<i>Dragonbane</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Dragonbane: Exclusive Excerpt Sherrilyn Kenyon <i>Perfect Touch</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Perfect Touch: Exclusive Excerpt Elizabeth Lowell "She looked eerily beautiful, like a dream." <i>Stepbrother, Mine</i> #1: Exclusive Excerpt Stepbrother, Mine #1: Exclusive Excerpt Opal Carew "Butterflies fluttered through her stomach as she stepped into his suite." <i>30 Days</i>: Exclusive Excerpt 30 Days: Exclusive Excerpt Christine d'Abo "I have to be honest, some guys would be weirded out by this."
From The Blog
July 29, 2015
The 12 Feels You Feel Reading Serialized Fiction
Kate J. Squires
July 27, 2015
Intro to Ménage in Erotic Romance
paranormalibrarian
July 26, 2015
2015 RITA and Golden Heart Winners!
Team H & H
July 25, 2015
Trending Names in Romance
Nicole Leapheart
July 25, 2015
H&H ICYMI: Major Cover Reveals, August Romance Shopping List, Win Ilona Andrews’s Magic Shifts, and More!
Team H & H
Sun
Jul 26 2015 3:00pm

RWA Announces 2015 RITA and Golden Heart Winners!

Run to You by Clara KensieOh, what a night! Romance writers and readers gathered together for the annual RITA awards ceremony honoring the year's best works in romance at the conclusion of the 2015 Romance Writers of America national conference, held at Times Square's Marriott Marquis in New York City.

In March, we brought you a list of the nominees. Now, read on for a complete list of the 2015 RITA and Golden Heart winners!

2015 RITA Winners

Best First Book
Run to You
by Clara Kensie
Harlequin, TEEN
Natashya Wilson, editor

[See the rest of the RITA and Golden Heart winners...]

Sun
Jul 26 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Stepbrother, Mine #1: Exclusive Excerpt

Opal Carew

Stepbrother, Mine #1 by Opal Carew

Dana's always had a clear vision of what she wanted out of life. But when her father dies during her final year of college, Dana's whole world threatens to topple down. In desperate need of money, she comes up with an idea. It's scandalous. It's HOT. And it's got everybody talking. . .Is Dana really going to auction off her own virginity? And at what cost?

Get a sneak peek at Opal Carew's Stepbrother, Mine #1 (available July 28, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Dana stared at the letter in her hand, all the blood rushing from her face. Her fingers began to tremble and the paper nearly slipped from her grip.

She sank down in the chair.

“Hey, what’s up?” her roommate Elli asked, as she walked past and slumped on the couch across from her. “You’re white as a ghost.”

“I … uh…” Dana glanced up at the slim, tall blonde who shared the small, two-bedroom apartment with her. It was a bit dumpy, but it was only a ten-minute walk from the university. “It’s from my mom.”

“Oh? What does the bitch have to say?”

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

Sun
Jul 26 2015 10:30am

First Look: Emilie Richards’s The Color of Light (July 28, 2015)

The Color of Light by Emilie Richards

Emilie Richards
The Color of Light
Mira / July 28, 2015 / $14.95 print, $7.99 digital

The deeper the darkness, the brighter the light

For more than a decade minister Analiese Wagner has felt privileged to lead her parishioners along a well-lit path. Her commitment has never been seriously tested until the frigid night she encounters a homeless family huddling in the churchyard. Offering them shelter in a vacant parish house apartment and taking teenage Shiloh Fowler—a girl desperate to rescue her parents—under her wing, she tests the loyalty and faith of her congregation.

Isaiah Colburn, the Catholic priest who was her first mentor and the man she secretly longed for, understands her struggles only too well. At a crossroads, he's suddenly reappeared in her life, torn between his priesthood and his growing desire for a future with Analiese.

Divided between love and vows they've taken, both must face the possibilities of living very different lives or continuing to serve their communities. With a defeated family's trust and her own happiness on the line, Analiese must define for herself where darkness ends and light begins.

