Sleepy Hollow's Ichabbie, the pairing of 18th century Ichabod Crane and modern woman Abbie Mills, is a 'ship that makes a lot of sense—and it also does not. Let's explain.
First, let's take the fun stuff—the 'shipping.
Relax on a silent night and dive into Christmas Brides, a lush historical holiday anthology featuring a brand-new story from USA Today bestselling author Alexandra Hawkins. And back by popular demand from last Christmas, previously published One Hot Scot, The Scandal Before Christmas, and It Happened Under the Mistletoe are back to deck the halls in this sensual Christmas collection.
One Hot Scot by Suzanne Enoch
Duncan Lenox lives surrounded by enemies, a MacLawry in a land of Campbells. But when an English beauty has nowhere else to turn, he feels obligated to help. Now that they must spend a night together in an abandoned cottage while a storm rages on, will their mutual passion save—or doom—them both?
Once Upon a Christmas Scandal by Alexandra Hawkins
Lady Ellen is outraged when she learns her dowry’s been increased by her dad, eager to draw every bachelor in England to her front door. So when Lord Swainsbury comes knocking, Ellen assumes he’s another dreadful fortune hunter. Little does she know that Swainsbury has completely fallen for her—body, heart, and soul…
The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex
Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea. Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, so she accepts Ian’s hasty offer only for the security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm rolls in, things start to heat up between them…and they might just find true, honest-to-goodness love…
It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman
Oliver Townsende intends to avoid the hordes of marriage-minded misses at a friend’s holiday party. When he meets Miss Cerian Blake, who’s dodging her own unwanted set of admirers, the two decide to join forces and fake an infatuation to keep their suitors at bay. But when mistletoe becomes involved, will their Christmastime prank turn into a love to last all seasons?
Get a sneak peek of the Christmas Brides anthology (available September 30, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt from the story “Once Upon a Christmas Scandal” by Alexandra Hawkins.
Her cheeks were a vivid pink that had nothing to do with the chill in the corridor as they walked back to the main house.
“How long had you been listening?” Derrick quietly asked, sensitive to the fact that Lord Netherley’s comment had upset her.
Lady Ellen halted in front of the closed door. She placed her hand over his to prevent him from opening it. “Long enough to understand that you are a good man.”
Note: contains major spoilers for “The Mortal Instruments” and “The Infernal Devices” series.
It's a well-established theme in paranormal romance and romantic urban fantasy that true love should be forever. If one lover is mortal and the other isn't, it has to be remedied in some way: this can be as simple as a vampire “turning” his beloved, or as mind boggling as some of J.R. Ward's solutions, which usually involve divine intervention. A lover who can't or won't be turned is generally tragic backstory.
Cassandra Clare's interconnected YA Shadowhunters books are unusual in exploring relationships between mortals and immortals as a viable option, albeit not one without problems.
In The Mortal Instruments series, mortal teenager Alec falls in love with Magnus Bane, an immortal warlock who's over three centuries old. The bliss of requited love is marred by Alec's jealousy over Magnus's many previous relationships, and by his worry about growing old while Magnus stays youthful—shades of Bella in the Twilight series, but this story goes in a very different direction. With no desire to be immortal himself, Alec contemplates a spell to take away Magnus's immortality, and he realizes how wrong and foolish this would be just a little too late—Magnus finds out about the plan and dumps him, breaking both their hearts.
Plaid flannel was once a fabric reserved for grunge rockers and lumberjacks. But now, any man can rock the fall trend—and we're especially glad if they rock it with some facial hair and twinkle in their eye!
This week we're ready to snuggle up in some flannel, maybe grab a cup of coffee with the guys from last week, and settle in for some nice fall weather.
Does a bundled up (fall) guy or a stripped down (summer) guy appeal to you more?
Another day, another way to follow H&H—we're now on YouTube! Subscribe to the HeroesnHearts channel to catch weekly Debriefings in which Team H&H's Heather, Megan, and Jenn discuss what's hot in romance.
Note: This post contains SPOILERS for Sleepy Hollow Season 1 and How I Met Your Mother Seasons 1-9.
