<i>The Purest Hook</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Purest Hook: Exclusive Excerpt Scarlett Cole "Pixie and Dred have to decide what really matters..." <i>In Sickness and In Elf</i>: Exclusive Excerpt In Sickness and In Elf: Exclusive Excerpt AE Jones "Placing her down gently, he pushed a silky strand of hair..." <i>Tangled</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Tangled: Exclusive Excerpt Kate Douglas "The need was so primal, so visceral, it left her shaken..." <i>The Girl from Summer Hill</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Girl from Summer Hill: Exclusive Excerpt Jude Deveraux "He stood there staring at her, saying nothing..."
From The Blog
May 1, 2016
Ship Just Got Real in Captain America: Civil War
Sahara Hoshi and Pen Singleton
April 29, 2016
Captain America vs. Iron Man: Which Side Are You On?
Pen Singleton and Sahara Hoshi
April 28, 2016
At Home: Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia, Episode 4
Naz Keynejad
April 28, 2016
Why Prince Songs Make a Perfect Soundtrack for Romance Novels
Abigail Strom
April 28, 2016
Best Reads of April 2016
Team H & H
Thu
Apr 28 2016 1:30pm

Why Prince Songs Make a Perfect Soundtrack for Romance Novels

GP: Prince loved and celebrated women!

Today we're thrilled to welcome Abigail Strom to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Abigail's new college romance, Claire, which came out last week, features a kickass female musician named Claire, and it’s fair to say that she wouldn’t be who she is without Prince—none of us would, really. Abigail is here today to talk about the enduring power of his songs and why Prince will never be forgotten. Thanks, Abigail!

I first got into Prince when I was thirteen years old, and even though I didn’t understand half of what he was singing about until much later, there was one thing I knew right away.

Prince loved women. He loved them on every possible level.

When you thought he was writing about sex, he was also writing about love. And when he wrote about love, he often found it through sex.

[Prince made the perfect songs for romance ...]

Fri
Apr 22 2016 5:00pm

Prince: 5 Most Memorable Moments

Prince gave us sexy in so many ways, from straight hair to high-heels, lace to the original skinny-leg. Count yourself lucky if you ever heard him sing live or rock a stage, or even met him in person, because he’ll forever be considered the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). The Pop Icon introduced us to many firsts, some that can be mentioned here and others that cannot. I’ll always remember him for being exactly who he wanted to be, Prince, and reminding us to live free. The Beautiful Ones always have to go... We miss you! 

Share your Prince moments with us in the comments below. 

[The Purple Reign continues ...]

Fri
Apr 15 2016 9:30am

First Look: Kylie Scott’s Dirty (April 19, 2016)

Dirty by Kylie Scott

Kylie Scott
Dirty (Diver Bar #1)
St. Martin's Griffin / April 19, 2016 / $14.99 print, $4.99 digital

Kylie Scott gifts us with a new series—Dive Bar—which takes place in the hometown of our beloved drummer, Mal, from Stage Dive. The first in the series, Dirty features Vaughan Hewson, guitarist for the now defunct band that opened for Stage Dive on tour. Coming home to Idaho was never in Vaughan’s plans. Yet, here he is, back at the place he’s been running away from since high school. Everything about this trip home pointed to suckiness. That is, until Vaughan discovers a woman in his bathtub.

After narrowly escaping a nightmare of a wedding to a man in love with his best friend, Lydia Green climbs over a six foot fence, breaks into the home located behind the fence, and seeks refuge in the tub of the bathroom. Suffice to say, Lydia and Vaughan have an auspicious start to their relationship.

And I was so definitely probably going to jail. Someone ought to give me a cookie. My ability to take a bad situation and make it worse today was amazing.

“You touch any of my stuff?” he asked. “Take anything?”

“Yes, your sofa is cunningly hidden down the front of my dress. You won’t believe where I fit the TV.”

Again, his eyes narrowed dangerously.

“Between you and me, probably not the time to be funny, babe.”

Crap.

[Meet me at the bar ...]

Thu
Jan 28 2016 9:07am

Throwback Thursday: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Is a Romance Novel on Acid?

TeddyP, the resident boy on the Heroes and Heartbreakers editorial staff, recently shared Bonnie Tyler's “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with us and simply said: “It is basically many genres of romance covers on acid.”

“Once upon a time I was falling in love...
Now I'm only falling apart”

He's not wrong. 

