<i>Night Sky</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Night Sky: Exclusive Excerpt Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann "Oh God, I asked him, did I make you kiss me?" <i>Sweeter Than Sin</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Sweeter Than Sin: Exclusive Excerpt Shiloh Walker She can’t ignore the urgent heat between them <i>Ruptured</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Ruptured: Exclusive Excerpt Maggie Mae Gallagher "He said my name like a benediction..." <i>Misbehavior</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Misbehavior: Exclusive Excerpt Kathryn Kelly She's about to have the ride of her life...
From The Blog
September 17, 2014
Benedict Cumberbatch's Darcy Scene
Megan Frampton
September 16, 2014
Authors as Romance Heroines
Regina Kyle
September 15, 2014
Karen Marie Moning's Burned News!
Team H & H
September 15, 2014
Trailer for Mockingjay Part 1 Released!
Team H & H
September 12, 2014
Friday Beefcake: A Venti Hottie, Please!
Team H & H
Mon
Sep 15 2014 4:30pm

Beta Heroes: Ten Contemporary Romance Heroes Who Show Us That Good = Hot.

**Spoilers! This post may cause a minor to severe reaction to spoilers from books featuring the top contemporary beta heroes—but don't worry, these guys will nurse you back to health.**

I can’t help it. I swoon for the good guy, the guy who even though he’s the right choice for me—ahem, I mean for the heroine, of course—he still makes mistakes along the way that keep us from getting our happily ever after too early in the book. Good does not equal perfect. Perfect is boring. But give me a flawed good guy, the one who has the right stuff but stumbles along with the heroine to get the place where my heart swells and I can’t stop smiling, and I’m a goner.

There are so many good guys in romance, and there’s no way I can cover them all. That’s why I’m going to narrow the focus to the mostly the youngins, the YA and NA nice guy heroes (with a couple of full-fledged grown-ups sprinkled in), because despite not being a YA or NA myself, these are some of my favorite books to read. It’s all about firsts in YA, first love with the guy you wish existed when you went to high school. And in NA, it’s that emerging adult first. Sure some high school relationships last until “I do,” but it’s really in the NA years that we start to really consider the idea of forever. So, who are some of my favorite wish-they-were-my-first-love betas? Read on to find out with the fine print being, DON’T READ ABOUT BOOKS YOU HAVEN’T READ IN CASEOF SPOILERS. Okay, maybe that print is not so fine, but you get the gist.

[Who are we getting introduced to first?]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 3:59pm

Karen Marie Moning Shares Cover Copy for Burned!

Burned by Karen Marie Moning

Today on her Facebook page, Karen Marie Moning shared the cover copy for Burned, the seventh book set in the Fever series. Moning says that both Dani and Mac are protagonists in Burned. Here's the blurb:

It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing.

MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed. Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil gets blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of Burned by Karen Marie Moning, out January 20, 2015:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Indiebound

Mon
Sep 15 2014 3:39pm

Sylvia Day Releases New Excerpt from Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)!

Captivated by You by Sylvia DayGetting ready for the November 18th release, Sylvia Day has just posted a new excerpt from Captivated by You, the fourth book in the Crossfire series.

Gideon hadn’t called. Hadn’t sent me a text after the flirtatious one promising me a steamy night. Hadn’t come to me, even if only to sleep next door. Gideon didn’t like being away from me.

Except when he was hurting. And ashamed.

The elevator doors slid open and pounding, screaming heavy metal music poured in. I cringed and covered my ears, the volume of the ceiling-mounted speakers so loud it hurt to hear them.

Pain. Fury. The raging violence of the music crashed over me. I ached deep in my chest. I knew. I understood. The song was an audible manifestation of what Gideon felt inside himself and couldn’t let out.

He was too controlled. Contained. His emotions so tightly leashed, along with his memories.

Read the rest at Sylvia Day's website.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of Captivated by You, out November 18, 2014:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & Noble

 

Mon
Sep 15 2014 2:00pm

Beyond Darkness and Angst: The “New” New Adult

Make It Count by Megan EricksonNew Adult bestseller lists seem to be crowded with books that deal with everything angst.  There are the books about death, the books about assault, the books about broken pasts and broken presents.  There are books about looming, clouded secrets that prevent people from ever having good relationships until “that person” comes along.

