<i>Heart of a Bad Boy</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Heart of a Bad Boy: Exclusive Excerpt Sugar Jamison "Will she take a chance on the bad boy?" <i>Grin and Beard It</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Grin and Beard It: Exclusive Excerpt Penny Reid "I gathered a deep breath for patience just as Jethro’s chest..." Preview Crave App's Taylor Jenkins Reid's <i>One True Loves</i> Preview Crave App's Taylor Jenkins Reid's One True Loves Taylor Jenkins Reid "Everything that happened before today feels different now..." <i>Learning Curves</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Learning Curves: Exclusive Excerpt Cathryn Fox "His grin was slow, sexy…deliciously filthy..."
From The Blog
May 31, 2016
How to Ruin a Romance in 5 Easy Steps
Elizabeth Vail
May 30, 2016
May 2016's Best Romances
Team H & H
May 27, 2016
Friday Beefcake: "Domesticated" Men
Team H & H
May 25, 2016
Using—and Not Using—Birth Control in Romance
May 18, 2016
What Is the Difference Between New Adult and Women's Fiction?
Jessica Moro and Scarlettleigh
Showing posts by: Cheryl Sneed click to see Cheryl Sneed's profile
May 23 2016 5:30pm

First Look: Marguerite Kaye & Bronwyn Scott’s Scandal at the Midsummer Ball (May 24, 2016)

Marguerite Kaye & Bronwyn Scott
Scandal at the Midsummer Ball
Harlequin Historical / May 24, 2016 / $6.50 print, $4.99 digital


Colonel Fergus Kennedy must make a suitable match at the Midsummer Ball. But when this officer encounters sultry acrobat Katerina Vengarov, he finds himself torn between duty…and heart-stopping, irresistible passion! 


Kael Gage is the last person at the Midsummer Ball Miss Zara Titus should speak to—and anything more is definitely off-limits! But the notorious rake seems determined to awaken this innocent debutante's every desire…

The Duke and Duchess of Brockmore host an annual house party where they facilitate powerful and prestigious marital matches for many of their guests. Invitations are highly coveted, but a couple of the attendees are more leery than anticipatory.

Part of the entertainment for the week is the appearance of the world renowned Flying Vengarovs, a brother and sisters acrobatic team, and this theme of “flying” is integral to both of the novellas which comprise Scandal at the Midsummer Ball.

[We're into it...]

May 9 2016 9:30am

The Black Sheep of the Family: Celeste Bradley’s Virgin Hero

I Thee Wed by Celeste Bradley

Celeste Bradley's I Thee Wed features a buttoned-up, virgin scientist. I love those guys.

Orion Worthington is a very serious scientist, but burdened with a very unserious family. The Worthingtons are notoriously eccentric and they can try an orderly person’s nerves.

As much as Orion loved his family, for some time now he had longed for the peace in which to truly work, to study, and to discover the secrets of the scientific world.

Peace in Worthington House was rather hard to come by.

He secures an apprenticeship with one of the foremost scientific minds in London with the understanding that if everything works out, Orion will also marry the lovely—and calm—daughter of the house.

Although he felt in no particular hurry to wed, he felt no aversion to it, either.

In this instance, it was a perfectly logical notion.

With a wife like Judith, Orion could imagine himself living just this sort of peaceful, organized life. A fine home, run to exacting standards, leaving him free to involve himself solely in his work while his bride managed the boring day-to-day details.

[But we're guessing doesn't want a detail-oriented bride...]

May 2 2016 12:00pm

First Look: Mary Balogh’s Only Beloved (May 3, 2016)

Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh
Only Beloved (Survivors Club #7)
Signet / May 3, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again. 

Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.

For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?

With Only Beloved, Mary Balogh finishes her delightful and moving Survivor’s Club Series, with the long-awaited story of George, the Duke of Stanbrook, who founded the group. After the death of his son in the Napoleonic Wars and subsequent suicide of his wife, George turned his Cornwall estate into a hospital for survivors of the war and a group of seven became especially close. These dear friends have recovered from their wounds—both physical and emotional—and the last one has just gotten married.

Was it downright contrary of him to be feeling ever so slightly depressed this morning? They had moved on with their lives, those six, and left him behind. And what a blasted pathetic, selfpitying thought that was. He was lonely, damn it. To the marrow of his bones and the depths of his soul.

[Don't be lonely, George!]

