<i>Chalvaren Rising</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Chalvaren Rising: Exclusive Excerpt Paula Millhouse Mia wrapped her arms around his neck, their chests colliding..." <i>Wicked Lies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Wicked Lies: Exclusive Excerpt Lora Leigh "His hold tightened further on her as his head lowered, his lips brushing over her jaw." <i>What To Do With A Duke</i>: Exclusive Excerpt What To Do With A Duke: Exclusive Excerpt Sally MacKenzie "The race to Happily Ever After is about to begin…" <i>Wildest Dreams</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Wildest Dreams: Exclusive Excerpt Robyn Carr "He wasn’t trying to win her with muscle but with softness."
From The Blog
August 27, 2015
August Kert's Bring Me to Life
August 27, 2015
Summer Regency Anthologies Make Reading Easy!
Janet Webb
August 27, 2015
August 2015 Blogger Recommendations
Team H & H
August 26, 2015
Lovers as Property in the Medieval Romance
August 26, 2015
Being a Romance Reader: Expectations vs. Reality
Jennifer Proffitt
Aug 25 2015 9:30am

First Look: Emma Chase’s Sustained (August 25, 2015)

Sustained by Emma Chase

Emma Chase
Sustained (Legal Briefs #2)
Gallery / August 25, 2015 / $15.99 print, $7.99 digital

Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, returns with a brand new funny, romantic, sexy story!

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy and Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that—that, I know how to do.

A lot of people fell in love with Emma Chase’s male point-of-view novel, Tangled. That success led to a number of sequel titles and now the spin-off series, The Legal Briefs. As much as I enjoyed Overruled, the first book in the series, I was really chomping at the bit for Sustained. Sustained brings back the all-male point-of-view that readers fell in love with in Tangled. Specifically, you have the great formula of an asshole hero, Jake Becker, defense attorney, pitted against loving aunt, Chelsea McQuaid, legal guardian to six children.

[It's Jake vs. The Family...]

Aug 25 2015 8:18am

One Book, One Celebrity...

Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn

In a twist on the “what celebrities (alive or dead) would you invite to a dinner party,” I want to know what celebrity (living or dead) would you lend a book to...and what book would you lend. This book is likely your favorite of all time, or your gateway book, but it could also just be a book that you think they would enjoy, based on what you know about said celebrity. For example, maybe you would give the Shakespeare-loving Tom Hiddleston Eloisa James's Shakespeare influenced Once Upon a Tower

So, who's your celebrity and what's your book?

Aug 24 2015 4:30pm

Why The Wrong Guy Just Might Be Mr. Right

Right Wrong Guy by Lia Riley

Today we're thrilled to welcome Lia Riley to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Lia's second book in her Brightwater series, Right Wrong Guy, came out on August 4 and features a small-town bad boy who falls for a big-city heiress—talk about opposites attract. Lia is here today to talk about finding the right person when you think they're absolutely the wrong one. Thanks, Lia!

Man oh man, I’m all about those tropes, the beloved time tested plot devices used by romance authors to bring together two (and sometimes more!) love interests. Paula Abdul famously sang about my personal all-time favorite trope when she belted out how “opposites attract.” It’s such fun to watch two characters who don’t appear to have much in common on the surface slowly discover a meaningful connection at more fundamental levels. Who didn’t get a little twitterpated during As Good as it Gets, when Jack Nicholson’s character tells the single mom and waitress, played by Helen Hunt, that “You make me want to be a better man”?


As an author, it’s a real treat to rummage around in the character’s very different personalities and be challenged to find a way to make their relationship viable to the reader. In my recent release, Right Wrong Guy, a bad boy wrangler from a small ranching community rustles up a prim New York heiress who just so happens to be a runaway bride. Throwing these seemingly polar opposites together was addictive fun and I got a kick seeing how they played off the strengths and weaknesses of the other. Today I want to share four of my favorite “opposites attract” reads…books where the hero appears to be the wrong guy for so many reasons and yet by the end it’s clear he’s Mr. Right.

[Sometimes Mr. Wrong is Mr. Right...]

Aug 24 2015 3:38pm

Romance News Roundup: Victoria Dahl’s Harlot, Phyllis Bourne Deal, 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.

Harlot by Victoria Dahl—Victoria Dahl has announced her first historical in two years, and a Western, at that: Harlot. The erotic e-book will be “edgier” than most of her books, according to Dahl, who goes on to say: “Be prepared for a little wrongness. Just the right amount of wrong, hopefully.” Intrigued? Same! See the cover here and read the book's official description at Dahl's site. Harlot will be released in October 2015. Visit our Victoria Dahl archive for more on her books.

