<i>The Devil Wears Spurs</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Devil Wears Spurs: Exclusive Excerpt Soraya Lane "She swallowed, hard, trying to think of something witty to say." <i>Heat of the Moment</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Heat of the Moment: Exclusive Excerpt Lori Handeland "I hesitated, but now that I’d opened the door..." <i>A Duke but No Gentleman</i>: Excerpt A Duke but No Gentleman: Excerpt Alexandra Hawkins "Her lips parted and this time Tristan gently guided her mouth..." <i>The Strongest Steel</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Strongest Steel: Exclusive Excerpt Scarlett Cole "Her touch was like a breath of air whispering against him."
From The Blog
June 30, 2015
Best Reads of June 2015
Team H & H
June 26, 2015
Bi, Bi, Baby!: Bisexual Characters in Romance
Amy Jo Cousins
June 25, 2015
Kate Pearce's Erotically Charged Writing
June 25, 2015
Two HEAs Unite in Molly McAdams's Trusting Liam
June 24, 2015
Sexually Liberated Heroines Who Defy All the Standards
Regina Cole
Jun 26 2015 8:02am

Our Romance Reading Virgin Picks...

Last week, we asked the resident male of Team H&H to read his very first romance! You guys gave some GREAT suggestions for our newest Gateway Experiment, and Teddy has made his pick!

Drum roll, please...

D.D. Ayres's Irresistible Force!

For those of you not familiar with the book, here's the official description:

When adrenaline runs high, so does the force of desire...

For Shay Appleton, it's love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he'll make a terrific watch dog-and with an abusive ex who won't let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart-until Bogart's even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep.

Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who's convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend...to protect the woman who's stolen his heart?

Have you read this one?

Jun 25 2015 5:15pm

First Look: RaeAnne Thayne’s Redemption Bay (June 30, 2015)

Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne

RaeAnne Thayne
Redemption Bay (Haven Point #2)
Harlequin / June 30, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.49 digital

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne brings you back to Haven Point—a place made for second chances…

McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her beloved hometown of Haven Point. It may be small and struggling, but it's never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now he's back—his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.

What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? He left Haven Point behind years ago, for good reason. Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it's least expected.

Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne is not a friends to lovers story, it’s a “school days crush turned into crushing hate and now he’s back in town” story. Here’s Haven Point’s mayor McKenzie’s reaction when her sister tells her that Ben Kilpatrick is back.

Ben Kilpatrick. The only person on earth she could honestly say she despised. She picked up the knife and stabbed it through the lemon, wishing it was his cold, black heart.

[Ben is back and instantly the attraction begins...]

Jun 25 2015 4:11pm

Romance News Roundup: Lady Jane’s Salon RWA Event, Wattys, Deals, 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.

—Deal Alert #1: Julie Anne Long's It Started with a Scandal is $1.99 in e-book right now at e-tailers including Barnes & NobleiBookstore, and Amazon.* Read our First Look at It Started with a Scandal here.

—Lady Jane's Salon, “NYC's First & Only Romance Reading Series,” will be hosting a special event to help kick off Romance Writers of America's national conference in New York City next month. On July 21 from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Madame X (Loft Level), romance fans are invited to Lady Jane's “Welcome Back to the Big Apple, RWA!” program, which will feature seven guest authors: Sonali Dev, Carrie Lomax, Dahlia Adler, Regina Kyle, Nancy Scanlon, Laura K. Curtis, and Salon co-founder Hope Tarr. Admission will be $5 to support the Salon's annual donation to Win (Women in Need) and copies of guest authors' books will be available for sale. For more information, visit the Lady Jane's Salon blog.

—Doesn't it make you all warm and fuzzy to see your favorite romances recognized with shiny, well-deserved awards? Reader/writer community Wattpad is currently hosting its annual Wattys (#Wattys2015), where members can vote for their favorite stories of the year. If you've read and loved any stories over there, go vote now!

—Bookriot posts “How Reading Thomas Hardy Led Me to Romance Novels.” Wait. What????

—Deal Alert #2: The e-book bundle of Marie Force's McCarthys of Gansett Island 1-3 is currently $1.99 at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.*

[+Game of Thrones & Sweet Valley High news...]

Jun 25 2015 2:30pm

Hotter Than a Crowded Ballroom: Kate Pearce’s Erotically Charged Writing

Eden’s Pleasure  by Kate Pearce

Kate Pearce knows how to write erotically-charged romance. While not all of her books are erotic in nature, she has a knack for writing some of the hottest historical romance that I’ve ever read. I was hooked on Pearce from the moment that I read Eden’s Pleasure and Antonia’s Bargain, two connected stories featuring the Harcourt twins and their lady loves.