Dec 21 2015 10:30am

First Look: Megan Frampton’s One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild (December 29, 2015)

One-Eyed Dukes are Wild by Megan Frampton

Megan Frampton
One-Eyed Dukes are Wild (Dukes Behaving Badly #3)
Avon / December 29, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

The scandalously unmarried Lady Margaret Sawford is looking for adventure—and is always up for a challenge. Her curiosity is aroused by a dangerous-looking stranger with an eye patch, an ideal companion for the life she longs for, no matter what Society might say. So when the piratical gentleman turns out to be a duke—and just as boringly proper as any other nobleman—she can't help but incite him to walk on the wild side.

Well-heeled, well-mannered, and well beyond any interest in society's expectations, the Duke of Lasham is tired of being perfect. Margaret's lush beauty and gently laughing eyes are an irresistible temptation to embrace the imperfect—and her. But if a little misbehavior is appealing, unleashing his wild side is completely seductive—as long as the lovely Margaret is the object of his passion . . .

“What would you do if you could do anything you wanted?”

That is the question the slightly scandalous Lady Margaret poses to the eternally proper Duke of Lasham in Megan Frampton's One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild. The question takes him aback.

He only did the right things. Until this very day, he hadn’t even considered doing anything but the right things. But what would happen if he did do some of the wrong things? Would the world end? Would his dukedom be taken away from him?

[Being proper is no fun...]

Dec 16 2015 10:30am

First Look: Loretta Chase’s Dukes Prefer Blondes (December 29, 2015)

Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Loretta Chase
Dukes Prefer Blondes (Dressmakers #4)
Avon / December 29, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her . . .

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

The opening sentence in Loretta Chase’s Dukes Prefer Blondes is: To begin with, he was obnoxious. Barrister Oliver Radford certainly is that. Just ask anyone. Lady Clara Fairfax gains firsthand knowledge of this when she enlists his aid to rescue a boy who has fallen into the clutches of a gang.

“You didn’t need to run,” Mr. Radford said. “We’ve plenty of time.”

Clara, in the seat opposite, was still trying to catch her breath. It took her a moment to answer. “I thought you’d decided to leave me behind. Half-past five you’d drive by, you said. It was well past six.”

“In my experience, women are always late, even for court,” he said. “Consequently, I’ve learned to set an earlier time. You ought to take it as a compliment, my allowing you only an extra half hour for tardiness.”

For a moment she could only stare at him while she seesawed between incredulity and rage. “A compliment?” she said. “Have you any idea how condescendingly obnoxious you are?”

“A precise idea, thanks to people endlessly telling me.”

“I might have slept for another half hour,” she said.

“Does this mean you’re going to be tetchy and cross?”

“Only to you,” she said.

[Chase created an obnoxious hero to love ...]

Dec 9 2015 11:30am

The Almack’s Almanac: Regency Historical Terminology

Historical Terminology Pelisse

Interested in giving Historical Romance a try, but are frustrated by the Secret Language of Incomprehensible Terms? And seemingly Random Capitalization? Here’s a primer to some common items found in most historicals. And yes, there will be a quiz at the end, so pay attention!


Pelisse: A close-fitting coat for ladies that falls the length of her dress.

Spencer: A pelisse that stops just underneath the bust. Think of it as a Regency Bolero jacket

Reticule: A Regency-era purse. Usually a knitted or beaded bag with a drawstring top.

They remind me of a crocheted purse I made in 1971 the 7th grade. Mine looked just like this, but was blue with a white stripe. With red fringe. It was a very patriotic purse. And I was a very cool 7th grader.

Modiste: Contrary to recently overheard opinion, “Modiste” is not a fancy way to say “modest.” It is a fancy way to say “Dressmaker.”

[Now on to traveling ...]

Oct 8 2015 5:00pm

First Look: Amelia Grey’s The Duke and Miss Christmas (October 13, 2015)

The Duke and Miss Christmas by Amelia Grey

Amelia Grey
The Duke and Miss Christmas (The Heirs’ Club #2.5)
St Martin’s / October 13, 2015 / $1.99 digital

Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, has never met a woman he couldn't handle—until he's hit over the head with a basketful of mistletoe by a young lady who mistakes his intentions. When he gets into a tussle with her—and she can hold her own—Crispin knows he has finally met his match.

