<i>Summer on Lovers' Island</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Summer on Lovers' Island: Exclusive Excerpt Donna Alward "Lizzie felt Charlie's strong arms around her and closed her eyes." <i>Make You Mine </i>: Exclusive Excerpt Make You Mine : Exclusive Excerpt Jackie Ashenden "He looked down into her eyes, shadowed in the dim light of the room." <i>The Unlikely Lady</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Unlikely Lady: Exclusive Excerpt Valerie Bowman "A soft smile touched Jane’s lips, despite her best efforts to stifle it." Now Win <i>This</i>: <i>Hugo & Rose</i>! Now Win This: Hugo & Rose! Team H & H Enter for a chance to win a copy of Hugo & Rose!
From The Blog
May 4, 2015
A Guide to Transgender Terminology in Romance
John Jacobson
May 3, 2015
Shipping Sunday: iZombie's Liv/Lowell or Liv/Ravi?
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May 1, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Hot Guys Grilling and Picnicking!
Team H & H
May 1, 2015
Held Captive Erotic Romance Novels from Stein, Warren, and More!
Rhyll Biest
May 1, 2015
A Beginner's Guide to Shifters and Demons
Apr 30 2015 3:10pm

Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Kate Baxter, Lucy March, Suzanne Rock, and Kate Douglas!

Thursday Cover Reveal: Kate Baxter, Lucy March, and Suzanne Rock

Today we're thrilled to reveal covers from Kate Baxter, Lucy March, Suzanne Rock and Kate Douglas! First up is the latest book in Kate Baxter's The Warrior Vampire in which love really is a battlefield! Then love is making us see fireworks in Lucy March's For Love or Magic. This heroine had the wrong tattoo in the wrong place at the wrong time, but luckily she's about to be in the right place at the right time in Kate Douglas's Intimate. Finally, it's our pleasure to introduce For His Pleasure by Suzanne Rock.

[Check out the exclusive covers...]

Apr 30 2015 1:00pm

Arrow 3x21 Olicity Heart-to-Heart: Bad Boy

Arrow 3x21 Al Sah-him

Show/Episode: Arrow 3x21, “Al Sah-him”
Ship(s): Oliver/Felicity

Arrow 3x21 Oliver and Felicity Captain's Log

Note: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Arrow, including last night's episode Season 3, Episode 21, “Al Sah-him.”

We start with a trippy montage of Oliver chained up in a cell, clearly being drugged interwoven with footage of him training in swordplay with Ra’s.  It’s been three weeks and Oliver looks much changed.  His hair is shaved short, he doesn’t flinch when hearing his new name, Al Sah-him.  Maseo brings a hooded man to Al Sah-him and it’s revealed to be Diggle.  Ra’s orders his new heir to kill Diggle and after a brief battle, Oliver plunges the sword into his partner, his brother.  It’s not real.  It’s a hallucination, caused by an herb. 

Ra’s tells Oliver of a man he used to work with, Damien Dahrk.  They each wanted to be the new heir but Ra’s won out.  He hesitated in killing Damien, which lead to him escaping.  It sounds as though this is the leader of H.I.V.E. and could be a tease regarding the season 4 big bad (as well as Felicity’s father!).  All this was to drive home to Oliver that he must not hesitate, he must eliminate threats to his title without mercy. 

[He must show no mercy.]

Apr 30 2015 12:15pm

Endings Bring New Beginnings: New Adult Best Bets for April 2015

Spark by Erin Noelle

A lot of series endings are included in this list but that only leaves room for brand new ones! With endings also come new beginnings and these books herald how what you think is an ending could really just be the start of something amazing.

Spark by Erin Noelle has a unique premise. Forced to look for alternative medicine in order to combat his brother’s severe epilepsy, Crew and his family journey to Colorado. While on the search for new treatment for Caleb, Crew meets a Hudson, a free spirit with a green thumb. When tragedy forces them apart will their new relationship be able to see past the heartbreak?

