Halloween 2014 Sweepstakes! Halloween 2014 Sweepstakes! Team H & H Pick your pleasure... enter for a chance to win a paranormal and/or erotic prize! <i>Treasure on Lilac Lane</i>: Deleted Scene Treasure on Lilac Lane: Deleted Scene Donna Alward "His gaze settled on her and his dark eyes seemed to challenge her..." <i>Her Lone Wolf</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Her Lone Wolf: Exclusive Excerpt Paige Tyler "It was all he could do not to bury his nose in the curve of her neck..." <i>His Wicked Seduction</i>: Exclusive Excerpt His Wicked Seduction: Exclusive Excerpt Lauren Smith "Lucien slid his hand down over her bottom, catching her in his grasp..."
From The Blog
October 31, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Crazy/Scary Hot
Team H & H
October 31, 2014
H&H Debriefing: Paranormal Favorites
Team H & H
October 30, 2014
Best Reads of October 2014
Team H & H
October 28, 2014
Captain Marvel Movie in the Works!
Heather Waters (redline_)
October 28, 2014
Real-Life Rats and Creepy Villains
shelley coriell
Showing posts by: Jennifer Proffitt click to see Jennifer Proffitt's profile
Fri
Oct 31 2014 2:00pm

Trope of the Month: Villains to Heroes

Lothaire by Kresley ColeAcademically 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!).

It's good to be bad. And sometimes, a character is so bad...they're a villain! But everyone loves to reform a bad boy (or girl!), and those same villains are just looking for someone to understand them...okay that might be too kind for some of these characters, but let's have you weigh in!

Here are some recommendations:

  • The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
  • Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
  • Lothaire by Kresley Cole
  • Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole
  • Never Kiss a Rake by Anne Stuart
  • Emily Thorn of Revenge
  • Klaus of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals
  • Raw by Belle Aurora
  • Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
  • Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
  • Secrets of a Scandalous Bride by Sophia Nash

We know we're missing a few quintessential villains/villainesses (we blame Friday brain), so let us know who would make your list of the top villains to heroes/heroines! Do you like the villain-to-hero trope? Do you really believe that villains can become heroes or heroines, or do you find them totally irredeemable? Let us know your favorites and chime in with your thoughts!

Sun
Oct 26 2014 10:00am

Shipping Sunday: Sleepy Hollow’s Katrina Crane and Abraham Van Brunt (Headless Horseman)

**Note: This particular Shipping Sunday contains some spoilers about Season 2 of Sleepy Hollow**

About a month ago Sleepy Hollow returned for its second season, and yes, I was concerned about poor Ichie stuck in a pine box, that his son was the Horseman of War, and that Abbie was stuck in Purgatory. For a millisecond I was concerned about Katrina in the clutches of the Headless Horseman aka her former-fiancé Abraham Van Brunt...but then I saw him shirtless. And she saw him shirtless, and it was all kind of a gamechanger!

Okay, so maybe he's an agent of Satan, maybe he is a jealous of Katrina's love for Ichabod—and rightfully so, if you really think about how much of a dick you have to be to steal someone's fiancée! This season, Katrina and Abraham's relationship has been why I tune into Sleepy Hollow. Are you loving them as much as me? Did you ship Abraham/Katrina before or after he illusioned his head back...because I need some validation that it wasn't weird that I had a thing for him when he was headless! Chime in with your favorite moments, and how do you think they're ship will work out!?

[Let's chat...]

Sun
Oct 19 2014 2:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Doctor Who’s Danny Pink and Clara Oswald (Oswink)

Whatever your feelings might be on the new Doctor—personally I love Peter Capaldi—or on his companion, Clara—again, I have only compliments—the chemistry between Clara Oswald and fellow teacher, Danny Pink, is of galactic proportions! They are the highlight of every Doctor Who episode for me and I so want them to work out, unlike some other famous Doctor Who companion relationships.

What are your thoughts on Oswink? Are you watching Doctor Who?

[The cuteness continues...can you handle it?!...]

Sun
Oct 12 2014 2:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Once Upon a Time’s Emma Swan and Captain Hook

Spoilers ahead for anyone not caught up on Once Upon a Time and all the shipping gloriousness that is Emma Swan and Captain Hook...

