<i>Mortal Danger</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Mortal Danger: Exclusive Excerpt Ann Aguirre "I didn’t want to worry about Kian, considering how little I trusted him..." Read & Win: Daisy Goodwin's <i>The Fortune Hunter</i> Read & Win: Daisy Goodwin's The Fortune Hunter Daisy Goodwin "She smiled and put a finger against his lips..." <i>Driving with the Top Down</i>: Excerpt Driving with the Top Down: Excerpt Beth Harbison True friends provide a roadmap to finding what you’re really looking for... <i>A Woman Made for Sin</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Woman Made for Sin: Exclusive Excerpt Michele Sinclair "When he showed his pleasure with a low growl, she smiled against his mouth."
From The Blog
July 22, 2014
An Argument for Adam Driver's Sex Appeal
Megan Frampton
July 21, 2014
Sandra Schwab’s Historical Romances
Anna Bowling
July 18, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Tim Howard
Team H & H
July 17, 2014
Non-American Authors for Your Staycation
Leigh Davis
July 17, 2014
Faith and Romance is Not a Contradiction
Michele Andrea Bowen
Thu
Jul 17 2014 2:00pm

First Look: Daisy Goodwin’s The Fortune Hunter (July 29, 2014)

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy GoodwinDaisy Goodwin
The Fortune Hunter
St. Martin’s Press/ July 29, 2014 / $26.99 print / $12.99 digital

In 1875, Sisi, the Empress of Austria is the woman that every man desires and every woman envies.

Beautiful, athletic and intelligent, Sisi has everything - except happiness. Bored with the stultifying etiquette of the Hapsburg Court and her dutiful but unexciting husband, Franz Joseph, Sisi comes to England to hunt. She comes looking for excitement and she finds it in the dashing form of Captain Bay Middleton, the only man in Europe who can outride her. Ten years younger than her and engaged to the rich and devoted Charlotte, Bay has everything to lose by falling for a woman who can never be his. But Bay and the Empress are as reckless as each other, and their mutual attraction is a force that cannot be denied.

It's impossible to discuss The Fortune Hunter without addressing the big question: as follow up to the magnificent The American Heiress, does it deliver? The answer is yes. But in this novel, Daisy Goodwin gives us not one, but two heroines: Elizabeth, called Sisi, the glamorous but jaded and calculating Empress of Austria, and Charlotte Baird, a plain but idealistic British heiress. Both are based on true-life women.

Caught in between these two women is a dashing young cavalry officer named Bay Middleton—also based on a historically true person. (And yes, he is a distant relation to Kate Middleton.)

[Past and present collide...]

Thu
Jul 17 2014 12:00pm
Excerpt

A Woman Made for Sin: Exclusive Excerpt

Michele Sinclair

A Woman Made for Sin by Michele Sinclair

Three best friends are the most eligible ladies in London. But Lady Aimee Wentworth only has eyes for the handsome sailor who captured her heart long ago…

EVERYTHING SHE LOST…

Lady Aimee Wentworth has grown tired of Reece Hamilton avoiding her. Unable to shake her childhood vow to marry the dashing sailor, she devises a plan that she’s certain will land her in his arms. But before she can act, she’s captured by Reece’s crew, and an ill-timed case of mistaken identity all but shatters her hopes of winning back his affections…

…WAS WORTH EVERYTHING SHE GAINED

Born the untitled second son of a lord, Reece has resigned himself to the life of a sailor. Unable to provide the luxuries befitting a Lady, he insisted that Aimee seek the hand of a nobleman. But when he discovers her on board his ship he knows there is only one direction in which to set his sails—toward a destiny more adventurous—and more passionate—than either could have ever imagined…

Get a sneak peek of Michelle Sinclair's A Woman Made for Sin (available August 5, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Reece’s head snapped up at the first sign of movement from Aimee. She moaned and her hand moved to her head. For a moment, he just stared at her, making sure that what he was seeing was not a vision he had conjured. Aimee was not just alive, but awake. He let his head collapse back into hands.

