<i>Slow and Steady Rush</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Slow and Steady Rush: Exclusive Excerpt LauraTrentham "Her bottom lip trembled ever so slightly, drawing his eye." Spring 2015’s Can’t-Miss Romance Books, Movies, and Shows Spring 2015’s Can’t-Miss Romance Books, Movies, and Shows Team H & H What's on your list for the Spring? <i>Deep</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Deep: Exclusive Excerpt Kylie Scott "Slowly, a smile curved his lips, making my heart jump with glee." <i>Tamed</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Tamed: Exclusive Excerpt Stacey Kennedy "The heat from his body encased her, swallowing her whole."
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Showing posts by: Jennifer Proffitt click to see Jennifer Proffitt's profile
Fri
Mar 6 2015 8:08am

What’s Your Friday Read?

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

The beautiful thing about the weekend is that it offers endless hours of reading time!

Heather's reading Elle Kennedy's The Deal, while I'm tackling Mary Balogh's the Survivor's Club series.

What books are you polishing off your TBR list this weekend? 

Thu
Mar 5 2015 8:28am

Throwback Thursday: Who Was the First Cover Model You Remember?

Rogue by FabioFabio is the cover model all romances have become associated with, even though it's been quite some time since he graced a cover. However, in a recent Jezebel article, it rapidly became clear that he was only associated with a select few of the many romance titles that came out in the 80s and 90s. Was Fabio your cover guy or was a different cover model the one catching your eye on every cover? Share the covers and the models—if you know them—in the comments!

Fun Fact: Did you also know that in addition to being on many romance covers, Fabio, in collaboration with other authors, has written eight romances in his own right?

Wed
Mar 4 2015 8:21am

“This One for the Footmen”: Downton Funk

Wanting to catch up on Downton Abbey, but just don't have the time to devote to four seasons of British Period Drama goodness? Or maybe you're already missing the Crawleys after Sundays season finale? Never fear, College Humor is here for you! You can catch up on major Downton plot points and get this catchy tune stuck in you head! Be warned, “Downton Funk” is set to the tune of Mark Ronson's “Uptown Funk,” featuring Bruno Mars, and it will get stuck in your head!

What do you think, would Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, approve of this mash-up?

Tue
Mar 3 2015 8:14am

How Much Is Enough?

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

We've talked about when you want the first kiss in a romance, and how soon is too soon for the first consummation. But between kissing and (after) consummation, there are quite a few levels of heat and frequency to consider.

What are your preferences when you're reading: is one love scene enough to solidify the connection between the main characters, or do you want the love scenes early on and often? Do you look for a minimum number as your ideal?

Mon
Mar 2 2015 8:09am

“I’m Just a Modern Chick Who Does What She Wants”: Is Trainwreck the Bad Girl’s Rom-Com?

Amy Schumer is a funny, smart lady, and she takes on the modern rom-com as a woman who works for a men's magazine and totally loves her awesome life...even if she is a little bit of a hot mess!

This trailer gave us several reasons to tell the movie theaters to just take our money now!

  • Bill Hader: We need more beta guys taking on roles as romantic leads. I've always crushed on Bill, so bring it on!
  • We like watching Downton Abbey...and so does LeBron James!
  • For this line: “Who's your favorite team?” “The Orlando...Blooms?”

What are your reasons?

Sat
Feb 28 2015 12:00pm

There Be Dragons: Paranormal Romance Best Bets for February 2015

Windburn by Juliette CrossShifters, dragons, and magical beings all take part in this month's round up of the Paranormal Best Bets. What caught your eye this month?

Dragons...kind of!

Windburn by Juliette Cross

In the Gladium Province, the boundaries between humans and Morgons, the dragon-hybrid race, continue to blur as a new generation surrenders to long-forbidden temptation…

Sorcha Linden does whatever she wants whenever she wants, and no one can stop her.  Least of all a man. After all, they’re good for only one thing—warming her bed. But then she meets Lorian, brother of Lucius Nightwing. Seductive and iron-willed, Lorian is determined to melt her emotional defenses—and warm her rebellious heart.