Eden’s Pleasure and Antonia’s Bargain are romances that are related to the Simply (a.k.a. House of Pleasure) series, one of my favorite historical romance series. The series consists of nine books about the sexual escapades of the lords and ladies in Regency England. Simply Sexual is the first book in the series and is the story of Lord Valentin Sokorvsky, a one-time sex slave in a Turkish brothel. Valentin has no sexual boundaries and proves to be a challenge for Sara Harrison. Simply Sinful is the second book in the series and features Peter Howard, who was enslaved with Valentin in the Turkish brothel. Peter meets (and later weds) Abigail Beecham, a woman determined to find a man to fulfill her sexual desires. One of the most fascinating relationships of the entire series is that of Valentin and Peter who are more than friends.

[There's so much more to Kate Pearce...]

Jun 25 2015 1:00pm

Two HEAs Lead to One Epic One: Molly McAdams’s Trusting Liam

Trusting Liam by Molly McAdams

A one-night stand from the past proves provident for our two relationship-fearing leads in Molly McAdams’s Trusting Liam. Liam, unapologetic and upfront about his expectations with women and relationships (ie: there will be no relationship), still can’t seem to embrace the meaning of the expression, “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas.” For Liam, the one night of mind-blowing sex with a mystery woman he calls Moon, still niggles at his conscience, despite his aversion to being tied down to one woman.

I hadn’t thought about Moon for months, but a year later, I still felt the disappointment I’d felt that next morning. I should have gotten her name, her number, something. Anything. But now she was here, and I was supposed to be her friend for her family’s sake…and keep myself at a distance…

Seeing Moon had messed with me all weekend. I’d holed myself up in my apartment and thought of everything I wanted to ask her – only to go through it all again the next hour and the next until I was getting frustrated over what her possible answers would be. When the hell had I turned into the kind of guy who let a single girl make him hide out for two and a half days so he could drive himself crazy thinking about her.

While Liam had hopes of finding Kennedy, Kennedy knew their night together would only ever be a one night stand. Which is why she high-tailed it, much to Liam’s chagrin, the next morning, without any inkling of her identity. Too bad fate had another story planned. Kennedy finds she must hide away in California and is thrust into the social circle of none other than Liam, himself, who is charged by his boss and mentor to take care of his nieces (Kennedy and her twin sister) while they are living in California. Kennedy, like Liam, decides that being involved in a relationship is a recipe for disaster. While her reasons for remaining unattached differ than Liam’s, her commitment to remain uncommitted is just as strong.

[Two noncommittal people go crazy for each other in Trusting Liam...]

Jun 25 2015 11:00am

Formidable Females Facing Foes: Paranormal Romance Best Bets for June 2015

In the Air Tonight by Lori Handeland

This month’s paranormal round up features some formidable heroines facing some seriously scary drama.  These ladies aren’t afraid to kick some serious ass to get what they want!


In the Air Tonight by Lori Handeland

Four centuries ago, in a small Scottish village, three baby girls escaped the wrath of a witch hunter. Today, one young woman will learn about her secret history, her heart's destiny, and the sisters she never knew she had...

With her blue-black hair and dark eyes, Raye Larsen has never fit in with the Scandinavian community of New Bergin, Wisconsin. Being adopted is part of the reason she feels like an outsider, but what really sets Raye apart is her ability to see dead people. Everywhere.

She’s learned to keep her visions to herself . . . until she stumbles onto the ghost of a murder victim who needs Raye’s help. Enter Bobby Doucet, a distractingly handsome homicide detective who has been tracking a killer all the way from New Orleans. Could this be the break in his case he’s been looking for all along?

Meanwhile, the deeper Raye gets involved with the case—and with Bobby—the closer she comes to unlocking the mystery of her own origins. What she discovers about herself could destroy everything she knows . . . and everyone she loves. Is finding the truth worth the risk?

Filled with dark magic, dazzling romance, and dire suspense, this is the first book in a thrilling new series by New York Times bestselling author Lori Handeland.

[More Paranormal Romance Best Bets for June 2015...]

Jun 25 2015 9:30am

First Look: Alexandra Hawkins’s A Duke But No Gentleman (June 30, 2015)

Alexandra Hawkins
A Duke But No Gentleman (Masters of Seduction #1)
St. Martin's Press / June 30, 2015 / $7.99 print, digital

In the last opulent days of the eighteenth century, a friendly wager turns into a heated feud that spans decades…and a love affair like none other.