In one second, he was seeing Aimee, frozen on the mast of his ship. In the next, a wave had overtaken her. As soon as it cleared, he had frantically scanned the decks, as had the rest of his crew—who knew that if she was not found, Reece would not be accountable for his actions. But he had spotted her. Her body was curled into a ball, her head against the gunwale just underneath the rail. And she was not moving.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of A Woman Made for Sin...]

Thu
Jul 17 2014 11:00am

Rooftop Bathing, Secret Encounters, and Ugly Sisters: Faith-Based Romance Is Not a Contradiction

Pastor Needs a Boo by Michele Andrea BowenToday we're pleased to welcome author Michele Bowen to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Michele's book, Pastor Needs a Boo, combines the worlds of romance and faith, and it's that combination Michele is here to talk about today—the two are not as far apart as they might seem! Thanks for joining us, Michele!

When folks think about “Faith” and “Church” and “The Bible,” they might be inclined to take a detour around the issue of Romance. If that romance story is steamy and full of the possibilities of a few good pages of “Oooooo Baby-Babys,” there is a chance they will not want to mix that kind of good reading with a story filled with the concept of faith. I mean, like really, who looks at the Head of the Usher Board at their church and says to their friend, “Girrrrrrrllllllllllll, Mr. Jenkins sure does look like he needs to be on the cover of the next romance book I have on my summer reading list.”

On the other hand, while a “Mr. Jenkins” Head Usher may not inspire thoughts of what he could look like, shirtless, on the cover of a must-read romance novel, rest assured that church life can have some pretty juicy scandals. And there will always be something about the scandal that qualifies for a place on the Top Ten List (aka, the Ten Commandments).

We are talking about some schemes and plots and plans about money, love, sex, intrigue, deceit, and power that can rival anything Scandal’s Olivia Pope and Fitz Grant, along with Mellie and the rest of them could ever cook up on the show. In fact, Mellie Grant, on her best “Betty Crocker Dress and Accessories/White House Vamp” day, might have to take a back seat to a good old, gold-lame-with-lace-trimmed-hat-wearing inspired church scandal.

[This sounds juicy indeed...]

Thu
Jul 17 2014 9:30am

First Look: M.D. Waters’s Prototype (July 24, 2014)

Prototype by M.D. WatersM.D. Waters
Prototype (sequel to Archetype)
Dutton Adult / July 24, 2014 / $26.95 print, $12.99 digital

Emma looks forward to the day when she can let go of her past—both of them. After more than a year on the run, with clues to her parents’ whereabouts within her grasp, she may finally find a place to settle down. Start a new life. Maybe even create new memories with a new family. But the past rises to haunt her and to make sure there’s nowhere on the planet she can hide. Declan Burke wants his wife back, and with a little manipulation and a lot of reward money, he’s got the entire world on his side. Except for the one man she dreads confronting the most: Noah Tucker. Emma returns to face what she’s done but finds that the past isn’t the problem. It’s the present—and the future it represents. Noah has moved on and another woman is raising their daughter. In the shocking conclusion to M.D. Waters’s spectacular debut, Emma battles for her life and her freedom, tearing down walls and ripping off masks to reveal the truth. She’s decided to play their game and prove she isn’t the woman they thought she was. Even if it means she winds up dead. Or worse, reborn.

WARNING: M.D. WatersArchetype (the first book in this duology) is well and truly spoiled in the very first sentence of this review! If you haven’t read Archetype yet, we strongly suggest that you turn back now.

[All-righty then! Proceed at your own risk!...]

Thu
Jul 17 2014 8:04am

Throwback Thursday: Your First Harlequin Romance?

Blue Jasmine by Violet WinspearIt's rare, if not impossible, to find a romance reader who hasn't read at least one romance published by Harlequin. Many of our first romance reads were Harlequins, stolen from our mothers' (and grandmothers') stashes. 

Harlequin began publishing medical romances in 1953, books with titles such as Nurse in Love, Helping Doctor Medway, and Make Up Your Mind Nurse.

Do you remember the first Harlequin romance you ever read? What details do you recall? 

