates' cowboy contemporary Last Chance Rebel is $.99 at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* Gage, the man Rebecca's never been able to forget, is back and pulling out all the stops to make her his own in the sixth book of Yates' Copper Ridge series. Can't resist a cowboy? We've got all the ingredients you need to cook up a smoking-hot cowboy!

Deal Alert: Christina Lee's new adult romance All of You is $1.99 at Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Lee's debut title features a tattooed virgin hero “whose depth and sensitivity you have to read to believe.” Don't miss out on this delicious study of sexual tension.

Deal Alert: Gill Paul's women's fiction novel The Secret Wife is $.99 at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Amazon | etc.* Take a family journey that stretches from 1914 to 2016 in this gripping, emotional novel. And don't miss out on more Women's Fiction Best Bets. 

[+Dumplin' gets a Friend...]

Feb 23 2017 10:30am

9 Beloved High School Movies for Every Mood


Today we're thrilled to welcome Sheryl Scarborough (To Catch a Killer) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Sheryl write Young Adult novels and while many of us are out of our teens, there's still something to love and reminisce over when it comes to beloved high school movies. Sheryl is here today with a few of her favorites—and the lessons we've all learned from them. Thanks, Sheryl!

To fully celebrate the awesomeness of high school movies I made a list of essential high school lessons then filled in movies to fulfill that list. What would high school be without: girlfriends, rebellion, positive self image, embracing differences, sensitivity, higher learning, sensible rules, a do over, and entrepreneurial spirit?


High school is difficult. It’s like being shipped off to another planet where the assignment is to fit in and look cool while learning all about the aliens (called boys!) To complicate matters, these boys aren’t going to give up any information about who they are or how to deal with them. This assignment would totally suck without cool girlfriends to help figure it all out. Cher in Clueless is very definitely the super-cool girlfriend I wished I had in high school. Don’t get me wrong I had girlfriends, and we were cool. But Cher is super-cool, a heroic best friend.

[Read more...]

Feb 21 2017 5:30pm

Start Your Engines: Romance News & Deals from Gillian Archer, Susan Mallery, and More!

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Ruthless by Gillian Archer

Deal Alert: Gillian Archer's motorcycle club romance Ruthless, first in the True Brothers MC series, is $.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* It's hard to beat a wicked man with a heart of gold—they sure rev our engines! 

Deal Alert: Susan Mallery's women's fiction novel The Friends We Keep, Book 2 in the Mischief Bay series, is $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Three friends provide love and comfort to one another as they journey through the stress and turmoil of life's expectations. It's no surprise that romance is the perfect place to tackle tough issues.

Deal Alert: Julianna Keyes' college co-ed romance Undecided is $1.99 in e-book at iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* This sexy new adult romance features two characters who don't do anything by halves...including the trouble they get themselves into! Don't miss out on these fresh new adult romances from January!

[+Emma Watson sings 'Belle']

Feb 14 2017 1:00pm

20 Date-Night Approved Valentine’s Day Episodes, Movies, and More to Stream

Source: Shutterstock

Whether it’s romance you’re looking for or just something to make you feel good and laugh, Team H&H has some suggestions on things you can watch if you want to stay in and laugh, swoon—or a combo of the two. These are all availabe to stream on Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and more, so you don't even need to leave the comfort of your own home to have the perfect night in!

Feel the Love

Two Weeks Notice

Two Weeks’ Notice (Netflix) —Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant play conscientious lawyer, and clueless CEO respectively in this tropey, delightful rom-com.

The Office: Episode 7x16, “PDA” (Netflix) — Holly and Michael make their relationship Office Official when they announce they’re back together… which earns them a stern talking to on the company policy on office PDA.

North & South (On Netflix until March 1)—Based on the novel of the same name by Elizabeth Gaskell, get ready to swoon at Richard Armitage’s smoldering looks. Watch this title before it leaves Netflix on March 1st.

Belle  (available to rent or purchase on Amazon)— Dido Elizabeth Belle is the mixed race daughter of an English captain in this gorgeous film about 18th century England. It is heart-wrenching, but oh so beautiful.

[More swoony and feel good titles ahead...]

Feb 10 2017 10:30am

10 Classic Romantic Comedies You Must Watch

The recent article on romantic comedies seemed to omit anything before 1987. Although the list was utterly lovely, and included a couple of movies I really have to catch up on now, may this vintage lover remind you of some of the classics? My husband and I fell in love while watching some of these movies. No, I’m not that old, but we were students and we watched a lot of Saturday afternoon TV.

I know some are in monochrome, but I don’t care. They’re funny.

1. Top Hat

Yes, I know it’s a musical, but it’s also funny. As well as the sublime pairing of Fred and Ginger, there are some really great moments of pure romantic comedy. The scene after Ginger has come up to complain about the noise is wonderful. Instead of tap dancing, Fred spills dirt from a plant on the floor and does a soft shoe shuffle instead. Melts me every time.