This week, we address a topic especially near and dear to Heather's heart: shipping. We attempt to define the term, share some of our favorite ships (right now we're all about debating whether or not we 'ship Ichabbie in Sleepy Hollow), and ask readers to weigh in on the question of whether or not everyone is a shipper. Last but not least, we list some of the shows we'll be covering this Fall TV season—if there's anything you've been watching or are looking forward to watching this year that we don't already cover that you think should be, let us know! We'll do our best to make that happen.
Editor's note: And if you want a more in-depth background on shipping, I highly recommend checking out this crowd-sourced history of shipping in (Internet) fandom. Fascinating stuff. —Heather
Talk Like A Pirate Day is today, and what better way to observe the holiday than talking pirate romance? From Cape Cod to the Barbary Coast, Elizabethan times to Victorian era Brazil, these seafaring romances are ready to board your keeper shelves.
Pirate in my Arms by Danelle Harmon
Let’s start out this list with a story based on the real deal. Danelle Harmon spent three years working with the crew that recovered the sunken ship, Whydah, belonging to actual pirate Black Sam Bellamy, and it shows in her attention to detail. Prepare to be swept back in time with this unforgettable tale of an adventurous English rogue who finds his greatest treasure in gentle Maria Hallet of Cape Cod, and a love that will not be denied.
Across a Moonlit Sea by Marsha Canham
Marsha Canham could probably fill this list all by herself, but if pressed to pick only one of her nearly flawless pirate romances, the first in the Elizabethan-set Pirate Wolf series would have to be the one. Isabeau (Beau) Spence, herself the daughter of a notorious sea dog, is definitely daddy’s girl. A skilled navigator who demands respect, she rescues Simon Dante from a doomed ship, and the battle of wits between them begins. Rapier-sharp wits, passionate hearts and thrilling adventure make their happily-ever after one for the history books.
I worship at the altar of Nora Ephron, Tom Hanks, and Meg Ryan. I can quote When Harry Met Sally on command, and I’ve been to Katz’s Deli. However, since the early 2000s, much has been left to desire in the world of the rom-com. But if you know where to look, there are plenty of gems to be found. In chronological order, here are my picks for the best rom-coms of the last ten years; what rom-coms would make it onto your list?
13 Going on 30 (2004)
Why? Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner are perfectly charming. As teenagers, we all wished we were older and wiser—or Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving as Jenna wishes in the film. But she quickly learns that the perfect life isn’t really worth it without the ones we love. Plus, Andy Serkis doing the Thriller dance is a vision.
SOMETIMES SIZE DOES MATTER
Belinda Gordon thought she had it all—a great job, wonderful friends, a home of her own. She’s even come to love her voluptuous body. But she still can’t shake the feeling that something is missing. And then Carter Lancaster, aka Her Biggest Mistake, shows up in town, as irresistible as ever, and shakes up her entire world.
WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE
Carter never expected to find Belinda in town, looking as delicious as the day he married her five years ago—before she walked out on him after six weeks and a painful misunderstanding that included his baby daughter, Ruby. A quick divorce is the sensible option—but Carter can’t let Belinda go now, not when he can see the family they could be. Love may be a curveball, but this time he’s going to prove to Belinda that he can hit it out of the park… Gentlemen Prefer Curves is the third book in the Perfect Fit series
Get a sneak peek of Sugar Jamison's Gentlemen Prefer Curves (available September 30, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2.
Parents just don’t understand …
Parents. Can’t live with them. Can’t toss them off the roof.
Belinda Gordon walked up her parents’ driveway. She had moved out of their home practically on her eighteenth birthday but in the last five years she had probably spent more hours in her parents’ home than her own. Her mother had called half an hour ago, for the third time that day, this time begging her to come over.
Today we're joined by author Ciar Cullen, whose heroine, Lillian Holmes is an heiress-turned-detective-turned-vampire, and is also an addict. Ciar's latest release, The Devil and Lillian Holmes, finds Lillian embroiled in yet another adventure, one where she has to find the devils surrounding—and within—herself. Ciar is talking about the addictive nature of both author and character today. Thanks, Ciar!
