<i>Sweet Little Lies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Sweet Little Lies: Exclusive Excerpt Jill Shalvis "The way her name rolled off his tongue had her knees wobbling." <i>Body Rocks</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Body Rocks: Exclusive Excerpt A. M. Arthur “You can sit beside me when the world comes down.” <i>No Master</i>: Exclusive Excerpt No Master: Exclusive Excerpt Christine d'Abo "With his free hand, he caressed the side of Zain’s throat." <i>Bad Bitch</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Bad Bitch: Exclusive Excerpt Christina Saunders "I pulled him toward me, guiding him to my center."
From The Blog
June 28, 2016
Jennifer Ashley & Kate Meader Deals
Heather Waters
June 27, 2016
Books to Read If You Like Friday Night Lights
KC
June 24, 2016
Friday Beefcake Love Letter to Aidan Turner
Team H & H
June 23, 2016
Boone and Sierra Get Their HEA in Lorelei James' Unbreak My Heart
Tiffany Tyer
June 21, 2016
Romance Reading Virgin: Let’s Travel Through Space Together
Teddy Pierson
Showing posts by: Jennifer Proffitt click to see Jennifer Proffitt's profile
Tue
Jun 28 2016 2:30pm

The 6 Times the Movie Was Better Than the Book!

Source: matthewdaddasrio.tumblr.com

We're all about books, but... sometimes their screen adaptations are... just... better. Two weeks ago I polled you to find out what books were better than the movies, and vice versa, and the results were surprising to say the least!

Some series were landslide winners (J.K. Rowling's writing still beats the script writers for the movie franchise, any day) while other battles were a little tougher (Pride and Prejudice: The Miniseries beat out the book by only three votes), and books like The Notebook and The Duff just couldn't stand up to powerhouse actors like Ryan Gosling and Robbie Amell. 

Without further adieu, here is the definitive list (voted by you) of the adaptations that were... better than the book. 

What do you think? Are these fair winners?

Tue
Jun 28 2016 8:05am

Do You Have a Preference on Who “Falls” First?

When it comes to romance, we know that a couple is going to fall in love, but when it comes to who falls in love first, well that can be fun! 

Many times, especially when it comes to an alpha hero, it's a particular delight to see the mighty fall—and thus it can be very sweet to see the big-bad “I'm never going to fall in love” hero, be the one to fall in love first. 

The same can be said for a tough as nails heroine, or even a heroine who isn't afraid to love the alpha hero, despite all his protestations of love being for the week. 

Do you have a preference for who falls in love first? What's your favorite instance of “how the mighty have fallen”?

 

Mon
Jun 27 2016 8:19am

What Book Finally Hooked You on a Series?

A few years ago, Netflix published some interesting information—it knew exactly what episode hooked you on a show. Scandal hooked you on episode 2, Arrow had you by Episode 8, and Once Upon a Time had you by Episode 6. 

While this has to do with TV, much the same can be said for books. It's not always book 1 that gets your invested in the rest of the series—*cough* especialy if you don't read in order *cough, cough*

What book has hooked you on your favorite author/series? Was it book 1 or did you realize it was “the one” with a later book in the series?

Let us know in the comments!

Fri
Jun 24 2016 8:30am

Do You Still Want the First Generation Story, After the Second Generation?

2017 will be a great year if you like seeing the second generation of favorite heroes. Yesterday, Lisa Kleypas revealed the cover for Devil in Spring, the latest book in her Ravenels series, with the bonus that it would connect to her beloved Wallflower book Devil in Winter. For Stephanie Laurens fans, the Cynster's will return with Devil Cynster's son, Sebastian. 

However, especially in the realm of historical romance, getting the second generation's story can be problematic as, in order for the son's to “succeed” and get the title, their father's would have had to die. 

This is a concept that Laurens' dealt with when she gave us Sebastian Cynster's (Devil's father) story after giving us Devil's story. It's one of the many reasons Julia Quinn has always said readers will not get the story of Edmund and Violet Bridgerton, because the Bridgerton series all started on the basis that Edmund had been long dead. 

What do you think of getting the first generation story after the second generation? Do you still want it? Do you like getting the second generation story? 

Let us know in the comments!

Thu
Jun 23 2016 8:10am

Can You Name Romance Novels that “Start” After the Marriage?

