<i>The Deep End</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Deep End: Exclusive Excerpt Kristen Ashley "Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into..." <i>Perfect for You</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Perfect for You: Exclusive Excerpt Candis Terry "In that breath-stealing moment, Dec thought they might be in for..." <i>Damage Control</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Damage Control: Exclusive Excerpt Lisa Renee Jones "I wrap my arm around her waist and pull her naked body against me..." <i>Roar</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Roar: Exclusive Excerpt Cora Carmack "Just this once, Rora wanted something that had nothing to do with storms..."
From The Blog
February 21, 2017
A Romance Newbie Needs a Recommendation!
Team H & H
February 19, 2017
Part Erotic Romance, Part Psychological Thriller: Beth Kery's Make Me
Lime Cello
February 19, 2017
Rachel Grant's New Flashpoint Series Is Off with a Bang
Dolly Sickles
February 18, 2017
ICYMI: Swoonies Voting, KGI Series, J.R. Ward, and more!
Team H & H
February 17, 2017
Friday Beefcake: 5 Drummers That Won't Skip a Beat!
Jamie Shaw
Feb 17 2017 1:00pm

The Swoonies 2017, Round 2: Paranormal Couples

Continue voting in Round 3!

  • Rhage/Mary vs. Mercy/Adam

Welcome to H&H’s The Swoonies, where romance’s most popular pairings go head-to-head for the title of H&H’s Swoonworthiest Couple of the Year!

ROUND 2 POLLS ARE NOW OPEN! Vote now until Tuesday, February 21, at 10:00 a.m. (EST)

Get the newsletter button

Couple Battle

Couple: Rhage/Mary
Book/Series: The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood series)
Author: J.R. Ward 
What brings them together: A human thrown into the world of vampires, Mary is dependent on Rhage for protection, which morphs into love...
What threatens to pull them apart: What doesn’t? Vampire/human complications, curses, enemies out for their destruction...Rhage and Mary overcome a lot.
Swoonworthiest Moment: “So if you had the chance...even if there was no music and no ballgown, no tuxedo or gala...when your true love asked you to dance? It was important to say yes.” —The Beast

Couple: Mercy/Adam
Book/Series: Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson series)
Author: Patricia Briggs 
What brings them together: Werewolf Adam happens to be Mercy’s next-door neighbor.
What threatens to pull them apart: Pack infighting, for sure, though Adam has Mercy’s back through it all.
Swoonworthiest Moment: “ 'I misspoke,' he said in a steady voice. 'She doesn’t need me to make sure she has enough food or a place to live—that is my privilege, but she doesn’t need me to do that. She doesn’t need me to keep her safe or to make her a whole person. She doesn’t need me to do anything except love her. Which I do.' ” —Fire Touched

Continue voting in Round 3!


[Read more...]

Feb 17 2017 1:00pm

The Swoonies 2017, Round 2: Historical Couples

Continue voting in Round 3!

  • Rhys/Helen vs. Rhine/Eddy

Welcome to H&H’s The Swoonies, where romance’s most popular pairings go head-to-head for the title of H&H’s Swoonworthiest Couple of the Year!

ROUND 2 POLLS ARE NOW OPEN! Vote now until Tuesday, February 21, at 10:00 a.m. (EST)

Get the newsletter button

Couple Battle

Couple: Rhys/Helen
Book/Series: Marrying Winterborne (Ravenels series)
Author: Lisa Kleypas
What brings them together: Rhys and Helen enter a marriage of convenience.
What threatens to pull them apart: If anyone can tame the ruthless Rhys Winterborne, it’s Helen, yet his enemies and her dark secret are a force to be reckoned with...
Swoonworthiest Moment: “ 'Every time you look at me, you'll remember that I'm half his.'