Until July by Aurora Rose Reynolds continues the saga of the Mayson family from her Until series with the next generation. July Mayson is a feisty heroine that meets her match in the biker Wes. With one of the best meet-cutes I’ve read involving a Taser, you’re in for a fast ride with these two.

Sweet Hope by Tillie Cole is the conclusion to the Sweet Home series. Ally and Elpidio meet when she lands her dream job, as curator of his statues. As the elusive artist begins to get closer to Ally, they both realize their connection is more than just work. Their burning chemistry might go up in flames if the past catches up to them. A great end, it brings everyone together in a spellbinding way.

[More New Adult Best Bets...]

Apr 30 2015 9:30am

First Look: Thea Harrison’s Midnight’s Kiss (May 5, 2015)

Midnight's Kiss by Thea Harrison

Thea Harrison
Midnight’s Kiss (Elder Races Series, #8)
Penguin Publishing Group / May 5, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, two souls who have long buried their passions are about to be consumed…

Ever since their scorching affair ended years ago, Julian, the Nightkind King, and Melisande, daughter of the Light Fae Queen, have tried to put the past behind them—and distance between them. But when a war breaks out between Julian and Justine, a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind council, they find themselves thrown together under treacherous circumstances…

Kidnapped as leverage against Julian, Melly is convinced that her former lover won’t be rushing to her rescue. But when Julian gives himself up to save her, they both end up Justine’s captives. Armed only with their wits and their anger, Melly and Julian must work together to escape. But will they be able to ignore their complicated history, or will the fiery passion that once burned them blaze again?

We have met the King of the Nightkind in several of the books in the Elder Races series. Julian Regillus was born a Roman slave, won his freedom as a gladiator and became a Roman General. He is also the progeny of Carling Severan, former Queen of the Nightkind. Julian is cold, vicious and very, very dangerous.  Surprising, this two millennia old vampyre is also heartbroken.

In Midnight’s Kiss, Thea Harrison presents a side of Julian no one would have ever believed. Twenty years ago, Julian Regillus and Melisande Aindris, the heir to the Light Fae throne were romantically involved. Yet, not everyone was excited for them. If the King of the Nightkind and the future Queen of the Light Fae stayed together and married, that would throw off the balance of power for the Elder Races. 

[The King is still holding on to love...]

Apr 30 2015 8:14am

Throwback Thursday: Have You Read Mercedes Lackey?

From a High Tower by Mercedes LackeyMany readers credit Mercedes Lackey with their interest in romance and fantasy romance (this blogger, included). Just this week many fans were excited to add From a High Tower (available June 2, 2015) to their TBR lists, which continues Lackey's Elemental Masters series that reimagines classic fairy tales—this one featuring Rapunzel!

Have you read Mercedes Lackey? What was your first?

Apr 29 2015 4:30pm

Little (Old) Women: The Women of Rosamunde Pilcher Multi-Generational Stories

September by Rosamunde Pilcher

One afternoon after reading Glamour magazine a friend called to tell me about a book that was being recommended and that she felt I simply must buy. That book was September and it was my introduction to Rosamunde Pilcher. My friend was right to recommend the book—I absolutely loved it and subsequently glommed all of Pilcher’s previous works. As a writer she has the unique ability to infuse her novels with a warmth and wit you will rarely come across on the printed page. She creates absolutely memorable characters and fascinating romances and offers interesting insight into the female heart. Needless to say I was very excited when I learned that her work was being re-released and a whole new generation of readers would get a chance to read it. 

While Pilcher writes what is generally termed women’s fiction, most of her books contain at least one HEA. Her romances tend to be sweeping, heartfelt and take many, many pages to reach a conclusion. They contain all the ups and downs of a real life relationship. And they often have a helping hand.