What does it take to tempt a lady…
London, 1792. The Duke of Blackbern and the Marquess of Norgrave are boyhood friends who will still compete at anything. Racing, drinking, gambling, even seduction—until Lady Imogene Sunter crosses their path. Achingly beautiful, and innocent, she has no understanding of the jaded gentlemen who are courting her for favors—of how far they are willing to go to get what they want…

In this game of seduce and destroy?
Fighting for Imogene's affection should have been no more than their usual spirited rivalry. But when Blackbern discovers his feelings for Imogene have deepened, all bets are off. Norgrave, driven by his own demons, won't forsake his pride—and with one shocking act of betrayal that threatens Imogene and Blackbern's newfound desire, Norgrave will set the course for a generation of Regency bad boys who will go down in history as the Masters of Seduction...in A Duke But No Gentleman by Alexandra Hawkins.

As an avid reader of everything Alexandra Hawkins has written, I was genuinely pleased with her new release, A Duke But No Gentleman.  I know it can be a challenge for authors of romance to find a new twist in their genre.  Ingénues can only be attracted so many times to the hero, right? Well, I can totally assure you that Hawkins does not suffer from lack of imagination- or hot sex scenes. 

[Here's a new series and a bad boy Duke...]

Jun 25 2015 8:25am

Throwback Thursday: Favorite Old School Romance Cover?

The Windflower by Laura LondonLast month, we had a little too much fun with the How Old Robot—a website that used photos to guess the age of whatever was in it. We say “whatever” because it had a little trouble guessing what was a face...and what wasn't. Sometimes with hilarious results. However, with it being Throwback Thursday, we thought we'd talk about covers once again. This time we want to know what your favorite old school romance covers were! 

What were some of your favorite old school romance covers? What did you like about them?

Jun 24 2015 5:15pm

First Look: Jennifer Probst’s Searching for Always (June 30, 2015)

Searching for Always by Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst
Searching for Always (Searching For #4)
Gallery Books / June 30, 2015 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.

If you’ve read Searching for Beautiful (and if you haven’t—why not?), odds are you could see this one coming from a mile away. The chemistry between Arilyn and Stone was impossible to miss.

That chemistry most definitely continued in Jennifer Probst's Searching for Always, with Stone and Arilyn drawn to each other in ways neither of them could understand considering, they...well...kind of hated each other.

[The hatred didn't last long before turning into love...]

Jun 24 2015 4:41pm

Romance News Roundup: Megan Frampton Cover and Deals!

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.

One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild by Megan FramptonMegan Frampton's upcoming historical One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild, out in December, has a cover! What do you think? More details, including the book's description, as we get them. (Full disclosure: Megan is a former H&H community manager.)

—Deal Alert #1: Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy's All Fired Up is free right now in e-book at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.*

—Deal Alert #2: Julia Kent's Random Acts of Crazy is currently free in e-book at e-tailers including Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Amazon.*

—The final eight episodes of Lost Girl will air on Showcase in Canada beginning Sunday, September 6, according to series star Anna Silk, so brace yourselves!

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

Jun 24 2015 2:30pm

Leave Your Labels at Home: Sexually Liberated Heroines Who Defy All the Standards

Sex Becomes Her by Regina Cole

Today we're thrilled to welcome Regina Cole to Heroes and Heartbreakers. On June 30, Regina's new book, Sex Becomes Her, will hit shelves. The heroine of Sex Becomes Her doesn't have any problems with her sexuality, but the people around her—from the residents of her small town to her ex-boyfriend—do. Today, Regina is here to talk about society (and the genre's) standards on a woman's sexuality, and some standout heroines who just don't care. Thanks, Regina!

Anyone who’s lived in a close environment, like a small town, religious community, or even the microcosm of high school, knows how quickly poisonous rumors spread. People love to gossip, and sexual gossip is the juiciest of all.  But why does sexual gossip usually involve name-calling, slander, and dragging women through the mud? Even though women’s rights have come a long way over the past fifty years, we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of how we—as a society—approach female sexuality.

 “She was asking for it.”

“OMG, look at her skirt, what a whore.”

“Did you hear she slept with like, three guys at a party once? She’s such a slut!”

[Regina Cole talks doing away with slut-shaming women...]

Jun 24 2015 1:00pm

Up, Up, and Away: Superheroes in Love

Vigil by V.J. Chambers

Black Widow and the Avengers have given us multiple shipping options but here are some series that have the love story already laid out while the heroine and hero fight crime or sometimes, each other.