Emilie Richards' The Color of Light illuminates the journey of three solitary characters, all responsible to and for others, as they come together in a complicated, heartfelt pattern. Analiese ministers to a privileged community, she’s daughter, sister, and servant—but has she ever had to guide her congregation so Biblically before? Shiloh is a homeless teenager, a daughter turned parent. She’s wise, wary, and vulnerable—can she learn to trust again? Isaiah, the priest at the crossroads: how can he create a way forward that allows him to integrate everything he believes in and loves?

[Bankrupt on happiness...]

Sat
Jul 25 2015 2:00pm

Signed with an X: Trending Names in Romance

The Billionaire's Game by J.S. Scott

The subject of hero naming trends never gets old. With the popularity of some books or television shows we see an influx of heroes with familiar sounding names (hello Christian and Jax!) However, there are some hero names that are staples in the romance genre that make me wonder “Who really has this name?” or “Why are so many authors choosing this name?” I’m talking about names that seem to be exclusive to romantic novels across sub-genres. It occurred to me that I was reading a lot of books with similarly uniquely named heroes, and I did a quick bit of personal research on the names most popular in certain sub-genres. For instance:

1) Cade

Cade has been credited with having Gaelic roots, short for Caden. Perhaps Margaret Mitchell is the trend setter in modern times as she named a character Cade in Gone With the Wind. It seems these days everyone has a hero named Cade or the popular variation, Kade. I’m not complaining! I have yet to meet a Cade/Kade that I didn’t want to be rescued by. Cade had strong western romance beginnings, but now a lot of Cades seem to be dangerous urban alpha heroes with a score to settle.

[Name that trend...]

Sat
Jul 25 2015 12:00pm

First Look: J.S. Scott’s The Forbidden Billionaire (July 28, 2015)

The Forbidden Billionaire by J.S. Scott

J.S. Scott
The Forbidden Billionaire (The Sinclairs #2)
Montlake Romance / July 28, 2015 / $12.95 print, $4.99 digital

All of Jared Sinclair’s wealth still can’t ease the pain from his terrible childhood…or his guilt over a recent tragedy. Unable to forgive himself, the billionaire property investor buries his emotions, toughens his skin, and becomes a notorious womanizer, refusing to commit his heart to a woman when he’s convinced she wants only his wallet.

But ever since Jared arrived in Amesport, Maine, he’s been intrigued by Mara Ross, the petite and sexy shop owner who asks nothing of him. When Mara’s store is purchased without her knowledge, she stands on the brink of losing her home, her livelihood, and generations of family history. Then the irresistibly persuasive Jared proposes a business deal to Mara…and soon draws her into a steamy, sensual affair, convincing her that he’s anything but cold. However, when a revelation shakes Mara’s fragile trust to the core, Jared must finally confront the truth about his past.

In The Forbidden Billionaire, J.S. Scott brings the next chapter in her passionate Sinclairs series to life.

J.S. Scott's book has an unusual opening for a romance novel. We first meet the billionaire hero not when he’s closing a business deal, or buying trinkets for his harem, but when he’s in what one would call ‘a state of liquid exuberance’. It’s also clear that Jared’s not the fun type of drunk who twerks provocatively for the benefit of a floor lamp or plays Goon of Fortune. No, he’s one very surly and unhappy drunk, and his drinking is an attempt to forgot two unnamed people who have BETRAYED him.

[Meet the new and improved Jared...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Men Who Played Writers on Screen

Joseph Fiennes as Shakespeare in Shakespeare In Love

Don't know if I can say that writers are the best lovers, but these characters made us believe in their words, books, and ablities to create a New York Times' Bestseller. Taye Diggs evoked every emotion from betrayl to sympathy as Harper Stewart in The Best Man. Ethan Hawke had us wondering about the one that got away as he played Jesse in Before Sunset.

Not all actors have played love-struck writers. Sean Connery was a writer/mentor in Finding Forrester and Jack Nicholson still scares me as Jack Torrance in The Shining. A round of applause because being a writer isn't easy.