Miss Gwen Prim is mortified that she attacked a duke, but even more concerning is the way her resolve melts when she's near him. She's never felt this way about a London gentleman in her life. And with the magic of Christmas in the air, she may end up with a proposal she didn't expect...in this delightful Regency gem, The Duke and Miss Christmas by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey

The Duke and Miss Christmas felt like a nostalgic throwback to the old Traditional Regency Christmas Anthologies that I loved so dearly - until our hero and heroine get very busy while gathering the greens, that is (not quite so Trad-y). But there are those lovely elements of a Christmas house party, decorating, a Christmas Ball and children. While the romance between Crispin and Gwen was sweet, I really appreciated the relationship between Crispin and Gwen’s young sister, Sybil. It can be very hard not to make children annoying in a romance, but Amelia Grey manages it.

[Just what the holidays ordered ...]

Sep 28 2015 9:30am

First Look: Julie Anne Long’s The Legend of Lyon Redmond (September 29, 2015)

The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long

Julie Anne Long 
The Legend of Lyon Redmond (Pennroyal Green #11)
Avon / September 29, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Bound by centuries of bad blood, England’s two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility . . . until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.

Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond’s heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount’s proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade . . . and wagers on the return of an heir.

It was instant and irresistible, forbidden . . . and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it’s time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families apart . . . or the stuff of which legends are made.

The repercussions of the doomed romance between Olivia Eversea and Lyon Redmond have hung over their families and all ten of the previous books in the Pennyroyal Green series. The star-crossed lovers of feuding families met in secret, knowing their families would disapprove, and when the inevitable breakup occurred, Lyon left the country with no word to his family since, leaving them grieving and devastated. Olivia turned into a do-good-ing ice princess whose family continually worry over her emotional well-being.

[We have been waiting ...]

Sep 9 2015 9:30am

First Look: J.D. Robb’s Devoted in Death (September 15, 2015)

Devoted in Death to J.D. Robb

J.D. Robb
Devoted in Death (In Death #41)
Putnam / September 15, 2015 / $27.95 print, $13.99 digital

When Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim’s injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart—and initials inside reading E and D . . .

Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo’s got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone—an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again.

As they cross state lines on their way to New York to find the life they think they deserve, they will leave a trail of evil behind them. But now they’ve landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. And with her husband, Roarke, at her side, she has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve . . .

Devoted in Death features a really nasty pair of villains, Ella-Loo and Darryl, sexual sadists who get off on torture and murder, and are responsible for 29 deaths on their road-trip/killing spree from Arkansas to New York City. They tattoo their victims with a heart containing their initials, a clue which helps Lieutenant Eve Dallas get their number and personalities very quickly as she talks over the case with her husband, Roarke.

“The heart, the initials,” he began.

“Their signature.”

“Yes, but also a declaration, don’t you think? Not only we did this together, but we are together.”

“True love.”

[Forever my love ... ]

Aug 26 2015 9:30am

First Look: Amanda Forester’s The Highlander’s Bride (September 1, 2015)

The Highlander's Bride by Amanda Forester

Amanda Forester
The Highlander’s Bride (Highland Trouble #1)
Sourcebooks Casablanca / September 1, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

All Highland warrior Gavin Patrick wants is to get back to his native Scotland. But before he can leave the battlefield, he's given a final mission-escort Lady Marie Colette to her fiancé. Under no circumstances is he to lay hands on the beautiful, clever-tongued heiress...no matter how desperate the temptation.

Forced to pose as a married couple to make their escape from France, Gavin and Marie Colette find themselves thrown into peril...and each other's arms. As the danger mounts, so does their forbidden passion. But it isn't until Marie Colette is taken from him that Gavin is forced to decide-is he willing to lose the woman who stole his heart, or will he jeopardize his honor, defy his promise, and steal her in return?

Lady Marie Colette has been raised as a precious object, rare and beautiful, pure and idolized, her sole duty to serve her family in marriage. In Amanda Forester's The Highlander's Bride, the time has come, and her father the duc has betrothed her to a Scottish earl in exchange for troops to help fight the English in the Hundred Years War. Gavin Patrick has been tasked with escorting her and her enormous retinue to her betrothed. Gavin reconciles her to the journey with the lure of the Highlands.

He stepped close to her, moving with a fluid grace that made her heart beat faster. “In the Highlands we dinna have all yer comforts, but what we do have we hold fast and fiercely defend.”

He was so tall, she had to tilt back her head to see him, putting her headdress dangerously out of alignment. “What do you have?” she asked in a voice barely above a whisper.

“Freedom. We have freedom. No one to order ye about. No one to say what ye can or canna do. Ye can wear what ye wish, eat what ye wish. Ye can ride a horse as long and as fast as ye wish. In the Highlands, m’lady, ye would be free.”