" 'No.' His hand came to the side of her face, his thumb wiping her tears. 'You're all mine.' His voice was deep and shaken. 'Every hair on your head. Every part of you was made to be loved by me.' ” —Marrying Winterborne

Couple: Rhine/Eddy
Book/Series: Forbidden (Old West series)
Author: Beverly Jenkins
What brings them together: Rhine rescues Eddy in the desert and helps her recover. 
What threatens to pull them apart: Society seeks to keep them apart; Rhine is engaged to a woman from a powerful political family, and his life and livelihood depend on him passing as a white man, while Eddy has no intention of risking her plans to move to California to open her own restaurant.
Swoonworthiest Moment: “ 'Your sweetness is so much stronger than their hate.' ”



[Read more...]

Feb 17 2017 1:00pm

The Swoonies 2017, Round 2: Romantic Suspense Couples

Continue voting in Round 3!

  • Eve/Roarke vs. Evelyn/David

Welcome to H&H’s The Swoonies, where romance’s most popular pairings go head-to-head for the title of H&H’s Swoonworthiest Couple of the Year!

ROUND 2 POLLS ARE NOW OPEN! Vote now until Tuesday, February 21, at 10:00 a.m. (EST)

Get the newsletter button

Couple Battle

Couple: Eve/Roarke
Book/Series: Apprentice in Death (In Death series)
Author: J.D. Robb
What brings them together: Eve’s a homicide detective, and Roarke’s her prime suspect...
What threatens to pull them apart: These days? Mostly just their constant brushes with death.
Swoonworthiest Moment: “ 'I love you,' she said again, pouring herself into the kiss. 'You saved me.'

“ 'Each other.' He laid her back, covered her with his body. 'We saved each other.' ” —Apprentice in Death

Couple: Evelyn/David
Book/Series: Extreme Honor (True Heroes series)
Author: Piper J. Drake
What brings them together: Ex-soldier and dog trainer David is having trouble helping K-9 Atlas deal with the loss of his handler—until dog whisperer Evelyn walks into their lives.
What threatens to pull them apart: David has trouble letting people get close and Lyn’s life is being threatened by someone who doesn’t want her working with Atlas...
Swoonworthiest Moment: “ 'I love you, Evelyn Jones. Since I don’t even know when. I want you in my life and I’ll wait forever if you need me to.' ” —Extreme Honor



[Read more...]

Feb 17 2017 9:30am

What Is the Difference Between a Rake and a Rogue?

Rake or Rogue?

If you’ve ever walked down the aisle of a bookstore in the romance section you’ve no doubt scene one or two words that consistently jump out at you when you peruse the historical romance titles. Rake and Rogue seem to be the most popular and possible the most misused.

So what do the words Rake and Rogue actually mean when it comes to historical romance books? I’m going to break it down for you!

So what is a Rake (also known as a Rakehell?)? A rake, short for rakehell (analogous to “hellraiser”), is a historic term applied to a man who is habituated to immoral conduct, particularly womanizing. Often, a rake was also prodigal, wasting his (usually inherited) fortune on gambling, wine, women, and song, and incurring lavish debts in the process. Comparable terms are “libertine” and “debauchee.” The term rakehell itself comes from the idea that these men are so bad or wicked that they will be having their feet raked over the coals in hell, hence Rakehell. So a basic definition for a rake is that he’s a seducer and a charmer.

So what then is a Rogue? It seems to have a far more negative connation with definitions ranging from: vagrant, tramp, a dishonest or worthless person, or a mischievous person. A basic definition for a rogue within a romance novels is that a rogue is a wild card, a man who is really unpredictable and possible dangerous (but not to the heroine in a bad way)

[Do you prefer a rake or rogue?]

Feb 17 2017 8:06am

How Do You Like Your Retellings: Close to the Source or Just Inspired by It?

Retellings and reimaginings can be tough. You're taking a pre-established story line and making it your own. Personally, I love a Beauty and the Beast reimagining or a Pride and Prejudice. However, how the retelling is handled—and how much the reader likes it—can depend on how close to the source material the retelling is. 

Can something be too close to the source material? Do you like it when a retelling is just inpired by the source material and do you prefer and beat-by-beat retelling? 

Let me know in the comments!