The author loves to do multi-generational stories which show the beauty of different age groups interacting together and learning from each other. The backbone of this circle of family and friends tends to be one of Pilcher’s signature characters- the grand old lady. In the author’s novels the grand old lady serves as a matriarchal figure that dispenses wisdom and makes sure true love finds its way in the lives of the younger folk. The grand old lady is a staple of romance novels such as Phoebe from Jeffe Kennedy’s Mark of the Tala, Drucilla Fleetwood from Amanda Quick’s Dangerous, or Aunt Mari from Slightly Married by Mary Balogh. She is a strong woman and full of character. A great example of this character, captured in just a few lines is Elfrida, from Winter Solstice:

[Bring the wisdom...]

Apr 29 2015 3:37pm

Romance News Roundup: Born of Defiance Trailer & Meredith Duran Deal Alert!

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.

That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran—Deal Alert #1: Meredith Duran's historical That Scandalous Summer is priced at $.99 right now in e-book at Amazon. New to Duran? Discover her books with this spotlight by Janga.

—Deal Alert #2: Christina Lauren's Wild Season contemporary romance Sweet Filthy Boy is currently $1.99 at Amazon. Want to know more? You can read our First Look at Sweet Filthy Boy here.

Sherrilyn Kenyon's upcoming League novel Born of Defiance (out May 12) has a book trailer and you can watch it here! Also, did you hear? Kenyon will be writing a new series called Deadman's Cross.

—Deal Alert #3: Miranda Kenneally's YA contemporary Breathe, Annie, Breathe is marked down to $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers such as Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Amazon. You can read a guest post by Kenneally here on great examples of the beloved friends to lovers trope.

Apr 29 2015 2:30pm

Small Towns and Romance Novels: The Perfect Fit!

Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch by Emma Cane

Today we're thrilled to have Emma Cane on the site. Emma's latest book, Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch came out yesterday. Emma's books take place in small towns and her newest heroine is a romance novelist having to deal with small town gossip and the fact that her new man is also the inspiration for her new hero—we're guessing that's a secret that won't be kept for long. Emma is here today to talk about why small towns and romance novels go hand-in-hand. Thanks, Emma!

Small towns have a mythic quality in America, a place where life seems simpler, friends and family closer. Romance novels and small towns just seem to go together. Let’s take a look at what’s to love about small towns.

When a small amount of people live close together, everyone cares. You all grow up together, so your neighbors’ parents are just as likely to watch out for you as your own. There are some flaws, of course. Everybody knows your business, and that’s not always a good thing. Take Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron series, which is set in a small town in the Finger Lakes wine country of NY. I recently read Waiting for You, about restaurant owner Colleen and the return of Lucas, the man who crushed her heart back in college. Colleen, being a bartender, knows absolutely everyone, since O’Rourkes is one of only two restaurants in town. A lot of people care about her and want her to be happy, but this backfires when Lucas comes back to town. Everyone remembers their relationship, and makes certain Colleen doesn’t forget. People take sides on whether they’ll get back together. Lucas hears more about her life than Colleen wants him to, courtesy of the townsfolk. Yet when given an opportunity to leave, Colleen doesn’t take it—we know that living in a small-town is worth the occasional busybody, because you feel cared about.

[And what makes small town romance novels special...]

Apr 29 2015 1:15pm

May 2015 Romance Novel New Releases Shopping List

Find your future faves with this delightfully convenient shopping list of romance novels coming out in May. We’ve divided them up by week to make it easier for you to find the newest releases. For those who’ve got a very specific obsession, we also divided the list up by subgenre and there are some great books to look forward to, and you can can find them in our printable version. Our shopping list is the biggest yet, so don’t forget to take this printable version with you when it’s time to shop!

Jump to New Releases for the Week of:
May 1-7 | May 8-14 | May 15-21 | May 22-31

Heroes and Heartbreakers May 2015 Shopping List!
Week of May 1 through May 7

[Check out the complete list!...]