So, in honor of the Romance Writers of America Conference (#RWA) we have rounded up a few of the most desirable actors who have played writers in movies. 

Also, please comment below your favorite actor who has played a writer or your favorite male romance writer in the comments below! 

[Mad, funny, or just plain sexy hot writers...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 2:00pm

Second Chances in a Small Town: Laura Trentham’s Caught Up in the Touch

Caught Up in the Touch by Laura Trentham

“Unlike his cousin, he’d never fought the ties that bound him to Falcon. He’d gone away to college, but his heart ached for home like a tree cut off from its nourishing roots.”

Small town reads are one of my favorite tropes. It’s the sense of community and family in each one that can make this “setting”, into an actual character that lives and breathes. This can be said of the town of Falcon, the setting of Laura Trentham's Caught Up In the Touch.

The premise of Caught Up In the Touch is one of second chances, at love and remaking their lives on their terms, for both characters. Jessica Montgomery heads to Falcon to try to recruit Logan Wilde for her father’s company. When she lands in Falcon, a series of events unfold that forces her to stay longer than expected, and she’s charmed by the magic of the town. Jessica has been struggling under her father’s thumb and the people, especially Logan, fill her with a peace that she has been missing.

[Taking some time away helps to open the heart...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

30 Days: Exclusive Excerpt

Christine d'Abo

30 Days by Christine d'Abo

For years, Alyssa has been going to bed with a memory. Is she ready to wake up with a fantasy?

Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mate, but not Alyssa Barrow. She met Rob at nineteen, and they were set to live happily ever after—until he became ill. In his final days, Rob urged his beautiful, young wife not to abandon happiness—or pleasure. He even left her a special gift, a sexy game plan to help her move on: Thirty cards with instructions for thirty days of passion. You’ll know when the time is right, he’d said. Now it’s two years later, and when Alyssa meets her hot new neighbor, Harrison Kemp, she begins to think the right time is right now…

From his sculpted thighs to his devilish grin, Harrison is the kind of man women want. Before she can lose her nerve, Alyssa tells Harrison about her long-ignored cards…and asks him to help her fulfill them. It’s a favor he’s more than happy to, um, perform. With his skillful touch, and the hot press of his lips against her skin, Alyssa finds herself re-awakening to life—and a host of other sensations. But what began as not-so-innocent fun soon grows into true intimacy, and Alyssa realizes she’s opening herself up not just to sex…but to love. When it comes to a future with Harrison, what’s really in the cards?

Get a sneak peek at Christine d'Abo's 30 Days (available July 28, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

I’d been standing in front of Harrison’s front door for the better part of ten minutes, wondering how much of an ass he thought I was. God, I’d had my moments of being an idiot in the past, but this was the first time I’d embarrassed myself this badly. I had no choice but to apologize—he hadn’t deserved me losing my shit on him like that, and at the very least I owed him a new shirt.

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

Wed
Jul 22 2015 9:49am
Original Story

H&H Quickie #10: Kerrigan Byrne Presents “Chasing the Storm”

Kerrigan Byrne

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

We are honored and thrilled to share with you a brand-new original Quickie by Kerrigan Byrne, who took your prompts and ran with them to craft not just a scene but a short story that's sure to leave you with a smile and happy sigh as we wait for Kerrigan's next full-length novel, The Highwayman, out September 2, 2015. Enjoy!

***

Last month, we asked you to offer suggestions (“prompts”) as inspiration for a short original scene, and you blew us away with a ton of great prompts.

Here are the prompts she chose for (with thanks to everyone who left a suggestion, because there were so many fantastic options):

  • Cornwall's windswept-moors and a stolen/forbidden kiss (Tiffinie Helmer)
  • Highwayman and ribbon (anitaclenney)
  • Romantic dance at a masquerade ball (Debra Burge)
  • A skeleton key (VR Barkowski)
  • Love letter found tucked between the pages of a book (Yendo)
  • In the bright flash of the fierce lightning storm she sees a dark looming figure (sonia Bissonette)

Without further ado, allow us to present Kerrigan Byrne's H&H Quickie, “Chasing the Storm.”