—Deal Alert: Phyllis Bourne's A Moment on the Lips is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon (via @FarrahRochon).* And if you're craving more from Bourne, may I recommend this cover reveal post for Taste for Temptation?

USA Today's HEA blog has an excerpt from Lori Foster's Ultimate novel Tough Love, an MMA romance out tomorrow, August 25. Bonus: The book will include a free Buckhorn novella, Back to Buckhorn. New to the Ultimate series? Here's some background to get you started—a binge session may be in order!

—ICYMI: Friday evening, Deadline Hollywood revealed that J.R. Ward's The Bourbon Kings is being adapted as a television pilot for NBC. Will we see it on our TV screens one day? Only time will tell... What do you think about it's chances?

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

Aug 24 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Meredith Duran’s Luck Be a Lady (August 25, 2015)

Meredith Duran
Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless #4)
Pocket / August 25, 2015 / $6.99 print

They call her the “Ice Queen.”

Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.

Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not...

Catherine Everleigh’s raison d’etre is her family’s auction house. She learned the trade at her father’s side, but now her brother Peter is embezzling the funds to promote his political career. She cannot allow the house to fail, for her entire identity is bound up in it.

But for her, Everleigh’s was everything. Their father’s legacy. Her sacred birthright. Everleigh’s made her who she was – which was not merely a spinster, the “Ice Queen” that rude wits had dubbed her. She was a person of business. An expert in the field of fine arts. A learned professional, regardless of her sex.

[She learns to give her heart to more than business...]

Aug 24 2015 12:00pm

What To Do With A Duke: Exclusive Excerpt

Sally MacKenzie

What To Do With A Duke by Sally MacKenzie

Welcome to the charming, fatefully named village of Loves Bridge, where a woman destined for spinsterhood can live a life of her own choosing—or fall unexpectedly, madly in love…

Miss Isabelle Catherine Hutting would rather be lounging in the library than circling the ballroom in search of a husband any day. So when Cat hears that the town’s infamous Spinster House is open for a new resident, she jumps at the chance to put all this marriage business behind her. But first she must make arrangements with her prospective landlord, Marcus, the Duke of Hart—the most handsome man she’s ever seen, and the only man who’s ever impressed her in the least…

With her wit, independent spirit, and not least of all her beauty, Marcus can’t help but be stirred by Cat. It’s terribly unfortunate he’s not looking to marry, given the centuries-old curse that left his family with the Spinster House to begin with. No duke shall live to see his heir’s birth. But is there a chance the curse could be broken—in true fairy-tale fashion—by an act of true love? The race to Happily Ever After is about to begin…

Get a sneak peek at Sally MacKenzie's What To Do With A Duke (available August 25, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

The duke was going to let her have the Spinster House. Her dream was about to come true. Cat almost skipped up through the graveyard and around to the back of the church.

“I wonder why Randolph—that is, Mr. Wilkinson— didn’t say anything about the Spinster House being empty and swore my father to secrecy as well,” she said as they approached the back gate.

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

Aug 24 2015 11:00am

The Sweetest Taboo: Male/Male Best Bets for August 2015

Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher

Along with some new titles by popular authors, I noticed a number of... not really taboo, but more unusual or challenging themes in this month's male/male offerings—particularly a number of heroes in the clergy.

Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher (L.A. Witt)

Isaac Morris has devoted his life to preaching against the sin of homosexuality. But when his sister proposes a documentary to demonstrate once and for all that it’s a choice—with Isaac choosing to be gay as proof—he balks. Until he learns his nephew is headed down that perverted path. Isaac will do anything to convince the teenager he can choose to be straight . . . including his sister’s film.

When Isaac’s first foray into the gay lifestyle ends with a homophobic beating, he’s saved and cared for by Colton Roberts, a gentle, compassionate bartender with a cross around his neck. Colton challenges every one of Isaac’s deeply held beliefs about gay men. He was kicked out by homophobic parents, saved from the streets by a kind pastor, and is now a devout Christian. Colton’s sexuality has cost him dearly, but it also brought him to God.

As the two grow closer, everything Isaac knows about homosexuality, his faith, and himself is called into question. And if he’s been wrong all along, what does that mean for his ministry, his soul, his struggling nephew—and the man he never meant to love?