Free? She stared up at him. He dangled before her the one thing all her riches could never buy. He offered her freedom.

[Her journey with the highland warrior turns into adventure...]

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...]

Jun 27 2015 12:00pm

First Look: Vanessa Kelly’s How to Marry a Royal Highlander (June 30, 2015)

How to Marry a Royal Highlander by Vanessa Kelly

Vanessa Kelly
How to Marry a Royal Highlander (Renegade Royal #4)

Zebra / June 30, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

At sixteen, Alasdair Gilbride, heir to a Scottish earldom, fled the Highlands and an arranged betrothal. Ten years later, Alasdair must travel home to face his responsibilities. It’s a task that would be much easier without the distracting presence of the most enticing woman he’s ever met…

After one escapade too many, Eden Whitney has been snubbed by the ton. The solution: rusticating in the Scottish wilderness, miles from all temptation. Except, of course, for brawny, charming Alasdair. The man is so exasperating she’d likely kill him before they reach the border—if someone else weren’t trying to do just that. Now Eden and Alasdair are plunging into a scandalous affair with his life and her reputation at stake—and their hearts already irreparably lost…

In Vanessa Kelly's How to Marry a Royal Highlander the war finally over, Alec is resigned to returning home to Scotland and his responsibilities as the heir to his grandfather's earldom. He fled to escape an arranged engagement with a cousin, but returns with Edie, the woman he wishes to marry, and Edie's mother. Needless to say, theirs is a chilly reception.

The old man's gaze flicked past him, and his scowl returned. “Well, I suppose you'd best introduce me to those Sassenach standing there behind you,” he grumbled.

Alec didn't bother to repress his sigh. His grandfather still liked to lay it on rather thick, and he could only hope the ladies hadn't heard. “Of course.”

That hope died when he turned to see Lady Reese standing straight as a pike and looking her most forbidding. Eden's smile, however, was luminous and full of humor, emphasizing the charm and beauty that had been the downfall of her numerous suitors.

It had been Alec's downfall from almost the moment he first saw her. He was counting on that charm to work its magic on the Earl of Riddick, too.

[Alec returns home with the one who he wants to marry...]

May 22 2015 2:00pm

First Look: Elizabeth Hoyt’s Dearest Rogue (May 26, 2015)

Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt

Elizabeth Hoyt
Dearest Rogue (Maiden Lane #8)
Forever / May 26, 2015 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.

Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she's targeted by kidnappers.

Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior . . . and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.

The heroine of the delightful Dearest Rogue, Lady Phoebe Batten, is blind, which presents some unique problems for her and for the reader. So much of how we experience the world - and fall in love - is done through sight. So Phoebe - and by extension we - must employ our other senses to navigate through life and love. Elizabeth Hoyt does a fabulous job of showing Phoebe's limitations but also how her other senses stimulate her life.

Lady Phoebe is the target of several kidnapping attempts and her stalwart bodyguard James Trevillion, late of His Majesty's Dragoons, whisks her away from danger, racing through the London streets on horseback.

Around them the cacophony of London continued, eternally unabated: the rumble of carriage and cart wheels, the tramping of thousands of feet, the babble of voices raised in song and argument, people buying and selling and stealing, callers of wares, and the shriek of small children. Horses clip-clopped by and church bells tolled the hour, the half hour, and sometimes even the quarter hour.

As they rode, people shouted at them angrily. A canter was quite fast for London, and judging by the bunching of muscles beneath them and the sudden changes of direction, Trevillion was having to weave in and out of the traffic.

She turned her head toward him, inhaling. Captain James Trevillion wore no scent. Sometimes she could discern coffee or the faint smell of horses on him, but beyond that, nothing.

[Oh! Captain James has her smitten...]

May 21 2015 9:30am

First Look: Caroline Linden’s Love in the Time of Scandal (May 26, 2015)

Caroline Linden
Love in the Time of Scandal (Scandalous Series #3)
Avon / May 26, 2015 / $6.99 digital, $7.99 print

Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton. He may be the suave and charming heir to an earl, as well as the most handsome man on earth, but she can't forget how he abandoned a friend in need— nor how he once courted her sister, Abigail. He's the last man she would ever marry. If only she didn't feel so attracted to the arrogant scoundrel . . .