First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh

We love Outlander—we love the show, the books, and especially Jamie and Claire. However, it is no secret that while Diana Gabaldon has created one of the greatest couple in the history of fiction—we're not just saying that, you voted them the best couple—she has a deep disdain for the romance genre. While she's right—these books (past book 1) are not romances in the genre sense of the word—the way that she dismisses love stories and the genre is... frustrating to so many readers that have become her die-hard fans. In a recent interview for Vulture, Gabaldon once again made her opinion known:

“A romance is a courtship story. In the 19th century, the definition of the romance genre was an escape from daily life that included adventure and love and battle. But in the 20th century, that term changed, and now it’s deemed only a love story, specifically a courtship story.”

Many romances are a courtship story. Many romances are not. Gabaldon's voice reaches a wide audience, and as a scholar (which she is), you'd think she would value accuracy. As Jessica Tripler pointed out in her rebuttal over at Book Riot, this opinion is not only outdated, but it's outright incorrect. Many romance novels—including many that were published at least a decade (and further back, obviously) before Outlander—feature a beloved trope in the genre: The marriage of convenience. A quick scan of Goodreads showed nearly 4,000 books featuring this trope.

So in the spirit of good-naturedly proving Diana Gabaldon wrong: Can you name romance novels that “start” with a marriage, or don't “end” once the courtship is done?

Let us know in the comments!

Wed
Jun 22 2016 3:44pm

Meet Sarina Bowen’s Hard Hitter and Outlander’s Grown-Up Brianna & Roger: Romance News

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Fresh Outta the Oven

Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is gracing us with a lot of hotness this summer—hot farmers with Bittersweet, and now more hot hockey players with the cover for Hard Hitter, the second book in her Brooklyn Bruisers series. But we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves: Look for more about the series, including a First Look review of Book 1, Rookie Move, before it hits shelves this September!

Season 2 of Outlander is almost over (nooooo), but as the finale nears, so too does the first appearance of an adult Brianna, <highlight for spoilers>Jamie and Claire's daughter</spoilers> and Roger. Entertainment Weekly has the first look at the handsome pair in all their finery! You can be sure we'll be analyzing their story in our Outlander heart-to-heart recaps.

—Vote Sam Seaborn for President! Until that can actually happen, we'll settle for a West Wing reunion at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas. Aaron Sorkin said The West Wing made “a different kind of character sexy on television.” We couldn't agree more as we make heart-eyes at Bradley Whitford and bask forever in our love for Josh/Donna.

Top Off Your TBR Pile

—Deal Alert: Rory Wilde's animal shelter–set male/male romance, Forever Home, is FREE in e-book at Amazon.* Lucy_Hargrave named Forever Home one of her male/male romance best bets of May, saying “Just be careful you don’t end up adopting a four-legged friend by the end of it!”

[+Paula Byrne & Susan Elizabeth Phillips deals...]

Wed
Jun 22 2016 8:30am

What Will Stop You From Suspending Disbelief?

When we read, it's important for us to suspend disbelief. In fact, the practice is so important for readers, that it's part of the definition:

temporarily allow oneself to believe something that isn't true, especially in order to enjoy a work of fiction.
-Dictionary.com

However, even our most favorite authors can sometimes rip us out of the fantasy and have us hurtling towards reality.

When was the last time you just couldn't suspend disbelief any longer? What is most likely to make reality seep in? An HEA that came about to quickly and cleanly? A fantastical element that was just too fantastical? 

Let us know in the comments!

 

Tue
Jun 21 2016 8:04am

Finally, Proof that Reading is Sexy

Cartoon Couple Kissing

According to a recent article on Galley Cat, readers are more attractive to a potential mate. The dating app, My Bae, shared some stats on their users and found that romantic hopefuls who used tags—the way this particular app matchmakes people is through a user's use of similar tags—about books had a higher success rate in finding their potential mate. The results went on to say the sexiest genre was (no surprise, here) romance!

Daniel Sobey-Harker, part of the MyBae startup went on to say: 

I also decided to try and figure out which genres were the most 'attractive' by seeing which tags had the most matches and which had the least. 

The sexiest genres are:

1. —  Romance
2. —  Psychological Thriller
3. — Travel (How/why is beyond me at this time)

 

Now, for readers, it comes as no surprise to me that we are more attracted to fellow readers, but what do you think of this revelation? Reading is sexy, after all. Do you find your more attracted to other readers? 

Let us know in the comments? 

Mon
Jun 20 2016 8:15am

What’s the Funniest Book Cover in Romance? We Want to Know!

A few years ago, we polled all of you on what the worst book cover in romance was. The distinction might very well go to Christina Dodd's three-armed heroine of Castles in the Air—but that cover also earns the title of one of the funniest (see, three-armed heroine). Some authors shoot for a funny cover, while others are victims of an overzealous cover designer (again, see the three-armed heroine). 

