<i>Deception Island</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Deception Island: Exclusive Excerpt Brynn Kelly "Daring beauty who's nothing he expects and everything he desires." <i>Baker's Dozen</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Baker's Dozen: Exclusive Excerpt Allison Fuller "It’s been a long time since she’s felt youthful..." <i>Interference</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Interference: Exclusive Excerpt Sophia Henry "It took every ounce of willpower I had not to..." <i>Stare Him Down</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Stare Him Down: Exclusive Excerpt Riley Murphy "She grabbed at his shoulders as he moved to kneel in front of her."
From The Blog
May 25, 2016
Using—and Not Using—Birth Control in Romance
willaful
May 18, 2016
What Is the Difference Between New Adult and Women's Fiction?
Jessica Moro and Scarlettleigh
May 17, 2016
Come Fly With Me (and Chanel Cleeton)
JohnJacobson
May 16, 2016
8 Signs You Might Be Dating a Paranormal Creature
Linda Grimes
May 15, 2016
Once Upon a Dream: A Regency Vacation Read
Janet Webb
Sun
May 22 2016 10:00am

First Look: Tanya Michaels’ Turning Up the Heat (May 24, 2016)

Turning Up the Heat by Tanya Michaels

Tanya Michaels
Turning Up the Heat (Friends with Benefits #1)
Harlequin Blaze / May 24, 2016 / $5.50 print & digital

There’s a reason why Tanya Michaels is an award-winning romance author with over forty novels and multiple RITA nominations. Her prose pulls the reader in effortlessly and we are whisked away into the journey of our hero and heroine as they navigate their attraction, their misunderstandings, and their happily ever after. Turning Up the Heat is a prime example.

Phoebe Mars is a pastry chef, newly dumped by her now ex-boyfriend, Cameron Pala, head chef at the restaurant Piri. Now the pastry chef for All The Right Notes, Phoebe is cursed with having to see her ex at a mutual friend’s party. Enter Heath Jensen, business partner and half-owner of Piri. He’s been one of Phoebe’s best friends since they started working together. To help Phoebe get Cam back, Heath propositions Phoebe. They pretend to date, no emotions, purely physical, and he will help her tap into her sex appeal that she fears is non-existent. Saying no to Heath is almost impossible, especially after that kiss…

[That... kiss...]

Sat
May 21 2016 12:02pm
Excerpt

Interference: Exclusive Excerpt

Sophia Henry

Interference: A Pilots Hockey Novel by Sophia Henry

Linden Meadows doesn’t back down from anyone, especially if her family’s involved. So when her little brother’s new hockey coach benches him in the middle of a game, Linden lets him have it. She also notices that the coach is way hotter than she expects, but Linden won’t let herself get burned by another athlete. Been there, done that—and had a kid at seventeen to show for it.

When Jason Taylor isn’t taking abuse from hockey moms, he’s patrolling the streets as a member of the Bridgeland PD. After Jason pulls Linden over for speeding, he begins to see that there’s more to her than a big mouth . . . or a lead foot. Their chemistry leads to good company, intense conversation, and an intimacy that pushes beyond the boundaries of friendship. And yet Linden’s decision to keep her now three-year-old son, Holden, is a painful reminder to Jason that his own mother gave him up for adoption.

Linden’s sure she’s found the man to round out their family. But when Holden’s deadbeat dad forces his way back into the picture, Jason starts to back off. He needs time—to heal, to grow, and to love with all his heart.

Get a sneak peek at Sophia Henry's Interference (available June 7, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“What do you recommend, Indie?” The woman asked, glancing at me before dropping her eyes back to the menu.

“Um, well,” I said, faltering. How did the cop’s mom know my name? Had he told his mom about me?

“She read your name tag. Don’t get your hopes up.” Officer Taylor nodded at my chest.

