Preview Crave App's Taylor Jenkins Reid's <i>One True Loves</i> Preview Crave App's Taylor Jenkins Reid's One True Loves Taylor Jenkins Reid "Everything that happened before today feels different now..." <i>Learning Curves</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Learning Curves: Exclusive Excerpt Cathryn Fox "His grin was slow, sexy…deliciously filthy..." <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..."
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
Tue
May 24 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

Deception Island: Exclusive Excerpt

Brynn Kelly

Deception Island by Brynn Kelly

A stolen boy
A haunted soldier
A cornered con woman…
Rafe Angelito thought he was done with the demons from his past—until his son is kidnapped. Blackmailed into abducting an American heiress, the legionnaire soon finds himself trapped in paradise with a fiery, daring beauty who's nothing he expects…and everything he desires. But when he uncovers her own dark secret, Rafe realizes he's made a critical mistake—one that could cost him everything.

Playing body double for a spoiled socialite was supposed to be Holly Ryan's ticket to freedom. But when she's snatched off her yacht by a tall, dark and dangerous stranger, the not-quite-reformed con artist will make a desperate play to turn her captor from enemy to ally, by any means necessary.

Yet as scorching days melt into sultry nights, Holly is drawn to the mysterious capitaine, with his unexpected sense of honor and his searing touch. When they're double-crossed, they'll have to risk trusting each other in ways they never imagined…because in this deadly game of deception, it's their lives—and hearts—on the line.

Get a sneak peek at Brynn Kelly's Deception Island (available May 31, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Why was the damn thing not working? In pitch darkness, Holly felt for the buttons on the sat phone and punched them for the tenth time. The screen stayed resolutely black. It’d been fully charged that afternoon, so it couldn’t be the batteries. Could it have been damaged? She was screwed. What now?

A fern rustled next to her. She pulled her feet onto the rock she was sitting on. Snake, scorpion or spider? After a minute the noise stopped. She eased to her feet and backed away—into something solid. She gasped, swiveling. A tree. Get a grip, princess. Could she creep back out to the beach and make a bonfire to attract a ship or plane before Rafe found her? And how the hell would she light it—rubbing sticks? Put her in a city alleyway and she’d know just how to survive. In the wild she couldn’t tell a turtle from a stone.

[Read the full excerpt...]

Tue
May 24 2016 11:15am

Hands Up: Unforgettable Law Enforcement Heroines in Romance

Heroes and Heartbreakers is thrilled to welcome Mary Burton (The Shark) to the site—on her release day, no less, yay! Mary writes about state troopers, FBI agents, and more, and is here to share some of her favorite badass ladies in law enforcement. Thanks, Mary!

I’ve been a fan of female police investigators since I was a kid. I cut my teeth on the likes of Nancy Drew but now gravitate to the less than perfect characters. All my favorite female fictional characters share similar qualities. They are hard working, smart and doing their best to balance a very difficult job as well as some kind of personal life. When the job or life knocks them down, they get back up and keep putting one foot in front of the other. All have their own quirks, family issues and personal demons not only make them more human but also better detectives.  These ladies aren’t pushovers.   

Who are some of my favorites?

I first crossed paths with Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren in Live to Tell. Smart, savvy and hard working, she’s made a name for herself in Boston’s P.D. as a top investigator. She’s cracked some of the toughest cases and survived a serial killer. 

[That's one badass lady...]

Tue
May 24 2016 9:30am

First Look: Linda Grimes’ All Fixed Up (May 24, 2016)

All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes

Linda Grimes
All Fixed Up (Ciel Halligan #4)
Tor Books / May 24, 2016 / $29.99 print, $14.99 digital

Ciel Halligan’s profession as a fixer, made possible by a genetic anomaly enabling her to take on the physical appearance of anyone she touches and borrows a bit of energy from, has gotten her into a few tight and dangerous spots in the past, but aside from the discomfort she feels with the unexpected test run in a plane at zero-G, her impersonation of a NASA astronaut for a day seems straightforward and uneventful enough—until the photographer assigned to her, Alec Loughlin, asks her who or what she really is. Alarm at the man’s apparent ability to see through her “disguise” turns to fear when he tries to kidnap her shortly thereafter. Thanks to her new sister-in-law’s self-defense training, Ciel manages to get away.

Despite satisfaction at her escape, Ciel and fellow aura-adaptor, Mark, her CIA former crush now sitting somewhat precariously at complicated-friend status, remain on alert given the failed kidnapper still being on the loose. Despite her concern, an evening with her boyfriend, Billy, makes her feel considerably better, until the next morning when she gets word of a family death—Aunt Helen, also an aura adaptor, murdered in Central Park. After spotting Loughlin at her aunt’s funeral, Ciel and others in the adaptor community begin to suspect a connection. While attempting to help track down Loughlin, Ciel also has major personal issues to deal with, including her not-quite-gone-forever feelings for Mark even while very happy with Billy.

