<i>Make You Mine </i>: Exclusive Excerpt Make You Mine : Exclusive Excerpt Jackie Ashenden "He looked down into her eyes, shadowed in the dim light of the room." <i>The Unlikely Lady</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Unlikely Lady: Exclusive Excerpt Valerie Bowman "A soft smile touched Jane’s lips, despite her best efforts to stifle it." Now Win <i>This</i>: <i>Hugo & Rose</i>! Now Win This: Hugo & Rose! Team H & H Enter for a chance to win a copy of Hugo & Rose! <i>Lawless in Leather</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Lawless in Leather: Exclusive Excerpt Melanie Scott "He took a deep breath, and more of her perfume snuck into his brain."
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May 3, 2015
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Jennifer Proffitt
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A Beginner's Guide to Shifters and Demons
BizJaust
April 30, 2015
Best Reads of April 2015
Team H & H
Wed
Apr 29 2015 2:30pm

Small Towns and Romance Novels: The Perfect Fit!

Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch by Emma Cane

Today we're thrilled to have Emma Cane on the site. Emma's latest book, Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch came out yesterday. Emma's books take place in small towns and her newest heroine is a romance novelist having to deal with small town gossip and the fact that her new man is also the inspiration for her new hero—we're guessing that's a secret that won't be kept for long. Emma is here today to talk about why small towns and romance novels go hand-in-hand. Thanks, Emma!

Small towns have a mythic quality in America, a place where life seems simpler, friends and family closer. Romance novels and small towns just seem to go together. Let’s take a look at what’s to love about small towns.

When a small amount of people live close together, everyone cares. You all grow up together, so your neighbors’ parents are just as likely to watch out for you as your own. There are some flaws, of course. Everybody knows your business, and that’s not always a good thing. Take Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron series, which is set in a small town in the Finger Lakes wine country of NY. I recently read Waiting for You, about restaurant owner Colleen and the return of Lucas, the man who crushed her heart back in college. Colleen, being a bartender, knows absolutely everyone, since O’Rourkes is one of only two restaurants in town. A lot of people care about her and want her to be happy, but this backfires when Lucas comes back to town. Everyone remembers their relationship, and makes certain Colleen doesn’t forget. People take sides on whether they’ll get back together. Lucas hears more about her life than Colleen wants him to, courtesy of the townsfolk. Yet when given an opportunity to leave, Colleen doesn’t take it—we know that living in a small-town is worth the occasional busybody, because you feel cared about.

[And what makes small town romance novels special...]

Wed
Apr 29 2015 1:15pm

May 2015 Romance Novel New Releases Shopping List

Find your future faves with this delightfully convenient shopping list of romance novels coming out in May. We’ve divided them up by week to make it easier for you to find the newest releases. For those who’ve got a very specific obsession, we also divided the list up by subgenre and there are some great books to look forward to, and you can can find them in our printable version. Our shopping list is the biggest yet, so don’t forget to take this printable version with you when it’s time to shop!

Jump to New Releases for the Week of:
May 1-7 | May 8-14 | May 15-21 | May 22-31

Heroes and Heartbreakers May 2015 Shopping List!
 
Week of May 1 through May 7

[Check out the complete list!...]

Wed
Apr 29 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

The Unlikely Lady: Exclusive Excerpt

The Unlikely Lady by Valerie BowmanFor the bachelor and the bluestocking…

Certain that no man wants a bluestocking for a wife, Miss Jane Lowndes is careful to wield her books and her spectacles as weapons against matrimony. Convincing her ambitious mama that she's content to stay a spinster is easier said than done, however. It's a good thing Jane is not above a bit of manufactured scandal if it will keep her from the altar, and the argumentative, contrary Lord Garrett Upton…

Romance is never by the book

With the war over, Garrett is determined to enjoy his bachelor's life while he can, even when it means attending a house party in celebration of a friend's wedding-and suffering Jane's notorious disdain. But when a masquerade ball leads to a mistaken kiss, he's surprised to learn that Jane's bookish exterior hides a truly passionate soul. When two such headstrong people are determined to remain unattached, can love lead to a happy ending?