Inspirational Christian male/male romances are certainly not thick on the ground! Gallagher, who writes steamy male/male under the name L.A. Witt, offers a tender, slow-burn romance with a little sizzle, but closed bedroom doors. It may not be quite a typical inspie, but Christian faith and redemption are major themes. If you're a fan of Witt's, you'll also run into into some old friends from the Distance Between Us series.

[Male/Male romances don't hold back...]

Aug 24 2015 9:30am

First Look: Tessa Dare’s When a Scot Ties the Knot (August 25, 2015)

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare
When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After #3)
Avon / August 25, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.

In When a Scot Ties the Knot, the third novel of her Castles Ever After series (after Romancing the Duke and Say Yes to the Marquess), Tessa Dare chooses a liar and a blackmailer as her heroine and hero—not exactly what readers expect of the lead characters in a Regency historical romance. Madeline Eloise Gracechurch is a most atypical heroine in ways other than her less than faithful adherence to truth. Rather than having aspirations of becoming a belle, she is a Cinderella wannabe.

Oh, to be Cinderella in all her soot-smeared, rag-clad misery. Maddie would have been thrilled to have a wicked stepmother lock her in the tower while everyone else went to the ball. Instead, she was stuck with a very different sort of stepmother—one eager to dress her in silks, send her to dances, and thrust her into the arms of an unsuspecting prince.

[Maddie prefers Cinderella over belle...]

Aug 24 2015 8:04am

How Deep Are You Willing To Go?

Okay, the question is much dirtier than my intent, so let me explain...

Sometimes, we are very late to the boat on a given series. We finally decide we want to try Christine Feehan, for example...but she's on book 27 in her series! That's a lot of reading, and if we're book buyers instead of book borrowers, that means a lot of money, too. How deep is too deep for you to dive into a series? Is there a point where you say “well, I guess I missed that series...”? Or is this when you're willing to read out of order to get started and will backtrack from the later books? 

Let me know in the comments!

Aug 23 2015 2:30pm

First Look: Robyn Carr’s Wildest Dreams (August 25, 2015)

Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr

Robyn Carr
Wildest Dreams (Thunder Point #9)
Mira / August 25, 2015 / $8.99 print, $6.99 digital

Blake Smiley searched the country for just the right place to call home. The professional triathlete has traveled the world, but Thunder Point has what he needs to put down the roots he's never had. In the quiet coastal town he can focus on his training without distractions. Until he meets his new neighbors and everything changes. 

Lin Su Simmons and her teenage son, Charlie, are fixtures at Winnie Banks' house as Lin Su nurses Winnie through the realities of ALS. A single mother, Lin Su is proud of taking charge and never showing weakness. But she has her hands full coping with a job, debt and Charlie's health issues. And Charlie is asking questions about his family history—questions she doesn't want to answer. 

When Charlie enlists Blake's help to escape his overprotective mother, Lin Su resents the interference in her life. But Blake is certain he can break through her barriers and be the man she and Charlie need. When faced with a terrible situation, Blake comes to the rescue, and Lin Su realizes he just might be the man of her dreams. Together, they recognize that family is who you choose it to be.

Robyn Carr may not have invented the small-town romance, but she certainly qualifies as one of the most successful authors in the popular subgenre. Her breakout Virgin River series was introduced in 2007 with a trilogy: Virgin River, Shelter Mountain, and Whispering Rock. By the time the series ended in 2012, annual sales had reached almost 2.2 million copies in print and digital, and Carr had moved from a midlist author to a perennial bestseller. The following year Carr introduced the Thunder Point series with The Wanderer, The Newcomer, and The Hero. In the first book, Hank Cooper, former Army helicopter pilot, arrives in Thunder Point after spending time in Virgin River with his friend Luke Riordan (Temptation Ridge, Virgin River #6).

[Small town love needs a strong community...]

Aug 23 2015 12:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Call the Midwife’s Doctor Turner/Sister Bernadette (Turnadette)

Doctor Turner and Sister Bernadette in Promotional ImageMy name is Jenn and I shipped a nun with a widowed single father. But I wasn't alone! Sister Bernadette was a young nun living in Poplar (a poor neighborhood located in East London) and working with the nursing order of nuns in Call the Midwife. While working with the sisters of Nonnatus House, she met Dr. Patrick Turner, who assisted with the more difficult deliveries. Turner and Bernadette had an amiable relationship, but with her vows nothing could or would ever happen...until Sister Bernadette started to question those vows.