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

Fri
May 20 2016 5:30pm

Eloisa James Companion & Kristen Ashley’s Midnight Soul Cover: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Breaking a Legend by Sarah Robinson—Deal Alert: Sarah Robinson's Kavanagh Legends/MMA romance Breaking a Legend is $.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.* We may be a tad biased about this one; we revealed the cover!

Deal Alert: Vicki Lewis Thompson's contemporary cowboy romance Midnight Thunder is $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Amazon, etc.* Why ARE cowboy heroes so gosh darn irresistible?

Fresh Outta the Oven

Two hunky cowboys are better than one! Take a look at the brand-new cover for Sarah M. Anderson's contemporary western male/male novella Crushing on the Cowboy, which hits stores June 27.

[+Eloisa James companion & Shakespeare's “wild 20s”...]

Fri
May 20 2016 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Omar Sy

This week I finally got around to watching Jurassic World. It was everything I hoped it would be—mindless action with hot Chris Pratt and cathartic closure on my childhood fear of Velociraptors. However, there is one unsung hero of the film franchise and that is Omar Sy, assistant raptor trainer to Pratt's Owen. I kept finding myself wanting more scenes with him, triple checking Jurassic-wiki to make sure his character didn't die, and rewinding when I realized I missed one of his few lines. Sure, Chris Pratt was hot, and I shipped the crap out of him and the stuffy Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, but my eye found Omar Sy in every scene. 

So, here is my ode to my latest crush—I will be checking out his backlist, though most of it is French (I say that like it's a bad thing). 

Fri
May 20 2016 2:00pm

“I Love You”: The 100 3x16 Bellarke & Clexa Heart-to-Heart

Clarke enters the city of light in The 100 season 3 finaleThe 100 Season 3: That's the dream. And now it's a reality, too. Welcome to H&H's weekly romance-focused episode reviews dedicated solely to tracking the show's relationships, especially Bellarke and Clexa. If this show has taught us anything, it's that this is going to be one wild ride, so buckle up!

Show/Episode: The 100 Season 3, Episode 16, “Perverse Instantiation: Part 2” (SPOILERS for this episode ahead, natch)
Ship(s): Clarke/Lexa (Clexa), Bellamy/Clarke (Bellarke)

The 100 Season 3 finale relationship tracker for ClexaClexa Cabal

The beauty of genre TV is that death doesn't have to be final. While repeated resurrections can cheapen death (I'm looking at you, Arrow), a well-timed temporary resurrection thanks to extremely advanced tech can be a welcome way to bring back a beloved character for a proper goodbye.

Losing Lexa earlier this season was just one decision that led to an overall uneven season of character development, though unlike some of the others this one was primarily driven by forces from outside the show. It wasn't just tragic for a fan base that had become attached to a wonderful character, but became emblematic of issues of LGBT representation on TV and the way creators interact with fans online.

But, because The 100 is a sci-fi show, because Lexa was connected to an incredibly complex AI, the finale was our chance to see our beloved Commander again. And for her and Clarke to share a few last intimate moments!

[Lexaaaaaaaa...]

Fri
May 20 2016 1:00pm

Scandal Season 5 Finale Olake Heart-to-Heart

Show/Episode: Scandal Season 5 Finale
Ship(s): Olivia/Jake (Olake)

Scandal Olake Heart-to-Heart

At the mid-season finale, Olitz was caput, Jake went home to Command, and Abby was just starting to properly fill the shoes of a White House Chief of Staff. Six months later, the Primary presidential race is on and it is dirty. (The team at Shondaland proved that truth was indeed stranger than fiction; at the Paley Center panel she confirmed that they had to go do quick rewrites when current presidential candidates actually said some of the over the top statements that were already part of Scandal scripts!)

The second half of this season introduced us to different versions of the characters we thought we knew so well. Olivia is a harder, colder Liv as she is still suffering from PTSD and her breakup with Fitz; Abby has realized how close she is to the power of the Oval Office and decides to make grabs for power, even if it means making an enemy of Olivia; Tom is sleeping with Cyrus (!), David is sleeping with Liz AND Susan, Mellie and Marcus have crushes on each other, and Jake appears to be domesticated under Command’s tutelage. There is never a dull moment in Shonda’s Washington.

