<i>The Hard Truth About Sunshine</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Hard Truth About Sunshine: Exclusive Excerpt Sawyer Bennett "Four people with nothing in common but their destination." <i>The Ten-Day Baby Takeover</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Ten-Day Baby Takeover: Exclusive Excerpt Karen Booth "Aiden just needs to keep his mind on parenting and off Sarah..." <i>The Unyielding</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Unyielding: Exclusive Excerpt Shelly Laurenston "She just didn’t expect to be shoulder to shoulder in battle..." <em>Hot on Ice</em> Sampler #6 Hot on Ice Sampler #6 Robin Covington, Andie J. Christopher and Christi Barth
From The Blog
March 22, 2017
New Fandom Hearts Books to Come from Cathy Yardley!
Team H & H
March 22, 2017
Embrace Your Fantasy Story!
Kerrelyn Sparks
March 21, 2017
RWA Announces 2017 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists!
Team H & H
March 21, 2017
The “Real” Mr. Darcy: It Was Never About the Face
Jessica Avery
March 20, 2017
Kylie Scott on Dirty’s Meet-Cute, Plus-Sized Heroines, and Naked Vaughn
Team H & H and Kylie Scott
Fri
Mar 24 2017 9:30am

It’s Been A Hard Day’s Night with These Erotic Romance Best Bets for March 2017

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 literary palate and your credit card.

Note: Not every story I recommend are the current month’s releases. Some are from previous months.

March comes roaring in like a lion, giving lovers both old and new a chance to clear the air and work towards bettering their relationship or walking away before any more damage is caused. The couples below all want to take advantage of what is being offered but some will require some help from others in letting go of the past in order to take hold of their future.

The Hard Way by Annika Martin

The Hard Way by Annika Martin

(Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo)

Three hot bank robbers all to herself: check

A fabulous Italian holiday: check

Enemies long gone: check

Amazing food, clothes, and sex: check, check, and f&*king check!

The gang is in full vacation mode, and Isis has never been happier…until tragedy strikes the farm she had to leave behind.

People are dying. The farm is in trouble. Her sister might be sent to prison for something she didn’t do.

Isis is desperate to help, but how can she? It’s too dangerous for her sisters to find out she’s still alive, too dangerous for the gang to return to the scene of that crime. At least that’s what Thor and Zeus think. But Odin’s nightmares are back. And he has other ideas…and those ideas might be more dangerous than anything.

Annika Martin puts the K.I.N.K in kinky with her erotic menage romantic comedy series that follows three alpha bank robbers and the woman who loves them all. The Hard Way is the fifth installment and offers readers the same delicious sexual escapades and laugh out loud moments with a deeper emotional storyline as our heroine Isis and one of her sexy men, Odin, each haveto deal with some serious and complicated issues from their individual pasts. Luckily for them, they have the rest of the God Pack to help them through this. A small mystery on the side only adds to the overall excitement and energy of this story.

[More erotic best bets ahead!]

Fri
Mar 24 2017 8:07am

What Authors Led You to Self-Published Books?

In this day and age, it's not as rare to find self-published gems. However, you always remember your first—or close to your first. For some, it was the first book that made you start reading self-published books. For others, it was a traditionally published author that self-published a novella or part of their of their backlist. 

What book/author brought you to self-published books? What has been your favorite?

Tell us about it in the comments!

Thu
Mar 23 2017 4:30pm

Ready or Not: Romance News & Deals from Melissa Foster, Stacey Jay, 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

Tru Blue by Melissa Foster

Deal Alert: Melissa Foster's contemporary romance Tru Blue is $1.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Truman Grit spent years behind bars for a crime he didn't committ in order to help out his family, and now he has to step up to the task once more in order to raise his baby brother. He refuses the help he desperately needs, but lucky for Tru, the beautiful and persistent Gemma won't to take no for an answer. Try a scene of this delicious and heartwarming story. 

Deal Alert: Stacey Jay's dystopian tale Of Beast and Beauty is $1.99 at Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* If you love Beauty and the Beast re-tellings, Jay's unique take on the classic fairy tale will have you questioning who's truly the beast in this scenario. 