Get a sneak peek at Valerie Bowman's The Unlikely Lady (available May 5, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapter 1.

Plus, a very special bonus:  If you haven't done so already, be sure to also read Valerie Bowman's H&H Quickie scene, which just so happens to be a prequel to Jane and Garrett's story, featuring a memorable trip to the Bath Houses! 

CHAPTER ONE

London, April 1816

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Mrs. Cat, show yourself and let’s get this over with, shall we?” Jane Lowndes wiped the dark, wet hair from her eyes. It was raining. Hard. The downpour had begun nearly five minutes ago and she’d been standing outside the mews behind her father’s town house for nearly ten.

Jane could live with the rain herself. Who cared about hair or clothing being ruined? She could even stand the fact that her spectacles were foggy. But her book was getting wet and that was not acceptable. She’d tucked the leather-bound volume under her arm as best she could while she balanced a wooden bowl in her hands, but she truly needed to get the book inside and dry it by the fire.

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

Wed
Apr 29 2015 10:45am

First Look: Beth Kery’s Glimmer (May 5, 2015)

Glimmer by Beth Kery

Beth Kery
Glimmer (Glimmer and Glow Series #1)
Berkley / May 5, 2015 / $16.99 print, $9.99 digital

After graduating from her M.B.A. program, Alice Reed is surprised when she’s recruited for the management training experience at legendary Camp Durand, owned by Durand Inc.’s young, billionaire CEO, Dylan Fall. The company usually recruits from Ivy League schools, not insignificant colleges like Alice’s.

Alice enthusiastically accepts, but she still wonders why Dylan would choose a girl from the wrong side of the tracks for the prestigious program. But after a passionate encounter one night, she discovers exactly why—Dylan wants her, and Alice can hardly resist his fierce sexual appetites, though she is amazed that she could appeal to an experienced, sophisticated man like Dylan.

As Dylan introduces her to thrilling, erotic territory, Alice discovers a delicious new part of herself. Night after night, she steals away to find ecstasy and escape in Dylan’s arms. But behind her lover’s powerfully magnetic facade, Alice senses darkness, secrets from Dylan’s past lurking in his beautiful, lonely mansion—secrets that are starting to haunt Alice. And the ghosts of the truth might tear Dylan and Alice apart forever . . .

Glimmer is one of the best books I've read this year. I first read this book in February, and as soon as I finished it I knew I'd want to read it again. In fact, the second time around I noticed a number of things had so much more meaning. It's one of the books that has stayed with me all year. Beth Kery's writing has a way of drawing you in, so make sure you have a free day to read this book.

[A night of thrill that turns into bliss.]

Wed
Apr 29 2015 9:30am

Art Imitates Life: Romance Author Protagonists from James, Kleypas, Sands, and More!

Becoming Jane Movie

Supporting the old adage that you should write what you know, it’s interesting to note that there are many romance novels starring romance novelist protagonists.

There are many stereotypes of the romance novelist, the sexually frustrated housewife, the elderly woman writing in her all pink parlor, the recluse with 24 cats using writing as a means of escape from her mundane life. The romance novelist characters in the books listed below don’t conform to any of those stereotypes. Maybe some people believe that anyone could write “Mommy porn”, but these writer characters are passionate, smart and curious about life and human nature, perceptive and adventurous.

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

Who could forget spunky writer Jo March? Jo’s rebelliousness, outspoken nature and huge heart make her a heroine for the ages. It’s just a pity that her decision to chose that old German guy Professor Bhaer over Laurie ruined my childhood and forever cast a question mark over the decision making abilities of all author characters.  Even so, she’s a remarkable character and no doubt the reason why Little Women is such a classic.

[More Romance Author Protagonists Books...]

Wed
Apr 29 2015 8:40am

Overheard in Romance: Name Those Conversations That Can Only Happen in Romance!