[Never Ever...]

Fri
May 20 2016 11:05am

Relationships to Re-Reads: Comments That Made Our Week

Community Spotlight

We at Heroes and Heartbreakers are so proud of and thankful for this wonderful community. Thank you for always adding a little extra sparkle to our week. In honor of Fan Friday, we want to give a special shoutout to a few of our favorite comments, and the readers behind them. We love your work!


Amy Kat still has hope:

Amy Kat in Goodbye Ziva, Hello Daddy DiNozzo: NCIS 13x24 Tiva Heart-to-Heart

I think there is still some hope. There was no body shown, after all, and there was a TVLine interview with the show runner today in which he certainly implied that a reunion was not impossible. Perhaps for the series finale?

Scarlettleigh enjoys a good re-read:

Scarlettleigh in Does a Re-Read of a Book Hook You As Much as the Original?.

Sometimes I enjoy the book more the second time. That was the case with Ain't She Sweet by SEP. It was shocking to me how horrible Sugar Beth was — the bathroom scene, were she sets up her half-sister for embarrassment. That made Sugar Beth very unlikable to me. Read the rest...

[More discussion in here...]

Fri
May 20 2016 9:30am

Geralt of Rivia—The Witcher’s Romance Hero

Hi, I’m Christopher Morgan. You may remember me from such articles as, “Dinner, my enemy!” or “How I Fell in Love with an Alien Lizard”. Once upon a time, I was a far more regular presence here in the hallowed halls of Heroes and Heartbreakers.  I’ve been know as many things here. Romance Virgin, Tolkien aficionado, Star Wars Fanboy, and a gamer. But, it’s that last bit I would like to indulge for bit, if you will permit me.

You see, this whole thing emerged out of a conversation I recently had with a friend concerning power fantasies and gaming. The state of the gaming community is a bit… toxic, and I am perfectly willing to leave that discussion to those conversations to my far wiser and smarter betters. But, through course of that discussion, I made a realization. Geralt of Rivia, the Butcher of Blavakin, Witcher of the Wolf School, is, in fact, a Romance Hero.

[Stay with me now, for the night is dark and full of terrors and this is Witcher work…]

Fri
May 20 2016 8:20am

What’s the Fastest You’ve Caught Up with a Series?

I have recently discovered the beautiful world of Jeffe Kennedy's The Twelve Kingdoms after our reviewer took a first look at the spinoff series, Unchartered Realms. I fully intend to get caught up on the series within the next two weeks, in time for the start of the new series. 

How quickly can you get “caught up” on a series? What's the fastest you've gotten through and how many books was it?

Let us know in the comments!

Thu
May 19 2016 4:55pm

Sweet Steampunk Deal & Elizabeth Hoyt Teaser: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Prudence by Gail CarrigerDeal Alert: Gail Carriger's steampunk romance Prudence, Book 1 in the Custard Protocol series, is discounted to $2.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Amazon, etc.* Carriger's Alexia and Conall—from her Parasol Protectorate series—are one of the top 5 steampunk couples from book, screen, and comics, says Pip Ballantine.

—Deal Alert: Sara Jane Stone's best-friend's-little-sister/fling-to-thing contemporary Serving Trouble is only $.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.* What makes for standout moments in romance novels? Sara Jane Stone shares her take in a 2015 guest post.

Deal Alert: Tracey Garvis Graves' contemporary Heart-Shaped Hacker is on sale for $.99 in e-book at iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.* Gravis' On the Island got a callout in our “Best First Kisses” post by TanyaLK last year.