Wed
Jul 16 2014 4:45pm

With a Bang! Not Your Usual Historicals for July 2014

Erin's Gift by Nancy FraserHere in the States, July means summer vacations, barbeques, July 4th fireworks and soaking up the sun. This month’s crop of not-your-usual historicals certainly gives historical romance fans plenty of options for time traveling while lounging on the beach or by the pool. Whether you want to escape the Regency ballroom in favor of Egypt or India, or fall in love against the backdrop of World War I, July offers a little something for everybody.

1920s!

Erin’s Gift by Nancy Fraser
Prohibition Era, Chicago

Caught in a raid at an illegal speakeasy, good girl Erin O’Mara loses everything: her job, her home, and her reputation. Handsome and so out of her league attorney Seth Harrison, her best friend’s brother, rescues her not once, but twice. He bails her out of jail and offers her a job as nanny for his son. Seth has no intention of falling in love after the death of his wife. But despite his better judgment, he can’t help being drawn to Erin’s innocence. This Christmas, letting go of the past and embracing the future may be the greatest present of all.

Originally published in last year’s multi-author anthology A Very Scandalous Holiday, Erin’s Gift is now available for purchase as a stand-alone novella. At the time of this posting, it was also free at various digital retail outlets.

[Oh, unusual and cost-effective?]

Wed
Jul 16 2014 2:15pm

First Look: Kate Pearce’s Tempting a Sinner (July 29, 2014)

Tempting a Sinner by Kate PearceKate Pearce
Tempting a Sinner (Sinners Club #2)
Kensington / July 29, 2014 / $15.00 print, $13.50 digital

Within the circles of British intelligence, Benedict, Lord Keyes, is known for his cold brilliance and strict military demeanor. Yet this icy exterior masks a man of smoldering passion and scorching sexuality who will do anything to keep his past a secret. . .

Miss Malinda Keyes refuses to be intimidated by Lord Keyes. In fact, she enjoys a good battle, especially one of erotic wiles and carnal cunning. Determined to expose his lordship's past, she will use every wanton weapon in her arsenal to tease and tempt this sinner into the ultimate sensual surrender. . .

Tempting a Sinner is the second in Kate Pearce's spinoff Sinners Club series, and as wonderful as its House of Pleasure predecessor is, this is the writing Pearce was made for. The Sinners Club itself isn't quite what I was expecting; it is a gentleman's club with some nefarious, behind closed doors sexual activity but perhaps not the constant, no-holds-barred orgy I anticipated. Yet this series is markedly naughtier and more forbidden than it might seem at first blush. And that's exactly as it should be.

[We're already onto our second blush!...]

Wed
Jul 16 2014 12:00pm

Anticipating Starz’s Outlander: 5 Things the Series Shouldn’t Change

Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall in OutlanderIn just a few short weeks, the long-awaited televised version of Diana Gabaldon’s genre classic Outlander will finally, finally reach the screen. Although at this writing Starz Network has selfishly held all sneak peeks and preview episodes entirely too close for our liking, early signs are encouraging: As acerbic time-traveler Claire and braw Scots outlaw Jamie, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan certainly look their respective parts, and the first teaser trailers are appropriately action-packed and atmospheric. Starz has my attention, at any rate.

Outlander and its various sequels are scrupulously researched, densely plotted, and lushly written; to read one for the first time is to be lost in another world, probably for several days. It’s inevitable that some aspects of the novel will be lost in translation from page to screen. In some cases, that’s fine—I, for one, would be perfectly content if the showrunners were to tone the violence (especially the sexual violence) way, way down and conveniently forget about Jamie’s unfortunate tendency to address any woman with whom he finds himself in disagreement as “Whore.” But there are some things that simply must remain the same. Here are five.

[We love lists, let's begin...]

Wed
Jul 16 2014 9:30am

First Look: Julie Garwood’s Fast Track (July 29, 2014)

Fast Track by Julie Garwood

Julie Garwood
Fast Track
Dutton Adult / July 29, 2014 / $26.95 print / $12.99 digital

Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.

Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them.

Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he’s unwittingly drawn into a volatile family drama.