What do you think are the funniest covers in Romancelandia? 

Cast your vote down in the comments!

Fri
Jun 17 2016 8:02am

Trend Alert: Farmers?

Earlier this week in our Afternoon Tea Facebook video, editor Lizzie Poteet and I sat down and talked about hero professions. Lizzie, after coming back from vacation and discovering her love of man-buns, was hankering for more surfer-heroes. Meanwhile, I called out a hero trend I was seeing—and starting to love: Farmers. 

Now, I'm from the Midwest and grew up with farmers, but it wasn't until the recent books from Alice Clayton and Sarina Bowen that I thought “yeah, I could get into this.” 

What do you think of the idea of farmers in the shelves?

 

Thu
Jun 16 2016 4:45pm

Up, Up, and Away—Supergirl Finds Its Superman: Romance News


Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

A Kiss of Fate by Mary Jo Putney

—Deal Alert: Mary Jo Putney's Scottish-set fantasy novel, A Kiss of Fate, is $.99 at e-tailers such as AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, etc. To this day, I clearly remember a love scene in which bagpipes drown out the (good) screams of the heroine.  You could say it made an impression. Myretta Robens says A Kiss of Fate will leave even more of a mark on readers who are looking for a touch of magic to their reads, but don't want a vampire, saying: “The unfolding of Gwynne's magic melds seamlessly with the unfolding of the relationship between the two. The story hinges on the magic and yet does not use it as a shortcut to a resolution, which happens all too frequently when magic is a part of the world...” 

—Deal Alert: Anne A. Wilson's Hover had us at “helicopter pilot heroine” and is on sale for $2.99 at online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks, etc. Fellow romantic suspense writer Mary Burton dropped by H&H to discuss the portrayal of women in law enforcement, citing Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles and J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas as examples of badass ladies with badges. 

Deal Alert: A.M. Arthur's third book in her Restoration series, Taking a Chance, is $.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and more. The theme of “restoration” takes on so many meanings in this book as one hero deals with rebuilding a life after death, addiction, and infidelity take heavy hits while the other hero is a carpenter working to restore a kitchen, and his own life—you'll love to see how these two lives intersect. “This plot screamed “read me,” and the set-up is very fun” said Willaful when she named Taking a Chance one of her male/male romance best bets in September. 

[Plus, Superman, Wicked, and Jamie Dornan...]

Thu
Jun 16 2016 8:15am

Do You Ever Want to Solve the Couple’s Problems for Them?

We set the scene: we're innocently reading along in a book and are about halfway through. Suddenly we realize, all the problems the main couple face could be fixed with one simple solution. “Well, if he just told her she could become a medic on his home planet, then she wouldn't be so worried about losing her career...” or “If she just asked the questions she was afraid to ask then this wouldn't be an issue.”

Most problems seem to be “solved” by simply talking, but others are more complex, and usually the author is able to solve the problem between the couple to our satisfaction and pretty quickly. However, either way, as readers we'll often look at a couple and say “well I could fix that problem in two seconds.” 

Do you ever want to solve the couple's problems for them when you're reading? Will it make you stop reading a book or do you want to see how the author “fixes” it? 

Let us know in the comments!

 

Couple image via shutterstock

Wed
Jun 15 2016 1:30pm

The Book Was Better: Romance Novels vs. Screen Adaptation Battle Royale!

The epic battle of book vs screen has been raginging since the beginning of time. Okay, that's an overstatement, but for decades at this point, we have seen our favorite books and series adapted for the screen. Many times we have been failed by adaptors simply because books allow us more detail, more time in the “head” of the characters, but sometimes, the movie outshines the book, or does something for us that the book wasn't able to do. So today, we enter the Book Battle Royale—and we need your vote—to finally put to rest the age old question: Was the Movie Better Than the Book? 

I've put together my opinions on the topic, but it'll be up to you to decide and send us your vote!

Necessary spoiler tag is necessary: Before you dive into the voting process, be warned that spoilers will be mentioned for each book and movie!

[Let's get this party started...]

Wed
Jun 15 2016 8:27am

Big City or Small Town?

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

We've been having this conversation a lot at H&H recently. I am from a small town, but currently live in a big city. I typically read small town romance—even when I lived in one (though those tended to be “hotter” and therefore the antithesis of my own small-town life), and now that I live in a big city it seems to “make sense” that I should look to a more rural setting for my romances. 