[Read “Chasing the Storm” here...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 9:30am

Earth, Wind, Fire, and Air...and More: Cassandra Gannon’s The Elemental Phases Series

Queen of the Magnetland by Cassandra Gannon

I took a look on my Amazon recommendations and saw a title called The Queen of Magnetland. Seeing as this was the first book in a series and I was jonesing for something X-Men/fantasy-like I decided to one-click the first book in Cassandra Gannon’s Elemental series, Warrior from the Shadowland. What I didn’t know at the time is that I would spend the next five days reading this cracktackular series.

The Elemental Phases is completely different from any other paranormal/fantasy world out there. The basic idea is that immortal beings called Phases that exist keep the world moving. Each Phase is born into an Elemental house. Where this idea gets really cool is that the Phases aren’t just earth, water, air, fire a la Captain Planet. Instead there are Cloud Phases, Color Phases, Magnet Phases, Electricity Phases, etc. each of which upholds that element on Earth. When the series starts, the Elemental Phase community has been decimated by a plague released by the Air House. Now, literal elements in the universe are falling apart because there are not enough of individual Phases left in some of the Houses to sustain a particular element. One example is Cloud House, the Cloud Phases are extinct so now clouds look flat and have no shape to them.

In addition to the cool array of elements included in the series, you also have a fated mate trope as Phases want to find their Phase-Match, basically their soul mate. At the beginning of the series, Cross, the last of the Shadow Phases finds his soulmate in Nia of the Water House. The two must work together to try and find a cure for the plague that is decimating their people while at the same time falling in love. The sex scenes, known as Phasing, aren’t particularly graphic but still romantic.

[Join the elements of ....]

Thu
Jul 23 2015 4:30pm

Love in Sherwood Forest: Romancing Robin Hood

Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn in the movie Robin and Marian

When talk turns to iconic lovers, whose romance has been keeping readers and viewers enthralled for literally centuries, the discussion wouldn’t be complete without giving some serious time to Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Bards of old knew the appeal of an exiled noble turned outlaw with a heart of gold, who robbed from the rich to give to the poor, turned his back on privilege to find something better, and found, in the doing, that the real treasure was the love of a highborn lady who would choose to follow her heart rather than the plans set forth for her by others. No wonder this love story has continued to endure and thrive, reimagined, reinterpreted and given new life with each new telling.

Moviemakers knew this, too. From Errol Flynn’s landmark swashbuckler (Bugs Bunny optional) to Disney’s animalistic take on the legend, Mel Brooks’ humorous take, Keira Knightley’s action-adventure take on Marian, not to mention the BBC series that graced us with Gerard Butler’s presence, up through the heart-rending Robin and Marian, where Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn bring all the feels with the middle aged lovers making one last grab for happily ever after, the story of Robin and Marian is a natural for the romance genre, so no wonder romance writers have found more than one way to make the legend their own.

[A legendary heroic outlaw...]

Thu
Jul 23 2015 2:00pm

Cover Thursday: Exclusive Cover Reveal from Mandy Baxter

Today H&H is thrilled to reveal three covers from Mandy Baxter's Billioniare's Club Series. What's better than one billionaire? A whole three...that are brother! See how the Christensen boys find their happily ever afters in The Billionaire Heartbreaker, The Billionaire Single Dad, and Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher!

[Learn more about the books and check out the amazing covers...]

Thu
Jul 23 2015 12:00pm

Mistaken Beardentity: Penny Reid’s Truth or Beard

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

In Penny Reid’s Truth or Beard, we encounter the six notorious bearded Winston brothers. The Winstons previously appeared in Penny’s Beauty and the Mustache. These brothers are a delicious fantasy, six super sexy, rugged small town Tennessee men and all of them are single and in need of a woman. Form an orderly line, Ladies!