Fri
Jan 22 2016 5:11pm

Romance News: Snap Up Kit Rocha & Lexi Blake Deals

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.

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

Deal Alerts

Beyond Happily Ever After: "Blank Canvas" by Kit Rocha

Kit Rocha's Blank Canvas, one story in a series of vignettes and outtakes from the O'Kanes/Beyond series—and featuring Rocha's famous trio, Ace, Cruz, and Rachel—is being offered as a free download on the authors' site. You can also purchase it for $.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, etc.* Since Ace is the resident tattooist of District Four, take a look at tattoos in romance and their symbolism. 

Lexi Blake's suspenseful and erotic Masters and Mercenaries bundle of the first three books in the series is free (marked down from $5.99)! Snap it up from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBookstore.* See why Paranormallibrarian says this series is the Bond franchise—if James Bond owned a BDSM club on the side. 

[+celebrating David Bowie with Labyrinth's grown-up Toby...]

Thu
Jan 14 2016 4:17pm

Romance News: Contemporary Deals on Laura Kaye, Erin McCarthy, 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.

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

Deal Alerts

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye—With Laura Kaye's Love in the Light out this week, you may be curious about the first half of Makenna and Caden's story. Well, catching up just got real affordable: Hearts in Darkness, where the two fall in love while stuck in an elevator, is marked down to only $.99 in e-book for the moment at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBookstore, etc.*

Ava Miles' Dare River contemporary romance Country Heaven is currently free (normally $.99) in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and more.* Miles treated us to recommendations for foodie romances in her 2014 guest post “Food Is Life: Gastronomique Romance for Our Food-Obsessed Culture.”

Erin McCarthy's New Adult romance You Make Me, first in the Blurred Lines series and (worth noting) a modern-day retelling of Wuthering Heights, is another free read today at iBookstore, Barnes & NobleAmazon, etc.* Do you consider Wuthering Heights a romance? Is Heathcliff a hero? Could a change in circumstances have turned things around? Let the debates rage on...

LuAnn McLane's Happily Ever After novel A Prince in Plain Sight is discounted to $2.99 (down from $4.99) in e-book at the moment at Amazon.* Jonesing for some downtime in a small town? Scarlettleigh suggests several other stops in her piece “Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Small Town Romance.”

[Sarah J. Maas cover, Oscar nominees & Alan Rickman's Snape...]

Thu
Dec 31 2015 12:15pm

The Best of 2015: Team H&H’s Top 30 Romances

The Deal by Elle KennedyThe bloggers have had their fun, and now Team H&H is here to give you their top picks in all things romance—books, movies and TV, and music.

For more Best of 2015 recommendations, see what had the bloggers buzzing in their Best of 2015 picks in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4!

Let us begin....

Heather Waters, Site Manager

Regency England. Modern college campus. The magical world of Ravka. Post-apocalyptic Earth. Rest assured, falling in love is possible anywhere, anytime, and no one exemplifies this quite so well as the 8 couples I've chosen as my favorite fictional relationships for the year, all of whom remind me how lucky I am and what a joy it is to write about romance for a living.

Top 8 'Ships of 2015:

Hannah/Garrett in Elle Kennedy’s The Deal If you'd asked me late last year, I'd have told you I needed a breather from New Adult romances. They brought the angst I craved, but not enough of the froth I needed. My scales felt tipped too far into darkness when I depend on a fair share of sunshine in my escapist reading. Then I discovered The Deal. Hannah and Garrett charmed my socks off with their delightfully well-worn path to love (girl asks popular jock to teach her how to woo another man, only to find—gasp!—she's fallen for her tutor, and he with her) that nevertheless contains a few surprises.

[Read all our editors' picks...]

Tue
Oct 27 2015 12:00pm

A Playlist As Cold As Ice: The Perfect Songs for Every Hockey Romance Lover

The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen

We are so thrilled to welcome Sarina Bowen to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Sarina writes the Ivy Years series, and the latest book, The Fifteenth Minute came out last week. Many of her books feature hockey players, and for research—and fun—Sarina spent many a game day writing down the songs the DJ at hockey games would play. Today, Sarina is here to share some of those songs, and offer you a playlist so you can prentend like you're at the game with her and get in the mood for your next hockey romance. Thanks, Sarina!

I love sports romance. But sometimes the athletes aren't the only cool people in the arena! Sometimes I sit there in my ticketed seat and wonder how a girl could get to drive a Zamboni. Who's in control of the kiss-cam? And who's spinning the tunes I'm hearing over the sound system?