The beast within Lorian longs to cage Sorcha and mark her as his own. Forever. Yet the man within also longs to protect her. When a stalker starts leaving Sorcha suggestive gifts with cryptic messages bearing an ancient blood cult symbol, Lorian’s dragon side takes over. With her life at stake, Sorcha can no longer deny the love they share. But when evil tracks her into the night, will she be too late to claim it?

Dragons meet gargoyle-type creatures in this second book in the Nightwing series and continues to fulfill all my Gargoyle childhood shipping fantasies!

[That's what we like to hear!]

Wed
Feb 18 2015 9:30am

Trope of the Month: Secretly Married!

Lick by Kylie ScottAcademically 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!).

Okay, so you had a really good time in Las Vegas, met the “man of your dreams,” and ended up married to him. While you get a quickie divorce, you'll have to keep it all a secret from your family. In more perplexing circumstances, you get married, and are lead to believe your spouse died, only to find out that they've been alive this whole time. Suddenly, you find yourself...secretly married! These are the circumstances that the heroes and heroines of the Secretly Married trope find themselves in.

Do you like this trope in any subgenre over another? What are some of your favorite secretly married books? Have you noticed one author who does it particularly well or often? Let us know in the comments!

**Note: This trope should not be confused with the Secretly Married trope in TV and fandom, in which two characters act like an old married couple, even though there's no evidence that they are married.**

Tue
Feb 10 2015 4:08pm

Romance News Roundup: Jamie Dornan Accents, Lisa Kleypas Deal, and More!

Welcome to H&H's brand-new daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

—When you think Fifty Shades of Grey's Christian Grey, you don't think “adorable” but in the below clip we can't help but say “awww” as the adorable Jamie Dornan tries on a few accents with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show:

—In other Fifty Shades “news,” there was always a ton of debate about Charlie Hunnam vs. Jamie Dornan—who would have made the better Grey: Jamie, who got the role, or the original Christian, Charlie? Well, while everyone is still having that debate, I think we can all assume that Steve Buscemi was not on the short list to be the billionaire of our dreams. However, if you are interested in what Fifty Shades of Grey would have been like if Steve had gotten the role, check out this recut video of the trailer...Mr. Buscemi is ready to see you now?

—Christina Dodd is asking readers to weigh in on what the cover of the next book in her Virtue Falls book, Obsession Falls, should look like. Click through to Christina's Facebook page to take the survey! 

[+Orphan Black and Deal Alerts...]

Fri
Feb 6 2015 12:25pm

Are You Curious?: Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Screening Thoughts (SPOILERS!)

**We were so happy to be able to see the Fifty Shades of Grey movie a WEEK early, BUT for those who want to go into movie with a completely open mind, don't read ahead. We DO discuss SPOILERS. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. You've been warned... you don't want to get punished, do you?**

Today, two members of Team H&H were privileged to attend the Today Show premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey. The event began at 4:45am, when we rolled out of bed and hustled onto the subway to get to the Ziegfeld Theater, which was hosting the screening. It was ten degrees out, and dark, and we arrived to find an enormous line snaking around the corner. Thankfully, Team H&H had early access, so we only had to wait outside for a few minutes before getting our IDs and tickets checked and going into the theater. On the way in, there were probably thirty waiters holding beverages on trays—all clad in gray, of course—and we were encouraged to snap our pix in front of one of the huge Fifty Shades of Grey posters.

Once inside the theater, we were greeted with heat (yay!), as well as more waiters holding tiny hors d'oeuvres. It was a ticketed event, so we found our seats and waited.

There were many fans, as might be expected, and the shrieks when the cast, director, and E.L. James arrived were huge. Then the movie began.

Master's ChecklistMegan's Thoughts:

Movie Grade: Three Hearts!
Post-Movie Reaction: I'm on-board to see what happens next.

Overall Reaction: Fifty Shades of Grey was both more and less than I had expected. I am an unabashed fan of the first Fifty Shades of Grey book. I devoured it in probably a day, I loved the inner goddess, the emails between Christian and Ana, the fifty shades of fucked up—just everything. Even while I was reading it, however, I was aware of its shortcomings, but the story itself was so compelling I didn’t care. I approached the movie with trepidation, given how all of the book is told through Ana’s eyes and we don’t have that same benefit on the big screen. I was very pleasantly surprised to find I liked the movie way more than I thought I would—the relationship between the two was balanced, the film was gorgeous, and perhaps the most surprising part was Dakota Johnson’s on-point portrayal of Anastasia Steele.