2. Singin' in the Rain

More music! But the film within a film, the Scarlet Pimpernel-ish movie when they’re trying to get to grips with sound is so great, it has to be on my list.

[+8 More Classic Titles...]

Feb 3 2017 3:00pm

Does the Fifty Shades Darker Movie Live Up to the Book?: A Fan Review from the World Premiere (SPOILERS)

Fifty Shades Darker

Is Christian and Ana's Second Big-Screen Romp Worth the Wait?

Note: This post contains spoilers from the premiere of Fifty Shades Darker, the film adaptation of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey sequel of the same name.

Fifty Shades Darker

When a popular book gets made into a movie, every reader wants to know what stayed and what didn’t make the cut. What characters don’t have their moment in the sun? What iconic scenes are brought to life and which ones lay on the cutting room floor? What locations are too complicated or expensive to film and which are absolutely vital to the success of the movie?

I was privileged to attend the Fifty Shades Darker Hollywood premiere as the plus one of my friend Lish Fish aka @50shadesgirlPDX. I will attempt to answer all the questions I posed above in this book to movie recap. If you’re curious about anything else, please ask me in the comments section.

Fifty Shades Darker has been described as a love story within a thriller and it lived up on both counts. Christian Grey wants Anastasia Steele back in his life and there’s nothing he won’t do, no changes he won’t make, to get her back. Difference number one: there’s no romantic sunset helicopter ride to Portland in Christian’s chopper so that Ana can get to José’s gallery opening: Ana never leaves Seattle. Christian shows up at the show and persuades a not-very-reluctant Ana to have dinner with him. This slight variation is a pattern that continues through Darker: although the details and scenes don’t always match up 100% with the book, the essence of Christian and Ana’s relationship moving forward is true to E.L. James’ vision. That is surely not at all surprising, since James’ husband, screenwriter and novelist Niall Leonard, wrote the script.

[Read more...]

Jan 26 2017 5:00pm

The 10 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time!

What are the top 10 romantic comedies of all time? Find out!

The Princess Bride

We love hosting authors on Heroes and Heartbreakers, especially when they are also our bloggers—so with that in mind, we're pleased to welcome A.J. Pine (Worth the Wait) and Jennifer Blackwood (The Rule Maker) to H&H in their author capacity. We tasked them with a pretty hard job—list the greatest romantic comedies of all time—and they certainly delivered. See what they picked! Thanks, A.J. and Jennifer!

Note: All of these romantic comedies are guaranteed with Happy-Ever-Afters. While we love classic love stories like The Notebook and others, you'll only find romantic comedies in the truest sense of the word on this list!

Wait...we can only pick ten? Let’s just start by saying that we know Pride and Prejudice is on the top of everyone’s list—as well as any sort of iteration like Bridget Jones (for A.J.’s generation) or What a Girl Wants (for Jen’s). We’ll just assume you don’t need to be reminded of Austen’s classic. So we’re not leaving it off the list, but already know you’ve already got it on yours.

But still the task is a tough one, one we don’t take lightly.

Okay, Heroes and Heartbreakers. You’ve given us a challenge, and we have nothing else to say other than…


[And the Best RomComs are...]

Jan 24 2017 9:05am

Everybody Loves Somebody!

I have loved Karla Souza since I saw her in Season 1 of How to Get Away with Murder. I don't watch HTGAWM anymore, but I do still follow along with Karla Souza, and so I am super excited for this new film—it looks like a tropey, My Big Fat Greek Wedding-esque movie!


Jan 7 2017 2:00pm

The World Will Remember Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, But She’ll Always Be Marie to Me

Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally

Why I'll Always Remember Carrie Fisher as Marie in When Harry Met Sally

It's an innocuous role on the surface: quirky heroine's best friend. Upon a deeper look, Carrie Fisher's Marie is so much more. Over the past week, since Carrie Fisher's unexpected death, many people have remembered her for her work in Star Wars and for her personal life: She was a rebel leader. A intergalactic legend. A mental health advocate and kickass feminist. It's in her role as Marie in 1989's When Harry Met Sally much of this comes together. 

When I was younger—probably not yet in my teens—I watched When Harry Met Sally for the first time. I had watched City Slickers with my dad not long before, and my mom wanted to show me a different side of Billy Crystal so one day we popped popcorn and rented When Harry Met Sally on VHS (you know, those bricks movies that used to come out roughly a year after it was in theaters). I was hooked. I loved Meg Ryan's high strung Sally Albright and Billy Crystal's neurotic Harry Burns. It wasn't until years later that I fell for the true star, Carrie Fisher's Marie. 

[Read more...]

Jan 6 2017 1:00pm

Katherine Johnson’s Amazing Work—and Romance—Take Flight in Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures starring Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, and Octavia Spencer

This post contains spoilers for the film Hidden Figures... 

