<i>A Lady's Guide to Ruin</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Lady's Guide to Ruin: Exclusive Excerpt Kathleen Kimmel "We should not be here, alone in the dark." <i>Target Engaged</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Target Engaged: Exclusive Excerpt M.L. Buchman "She shouldn’t be attached, but she was…" <i>For Love or Magic</i>: Exclusive Excerpt For Love or Magic: Exclusive Excerpt Lucy March "Has her heart fallen under some sort of spell?" <i>Forever His Texas Bride</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Forever His Texas Bride: Exclusive Excerpt Linda Broday "With a low moan, she slid her hand around his neck, drawing him closer."
From The Blog
November 30, 2015
Best Reads of November 2015
Team H & H
November 21, 2015
Gothic Romance Movie Night: 3 Classics
Lauren Smith
November 20, 2015
Love for Bibliophiles in Whispers in the Reading Room
Maggie Boyd
November 19, 2015
A Ranking of the Lunar Chronicles Series Couples
November 18, 2015
Victoria Dahl Plays Your Heartstrings Harlot
Rebekah Weatherspoon
Showing posts by: Carol Malcolm click to see Carol Malcolm's profile
Nov 19 2015 9:30am

First Look: Lynn Kurland’s Stars in Your Eyes (November 24, 2015)

Lynn Kurland
Stars in Your Eyes
Jove / November 24, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

New York Times bestselling author Lynn Kurland presents a sweeping romance in which true love can go beyond time...

Imogen Maxwell is on a hunt for rare, antique items to use on a period movie set. The last thing she expects to discover in the peaceful Scottish countryside is a pristine medieval sword...or to suddenly find herself facing its very vintage owner in a far too authentic castle.

Phillip de Piaget has run out of patience with his recalcitrant Scottish betrothed and is determined that she will join him, once and for all, in front of the altar. Only the lass he captures fleeing his would-be keep seems more interested in running away from him than talking to him. In fact, she seems to have no idea who he is.

But taming his reluctant bride is the least of his worries; it seems someone else wants him at the chapel...in a stone box. As for Imogen, how can he let her go, when she holds the key to not only the castle, but his heart?Imogen Maxwell dreams of life as a movie producer/director, knowing she has to pay her dues as an underling at the outset. Unfortunately for her, Imogen’s life path does not sit well with her over-achieving family’s view of the world, and she typically faces not only their criticism and ire, but also countless pranks by her older siblings.

Despite her family’s attitudes and behavior, Imogen makes her way to the UK for a film shoot. As an assistant to the set designer, her task is to scout for locations and items that look medieval. Unfortunately, Imogen’s sister, Prissy, sees fit to set her up with as many plane and flight changes/transfers as possible, ensuring Imogen’s exhaustion upon arrival. When her suitcase spills open at the train station, even the assistance of the very helpful handsome man who speaks of chivalry does not quite improve her mood.

[The chaos doesn't last forever ...]

Nov 2 2015 4:30pm

First Look: Olivia Drake’s Bella and the Beast (November 3, 2015)

Bella and the Beast by Olivia Drake

Olivia Drake
Bella and the Beast (Cinderella Sisterhood #4)
St. Martin's Press / November 3, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

Even a confirmed bachelor can meet his match.Because sometimes fairy tales do come true...

Bella Jones feels like a fish out of water in civilized England. Raised abroad by her explorer father, she's amused by the very proper manners of the nobility. Nevertheless, to save her younger siblings from ruin, she must infiltrate a ducal household in order to find the map to an ancient treasure trove. Alas, the haughty, handsome duke stands in her way...unless she can tame his beastly temper, that is.

Miles Grayson, the Duke of Aylwin, prefers antiquities to, well, everything else. Especially prying females with their irksome questions. But Bella's blue eyes and beguiling smile are improbably charming, and the temptation of her kiss is impossible to resist. As the pair is swept into a mystery that reaches back to their childhoods, Miles realizes that Bella has made the rarest discovery of all-the key to his heart...

Bella Jones has a mission—to provide for her fifteen-year-old twin brother and sister, Cyrus and Lila, whom she had helped raise since the time of their birth when she was fourteen. After the recent loss of their father, Sir Seymour Jones, an archeologist, while they all lived in Persia, Bella moved the three of them to England, to the small cottage in Oxford they inherited. Bella’s reason for moving revolves around her father’s dying words to her: “Promise me. Find Aylwin. You have half...the pharaoh’s treasure.” Bella has been trying, without luck, for a month to track down Mr. Aylwin, a man she assumes to be a former colleague of her father’s.

[You know what assuming does, don't you?]