Elizabeth Banks in Pitch Perfect
Source: www.thehollywoodgossip.com

Only in romance can subjects such as BDSM, fate, friends-to-lovers, and spurting all be part of the same conversation. There's a social media account called Overheard in the Newsroom, in which journalists and editors share the wacky conversations that can come up in the newsroom. However, we think the ladies and gentlemen of romance could probably top those conversations! 

In the comments, let us know the wackiest conversations you've overheard in romance—either conversations you've had yourself in person when talking with a friend, or on social media! If you're on social media, use the hashtag, #overheardinromance to follow along with the conversation!

Tue
Apr 28 2015 5:00pm

April Showers: Not-Your-Usual Historical Romance Best Bets for April 2015

Starling by Virginia Taylor

April is a time for spring showers to bring us May flowers.  What else does April bring?  Apparently a bumper crop of not-your-usual historicals with bountiful options for different settings, non-titled characters and time periods that take us outside of the Regency era. 

Australia!
Starling by Virginia Taylor

 Let your heart soar…

An aspiring dressmaker, orphaned Starling Smith is accustomed to fighting for her own survival. But when she’s offered a year’s wages to temporarily pose as a wealthy man’s bride, she suspects ulterior motives. She can’t lose the chance to open her own shop, but she won’t be any man’s lover, not even handsome, infuriating Alisdair Seymour’s… 

To prevent his visiting sister from parading potential brides in front of him, Alisdair has decided to present a fake wife. He lost his heart once, and had it broken—he doesn’t intend to do it again. But stubborn, spirited Starling is more alluring than he bargained for, and Alisdair will risk everything he has to prove his love is true… 

Having published two romantic comedies with Random House Australia, Taylor makes her historical debut with Kensington’s Lyrical Press, the first book in a trilogy set in 19th century south Australia.

Ballooning!
When a Rake Falls by Sally Orr

He's racing to win back his reputation

Having hired a balloon to get him to Paris in a daring race, Lord Boyce Parker is simultaneously exhilarated and unnerved by the wonders and dangers of flight, and most of all by the beautiful, stubborn, intelligent lady operating the balloon.

She's curious about the science of love

Eve Mountfloy is in the process of conducting weather experiments when she finds herself spirited away to France by a notorious rake. She's only slightly dismayed-the rake seems to respect her work-but she is frequently distracted by his windblown physical magnificence and buoyant spirits.

What happens when they descend from the clouds?
As risky as aeronautics may be, once their feet touch the ground, Eve and Boyce learn the real danger of a very different type of falling...

The first book nominated for an RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award, Orr continues her Regency romp Rake’s Handbook series with this second title.

[More Not-Your-Usual Historical Romances.]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 4:27pm

Romance News Roundup: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Deadman’s Cross Series and More!

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.

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa DareSherrilyn Kenyon has a new historical fantasy series, Deadman's Cross, in the works. The books will feature “pirates, demons and high-paced adventure on the stormy seas,” according to the deal announcement. More news as we get it, of course!

—Deal Alert #1: The H&H Community raved about Tessa Dare's Say Yes to the Marquess, and for a limited time you can nab the e-book for only $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. Check out all of our Tessa Dare content, including a first look at Say Yes to the Marquess.

—In theater, the Tonys are the equivalent to the Oscar. Today the 2015 Tony Nominations were announced and it featured many a famous face from Hollywood including Bradley Cooper, Helen Mirren, Ruth Wilson, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Watanabe, and more! See the full list now.

—Deal Alert #2: Christina Lauren's latest Beautiful Secret bridged the gap between their Wild Seasons series and their Beautiful series. Now you can get book 1 of the Wild Season series for only $1.99 in e-format. Pick up Sweet, Filthy Boy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks! See our First Look of Sweet Filthy Boy.

*Note: We don't know how long these deals will last so get them while they're here!

Tue
Apr 28 2015 3:45pm

First Look: Lorraine Heath’s The Duke and the Lady in Red (April 28, 2015)

The Duke and The Lady in Red by Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath
The Duke and The Lady in Red (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #3 ) Avon / April 28, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Sparks fly in the finale of the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James Place series, as the last wicked rogue meets his match.