Feb 16 2017 4:30pm

Consumed by Shadows: Romance News and Deals from Mary Jo Putney, Lauren Blakely and More

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Silk & Shadows by Mary Jo Putney

Deal Alert: Mary Jo Putney's Silk & Shadows is FREE on iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | B&N | etc.* The first novel in her Victorian set trilogy marries character-driven stories with fast-paced action. If you've not before, here's your chance to dive into the wonderful and uncommon writing of Mary Jo Putney.

Deal Alert: Lauren Blakely's Consumed by You is $.99 on Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N | etc.* She's waiting for “the one;” he doesn't do relationships, but their combustible chemistry makes these friends with benefits burn up the sheets. 

Deal Alert: Carrie Aarons' On Thin Ice is $.99 on Amazon | etc.* A small town man is bowled over by an upper crust princess in a book that packs a sensuous mystery. Keep your heart racing and try out 8 more romantic suspense titles that bring the heat. 

[+ Today on H&H...]

Feb 16 2017 3:00pm

2 Award-Winning Science Fiction Romances Worth a Second Look

Source: Shutterstock

The 5th annual SFR Galaxy Awards were recently announced and I thought I’d share my mini review of two very different winners as a sample for our readers.

First a word about the awards themselves: A panel of well-regarded scifi romance book bloggers and reviewers make the selections, with each judge naming five or six novels, graphic novels or anthologies that they found memorable during the preceding year. The formal description of the awards’ intent, as taken from the website: “The theme of the SFR Galaxy Awards is inclusiveness. Instead of giving an award to a single book, this event will recognize the worth of multiple books and/or the standout elements they contain. The basic philosophy behind this approach is to help connect readers with books.”

I was honored to find two of my own books on the list this year, Star Cruise: Outbreak and Hostage to the Stars, along with some we’ve mentioned on Heroes and Heartbreakers in the past, such as Anna Hackett and her Galactic Gladiators, Ilona Andrews’s One Fell Sweep and thePets In Space anthology.

[Read more...]

Feb 16 2017 2:38pm

Outlander Returns to Us in September

Claire and Jamie Fraser in OutlanderWe've got good news and we've got bad news, Outlander fans. The good news is that we now know when Outlander season 3 will premiere. The bad news is that it's not April, or even this summer—rather, the series is set to return to our television screens in September 2017.

At least stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan look absolutely adorable in this video where they bid farewell (for now) to filming in Scotland and giddily anticipate “ditch[ing] a few of these layers” for the warmer weather in sunny Cape Town, South Africa?!

[Until then...]

Feb 16 2017 2:00pm

Cover Thursday: Exclusive Cover Reveals from Kerrigan Byrne, Nancy Naigle, Emma Douglas, and Kayti McGee

The anticipation for fall books is real! We just can't wait to get our hands on these titles from authors Kerrigan Byrne, Nancy Naigle, Emma Douglas, and Kayti McGee, so we're thrilled to share these early covers with you so we can gaze on what's to come later this year.

[+3 more great covers!]

Feb 16 2017 11:00am

No More Vicious Cycles: Arrow 5x13 Olicity Heart-to-Heart

Arrow 5x13 "Spectre of the Gun"

Show/Episode: Arrow Season 5, Episode 13, “Spectre of the Gun”
Ship(s): Olicity (Oliver/Felicity)

Arrow 5x13 Captain's Log

Arrow takes a departure this week, talking about the very serious and real-world relevant topic of gun control. As such Oliver and Felicity’s relationship (or lack thereof) takes a bit of a backseat. Actually, most things Arrow related took a backseat.

On the upside, we had Thea back in town and she gave Oliver a (rightfully) hard time about his relationship with Susan. He tried to defend himself on that count, asking that Thea respect that he’s doing something serious with the reporter, but Thea seemed fairly firm on the whole thing make making her feel nauseous. We all feel you, Thea.

We did learn that Felicity is actively searching for the mother of Claybourne’s illegitimate child, the one they believe to be Prometheus. She’s gone off the grid so locating her is difficult, but Felicity is zeroing in on her, with the help of the Pandora drive.

