<i>Tamed</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Tamed: Exclusive Excerpt Stacey Kennedy "The heat from his body encased her, swallowing her whole." <i>Start Me Up</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Start Me Up: Exclusive Excerpt Nicole Michaels "He tightened his grip on her waist as he growled into her ear." <i>Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid</i>: Excerpt Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid: Excerpt Suzanne Enoch "Dunnae throw down yer wee glove unless ye’re ready fer someone to take(it) up." Read & Win: Sarah Morgan's <i>First Time in Forever</i> Read & Win: Sarah Morgan's First Time in Forever Sarah Morgan Read an excerpt and enter for a chance to win a copy of your own!
From The Blog
March 3, 2015
Hygiene, Hot Sex, and the Historical Romance
Hope Tarr
March 3, 2015
How Much Is Enough?
Jennifer Proffitt
February 27, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Eddie Redmayne
Team H & H
February 27, 2015
Comedic Sci-Fi Romance
Heather Massey
February 26, 2015
No-Catch Heroes from Friends, Love Actually, and More!
Roe Valentine
Sun
Mar 1 2015 2:15pm

First Look: Jessica Scott’s Before I Fall (March 3, 2015)

Before I Fall by Jessica ScottJessica Scott
Before I Fall (Falling #1)
Self-published / March 3, 2015 / $4.99 digital

Stay focused. Get a job. Save her father’s life.

Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She’ll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah - a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.

Noah Warren doesn’t know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he’s going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn’t break his promises. Except he doesn’t count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.

Welcome to the wonderful world of New Adult, Jessica Scott

Am I ever so glad that she decided to venture into this subgenre. Before I Fall had me laughing, crying, gritting my teeth in frustration (all in sympathy with the lead), and rooting for this couple to succeed. In addition, Scott’s narrative takes us on an emotional rollercoaster as we get a glimpse into how vets and loved ones are forced to navigate the devastation of war and the roadblocks they endure physically, mentally, and socially upon their return home.

[True love's not for the faint of heart...]

Sun
Mar 1 2015 12:03pm
Excerpt

Start Me Up: Exclusive Excerpt

Nicole Michaels

Start Me Up by Nicole Michaels

WHY DO DO-IT-YOURSELF
Single mom Anne Edmond can handle—and hand-make—just about anything. From table settings to party favors, floral arrangements to nursery décor, there is no project her creativity and a glue gun can’t tackle. But dating? That’s a whole ’nother story. Case in point: Mike Everett. He’s a gorgeous mechanic and known car-whisperer, a man who can work with auto parts like nobody’s business. And he has thrown a monkey wrench into Anne’s carefully-crafted life… 

WHEN YOU CAN DO IT TOGETHER?

One look at Anne is enough for Mike to know that she’s no fixer-upper. She’s perfect just the way she is—and the chemistry between them works like a charm. Mike’s always been a no-strings kind of guy, but Anne’s impressive self-reliance—and gorgeous exterior—gives him pause. This time, a fast joyride just doesn’t seem like enough. But first he has to convince Anne that he means to take her all the way…

Get a sneak peek at Nicole Michaels's Start Me Up (available March 3, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Thankfully Mike was sitting directly under a speaker so he could barely hear the woman in front of him talking. He nodded when it seemed appropriate. Her smile indicated that she was appeased, and so did her hand resting on his thigh. He tended to avoid Smokey’s on the weekends because this was not his idea of a good time— too loud, too crowded, and too many drunken idiots. Since he’d spent his early twenties one step away from death or incarceration, he was unfamiliar with the fratboy party way of life. When had he gotten old? He came to a bar to chill out, have a beer, catch up with Aiden who let him drink cheap in exchange for tune-ups and oil changes, and, yes, occasionally flirt with someone. But this was madness. He couldn’t believe Anne was here, but sure enough she was.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Start Me Up...]

Sun
Mar 1 2015 10:00am

Top 5 Reasons to Ship Jane the Virgin’s Jane and Rafael

Jane and Rafael dance in Jane the VirginJane the Virginis on a short hiatus, but I didn’t want to leave anyone in the lurch. So I’m here to give you a Jane & Rafael shipping fix. Okay, okay, fine. It’s my fix, I’m just dragging all you enablers down with me.