Did I mention that these sexy brothers all have beards? These aren’t guys with hipster beards either. They’re rocking the super masculine kind of beard. They’re the kind of bearded guys who wear flannel shirts and chop logs and if needed, they’ll take down a grizzly bear with their bare hands. I should admit that I am vehemently pro-beard but regardless of where you might stand on male grooming, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the bearded Winston men.

Truth or Beard stars the amazing Duane. Here we have a hero with red hair. That’s right, he’s a ginger! He’s a ginger beard man! Let’s not forget that hot gingers are definitely having a moment—think Sam Heughan, Prince Harry, Damian Lewis, Eddie Redmayne, Ed Sheeran, and Conan O’Brien.

[Bring on the ginger...]

Thu
Jul 23 2015 9:30am

First Look: Rhonda Helms’s Break Your Heart (July 28, 2015)

Rhonda Helms
Break Your Heart
Kensington / July 28, 2015 / $9.95 print & $4.99 digital

Fearless and flirtatious, Megan Porter isn't your typical math major. On the fast track to graduating with honors, a spot in her school's masters program is nearly guaranteed. But her senior year is quickly turned upside-down by her new thesis advisor, cryptography professor Dr. Nick Muramoto. Young, effortlessly good-looking, and intellectual, he's far more intriguing than the immature jocks Megan usually goes for. And as she decodes the hidden messages he leaves in the margins of her assignments and in their emails, she realizes this might be more than a schoolgirl crush—especially after they share a passionate kiss...

Soon Nick and Megan grow closer, and their different worlds begin to merge. But if their relationship is discovered, Nick's career could be over. With Megan's parents close to campus on business, hiding their love becomes an even greater challenge. Yet keeping secrets will lead Megan to discover hers is just one piece in a much larger puzzle—next to her mother's stash of painkillers—that may put her carefully laid plans for the future in jeopardy.

Teacher-student, New Adult, interracial romance. With Break Your Heart, author Rhonda Helms deftly gift-wraps several trope-tastic elements and freshens up a subgenre that's been glutted by a lot of the same stories. In this follow-up to 2014's Scratch, math geek Megan Porter and cryptography professor Nick Muramoto are as far from the standard NA set-up as you can imagine, bonding over their love of puzzles and an instant attraction. Neither of them needs any kind of healing, just a safe place to share their dreams, and the threat of discovery and accusations of impropriety are a big enough conflict to keep things interesting.       

[We're interested...]

Thu
Jul 23 2015 8:08am

Team H&H is at RWA!

Last night kicked off the festivities for the annual Romance Writers of America National Conference. While Team H&H is always glad to travel around the country for conference, we're thrilled to welcome all the romance writers, readers, and crew to our city as Heroes and Heartbreakers calls New York City its home base. Team H&H's Heather Waters and Jenn Proffitt will be at RWA this week, so stay tuned for news and tweets from the conference. If you're there, come say hi—we're friendly see, this photo from right before the literacy signing is proof!

In the spirit of the conference, and for those who aren't there this week, do you remember what, if any, RITA winning books you've read (either from this year or years past)? Let us know in the comments!

Wed
Jul 22 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Jayne Castle’s Siren’s Call (July 28, 2015)

Siren's Call by Jayne Castle

Jayne Castle
Siren's Call (Rainshadow Series #2)
Jove/ July 28, 2015 / $7.99 print, digital

In the mysterious world of Harmony, there are places filled with unexplored marvels. But Rainshadow Island isn’t about to give up its secrets…

In the alien catacombs of Rainshadow, there are creatures whose compelling songs lure the unwary to their death. That’s why Rafe Coppersmith, hired to clear out the catacombs for exploration, needs a music talent. He’s knows the perfect one, but she probably doesn’t want anything do with him...

Ella Morgan had once fallen hard and fast for Rafe, but then he disappeared for months…and he’s not about to tell her why. Ella, too, has secrets that only her dust bunny knows. She’s not just a music talent, she’s a Siren: a paranormal singer capable of singing men to sleep—or to their deaths.