The music at a sporting event really adds to the party-like atmosphere. And certain songs have become sporting anthems. I wonder if Queen had any idea when they released “We Will Rock You” in 1977 that it would play for three decades and counting in arenas all over the world?

[What's on your hockey romance playlist?...]

Fri
Oct 23 2015 4:05pm

Romance News: Jessica/Luke Gets Steamy in Full Jessica Jones Trailer

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.

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage make out in Jessica Jones season 1
Gif via hawkguy.tk

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage hook up us in the first full-length trailer for Marvel's Jessica Jones, the whole first season of which will hit Netflix on November 20. Whereas sometimes it's weird the way I like to try to pick my 'ships as early as the show's description, here I feel justified in saying I'm eager to see what kind of romance could be in store for Jessica/Luke: After all, the two are married and in love in the comics universe. Thoughts on the trailer? Looking forward to David Tennant's villain Kilgrave? Were you one of the lucky few to see the first episode at New York Comic Con? TELL ME EVERYTHING.

H&H's own Jennifer Proffitt is warming up for a thrilling #XOXOConnects Q&A with Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter as I type this, so get your questions ready! Tell her I sent you when you tune into the Google hangout event tomorrow, Saturday, at 3 p.m. ET, as part of XOXO After Dark's “all-day online readerfest you can attend in your pajamas.”

[+Jill Sorenson deal & “Hello” new earworm...]

Fri
Aug 14 2015 3:19pm

Romance News Roundup: Downton Abbey Season 6 Pics, Outlander Song, 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.

The cast of Downton Abbey Season 6—We're only about a month out from the premiere of the final season of Downton Abbey in the U.K. and it's starting to get real: The first official photos of Season 6 (or Series 6 for our British readers) are here! You're seeing the group portrait (above) and the Dowager Countess (below the jump); visit Mashable for a good look at all 9 photos.

—If you've always dreamed of being a Harlequin author, there's still time to submit your manuscript in their annual So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) contest, in which the grand prize is a 2-book publishing contract with Harlequin! Learn everything you need to know about the contest here. The deadline to enter your story is September 21.

—Ahead of the release of Volume 2 of the Outlander soundtrack on September 25, Entertainment Weekly has the extended version of the show's main theme, “The Skye Boat Song,” from composer Bear McCreary and vocalist Raya Yarbrough (fun fact: The duo, who are married, also made beautiful music together for Battlestar Galactica.).

—Deal Alert: Monica McCarty's The Recruit is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers including Amazon, iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble (via BookBub).*

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

[+Your first look at Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey Season 6...]

Thu
Aug 6 2015 3:18pm

Romance News Roundup: X-Files Split, Laurelin Paige 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.

Mulder and Scully in The X-Files

—Sorry shippers, and H&H's own Heather Waters, but the rumors are true: Mulder and Scully have broken up. We'll wait here while you scream in pain. Entertainment Weekly confirmed with Fox executives that Mulder/Scully are no more, saying in their article earlier today (after viewing a clip from the reboot):

In the clip, Scully describes herself as “your friend and physician” to Mulder. We checked with a source close to Fox who confirmed that, indeed, the two are no longer together. 

Read the full article here and mourn the loss...but maybe there's another endgame in sight? This is a safe place, feel free to vent your feels in the comments!

—In other TV news, Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley will join the cast for NBC's live production of The Wiz! Uzo will play Glinda the Good Witch, while Amber will play the Addaperle the Good Witch of the North. They'll be joining all-stars like Queen Latifah (as the Wizard), Mary J. Blige (as the Wicked Witch of the West) and David Alan Grier (as the Cowardly Lion). Will you be tuning in to the December 3 broadcast?

—Deal Alert #1: Want to read Falling Under by Lauren Dane, but missed picking up book 1 in the Ink & Chrome series, Opening Up? Now's you're chance. Opening Up is available for $1.99 at e-tailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.* Check out Tiffany Tyer's first look of Opening Up and Chelsea Mueller's first look of Falling Under. Find all things Lauren Dane at Heroes and Heartbreakers by searching our tag.

—Deal Alert #2: Pick up a copy of Laurelin Paige's Free Me for only $0.99 at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore. Check out all things Laurelin Paige by searching the Heroes and Heartbreakers tag or her alter ego with writing partner Kayti McGee under Laurelin McGee.