I don’t remember exactly when I began shipping Jane and Rafael, but I do remember it was toward the end of a serious Jane the Virgin binge and the clock was mocking me with its “You see me over here, right? My bright red numbers say 2:36 AM. You have three kids you need to get out the door to school and then you have to get to the office for an 8-hour day. PUT THE REMOTE DOWN.” But I couldn’t. I had to know what happened next with Jane and Rafael.

Why am I so invested in this couple? Let me count the Top 5 ways.

[We could think of a hundred reasons!]

Sat
Feb 28 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Nina Crespo’s Thane’s Redemption (March 3, 2015)

Thane's Redemption by Nina CrespoNina Crespo
Thane's Redemption
Kensington / March 3, 2015 / $1.99 digital

It's been almost a year since Celine's fiancé's death and she's still struggling to move on. But when she meets Thane, the super hot lead singer of Thane’s Redemption, she finds her desire reawakening, and her heart opening. Soon one kiss leads them straight into a night of heated passion…

Thane’s unexpected connection with Celine only leaves him wanting more of her—but his life makes it impossible. For Thane's Redemption is just a cover for a deeper secret: A former Army Ranger presumed dead, Thane is really a time-traveling, covert operative charged with saving the world from disaster. Each jump through time forces those around him to forget he ever existed—and Celine would be no exception. But can time work in their favor to give them a second chance at love? Or will a choice Thane makes in the future put Celine in mortal danger?...

The titular Thane in Nina Crespo's Thane’s Redemption is a complicated man; he has a band called Thane’s Redemption, he is a time traveling hero that answers to an ancient warrior named Dalir, and he may have just fallen in love with a woman who is still mourning her fiancé Dominic’s death in combat. 

[Who gets redeemed?]

Sat
Feb 28 2015 12:00pm

There Be Dragons: Paranormal Romance Best Bets for February 2015

Windburn by Juliette CrossShifters, dragons, and magical beings all take part in this month's round up of the Paranormal Best Bets. What caught your eye this month?

Dragons...kind of!

Windburn by Juliette Cross

In the Gladium Province, the boundaries between humans and Morgons, the dragon-hybrid race, continue to blur as a new generation surrenders to long-forbidden temptation…

Sorcha Linden does whatever she wants whenever she wants, and no one can stop her.  Least of all a man. After all, they’re good for only one thing—warming her bed. But then she meets Lorian, brother of Lucius Nightwing. Seductive and iron-willed, Lorian is determined to melt her emotional defenses—and warm her rebellious heart.

The beast within Lorian longs to cage Sorcha and mark her as his own. Forever. Yet the man within also longs to protect her. When a stalker starts leaving Sorcha suggestive gifts with cryptic messages bearing an ancient blood cult symbol, Lorian’s dragon side takes over. With her life at stake, Sorcha can no longer deny the love they share. But when evil tracks her into the night, will she be too late to claim it?

Dragons meet gargoyle-type creatures in this second book in the Nightwing series and continues to fulfill all my Gargoyle childhood shipping fantasies!

[That's what we like to hear!]

Sat
Feb 28 2015 10:00am

First Look: Madeline Hunter’s His Wicked Reputation (March 3, 2015)

His Wicked Reputation by Madeline HunterMadeline Hunter
His Wicked Reputation (Wicked #1)
Jove / March 3, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

She was a sensible woman.

He was a man who could drive a woman senseless with desire.

Gareth Fitzallen is celebrated for four things: his handsome face, his notable charm, his aristocratic connections, and an ability to give the kind of pleasure that has women begging for more. Normally he bestows his talents on experienced, worldly women. But when he heads to Langdon’s End to restore a property he inherited—and to investigate a massive art theft—he lays plans to seduce a most unlikely lady.

Eva Russell lives a spinster’s life of precarious finances and limited dreams while clinging to her family’s old gentry status. She supports herself by copying paintings while she plots to marry her lovely sister to a well-established man. Everyone warns her of Gareth’s reputation, and advises her to lock her sister away. Only it is not her sister Gareth desires. One look, and she knows he is trouble. One kiss, however, proves she is no match for this master of seduction.

I'm trying to think of the right word to describe the feel of this historical romance. It's certainly not dated, nor is it what I'd usually call Old Skool. I think the word is “classic.” This is a classic handsome rake/virgin spinster story. But given that it's written by Madeline Hunter, there's one thing you can absolutely count on: the heroine will be neither silly nor wimpy.