Deal Alert: PM Kavanaugh's romantic suspense novel Ready or Dead is $.99 at iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | etc.* This thrilling spy caper follows new recruit Anika on her first undercover—at a black-tie event with the devilishly handsome Gianni. She gets to be decked out with ultra-cool gear, including a pair of hollowed-out heels to hide a key filled with state secrets. What super cool spy gear do you covet?

[+The trailer for The Handmaid's Tale...]

Thu
Mar 23 2017 2:00pm

Pot O’ Gold: Unusual Historical Best Bets for March 2017

What sort of “not-your-usual historical” are you looking for this month? 

For historical romance fans March is a veritable meadow filled with four-leaf clovers.  Not exactly thick on the ground for the past several years, this month brings not one, but two romances set during the American Civil War.  There’s also a western endorsed by a beloved author, a Viking adventure and two long-running series take their final bow. Let’s dive on in, shall we?

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

The Civil War!

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

(Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo)

Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.

Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton's Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.

Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy's favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . . .

In an inspiring First Look, CeresTheories writes “Elle and Malcolm face larger obstacles than most couples, and it’s their incredible strength of will and love of country and each other that pulls them through. It’s a rare book that can make you believe in love and the United States at the same time.”  USA! USA! USA!

[More unusual historicals ahead!]

Thu
Mar 23 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Sloane Howell’s Bossed (March 28, 2017)

Bossed by Sloane Howell

Sloan Howell
Bossed
LoveSwept / March 28, 2017 / $4.99 digital

One thing I can always count on when I read a LoveSwept book? The story will be fast-paced, the characters will have something to overcome, and the chemistry will be smoldering. Bossed by Sloane Howell is no exception. I whipped through this puppy like it was chocolate during that time of the month. Also like our favorite time of the month, my emotions were all over the place. I laughed, I cried, I felt my heart squeeze, and literally said, “Awwww,” out loud. And I almost threw my Nook because I was so frustrated with the leads in love.

Now, onto the meat of the story. It’s an employer-employee trope revolving around sports. We’ve got Ethan Mason, in his late twenties, and owner of the sports agency Mason and Associates. Jenny Jackson is a whiz with numbers. Thanks to being raised by her single dad, she grew up surrounded by sports and could recall every baseball player’s batting average. It’s like she’s Rain Man with sports stats. Only, she doesn’t have autism, and she’ female, oh, and she’s young and beautiful. She lands an interview for the staff accounting position at Mason and Associates. And if she gets this position, it’d be a pay increase to help with her dad’s growing medical bills as he fights cancer.

[Read more...]

Thu
Mar 23 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

Sawyer Bennett Excerpt: The Hard Truth About Sunshine

Sawyer Bennett

The Hard Truth About Sunshine by Sawyer Bennett

An angry, bitter amputee.
An optimist losing her eyesight.
A dying kid.
A suicidal thief.
Four people with nothing in common but their destination.

Despite having narrowly escaped death's clutches, Christopher Barlow is grateful for nothing. His capacity to love has been crushed. He hates everyone and everything, completely unable to see past the gray stain of misery that coats his perception of the world. It's only after he involuntarily joins a band of depressed misfits who are struggling to overcome their own problems, does Christopher start to re-evaluate his lot in life. What could they possibly learn from one another? How could they possibly help each other to heal? And the question that Christopher asks himself over and over again... can he learn to love again?

He's about to find out as he embarks upon a cross country trip with a beautiful woman who is going blind, a boy with terminal cancer, and an abuse victim who can't decide whether she wants to live or die.

Get a sneak peek at Sawyer Bennett's The Hard Truth About Sunshine (available March 28, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

I peruse the candy selection offered in this convenience store while my SUV is gassing up. I’m looking for my favorites, because junk food is always essential on a road trip. I’ll admit… it dredges up some bitter memories because the only road trips I ever really took were with Maria, but I’m not going to let my love of sour gummy worms, corn nuts and white cheddar popcorn be marred by the memory of what we were to each other but are no longer.

“Corn nuts?” I hear Jillian say from behind me as I grab a bag.