*We don't know how long these deals will last so get them before they're gone!

Fri
Apr 17 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Classical Musicians from Stewart, Lyon, and More!

Noah StewartThere's just something about musicians. We love them in romance! Maybe it's the idea that they're tortured souls or that they're good with their hands. Today, our focus isn't so much on the rock star or lead guitarist, but on the classical musicians—from operatic tenors to concert violinists, and lots of goodness in between!

What musicians do you like?

[Moonlight serenade, anyone?]

Fri
Apr 3 2015 3:37pm

Romance News Roundup: Sophie Jordan Deal & Game of Thrones Rap!

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 in Your Arms by Sophie Jordan—Deal Alert: Sophie Jordan's Wicked in Your Arms (Forgotten Princesses #2) is currently $.99 in e-book at Amazon.* Find out Jordan's top 10 tips to toppling from the top of the ton here.

—Alyssa Cole has revealed the cover for her second Off the Grid novel, Signal Boost. See the cover and read the description here. And for more of Cole, read her H&H guest post on the top 3 unconventional Brooklyn love stories.

Bustle has 7 very good reasons The Mindy Project needs to be renewed, and as Mindy/Danny (Dandy!) shippers here at H&H, we couldn't agree more.

[Brush up on your Game of Thrones knowledge...]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 9:21am

“This One for the Footmen”: Downton Funk

Wanting to catch up on Downton Abbey, but just don't have the time to devote to four seasons of British Period Drama goodness? Or maybe you're already missing the Crawleys after Sundays season finale? Never fear, College Humor is here for you! You can catch up on major Downton plot points and get this catchy tune stuck in you head! Be warned, “Downton Funk” is set to the tune of Mark Ronson's “Uptown Funk,” featuring Bruno Mars, and it will get stuck in your head!

What do you think, would Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, approve of this mash-up?

Fri
Jan 9 2015 5:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Curl Up in Bed with Tatum, Foley, and More!

Scott Foley in BedIt's the time of year when all good boys and girls just spend the winter months in bed, under the blankets, or otherwise all bundled up. Whether you're cuddling with your animals, your children, or your significant other, you might want to think about asking these guys to join you later.

Who is the beefcake you want to curl up with this winter?

[Baby, it's cold outside...]

Fri
Jan 9 2015 10:30am

Let the Music Play: Evoking Memory and Emotion Through Music

You Really Got Me by Erika KellyToday we're joined by Erika Kelly, whose book You Really Got Me pairs a lead singer hero with a band manager heroine. The hero and heroine of You Really Got Me eventually make some sexy music together—but not without hitting some bad notes. Erika joins us to talk about how hearing music from the past can conjure up distinct memories, and how music evokes emotion at any point in time. Thanks, Erika! 

Do they still make Love’s Fresh Lemon? Because sometimes I think I get a whiff of it—and bam, I’m back in my pale blue Dittos, the hot sun on my head, and a tube of strawberry Lip Smackers in my hand. Scents are like that, though. They take you back to a vivid moment in time.

Music, for me, is even more evocative than smell. A simple melody has the power to alter my mood—engraving its memory on me so that every time I hear it I return to that emotional place. I love that—the power of a song.

[Silly little love songs, to power ballads!]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 9:12am

“I Could Be the Ham in That Man Sandwich”: 3 Reasons We Already Love Pitch Perfect 2

  • All the Fat Amy We Can Handle—She's the naughty Australian best friend we always wanted, and says all the things we're thinking!
  • Great Music—Raise your hand if you tried to learn the “Cups (When I'm Gone)” song after seeing the first Pitch Perfect! We imagine it'll be more of the same in the sequel.
  • To Sing Love Songs We Need Love First, Right?—Fat Amy and Bumper Alan, Fat Amy and The Green Bay Packers (aka the Man Sandwich), Becca and Jesse. We're sure there will be plenty of other ships for us to set sail on!

What are your three reasons?

Romance Addict Confession: I've already watched the trailer five times, as of posting. How about you guys?

Wed
Jun 11 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Have Mercy: Exclusive Excerpt

Shelley Ann Clark

Have Mercy by Shelley Ann Clark

Rock diva Emme Hayes already broke up one band after sleeping with the lead singer, and she swears she won’t let sex screw things up again. The problem is, her new bass player—a lean, muscular, tattooed mystery man who makes her want to demand his absolute attention—has her so worked up she can hardly carry a tune. Emme promises he’s off-limits. She just doesn’t know how she’ll be able to confine the heat to her love songs.