Fresh Outta the Oven

Riptide Publishing has launched Triton Books, a new YA LGBTQ imprint that aims to “give voice to those too often voiceless, to make YA literature for everyone.” Learn more at tritonya.com and get ready for the line's first books: J.K. Pendragon's Junior Hero Blues, Daisy Harris' Investigating Julius Drake, and Erica Cameron's Assassins: Discord.

[Elizabeth Hoyt excerpt & what to expect in The 100 finale...]

Thu
May 19 2016 4:30pm

Things Get Complicated: Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia Episode 5 (Chapter 4) Through Episode 7 (Chapter 6) Binge Read

Belgravia, Episode 5 by Julian Fellowes

Editor's Note: Julian Fellowes is taking his skills to the literary world in a new book,Belgravia, being released in individual installments, starting with the we've met the Trenchard and Brockenhurst families in the Prologue (Episode 1) &  Chapter 1 (Episode 2), gotten into quite a predicament in Chapter 2 (Episode 3), and stayed “at home” in Chapter 3 (Episode 4). And now we're onto our binge-reading recap of Episodes 5-7. 

Things are getting complicated in Belgravia. When we last visited the Trenchard and Brockenhurst families, we finally met Charles Pope, the grandson of Anne and James Trenchard and Caroline and Peregrine Bellasis, the Countess and Earl of Brockenhurst, at a soiree in Belgravia. The mysterious Mr. Pope piqued everyone’s interest, especially the Reverend Bellasis and his son John, the heirs to the Brockenhurst fortune. Everyone wanted to know why the Countess had taken an interest in the affable young man. Of course, poor Charles is completely in the dark as well. All he knows is that the Countess has agreed to support his business ventures. The only people aware of the secret behind the charade are Anne, James, and Caroline, all of whom are playing a dangerous game with the young man and the Trenchard reputation in society. We also met Lady Maria Grey, John Bellasis’ intended, who was clearly taken with Mr. Pope. Now, we are smack in the middle of various plots and intrigues, all of which are probably going to lead to a big reveal of Charles’ identity.

[Duh duh DUH!]

Thu
May 19 2016 2:30pm

Coverpalooza II with Lora Leigh, A.M. Arthur, Sheryl Nantus, and More!

Cover reveal bannerWhy beat the heat when you can bask in it?! We dial it up to 11 with your early bird access to mega-sexy covers for A.M. Arthur's Steady Stroke, Sheryl Nantus' Game On and Betting On Both, Jenna Bayley-Burke's Just Married, Jessica Linden's Fight for Me, May McGoldrick's Taming the Highlander, and Lora Leigh's serial edition of Wicked Pleasure! Mark your calendars for all 9 books and stay tuned to H&H for more exclusive sneak peeks.

Steady Stroke by A.M. Arthur (Off Beat series #2)

After a tragic accident, Lincoln West’s dreams of making it big as a guitarist fell apart. Unable to play music, he’s battling a hopeless downward spiral, and takes his friend’s offer to stay at their beach house for the summer. While at an open mike night at local bar Off Beat, he locks eyes with a busboy who doesn’t make Linc feel so broken anymore. 

Emmett Westmore lives for the anonymity of busing tables in his aunt’s quirky bar where no one pities him for the fire that killed everyone he loved. He blames himself for the fire, and he doesn’t want anyone to see him—except for Linc. Emmett’s walls drop when he’s around the gorgeous blue-eyed guitarist, but he has a secret that could destroy his budding relationship with Linc.

Both Linc and Emmett are looking for a way to live again…will they let their fears control them or take a chance on something real?

[+more Friday beefcake come early!...]

Thu
May 19 2016 12:00pm

Put Aside Your Differences: Arrow 4x22 Olicity Heart-to-Heart

Show/Episode: Arrow 4x22 “Lost in the Flood”
Ship(s): Oliver/Felicity (Olicity)

Arrow 4x22 Olicity Captain's Log

We begin right where we left off last week: Havenrock has been nuked and Damien is drawing the power of 20,000 souls via his magic idol in the Star City nexus chamber. Oliver and Diggle are unable to even get close to him, even arrows and bullets turn to dust without Damien even having to do so much as lift an eyebrow. He throws them around a little but leaves them alive, he has business at the ark to deal with, after all.