When Rosalind Sharpe gains the attention of the deliciously wicked Duke of Avendale, she’s torn between her distracting attraction to the notorious rogue and the knowledge that he—rich as Croesus—is the perfect target for a deception that will put her swindling days behind her.

However, Avendale is no fool. After he discovers the tantalizing lady packing up to leave London with his coins in tow, he confronts her with a scandalous proposition: she can have all the money she requires…for a week in his bed.

Desperate for the funds, Rose agrees, but on one condition: he must never question her motives. Avendale quickly sees beneath her mask and discovers she is more than passion and pleasure—she is everything he has ever desired. But claiming her requires he unveil her secrets and lose her forever. Unless he can put his own dark past aside and risk everything for a chance at love.

Lorraine Heath has been heralded by reviewers and publicists alike as an unsung master of historical romance. Her latest book, a conclusion to a series that follows characters that stretch humanity, is The Duke and the Lady in Red. It’s the story of a con artist and a Duke with no scruples. It captured me from start to finish, and I can officially say I am on the Lorraine Heath fan train. Not only is the book poetic, but it deals with characters that are real and messy, appealing to the romance reader that doesn’t like the easy way out with their happily ever after’s.

When Rosalind Sharpe walks into one of the many parlors and entertainment halls of London, she is playing a game. Women like Rose are not for the faint of heart. Her ability to pull a con, seduce a man, and gain financial reward from it all is unmatched. It is when she meets eyes with the Duke of Avendale that she finds what will be her greatest mark yet in the world of thievery. Rose may not have chosen the life she lives, but she is nothing if not a master of deception.

[The Duke just may steal her heart...]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 3:15pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Elle Kennedy, Charlotte Stein, and Lavinia Kent!

Today we're thrilled to reveal covers from Elle Kennedy, Charlotte Stein, and Lavinia Kent! First up is a hot new series by Kennedy with Claimed. Then head over to our Dark Obsession with Stein's second book in the series, Never Sweeter. Finally, see unrequited love, fulfilled, in Kent's Sarah's Surrender.

[Learn more about the books...]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 2:30pm

Now Win This!: Bridget Foley’s Hugo & Rose

Hugo and Rose by Bridget FoleyLearn more about Hugo & Rose below:

Rose is disappointed with her life, though she has no reason to be - she has a beautiful family and a perfectly nice house in the suburbs. But to Rose, this ordinary life feels overshadowed by her other life - the one she leads every night in her dreams.

After a childhood accident, Rose's dreams take her to a wondrous island fraught with adventure. On this island, she has never been alone: she shares it with Hugo, a brave boy who's grown up with her into a hero of a man.
But when Rose stumbles across Hugo in real life, both her real and dream worlds are changed forever. Here is the man who has shared all of her incredible adventures in impossible places, who grew up with her, even if they aren't what either one imagined. Their chance encounter begins a cascade of questions, lies, and a dangerous obsession that threatens to topple everything she knows. Is she willing to let go of everything she holds dear to understand their extraordinary connection? And will it lead her to discover who she truly wants to be?

Click here to enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Hugo & Rose by Bridget Foley!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete entry at http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/hugoandrosesweeps beginning at 2:30 pm Eastern Time (ET) on April 28, 2015. Sweepstakes ends at 2:29 pm ET on May 5, 2015. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law.  Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Heroes and Heartbreakers, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Tue
Apr 28 2015 1:45pm

First Look: Leah Raeder’s Black Iris (April 28, 2015)

Black Iris by Leah Raeder

Leah Raeder
Black Iris
Atria Books / April 28, 2015 / $15.00 print, $5.99 digital

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Unteachable, which was praised for its “lush, haunting prose, deft storytelling, and scorching sensuality” (M. Pierce, bestselling author of the Night Owl trilogy), and called “one of the best forbidden romances” (Lauren Blakely, New York Times bestselling author).

“Love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.”

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.