It starts off a series about three brothers, all of whom are finding it hard to mourn their fourth brother, the late duke of Aylesbury. Gareth Fitzallen particularly hated Percy, who never accepted his illegitimate half-brother and had kept Gareth's legacy from their father tied up in the courts. Fortunately, Gareth's other half-brothers are quite different. When Ives (don't call him Ywain) asks Gareth to help investigate the mysterious loss of many valuable paintings, he kills two birds with one stone by starting the investigation from his abandoned, derelict property. But he's quickly distracted by his new neighbor, impoverished gentlewoman Eva Russell.

[And is she distracted back?...]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Eddie Redmayne

This past Sunday, Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Today, he made headlines once more when the first pictures of him as transgender painter Einar Wegener, aka Lili Elbe were released. What are your thoughts on the British actor? Share your favorite pictures of him in the comments!

Fri
Feb 27 2015 3:43pm

Romance News Roundup: Grace Burrowes Deal & Another Arrow Spinoff?!

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.

Lady Eve's Indiscretion by Grace Burrowes—Deal Alert #1: Grace Burrowes' seventh Windham novel, Lady Eve's Indiscretion, is currently $1.99 in e-book at iBookstore and Amazon.* (P.S. Ever wonder what the Windham series would look like on screen? Kate Nagy shared her fantasty cast of the series here.)

Arrow and The Flash executive producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Marc Guggenheim are planning another expansion of the superhero universe—according to Deadline.com, another DC spinoff is in the works at the CW, this one an all-star teamup. If picked up to series, the show would star Arrow/The Flash alum Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/The Atom), Wentworth Miller (Leonard Snart/Captain Cold), Caity Lotz (Sara Lance/Canary), Victor Garber (Dr. Martin Stein), and more. Would you watch? Olicity fans, how happy are you to hear Ray won't be sticking around Starling City if all goes according to plan? (Read our Olicity-focused Arrow recaps here.)

—Deal Alert #2: Crimson Romance currently has quite a few e-books on sale at Amazon for $1.99 and under.

*Daily reminder that we don't know how long these deals will last so get 'em while you can!

Fri
Feb 27 2015 2:30pm

Comedic Sci-Fi Romance: Sex, Jokes, and Science in Space

Knight of a Trillion Stars by Dara JoyOne of life's literary challenges involves the combination of science fiction, romance, and comedy—three genres competing for center stage in a single story. Blending these three genres well is no small feat—I imagine it’s like trying to juggle a watermelon, a pineapple, and a kiwi fruit.

Despite my interest in all three of these genres, I harbor some fears about them in combination. What if a story winds up lacking strong emotional impact or depth? Funny and meaningful aren't mutually exclusive. Or a story might fall into campy territory and fail to offer any satire or humorous social commentary. I don't always want to turn off my brain just because a story is humorous.

I take my sci-fi romance seriously in that I have a general preference for serious fare. That's not to say I avoid reading SFR with humorous elements or situations. Such scenes can provide crucial balance in an otherwise dark story. But all-out comedy? That's another matter.

Also, as in the case of parody, the story is inviting me to laugh at my favorite genre. Sometimes I can do that and do so with glee; other times I have difficulty suspending my disbelief over a comedic approach to serious issues. This area, of course, is where execution is key, because I also know that compelling stories will draw me in despite any misgivings I may have.

There are really only a handful of comedic sci-fi romances. It's not a big surprise, given the literary juggling act involved in writing them. But they're out there. Here are a few that, despite my doubts, made a memorable impression on me. They're listed in order of publication date.

[Read on for a good time...]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 1:20pm

First Look: Kim Karr’s The 27 Club (March 3, 2015)

The 27 Club by Kim KarrKim Karr
The 27 Club
Penguin / March 3, 2015 / $15.00 print, $5.99 digital

You don't know when...

You don't get to choose if...

When it's time to join...you'll know.

You might think you want to be a member—but trust me, this is one club you don't want to join. It's not a place where people go to live out their deepest, darkest sexual desires—there are no handcuffs or blindfolds.

The 27 Club only admits those who die young and tragically. Having just lost my brother to the club, I know there is no doubt. I'm next. This is my destiny… and I was ready to yield.

But then I met Nate. He awakened a sensuality in me that had never been explored, never satisfied. I knew then I could no longer accept my destiny. Nate's presence controls me. I'm overwhelmed by his touch, his words; my every thought is consumed by desire. I believe he was brought into my life for a reason.