Sometimes there's a ship that is so magnificent, so magnetic, so...hot that even those who don't watch the show are aware of it. Full disclosure: I don't watch Once Upon a Time anymore. I stopped around halfway through the second season, but I still can't stay away from one of my favorite ships—Captain Hook and Emma Swan, or fondly known in fandom as Captain Swan. I find myself searching out gifs, sighing over Colin O'Donoghue (who plays Hook), watching clips, and waiting desperately for the next time the internet explodes because Hook and Emma finally acknowledge their feelings, kiss, cuddle...you get the picture.

[Continue on for gif-y goodness of Captain Swan...]

Sat
Sep 27 2014 2:00pm

First Look: Sugar Jamison’s Gentlemen Prefer Curves (September 30, 2014)

Gentlemen Prefer Curves by Sugar JamisonSugar Jamison
Gentlemen Prefer Curves
St. Martin's Press / September 30, 2014 / $7.99 print / digital

Belinda Gordon thought she had it all—a great job, wonderful friends, a home of her own. She’s even come to love her voluptuous body. But she still can’t shake the feeling that something is missing. And then Carter Lancaster, aka Her Biggest Mistake, shows up in town, as irresistible as ever, and shakes up her entire world.

Carter never expected to find Belinda in town, looking as delicious as the day he married her five years ago—before she walked out on him after six weeks and a painful misunderstanding that included his baby daughter, Ruby. A quick divorce is the sensible option—but Carter can’t let Belinda go now, not when he can see the family they could be. Love may be a curveball, but this time he’s going to prove to Belinda that he can hit it out of the park… Gentlemen Prefer Curves is the third book in the Perfect Fit series

Each time I open a Sugar Jamison book, I love it more. That’s no different in Jamison’s latest Perfect Fit novel, Gentlemen Prefer Curves. I have been waiting for this book ever since the cover was revealed back in February, especially since there was talk of a secret husband!

[That's the kind of secret that should be revealed!]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 9:30am

The "And you? Will he forgive you?” Scene in Bec McMaster’s Forged by Desire

Forged by Desire by Bec McMaster**Note: This post contains minor spoilers for the book Forged by Desire by Bec McMaster. Read with caution! **

Bec McMaster knows how to write angst. When your world is built fundamentally on everyone dying because of a blood sickness (the craving virus), it’s hard not to get buried in angst—in the best way possible! However, in McMaster’s latest book in her London Steampunk series, Forged by Desire, the angst doesn’t come from the hero (who is faced with death by the craving virus when his levels spike), but from our heroine, Perry.

It is revealed through the course of the book that Perry is not who we have been lead to believe. In fact, she’s quite the opposite. Perry feels like she’s been backed into a corner by the events in the book (which I’ll endeavor not to divulge), however, she’s in a rare position of power when she elects to go back to her old life to save the people of the Night Watch, and her lover/commander Garret.

Up to this point, Garret and Perry have fought every battle, survived Perry going missing, accepted the knowledge that Garret’s craving virus levels have sky-rocketed and have vowed to stay together and find a way to make it work. However, once Perry is backed into a corner, she thinks the only way solve everything is to sacrifice herself to a madman.

[Sacrifices for love...]

Fri
Sep 19 2014 1:00pm

LOL! The Top 10 Rom-Coms of the Past 10 Years

I worship at the altar of Nora Ephron, Tom Hanks, and Meg Ryan. I can quote When Harry Met Sally on command, and I’ve been to Katz’s Deli. However, since the early 2000s, much has been left to desire in the world of the rom-com. But if you know where to look, there are plenty of gems to be found. In chronological order, here are my picks for the best rom-coms of the last ten years; what rom-coms would make it onto your list?

13 Going on 30 (2004)
Why? Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner are perfectly charming. As teenagers, we all wished we were older and wiser—or Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving as Jenna wishes in the film. But she quickly learns that the perfect life isn’t really worth it without the ones we love. Plus, Andy Serkis doing the Thriller dance is a vision.

[And so many other things to love...]

Sun
Sep 14 2014 3:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Haven’s Audrey/Nathan, Audrey/Duke, and More!

The SyFy show Haven returned this past Thursday, and while things are unresolved for some of the characters, one thing is certain—the chemistry is off the charts!