Apr 29 2015 12:00pm

The Unlikely Lady: Exclusive Excerpt

The Unlikely Lady by Valerie BowmanFor the bachelor and the bluestocking…

Certain that no man wants a bluestocking for a wife, Miss Jane Lowndes is careful to wield her books and her spectacles as weapons against matrimony. Convincing her ambitious mama that she's content to stay a spinster is easier said than done, however. It's a good thing Jane is not above a bit of manufactured scandal if it will keep her from the altar, and the argumentative, contrary Lord Garrett Upton…

Romance is never by the book

With the war over, Garrett is determined to enjoy his bachelor's life while he can, even when it means attending a house party in celebration of a friend's wedding-and suffering Jane's notorious disdain. But when a masquerade ball leads to a mistaken kiss, he's surprised to learn that Jane's bookish exterior hides a truly passionate soul. When two such headstrong people are determined to remain unattached, can love lead to a happy ending?

Get a sneak peek at Valerie Bowman's The Unlikely Lady (available May 5, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapter 1.

Plus, a very special bonus:  If you haven't done so already, be sure to also read Valerie Bowman's H&H Quickie scene, which just so happens to be a prequel to Jane and Garrett's story, featuring a memorable trip to the Bath Houses! 


London, April 1816

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Mrs. Cat, show yourself and let’s get this over with, shall we?” Jane Lowndes wiped the dark, wet hair from her eyes. It was raining. Hard. The downpour had begun nearly five minutes ago and she’d been standing outside the mews behind her father’s town house for nearly ten.

Jane could live with the rain herself. Who cared about hair or clothing being ruined? She could even stand the fact that her spectacles were foggy. But her book was getting wet and that was not acceptable. She’d tucked the leather-bound volume under her arm as best she could while she balanced a wooden bowl in her hands, but she truly needed to get the book inside and dry it by the fire.

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

Apr 29 2015 10:45am

First Look: Beth Kery’s Glimmer (May 5, 2015)

Glimmer by Beth Kery

Beth Kery
Glimmer (Glimmer and Glow Series #1)
Berkley / May 5, 2015 / $16.99 print, $9.99 digital

After graduating from her M.B.A. program, Alice Reed is surprised when she’s recruited for the management training experience at legendary Camp Durand, owned by Durand Inc.’s young, billionaire CEO, Dylan Fall. The company usually recruits from Ivy League schools, not insignificant colleges like Alice’s.

Alice enthusiastically accepts, but she still wonders why Dylan would choose a girl from the wrong side of the tracks for the prestigious program. But after a passionate encounter one night, she discovers exactly why—Dylan wants her, and Alice can hardly resist his fierce sexual appetites, though she is amazed that she could appeal to an experienced, sophisticated man like Dylan.

As Dylan introduces her to thrilling, erotic territory, Alice discovers a delicious new part of herself. Night after night, she steals away to find ecstasy and escape in Dylan’s arms. But behind her lover’s powerfully magnetic facade, Alice senses darkness, secrets from Dylan’s past lurking in his beautiful, lonely mansion—secrets that are starting to haunt Alice. And the ghosts of the truth might tear Dylan and Alice apart forever . . .

Glimmer is one of the best books I've read this year. I first read this book in February, and as soon as I finished it I knew I'd want to read it again. In fact, the second time around I noticed a number of things had so much more meaning. It's one of the books that has stayed with me all year. Beth Kery's writing has a way of drawing you in, so make sure you have a free day to read this book.

[A night of thrill that turns into bliss.]

Apr 29 2015 9:30am

Art Imitates Life: Romance Author Protagonists from James, Kleypas, Sands, and More!

Becoming Jane Movie

Supporting the old adage that you should write what you know, it’s interesting to note that there are many romance novels starring romance novelist protagonists.