Nate doesn't believe in destiny.

But I do.

And if there's a way to cheat it—I must.

“Perhaps it’s destiny telling me to let go and explore the wilder side of life.”

The premise of Kim Karr's The 27 club is built around a “curse” surrounding artists. It’s widely known that a lot of prominent entertainers have died on their 27th year of birth and this is what the 27 club is based on. Zoey’s family has a similar curse. Various members of her family have no made it past their 27th year. It has affected her mother, her grandfather and now her brother. When she arrives in Miami to deal with the aftermath of her brother’s death and her grief, she decides to stop hiding behind the curse and instead embrace life.

[And love?]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 12:30pm
Excerpt

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid: Exlcusive Excerpt

Suzanne Enoch

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid

The pursued becomes the pursuer. After years of having Rowena MacLawry, the youngest sister of his closest friend, tagging after him, all Lachlan MacTier wants to do is escape. But then Winnie runs off to London, determined to forget Lachlan in the swirl of her debutante Season.

When she returns three months later to prepare for her oldest brother’s lavish Highlands wedding, Rowena is a changed woman. She’s smothered her Scottish brogue, become an arbiter of the latest Paris and London fashions, and is in the company of several handsome young English aristocrats all vying for her favors.

Lach doesn’t quite know what to make of this witty, sophisticated beauty who now has better things to do than follow him to a fishing pond. But the more determined she seems to be to prove that she has no need to fawn after a Scottish, kilt-wearing rogue who couldn’t even be bothered to write her a single letter while she was away, the more interested he is in Winnie. Is she pretending to disdain him now, or has he truly lost his chance at a lady who is turning out to be far more lovely and interesting than he ever imagined?

Rowena’s horizons have expanded, and she isn’t certain any longer that rugged Lachlan is the man with whom she wants to spend her life. Would she be happier in London with the swirl of parties and myriad friends and admirers, or in the silly pursuit of a man who’s never shown any interest in her at all? But in the face of London intrigue and Highlands danger, she begins to realize that the boy she adored is nothing compared to the man he’s become – and that he may prove to be irresistible.

Get a sneak peek of Suzanne Enoch's Mad Bad and Dangerous in Plaid (available March 3, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of the Prologue and Chapter 1.

Prologue

“What do ye think, Lachlan?”

Her heart pounding, Lady Rowena MacLawry pirouetted in the middle of the Glengask House morning room. All the way from Paris, this gown was. It practically floated on the air, mauve and a deep gray she knew precisely matched her eyes, because she’d spent hours holding up swatches of material to her mirrored reflection until she’d found the perfect charcoal hue.

“What do I think aboot what?” Lachlan MacTier, Viscount Gray, returned from the corner of the room.

[Continue on to read the full excerpt of Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid...]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 10:55am

First Look: Kendra Leigh Castle’s Every Little Kiss (March 3, 2015)

Every Little Kiss by Kendra Leigh CastleKendra Leigh Castle
Every Little Kiss (Harvest Cove #2)
Penguin / March 3, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

The second novel featuring small New England town of Harvest Cove, where the residents know that Emma Henry likes things nice and orderly—but everyone has to let loose sometimes…

Event planner Emma Henry is used to focusing all her attention on reaching her goals and letting romance fall by the wayside. But when her sister Sam’s bachelorette party prompts the most tightly-wound Henry to let her hair down, Emma’s night ends with the entire town linking her to a man who could lay waste to anyone’s best-laid plans.

Army vet Seth Andersen thought that joining the police department in sleepy Harvest Cove would offer a quiet, normal life. But when he finds himself responsible for uptight Emma Henry at the end of her wildest night ever, his world turns unexpectedly complicated—and he’s surprised to discover he doesn’t mind at all…

Looking for a book with great character growth, and relevance to our busy lives? Then look no further than Kendra Leigh Castle's Every Little Kiss. The book is so relatable because most of us have experienced work/life imbalance.  We do something that gets our life out of kilter and end up with no life outside of work—just like Emma Henry —although most of us are not quite as rigid or as much of a perfectionist as Emma. But that is what makes this Before/After picture so rewarding.