Audrey Parker has learned a lot about herself and the Troubled people of Haven over the last four seasons. She seems to soothe their Troubles and people are drawn to her. None more so than Nathan Wuornos and Duke Crocker. Never before in a show have I had so much trouble deciding on a 'ship, and normally I stay far away from a love triangle, but maybe the same thing that pulls Nathan and Duke to Audrey has me under a spell too! To this day, I still can't decide if I love the “awww”-warm-and-fuzzy moments Audrey has with Nathan (that simple kiss on the cheek still undoes me), or the sizzling tension she has with Duke (but she soothes his soul, I tell myself!), and yes, sometimes my little shipping heart wonders what it would be like if all that tension between Nathan and Duke were used in a different way.

Who do you ship on the show—and it doesn't have to be limited to a twosome (wink, wink)?

[All the ships, plus a poll, are docking in Haven...]

Tue
Aug 26 2014 1:30pm

First Look: Jeaniene Frost’s The Beautiful Ashes (August 26, 2014)

The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene FrostJeaniene Frost
The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny #1)
Harlequin / August 26, 2014 / $14.95 print, $7.99 digital

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fateno matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between.

Jeaniene Frost dives into a brand new world with the first book in her Broken Destiny trilogy, The Beautiful Ashes. With little preamble, we are thrown into Ivy’s world, where suddenly instead of the happy, cohesive family she’s always known, she now has a missing sister and dead parents—and can see into a parallel world made up of dark, disfigured facsimiles of our world and people.

[Into the darkness...]

Tue
Aug 12 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Sidney Bristol’s Committed (August 12, 2014)

Committed by Sidney BristolSidney Bristol
Committed
Loveswept / August 12, 2014 / $2.99 digital

DEA Special Agent Damien Moana works hard and plays even harder. But while indulging in forbidden temptations at a private BDSM retreat, the unexpected happens: He falls under a stranger’s spell. This woman drives Damien to distraction, pushing him to the sweet boundary between pain and pleasure. When duty interrupts their heated encounter, his focus turns to catching a criminal . . . but his head is still with the seductress who ignites his deepest desires. Now Damien must choose between closing the case of his career and losing the woman of his dreams.

Poppy Mercer can’t forget the night she spent with her mystery lover. When chance brings them back together, she seizes the opportunity to again feel his masterful hands on her body. Poppy is a switch who delights in dominating a powerful man . . . and submitting to the ecstasy of his control. Outside the bedroom, however, she questions her place in Damien’s world. His obsession with hunting a ruthless drug lord puts Poppy in the line of fire. And though Damien might be able to save her from danger, salvaging what’s left of her trust is another matter.

Sidney Bristol introduces the Drug of Desire series with Committed, and it might have earned its place as one of my favorite erotic romances. Ever. How did she earn such an exalted spot amongst the many erotic titles I have read? In a recent Twitter conversation, I gave this tweet pitch: “It was great to read a heroine who reveled in her sexuality and an alpha who I could introduce to my folks.”

[Please do go on...]

Tue
Aug 5 2014 11:00am

Kresley Cole’s Dark Skye SPOILER THREAD!! (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Dark Skye by Kresley ColeHere you have it: It's FINALLY HERE! A complete play-by-play of all of the events in Kresley Cole’s Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark #14), out today. This post 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. (There’s a non-spoiler-y First Look of Dark Skye here to whet your appetite, plus all our Kresley Cole content and a speculation post on Nix’s Perfect Mate here and catch up on Lanthe and Thronos's story before diving in with an Anticipation (and Speculation!) Post about their history!)

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 MacRieveThis is a post to discuss the entire book. There’s a non-spoiler-y First Look of Dark Skye here and other Kresley Cole content here.***

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

Thu
Jul 31 2014 9:30am

First Look: Radhika Sanghani’s Virgin (August 5, 2014)

Virgin by Radhika SanghaniRadhika Sanghani
Virgin
Berkley / August 5, 2014 / $16.00, print / $9.99, digital

Okay, I admit it. …I didn’t do it.

Yet.

This is normal, right? I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they’ve already done it doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth…right?

It’s not like I’m asking for that much. I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed.

The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right—do I have to wear a sign that says I’m only looking for Mr. Right Now?
Sooooo…anyone out there want sex? Anyone? Hello? Just for fun?

I am not going to die a virgin. One way or another I am going to make this happen.

Hey, what have I got to lose? Besides the obvious.