[And now let's get to our Turn Ons and Turn Offs...]

Fri
Feb 6 2015 8:13am

We Ruined a Romance: Replace A Letter Ruin A Romance Results!

Earlier this week, we had so much fun with #ReplaceALetterRuinARomance on Twitter —and we think you guys did too! As a treat—and as an extension of Friday Reads—we wanted to share the results with you! Flip through the hilarious titles, and let us know your Friday Read, and, more importantly, play another round of Replace a Letter with it!
Wed
Feb 4 2015 8:14am

#ReplaceALetter RuinARomance: Submit Your Best (and Worst) Titles!

Okay, so you've been reading romance for a while, and you may have noticed that we kind of like puns—we blame the innuendo packed '80s. But it's something we've learned to embrace! Yesterday, we saw the hashtag #ReplaceALetterRuinATVShow trending, and we thought “Well, we can do that, but better!” We asked you guys to give your submissions for our version of the hashtag— #ReplaceALetterRuinARomance:

We've had a lot of great titles come through our Twitter feed, but we want to see what site users can come up with, too!

Mon
Feb 2 2015 4:30pm

Romance News Roundup: Elizabeth Hoyt & Connie Brockway Deals, Fifty Shades of Grey Sex Scenes, and More!

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey—It's tea time at Downton Abbey AND at Heroes and Heartbreakers...how fortuitous. If you want a literal tea break this afternoon—Downton style—head over to the Republic of Tea for Downton Abbey theme teapots, tea, and tea accessories. We particularly are eyeing the happy couple, Anna and Bates, in the Downstairs tea collection. Have any caught your eye?

Fifty Shades of Grey may not have as much sexytimes as we'd been expecting; according to Entertainment Weekly, which in turn sources the Sunday Times, sex scenes make up (only?) about 1/5 (or 20 minutes) of the film.

—Speaking of 50 shades...let's talk shades of nail polish. OPI along with Fifty Shades of Grey launched a new line of nail polishes set to the theme of your favorite billionaire. Want to Cement the Deal, Embrace the Grey, or perhaps you find yourself Romantically Involved? These are all shades (sadly there aren't 50 of them...we sense a missed opportunity) featured in the line.

—Chris Evans and Chris Pratt will both be making good on their Seahawks/Patriots Super Bowl Bet. To hear about the whole story, check out our earlier post about the original bet.

...Other football references ensued, but you get the gist. Good Guys, those Chrises!

—Deal Alerts: Elizabeth Hoyt, Connie Brockway, and Rebecca Zanetti all have their books down priced on Amazon. Check out Hoyt's Duke of Midnight and Zanetti's Forgotten Sin for $.99. Connie Brockway's All Through the Night is also available on Amazon for $1.99. Still needing to add to your TBR pile? Get Elizabeth Boyle's latest Rhymes with Love book, The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane, it's available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes for $1.99!*

—YA Readers, assemble! If you loved Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before, then get excited: P.S. I Still Love You, the sequel, has a cover—and release date—prepare yourselves to add P.S. I Still Love You to your TBR pile on May 26, 2015.

*Please note that we have no idea how long downpricing or sales will last, so grab these deals while you can.

Sat
Jan 31 2015 10:00am

So I Dated a Shapeshifter: Paranormal Romance Best Bets for January 2015

Alphas Prefer Curves Boxed SetThe new year brought a lot of highly anticipated books—Bound by Flame and Burned to name a few! But if you knew where to look, there were also a lot of hidden gems, ripe for the picking (or biting)!

Shifters!

Alpha Prefer Curves Boxed Set

Hot alpha males come in all flavors, from fierce shifters and swaggering rockstars to bad boy bikers and seductive billionaires, men of action and passion. In this collection of standalone BBW romance novels and novellas by the writers of the wildly popular Curvy Girl Romance group, the hunky heroes all have one thing in common: these alphas prefer curves.