But New Adult is so much more than the traumatic past and the dark alpha-male hero.  New Adult can be fun and comedic, too.

Fun New Adult exists, and it’s a story style that is growing in popularity as New Adult books are picked up by different publishers.  It’s also a story style that provides a relief for those that are tired of all of the emotion brought on by dark “realistic” stories that rely heavily on trauma to create character narratives.  These light New Adult books still tackle important character arcs, but they’ll leave you laughing instead of crying, which makes all the difference. 

Make it Count by Megan Erikson

I chose this book as my Best-Of for June here on Heroes and Heartbreakers.  Erikson’s debut New Adult novel is the first in a series about Bowler University.  It features a serious (and nerdy) hero and a determined (but playful) heroine.  The book deals with some heavier issues such as the struggle of living with a learning disability that goes unnoticed in the public school system, but it deals with them in an atmosphere that is humorous rather than sad. 

[Got to laugh to keep from crying!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 12:18pm

Trailer for Mockingjay Part 1 Released!

A new trailer for Mockingjay Part 1, the third movie in the Hunger Games quartet of films, has just been released. The trailer shows just what Katniss is up against, even though she's an unwilling heroine (“I just wanted to save my sister”).

Mockingjay Part 1 will be release November 21, 2014.

Mon
Sep 15 2014 11:04am

Outlander Season 1, Episode 6: Black Jack’s Black Soul

Claire and Jamie in OutlanderClaire Randall's adventure continues in the first season of what is sure to be a long-running series on Starz based on the beloved historical fiction/fantasy/romance series by Diana Gabaldon, and we are so ready to recap and then discuss every single moment of it.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, Episode 6, “The Garrison Commander.” Enjoy!

When last we left Claire, she had a big question to answer; was she with the MacKenzies of her own free will? This week, she tells Lieutenant Foster she is a guest of the Clan MacKenzie. All well and good, but Brigadier General Lord Thomas wants to speak with her anyway. If Claire goes, Dougal goes, so it’s off to see the wizard…er, general.

Even though the Redcoats are the enemies of the Highlanders, they’re still the British army Claire served with, and it’s good to be looked on with sympathy rather than suspicion. For Dougal, it’s the other way around. They may still be on MacKenzie land, but with the occupying Redcoats, he’s in enemy territory, and he is the outlander here.

[Uh oh...]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 9:30am

First Look: Anne Calhoun’s Afternoon Delight (September 16, 2014)

Afternoon Delight by Anne CalhounAnne Calhoun
Afternoon Delight
InterMix / September 16, 2014 / $3.99 digital

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck's menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who's fast becoming her favorite customer.

Tim Cannon spends his days sprinting from one emergency to the next. He eats like he works—at top speed—somewhere along the line he lost his ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures. Hooking up with Sarah is just another way to cope with the stress of his job, until their afternoon trysts coax Tim into enjoying everything he's avoided. Can Tim learn to balance his job saving lives with the everyday delights that make life worth living? If anyone can teach him, it’s Sarah….

As a general rule, I’m a Black Keys, White Stripes, rock'n'roll kind of woman. But I found myself grinning ridiculously and humming the Starlight Vocal Band’s perennial favorite, “Afternoon Delight,” while reading Anne Calhoun’s enjoyable novella of the same title.

[Sky rockets in flight!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 8:28am

Does Everyone Always ’Ship?

The Heroes and Heartbreakers staff had an interesting conversation pertaining to the return of Shipping Sunday. One of us said that most people don't 'ship relationships, that they accept what the scriptwriters write for the characters, and that we, as romance fans, are unusual in wanting this or that couple to get together.

That astonished others among us. Surely, everyone 'ships, whether or not they are a romance fan. 

So what do you think—do all people 'ship characters (whether they acknowledge it as 'shipping or not), or are we unusual for wanting characters in books, movies, and television series to get together?

Gif from SmartLadiesLoveStuff

survey tool
Sun
Sep 14 2014 3:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Haven’s Audrey/Nathan, Audrey/Duke, and More!

The SyFy show Haven returned this past Thursday, and while things are unresolved for some of the characters, one thing is certain—the chemistry is off the charts!