There are many stereotypes of the romance novelist, the sexually frustrated housewife, the elderly woman writing in her all pink parlor, the recluse with 24 cats using writing as a means of escape from her mundane life. The romance novelist characters in the books listed below don’t conform to any of those stereotypes. Maybe some people believe that anyone could write “Mommy porn”, but these writer characters are passionate, smart and curious about life and human nature, perceptive and adventurous.

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

Who could forget spunky writer Jo March? Jo’s rebelliousness, outspoken nature and huge heart make her a heroine for the ages. It’s just a pity that her decision to chose that old German guy Professor Bhaer over Laurie ruined my childhood and forever cast a question mark over the decision making abilities of all author characters.  Even so, she’s a remarkable character and no doubt the reason why Little Women is such a classic.

[More Romance Author Protagonists Books...]

Apr 29 2015 8:40am

Overheard in Romance: Name Those Conversations That Can Only Happen in Romance!

Elizabeth Banks in Pitch Perfect
Source: www.thehollywoodgossip.com

Only in romance can subjects such as BDSM, fate, friends-to-lovers, and spurting all be part of the same conversation. There's a social media account called Overheard in the Newsroom, in which journalists and editors share the wacky conversations that can come up in the newsroom. However, we think the ladies and gentlemen of romance could probably top those conversations! 

In the comments, let us know the wackiest conversations you've overheard in romance—either conversations you've had yourself in person when talking with a friend, or on social media! If you're on social media, use the hashtag, #overheardinromance to follow along with the conversation!

Apr 28 2015 5:00pm

April Showers: Not-Your-Usual Historical Romance Best Bets for April 2015

Starling by Virginia Taylor

April is a time for spring showers to bring us May flowers.  What else does April bring?  Apparently a bumper crop of not-your-usual historicals with bountiful options for different settings, non-titled characters and time periods that take us outside of the Regency era. 

Starling by Virginia Taylor

 Let your heart soar…

An aspiring dressmaker, orphaned Starling Smith is accustomed to fighting for her own survival. But when she’s offered a year’s wages to temporarily pose as a wealthy man’s bride, she suspects ulterior motives. She can’t lose the chance to open her own shop, but she won’t be any man’s lover, not even handsome, infuriating Alisdair Seymour’s… 

To prevent his visiting sister from parading potential brides in front of him, Alisdair has decided to present a fake wife. He lost his heart once, and had it broken—he doesn’t intend to do it again. But stubborn, spirited Starling is more alluring than he bargained for, and Alisdair will risk everything he has to prove his love is true… 

Having published two romantic comedies with Random House Australia, Taylor makes her historical debut with Kensington’s Lyrical Press, the first book in a trilogy set in 19th century south Australia.

When a Rake Falls by Sally Orr

He's racing to win back his reputation

Having hired a balloon to get him to Paris in a daring race, Lord Boyce Parker is simultaneously exhilarated and unnerved by the wonders and dangers of flight, and most of all by the beautiful, stubborn, intelligent lady operating the balloon.

She's curious about the science of love

Eve Mountfloy is in the process of conducting weather experiments when she finds herself spirited away to France by a notorious rake. She's only slightly dismayed-the rake seems to respect her work-but she is frequently distracted by his windblown physical magnificence and buoyant spirits.

What happens when they descend from the clouds?
As risky as aeronautics may be, once their feet touch the ground, Eve and Boyce learn the real danger of a very different type of falling...

The first book nominated for an RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award, Orr continues her Regency romp Rake’s Handbook series with this second title.

[More Not-Your-Usual Historical Romances.]

Apr 28 2015 4:27pm

Romance News Roundup: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Deadman’s Cross Series 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.

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa DareSherrilyn Kenyon has a new historical fantasy series, Deadman's Cross, in the works. The books will feature “pirates, demons and high-paced adventure on the stormy seas,” according to the deal announcement. More news as we get it, of course!

—Deal Alert #1: The H&H Community raved about Tessa Dare's Say Yes to the Marquess, and for a limited time you can nab the e-book for only $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. Check out all of our Tessa Dare content, including a first look at Say Yes to the Marquess.

