<i>Uncensored Passion</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Uncensored Passion: Exclusive Excerpt Bobbi Cole Meyer "Kayla wrapped her arms around his strong neck and hugged him close." <i>Hell for Leather</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Hell for Leather: Exclusive Excerpt Julie Ann Walker "Lord almighty, how he wanted to touch her there, needed to touch her there." H&H Reads <i>A Breath of Scandal</i> (5 of 6) H&H Reads A Breath of Scandal (5 of 6) Elizabeth Essex Ready to be reckless? Join us for a read-along of Elizabeth Essex's A Breath of Scandal <i>The House on Blackberry Hill</i>: Excerpt The House on Blackberry Hill: Excerpt Donna Alward "He felt a shiver of anticipation that had...everything to do with the client."
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April 19, 2014
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Jennifer Proffitt
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The Appeal of Gritty Romance in Skye Warren's Wanderlust
Cara McKenna
Showing posts by: Heather Waters (redline_) click to see Heather Waters (redline_)'s profile
Sat
Jan 11 2014 7:34pm

Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser in Outlander

We may still be a few months out from the series premiere of the Outlander TV show (Starz hasn't set an official date yet but says it'll be in “the third quarter of 2014”), but more and more details are starting to emerge about Jamie and Claire's live-action story. Here are some news tidbits we've seen around the web in the last couple days:

Plus, today in Los Angeles, Starz is holding an Outlander Fan Gathering (the hash tag on Twitter is #OutlanderInvadesLA) featuring a panel with series stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heugan, executive producer Ronald D. Moore, and book series author Diana Gabaldon. The panel starts in just a few minutes, at 4pm Pacific/7pm Eastern. To view a livestream of the event, go to Starz's Outlander home page. After the event, I'll update this post with the highlights. Feel free to comment on this post with your own thoughts on the event!

[Read the highlights here...]

Mon
Dec 30 2013 6:54pm

Jamie and Claire in OutlanderThe first official image of Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe as Jamie and Claire (together! finally together!) in the upcoming Outlander television series has been released by Starz via TV Guide (which promises more to come in the magazine's next issue). Do they make a handsome couple or what?!

While we've seen the two seperately, this is the moment we've all been waiting for—the chance to see how they look right next to each other. Now we just have to wait to see their chemistry in action...

Until then, for more Outlander goodies, check out the show's official page, featuring a few videos, including one in which Heughan teaches us all how to pronounce “Sassenach.” This is absolutely as hot as it sounds, yes.

And stay tuned to H&H for all things Outlander, such as news, blog posts (about both Diana Gabaldon's book series and the show), and—once the show begins airing on Starz in 2014—episode recaps with a focus on the romance, especially between supercouple Jamie and Claire.

Fri
Dec 13 2013 1:42pm

Jesse Williams as Avery Jackson in Grey's Anatomy 10x12, Get Up, Stand UpThis post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Grey's Anatomy, including last night’s 2x12, “Get Up, Stand Up."

Grey's Anatomy doctors Jackson Avery and April Kepner have never officially been a couple, but theirs is a compelling relationship I've followed since both joined the show, and the hospital, as interns in Season 6. And it's been a doozy: First they were coworkers and roommates that somehow became best friends, then they were friends with benefits, then nothing at all because April wanted to find someone she could marry and Jackson wasn't quite there yet, then friends who got jealous of each other but were trying to ignore it... Complicated, right? But more recently, the two really did seem to be moving on with other people—April even got engaged to EMT Matthew. In fact, their wedding was the climax of last night's episode, and it was going swimmingly, up until the moment when—

Jackson suddenly realized, right there in his seat at the wedding that he almost didn't attend, that he couldn't let her go through with it. He could not let April marry Matthew without knowing how he felt. So the guy turned, apologized to his getting-pretty-serious girlfriend, Stephanie, and stood up to do something...or not. He sat down again. Okay? Only to decide that yep, he had to do this and he had to do it right now. So he stood up again and said the most outrageously romantic thing to April (as well as to all of her family and friends, and Matthew's, too):

“I love you, April. I always have. I love everything about you. Even the things I don't like, I love. And I want you with me. I love you, and I think...that you love me too. Do you?”