Thea is mourning over Alex, who is in fact dead. She’s devastated and while her back is turned, Anarky makes a break for it. Malcolm shows up and drags Thea back to her “house” where he ties her to a chair and demands her cooperation or else he’ll have to do something really unpleasant. Thea tells him to just get it over with.

Felicity is still reeling from the destruction of Havenrock but there isn’t much time for grief: there’s a clock ticking on Rubicon and she and her dad need to get busy stopping it once and for all. Felicity steals a quick hug for comfort before remembering she’s on the outs with her father and pushing away. Curtis arrives with ideas on how to help out with Havenrock and Felicity has to quickly fill him in on HIVE being behind the destruction. Curtis is on board to help out. Before they can get much work done, however, she gets a text that sends her running to the bunker.

[Uh oh...]

Thu
May 19 2016 11:00am
Excerpt

Stare Him Down: Exclusive Excerpt

Riley Murphy

Stare Him Down by Riley Murphy

When he agreed to walk away from the lifestyle for her, he never expected she’d subversively push him back into it. Until she did…

After tragedy stole the only man James Barrington looked up to, his perfect and orderly life hit a brick wall. One minute he was the right-hand man to the owner of the company, and in the next he was the boss fighting to stop a hostile takeover the only way he knew how. He needed to marry his late mentor’s over-protected daughter, Michaela Donavan, and stay married to her until the threat to the company was averted.

While they were together, James had no intention of disrespecting his in-name-only wife by remaining entrenched in the lifestyle. For the time being he was prepared to walk away from his Dom-like pursuits. He had to. Michaela was the opposite of everything he embodied. She was soft, where he was hard. Gentle, when he favored rough. She was refined and elegant. The epitome of a virtuous woman, and he wasn’t going to do anything to change that. Circumstances may have forced them to enter into a marriage of convenience in order to keep her father’s legacy alive, but the moment that legacy was secured they’d both be free to go their separate ways.

Michaela knew this may be her only opportunity to finally get the one man she has always fantasized about. She’s spent years studying him. Idolizing him. Wanting him in a way she wanted no other. And now? Well, her father always told her to seize whatever good came out of the bad, and Michaela was ready to do just that. Heartbroken over what happened, and faced with the task of saving the company, she sees James’ sensible offer as the perfect solution. A way to achieve two things she desired most at one time. James may consider this a marriage of necessity for the short term, but she’s determined to covertly change his mind on the matter.

Get a sneak peek at Riley Murphy's Stare Him Down (available May 31, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

The instant Michaela took his hand James pulled her into his arms and curled down to press his lips against her shoulder. He wanted to know firsthand if her skin there was as soft as it looked, and it was. “Hmm…that’s the strawberry scent I remember.”

She tilted her head back and frowned. “Really? I just recently changed to this moisturizer.”

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

Thu
May 19 2016 9:30am

First Look: Jeffe Kennedy’s The Pages of the Mind (May 31, 2016)

The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy
The Pages of the Mind (The Unchartered Realms #1)
Kensington / May 31, 2016 / $9.95 print, $7.99 digital

Jeffe Kennedy stunned me with her powerful tale of a magical people in her novel, Mark of the Tala. A story of promised mates and hidden sorcery, it is one of my favorite fantasy romances of all time. She returns now to that world with the first book in a new series, The Pages of the Mind, which introduces us to a beautiful tropical island, fated mates, and dragons.

Readers will remember quiet but strong castle librarian Dafne Mailloux from the author’s The Twelve Kingdom Series. When the story opens she is fretting over a prophecy regarding four armed men who are to appear before the newly crowned queen of the Twelve Kingdoms. They are harbingers of change but whether for good or bad the prophet didn’t know.