Vigil by V.J. Chambers is basically a New Adult Batman with a Lois Lane-like hero. Cecily Kane is looking for the scoop on Vigil, a masked crusader who apparently happens to be a billionaire. In this case, Cecily might be right to stay away and she’s a pretty naïve heroine, but if you got to hook up with the fictional equivalent of Batman wouldn’t you?

If you’re looking for something even more erotic and in the vein of a Batman-like hero, Hero by Leighton del Mia will definitely satisfy lovers of dark romance. Filled with tropes like the capture fantasy, dark erotica and just a heads-up, dubious consent, hero Calvin Parish literally whisks heroine Cataline Ford away for her own safety. Whether or not it’s for her own good is up to the reader to decide as the book presents dual points of view from both Calvin and Cataline.

[More superheroes trope novels we love...]

Jun 24 2015 12:00pm

July 2015 Romance Novel New Releases Shopping List

Find your future faves with this delightfully convenient shopping list of romance novels coming out in July. 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:
July 1-7 | July 8-14 | July 15-21 | July 22-31

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

[Check out the complete list!...]

Jun 24 2015 11:00am

First Look: Robyn Carr’s A New Hope (June 30, 2015)

A New Hope by Robyn Carr

Robyn Carr
A New Hope (Thunder Point Series #8)
Mira / June 30, 2015 / $8.99 print, $6.99 digital

Starting over is never easy, but in Thunder Point, where newcomers are welcome and friends become family, it's possible to find yourself again. #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr takes us on a moving and rewarding journey as a young woman finds new hope. 

After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she's excited to be assisting with the Lacoumette wedding. 

In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger is swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride's brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself when he tries to make a pass at Ginger, forcing her to flee the scene in embarrassment.

But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.

In one of my previous First Looks on a Robyn Carr book, I stated: “One reason for her popularity is that Ms. Carr creates a wonderful sense of community, plus showcases heroes and heroines surviving life altering changes with courage and mettle. And in A New Hope, Carr’s eighth book in her Thunder Point series that still applies. But Ginger Dysart and Matt Lacoumette didn’t immediately have the mettle to face their tribulations. In fact both of them wallowed a bit —both had a bad case of “why me?” Why did this happen to me? Why did my marriage fail? Why did my baby die? Didn’t I do all the right things?

[Love after loss happens...]

Jun 24 2015 9:30am

A Duke but No Gentleman: Exclusive Excerpt

A Duke but No Gentleman by Alexandra Hawkins

In the last opulent days of the eighteenth century, a friendly wager turns into a heated feud that spans decades...and a love affair like none other.

What does it take to tempt a lady... 
London, 1792. The Duke of Blackbern and the Marquess of Norgrave are boyhood friends who will still compete at anything. Racing, drinking, gambling, even seduction-until Lady Imogene Sunter crosses their path. Achingly beautiful, and innocent, she has no understanding of the jaded gentlemen who are courting her for favors-of how far they are willing to go to get what they want...

In this game of seduce and destroy?
Fighting for Imogene's affection should have been no more than their usual spirited rivalry. But when Blackbern discovers his feelings for Imogene have deepened, all bets are off. Norgrave, driven by his own demons, won't forsake his pride-and with one shocking act of betrayal that threatens Imogene and Blackbern's newfound desire, Norgrave will set the course for a generation of Regency bad boys who will go down in history as the Masters of Seduction.

Get a sneak peek at  Alexandra Hawkins's A Duke but No Gentleman (available June 30, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Chapter One

March 4, 1792

Malwent Commons, England

Norgrave was a madman.

With one hand on the hilt of his sheathed short sword, and the other gripping the warm metal handle of a lantern, Tristan Bailey Rooke, Duke of Blackbern, watched intently as his friend parried his opponent’s attack. The sharp, deathly clash of steel echoed in the night while Norgrave flirted as if the grim specter of Death was just another lady he needed to seduce into his bed.

No sane gentleman would duel in the fog at midnight, but too much brandy and pride had a way of dulling a man’s wits. When Viscount Caxton knocked over the marquess’s glass of brandy and issued his challenge, Norgrave eagerly accepted.

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

Jun 24 2015 8:09am

Would You Rather...

Zooey Deschanel of New Girl
Source: -hewastheirfriend.tumblr.com

It's hump day, so to help you get over Wednesday into that final part of the week, we're going to play a game of “would you rather”...

Remember, you can only pick one!

Would you rather...