[Read the full The Hard Truth About Sunshine excerpt...]

Thu
Mar 23 2017 11:00am

Confessions: Arrow 5x17 Olicity Heart-to-Heart

Arrow 5x17 "Kapiushon"

Show/EpisodeArrow Season 5, Episode 17, “Kapiushon”
Ship(s): Olicity

Arrow 5x17 Captain's Log

I must warn you all first that I’m out of town, staying at my parents' house. I have watched the episode but I’ve not been able to give it as close attention as might be able to when I’m at home. That’s not to say that I don’t have something to say about this amazing, difficult, dark and game-changing episode of Arrow. Because I do.

The majority of this episode takes place in the flashbacks, which doesn’t mean what happens in the present day isn’t important (it is… perhaps the most important present day action we’ve seen so far this year, in fact). It also doesn’t mean the flashbacks don’t tie into the present day perfectly, in a way they haven’t really since the great battle sequence between Slade and Oliver at the end of season 2.

The flashbacks show us, through the lens of Anatoly’s growing horror, just how far down the path of darkness Oliver has gone. They get enough information from a dying Gregor to realize that Kovar has some Big Bad Plans going on. Oliver dresses as the Hood, whom Anatoly tells Kovar is called “Kapiushion” and together with the remains of the Bratva, intercept a shipment that Kovar is after. A shipment of nerve gas, meant to help him take down and take over the Russian government. He’s being aided by an American businessman: Malcolm Merlyn. Of course he is.

[Read more...]

Thu
Mar 23 2017 9:30am

How Do You Keep Guardian/Ward Romances From Going “Too Taboo”?

His Custody by Tamsen Ward

Essential Steps to Keep a Guardian-Ward Romance from Getting “Squicky”

Today we're thrilled to welcome Tamsen Parker (His Custody) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Tamsen often wears her blogger hat at H&H, but today she'll be wearing her author badge! His Custody is a take on the guardian-ward romance often found in historical romance. However, when it comes to taking this trope into a contemporary setting, there are certain things an author—and reader—she beware of! Tamsen is here to talk about a few of those potential pitfalls, and how to avoid them! Thanks, Tamsen!

Guardian/Ward Romance. To some readers, this sounds like it goes together like oranges and ketchup, but for others it’s catnip. Between the power dynamics and the taboo and the age differences, there’s a lot to tempt and a lot of potential for squick. Some of that is mitigated when the book is set in a historical context—it was more common for couples to have a large age difference, not to mention that custody arrangements could be far less formal back in say the Regency period.

Contemporary guardian/ward romances are a bit of a different beast. You can find a number of contemporaries from the 1970s and 1980s, but what about current contemporary guardian/ward romances? Not so many. Although one person in my reader group loves them because she used to read a lot of historicals with this set-up, but as her reading habits have moved more toward the erotic end of the spectrum, she’s kept an eye out for guardian/ward contemporaries which have more of an edge but still have her beloved trope.

[Read more...]

Thu
Mar 23 2017 8:03am

Study Shows It’s Hard to Be Pretty

Pretty girl from Shutterstock

As Queen Beyoncé says, “Pretty Hurts” and two recent studies, that very concept might have been confirmed. In a world of romance, stories are filled with pretty people falling in love—though we sometimes prefer the ones with average, plain, and some would even call “ugly” characters. However, these studies, one, which analyzed 130 high profile celebrities, and, in another, looked at 238 individuals, showed that while attractive people found love, it often did not last long

After all, looks fade, but falling for the person underneath is the more important thing, and if romance novels have taught us anything, it's that without a foundation beyond the physical attraction, an HEA is bound to fail!

So what do you think of these studies? 

Image via Shutterstock

Wed
Mar 22 2017 4:30pm

Date a Viking: Romance News & Deals from Nora Roberts, Deborah Harkness 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

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Deal Alert: Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches is $1.99 at Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Amazon | iBooks | etc.* Harkness mixes literary ficiton with paranormal romance and provides the supernatural escapism of vampires and witches in this dense, rich story.