Aug 3 2015 5:00pm

First Look: Amelia Grey’s The Earl Claims a Bride (August 4, 2015)

The Earl Claims a Bride by Amelia Grey

Amelia Grey
The Earl Claims a Bride (The Heirs' Club #2)
St. Martin's Press / August 4, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

Bestselling author Amelia Grey is back with a brand-new tale of daring, desire, and a delightfully scandalous bargain in her newest, sexy Regency-set historical romance, The Earl Claims a Bride.


Harrison Thornwick is the Heirs' Club's newest member. His carefree days as a reckless rogue carousing around London are suddenly behind him after the tragic death of his brother leaves him in charge of the family estate. What's more, the Prince himself has offered to secure his marital prospects. Now Harrison has no choice but to grin and bear his noble fate-and the woman who's been chosen for him. 


Miss Angelina Rule is a spectacular beauty, a dream match for any man. But she is fiercely independent-and full of passion-and is all set to rebel against her royal order of marriage...until she meets the devilishly charming Harrison. With him by her side, Angelina devises a scheme that will teach her meddlesome relatives a lesson, once and for all. But little did she and Harrison expect to fall into a tempestuous attraction-and a powerful desire that neither of them can deny...

Amelia Grey's Harrison Thornbrook really does not like being called a card cheat, meaning he feels he has no choice but to agree to meet the man calling him out in a duel. When the event ends, with his opponent slightly wounded and Harrison unscathed, an emissary from the Prince, a Mr. Hopscotch, arrives with the devastating news that Harrison’s brother, wife, and children all died of a fever. This heartbreaking circumstance results in Harrison inheriting the earldom and the Thornbrook estate.

[Sometimes love needs a boost from compassion...]

May 5 2015 3:30pm

First Look: Katie MacAlister’s A Midsummer Night’s Romp (May 5, 2015)

A Midsummer Night's Romp by Katie MacAlisterKatie MacAlister
A Midsummer Night's Romp (Matchmaker in Wonderland #2)
Penguin / May 5, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Importance of Being Alice comes the second Matchmaker in Wonderland romance, where finding love means falling head over heels…

Lorina Liddel is terrified of embarrassing herself on national TV as the face of Dig Britain!, a new archeological reality show. Lorina would much rather keep her head down and her hands in the dirt underneath Ainslie Castle, but her on-screen partner is proving to be a major distraction.

Brother to the castle’s current lord, privileged, perfectly sculpted Gunner Ainslie is a sure bet to keep viewers glued to their screens. Lorina intends to keep the ladies’ man focused on the job at hand, but Gunner is confident he’ll soon have the beauty falling into his bed.

When an unexpected find turns the academic dig into an all-out treasure hunt, Lorina and Gunner get swept up in the excitement. But when their steamy tryst is caught on camera, it’ll take more than an award-winning performance to get them out of the hole they’re in…

In Katie MacAlister's A Midsummer Night's Romp, Baron Elliott Ainslie and his wife, Alice, hope their home, Ainslie Castle, soon to be the subject of a television archaeology documentary, will become an even bigger attraction for tourists. Elliott’s brother, Gunner, recuperating from an injury sustained during his work as a photographer, finds himself intrigued by the idea of the dig taking place on the grounds, especially given his background in archaeology. While Elliott, an author, and Alice visit the United States on a book tour, Gunner will be on-site to deal with the television show filming the dig and the visit of his seventeen-year-old daughter, Cressy.

[Enter our heroine, Lorina...]

Feb 5 2015 4:45pm

“What Does One Do on a Walk?”: Tackling Class Differences in Shana Galen’s Earls Just Want to Have Fun

In Shana Galen's Earls Just Want to Have Fun, Marlowe, a London street thief, thinks she has found an easy mark, but gets a big surprise when the man she has targeted calls her Elizabeth, and says he has been looking for her because her parents hired him to track her down. Unsettled by the encounter, yet pleased the gentleman let her keep what she lifted from him so she will not disappoint Satin, the vicious leader of her gang, Marlowe heads back to the den. Upon her arrival, Marlowe learns that Satin has a big job planned for her that evening, which also involves her having to do one thing she hates more than most any other—putting on a dress.

While walking over to the scene of their upcoming crime (wearing the loathed dress), Marlowe tells Gideon, her friend and fellow thief, about the man who called her Elizabeth. What Marlowe does not tell Gideon: the strange half-memories she has of when she was a child, making her wonder if there may be something to the man’s story. Before she can puzzle over the situation for too long, Marlowe finds herself nabbed right off the steps outside of the targeted house—with a sack over her head and deposited into a carriage.

[Please tell me this isn't the “meet-cute”...try meet-not-so-cute!]

Dec 9 2014 2:15pm

Intrigue and Romance Blend in Alyssa Alexander’s In Bed with a Spy

In Bed with a Spy by Alyssa AlexanderIn Alyssa Alexander's In Bed with a Spy, the second book in Alexander's Spy in the Ton series, both of the protagonists are fighting in the Napoleonic Wars—the heroine, interestingly, wields a sword in battle whereas the hero is a spy, code name Angel.