The moment Tom McKinney lays eyes on Emme strutting around the stage of his blues bar—all curves, eye liner, and teased blond hair—he knows she’s one of a kind. So when she offers him a two-month paid gig to tour with her band, Tom can’t say no, despite family troubles and the bar’s precarious finances. Onstage and off, the music they make thrums in his soul, but Tom has too much going on to get involved—even if he burns to let Emme play his body like a fine-tuned instrument.

Get a sneak peek of Shelley Ann Clark's Have Mercy (available July 1, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapter 1.

Chapter 1

The first time Tom heard Emme’s voice, he dropped a bottle of gin.

Having heard and played with a lot of bands over the years, he’d never seen anything quite as entrancing as Emme. She looked like she’d walked out of a 1960s wet dream, all teased blonde hair and dark eyeliner and curves. The bass groove of her first song had Tom ignoring his customers even before she opened her mouth.

Her voice damn near melted his spine. It was big and dark, full of longing so fierce it brought tears to his eyes. Her phrasing was meticulous. He heard desire in her voice, and he longed to give her whatever she wanted. By the time the first song was over, he ached to play in her band. More than that, he halfway wanted to crawl inside her songs and live there.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Have Mercy...]

Fri
May 30 2014 9:30am

Sing Us a Song: Music to Make Love (and Words!) By

Opening Act by Suleikha Snyder Today we welcome author Suleikha Snyder to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Suleikha's latest release, Opening Act, is about two friends, a musician hero and a reporter heroine, who eventually discover that they are in rhythm with one another. Suleikha's here to talk about how music informs Opening Act, and her characters' progression. Thanks, Suleikha!

I’m not one of those authors that has a book playlist. In fact, I can’t even listen to music when I write, because I’ll get so occupied singing along to the tracks that I won’t get a lick of work done! Writer fail. I know. However, that doesn’t mean music isn’t a huge part of my stories—especially my latest, Opening Act, about two friends from college who’ve graduated to a whole new relationship. Music is what keeps them tied together—she’s an arts reporter for a small online newspaper, and he plays bass in a grunge band—and it’s also a reflection of who they are as individuals.

When it comes to characterization, music really is the food of love.

My hero and heroine are twentysomethings, working Millenials still figuring themselves out. So songs become shorthand for where they came from and who they want to be. John Cougar Mellencamp is the soundtrack for Adam Harper’s blue-collar childhood. Saroj came to the United States as a kid, fell in love with Nirvana, but keeps the dance beat of Punjabi bhangra on her mp3 player. Even if they don’t know themselves—even if a reader doesn’t know them fully—what they’re listening to gives you an idea of their potential.

Music can be a really valuable tool on multiple levels—not just for character backstory and depth.

[We're all in the mood for a melody...]

Thu
May 22 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Suleikha Snyder’s Opening Act (May 27, 2014)

Opening Act by Suleikha Snyder

Suleikha Snyder
Opening Act
Entangled Edge / May 27, 2014 / $.99 digital

Reporter Saroj Shah has been in love with bass player and bartender Adam Harper since her first day of college—seven years ago. Forever thinking of her as part-friend and part-little sister, he's just been too blind, and too clueless, to see it. Until one pivotal moment pulls her into the spotlight.

The moment Saroj steps on stage, Adam sees his friend in a new light. He can't take his mind off of her and realizes they could make beautiful music together. But seven years is a long time and Saroj is ready to move on. Adam will have to hit the right note if he wants to prove to Saroj he was worth the wait.

Seven years is a long time to suffer from unrequited love. In the friends-to-lovers novella Opening Act, Saroj Shah has been the one carrying the torch for one of her best friends, musician Adam Harper. Opening Act probably has the most stubborn hero I have read in a long time; he’s also probably the sweetest. The world that Snyder created for her lovers is filled with laugh out loud humor and poignant emotional connections.

Saroj has had it with pining after Adam Harper. After seven years and many mates between them, it’s obvious that Adam is never going to take her blatant feelings for him seriously. Adam's deliberately obtuse view of his relationship with Saroj is first shaken and then broken when mutual friend and band member Johnny Ray makes out with her one night. JR is a notorious playboy that I actually wouldn’t mind reading more about; he’s bisexual, naughty, funny, and sensitive enough that we can tell he is damaged.

[That checks a lot of OUR boxes, what about you? But he's not our hero, yet...]