[Are we sure she's very happy?...]

Tue
May 24 2016 8:10am

Why Do We Love Beauty and the Beast Tales So Much?

I've always thought, at its core, that the reason I loved the Beauty and the Beast story so much was that Belle is essentially the Patron Saint of Readers (unofficially... I'm sure there's actually patron saints and dieties of readers). However, I think the love of the tale goes deeper than that—it's the same reason we love the reformed rake, the alpha-who-only-has-eyes-for-you, and so on and so forth. It proves that love transforms all—but also that love makes us want to change for ourselves too. 

What do you think it is about the Beauty and the Beast tale that has appealed to so many of us? Let me know in the comments!

Mon
May 23 2016 5:30pm

First Look: Marguerite Kaye & Bronwyn Scott’s Scandal at the Midsummer Ball (May 24, 2016)

Marguerite Kaye & Bronwyn Scott
Scandal at the Midsummer Ball
Harlequin Historical / May 24, 2016 / $6.50 print, $4.99 digital

THE OFFICER'S TEMPTATION by Marguerite Kaye 

Colonel Fergus Kennedy must make a suitable match at the Midsummer Ball. But when this officer encounters sultry acrobat Katerina Vengarov, he finds himself torn between duty…and heart-stopping, irresistible passion! 

THE DEBUTANTE'S AWAKENING by Bronwyn Scott 

Kael Gage is the last person at the Midsummer Ball Miss Zara Titus should speak to—and anything more is definitely off-limits! But the notorious rake seems determined to awaken this innocent debutante's every desire…

The Duke and Duchess of Brockmore host an annual house party where they facilitate powerful and prestigious marital matches for many of their guests. Invitations are highly coveted, but a couple of the attendees are more leery than anticipatory.

Part of the entertainment for the week is the appearance of the world renowned Flying Vengarovs, a brother and sisters acrobatic team, and this theme of “flying” is integral to both of the novellas which comprise Scandal at the Midsummer Ball.

[We're into it...]

Mon
May 23 2016 4:45pm

Kristen Ashley’s The Honey, Beauty and the Beast Trailer & Free Shotgun-Wedding Novella: 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

Summer Chaparral by Genevieve TurnerDeal Alert: Genevieve Turner's shotgun-wedding novella Summer Chaparral, Book 2 in the Las Morenas series, is FREE in e-book at Barnes & NobleAmazon, etc.* The story was first published as part of the One Love anthology from Roxie Rivera, Farrah Rochon, and more.

—Deal Alert: Mandy Baxter's U.S. Marshals novel One Touch More is discounted to $1.99 in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.* Sneak a peek at the romance brewing between hotel manager Tabitha and “Damien Evans”—who is actually Parker Evans, an undercover U.S. Marshal—in a preview of One Touch More.

Deal Alert: Elizabeth Essex's Mad About the Marquess is only $.99 in e-book at iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.* Psst, Elizabeth Essex has a (not-so) secret obsession with royals! But, hey, don't we all?

Fresh Outta the Oven

We're already stuck on Kristen Ashley's new erotic series, The Honey, which she announced today on her Facebook page will launch with The Deep End (out March 7, 2017) and be followed soon after by book 2, The Farthest Edge (out June 6). Here's what we know about The Deep End so far:

[+Read all about the first book in The Honey series...]

Mon
May 23 2016 3:00pm

May 2016 New Adult Romance Best Bets—May These Heroes Seduce You

For the One by Brenna Aubrey

This month there’s new kind of heroes that will have you wanting to wrap around their maypole. From classic nerds, to smart lawyers, to medieval role-playing knights?! You’re sure to find some new twists on a classic swoonworthy hero.

For The One by Brenna Aubrey has a unique storyline that had me cheering for the underdog. Wil was previously introduced in the series but his book can be read as a standalone. William, our hero, is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and while this impacts his interactions with other people, Jenna our heroine, isn’t deterred by this. She has her own battles as she was a refugee in this country and is still dealing with the aftershocks of living in a war-torn country. Jenna has always viewed Wil as a friend, a hot one but, still a friend. Until, he rides in and defends her honor. There’s some role playing here, as both Jenna and William are involved in the Barony of Anaya, a medieval modern society. Take your chance on this refreshing, heart-pounding romance that challenges these two characters and delivers an epic of tale of growth and love.

Caged by Karina Espinosa is the second in the Mackenzie Grey series and must be read in order. It picks up right where Shift ends and takes you on a high octane ride trying to navigate the world of alpha male werewolves as an alpha female wolf. Politics and personal issues won’t bring Mackenzie down and she’ll stop at nothing to make it all right.

[We approve of this plan...]