[We're guessing it's going to be easy to figure out, either...]

Thu
May 19 2016 8:35am

Does a Re-Read of a Book Hook You As Much as the Original?

Many of us turn to an old favorite when we're in a reading rut. It's a comfort read and yet, even though we've read it before, we can find ourselves just as sucked in. Suddenly it's 2 a.m. and even though we've read Ol' Faithful before, we're hooked just as much!

Do you find that to be true, or can you put down a book you've read before?

Let us know in the comments!

P.S. One of our readers is still in search of HER re-read—can you help her find this book?

Wed
May 18 2016 5:00pm

The Best Shakespearean Adaptations a.k.a. The Shakespearean Hotness Scale

Today we're thrilled to welcome author Lily Anderson (The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You). Lily is a huge fan of Shakespeare fan—after all, her debut is a geeky modern redo of Much Ado About Nothing—and is here today to rank some of her favorite Shakespeare adaptations based on shipability—because why else are we watching!? Thanks, Lily!

Everyone's heard of William Shakespeare's many plays (Romeo and Juliet,OthelloA Midsummer Night's DreamTwelfth Night, need I go on?) which means there are countless Shakespeare adaptations with their own couples to ship. Luckily, I am a noble Shakespeare nut and rated ten adaptations solely on their shipability level. Strike up, pipers!

10. O (2001) – Odin and Desi

Shipability: 1 Yorrick Skull out of 10

So, Othello. Not a cheery story there. But, when this movie came out, two short years after Julia Stiles’ other Shakespearean masterpiece, 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, how were we to know how scarred we were gonna be? Odin and Desi are a private school power couple until Hugo starts seeding thoughts of jealousy into Odin’s head. It’s all fun and games until the, um… murder-suicide.

That’s why it’s the bottom of the list, ya’ll! All I’m saying is that Odin and Desi might have had a shot if it weren’t for Josh Hartnett. Josh Hartnett is the root of all suffering.

[Josh Hartnett, why'd you have to ruin everything!]

Wed
May 18 2016 4:39pm

Barbara Samuel Deal & Alyssa Cole’s Extraordinary Cover: Romance News

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Night of Fire by Barbara Samuel—Deal Alert: Barbara Samuel's Night of Fire is a steal at $.99 in e-book at iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.* As fate would have it, Cheryl Sneed has written an ode to the delicious despair of a certain “memory of her hair” scene in Night of Fire, so, yeah: Consider this a heartfelt recommendation! (We eat up the angst around here.)

—Deal Alert: Maya Rodale's Lady Bridget's Diary is only $1.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, etc.* Not only can you peruse Jessica Moro's First Look at Lady Bridget's Diary but you can also read a juicy sample from the book.

—Deal Alert: Robyn Carr's Thunder Point contemporary The Wanderer is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.* One of Carr's books has led Scarlettleigh to wonder whether our favorite heroines can encourage us to seek out happier lives!

[+Alyssa Cole cover & discussions of the day!...]

Wed
May 18 2016 2:40pm

Goodbye Ziva, Hello Daddy DiNozzo: NCIS 13x24 Tiva Heart-to-Heart

Show/Episode: NCIS Season 13, Episode 24, “Family First”
Ship: Tony/Ziva (Tiva)

NCIS 13x24 Captain's Log

Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the Season 13, Episode 24 of NCIS. You are forewarned!

When news hit that Michael Weatherly, the specialist of Very Special Agents, would be leaving NCIS, I was sad, but not all that surprised—13 seasons and a burning desire to go behind the camera and it made sense for him to leave. However, his send off... was devastating. For those who watched, the Season 13 finale made sense for Tony. It made sense for Ziva. It did NOT make sense for Tony and Ziva (Tiva).

Overall this was actually a pretty great episode to send off a character except for one teensy tiny little detail...

[Spoilers ahead...]