Audrey Parker has learned a lot about herself and the Troubled people of Haven over the last four seasons. She seems to soothe their Troubles and people are drawn to her. None more so than Nathan Wuornos and Duke Crocker. Never before in a show have I had so much trouble deciding on a 'ship, and normally I stay far away from a love triangle, but maybe the same thing that pulls Nathan and Duke to Audrey has me under a spell too! To this day, I still can't decide if I love the “awww”-warm-and-fuzzy moments Audrey has with Nathan (that simple kiss on the cheek still undoes me), or the sizzling tension she has with Duke (but she soothes his soul, I tell myself!), and yes, sometimes my little shipping heart wonders what it would be like if all that tension between Nathan and Duke were used in a different way.

Who do you ship on the show—and it doesn't have to be limited to a twosome (wink, wink)?

[All the ships, plus a poll, are docking in Haven...]

Sun
Sep 14 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Misbehavior: Exclusive Excerpt

Kathryn Kelly

Misbehavior by Kathryn Kelly

Matthew “Val” Taylor, the Road Captain in the club, was introduced to sex at an early age. Saved from the streets by the club’s Enforcer and President years ago, Val now lives for women and the open road. Until the night the only woman he’s ever loved is almost killed. Val is determined to change his ways and be the man Zoann Donovan should have and the father their son deserves.

Zoann has loved Val for a long time. Violence and bitter betrayal forces her to ignore her feelings and distance herself not only from the sexy RC, but her beloved brother, too. Until she discovers the truth. Can Zoann ever be forgiven for all the pain she’s caused? Will Val overcome his own demons and have a future with her and their son? Who will survive in an MC filled with lust and revenge, love and hate?

Warning: This is a tale of rape, murders, deception, heartache, lies, and infidelity. The road to redemption is a tumultuous struggle where only the strong survive and justice is served…Outlaw-style.

Get a sneak peek of Kathryn Kelly's Misbehavior (available September 17, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Zoann opened her eyes, the sunlight streaming through the windows hurting her eyes. An itch hit her nose and she scratched it, the ring on her finger bumping against the bridge. She frowned. A ring?

The last time she’d awakened, her finger had been bare. But, then, again, a bunch of people had been in the room, even Father Wilkins…

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt from Misbehavior...]

Sun
Sep 14 2014 10:00am

First Look: Alicia Hunter Pace’s Forgiving Jackson (September 15, 2014)

Forgiving Jackson by Alicia Hunter PaceAlicia Hunter Pace
Forgiving Jackson
Crimson Romance / September 15, 2014 / $4.99 digital

Coming home to Beauford Bend opens up old wounds for four sexy, successful brothers, but the love of a few good Southern women will heal their hearts and change their lives forever.

Country music heartthrob Jackson Beauford isn’t used to hearing “no” for an answer. When a tragic fire at one of his concerts stirs memories of the blaze that claimed his family years ago, all he wants is to go back to his childhood home in Tennessee and wallow in his grief. But he arrives home to chaos . . . and a Southern magnolia with her heels dug in.

After suffering a vicious attack in New York City, Emory Lowell returned to Beauford Bend, a place she’s loved since she was a teenager. Now in charge of Around the Bend Elegant Events, she’s not about to let a spoiled superstar take away her livelihood. The boutique artisan town of Beauford depends on this business, and so does she. With its high walls and around-the- clock security, Beauford Bend is the only place she’s ever truly felt safe.

Jackson insists she close down his late aunt's business and leave him in peace, but quiet Emory refuses to budge, knowing this is a battle worth fighting. As a passionate attraction flares between these two wounded souls, they discover there’s much more at stake here than business. Jackson may be just the person to help Emory face her past, and if she can help him learn to forgive himself, their love might be the key to turning Beauford Bend back into a real home.

Two wounded individuals intersecting at the same place with the overriding desire for shelter and solace shouldn’t be at cross purposes. But they are when it means two different things, as in Alicia Hunter Pace's Forgiving Jackson.

[Sounds deliciously complicated...]

Sat
Sep 13 2014 12:00pm

Outlander: Unpacking a Controversial Scene

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon**Spoiler Alert! If you have yet to read Outlander or are new to the show, do NOT read ahead. This post is unpacking a very controversial scene from the book. Reader beware!**

When I first picked Outlander up, nearly fifteen years ago, my love for it was immediate, overwhelming, and complete. I devoured every page—the plot, the setting, and above all the unconventional romance between Jamie and Claire, whose love story would go on to form the backbone of so many sequels. I was certain that this remarkable book was destined for a spot in my all-time Top Five…

…and then I got to the part where Jamie beats Claire.