In Leah Raeder’s second book, Delaney Keating has a certain disdain for the “typical college romance novel,” and Black Iris is anything but. Emily Thorne has nothing on Laney, and Raeder’s novel is a cross between “Revenge” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” on steroids. Here’s an idea of just what young people on the cusp of adulthood really are dealing with, a dark world of sexuality undefined, drugs, and what Laney herself perhaps describes best as “Machiavellian masturbation.” It’s a head-trip, but it’s a big foray into an under-represented and misunderstood sector of romance, and Raeder brutally and passionately conveys a story that may just turn all expectations upside down.

[Black Swan has nothing on Black Iris...]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 11:30am

Jane the Virgin 1x20 Heart-to-Heart: Geometry in Motion

Jane The Virgin 1x20 Jane

Show/Episode: Jane the Virgin, Season 1, Episode 20, “Chapter Twenty”
Ship: Jane/Rafael

Jane The Virgin 1x20 Jane and Rafael Captain's Log

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Jane The Virgin, including Monday night's Season 1, Episode 20, “Chapter Twenty.” Enjoy!

The Shipping News

It’s 17 hours post break-up and Jane and Rafael are at an ultrasound appointment. Seventeen hours isn’t enough time for Rafael to reconsider his stupid idea that breaking up with Jane is the right thing for her. This recapper’s reaction? Meh. Everything looks great with the baby except for the breech position. The rest of the episode is a lot of set up to get us to a literal turning point—the baby turns and Jane turns on Rafael.

This episode also set us up for some continued interference from Michael and Petra. Love triangles are afoot! We have Jane-Rafael-Petra and Rafael-Jane-Michael. I think I need a Venn diagram to figure it all out. Jane learned that Michael helped Alba with immigration when she was in the hospital, so when Alba remembers that Petra’s mother, Magda, pushed her down the stairs, they turn to Michael again for help because Alba doesn’t want to go to the police since she’s illegal. Jane meets Michael in the Marbella lobby. After they finish talking and Jane leaves, cut to Rafael shooting daggers at Michael. Michael smirks and walks away. There’s something unsavory about Michael. I know he gives Jane a lot of things she needs from a partner and he represents what’s missing from her relationship with Rafael, but I just don’t like him. I can’t quite put my finger on why.

My favorite scene of this episode was between Rafael and Luisa, who just returned after a trip to Peru with a new girlfriend in tow. Rafael unloads everything to her and admits that he gave up Jane for the hotel and he can’t let it fail. Luisa calls him out on his half-truth. He rejected Jane before she could reject him like his mother did. Didn’t you want to reach through the TV screen and give Rafael a giant bear hug? I did. (But don’t try it. You’ll just smudge your television screen. Don’t ask me how I know that!)

[Just grab the box of tissues...]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 9:30am

First Look: Elle Kennedy The Mistake (April 28, 2015)

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy
The Mistake (Off-Campus #2)
Elle Kennedy / April 28, 2015 / $4.99 digital

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game...

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Do you like a good grovel from a hero and a whipsmart heroine? Then you’ll love Elle Kennedy’s The Mistake. The follow-up to Kennedy’s New Adult hockey romance The Deal, The Mistake features Logan, who thinks he’s pining after The Deal’s heroine, Wellsey. Enter young freshman, Grace who proves to be more than distracting to Logan and suddenly his best friend’s girlfriend isn’t the only thing on Logan’s mind. The Mistake is aptly named as Logan does screw up in a big way (no spoilers here though) and when he wants to get Grace back, she’s determined to make him work for it. What differentiates book 2 from the first book in the series is that there is a natural rhythm to the relationship between Logan and Grace.

[Their attraction is too strong to stay away.]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 8:02am

What Was Your Most Compelling Elevator Pitch?

Vanessa Bayer spoofs the Fifty Shades of Grey Elevator sceneLast week, we talked about the keywords that will get you to auto-buy a book based on the cover copy. This week, we are talking about the books that are recommended to us by the fellow readers in our lives. Sometimes, it's a tweet we see that makes us ask “What are you reading!?” because it sounds just right up our alley. Other times, someone will recommend a book and they'll use the buzzwords that get us running to a bookstore right away!

What's the most compelling “pitch” you've gotten that resulted in your adding one (or several) books to your TBR pile?