Deal Alert: Nora Roberts' contemporary romance The Villa is $1.99 at Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | etc.* This enemies-to-lovers story is set at a family vineyard that's threatened by acts of sabotage. This novel is certain to delight fans of Roberts' early work. What's your favorite Nora Roberts novel?

Deal Alert: Penny Reid's romantic comedy Neanderthal Seeks Human is FREE on iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | etc.* Reid's quirky style is on full display in this adorable first book in her Knitting in the City series. Her rom-coms are full of flawed characters—just the way we like 'em.

[+Go on a date with a Viking!]

Wed
Mar 22 2017 2:00pm

Cathy Yardley’s Love Letter to Fandom Continues with New Level Up Look

Level Up by Cathy Yardley

We fell in love with geeky introvert Tessa in Cathy Yardley's roommates-to-lovers Level Up. This week we got word that not only would the book be getting a new look, but that the Fandom Hearts series would be continuing so that many of the characters we'd fallen in love with would get their happy-ever-afters!

The Fandom Hearts series is a love letter to fandom, and is particularly interesting for those who are in fandom and know the obsession, drive, and intensity that can be found there. But, even if that isn't your thing, Yardley weaves in well-developed characters, and makes it all tropey-goodness. It makes sense then, that romance and fan fiction should intersect. So much of fanfiction, as those who read it can attest, is romance based, so the two “genres” have a natural affinity, as Yardley points out. 

“It’s usually written when the romance hasn’t been developed enough in whatever the original property was, (like Sherlolly fanfic, between Sherlock and Molly Hooper!),” Yardly said. “Fans take it upon themselves to flesh out what they would like to see.  I think most romance has that element of fantasy fulfillment. I think fanfic also gives us more background and more details about characters we love, and romance is all about characters we grow to care about.”

[Find out more about Fandom Hearts!]

Wed
Mar 22 2017 12:30pm
Excerpt

Karen Booth Excerpt: The Ten-Day Baby Takeover

Karen Booth

The Ten-Day Baby Takeover by Karen Booth

A billionaire's baby deal!

One look into his infant son's trusting blue gaze and Aiden Langford knows his wild, carefree days are over. If only he can get Sarah Daltrey, his son's temporary guardian, to give him daddy lessons… Certainly the soft-hearted entrepreneur will agree to his ten-day proposal to stay as the nanny. Aiden just needs to keep his mind on parenting and off Sarah's seductive curves…

Being in the handsome tycoon's arms puts up Sarah's emotional defenses even as her body begs her to let go. But being a babysitter with benefits isn't on her agenda—especially for a father and son who might steal her heart…

Get a sneak peek at Karen Booth's The Ten-Day Baby Takeover (available April 4, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

This snippet is from the end of Chapter Two, when Sarah Daltrey, temporary guardian of Aiden Langford’s infant son, is negotiating with him about taking custody.

Of course, most single men, especially those who notoriously played the field, weren’t in a position to drop everything and care for a baby. But Aiden Langford wasn’t most men. Didn’t he have a pile of money to throw at the problem? “I used to be a nanny. Past tense. That’s no longer my vocation.” She stopped short of admitting that she didn’t have the stomach for it anymore. “You’ll need to hire someone. I wrote down the number for the top nanny agency in the city for you. One phone call and they’ll send someone over to help you.”

“So I’m not only supposed to work with a complete stranger to take care of a baby, but the baby is supposed to accept that, too?”

[Read the full The Ten-Day Baby Takeover excerpt...]

Wed
Mar 22 2017 11:30am

Embrace Your Fantasy Story!

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks

Today we're thrilled to have Kerrelyn Sparks (How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days) at Heroes and Heartbreakers! Kerrelyn has crafted a story for us where we get to make some of the decisions—like what magical power we get, who our hero will be, and how we get to our happily ever after! Thanks, Kerrelyn! 

If you fell in love with Luciana and Leo in the first book of The Embraced, you'll love this game—and if you haven't met them yet, then welcome to Aerthlan, a magical world of two moons where children born under their magical influence are gifted (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with awesome powers! 