[Well, there's a swoonworthy grand gesture for you...]

Thu
Dec 12 2013 4:30pm

Juliette and Avery in NashvilleThis post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Nashville, including last night’s 2x10, “Tomorrow Never Comes."

Juliette and Avery have shared a beautiful friendship in Nashville Season 2, but last night's midseason finale (2x10, “Tomorrow Never Comes”) brought the revelation that Juliette, at least, is interested in embarking on a much deeper relationship. While the episode's biggest cliffhangers involved two potential deaths, that last Juliette/Avery scene is what's got me dying to see the next episode. But we'll get to that. 

You see, after many episodes of buildup (and this is pretty incredible for Nashville, which hasn't often taken a lot of time to set up new relationships), at the end of last week's episode, it seemed to dawn on Juliette that maybe the reason she never felt satisfied by meaningless hookups was because she wanted a real relationship with someone who really knew and understood her (like Avery!).

[Where did that lead in the latest episode?...]

Thu
Dec 12 2013 10:45am

This post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Arrow, including last night’s 2x09, “Three Ghosts."

What a winter finale, eh? Whoa. I need to rewatch that a time or 10 just to absorb it all. But what I do know is that Arrow 2.09, “Three Ghosts,” kicked off with Oliver coding on the table and never let up. We got Barry saving Oliver, Oliver freaking at Felicity over the reveal of his identity, Roy being injected with Mirakuru, Shado dying on the island, Lance nearly dying, Slade Wilson showing his face in present-day Starling, Tommy returning in a flashback, Laurel being consoled by Brother Blood, Barry gifting the Arrow with his mask and then commencing with his own superhero origin tale, and so many other amazing moments big and small.

And then there were the delicious Olicity moments. WE GOT A HUG. AN UNNECESSARILY LONG HUG, at that. It was beautiful.

[Now let's dissect that beautiful moment...]

Thu
Dec 5 2013 10:41am

Felicity and Oliver in Arrow 1x08This post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Arrow, including last night’s 2x08, “The Scientist."

Last night's episode of Arrow was the gift that kept on giving for Olicity shippers (that is, fans of the potential pairing Oliver/Felicity); just when you thought things couldn't get better (worse?), they did, right up until the final moment. And it was fantastic.

Not only did the introduction of Barry Allen (future superhero The Flash) further the plot (omg, he's the only one who can save Oliver now!), but it brought out some fascinating emotions in both Oliver and Felicity. While Oliver seemed to find himself a little jealous—his reaction to Barry was not unlike Felicity's to Isabel, with whom Ollie had a fling a few episodes back—Felicity was clearly attracted to the—admittedly quite charming—scientist.

[The world needs more jealous!Oliver...]

Fri
Nov 15 2013 6:00pm

Mindy and Danny in The Mindy ProjectHere at H&H, we're big TV fans, and we love our potential romances, natch. It's rare, though, when a majority of us not only watch the same show but also agree on a pairing like we do with The Mindy Project, in which case, OBVIOUSLY Mindy/Danny are meant to be together. You know, at some point. No rush. After all, the anticipation is a huge part of what makes 'shipping these guys so much fun.

So, in honor of this momentous occasion of consensus, here are 5 reasons that we—we being Team H&H's Jenn, Heather, and Megan—are having a grand ol' time watching doctors Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and Daniel Castellano (Chris Messina) dance around each other until they realize they're TOTALLY PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER OMG.

5. They look good together.

Okay, this one is pretty superficial, but they fit together oh, so perfectly! Literally, people. Like when Danny put his arm around Mindy and she leaned her head in during Tuesday's episode (2.08, “You've Got Sext”), it rested perfectly between his shoulder and neck. It's just one more reason why they're meant to be, are we right? The attraction is simmering, waiting to combust. Danny has noticed Mindy's body since the very beginning when he told her what to wear on a date, and since then there've been several instances where Mindy and Danny have hinted that they find the other good-looking. (And apparently will soon hang out in the nude???)