—In theater, the Tonys are the equivalent to the Oscar. Today the 2015 Tony Nominations were announced and it featured many a famous face from Hollywood including Bradley Cooper, Helen Mirren, Ruth Wilson, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Watanabe, and more! See the full list now.

—Deal Alert #2: Christina Lauren's latest Beautiful Secret bridged the gap between their Wild Seasons series and their Beautiful series. Now you can get book 1 of the Wild Season series for only $1.99 in e-format. Pick up Sweet, Filthy Boy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks! See our First Look of Sweet Filthy Boy.

*Note: We don't know how long these deals will last so get them while they're here!

Apr 28 2015 3:45pm

First Look: Lorraine Heath’s The Duke and the Lady in Red (April 28, 2015)

The Duke and The Lady in Red by Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath
The Duke and The Lady in Red (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #3 ) Avon / April 28, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Sparks fly in the finale of the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James Place series, as the last wicked rogue meets his match.

When Rosalind Sharpe gains the attention of the deliciously wicked Duke of Avendale, she’s torn between her distracting attraction to the notorious rogue and the knowledge that he—rich as Croesus—is the perfect target for a deception that will put her swindling days behind her.

However, Avendale is no fool. After he discovers the tantalizing lady packing up to leave London with his coins in tow, he confronts her with a scandalous proposition: she can have all the money she requires…for a week in his bed.

Desperate for the funds, Rose agrees, but on one condition: he must never question her motives. Avendale quickly sees beneath her mask and discovers she is more than passion and pleasure—she is everything he has ever desired. But claiming her requires he unveil her secrets and lose her forever. Unless he can put his own dark past aside and risk everything for a chance at love.

Lorraine Heath has been heralded by reviewers and publicists alike as an unsung master of historical romance. Her latest book, a conclusion to a series that follows characters that stretch humanity, is The Duke and the Lady in Red. It’s the story of a con artist and a Duke with no scruples. It captured me from start to finish, and I can officially say I am on the Lorraine Heath fan train. Not only is the book poetic, but it deals with characters that are real and messy, appealing to the romance reader that doesn’t like the easy way out with their happily ever after’s.

When Rosalind Sharpe walks into one of the many parlors and entertainment halls of London, she is playing a game. Women like Rose are not for the faint of heart. Her ability to pull a con, seduce a man, and gain financial reward from it all is unmatched. It is when she meets eyes with the Duke of Avendale that she finds what will be her greatest mark yet in the world of thievery. Rose may not have chosen the life she lives, but she is nothing if not a master of deception.

[The Duke just may steal her heart...]

Apr 28 2015 3:15pm

Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Elle Kennedy, Charlotte Stein, and Lavinia Kent!

Today we're thrilled to reveal covers from Elle Kennedy, Charlotte Stein, and Lavinia Kent! First up is a hot new series by Kennedy with Claimed. Then head over to our Dark Obsession with Stein's second book in the series, Never Sweeter. Finally, see unrequited love, fulfilled, in Kent's Sarah's Surrender.

[Learn more about the books...]

Apr 28 2015 2:30pm

Now Win This!: Bridget Foley’s Hugo & Rose

Hugo and Rose by Bridget FoleyLearn more about Hugo & Rose below:

Rose is disappointed with her life, though she has no reason to be - she has a beautiful family and a perfectly nice house in the suburbs. But to Rose, this ordinary life feels overshadowed by her other life - the one she leads every night in her dreams.

After a childhood accident, Rose's dreams take her to a wondrous island fraught with adventure. On this island, she has never been alone: she shares it with Hugo, a brave boy who's grown up with her into a hero of a man.
But when Rose stumbles across Hugo in real life, both her real and dream worlds are changed forever. Here is the man who has shared all of her incredible adventures in impossible places, who grew up with her, even if they aren't what either one imagined. Their chance encounter begins a cascade of questions, lies, and a dangerous obsession that threatens to topple everything she knows. Is she willing to let go of everything she holds dear to understand their extraordinary connection? And will it lead her to discover who she truly wants to be?