To play, read along with the story Kerrelyn has imagined. At several points you'll come to a crossroads and will have the chance to pick your power, pick your hero, and if you choose correctly, you'll eventually get to your happily-ever-after... who are we kidding, Aerthlan is in Romancelandia, so everyone gets an HEA!

Tell us down in the comments what power you choose and who your hero is and we'll see you in Aerthlan! 

[CLICK FOR FULL VERSION]

[Read more...]

Wed
Mar 22 2017 9:30am

First Look: Alexa Riley’s His Alone (March 28, 2017)

His Alone by Alexa Riley

Alexa Riley
His Alone (For Her Series #2)
Carina Press / March 28, 2017 / $7.99 print, $4.99 digital

Insta-Love fans, fear not! The dynamic writing duo, Alexa Riley is back with, His Alone, book 2 in their full-length, For Her novel series.

(The pace is already in mid-action when His Alone opens. So, it actually does help to read Everything For Her first. But, there are enough hints to make it sort of ok if you don't).

Ryan Justice and Paige Turner are at the top of the security detail team for the prestigious Osbourne Corp. Ryan is Paige’s boss and Paige is harboring a revenge plot for her father. It’s nice to see an Alexa Riley take on vendetta, while dabbling with romantic suspense.

This is not the insta-love billionaire fare of the first book. The perspective of Paige and Ryan is a fresh one because of the slow-burn nature of their relationship as it grows deeper.

We learn why Ryan (a.k.a. Captain) is instantly taken with Paige. But Paige battles her growing desire for Ryan and keeping her focus on vengeance.

[Read more...]

Wed
Mar 22 2017 8:07am

When Do You Need Romance Most?

This delightful video from Harlequin is about a year old now but the message still applies! Romance is there when you need it. No matter what! 

What romance was there for you when you needed it most? Do you need romance on the daily? Is it a special treat when you're feeling down? When do you most need romance?

Tell us about it in the comments!

 

Tue
Mar 21 2017 5:00pm

On the Run: Romance News & Deals from Julia London, Kristen Painter 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

The Vampire's Mail Order Bride by Kristen Painter

Deal Alert: Kristen Painter's paranormal romance The Vampire's Mail Order Bride is FREE at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* This charming book follows Delaney, who's on the run from the mob, in the small, spooky town of Nocturne Falls where she finds herself engaged to a 400-year-old vampire. Kristen Painter sure knows how to write a vampire. 

Deal Alert: Julia London's Scottish historical Wild Wicked Scot is $.99 at Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* Reviewer Carol Malcolm says London “does a fine job of portraying two very different people who have one thing in common: being at the mercy of their time and place” in this satisfying and intriguing romance. 

[+A Mariah Carey classic gets a movie...]

Tue
Mar 21 2017 4:03pm

RWA Announces 2017 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists!

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Find out the 2017 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists! 

Every year in March we wait with bated breath as many of our favorite authors get the call that they have been nominated for a RITA—the prestigious award presented by the Romance Writers of America organization to outstanding romances in a given category. While the winners won't be announced until July at the annual RWA conference, we're so thrilled for these authors. We hope you see a few familiar names on this list and will find plenty to add to your TBR pile also!

Congrats to the nominees!

2017 RITA Finalists

Best First Book

  • Alterations by Stephanie Scott
  • Before Goodbye by Mimi Cross
  • The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
  • Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison
  • Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

Contemporary Romance: Long

  • Always a Bridesmaid by Lizzie Shane
  • Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long
  • Make Me Sin by J. T. Geissinger
  • Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
  • Pansies by Alexis Hall
  • Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne
  • Tender Is the Night by Barbara Freethy

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

  • Back in the Saddle by Karen Templeton
  • Barefoot at Midnight by Roxanne St. Claire
  • Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra
  • Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
  • Lone Heart Pass by Jodi Thomas
  • Off the Hook by Laura Drewry
  • Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison
  • Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O
  • Wanderlust by Roni Loren

[More nominees ahead!]