Mon
Apr 27 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Cat Johnson’s Midnight Ride (April 28, 2015)

Midnight Ride by Cat Johnson

Cat Johnson
Midnight Ride (Midnight Cowboys #1)
Zebra / April 28, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

One bucking bronco...

Oklahoma ranch hand Tyler Jenkins is too young, too sexy, and too damn wild to be tied down by any single woman—for more than a few steamy hours...

One hard-working widow...

Widowed rancher Janie Smithwick is too busy paying off her debts to play rodeo with a reckless young cowboy like Tyler—no matter how hot he gets her...

One midnight ride they'll never forget. . .

As a rule, Janie should be dating a man her own age, like her handsome neighbor Rohn—not the twenty-four-year old ranch hand he employs. But once Tyler gets Janie alone—held tight in his arms, pressed against his hard muscled body, burning with desire—the widow realizes that some rules, like broncos, are meant to be broken...

In an age where female characters are demonized for their sexual desires, it’s comforting to read a book that’s capable of reassuring us that it’s okay to give into need, want, and desire—like Cat Johnson’s Midnight Ride.

There is a twelve year age difference between the hero and the heroine, and right from the beginning, the hero sees the heroine as an object of desire. Tyler thinks Janie’s a beautiful woman. And Lord help him when she mentions his tongue. 

His mind went to bad places at her mention of his tongue and its talents.  Visions of what he’d like to do with it—and her—flashed through his brain.

His desire is immediate and palpable.  And right from the beginning, as far as he’s concerned, her age is simply a number.  “(I)t was obvious Colton had never met Janie Smithwick.  If he had, he sure as hell wouldn’t have called her old.” Hot, beautiful, sexy , yes.  But not old.

[Will she tame the young hunky cowboy?]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 3:51pm

Romance News Roundup: Lili St. Germain Deal, Magic Mike XXL, and More!

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.

Magic Mike XXL PosterMagic Mike is making Mondays a little more tolerable with their #MagicMondays. This week, they've released the poster for the latest XXL actor to take it off—Joe Manganiello! You're welcome.

—Last week, we were teased about Fifty Shades Darker with the first image of Jamie Dornan. Now, we present some more teasing—this time, a fan video compiling all of the jokes and funny moments in Fifty Shades of Grey (and there were a lot)! Since Dakota Johnson comes from a comedy background, we're reminded of that sense of humor in this video!

—Deal Alert: Lili St. Germain's Cartel comes out in paperback on May 12, 2015, but for those who can't wait, the e-book can be yours now—and for only $0.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

—This weekend, the Daytime Emmy winners were announced and awards went to soap opera fan favorites such as Days of Our Lives, Bold and the Beautiful, among others!

*We don't know how long these deals will last so get it while it's hot!

Mon
Apr 27 2015 2:30pm

Your Supernatural Highness: Paranormal Romance Best Bets for April 2015

Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley

With excitement over Will and Kate’s royal baby (#2!) at an all-time high, it is perhaps fitting that this month’s paranormal offerings seem to have a bit of a theme—the hereditary ruling class. We’re talking time travelling Earls, dragon Lords, alpha pack leaders, vampire Kings and royal witches. So if you’re keen on the ruling ranks then prepare to dive into this month’s paranormal releases!

Shifters leader!
Jennifer Ashley's Mate Bond (Shifters Unbound #7)

To cement the leadership of his North Carolina Shiftertown, Bowman O’Donnell agreed to a “mating of convenience.” Two powerful wolf shifters, he and Kenzie keep the pack in order and are adored by all. Bowman would do anything to protect Kenzie, for in each other’s arms they’ve found far more than friendship. But as strong as their attachment is, they still haven’t formed the elusive mate bond—the almost magical joining of true mates.

Now with a monster ravaging the countryside and threatening the Shiftertown community, some in the pack fear that a pair without a true mate bond isn’t strong enough to lead. Bowman and Kenzie will have to rely on their instinctive trust in one another to save their Shifters—and the ensuing battle will either destroy them or give them the chance to seize the love they’ve always craved.