[Read more...]

Feb 16 2017 9:30am

First Look: Sawyer Bennett’s Roman (February 21, 2017)

Roman by Sawyer Bennett

Sawyer Bennett
Roman (Cold Fury Hockey #7)
Loveswept / February 21, 2017 / $5.99 digital

In the latest in the Cold Fury series, Sawyer Bennett tackles the bad boy of the team, Roman. Roman is always ready to throw down for a fight or to find his next conquest. That’s all catching up to him and he’s feeling the heat from upper management, when he meets Lexi.

Lexi is a mystery all on her own. She finds herself in North Carolina looking for her unsuspecting father, Brian the CEO owner of the Cold Fury. Eek! She’s not sure what she’s going to find but she’s determined to meet him and hopefully gain a relationship with her father and her new sister, Grey.

“Let’s get drunk and lose our inhibitions,” he suggests, and I look over my shoulder at him to find him sitting on my couch and unlacing his shoes, which are more like low boots and clearly more expensive than mine.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.: I laugh as I pull two bottles of beer out of my fridge. “You are so bad.”

[Read more...]

Feb 16 2017 8:29am

What are the Funniest Ship Names?

Liv and Ravi in iZombieRecently, Team H&H had a good chuckle over rediscovering the ship name Ravioli—Ravi and Olivia on iZombie. We love this pair, but it left us wondering about other funny ship names. Granted this is on a comedy, so some hilarity is allowed, however can you think of other funny ship names? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

Feb 15 2017 4:30pm

High Adventure: Romance News and Deals from Linda Howard, Tillie Cole, and More

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Reap by Tillie Cole

Deal Alert: Tillie Cole's Reap is $1.99 on Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | etc.* The second book in Cole's Scarred Souls series will take you on the journey of 221—a Georgian mob prisoner given an obedience drug, and Talia, a woman desperate to break free from that life. Gotta love a mobster redemption story.  

Deal Alert: Linda Howard and Linda Jones' Frost Line is $1.99 on B&N | Amazon | etc* “Frost Line is perfect for readers who love fantasy and mystery,” writes blogger Scarlettleigh in her First Look. And the love story will sweep you right off of your feet!

Deal Alert: Emily Larkin's Unmasking Miss Appleby is FREE on Kobo | B&N | Amazon | iBooks | etc* This a-typical historical, set in the Georgian era, mixes the tropey fun of chick-in-pants, with a bit of mysticism thrown into the mix. Blogger Rachel Hyland declared it the best historical romance she read in 2016.

Deal Alert: Julie Ann Walker's Hell on Wheels is $1.99 on Kobo | B&N | Amazon | etc.* The first book in Walker's Black Knights Inc. series promises more alpha men than you can shake a stick at, which the author simply can't get enough of. 

[+Spend an afternoon with J.R. Ward...]

Feb 15 2017 3:00pm

First Look: M. O’Keefe’s Wait For It (February 28, 2017)

Wait For It by M. O'Keefe

M. O'Keefe
Wait For It (Everything I Left Unsaid #4)
Loveswept / February 28, 2017 / $4.99 digital

Wait For It is the fourth in her Everything I left Unsaid series by Molly O'Keefe. We finally get Tiffany’s story as she leaves her abusive husband, Phil, for good. Blake Edwards is the last person she expects to help her, especially since he’s Tiffany’s brother-in-law. The same man who paid Tiffany to never contact him or his family again. Sometimes pride is a heavy dose to swallow. But with Tiffany’s case, she’ll swallow her pride and then some in order to protect her children.

And that’s what I love about Tiffany. She’s got grit and heart and she’s determined to make life better for her children and herself. When she unknowingly crashes her friend Annie’s party in order to ask for help, the last person she wants to see is Blake. Despite knowing the man has no soul, she can’t help but be drawn to him.

Someone walked in front of the door, a big man in a beautiful dark-brown leather coat and a black T-shirt underneath it, with curls that picked up the light, gilding him like some angel in a renaissance painting, and then he was gone…

Blake Edwards.