Aug 23 2015 10:00am

First Look: Sharon Page’s Deeper in Sin (August 25, 2015)

Deeper in Sin by Sharon Page

Sharon Page
Deeper in Sin (Wicked Dukes #2)
Kensington / August 25, 2015 / $12.95 print, $9.99 digital

Passion Lost
Memories of a dark past have left the Duke of Caradon disinclined to have any fun. But at the urging of friends, he finds himself attending a Cyprian ball in the hope that some woman will attract his attention. And one certainly does. A stunningly sensual woman who reawakens feelings of carnal desire he thought long lost. . .

Desire Found
Sophie Ashley knows little of the courtesan life except what she's read in a book. A quick learner, Sophie makes her debut at the Cyprian Ball hoping to find a wealthy protector. And when she makes the acquaintance of the reclusive Duke of Caradon, she's most eager to test her talents in the art of erotic seduction. . .

Deeper in Sin tells the story of Sophie, a down-on-her-luck common girl looking for a new start. And she chooses a brazen one: becoming a courtesan. The second book in Sharon Page’s erotic historical Wicked Dukes series is not only a bold seduction between two people seeking redemption or only a dark whodunnit, but rather a primer of insight into the lifestyle of a mistress in Regency England—one where you’ll visit the other side, where courtesan life isn’t at all glamorous; it’s murderous.

[Solve the mystery and don't look back...]

Aug 22 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Jacquelyn Frank’s Nightwalker (August 25, 2015)

Jacquelyn Frank
Nighwalker (World of Nighwalker #5, Nightwalkers #15)
Loveswept / August 25, 2015 / $4.99 digital

From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes the final chapter in the Nightwalkers saga! As the momentous showdown with a powerful demon unfolds, a passionate encounter breaks the ultimate taboo.

Kamen is a Bodywalker, an ancient soul reborn in one human host after another. He’s also a prisoner of his own kind: for it was Kamen who released Apep, the deadly god who threatens the existence of their world. To atone for this grievous error, Kamen accepts an urgent mission: to convince the other nations of the Nightwalkers to set aside their centuries-old conflicts and band together. If he fails, all will be lost. And no tribe presents a greater challenge than the Wraiths, the spectral beings who are feared and despised for their lethal deathtouch.

Kamen makes first contact with a stunning, ghostly pale beauty named Geneviève. Part Wraith and part human, scorned as a half-breed, Viève shares the hunger for redemption—and for connection. Her scintillating touch holds the kiss of death, and yet it makes Kamen feel more alive than ever. Soon his lips are pressed against hers, sending Viève into fits of desire and forging a bond that breaches the divide between them. Now they must unite all the Nightwalkers, from Vampire and Shadowdweller to Djynns, and fast—for Apep is ready for war.

Jacquelyn Frank brings her Nightwalker/World of Nightwalker series to an exciting conclusion in her upcoming release, Nightwalker.  This final chapter tells the tale of redemption and forgiveness, and whether that can ever truly be achieved.  

[Forgiveness is the only way...]

Aug 22 2015 12:00pm

Wildest Dreams: Exclusive Excerpt

Robyn Carr

Wildest Dreams (Thunder Point Series #9) by Robyn Carr

Blake Smiley searched the country for just the right place to call home. The professional triathlete has travelled the world, but Thunder Point has what he needs to put down the roots he’s never had. In the quiet coastal town he can focus on his training without distractions. Until he meets his new neighbors and everything changes.

Lin Su Simmons and her teenage son Charlie are fixtures at Winnie Banks’ house as Lin Su nurses Winnie through the realities of ALS. A single mother, she is proud of taking charge and never showing weakness. But she has her hands full coping with a job, debt and Charlie’s health issues. And Charlie is asking questions about his family history—questions Lin Su doesn’t want to answer.

When Charlie enlists Blake’s help to escape his overprotective mother, Lin Su resents the interference in her life. But Blake is certain he can break through her barriers and be the man she and Charlie need. When faced with a terrible situation, Blake comes to the rescue and Lin Su realizes he just might be the man of her dreams. Together, they recognize that family is who you choose it to be.

Get a sneak peek at Robyn Carr's Wildest Dreams (available August 25, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

[Blake] opened the door and the house behind him seemed pretty dark, as though the lights were turned down.  He wore exercise pants and a snug t-shirt but his feet were bare. 

“Lin Su, this is a surprise.  Is it my birthday?” he joked, grinning. 