Aiden wants to help Cordelia get answers about her mother, but threats from her wealthy, high-powered family are quickly becoming dangerous. Sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but after multiple attempts are made on Cordelia’s life, Aiden realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.

Do you remember your first Julie Garwood book? I do. It was Lion’s Lady. I was captivated by the way the heroine thoroughly confused and bewildered, and just turned the hero upside down and inside out with her feistiness, independence, honesty and honor. Lion’s Lady was released in 1988, but Garwood is still charming readers with her high-handed heroes and her spirited heroines.

[A perfect combination!]

Wed
Jul 16 2014 8:03am

Dude Looks Like Is a Lady: Thor’s New Incarnation

Thor is a womanYesterday, Marvel Comics made the announcement that as of October, Thor will be a woman, wielding the hammer Mjolnir, taking over for the previous (male) Thor. Thor remains a god—not a goddess—and will have all the powers of all previous Thor iterations.

Here's some more info from Marvel's press release:

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss. “The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

Series writer Jason Aaron emphasizes, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

What do you think of this news? 

Image from Esad Ribic/Marvel

Tue
Jul 15 2014 5:26pm

Arrow Season 3 Oliver/Felicity Scoop: Will They...or Won’t They?!

Note: Spoilerphobes, beware—this post contains mild SPOILERS for Arrow Season 3.

Fellow Olicity fans, our ship may be coming in sooner than expected!

In a just-released interview with TVLine, Arrow executive producer Greg Berlanti reveals that, in Season 3, “Oliver believes he can finally have a private life and asks Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) out on a date.” He goes on to explain that Oliver's feelings for Felicity, whatever they may be, will be an “active part of the season this year.”

Sounds promising, right? But will it actually go in the direction we want? This show does love to play with our hearts, and we did just learn that Brandon Routh has joined the cast as a potential love interest for Felicity. Hmmm...

Can you see Oliver/Felicity as a long-term couple? This girl's just hoping against hope they aren't on-again/off-again, if they do, in fact, become a legit romantic item.

Tue
Jul 15 2014 4:30pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveal for Leigh Evans’s The Danger of Destiny!

Today at Heroes and Heartbreakers we're thrilled to reveal the cover for Leigh Evans's The Danger of Destiny, the latest adventure in Evans's Mystwalker series. Hedi Peacock is half Were, half Fae—and all heart, when it comes to rescuing someone very dear to her. See below to get under the cover with The Danger of Destiny!

[Your destiny is behind the curtain...or at least the cover is...]

Tue
Jul 15 2014 2:45pm

Quiz Time: Find Your Own Hot Warrior!

Knight Avenged by Coreene CallahanToday we're delighted to welcome Coreene Callahan to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Coreene has come up with a nifty quiz (President Snow or The Joker? Your favorite Brad Pitt movie?) to help predict your romantic future. Because if there's a hot warrior about to arrive on your doorstep, you should know, right? Knight Avenged, the second of her Circle of Seven book, was just released, and its heroine knows just what's in store for her, since she's an oracle. But she can't predict just how much she'll come to care for Henrik, an assassin who's left the Circle of Seven, and now has to make some very difficult decisions himself. Thankfully, Coreene isn't here today to ask tough questions—just fun ones to help you discover who your warrior love mate might be. Thanks, Coreene!

Powered by Interact

Tue
Jul 15 2014 1:30pm

First Look: Amy M. Reade’s Secrets of Hallstead House (July 17, 2014)

Amy M. Reade
Secrets of Hallstead House
Kensington / July 17, 2014 / $15.00 print, $3.99 digital

Macy Stoddard had hoped to ease the grief of losing her parents in a fiery car crash by accepting a job as a private nurse to the wealthy and widowed Alexandria Hallstead. But her first sight of Summerplace is of a dark and forbidding home. She quickly finds its winding halls and shadowy rooms filled with secrets and suspicions. Alex seems happy to have Macy’s help, but others on the island, including Alex’s sinister servants and hostile relatives, are far less welcoming. Watching eyes, veiled threats…slowly, surely, the menacing spirit of Hallstead Island closes in around Macy. And she can only wonder if her story will become just one of the many secrets of Hallstead House…

The title, Secrets of Hallstead House, contains clues for the reader. “Secrets” suggests romantic suspense, but “Hallstead House” hints that this is a house book. Lauren Willig wrote about the appeal of the house book at Heroes and Heartbreakers. The phrase in the book description “sinister servants and hostile relatives” reveals the genre.