Hello, needle-on-a-record-album screeching sound!

Now, in fairness, it’s possible that I would react to That Scene a little bit differently were I to encounter it for the first time today, when everyone has safe words and fur-lined handcuffs, while unassuming suburban split-levels are being outfitted with their very own Red Rooms of Pain. It’s possible…but it’s not likely. What Jamie does to Claire is not done in a fun, consensual, Fifty-Shades-of-Tartan kind of way. It’s done out of anger, frustration, desperation, and even in a sense necessity, as Jamie is in danger of losing the respect of his men for “allowing” Claire to behave in such an erratic and potentially dangerous manner:

[She might need to be put in her place...but this way?]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: A Venti Hottie, Please!

David GandyT'is the season of Pumpkin Spice Latte's and colder weather clothing. Well, what's a cold day without a cup of joe to warm you up—and a side of beefcake to get you even hotter.

We scoured the interwebs for hot men drinking hot coffee and found some other pretty sexy contenders, including David Gandy, Patrick Dempsey, Lenny Kravitz, and so many more!

[Would you like whipped cream on that...]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 2:45pm

Drink Up! Boardwalk Empire and Jamie Brenner’s Gin Lovers

Boardwalk Empire

**Note: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Boardwalk Empire and Jamie Brenner's Gin Lovers, proceed with caution!**

It is the fifth and final season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. The glitz and the glam, the booze and bullets will be no more. Six years have passed since the shocking end to season four, but the blood and booze are still pouring, Nucky style.

It’s 1931, and the Great Depression is in full swing, beloved characters are dead (Who can forget Richard Harrow dying? My all time favorite character on BE and maybe all of television. His literal two faces; light and dark, deadly and loving… Le sigh). The remaining characters  are trying to reinvent themselves in the aftermath of the Stock Market Crash. Enoch “Nucky” Thompson is especially in a pinch. No more of that money flowing as free as the whiskey. Times are tough and Prohibition is an even tougher game, and more deadly.

[Ruh-roh, that doesn't sound good...]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 1:00pm

Firing Readers Up: Donna Grant’s Dark Kings Series

“They had a responsibility as Dragon Kings, a duty that no other could fulfill. An obligation caused by one of their own so very long ago."

The Dark King series by Donna Grant, has its origins a millennium ago, when dragons ruled over all the other creatures. The leaders—men who shifted into dragons—were powerful, magical and immortal, and became known as the Dragon Kings. When the humans appeared, the Kings' job was to protect them  and keep peace between both human and dragon race. Everything fell apart when a human woman who had vowed to love a Dragon King betrayed them all. The Dragon Kings had to conceal the dragon race from the human realm and placed a spell to protect any Dragon King from falling in love with a human again.

Eons later, a new evil lurks to disturb the peace the Dragon Kings have worked so hard to attain, pulling them into a war they don’t want. To make matters worse, the magic placed on the Dragon Kings is failing. One by one, the Dragon Kings are falling in love with the same race that had betrayed them all those years ago.

In the first Dark King book, Dark Craving, Hal has found his mate with the human, Cassie Hunter. The magic that was supposed to make him immune to human affection isn't working: “He wanted Cassie with an unmovable, unyielding tenacity.”

[We like that kind of tenacity...]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

Firebug: Exclusive Excerpt

Lish McBride

Firebug by Lish McBride

Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hitmen . . . and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her boss, Venus, killed Ava’s mother.

When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum, in Lish McBride's Firebug.

Get a sneak peek of Lish McBride's Firebug (available September 23, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

This is why we can't have nice things

I woke up in Ezra’s car. I could tell it was his because it was ostentatious, it was immaculately clean, and the warm leather seats smelled like Ez—a combination of vanilla and smug vanity. If a peacock could drive, this was the car it would pick. Lock’s leather jacket was draped over me even though the car was warm and I had my own jacket on. Ezra was curled up, asleep, in the back seat. All the shifting between forms had worn him out. I peeked over the collar of Lock’s jacket and saw the telltale fluorescents of a minimart.

[Continue on to read the full excerpt of a selected scene from Firebug...]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 10:53am

Nalini Singh Shares Rock Courtship Cover, Excerpt, and Release Date!