But once on Rainshadow, Rafe and Ella will learn that surrendering to passion doesn’t come without risks—and fighting fire with fire only adds to the flame…

Siren’s Call is the fourth installment in Jayne Castle’s Rainshadow series. A spin off of her popular Harmony series, Rainshadow is an island that has become a refuge of sorts to those who don’t fit in with Harmony’s upper class society. People with unusual or dangerous psi talents gravitate to the island, knowing the island tends to protect its inhabitants from outsiders. The island, a hot bed of unexplored alien energy areas, keeps the local talent on their toes. Dry witty humor and a suspenseful mystery go hand in hand to create a well developed storyline that tends to revolve around two “misfits” who band together to investigate the island's unusual alien infrastructure. Personable characters, intriguing plot lines, and vivid world building makes each installment a fun engaging read. Though each book can be read as a stand alone, this series does interact with her Harmony and Arcane series as the three series follow specific families through time.

[Two misfits fight fire...]

Wed
Jul 22 2015 3:15pm

Romance News Roundup: Sherrilyn Kenyon Excerpt & RWA Update!

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.

Dragonbane by Sherrilyn Kenyon—Sherrilyn Kenyon has shared another peek at her latest Dark-Hunter novel, Dragonbane! And if you haven't already, do read our Chapter 1 excerpt!

—Happy RWA week! Are you in New York City for the Romance Writers of America national conference? We hope everyone attending has a blast and that we see many of you around! If you'll be following along from home, stay tuned to our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds for live updates from the con!

—Deal Alert: Jill Sanders's romantic suspense Secret Seduction is currently free in e-book at e-tailers Amazon and iBookstore, and it's marked down to $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble.*

—The news roundup will be taking a brief hiatus for the rest of the week for RWA craziness, but it'll be back next week!

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

Wed
Jul 22 2015 2:30pm
Excerpt

Forsaken: Exclusive Excerpt

Lisa Renee Jones

Forsaken by Lisa Renee Jones

Six years ago, Chad’s hunt for a dangerous treasure turned deadly when his family home was set on fire, his parents killed. Faking his and his sister Amy’s death to protect her from further retaliation, he set her up in a new life with a friend’s help, letting her believe he’d died.

But now the men who hired Chad to find the treasure have found him, imprisoning and torturing him to learn where it’s hidden. A dark-haired beauty named Gia helps him escape, promising him access to his worst enemy. And as he tries to unravel the deep secrets of the past, he starts falling for her…only to discover she’s not what she seems.

Unable to trust anyone, Chad focuses on only two things: protecting his sister Amy and getting revenge. Is love even possible in the midst of heartache?

Get a sneak peek at Lisa Renee Jones's Forsaken (available August 18, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“You need to know that the first chance I have to make it happen, I will you out of this.”

“If I don’t want to go?”

“You’ll go.”

[Read the full excerpt...]

Wed
Jul 22 2015 1:30pm

Suits and Swagger: Favorite Legal-Themed Romances from Ally McBeal, James, Long, and More!

Playing with Trouble by Chanel Cleeton

Today we're thrilled to have Chanel Cleeton on Heroes and Heartbreakers. Chanel's most recent release, Playing with Trouble, is the second book in her legal and political-themed series Capital Confessions series. Each of Chanel's books deals with lawyers and the political world of a high-powered family. Chanel is here today to talk about the appeal of the legal-themed romances and share some of her favorites. Thanks, Chanel!

My fascination for legal themes in fiction began at a young age. One of my earliest crushes was inspired by Tom Cruise’s character in A Few Good Men. There was something about his playful attitude turned lethal in a courtroom that spoke to me (not to mention how good he looked in a uniform).

As I grew older, shows like Ally McBeal and Scandal and movies like Legally Blonde only fueled my interest, adding in that romantic element that I craved. While three years of law school dimmed the enthusiasm a bit, once I’d escaped its clutches, I found myself gravitating toward legal-themed romances and the clever banter and crackling chemistry they often provide.

[Put him in a suit and tie...]