[First, to the Before...]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 9:30am

First Look: Marie Force’s And I Love Her (March 3, 2015)

Marie Force
And I Love Her (A Green Mountain Romance #4)
Penguin / March 3, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

As the oldest of the ten Abbott siblings, Hunter prides himself on his ability to solve other people’s problems, but now he has a problem of his own—how to convince the woman of his dreams that his love is for keeps

As the chief financial officer, Hunter Abbott manages the family’s various business interests while “fixing” things for the people he loves. But the one thing he can’t fix is his undeniable attraction to Megan Kane. Instead, Hunter is prepared to do whatever it takes to show Megan that he’s the man for her.

Megan’s sister rocks her with the news that she and her husband are moving overseas, leaving Megan truly alone. With her sister—and her job at the diner—going away, Megan finds herself leaning on the sexy, button-down accountant who isn’t afraid to lay it all on the line for her. But Megan has watched too many people she loves leave her. Can she risk her heart on Hunter?

And I Love Her is the fourth installment of Marie Force’s Beatles’ song inspired series that focuses on the oldest son of the Abbott Family, Hunter, and his long-term love for Megan Kane, a waitress at the diner across the street from his family business. The theme of love at first sight, with a twist, makes this brain-candy novel one that will hold fans captive until the final HEA.

[That's what we like to hear!]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 8:29am

This Husband Wins the Romance Game

There's a man in New Jersey named Bill Bresnan who has written a love letter to his wife Kirsten every single day for nearly 40 years. The couple say they rarely fight, and the husband advises, “The key to any relationship is that you both have to work at it every day.... And never go to bed mad. Talk about everything. Everything should get resolved before your goodnight kiss.”


 

Thu
Feb 26 2015 5:30pm

Freedom in Choice: Women’s Fiction Best Bets for February 2015

New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth KendrickSeveral February books take a look at the heartrending time during World War II, so it seems apropos to use a quote by Viktor E. Frankl—“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation”as the introduction to this month’s selection.  The beauty of this quote is that it applies to all of life’s lessons. Readers have quite a variety to choose from this month, from lighthearted and humorous books to books that illuminate parts of our tragic past. No matter what your taste preference, you’ll be sure to find something that will appeal.

New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick

After growing up in privilege and marrying into money, Lila Alders has gotten used to the good life. But when her happily-ever-after implodes, Lila must return to Black Dog Bay, the tiny seaside town where she grew up. She’s desperate for a safe haven, but everything has changed over the past ten years. Her family’s fortune is gone—and her mother is in total denial. It’s up to Lila to take care of everything...but she can barely take care of herself.

The former golden girl of Black Dog Bay struggles to reinvent herself by opening a vintage clothing boutique. But even as Lila finds new purpose for outdated dresses and tries to reunite with her ex, she realizes that sometimes it’s too late for old dreams. She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something—someone—she desperately wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget...and a second chance has never felt so much like first love.

Strengths: Appealing characters, humorous setting, second chance at love, HEA
Measure of Love: Tablespoon
Introspection Level: Medium
Thoughts: It’s always great revisiting the setting of Black Dog Bay; lighthearted with hints of life’s lessons.

[+more best bets ahead...]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Anne Calhoun’s The List (March 3, 2015)

The List by Anne CalhounAnne Calhoun
The List
Penguin / March 3, 2015 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

Matchmaker and stationery shop owner Matilda Davies brings people together. For those on her list, Tilda will find the man or woman of their dreams—whether it’s for an hour or a lifetime. But due to a painful past, the British expat has never put her own name on the list. Instead, she limits herself to emotionless and commitment-free hookups. Then she meets Daniel, who wants not just her body, but also her heart…

Daniel Logan hides the soul of a poet under the suit and tie of an FBI agent. Specializing in financial crimes, he pieces together stories of greed and ensures justice is done. He plays by the rules—until he meets Tilda. He’s drawn in by her passion as well as her mysteriousness. Daniel knows that no matter her secrets, he’s the perfect match for Tilda. But even pleasure doesn’t come with a guarantee…

Let me start by saying that it was less than a year ago that I read my first Anne Calhoun book. I know. What rock have I been under? But I’m happy to say that The List is my fourth Calhoun read in said year, so that should tell you something of how I feel about her books. Two things are certain when you dive in to one of her novels. First, this is erotic romance, people, and her books deliver. But what I find just as appealing as the erotic is the emotion her characters exhibit and the way Calhoun’s exquisite attention to detail conveys the emotional turmoil necessary for her characters to experience before they can grow, and of course, The List does just that.