[+4 more reasons we're crazy about Mindy/Danny...]

Wed
Nov 6 2013 6:47pm

Fitz and Simmons in SHIELD**This post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Agents of SHIELD, including last night’s episode, 1x06, “FZZT.”**

Last night's episode of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD finally started to flesh out two characters I've been very curious about: scientists Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz. And in doing so, the show also seemed to suggest the potential for a love quadrangle involving Simmons, Fitz, Grant Ward, and Skye.

I'm not sure I'm invested enough in or know enough about the characters to have any real 'ship yet, but I'm me, so I'm always on the lookout for something that'll hook me. And I have to say that “FZZT” at the very least succeeded in making me sit up and pay attention to the wonder twins again after a few weeks of slipping interest due to their lack of screen time (seriously, waaaay to much time given to Ward and Skye—I can already tell you I care not at all if they ever hook up). So, what did we learn?

[Where's the love?...]

Sun
Nov 3 2013 3:41pm

Colin Morgan and Bradley James as Arthur and Merlin in MerlinArthurian legend has long inspired romantic stories, and there many books and movies devoted to the King Arthur/Guienevere/Lancelot love triangle. But the TV series Merlin's most popular 'ship among the fanbase turned out to be that of Arthur/Merlin, and it's easy to see why—their chemistry, the banter between them, those hurt-comfort scenes, the trust they have in each other...that's what made the show. And while their friendship remained platonic in canon (Merlin concluded its run in December 2012 in the U.K. after 5 seasons), there are many, many fanworks (which you can find at fandom-friendly places like Archive of Our Own, YouTube, and Tumblr) dedicated to romantic feelings between the two. In short, they definitely deserve their own Shipping Sunday.

Are you a fan of the show? Did you enjoy the relationship between Arthur and Merlin, whether or not you 'shipped them? More pictures always welcome in the comments!

[+4 more pretty Arthur/Merlin pics...]

Tue
Oct 22 2013 3:57pm

Allegiant Spoiler Thread

Allegiant by Veronica RothThis post on Veronica Roth's Allegiant—Book 3 in the Divergent trilogy, out today—is made up ENTIRELY of SPOILERS and is intended only as a place for fans to gather and discuss the book AFTER reading it, so if you have yet to finish, steer clear of anything after the jump. Go finish the book, then come back. 

MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW THE JUMP.

SPOILERS SO MAJOR THEY WILL RUIN THE BOOK FOR YOU IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

***LAST CHANCE: Seriously, leave this post now if you haven’t finished AllegiantThis is a post to discuss the entire book.

[Okay, here we go... SPOILERS!!!...]

Sun
Oct 20 2013 4:30pm

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Fox Mulder and Dana ScullyTwenty years after The X-Files debuted on television and 5 years since the last movie hit theaters, interest in the X-Files franchise is still high, if sold-out panels and constant queries and media reports about the state of a third movie are anything to go by. A big part of that reason has to be its stars, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, and the tremendous chemistry between their characters, FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

Whether you rooted for them to get together or hoped to see them to remain close friends and partners as they investigated the strange and the extraterrestrial, there's no denying that Mulder and Scully ARE The X-Files.

And if you do ship them (as I do)? Boy, have I got a treat for you this weekend...

[Stand by for lots of Mulder/Scully gorgeousness...]

Sun
Oct 13 2013 1:45pm

Bradley Whitford and Janel Moloney as Josh and Donna in The West WingThe West Wing is considered by many to be one of the best television shows of all time, and its four consecutive Emmy wins for Outstanding Drama Series certainly support that claim. But a huge part of what puts the show at the top of my own list of personal TV favorites is its long-simmering office romance between White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Lyman (Bradley Whitford) and his senior assistant, ~Deputy Deputy Chief of Staff~ Donnatella “Donna” Moss (Janel Moloney).