My hate was a wrecking ball against that big beautiful red-brick wall that held me up. My unadulterated loathing for that man took my wall down in one swing.

[Read more...]

Feb 15 2017 1:30pm

KGI Series’ Final Mission—Maya Banks to Wrap Up Series at Book 15

Brighter Than the Sun by Maya Banks, the latest adventure in her thrilling KGI series, isn't even out yet (March 7 can't come quick enough), but we have a feeling even more people will be clamoring for the KGI series. Earlier this week it was announced that Banks would be wrapping up the KGI group with just three more books in the series—saying goodbye to her popular romantic suspense at book 15. 

The end of series will begin after the as-yet-untitled book 12 in the series, featuring the long-awaited Skylar as the heroine. Banks has been teasing us about Skylar's story for so long we can't even remember a time when we weren't clamoring for it. However, last year, Banks revealed that we'd have to wait even longer for her story as Joe Kelly (the hero of the forthcoming Brighter than the Sun) would be taking precedence. 

With these two getting their happily-ever-afters sorted out, what are you looking forward to in the final three books? 

UPDATED 8 p.m. ET: We're already getting more exciting information: Rusty's story will be told in the final book of the series, according to a comment by moderator Lillie on Banks' Facebook page! (Thank you to @KaylaBashe @ErinMickC on Twitter for alerting us to this new detail!)

What stories in the KGI group are you waiting for? Whose story has gone untold?

Tell us your theories in the comments!



Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Brighter than the Sun by Maya Banks, available March 7, 2017:

Buy at Amazon

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Buy at Kobo




Feb 15 2017 12:00pm

J.R. Ward’s Bourbon Kings Will Only Be a Trilogy—So What’s Left to Cover?

The Bourbon Kings Trilogy by JR Ward

WARNING: This post will contain spoilers for the two books in The Bourbon Kings trilogy

Most romance readers will tell you that discovering the genre was somewhat of a clandestine affair for them. That sack of Harlequin Presents novels they found in Mom’s closet.  The lone, well-thumbed bodice ripper they found on the book shelf while babysitting the neighbor’s kids.  Not me. My first introduction to the genre was watching Dallas every Friday night with Grandma and getting hooked on The Young and the Restless during summer vacation because Mom had been watching it since 1978. I loved everything about soap operas: the angst, the love affairs, the break-ups, the never-ending drama.  However the real selling point on soaps has always been the characters. Yes, they’re fictional and obviously viewers know this. But when a soap is firing on all cylinders those fictional characters begin to feel like real people. This is exactly what J.R. Ward has done with The Bourbon Kings. She’s reminded romance fans why soaps are a branch of the same family tree.

The series has been marketed as a trilogy, which means we’re down to only one book left to wrap up all the sudsy shenanigans, The Devil’s Cut, due out in August 2017.  Immediately after finishing The Angel’s Share, I’ll admit, I had doubts.  Even with these books running longer at over 400 pages, Ward has set up a mess of family drama that still needs to be tied up in the final book. The deck almost depleted, let’s take a look at the cards we’re still holding for book three, shall we?

[Read more...]

Feb 15 2017 11:00am

Reading Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflowers: Appreciating the Final Wallflower in Scandal in Spring

In a delightful journey that began with Secrets of a Summer Night in 2004, we accompanied the Wallflowers—young society misses Annabelle, Lillian, Evangeline, and Daisy—as they banded together in a hunt for husbands that led to love and matrimony...if not always in that order.

But if we thought we’d seen the last of our beloved friends, we were (happily) wrong: Lisa Kleypas has announced the Wallflowers will return in her next historical romance, Devil in Spring with the story of Evangeline and Sebastian’s son!

In anticipation of Devil in Spring’s release on February 21, we’ve decided to do what any romance reader would: Revisit the books that started it all! And so, every week for the next four weeks, we invite you to join us in reading—whether for the first time or the fiftieth!—and discussing the first four Wallflower romances: Secrets of a Summer NightIt Happened One Autumn, Devil in Winterand Scandal in Spring.

Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

The date Scandal in Spring came out, in 2006, I distinctly remember storming through three different Barnes & Nobles in my hometown area (before e-readers), because the previous two stores I had visited did not have the book available on the day it was released. Talk about a panic attack. When I finally flew home, ready to savor my copy, I remember the split-second thought of, “This is it! This is the last book in the Wallflower series. How is this going to end? All my characters that I just spent the last year with, obsessing over each romance…”

And with the reread, truly my heart went out to Daisy. Dating was rough for Daisy Bowman. Yeah, she had that hot Gypsy kiss, but she’s still single, and now her soap tycoon father is convinced that she cannot find a suitable match in England. To add insult to injury, he’s ready to arrange her marriage, and he knows just the bachelor; his own butt-kissing protégé from the United States, Matthew Swift. Daisy could not be any more turned off. She recalls Matthew as a gangly awkward kiss-up who doted on her father’s every business advice. But, of course, Daisy ends up surprised when she meets the handsome, mature, and charming Matthew Swift. Luckily, she has her friends there to support her. I’m not sure she could have had her story without the support of the Wallflowers. Sure, Lillian was an overbearing older sister at some points, but Matthew is successfully vetted through all their judgements and evaluations.

[Get by with a little from your friends...]

Feb 15 2017 9:30am

Lisa Renee Jones Excerpt: Damage Control

Lisa Renee Jones

Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones

The only thing more dangerous than a dark secret is a damaged heart…

Shane Brandon has been pushed to the brink, torn between his corrupt family and his explosive, all-consuming desire for Emily Stevens, who he now knows is not who, and what, she seems. Has he trusted the wrong person? Will she, not his brother Derek, be the ultimate destruction of his family Empire.

Emily tries to run from Shane, but he will stop her, confront her, force her to reveal all – one hot touch and kiss, at a time, under every intimate detail of who this woman is, and what she wants, is exposed. But as he tears away the dangers of the unknowns with the woman in his bed, and in his heart, The Martina Cartel, has set their sites on his company, his family, and the one piece of leverage they believe he won’t gamble with: Emily.

Get a sneak peek at Lisa Renee Jones's Damage Control (available February 21, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.


“You make me remember I need to be good and right in my choices.”

“Do you ever question doing what is good and right?”

“There have been times when I felt like my hand was forced.”

“When you were a lawyer?”

“No,” I say. “I manipulated the law, as does every attorney, but I never broke it. I’m talking about when I’m with my family.”

“Did you go where they lead?”

“Not so far.”

“That sounds like you might.”

“I don’t want to be them.”

[Read the full excerpt now...]

Feb 15 2017 8:03am

Do You Like Charming Heroes?

We've talked a lot about the brooding hero. He's the alpha of few words—the Heathcliffs and the Rochesters and the Darcys. We love them all. But there's something to be said for a hero who can charm the pants (literally and figuratively) off a heroine! 

Do you have strong thoughts one way or another on charming heroes? Do you prefer the brooding, silent time or the silver tongued devil? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

Feb 14 2017 5:00pm

Dirty Sexy Money: Romance News and Deals from Lisa Renee Jones, Grace Burrowes, and More

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

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Hard Rules by Lisa Renee Jones

Deal Alert: Lisa Renee Jones' Hard Rules is $1.99 on Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* "All the elements of your standard meet-cute are in place—and delightfully well done,” writes blogger KC in her review. And then things turn dangerous and sexy. Check out the First Look here.  

Deal Alert: Grace Burrowes' The Trouble with Dukes is $1.99 on Kobo | B&N | Amazon | iBooks | etc.* Check out our First Look for The Trouble With Dukes, and get into Burrowes' heroes, who “fall hard and fast” for their heroines. 

Deal Alert: Naima Simone's The Millionaire Makeover is $.99 on Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | etc.* A best-friend's-little-sister story complete with pining and a charity bachelor auction? Yes, please. We can't get enough of the best-friend's-little-sister trope

[+ A letter from a Winston Brother...]