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Hidden Figures in theaters this past Wednesday. It's a movie I recommend everyone put on their watch list. If you're unfamiliar, it's the story that centers around three incredible black women and the work they do in regards to the 1960s space race. It's a piece of hidden Americana that's incredibly significant. Katherine G. Johnson, played by the incredible Taraji P. Henson, did much of the heavy lifting in regards to the complex and intricate mathematics that successfully launched John Glenn and the Friendship 7 into outer space. 

The through line in the film is the struggle between knowing what to do and being utterly competent in a world and climate that keeps you separate from everything else. The film takes place in Virginia in 1961 in the segregated south as tensions continue to grow between the “way things have always been” mindset and the undeniable need for civil rights.

One of the best things about this film is the life that's given to these women. They are not automatons, simply calculating trajectories or solving compelx equations, they have lives—rich inner lives, families, stories, and a camraderie that's so genuine it's a pleasure to watch. 

[Read more...]

Jan 6 2017 10:30am

Romantic Comedy Needs Flawed Characters…

Source: Shutterstock

Imperfect. Damaged. Messed Up. These are all words I associated with characters in the early days of New Adult. It wasn’t until a recent conversation that I realized these characteristics are also inherent in the heroes and heroines of romantic comedy. 

Perfect, idealized characters that saves the day, are great in small doses, but have no place in romantic comedy. What makes for compelling stories is a character that's flawed. That's the case for all fiction. Full stop. What makes romance particularly fulfilling is when you are following the journey of a imperfect character (much like us) that triumphs over circumstance and finds love. When a perfect character triumphs over circumstance... it's far less engaging. 

So What Does a Comedic Flawed Character Look Like?

[Read more...]

Jan 3 2017 12:15pm

Every Fairy Tale Has a Dark Side in Fifty Shades Darker Extended Trailer

We've seen the sexy side and we've seen the suspenseful side, but in the new extended trailer for Fifty Shades Darker, we get a dose of both. The trailer opens with a groveling Christian coming to win back Anastasia—too bad she's more confident this time around and not willing to put up with his shenanigans. Grey is going to have to work for it! 

Unfortunately, the second half of the Darker equation enters: Christian's past lovers resurface and one of them has a deadly agenda. The trailer ends with a gunshot as the screen goes dark. Those who have read the books know the fate of Christian... but everyone else will have to wait until February 10, when the movie premieres.

What are your thoughts on this extended trailer? It certainly gave us more to sink our teeth into! 

H&H Editor Picks:

Are You Curious?: Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Thoughts (SPOILERS!)

Christian Wants to Protect Ana in Latest Fifty Shades Darker Teaser

Do We Need More Fifty Shades? An H&H Blogger Roundtable on E.L. James' Grey


Jan 2 2017 12:13am

Christian Wants to Protect Ana in Latest Fifty Shades Darker Teaser

Christian and Ana cuddle in Fifty Shades DarkerChristian and Ana experience the highest highs and lowest lows together in E.L. James' Fifty Shades romance trilogy, and that fact is on full display in the latest Fifty Shades Darker movie trailer, which aired on television during New Year's Eve festivities last night.

In the new footage, clips of Ana telling a friend that she's never been happier and of her cuddling with her billionaire hero in bed are quickly followed by hints that Ana is being stalked by a strange woman, who may or may not be connected to Christian. Of course, as readers already know, she'll eventually be revealed as [spoilers for the books ahead] Christian's ex-lover, Leila.

But like Christian says there at the end, he could never forgive himself if something happened to Ana, so be on the lookout for protector!mode Christian when the second Fifty Shades movie, Fifty Shades Darker, hits theaters just before Valentine's Day, on February 10.

Catching up on Fifty Shades news? See the full two-minute Fifty Shades Darker trailer (or take the steamier route here) and then read an excerpt from the upcoming sequel to Grey, which presents Christian's side of the Fifty Shades story.

Dec 21 2016 12:24pm

Welcome Home: Love & War in Rogue One

Jyn Erso and crew in the official Rogue One posterSPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the ending of Rogue One. Read at your own risk.

Rogue One is no romance novel, but if resistance fighters Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor don't deserve a Happily Ever After, I don't know who does.

Fierce, charismatic, witty, brave, honorable, and secretly looking to love and be loved in return, Jyn is a heroine you're soon willing follow to the ends of the earth—just ask Cassian.

A cynical, laser-focused, anything-for-the-cause intelligence officer at the start, Cassian quickly comes to respect the gutsy Jyn and eventually becomes not only her biggest supporter but her partner. Don't we all have a special place in our hearts reserved for the tough alpha heroes whose only weakness is their love for their spunky heroine?

So we have our romance novel-worthy hero and heroine, and a mission to steal the Death Star plans that just so happens to bring them closer and closer, making them more and more reliant on each other. While watching Jyn and Cassian fight side-by-side and rescue each other in the movie, I got flashes of Battlestar Galactica (2004)'s Starbuck and Apollo, Suzanne Brockmann's SEAL Team 16 couple Sam and Alyssa, and The 100's Clarke and Bellamy, some of my all-time favorite 'ships.

[The couple that fights together...]