Josh and Donna's chemistry is undeniable from the very first episode, and the charming banter and the longing looks and eventually the epic angst all combine to make for an incredibly memorable pairing. After all, who can forget lines like “If you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for red lights” and “If you think I don't miss you every day...” And then there was Josh dropping everything in the middle of a “Biblical apocalypse” in Washington to be by Donna's side at a hospital in Germany after she was injured in a terrorist attack. *swoon*

Plus, the best part? It all pays off beautifully for them in the final season and especially in the last few episodes. It is a rare thing to see as beautiful a sendoff to a 'ship as Josh and Donna got. Theirs is an immensely satisfying romance, and I love it to pieces.

[+Pretty pics, fandom talk, and vid recs...]

Tue
Oct 8 2013 3:02pm

Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons in Agents of SHIELDLooks like I'm not the only one already 'shipping Fitz/Simmons, or at least testing the idea. Not only are Agents of SHIELD viewers already creating fan vids (like the one at the bottom of this post) and fan fiction, but the media can't seem to stop bringing up the possibility of a romance between the two in interviews. Question is: Are we getting ahead of ourselves (read: Am I getting ahead of myself?), or will FitzSimmons indeed turn out to have that will-they-or-won't-they relationship that'll keep us romance fans guessing (and hoping against hope) for years?

Before the series premiered, SHIELD's Jemma Simmons herself (Elizabeth Henstridge) compared Simmons' relationship with fellow genius scientist Leo Fitz (Ian de Caestecker) to that of brother and sister, but more recently has been keeping more of an open mind, as in this interview with Natalie Abrams of TV Guide:

“There's always going to be a possibility, I guess, because they're so close and really understand each other, but definitely for right now, I don't think you could convince either one of them that they are meant to be together romantically. We'll just see. We're told fairly little. ... If anything romantic happens, I could see it happening, but I like that, for Simmons, it's not really her main priority. I don't think she even knows that could be a good idea.”

(Read the entire interview with TV Guide here.)

[Could it be a good idea?...]

Fri
Sep 27 2013 2:00pm

Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel GibsonAcademically put, tropes are “common or overused theme[s] or device[s]," which makes them sound like cliches, which makes them seem like a bad thing.

But they’re totally not! Romance novel fans all have their favorite—not to mention least favorite—tropes, from friends to lovers, chick in pants, secret baby, marriage of convenience, opposites attract, May-December, boss-assistant...the list goes on.

Each month, we’ll be picking a romance novel trope and ask you to offer recommendations falling under the trope rubric (again with the academic talk!).

There's no shortage of secret babies in Romancelandia—they are a great way to ramp up the drama and angst, and have a way of making the family's inevitable happily ever afters feel that much more earned. Here are a few novels featuring the trope that came to mind—what are your favorite examples of the Secret Baby trope in romance novels?

  • Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
  • Everyday, Average Jones by Suzanne Brockmann
  • Fancy Pants by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • Three Little Secrets by Liz Carlyle
  • Revealed: His Secret Child by Sandra Hyatt
  • Wanted by Her Lost Love by Maya Banks
Wed
Sep 25 2013 1:31pm

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD posterThe enjoyable-if-not-gripping series premiere of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD plays much like the first half hour of The Avengers did, kicking off with lots of setup—made more palatable by writer/director/producer Joss Whedon’s trademark witty dialogue—and team assembling. But while the hour-long pilot episode didn't blow me away the way The Avengers did last year (or okay, while no relationship grabbed me by the heart the way Black Widow/Hawkeye did), my past experience with Whedon projects is such that I have faith in the future of Agents of SHIELD and that the payoff will be well worth it.

Until then, here, have a list of my favorite parts of the episode (and please share yours with me):

— Phil Coulson: Agent Coulson's return from the dead was obviously a huge draw in the first episode. HOW is he back? Well, we didn't learn much except that Coulson believes he was merely resucitated by the medical team and then sent by Director Fury to Tahiti to recover. Maria Hill telling a team doctor that Coulson should “never know” what really happened was most intriguing, and will be fun to try to puzzle out this season.

[Is he a life-model decoy or the real-deal, I wonder?...]