Welcome to the world of gothic romance.

[Step into my spooky parlor!]

Tue
Jul 15 2014 11:45am
Excerpt

Why Lords Lose Their Hearts: Exclusive Excerpt

Manda Collins

Why Lords Lose Their Hearts by Manda Collins

Perdita, the widowed Duchess of Ormonde, keeps a dangerous secret—the truth of how her brutish husband died. But a mysterious avenger seems to know it, too, and when anonymous threats turn into public attacks, there's only one friend she can turn to for help—her husband's former secretary, Lord Archer Lisle. The man who witnessed her every heartache. The kind of man whose love she can only dream of...

The youngest of the Duke of Pemberton's five sons, Lord Archer Lisle is used to waiting his turn. For years, he could only stand by, seething, as Perdita suffered at the hands of her husband, but now she's under threat from another source—one who will stop at nothing to make her pay for the late duke's death. But the good-natured Archer can be dangerous when crossed—and he'll do anything to keep the woman he's adored for so long safe in his arms.

Get a sneak peek of Manda Collins's Why Lords Lose Their Hearts (available July 29, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of the Prologue and Chapters 1 & 2.

Prologue

“Put the knife down, Your Grace,” Perdita heard her friend Mrs. Georgina Mowbray say to Gervase as he held the penknife closer to her own throat.

She wasn’t sure how long they’d stood thus, her husband’s sour breath panting across her cheek as he held her in a death grip against his powerful body. A while, at least. Time seemed to get away from her when Gervase was in one of his moods. And Perdita had found long ago that ignoring such things would make it easier to pretend later that it had never happened.

Only this time, she wasn’t sure she’d need to pretend. If he killed her, she’d forget everything. Which for one blissful moment sounded as close to heaven as she’d ever come.

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

Tue
Jul 15 2014 9:30am

The Otherworld Cup: Vampire-Free Paranormal Romances from Showalter, Cole, Halle, and More!

Awakened by the Minotaur by Erin MooreParanormal romances are on the decline, but are they a “dying” trend? With fewer of these types of books out there, the authors who are publishing in the genre have been throwing new kinds of stories, resulting in welcome changes to the typical vampire variety. Paranormal Romance stories have come to encompass a wide range of supernatural elements, from valkyries to gargoyles, characters one never thought of as having a “happy ever after” are popping up. In the game of keeping paranormals alive, here are some books that standout as unique among all the vampire and shifter books.

In Erin Moore’s Awakened by the Minotaur, Teo and Lara have a white-hot connection right from the start. Lara has taken a much-needed vacation to Greece and luckily lands Teo as her guide. Unknowingly, she has walked onto an island filled with ancient rites and sacrifices to the Minotaur. Teo fights Lara at every turn as he is aware of the darkness that swirls within him. Teo is possessed by the spirit of the Minotaur and it falls upon Lara to save him. An erotic novel that turns up the heat, it’s a fast read that will leave you wanting more.

Gena Showalter is one of my go-to Paranormal Romance authors (my other go-to is also featured in this post) who has a wide variety of characters to pick from. My favorite series of hers has to be the Lords of the Underworld series. Loosely based off the Pandora’s box legend and various Greek Mythology stories, Showalter makes it all her own. Each character has a different demon/vice that has infiltrated their soul. Each of these seductive warriors finds their match in unlikely places. The stories cover a wide variety of locations and they meet many different characters along the way. Packed with action, hilarious banter, each book has me falling me in love with a different Lord. I’m eagerly anticipating her next release and I hope this series doesn’t end any time soon.

[With so much lore to tap into, we have high hopes, too...]

Tue
Jul 15 2014 8:00am

Hot Male Librarians?