Talking with other folks in the romance world, I find this to be true. The big city dwellers I know, prefer small town romances, and the small town residents seem to look for a more urban backdrop. 

Do you find this to be true for you as well? Are you in a small town with dreams of the big city, or an urban warrior with pastoral ambitions?

Let us know in the comments!

Pssst: If you love small town romance, take our quiz—written by author Candis Terry—to find out what real-life small town you should maybe look into moving to!

Tue
Jun 14 2016 8:33am

What Book Do You Typically Recommend to Non-Romance Readers?

Of course, this question all depends on what reader you're talking to, but we all have our go-to recommendations. While I have one friend who is a die-hard True Blood (the TV show) fan, and I made sure to recommend a Vampire Romance to her, there's usually only one or two books that I recommend to non-romance reading friends—before getting them hooked and taking them down the rabbit hole to Romancelandia. 

What is your most frequently recommended romance to non-romance readers? Do you have one or two that you always recommend? Let us know in the comments!

SEE ALSO: Expectations vs Reality: The Struggle of Having Non-Romance Reading Friends

Mon
Jun 13 2016 8:27am

What’s the Largest Number of Books You’ve Bought at One Time?

Claimed by Evangeline Anderson

I imagine this question should exclude librarians and booksellers as they probably buy books in the double and triple digits sometimes. But, as a reader, how many books have you bought at one time? More than 5? More than 10? More than 20? Higher?

With e-books especially being so low priced, it's as easy to go on a binge read as it is to go on a binge-buy! Even in the low-priced e-market, do you find you buy the same number of books because you time investment is as valuable as your monetary one? 

Let us know in the comments? 

Fri
Jun 10 2016 8:22am

Is It Harder to Be Transported By a Book As You Get Older?

The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley

 In an interesting article, The New York Times posited this exact question: Is It Harder to Be Transported By a Book as You Get Older? The think piece suggests that as children we “soak” in reading whereas as adults it's “just” a “dip.” Referencing neurologists, it's thought that as adults we cross-reference our reading—taking breaks to look up facts, or even just make connections with our own lives and memories. 

Do you find it's harder for you to get lost in a book than it was when you were younger? Or is your imagination just as willing to let you soak up the story?

 

 

Thu
Jun 9 2016 8:04am

What Do You Think is the Next “Alpha” Profession?

Winning the Billionaire by JM Stewart

Rakish dukes, billionaire CEOs, charming (or not) cowboys, rough-and-tumble bikers. What do they all have in common? Why they're the professions of some of the most alpha of alphas in romance! 

Romance has seen the alpha hero transform into many professions through the years—from the duke in the '70s and '80s to the biker and billionaire of recent years. At the end of 2015, I guessed that we would see a backswing to the recent billionaires and see more 'salt of the earth' types hitting shelves in 2016 and beyond. 

What job do you think the alpha hero will take on next? Do you think it'll be even more high-powered than a billionaire, or are we going to see more “ordinary” jobs?

For more on Hero Professions, check out KateRothwell's post on Unromantic Hero Careers (rat catcher anyone?), and Kate J. Squires' humorous breakdown of the pros and cons of hero professions. 

 

Wed
Jun 8 2016 3:46pm

Scoop Up Jay Crownover & Charlotte Stein Deals: Romance News

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Built by Jay CrownoverDeal Alert: Jay Crownover's first Saints of Denver book, Built, is marked down to $1.99 in e-book for the moment at iBooks, Amazon, etc.* Heads-up, Marked Men devotees; several of your favorites show up in this new series! Dig into AubreyGross's first impressions of Built for more.

Deal Alert: Charlotte Stein's Under the Skin novel Intrusion is only $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, etc.* Stein's a master of the slow burn, Sahara Hoshi says in her First Look review of Intrusion. 

Deal Alert: Pamela Morsi's Small Town Swains historical romance Garters is $.99 in e-book at Amazon.* Morsi knows her way around small towns in the genre, as Janga points out in a shoutout to her popular Marrying Stone series in the post “Uniquely Yours: Five Fictional Small Towns with a Difference.”

[+Mia Sheridan news & Mary Balogh ARC sweepstakes...]

Wed
Jun 8 2016 8:15am

What Will Make You Highlight a Quote?

Idol by Kristen Callihan

Yesterday I got into a very interesting conversation about quotes—particularly in underlining them for future referral. Back in March, I asked you if you ever saved favorite quotes. For the most part, many of you said yes! Now I want to know: what draws you to your favorite quotes? Do you tend to highlight sexy moments, quips, declarations of love? 

Let us know in the comments!