This boxed set contained 14 books in total, all featuring alpha heroes and the plus-sized (okay, BBW, but I hate that term), and with pretty much every subgenre represented, there’s pretty much something for everyone looking for an alpha and a plus-sized lady. A Prowl On The Wild Side by Erika Masten and Milly Taiden’s Dangerous Protector were two of my favorite books among the many featured in this boxed set.  In A Prowl on the Wild Side, Vanessa discovers that her nightly sleepwalking and dreams of being a lioness may have deeper and more supernatural repercussions than any pill can fix! And in Dangerous Protector, we see lovers reunited—and oh it feels so good! Milly Taiden is a new find for me and pretty much all of her books feature sexy plus-sized women and the shifters who love them—just my cup of tea!

[And ours too...]

Thu
Jan 22 2015 12:00pm

Trope of the Month: Held Captive!

Academically 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!).

When the team initially discussed this trope, we soon realized it was not one that we saw in modern romance as much. The notable recommendations published in recent years were usually on the darker side or paranormal, with a few exceptions.

Many of the books listed below are beloved in the genre, but also polarizing, especially when seen through the gaze of the modern reader. A hero or a heroine held captive and then falling in love with their captor can leave a lot of room for something to go wrong—if the author doesn't tell it in the right way, etc. We have loved the enemies to lovers trope and villains to heroes, but one member of the team suggested that if she went back into some of the iconic “held captive” romances that she might not see them with the same glow she had upon the original read. Do you feel the same? Do you think it's a trope that you would like to read now, or should it stay in the past as a trope of yore? Do you think any one subgenre is more equipped to handle this trope? Have you read any of the books listed below?

  • Beware the Scot's Revenge by Sabrina Jeffries
  • Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
  • The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss
  • The Conquerer by Brenda Joyce
  • Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey
  • Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts
  • Prisoner by Annika Martin and Skye Warren
  • Devil's Game by Joanna Wylde
  • Heat  by R. Lee Smith
  • Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole
  • The Bride and the Beast by Teresa Medeiros
  • Cold as Ice by Anne Stuart

What iconic held captive romances did we miss? Which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Wed
Jan 21 2015 2:00pm

“Do You Hear Me, Rafe? You’re Mine:” Tessa Dare’s Say Yes to the Marquess

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

I have loved Tessa Dare ever since her debut The Goddess of the Hunt—it remains on my Best Ever List. Since that first book, Dare’s skill at writing complex, fantastical, but realistic, characters with emotional and heartfelt stories has only increased, and her latest release, Say Yes to the Marquess, might be her best book yet.

Rafe, our hero, is complicated, endearing, romantic, and caring all while remaining alpha and ultra-masculine. Clio, our heroine, is independent, protective, smart, and unusual. Together, they make for a perfectly balanced, realistic, and heartwarming couple.

There are many great lines and scenes within Say Yes to the Marquess—anyone remember when Rafe carried our self-conscious heroine up the stairs to “prove a point” or when Clio told her sister, Daphne, that she was mistress of her own castle and “today she was feeling a bit medieval” or when Piers said he knew how to kill a man with a letter opener and make it look like an accident? However, the most poignant and swoonworthiest scene belongs to Clio.

[It's ladies' night at Twill Castle...]

Wed
Jan 14 2015 4:03pm

Romance News Roundup: Nora Roberts TV Show, Wet Chris Hemsworth, and More!

Welcome to H&H's brand-new daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

Nora Roberts' Cousins O'Dwyer series has been optioned for television as a series called Blood Magick. The potential showrunner? Lost Girl showrunner Emily Andras. (Keep in mind: TV shows are very very hard to get on the air, so this is far from a sure thing. Stick with us for updates as we hear about them.) For more background info on the series, read our First Look reviews of the books in the trilogy: Dark Witch (#1), Shadow Spell (#2), and Blood Magick (#3).

Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye—Laura Kaye has announced an upcoming release, male/male novella Hard to Be Good, which will star Hard Ink series fan-favorites Jeremy and Charlie. The novella will be out on April 7, 2015, and is already up for pre-order at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.

—If you've seen the Arrow midseason finale (no spoilers!), you know MAJOR changes are coming for the show. We'll have a speculation post up on Friday rounding up all the latest spoiler-y tidbits heading into the back half of the season, but until then, sneak a peek at the first episode back with this trailer at E!Online.