At first, Angel, aka Alastair Whitmore, Marquess of Angelstone, feels happy when he spots the lovely Lilias Fairchild in the ballroom, remembering her from Waterloo, a warrior woman seeking to avenge the death of her soldier husband by taking the field herself. Now, two years later, Lilias also recognizes Alastair, though their eyes met only briefly on the battlefield. The two manage to escape the unwanted attentions of hopeful suitors and debutantes to go outside to the balcony, enjoying each other’s company, flirting and using a double entendre that amuses them both.

However, when Lilias leaves, Angel discovers a coin on the ground, realizing it remained after the spilled contents of Lilias’s purse had been picked up. To his shock, Angel recognizes a medallion with the symbol of the Death Adders, a group of assassins. As a spy, Angel has a direct interest in bringing the Death Adders to justice, but the desire goes deeper for him, as his former lover and fellow spy was murdered by one of them. Intent on discovering Lilias’s involvement with the organization, Angel devises a plan to find out.

[Plans, we like plans...]

Oct 16 2014 3:30pm

First Look: Allison Merritt’s Wystan (October 21, 2014)

Wystan by Allison MerrittAllison Merritt
Wystan (Heckmasters)
Samhain / October 21, 2014 / $5.50 digital

Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff.

The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

In Allison Merritt's Wystan, Rhia Duke feels hopeful about her chances for the advertized position of a schoolteacher in Berner, New Mexico—until she arrives and gets a good look at the deserted town. Doubts begin when Rhia and her twelve-year-old sister, Sylvie, see the ominous looking angel statue that greets them upon their arrival, and intensify when their mule team gets spooked and runs off with Sylvie at the reins, almost running over a man. Luckily, the mules stop just in time, and the man appears more concerned about Rhia, Sylvie, and their sick travelling companion, Beryl, than he does about what almost happened to him. However, when the man, who introduces himself as Eban Heckmaster, the doctor, tells Rhia that the town does not even have a school, her confusion and sense of foreboding return.

[Heck, this doesn't seem good]

May 14 2014 8:30am

Everything’s Not as it Seems in Charlaine Harris’s Midnight Crossroad

With the release of Midnight Crossroad, the Southern Vampires' creator Charlaine Harris begins a new series set in another very small town, this time in Texas, not Louisiana. Midnight, Texas is usually only a stopping point on the way to other locations. The newest citizen, twenty-two year old Manfred, an actual psychic who makes his living at it, realizes early on that Midnight belongs in the rank of “unusual places,” evidenced primarily by its quirky and intriguing denizens.

Bobo, Manfred’s landlord, owns a peculiar pawn shop that surprisingly gets business from out of town. A few months earlier, Bobo’s girlfriend, Aubrey, left him, which seems to bother others less than it does Bobo, as the woman was not well-liked. Fiji, the resident witch (who Manfred knows really does have power when he witnesses her using it) tries to keep Bobo cheered up while running her own shop, The Inquiring Mind.

[Well, inquiring minds want to know more here, too...]

Apr 25 2014 1:00pm

First Look: Lily Dalton’s Never Entice an Earl (April 29, 2014)

Never Entice an Earl by Lily DaltonLily Dalton
Never Entice an Earl
Forever / April 29, 2014 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

Lady Daphne Bevington would do anything for her maid Kate-including masquerading as Kate and sneaking around the wrong side of London to settle the poor girl's debt. Yet her innocent ruse takes a scandalous turn when “Kate” runs into a handsome gentleman on a secret quest of his own. A moment of passion could cost Daphne her reputation, but how can she ignore the stranger's searing kiss?

Lord Cormack Northmore is determined to find the immoral peer who ruined his sister. So when he learns that the irresistible woman he knows as “Kate” is the Season's most sought-after debutante, Cormack plans to use her connections to help him set a trap. Now, the closer Cormack gets to uncovering the villain who haunts the ton's ballrooms, the more he realizes that the lovely lady is in danger herself. Will he abandon his quest for revenge-or risk losing his one chance at love?

In Lily Dalton's Never Entice an Earl, after six years away, Cormack Northmore is relieved that his family's estate appears much the same. Cormack went to India to make his fortune in the saltpeter industry so he could replace the family money inadvertently lost by his father. One thing that is different at Bellefrost, is that his beloved sister, Laura, is dying, having just given birth. Before she takes her last breath, Laura presses a medallion into Cormack’s hand.

[To prove the hero's medal?...]

Mar 29 2014 6:00pm

First Look: Anne Gracie’s The Winter Bride (April 1, 2014)

The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie

Anne Gracie
The Winter Bride (A Chance Sisters Romance)
Berkley / April 1, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway—and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun.