Sun
Sep 22 2013 12:30pm

Damian Lewis and Claire Danes as Nicholas Brody and Carrie Mathison in HomelandFrom the very first episode of Showtime's Homeland (returning for its new season on September 29 and up for multiple awards at tonight's Primetime Emmys ceremony), the connection between genius-but-impulsive CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and married U.S. Marine Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was an intense one.

Sure, Carrie was out to prove Brody was a double agent for the terrorist group that'd kept him a prisoner of war in the Middle East for years, but still—was anyone really surprised when the love/hate tension between them sparked and burst into flames? Indeed, Carrie fell so hard for Brody that she risked everything to help him escape the country in the Season 2 finale when the rest of the world thought he was responsible for a major terrorist attack.

If that isn't love, what is? There's no choice but to 'ship that, in my book. Can't wait to see what the new season brings for this couple, how about you?

[+5 more red-hot pics...]

Thu
Sep 19 2013 10:49am

Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter in Agent CarterJoss Whedon's The Avengers TV spinoff, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, premieres on ABC next week, yet Marvel Entertainment is apparently already thinking ahead, as they do. Clearly anticipating a big hit with SHIELD, the studio is reportedly in the early stages of developing a Captain America: The First Avenger spinoff series for television as well. The project's working title? Agent Carter.

Why is she so excited? you might be asking yourself. Let me tell you:

Rumor is, Agent Carter is inspired by the Marvel short film by the same name, which will be included as a special feature on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray/DVD release, out Tuesday. (Significantly, the idea for Agents of SHIELD came from the Marvel short Item 47.) Again according to reports from sites like Deadline Hollywood and The Hollywood Reporter, the show would follow SHIELD operative Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell in Captain America: The First Avenger and in the short) after the death (or so she believes) of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the World War II era.

[Dare we hope?...]

Sun
Sep 15 2013 4:30pm

Lord Grantham and Lady Grantham in Downton Abbey Season 4

Whether they're romantic, familial, or platonic, the relationships in Downton Abbeyset to return for its fourth series/season in the U.K. on September 22 and in the U.S. on January 5—are what keep us coming back for more.

In honor of the show's upcoming premiere (watch a trailer here), this week's Shipping Sunday is dedicated to our favorite past and present Downton Abbey pairings, including Lord and Lady G., Bates and Anna, Edith and her editor Michael, and (*sob*) Matthew and Mary. But of course we're also keeping our minds open for what the new episodes may bring, like a new love interest for Mary (though we can't help but hope Mary/Branson is a possibility after all) and/or for newcomer jazz singer Jack Ross...

[+more pretty pics (and one that'll make you sad)...]

Tue
Sep 10 2013 4:36pm

Heads-up, fellow Mindy Project fans—the Season 2 premiere, “All My Problems Solved,” is available to watch online a week early! The last time we saw Dr. Mindy Lahiri, she was heading to Haiti with her minister boyfriend, Casey, and Danny was settling down...again...with Christina in New Jersey. Despite a charged scene at the end of the Season 1 finale, it seemed the Danny/Mindy (Dandy? Manny?) ship wouldn't come in, but...

LOTS of cute moments between Mindy and Danny in the season two premiere (including scenes of them writing each other letters from Haiti/New York). It makes us wonder: Will the potential for romance between Mindy/Danny be a bigger focus this year? Do we want it to be?

Mon
Sep 2 2013 12:26pm

Charlie Hunnam will be Christian GreyHot on the heels of news that Dakota Johnson has been cast as Anastasia Steele came confirmation of who will portray Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie: Charlie Hunnam!

Hunnam is already a fan favorite thanks to his role as Jax in Sons of Anarchy, but what do you make of him as Christian?

Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the novel by E.L. James, is set for release on August 1, 2014, so filming is expected to begin sooner rather than later under director Sam Taylor-Johnson.

For more Fifty Shades news and discussion, check out H&H's official Fifty Shades Collection.

ETA 12:44 p.m.: Deadline Hollywood has the studio's official press release.