  • Only read one book (the same book) for the rest of your life
  • Never be able to read your favorite book ever again
Jun 23 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Maya Banks’s Safe at Last (June 23, 2015)

Safe at Last by Maya Banks

Maya Banks
Safe at Last (Slow BurnTrilogy #3)
Avon / June 23, 2015 / $14.99 print, $7.99

The third book in the beloved #1 bestselling author’s sexy, romantic suspense Slow Burn series…

They say young love doesn't last, but a girl from the wrong side of the tracks with unique abilities and the hometown golden boy were determined to defy the odds. For Zack Covington, Anna-Grace—his “Gracie”—was the one. But one night forever altered the course of their future; when a devastated Gracie disappeared without a trace, Zack was left to agonize over what happened to the girl he loved. As the years passed, his desperate efforts to find her uncovered nothing.

Now working for Devereaux Security, he stumbles across a painting featuring a special place only he and Gracie would know. The image is too perfectly rendered for it to be coincidence. His Gracie must be alive. When he comes face to face with her, he is shocked—and heartbroken—to discover the wounded shell of the girl he once knew and still loves. Her psychic gifts are gone, and worse, she believes he betrayed her all those years ago.

Zack has enemies, and once his weakness is discovered, Gracie becomes a target for revenge. He'll have to save her before he can earn her trust and her love. And he vows they'll never be torn apart again.

The second chance at romance trope is one of my absolute favorites. The characters already know each other, so there is already a believable connection and lots of chemistry. These stories can show us redemption, forgiveness and offer a huge emotional pay-off. Maya Banks’s Safe At Last is the final installment of the thrilling Slow Burn series and it’s a well-executed tale of characters finding a second chance at love.

[Let love go and if it comes back?]

Jun 23 2015 3:49pm

Romance News Roundup: Cathy Maxwell & Julie Ann Walker Deals 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.

Hell for Leather by Julie Ann Walker—Deal Alert #1: Julie Ann Walker's Hell for Leather (Black Knights, Inc. #6) is just $.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and iBookstore.* Read our First Look at Hell for Leather right here.

—Deal Alert #2: Cathy Maxwell's historical romance The Marriage Ring is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.* Read an H&H guest post by Cathy Maxwell on what men need to be happy.

—Deal Alert #3: Melody Anne's Bound is free in e-book at the moment at e-tailers including iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.*

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

Jun 23 2015 2:30pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Jennifer Haymore, Lily Everett, Eve Langlais, Kate Douglas, and A.C. Arthur

Today we have cover reveals from Jennifer Haymore, Lily Everett, Eve Langlais, Kate Douglas, and A.C. Arthur. First up, the Highlands might be a bitter climate, but we have a feeling that the Scotsman in Jennifer Haymore's Highland Heat has a few ideas to warm you up. Then, searching for your true love gets a little complicated—especially when he has fangs and turns into a wolf once a month. Watch these wolf-shifters find love in unexpected places in the anthology Growl by Eve Langlais, Kate Douglas, and A.C. Arthur. Finally, take a break from the summer heat to head to Sanctuary Island in Lily Everett's Three Promises. 

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

Jun 23 2015 1:00pm

Play Ball! Male/Male Best Bets for June 2015

My Cowboy Promises by Z.A. Maxfield

Summertime, and the living is... not so easy for m/m romance couples, many of whom seem to be stuck in the closet. But there's still plenty of summer fun to be had with theater, baseball, horseback riding, and detecting. (If you don't think detecting goes with summer, you never read Louise Fitzhugh's The Long Secret as a child.)

My Cowboy Promises by Z.A. Maxfield

A real man needs a real love…

To become the man he’s meant to be, one cowboy will have to be the man he never wanted anyone to know he was…

Ryder Dent is a true-blue cowboy. A devoted son, husband and father, but one who is living a costly lie. When they were both young, Ryder and his closest female friend Andi thought they’d found the perfect solution to both their problems—she was single and pregnant, and he was secretly gay—so they got married and raised Jonas together.

When Ryder gets hurt at a party, his son’s new pediatrician comes to the rescue. The connection between Ryder and Dr. Declan Winters is sudden, powerful, and undeniable. Ryder loves Andi and the family they’ve created together—but they both need more. Can they pursue their hearts’ desire without destroying the life they’ve built and losing the son they love?

It's stretching a point to call this a cowboy story, but the heroes are certainly the sort of strong, honorable men Western fans love, and the small town atmosphere is vividly created. It's also pretty cool to read about a gay man in a straight marriage who isn't an asshole. Try this for the strong emphasis on family, sensitive tone, droll humor, and sweet romance. It's part of a loosely-linked series and a previous couple make an appearance, but it works just fine as a stand alone.

[More Male/Male Best Bets for June 2015...]