Once upon a time, Benedict thought he and Penelope got along rather well. Though he needs a wealthy bride to escape his cruel father's control, spirited Penelope just doesn't suit his plans for a model marriage—until a good deed goes awry, and scandalous rumors link his name to Penelope's. She might not be the quiet, sensible wife he thought he wanted, but she is beautiful . . . beguiling . . . and far more passionate than he ever imagined. Can a marriage begun in scandal become a love match, too?

In Caroline Linden's Love in the Time of Scandal, Penelope Weston doesn't much like Benedict Lennox. He'd courted her older sister and was rejected and now seems bent on marrying Penelope's young naïve friend in her first Season. Not on her watch! Passionate Penelope will save her friend from the machinations of the Loathsome Lennox, and though she's vastly annoying, Benedict cannot help but admire Penelope.

At her best, Penelope was exuberant and amusing, with a sparkling wit; she was loyal and fearless in her devotion to those dear to her. With her hair tousled and her color high, she was a smoldering temptress, and all her words in praise of passion ran through his mind in sinful suggestion.

[Weston is dying to get married and Penelope is standing in his way...]

Apr 10 2015 11:00am

Going to the Chapel: Wedding Drama in Loretta Chase’s Royally Ever After

Royally Ever After by Loretta ChaseThe two short, previously-published novellas in Loretta Chase's Royally Ever After anthology both revolve around a royal wedding. In Lord Lovedon's Duel the heroine's sister just married a minor German Prince whose friend is Behaving Badly, while in The Jilting of Lord Rothwick our love story takes place during the furor over the young Queen Victoria's wedding to Prince Albert, where our hero is Behaving Cluelessly. But both heroes are gobsmacked into love at first sight, bless them. And, apparently, imbibe too much at important moments.

Lord Lovedon got drunk at the wedding reception, said rude things about the bride, and was promptly challenged to a duel by the bride's sister.

He'd drunk enough to float a flagship—possibly the entire Royal Navy—to no effect.

Until a moment ago.

The last dose, the one Miss Sharp had administered externally, had brightened his mood amazingly. The eyes flashing at him had turned out to be an interesting shade of green, with gold flecks … Most important, she'd turned out to have a personality.

Lord Lovedon may be indiscreet while intoxicated, but he knows what he wants.

[I think we can guess what that is...]

Mar 29 2015 11:00am

First Look: Julie Anne Long’s It Started with a Scandal (March 31, 2015)

It Started with a Scandal by Julie Anne LongJulie Anne Long
It Started with a Scandal
Avon / March 31, 2015 / $7.99 digital

Lord Philippe Lavay once took to the high seas armed with charm as lethal as his sword, and a stone-cold conviction: he'll restore his family's fortune and honor, no matter the cost. Victory is at last within reach—when a brutal attack snatches it from his grasp and lands him in Pennyroyal Green.

An afternoon of bliss brings a cascade of consequences for Elise Fountain. She is shunned by her family and ousted from a job she loves, and her survival means a plummet down the social ladder to a position no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to a frighteningly formidable prince.

The bold and gentle Elise sees past his battered body into Philippe's barricaded heart . . . and her innate sensuality ignites his blood. Now a man who thought he could never love and a woman who thought she would never again trust must fight an incendiary passion that could be the ruin of them both.

Everyone reading Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series has been waiting for years for Lyon and Olivia's story. Alas, It Started with a Scandal is not it, but it is a fine way to spend your time while you wait for The Legend of Lyon Redmond (September 29—mark your calendars!)

We've met Lord Philippe Lavay before. He was born a minor prince of the House of Bourbon whose family lost everything in the Revolution, has been a soldier and a privateer and is now rusticating in Pennyroyal Green while he recovers from an attack in London. His injuries make him even more curt and surly than usual and he holds out little hope that his new housekeeper will last any longer than the last.

[Somehow I think she might...]

Jan 30 2015 2:00pm

No Second Fiddles: Secondary Characters in J.D. Robb’s Vengeance in Death

Vengeance in Death by J.D. RobbThis week, H&H celebrates the forthcoming release of the fortieth (!!!) book in J.D. Robb's In Death seriesObsession in Death. As part of the celebration, we're taking an in-depth look at the sixth book in the series, Vengeance in Death. To join the discussion on Twitter, use the hashtag#obsessedwithindeath. And be sure to check out posts from fellow romance blogs Romance at Random and, next week, Smexy Books for more re-read fun.

Check out our first post discussing Eve and Roarke's relationship and then find out about Roarke's dark past.