Mon
May 23 2016 9:30am
Excerpt

Baker’s Dozen: Exclusive Excerpt

Allison Fuller

Baker's Dozen by Allison Fuller

If the way to a man's heart was through his stomach, she'd be married by now - but on the cusp of thirty, Victoria Mason is still single.
She tells herself she has everything she needs - a thriving bakery, a wonderful son, great friends. A good life. But she watches through the pass-through of her kitchen every morning as customers come and go, waiting for that one particular face to wander in. Mr. 8:15, Gavin Bailey, dark roast with room and a mini pie to-go as he flirts with the girl behind the counter. He's a bright spot in a life that has become increasingly monotonous.
She knows nothing about him beyond his easy smile and his usual order, but that's about to change. As the weather grows colder, her love life heats up, and while fall turns to winter in the Big Apple, Victoria discovers that Mr. 8:15 could be exactly what she needs to shake things up.

Get a sneak peek at Allison Fuller's Baker's Dozen (available May 23, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

It is an October Monday in New York City.

The leaves are turning on the trees, little pops of fiery color hovering above the sidewalks, crunching underfoot and collecting along the edges of streets that finally no longer smell like hot trash and gutter water. The summer tourists are gone and the Thanksgiving ones haven’t yet arrived, so for a little while the sidewalks don’t feel so congested.

Summer’s muggy heat has faded, leaving the air cool and crisp; September’s maddening inability to decide whether it wants to be too hot or too wet finally settled into something stable and lovely. Sunny days with just enough chill in the air to warrant a light jacket, over a soft sweater, over a thin long-sleeve – layers you can peel off and put back on to keep from sweating or freezing. The scarves have come out, but not the mittens. The slouchy hats, but not the fur-edged hoods. It’s denim over cashmere, not North Face zipped tightly over wool.

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

Mon
May 23 2016 12:00pm

First Look: Liz Talley’s Charmingly Yours (May 24, 2016)

Charmingly Yours by Liz Talley

Liz Talley 
Charmingly Yours (Morning Glory #1)
Montlake / May 24, 2016 / $9.50 print, $3.99 digital

Charmingly Yours is an appealing play on the charm bracelet that serves as catalyst in Liz Talley’s new series, and the title also hints at the charm of Morning Glory, Mississippi, hometown of the heroine. But the title fails to suggest Talley’s substantive exploration of the will to risk that is required to break free from familial tethers that makes this novel more than just another sweet, small-town romance.

Rosemary Reynolds loves her hometown where, except for her college years, she has spent all of her twenty-seven years.

Morning Glory was a way of life. It was sweet tea and porch swings. Mayhaw jelly in a mason jar and fireflies dotting the night.  Morning Glory was Sunday Morning church bells, gossip at Dean’s Diner, and traditions that didn’t make sense but were carried out regardless because that’s the way it was.

[And that's the way it was gonna stay...]

Mon
May 23 2016 8:12am

Do You Ever Get “Second-Hand Anger” at Characters?

via GIPHY

Among my friends I have often discussed the feeling of “second-hand embarrassment” which is a feeling of embarrassment I get when I know another person is, or in my mind, should be, embarrassed over a situation. I feel it like it's my own. However, recently while reading a book that featured a very angry character, I found myself getting second-hand angry because of it. It seems when I read, my emotions—much like those in the movie Inside Out—get taken over by those characters for those few hours (sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the... “second-hand anger” variety). 

Do you ever experience “second-hand” emotions from a book? We know that books and movies are meant to elicit a full range of emotions from us, but we feel the happiness and sadness the most. 

Let us know in the comments!

Sun
May 22 2016 4:08pm

Losing Faith: Outlander 2x07 Jamie/Claire Heart-to-Heart

Claire and Jamie grieve in Outlander season 2, episode 7Show/Episode: Outlander Season 2, Episode 7, “Faith”
Ship: Jamie/Claire

We start this episode with an array of 1950s nature books, and a red-haired little girl calling over her mama to look at the pretty bird. Mama, of course, is Claire, and identifies the bird as a heron. Little girl wants to know if Claire has ever seen a heron in real life, and yes, she has, in Scotland, a long time ago...and we’re back in Scotland, Claire’s present giving way to her past.

Claire lies on Mother Hildegarde’s table, surrounded by concerned nuns, a physician attending her. She has a vision of a heron overhead, and the screen goes white. When she regains consciousness, she’s no longer on the table, but in a bed. She feels her midsection and asks for her baby. Mother Hildegarde has the sad task of informing Claire that her baby has joined the angels. Mother Hildegarde baptized the baby—though it is illegal to do so unless the child is alive—named her Faith, and had her buried in consecrated ground. She’s also brought a priest to give Claire an unction for the sick, as Claire’s fever is not abating, after several days.

[You can fight this, Claire...]

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…]