Click here to enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Hugo & Rose by Bridget Foley!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete entry at http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/hugoandrosesweeps beginning at 2:30 pm Eastern Time (ET) on April 28, 2015. Sweepstakes ends at 2:29 pm ET on May 5, 2015. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law.  Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Heroes and Heartbreakers, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Apr 28 2015 1:45pm

First Look: Leah Raeder’s Black Iris (April 28, 2015)

Black Iris by Leah Raeder

Leah Raeder
Black Iris
Atria Books / April 28, 2015 / $15.00 print, $5.99 digital

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Unteachable, which was praised for its “lush, haunting prose, deft storytelling, and scorching sensuality” (M. Pierce, bestselling author of the Night Owl trilogy), and called “one of the best forbidden romances” (Lauren Blakely, New York Times bestselling author).

“Love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.”

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.

In Leah Raeder’s second book, Delaney Keating has a certain disdain for the “typical college romance novel,” and Black Iris is anything but. Emily Thorne has nothing on Laney, and Raeder’s novel is a cross between “Revenge” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” on steroids. Here’s an idea of just what young people on the cusp of adulthood really are dealing with, a dark world of sexuality undefined, drugs, and what Laney herself perhaps describes best as “Machiavellian masturbation.” It’s a head-trip, but it’s a big foray into an under-represented and misunderstood sector of romance, and Raeder brutally and passionately conveys a story that may just turn all expectations upside down.

[Black Swan has nothing on Black Iris...]

Apr 28 2015 11:30am

Jane the Virgin 1x20 Heart-to-Heart: Geometry in Motion

Jane The Virgin 1x20 Jane

Show/Episode: Jane the Virgin, Season 1, Episode 20, “Chapter Twenty”
Ship: Jane/Rafael

Jane The Virgin 1x20 Jane and Rafael Captain's Log

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Jane The Virgin, including Monday night's Season 1, Episode 20, “Chapter Twenty.” Enjoy!

The Shipping News

It’s 17 hours post break-up and Jane and Rafael are at an ultrasound appointment. Seventeen hours isn’t enough time for Rafael to reconsider his stupid idea that breaking up with Jane is the right thing for her. This recapper’s reaction? Meh. Everything looks great with the baby except for the breech position. The rest of the episode is a lot of set up to get us to a literal turning point—the baby turns and Jane turns on Rafael.

This episode also set us up for some continued interference from Michael and Petra. Love triangles are afoot! We have Jane-Rafael-Petra and Rafael-Jane-Michael. I think I need a Venn diagram to figure it all out. Jane learned that Michael helped Alba with immigration when she was in the hospital, so when Alba remembers that Petra’s mother, Magda, pushed her down the stairs, they turn to Michael again for help because Alba doesn’t want to go to the police since she’s illegal. Jane meets Michael in the Marbella lobby. After they finish talking and Jane leaves, cut to Rafael shooting daggers at Michael. Michael smirks and walks away. There’s something unsavory about Michael. I know he gives Jane a lot of things she needs from a partner and he represents what’s missing from her relationship with Rafael, but I just don’t like him. I can’t quite put my finger on why.

My favorite scene of this episode was between Rafael and Luisa, who just returned after a trip to Peru with a new girlfriend in tow. Rafael unloads everything to her and admits that he gave up Jane for the hotel and he can’t let it fail. Luisa calls him out on his half-truth. He rejected Jane before she could reject him like his mother did. Didn’t you want to reach through the TV screen and give Rafael a giant bear hug? I did. (But don’t try it. You’ll just smudge your television screen. Don’t ask me how I know that!)

[Just grab the box of tissues...]