I am constantly on the search for funny New Adult. I’ve found it in books by Cora Carmack and Under Locke by Mariana Zapata, and now I can add Radhika Sanghani’s Virgin to the list. Imagine a younger Heather Wells of Size Twelve Is Not Fat or Bridget Jones, or an older Georgia Nicholson from Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging and you’ll have Ellie Kolstakis: V-I-R-G-I-N.

[Ellie is about to go on a sexcapade...]

Thu
Jul 24 2014 4:30pm

I Spy the Prince Regent: Historical Spies from Bradley, Galen, Quinn, and More!

Surrender to a Wicked Spy by Celeste BradleyLike many readers, historical romances were among the first romances I read, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that among my favorite tropes of the subgenre (marriage of convenience, the wallflower or bluestocking) was another—the historical romantic suspense. But even more specifically: the historical spy.

Celeste Bradley is among the first romance authors I read as a teenager. Unlike many, I didn’t find romances through my mother’s shelves, but through the shelves at my local library, as I was supposed to be putting the books away. Among those first books, Bradley’s Royal Four series has always been one of my favorite. There was intrigue, suspense, love, arranged marriages, and so many other things that fulfilled my young heart.

One of Bradley’s heroes, Dane Caldwell, Lord Greenleigh has always been one of my favorite heroes. In Surrender to a Wicked Spy we meet Dane, not as he’s engaging in dangerous business in the name of the crown, but as he is fishing his future wife out of the Thames—and ends up being saved himself in the process. Dane is a big man—imagine Chris Hemsworth in period clothing (I know I do). He’s smart, capable, and crafty. Olivia, his new wife, is all of those things too—including big (I featured her in my Tall Heroines post).

[Sounds like they're perfectly matched...]

Mon
Jul 14 2014 8:10am

Who’s Your Ideal Fictional Road Trip Companion?

My One and Only by Kristan HigginsIt's road trip season and while many families and friends are piling into their cars for some good ol' fashioned togetherness, we've been having road trip and vacation romances on the brain! Last week I talked about road-trip romances and how those close quarters can lead to some pretty fun (and sexy) times between a hero and heroine—and sometimes is the only way they would have gotten together in the first place! A lot of you chimed in with your own favorite road romances, but it got us thinking: if you could have one fictional character as your road trip companion, who would it be?

Would you want someone who was an excellent navigator? Or maybe someone who could keep you laughing on the long road? Let us know in the comments who your ideal travelling companion would be!

Thu
Jul 10 2014 4:30pm

Love’s Journey: Road Trip Romances with Jeffries, Knox, Cole and More!

Beware a Scot's Revenge by Sabrina JeffriesEveryone knows that road trips can make or break a relationship. You’re in close quarters, you find out that your friend really likes Taco Bell, and you have to make constant bathroom breaks and no one ever seems to sync up. In romance novels, being on the road can sometimes bring these issues to a head, but more often than not it leads to a whole lot of love and understanding—and maybe force a hero and heroine together that might not have ever met otherwise.

Close Quarters Lead to Close Contact…

The book that got me thinking of road trip love was Beware a Scot’s Revenge by Sabrina Jeffries. In it, Lady Venetia Campbell is travelling to her Scottish home when she is kidnapped at pistol-point. Her would-be kidnapper turns out to be her childhood love, Lachlan, and both Venetia’s trip and Lachlan’s plan take a totally different turn than originally imagined.

For a long moment they sat poised, with Lachlan’s pistol lying beneath her underarm and his mouth against hers in a mockery of their kisses last night.

Kisses he hadn’t meant. Kisses he’d given her only to lull her to go off with him today. Curse the wicked blackguard!

A horse snorted mere feet away and the guard’s gaze bore into her back through the window. Suddenly, the guard laughed and called out something to Lachlan’s accomplice. Then the carriage moved again, and her chance for any escape vanished into the wind.

It was too much for her. She bit Lachlan’s lip. Hard.

[Seems like a good start to a trip...]

Tue
Jul 8 2014 11:19am

Catch Up with Harry/Ginny and Hermione/Ron in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Update!

Ron, Hermione, Harry,Ginny, and their children in the final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsIt comes as no surprise that the youngest Seeker that Hogwarts has seen in a century made an appearance at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup with his family and friends. Harry Potter, now 34, attended the Cup with his two sons, along with other members of Dumbledore's Army. This is the first sighting of Harry since the publication of the last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in 2007, and the release of the final movie in 2011.