Rock Courtship by Nalini SinghJust a few weeks after releasing Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh will be publishing the next book in her Rock Kiss contemporary romance series, Rock Courtship. Here's the blurb:

What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn’t know is that David is a one-woman man...and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play. 

And Singh is sharing an excerpt at her website:

Since he’d sacked out for so long, he didn’t have much time before he had to head to a downstairs conference room for the interviews. He’d steeled himself for the inevitability of coming face-to-face with Thea, but the sight of her still threatened to gut him.

Scowling, she strode over on sky-high red heels worn with a sleeveless and tailored black dress that ended just above her knees. “Did you put ice on that eye?”

He made himself speak, act normal—he’d become pretty good at that after the length of time he’d loved her. “Yeah, past few hours.”

“What about last night?”

He shrugged.

Her glare could’ve cut steel.

Read the rest at Nalini Singh's website. Rock Courtship will be released September 30, 2014.

Fri
Sep 12 2014 9:30am

First Look: Connie Brockway’s The Songbird’s Seduction (September 16, 2014)

Connie Brockway
The Songbird's Seduction
Montlake Romance / September 16, 2014) / $9.99 print, $3.99 digital

Effervescent bon vivant Lucy Eastlake is a young operetta singer whose star is on the rise in Edwardian London. Though struggling to maintain her beloved great-aunts’ household, she holds fast to the belief that “things will work out.” Now, with the fiftieth anniversary of a siege her great-aunt Lavinia lived through approaching, it looks like Lucy is right, because a fortune is due to be divided among the survivors. All Lucy and her great-aunts have to do is travel to a small Pyrenees town to claim Lavinia’s share of a fabulous treasure in rubies. What could be more simple?

Professor Ptolemy Archibald Grant is the brilliant, straitlaced grandson of a British lord who also withstood the siege. When his grandfather asks him as a matter of honor to escort his old love on the journey, the about-to-be married professor agrees, not expecting Lucy to be part of the bargain. Losing the great-aunts en route, the handsome, buttoned-down professor finds himself caught up in Lucy’s quirky, bewildering, and probably illegal efforts to reunite with them, as he is drawn further and further into an inexplicable infatuation with the free-spirited singer. What could be more complicated?

But when unwilling attraction gives way to sizzling passion, both will be forced to confront the ages-old question of whether love trumps honor…or the other way around.

Oh, Connie Brockway's The Songbird's Seduction was a fun read! The setting is refreshingly different, set in 1908 Edwardian England, and has a distinct Bringing Up Baby vibe, a 1938 screwball comedy starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Our hero's name is even Ptolemy Archibald Grant (Archibald is Cary's real name) and he's a professor of anthropology. His heroine is Lucy Eastlake, and up and coming operetta singer and general free spirit. And while Cary Grant looked perpetually gob-smacked in the movie, poor Archie is similarly caught up in Lucy's whirlwind and left wondering what the heck happened to his well-ordered life.

[Seduction of the zaniest!]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 8:04am

What’s the Longest You’ve Gone Without Reading a Book?

Viggo Mortensen in Lord of the Rings

Home, work, relationships, family, school, a favorite television series or a big movie (or series of movies*); sometimes you get derailed from constantly reading (that's okay!)

Worse is when you just can't get into anything, so you decide to take a break from reading for a bit to get your excitement back.

No matter what the distraction, we're wondering—what's the longest time you've gone without reading a book? 

*We don't blame you; Aragorn is easy on the eyes.

Thu
Sep 11 2014 3:00pm

Looking for Love in Fall’s Returning Shows

Source: theaerogram.com

**Spoiler Alert: This post will contain many HUGE spoilers from previous seasons of New Girl, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Vampire Diaries. Only read if you're caught up with each show or don't care about spoilers**

Networks have been airing previews, and we've gotten some tantalizing hints about what's in store for our favorite TV couples. Below, I take a look at four of my personal favorites—New Girl, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine Nine (side note: I'm really into FOX shows right now, if you couldn't tell), and The Vampire Diariessome of which had MAJOR shakeups back in April/May, and speculate on what could happen next.

New Girl:

Where we left off: After a whirlwind relationship and a surprisingly mature break up, Nick and Jess were on rocky ground trying to figure out how to navigate their new dynamic while living in the same apartment. In the season finale, they acknowledge that, while they still feel for each other, they can put those feelings on hold and finally go back to being friends.

[That doesn't sound like an HEA...]