Henry Cavill in ALA READ PosterYesterday, Jackie Lester's post on Hot Librarians focused on three female librarians. But what about, one H&H community member asked, about hot male librarians?

Victoria Dahl—one of the authors mentioned in that first post—said she was working on a book with a male librarian, while Heidi Cullinan said she's got an upcoming book with one as well.

They're a rare species, but they do exist—what other male librarians in romance can you think of?

Mon
Jul 14 2014 4:30pm

Hotter than a Firecracker: Erotic Recommendations for July 2014

The Highest Bid by Joey W. Hill

In need of some sexy reading material to fill your e-reader? I’m here for you. Each month I will bring you an assortment of erotic pleasure reads to tempt your palate and your credit card.

July bathes us with sensual steamy heat as new and old relationships are put to the test in this month’s peruals.

The Highest Bid (Naughty Bits Part IV) by Joey W. Hill

To understand her customers’ desires at her lingerie store, Naughty Bits, Madison has been exploring her own deep yearnings with the help of neighboring store owner—and oh-so-sexy Dominant—Logan. After overcoming her fears and allowing herself to truly submit, Madison is ready for her ultimate sexual adventure: an auction where she’ll be offered up to the highest bidding Master.

But when her fantasy brings her face-to-face with her true feelings for Logan, she’ll have to figure out if she’s ready to trust her heart as well as her body to him forever…

Installment four in Hill’s erotic serial has Madison embarking on her greatest sexual fantasy to date and tearing down the last of the restraints that protect her heart.

[More sexy recs ahead...]

Mon
Jul 14 2014 3:00pm

What is a “Weekend"?: Sherrilyn Kenyon and Starz Share Some News!

Son of No One by Sherrilyn KenyonOver the weekend, while many were relaxing at barbecues and fireworks festivities, our favorite authors and entertainment providers were busy making announcements to ensure the rest of 2014 is a wonderful one.

First, after Sherrilyn Kenyon posted the first chapter of her forthcoming Dark-Hunter book, Son of No-One, at her website, she revealed that the next book after Son of No One (available September 2, 2014) will be Dragonsworn, which has a tentative date of August 4, 2015.

ETA 7/16/14: In a Facebook update, Kenyon's team announced that the book's title has changed to Dragonbane. Learn more about the book here.

Here's the book's description:

Out of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it’s hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a fifty foot wingspan.

Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded.

But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames.

Then, Starz announced that its upcoming Outlander series—based on the Diana Gabaldon books—will be split into two eight-episode series, with the first premiering on the channel on August 9. If you're a little sad to hear there'll be a break in the middle of the season, this might help cheer you up: the premium cable network also announced that Starz subscribers can get an early look at the premiere on August 2!

What is on top of what you're looking forward to this summer? We've got a round-up of what's on our Can't-Miss Romances (and TV/Film) list! 

Mon
Jul 14 2014 1:30pm

Reading Is Sexy: Hot Librarians from Dahl, McKenna, and Dane!

Looking for Trouble by Victoria DahlThe pairing of a bad boy, tattoos, piercings, and all, with a ‘good girl’ librarian is a perfect blend of popular male and female fantasies, right? But what happens when the “girl” isn't quite so good? What if underneath all those “pearl-buttoned cardigans” lies the desires of real women, vixens even, ready to strut their stuff? Cara McKenna, Victoria Dahl, and Lauren Dane all take a look at this phenomenon in varying ways and show us just exactly what's possible when a librarian lets down her chignon-styled hair and decides to let loose.

In envisioning a librarian, her outward appearance typically comes across demure, or uptight even. It’s important to understand that a neatly coiffed up-do and modest-length pencil skirt are not merely elements of a professional facade though; the wardrobe also offers an element of protection from the outside world. In Dahl’s Looking for Trouble, Sophie Heyer has worked hard to maintain a certain image, fighting against the backdrop of a small town knowing her mother had run off with another woman’s husband. Determined to prove she’s a very different person, Sophie assembles herself daily in vintage style, including “dresses and kitten heels.”

[Ready to check out a few books?...]