Most of us read romance fiction to escape. Whether it’s the big, sweeping epic, the cozy tale of a small-town couple reuniting years after high school graduation, or perhaps the recorded antics of a business tycoon and his wicked, wicked ways, our favorite stories help us put daily stresses behind us, a chapter at a time. Thus most romance heroes and heroines are, by modern standards, pretty together people. You’d be hard-pressed to find a hero who staggers home drunk every evening, or a heroine who downs prescription painkillers. That is the stuff we see in our communities, on our grittier TV series, and on the evening news. Hardly the stuff of standard romance fiction.
We are too familiar with the statistics: addictions kill in alarming numbers, drug crime has decimated whole neighborhoods. Substance abuse and depression are close siblings—although the jury is still out on genetic vs. environmental factors that lead to addiction—and depression affects a staggering percentage of the population. Not even the “rich and famous” are immune, and their struggles tend to be in the spotlight. The tragic recent suicide of Robin Williams touched so many. How, why? we ask. Love or hate actor Russell Brand, his 2013 interview in The Guardian is raw and gut-wrenching. “Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution.” It’s terribly painful stuff, and that kind of painful stuff generally doesn’t make it into romances.
Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day! And in honor of the day, we want to know if your favorite pirate is Captain Kidd, Captain Morgan, Dread Pirate Roberts, Blackbeard, Captain Jack Sparrow, or someone else?
Are you talking like a pirate today?
What do you think of when someone describes a novel as having a “fish out of water” trope? Do you immediately think of social inequities, or class differences like in Georgette Heyer’s hilarious An Unknown Ajax? Maybe your thoughts jump to stories illustrating cultural differences, such as Nalini Singh’s Desert Warrior. In western romance novels, you’ll often see greenhorn heroes or heroines as they struggle against the hard life, as Englishwoman Jessica Thornton does in Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner. More than a few of you might think of a dramatic saga like Diana Gabaldon’s time travel series, Outlander, or even maybe Linda Howard’s suspenseful Son of Morning. Or did your first thought go to more comedic books, like Maryjanice Davidson’s Undead series.
All of the above examples are in some way or form part of this trope. According to the definition from wiseGeek: “In fiction, a fish out of water theme is a story paradigm that places the main character in a world totally foreign to the world he or she is accustomed. Commonly a vehicle for comedy, it can also be used in other genres including drama, romance, action and science fiction.”
The books listed below are all in the contemporary and comedy genres (with a post focusing on historical and fantasy books later).
Today we're pleased to reveal covers for exciting upcoming releases featuring doctors, dangerous pasts, and past mistakes, and chances for redemption through the power of love, of course. Click through to see the cover for Jackie Ashenden's Make You Mine (scruff!), Donna Alward's Summer on Lovers' Island (sunset hug!), and Ashenden's Billionaire's Club Box Set (clinch!)
She's the ultimate weapon in fighting destiny...
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann and her daughter Melanie Brockmann have written a pulse-pounding novel of paranormal suspense set in a near future both fantastic and frightening.
Skylar Reid is shaken when Sasha, the little girl she babysits, is kidnapped. Scared that the weird dreams she's been having about Sasha are real-and even more afraid that Sasha is already dead. When a mysterious girl with extreme butt-kicking abilities roars into town on a motorcycle and, well, stalks Skylar things get even weirder. Supergirl Dana tells Sky that she also has abilities – that a hormone in their blood makes them stronger, faster, smarter. A hormone that the makers of a new drug called Destiny will murder to get their hands on.
Dana and Milo, her dangerously hot, yet oh-so-forbidden, partner in crime, want Sky to join them in their mission—to mold Sky into the ultimate weapon. She can sense there's something about her abilities they're not telling her. But the only way to save Sasha and stop other girls from being taken is to embrace the weird...and fight Destiny.
Get a sneak peek of Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann's Night Sky (available October 7, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.
My knee stung, so I pressed the washcloth against it as I looked at Milo and then at Dana. And I shook my head. “I don’t know what goes on. I just know that I’ve never been able to hear anyone’s thoughts before, but I can hear Milo’s.”
“And he can hear yours too?” Dana said. She looked pissed that Milo had waited to tell her about it—and equally amazed that it was even possible to pull off what we had done. “That’s freaking… Wow. I mean, that’s something.”