“If you have a moment…”

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

Aug 21 2015 8:44pm

NBC Developing J.R. Ward’s The Bourbon Kings as TV Series!

The Bourbon Kings by J.R. WardRomance readers have known for years and years that the genre's books could make for primo movies and TV, but now it seems Hollywood is finally catching on. Following the recent massive successes of E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey on the big screen and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, Deadline Hollywood* reports that NBC has bought a drama project based on J.R. Ward's The Bourbon Kings, first in the Bourbon Kings series of novels revolving around the wealthy Bradfords, a family whose empire and incredible wealth was hard-won in the Kentucky bourbon industry.

While this TV pilot is in the earliest of stages (many, many pilots are developed in pilot season, and far less make it all the way to a series pickup for a season's worth of episodes) and NO casting has been announced so far, here's what we do know:

According to Deadline Hollywood, a co-executive producer of Empire (!!!), David Rambo, will be writing the script for the pilot episode as an adaptation of Ward's book (!!!). Other executive producers attached are Daniel Rappaport, Ben Forkner, and Marcus Blakely. This is actually the second project acquired this pilot season based on a Kentucky bourbon dynasty's family drama, likely a trend forming due to the smash-hit of Empire, whose music royalty Lyon family sucked us in last season (especially the complicated Lucious/Cookie relationship).

[Let's all knock on wood!...]

Aug 21 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Show Me How You Move with Travolta and more

Some women are into the physique: biceps, back, strong jaw line, bulging quads and more. Those things make a guy nice to stare at or drool over. However, there's still those personality traits hiding underneath all those protruding muscles. What if your guy is not alpha and has a nonexistent six pack? But he does have one thing that a man could never go wrong with: 

He has the moves. He can waltz, salsa, mambo, cha-cha, zydeco, break dance or my personal favorite wine to reggae/soca.

Rumor has it that men that can dance are also good in ... cough, cough. That's always debatable. Still there's nothing like a guy who takes you by the hand and says, “Let's dance.” 

There are so many great dancers and I couldn't do them all. Don't be shy to let me know in the comments below who is your favorite dancer. 

[I love the way you move...]

Aug 21 2015 3:11pm

Romance News Roundup: Katie Reus & Amanda Ashley 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.

Targeted by Katie Reus—Deal Alert #1: Katie Reus' Deadly Ops novel Targeted is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore (via BookBub).* See if this is the book for you with Lucy Dosch's First Look at Targeted and find out why Nichole Severn thinks that if you enjoy action flicks, you should give Reus (and other authors) a shot.

—Deal Alert #2: Amanda Ashley's paranormal romance Night's Touch is $1.99 right now in e-book at e-tailers including Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Amazon (via BookBub).*

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

Aug 21 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Lauren Layne’s Blurred Lines (August 25, 2015)

Lauren Layne
Blurred Lines 
Loveswept / August 25, 2015 / $2.99 digital

In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma ChaseUSA Today bestselling author Lauren Layne delivers a sexy take on the timeless question: Can a guy and a girl really be “just friends”?
When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.
The arrangement works perfectly...at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

The friends to lovers roommate trope might possibly be my favorite. Or at least it holds a special place in my heart…because, yes romance reading friends, I ended up marrying my friend to lover roommate and 17 years later, am still madly in love. (Awww...).

[Would you risk your frienship for love?]

Aug 21 2015 11:00am

The Hardest Thing to Give Away: 5 Things an Author Must Do for Us to Forgive a Character

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

In novels you can have a variety of conflicts—Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Society, and Man vs. Self.  But in romance novels the conflict is the element that keeps the hero and heroine apart. It can be anything—residual scars from a previous relationship; self-esteem issues; societal differences; family feuds; career aspirations, etc. But whatever the conflict, readers know that either the hero or heroine will do something idiotic and then need to ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness is such an inherent part of the story that we rarely think about it unless we feel that the grovel is too little and too late. Way back in the day, Erich Segal wrote Love Story, which was then turned into a major movie. One of its catch phrases was “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Forget that—romance readers expect a heartfelt grovel!

There are also cases where we believe that the action at the heart of the estrangement is unforgiveable. Megan Frampton in her morning coffee blog asked:- Doing Dirty Deeds: What’s the Worst Thing a Hero Has Ever Done?  and got readers’ input on some pretty deplorable behavior. Whether you think it is pardonable depends on the current mores and your own beliefs. And like some of the posters said, they know in real life these actions would be would be inexcusable but think it makes great reading.

[Is a character ever forgivable?]