One of the things that keeps us coming back (and back and back) to the In Death series is the secondary characters. While the brightness of the ever-evolving Eve/Roarke relationship is at the center of the series, orbiting around them are a rich and varied cast of characters who also grow and change and are just as vital.

[In Death we trust!]

Jan 25 2015 3:00pm

First Look: Laura Lee Guhrke’s Catch a Falling Heiress (January 27, 2015)

Catch a Falling Heiress  by Laura Lee GuhrkeLaura Lee Guhrke
Catch a Falling Heiress
Avon / January 27, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Linnet Holland wants nothing to do with fortune hunters. No, she's determined to marry a man who loves her. But just as she's about to accept the perfect marriage proposal from the man she wants, the rakish Earl of Featherstone interrupts and ruins everything, including her reputation, with his smoldering kiss . . .

Jack Featherstone knows all about Linnet's “intended,” and he's determined she won't fall prey to that villain as other women have in the past. But when his attempt to save Linnet ruins her instead, he knows he has to make things right. So he sets out to win this golden beauty . . . and prove to her that being ruined by him was the best thing that could have happened to her.

Linnet Holland, the latest heroine in Laura Lee Guhrke's An American Heiress in London series, is determined to escape the fate that has befallen so many others: trading her American money for an English title. She successfully navigated a London season without becoming engaged and is happily back home in Newport, about to agree to marry an old acquaintance—more for familiarity's sake than anything else—when Jack, Earl of Featherstone steps in. 

[Where angels fear to tread?]

Jan 23 2015 11:45am

First Look: Karen Ranney’s In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams (January 27, 2015)

In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams by Karen RanneyKaren Ranney
In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams
Avon / January 27, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.64 digital

Seven years have passed since Glynis MacIain made the foolish mistake of declaring her love to Lennox Cameron, only to have him stare at her dumbfounded. Heartbroken, she accepted the proposal of a diplomat and moved to America, where she played the role of a dutiful wife among Washington's elite. Now a widow, Glynis is back in Scotland. Though Lennox can still unravel her with just one glance, Glynis is no longer the naïve girl Lennox knew and vows to resist him.

With the American Civil War raging, shipbuilder Lennox Cameron must complete a sleek new blockade runner for the Confederate Navy. He cannot afford any distractions, especially the one woman he's always loved. Glynis's cool demeanor tempts him to prove to her what a terrible mistake she made seven years ago.

As the war casts its long shadow across the ocean, will a secret from Glynis's past destroy any chance for a future between the two star-crossed lovers?

In Karen Ranney's In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams, Glynis MacIain grew up following her brother and Lennox Cameron around; she has loved Lennox for as long as she can remember. When she finally revealed her love with a kiss, Lennox is gobsmacked, stunned into silence. Mortally embarrassed, Glynis ran off and married an English diplomat and spent a miserable six years in the backwater town of Washington D.C. Now, happily widowed, she's returned to Scotland, but the troubles of the United States Civil War follow her. Because of the blockade, her family cannot get cotton for their textile mill and are in danger of being financially ruined, while Lennox, a prosperous shipbuilder, is working on an iron-hulled ship for the Confederacy.

[The tides have changed!]

Oct 22 2014 2:35pm

First Look: Stephanie Laurens’s By Winter’s Light (October 28, 2014)

By Winter's Light by Stephanie LaurensStephanie Laurens
By Winter's Light
Mira / October 28, 2014 / $12.00 print, $7.99 digital

It’s December 1837 and the young adults of the Cynster clan have succeeded in having the family Christmas celebration held at snow-bound Casphairn Manor, Richard and Catriona Cynster’s home.

Yet where Cynsters gather, love is never far behind—the festive occasion brings together Daniel Crosbie, tutor to Lucifer Cynster’s sons, and Claire Meadows, widow and governess to Gabriel Cynster’s daughter. Daniel and Claire have met before and the embers of an unexpected passion smolder between them, but once bitten, twice shy, Claire believes a second marriage is not in her stars. Daniel, however, is determined to press his suit. He’s seen the love the Cynsters share, and Claire is the lady with whom he dreams of sharing his life. Assisted by a bevy of Cynsters—innate matchmakers every one—Daniel strives to persuade Claire that trusting him with her hand and her heart is her right path to happiness.

By Winter's Light is a transitional novel as Stephanie Laurens brings us Cynsters: The Next Generation. The romance between governess Claire and tutor Daniel is merely tangential to introducing the children of the original six Cynster cousins, and setting up the next books in the family series.

[We are family!]