—WET CHRIS HEMSWORTH. SET CONDITION ONE THROUGHOUT THE SHIP. Need we say more? Okay, fine: Let's just say Jimmy Fallon's silly Tonight Show game is our gain. Stick around for a VERY sexy dance there at the end. Trust us.

[Watch the clip here...]

Fri
Jan 9 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Curl Up in Bed with Tatum, Foley, and More!

Scott Foley in BedIt's the time of year when all good boys and girls just spend the winter months in bed, under the blankets, or otherwise all bundled up. Whether you're cuddling with your animals, your children, or your significant other, you might want to think about asking these guys to join you later.

Who is the beefcake you want to curl up with this winter?

[Baby, it's cold outside...]

Sun
Jan 4 2015 10:00am

Shipping Sunday: Pretty Little Liars’s Spencer/Toby (Spoby)

Netflix is a beautiful thing—mostly because it gave to me the exciting and suspenseful world of Pretty Little Liars. It's full of literally everything and anything you could hope for and is complete crack—drama, murder, mystery, fantasy, and most importantly, love.

This summer, my roommate and I got totally addicted to the mystery of A. It all started when four friends were reunited...by a blackmailer. The smartest of those four friends was the indomitable Spencer Hastings, and she was never stronger or smarter than when she was with her man, Toby Cavanaugh.

[More Spoby ahead!]

Thu
Dec 25 2014 10:30am

Little Dragon Boy: Paranormal Romance Best Bets for December 2014

Hot Blooded by Donna GrantAngels (and dragons?) we have heard on high! Shifters and vampires of all sorts await us in this month’s roundup of Paranormal romances that are worth a second glance!

Dragons!

Hot Blooded by Donna Grant

Laith was powerless not to respond.

Their eyes met again, held. He felt an uncontrollable, undeniable pull to this woman and he fought against it.  Hard. It was more than just lust. This…feeling…was on another plane all together…

DARKNESS AND SECRETS SURROUND HIM

His name is Laith. To most, he’s known as the owner of a local pub near Dreagan. But little do his patrons know that beneath his handsome, charming exterior Laith has the heart and soul of a Dragon King—one who wields control by keeping his friends close and his enemies closer. Until a beautiful, mysterious stranger enters the picture, and sets his whole world on fire…

SHE IS HIS SALVATION

To learn the truth about her dead father, Iona has returned to Scotland only to learn that she’s part of an ancient pact with Dreagan—one that will threaten the fragile peace with the Dragon Kings. Gorgeous, sly Iona isn’t like anyone Laith has ever met before...and she harbors a secret that others would kill to possess. Will she complete him—or destroy him? Passion always comes with a price…

I pick up Donna Grant books sporadically—which does lead to a little bit of confusion, BUT when I do pick up a Grant book (whether it’s featuring her Dark Kings or druids), I find myself totally wrapped up in her world. I got hooked with an excerpt of Hot Blooded (plus, that lyrics to the song of the same name just play over and over in my head) earlier this month. For those of you who can’t wait until December 30, the book has been released as a serial and you can almost the whole thing before the full book is released—and you won’t be disappointed whichever path you choose!

[More hot paranormal releases this way...]

Wed
Dec 24 2014 10:00am

25 Romances of Christmas: Holiday Romance Recommendations, Part 4

Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin While the holidays are creeping in, it might be just the time to start in on that list—the books on your To Be Read list, that is. This is the final week where Phoebe Chase and Jennifer Proffitt will be delivering a little something naughty and nice in the form of the 25 holiday/seasonal romances you should be adding to your wish list. You can read more suggestions in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin

One part epistolary romance (kind of), one part lover reunited, this short Christmas story is great to get a taste of Lin’s style. They say write angry letters, but never send them. Unfortunately, Captain Hale Martin took that to refer to love letters, too. When Hale left England three years before our story starts, he promised to write to her every Christmas until he returned. He not only didn’t write at Christmas, but he never did. He felt inadequate and unworth of Sidony, despite being well-liked by her family. Three years later, he’s more mature and even more sure of his feelings for Sidony...even if she’s hesitant to give him a chance. From adolescence to adulthood, it was touching to see how their relationship progressed. My only complaint is that I wished I could have spent more time with them!

[So it was a good visit!...]