There’s no “meet cute” in this one. Pack leader Bowman and his mate Kenzie are an older couple, married for 15 years with a 12 year old son.  Together, they’re the power couple of North Caroline Shifterland. Unfortunately Bowman and Kenzie don’t share the elusive “mate bond”, the metaphysical connection of loved up shifters. This means that if either of them ever meets their true mate, they’re supposed to go their separate ways, no questions asked. It’s an interesting premise. Conventional paranormal novels usually have couples discovering those fated bonds first and then forming a relationship later, this is the other way around. I love the world building in this series. As alpha pack leader, Bowman faced some serious challenges and there’s an unknown monster lurking about.  There’s also some deception and betrayal and a huge emotional pay off.

[More Paranormal Romance Best Bets.]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 1:00pm

Game of Thrones 5x03 Heart-to-Heart: Hateship, Broship

Game of Thrones 5x03 Margaery and Tommen

This post contains SPOILERS and speculation from all aired episodes of Game of Thrones, including last night’s Season 5, Episode 3, “High Sparrow.” Enjoy!

 

Game of Thrones 5x03 Margaery/Tommen Captain's Log

Show/Episode: Game of Thrones 5x03 “High Sparrow”

Ship(s): Margaery/Tommen, Brienne/Podrick (broship), Ramsey/Sansa (gag),

We open with Arya, sweeping the floors at the House of Black and White. She expresses frustration to Jaqen, that she’s doing chores when she wants to be taught how to be faceless like him. There’s some serious Mr. Miyagi type stuff going on here. She insists that she’s ready to be a faceless man. Jaqen insists she cannot do that until she gets rid of Arya Stark (meaning all of her things she has with her). So she dumps it all in the water with very little fanfare. The only thing she is reluctant to part with is her sword, Needle. She keeps it, hiding it under some stones. It’s her last tie to her father, after all. Jaqen finally comes for her, leading her down a staircase to dark room where she helps to wash a body

In King’s Landing, Margaery marries Tommen and Cersei looks more than a little annoyed, especially given the new Queen’s popularity with the people. The new husband is very eager and she’s very indulgent and I can’t help but think this is a far better outcome than Joffrey had. Tommen thinks its a bit odd that he doesn’t feel more guilty for benefiting from his brother’s death and Margaery plays along. It’s fascinating watching her work her magic on this poor, sweet kid. He eats right out her hand, lapping up her praise and encouragement and the lies she speaks so easily as she praises Cersei. Of course, what she’s doing is sowing seeds of discontent. Also: please tell me that the not-dead corpse under the sheet that Qyburn was fiddling with was NOT the Mountain because I might have a big problem with that.

[She's winning his love.]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 12:15pm

They Laughed, They Cried: Standout Moments in Romance Novels

Wild With You by Sara Jane StoneHeroes and Heartbreakers is pleased to welcome author Sara Jane Stone, whose fourth Independence Falls novel, Wild With You, hit shelves on April 14. Shere's here today to discuss what qualities make for a keeper romance, including laugh-out-loud funny moments. Thanks for joining us, Sara Jane!

As a reader, I find the little moments in a book stay with me the longest. Romance, women’s fiction, non-fiction—the heart-wrenching details haunt me long after I turn the last page. But it is the laugh-out-loud passages that lead me to reread a book over and over.

Jill Shalvis is a master of humorous moments. In Simply Irresistible, the first book in her Lucky Harbor series, I love the scene where the heroine drunk dials the hero (who happens to be the town’s master carpenter) and tells him she needs mastering. I’ve read this story more times than I wish to admit and I still laugh every time.

When I asked Codi Gary, author of Bad For Me, if she could name a standout moment, she selected a humorous moment from Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mr. Bridgerton:

“Where Colin asks Penelope to marry him and she falls out of the carriage and to the ground was funny and wonderful because it was supposed to be a romantic moment and they both butchered it.” 

Reading her words, I can clearly picture this scene. And I’m tempted to drop everything and reread Colin and Penelope’s story. This moment reflects everything I love about these characters.

[Go ahead, give in to the re-read temptation...]