Tue
Mar 21 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Tamsen Parker’s His Custody (March 21, 2017)

His Custody by Tamsen Parker

Tamsen Parker
His Custody
InterMix / March 21, 2017 / $2.99 digital

His Custody, the latest romance by Tamsen Parker (School Ties, Due South, Craving Flight) is almost like two books in one—and that’s not because the point of view alternates from businessman Jasper Andersson to Tallulah “Keyne” O’Connell, who is the high school student he’s known since birth who comes under his care after both their families—including Gavin, Keyne’s longtime boyfriend and Jasper’s younger brother—die in a boating accident. In the first half of the book, both Jasper and Keyne are adjusting to this new, lonelier life; he has to battle her cousins for custody, and fight off his attraction to her when it starts to overpower his protectiveness. For her part, Keyne has to combat missing Gavin, who did everything with her, survivor’s guilt, and simply face each new day and believe there’s a reason to keep on going.

[Read more...]

Tue
Mar 21 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

Shelly Laurenston Excerpt: The Unyielding

Shelly Laurenston

The Unyielding by Shelly Laurenston

Stieg Engstrom, Angriest Viking Ever, has got big problems. The human Viking Clans of earth are in danger of being obliterated—along with the rest of the world—and the only one who may be able to save them is a super pain-in-the-ass Crow. Most people annoy Stieg, but this is the one woman he really can’t stand…

Erin Amsel loves being a Crow! Why wouldn’t she when the other Viking Clans are so hilariously arrogant and humorless? She’s not about to let all that come to an end! She just didn’t expect to be shoulder to shoulder in battle with Stieg. Then again, he’s so easy to torment—and also kind of cute.

With the future of the world riding on them, Stieg knows he’ll have to put aside his desperate need to kiss the smirk right off Erin’s face. Wait. What? He didn’t mean that—did he? No! They have one goal: To conquer the idiots. Because nothing bugs Stieg more than when idiots win. If only he can keep himself from suddenly acting like one…

Get a sneak peek at Shelly Laurenston's The Unyielding (available March 28, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

I can’t believe he has you walking his goat.” Karen shook her head. “I can’t believe he has a goat. He picks up the weirdest strays. Why can’t he just get a dog or a cat like everyone else?” She shrugged. “I used to have a lizard that I found in the trash. But nope…he’s gotta be…Stieg.”

With a sigh, she moved toward the elevator and Erin continued down the building’s front steps, the goat now pulling her until they were outside.

Once they were on the street, the goat seemed to calm down and walked beside Erin with no problem. She was like a well-trained dog on the leash.

[Read the full The Unyielding excerpt...]

Tue
Mar 21 2017 11:00am

The “Real” Mr. Darcy: It Was Never About the Face

Pride and Prejudice

Back in February of this year (2017) the New York Times ran an article in response to a study on the real!Mr. Darcy, commissioned by Britain’s UKTV. The original study was carried out by John Sutherland (Prof. Emeritus of Modern English Language at the University College London) and Amanda Vickery (Prof. of Early Modern History at Queen Mary University of London), along with beautiful illustrations of the real!Mr. Darcy by artist Nick Hardcastle. The purpose of this study was to give Darcy fans of both the book and the many film adaptations a chance to compare the modern vision of Mr. Darcy they are accustomed to seeing - based on modern ideals of masculinity - and the Mr. Darcy who would have been closer to Austen’s original vision, based on the masculine ideal of the 18th century.

However, while Sutherland and Vickery’s original study was a respectful, academic work calling attention to this difference in a fairly neutral fashion, not all of the response articles which followed were as moderate in tone.

On the surface Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura’s piece for the New York Times, “Mr. Darcy You’re No Colin Firth,” seems to blend in with the range of pieces from The Guardian, The Smithsonian, et. al. But while the foremost part of her article follows the mold of the others, recapping the Sutherland/Vickery study with a small amount of additional commentary, it is Freytas-Tamura’s snide tone and her use of select sarcastic phrases that have raised objection from certain corners. The distinct impression she leaves the reader with is one of communal disdain, inviting them to share in her view of Mr. Darcy’s many fans. Look at these silly, obsessed women - she seems to say—losing their minds over this blow to their “adoration of English literature’s most eligible bachelor”, but you and me *wink wink nudge* we know how foolish and shallow they are.

[Oh Mr. Darcy!]