[So we should put in on our list...]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 3:53pm

Romance News Roundup: The 100 Kissing and Susan Mallery Deal!

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.

Clarke and Lexa in The 100 2x14, Bodyguard of LiesLast night's episode 2x14 of The 100, “Bodyguard of Lies,” turned up the heat on two relationships, Clarke/Lexa (Clexa) and Raven/Wick (Wicken). What did you make of all the kissing? While I hope to see Bellamy/Clarke (Bellarke) happen one day because their personalities complement each other so beautifully, it's awesome to hear that, as showrunner Jason Rothenberg tweeted last night:

In #The100, they don't label themselves. If Clarke's attracted to someone, gender isn't a factor. Some things improve post-apocalypse. ... Clarke is a bisexual character. Remember that in this society, no one's worried about it. They're worried about spears to the chest.

—Deal Alert: Susan Mallery's Delicious, first in the Buchanans series, is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers including Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Amazon. For more, don't miss Janga's post on “Finding Family with Susan Mallery.”

Thu
Feb 26 2015 3:11pm

What’s the Catch?: Good-Guy Heroes from Friends, Love Actually, and More!

Today we are pleased to welcome to the site Roe Valentine, whose release, Left to Forever, came out on Tuesday. The hero of Left to Forever is a rare commodity in romance and the real world—there's no “catch!” Roe is here today to talk about other no-catch heroes and why we should love them just as much as the alpha! Thanks for joining us, Roe!

I’ll be honest, all my heroes are loosely based on real men I’ve known (or a combination of them). But that’s what writers do: take reality and give it a fun twist—or not so fun. I recently asked myself why all of my heroes are basically the same, minus the various hunky exteriors, and the only thing I can think is:  therapy. Writing is a great way to express any feeling, good or bad. And it’s also super fun to give a story the ending you want.  From there, I move on to tell other stories in learning about myself and others, but what’s ever so clear is I have a “type”.

As I think further about this “type” I gather that all the heroes I adore have some very distinct things in common, not including typical hero physical characteristics (tall, handsome, wealthy, etc.), but something more. He’s a genuine good guy. And though we wait for it, he doesn’t seem to have a “catch”. He’s a no-catch guy. What does this mean? Well, he’s not necessarily tormented by some tragic past and he genuinely believes in love. In the case of Jacob, the hero in Left to Forever, this is probably due to the unconditional love he’d witnessed between his parents—or maybe he just has intact self-esteem.

[That would be nice for a change...]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 2:30pm

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of February 2015

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy NelsonEach month, we ask our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle a bit more.

Without further ado, here’s the installment for February 2015 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the Related Posts section at the bottom of the post):

Willaful:

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson was such an excruciating read, it has to be my best book of the month. :-) The narrative is cleverly and fiendishly designed to cause as much pain and suspense as possible; I won't spoil the ending, but the payoff is worth it. It's also gorgeously written, and would be a great choice to give to anyone who sneers at Young Adult literature.

Chelsea Mueller:

Risking It All  by Tessa Bailey

I've been a fan of Bailey's books for some time, but Risking It All is my favorite. I'm a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers trope, and she's a master. What's best about this particular novel—the first in a new series—is the way she twists the trope in a new and exciting way. Also, she writes some of the best dirty-talkin' alphas out there. Swooning for Bowen Driscol is guaranteed.

[+More delicious blogger recommendations...]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 12:15pm

First Look: Patricia Briggs’s Dead Heat (March 3, 2015)

Dead Heat by Patricia BriggsPatricia Briggs
Dead Heat (Alpha and Omega #4)
Ace / March 3, 2015 / $26.95 print, $12.99 digital

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal—or at least it starts out that way...

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

As humans, it is hard enough to face our own mortality.  When you mix in the world of the supernatural, it gets worse.  Werewolves, vampires and the like can all live for centuries. In a supernatural world, making friends with humans is like having a pet goldfish.  Our lives are fragile and short and just when they are getting to enjoy our company and our individual quirks, *flush* it is time for us to go.

Usually when humans are mixed into an Urban Fantasy, it is either in a discussion of friends long gone or in the present tense, with human friends in their prime of life.  In Patricia Briggs’s latest Alpha and Omega novel, Dead Heat, she makes Charles face the pending death of his long-time friend, sinceeven a werewolf of Charles’s power and strength cannot fight the ravages of human mortality.

[It is quite a juxtaposition...]