When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him—as long as it’s in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: to seduce his reluctant winter bride.

Will Damaris’s secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation?

Captivating and thoroughly entertaining, the second installment in Anne Gracie's Chance Sisters romance series, The Winter Bride, focuses on Damaris, one of the “sisters” taken in by Lady Beatrice as one of her nieces, and Freddy Monkton-Coombs, best-friend of Max, the male protagonist from the first book in the series.

[How will he warm her up?...]

Dec 23 2013 1:00pm

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best of 2013, Day 3

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae CarsonMay old friends be forgot? We don't think so! We're celebrating our favorite reads with four days of the Best of 2013. We asked our bloggers for their favorite books of 2013, with one stipulation, they had to be new to them and not necessarily new to 2013. We know we got a few recommendations to add to our to be read piles and it's a great way to feed those readers you hopefully get for Christmas!

Check back every other weekday between now and Christmas for all of the blogger recommendations! See the picks from Day 1Day 2, and Day 4.

Rae Alley:

Bitter Kingdom (by Rae Carson) would be my top read. It's billed as a YA, but like so many YA titles lately it isn't just for young adults. There's a bit of finding yourself and making sure you know your purpose in the world throughout this book (and the previous two in the trilogy) but what was interesting to me was seeing how we got to the happy ever after for our heroine and her captain. You start the novel with her running to his rescue and him unaware of whether or not she really is coming to save him as it might mean her trading places with him and how does he really feel about that...and this pace of action stays throughout.

[Action-packed is the way we like it!...]

Nov 5 2012 11:21am

Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: Admissions and Entrances

Emma and Neal in Once Upon a Time’s Tallahassee*****SPOILERS*****

This very illuminating sixth episode of the new season opens with Emma, Snow, Aurora, Mulan, and Hook surveying the strange-looking beanstalk that must be climbed to reach the top and the compass necessary to make a portal for Snow and Emma to use to go home. The scene immediately switches to that of a younger Emma of eleven years earlier stealing a car (which looks an awful lot like the car she has now), and she discovers that someone else is in the car—a guy named Neal, who, as it turns out, was in the midst of stealing the car himself. Both Emma and Neal recognize a kindred spirit when they see one...

(Need to catch up? Don't miss H&H's recaps of the Season 2 premiere (2.01)episode 2.02episode 2.03, episode 2.04, and last week's episode 2.05.)

Meanwhile, back in the present the four intrepid ladies debate who will use the other magic cuff to accompany Hook on the climb up the daunting beanstalk. Emma insists that she will be the one making the trip, and the others relent. Mulan provides Emma with a power made of poppies that will knock-out the giant protecting the compass. On their climb, Hook asks Emma if she has ever been in love, and she says “no.”

[Is she being honest, or will her story play out like Pinocchio?...]

Sep 20 2012 2:05pm

First Look: Stephanie Laurens’s The Lady Risks All (September 25, 2012)

The Lady Risks All by Stephanie LaurensStephanie Laurens
The Lady Risks All
Avon / September 25, 2012 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Neville Roscoe, notorious and enigmatic, lives resolutely outside society, bound only by his own code of honor—until challenged by his desire for the one woman he cannot have.

Miranda Clifford is a lady imprisoned by rigid respectability—until tempted by a passion beyond her power to deny.

Flung together in peril, through danger and intrigue, they discover a love impossible to ignore . . . or keep.

In Stephanie Laurens's The Lady Risks All, the men in Lord Julian Delbraith’s family often succumb to the family curse: inveterate gambling. Unbeknownst to most, Julian, though a gambler, never loses. When his seemingly stoic older brother gambles away the family fortune and then kills himself, Julian steps up to save his mother, three sisters, daughter-in-law and young nephew from ruin. In addition to serving as co-guardian for his nephew (the heir), Lord Julian decides that he must adopt a new persona: Neville Roscoe, who over the course of twelve years builds an empire of gambling halls.

[As you do...]

Jul 11 2012 12:00pm

A Light in the Darkness: Humor in Urban Fantasy from Davidson, Barant, Lewis and More!

Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice DavidsonUrban fantasy readers get treated to a wide variety of supernatural beings in an array of predicaments, the stakes of which may range from the safety of a particular city or area to the destruction of the world. It seems as though there are as many ways to save the world as there are ways to destroy it, and urban fantasy characters each employ an approach that works best for them. In addition to differing methods used to get the job done, the authors’ use of tone in depicting their characters’ thoughts and actions also vary, particularly in regards to humor.

Typically, two types of humor may be applied within a narrative: overt or subtle. The overt use leaves no doubt as to the author’s intent—they are going for laughs, and do not hesitate to tread in the territory of ridiculous. Subtle usage tends to be more dry, perhaps just a line or two of either dialogue or a character’s thoughts that range from amusing to biting.

[Laugh it up...]