Today we're pleased to welcome author Beth Cato to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Beth's Clockwork Dagger has just been released this week, and is a steampunk fantasy, incorporating airships, magic, a kick-ass heroine, and of course, romance. Beth's heroine, Octavia Leander, is a healer, but she's not just content to wait for those who need healing to come to her—she goes out and finds them, determined to do some good in the world during an ongoing war. Beth is here to talk about her favorite steamy steampunk couples—seven of them—and just why they make the list. Thanks, Beth!
Steampunk literature is rollicking fun with its fresh takes on Victorian and Edwardian-era adventure, plus a healthy dash of magic and/or clever steam-based technology. Then there's the clothing—men in tailored suits, suave hats, and those luscious knee-high boots, and women in corsets that defy gravity and bustles that give a whole new meaning to “Baby Got Back.” Laced-up stays look extraordinary, but it's oh-so-nice to have them loosened on a warm day, especially by another person's skilled hands.
Those are big reasons why I love reading steampunk—and writing it, too. My own novel, The Clockwork Dagger, is Edwardian-inspired steampunk with an action-packed romance between my two leads, Octavia and Alonzo. They ride an airship, dodge assassins, and still manage to work in a kiss or two. That's all in a day's work in a steampunk world, and well in the legacy of steamy genre authors like Gail Carriger and the six other authors listed below.
I’ve been reading romance novels since my middle school years, but it has only been in the last five years that I’ve really become a fan of the Inspirational market. Part of that was due to changes in the market itself; the books that are coming out now in the genre have a fresher, friendlier approach that encourages entertainment along with edification. The ten books listed below are not all my personal favorites (some are) but they are all books that have had an impact on the genre.
10. Grace Livingston Hill, A Girl to Come Home To
Why? Hill has great name recognition when it comes to Inspirational romance. During her life time (1865-1947) she wrote over a hundred books, many of which are still in print. If the modern Inspirational romance novel has a starting point it is probably one of Hill’s books. I choose this particular novel because it is a personal favorite.
It might not have been the smuttiest thing you ever read—but it was your first. The first time you read all the details of what happened behind the bedroom door. The first time you glanced around to make sure no-one was reading over your shoulder, since what you were reading was some seriously dirty stuff. The first time you thought, “Wow, somebody wrote all this!”
What was your first erotic romance?
He's doing this for good, people! Benedict Cumberbatch recently recreated the stepping out of the water scene from the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth.
The charity, Give Up Clothes For Good, encourages people to donate their used clothing that will go to help children with cancer. And just because, here's the original scene:
Roni Loren's novella Forever Starts Tonight is another amazing addition to the Loving on the Edge series. Forever Starts Tonight follows our two swoony heroes and kickass heroine from the second book, Melt Into You, which details when the three fell in love. This novella deals with what happens after the happy trio falls in love and their relationship is put to the test.
Most romance novels focus on the falling in love aspect, and we rarely get to see much detail about what happens after the fact. Jace, Andre, and Evan learn just how hard they have to work in order to keep their relationship afloat, while figuring out what they truly want out of their current arrangement.
He thought they’d had it all figured out when they’d told each other I love you.
That everything would naturally fall into place. But there was so much more to happily-ever-after than declaring commitment to each other. That was only the beginning.
They were still peeling back layers of each other, laying down bricks of trust, and learning how to show rather than say what love really meant for them.
Find your future faves with this delightfully convenient shopping list of romance novels coming out in October. We’ve divided them up by subgenre to make it easier for those who’ve got a very specific obsession and there are some great books to look forward to. Our shopping list is the biggest yet, so don’t forget to take this printable version with you when it’s time to shop!
Look for all your favorite Holiday Reprints in our December shopping list!
|Heroes and Heartbreakers October 2014 Shopping List!|
Author Elizabeth Essex, whose latest book is A Scandal to Remember, loves the high seas and piratical adventures. A Scandal to Remember takes place on board a ship, with a scientist heroine and a lieutenant hero, neither of whom are prepared for where the ship—and their passionate romance—will take them.
Elizabeth is here to talk about another one of her passions, the historical pirate series Black Sails, currently airing on Starz (Season 2 begins again in 2015). Thanks, Elizabeth!
I have another confession. I am addicted to the costumed, historical crack that is Black Sails. From the first moment that my daughter showed me the trailer to the last moment of the last shot of episode 8 in Season 1, I have been a slave to the chaotic ambitions of the pirates of New Providence Island.