J.K. Rowling on her site, Pottermore, released an update for fans via the notorious Rita Skeeter, who is gossiping about “covering” the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. Thanks to the much-debated epilogue at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we know that Harry, Ron, and Hermione all went to work for the Ministry of Magic—Harry and Ron as Aurors, and Hermione in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. However, the article reveals that Ron, after only two years as an Auror, left to co-manage Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.

[How are our favorites faring these days?...]

Wed
Jul 2 2014 4:30pm

Fixer Upper: Manly Makeovers from Fox, Heyer, James, and More!

Sometimes, it is the duty of women to let a man know when his look is just not working. Sometimes, that opinion is even asked for. You would think that “the makeover” would be a device reserved specifically for the ladies, but for every Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady there’s a Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid Love.

In Sabrina York's Making Over Maris, Jack is a nerd, a slob, a bit overweight, and a submissive (the last makes for a very fun time with the dominant Sara). Jack turns to his friend and co-worker, Sara for help and she almost declines as he seems like such a lost cause, but Jack wants this so bad that Sara can't decline.

But this? Impossible!

But it wasn’t just the physical aspect of things. It wasn’t that he was dumpy and doughy and extraordinarily…be-furred. Seriously. A Wookie would be jealous.

No. It wasn’t all that scruffy hair or the beer belly or the fact that he always looked vaguely unkempt.

Okay, maybe not vaguely.

The real challenge was the simple fact that Jack was utterly clueless about women.

[But you're about to give him one...or several!]

Fri
Jun 27 2014 11:00am

June 2014 New Adult Round Up: One-Night Stands and Hate Sex with Bad Boys (and Girls)

The Wedding Contract by H.M. WardChemistry is a beautiful thing. Sometimes it just makes for a great connection between friends, sometimes you fight it so hard that it makes you think you hate the person, and sometimes, when you let it run its course, sparks fly.

In H.M. Ward's The Wedding Contract, the sparks flying between Nick Ferro and Skylar aren’t only because these two are attracted to one another, but also because they hate each other. Sky is 22 and never went to college, but has become a successful wedding photographer despite her lack of a college education. Nick has gone to college and that alone sets up some tension between these two as Sky thinks Nick hasn’t earned his business but only gotten it because of his family name and his degree (a bone of contention between Sky and her mother as well). It doesn’t help that Sky also thinks Nick is poaching her clients. The tension hits an all-time high when Nick and Sky are hired to cover the same wedding. Several bets ensue during the wedding weekend, including one where the curvy-Sky agrees to pose naked for Nick if she loses.

H.M. Ward has several serials and standalones out in June, so is a must-add to any of your New Adult TBR piles, including the second book (this one a serial) in the Ferro series. In Ward’s Secrets and Lies, Vol. 1, Kerry is just looking to get over her ex-boyfriend with a simple one-night stand—is that too much to ask? Apparently it is, after her intended hookup bolts right before things get interesting.

[Uh oh, not a good start!]

Wed
Jun 25 2014 9:30am

A Checkered Past: Anticipating (and Speculating) Kresley Cole’s Dark Skye

Dark Skye by Kresley ColeIt’s hard to believe that we’ve been waiting for Kresley Cole to tell Lanthe and Thronos’s story for six books, but after much wailing and anticipation from the fans, August 5 will mark the day when the truth (and consummation) of Lanthe and Thronos’s relationship is revealed.

But while we've been waiting, there have been many books, so there's a lot of information we need to break down! I’ve gone through each of the books in which Lanthe, Thronos, and the Vrekeners were mentioned, including Kiss of a Demon King, Demon from the Dark, and Shadow’s Claim (in which Vrekeners are briefly mentioned) for those of you who want to do a little re-reading, and collected everything we know about this couple so far—I also included tidbits gleaned from the Dark Skye excerpt KCole shared. So, without further ado…

The Players

Lanthe:

Full Name: Melanthe (pronounced Mel-anth-ee (thank you KCole for having Thronos sound it out!)), Queen of Persuasion, of the Deie Sorceri family

Appearance: Black hair, which she wears in braids like all good sorceri gals, and blue eyes, five-foot-five

Powers:

  • Persuasion

Lanthe’s innate sorcery was called persuasion. She could order any being to do as she pleased, but she rarely gave commands—they often ended in tragedy. 

—From Kiss of a Demon King

  • Portals
  • Telepathy
  • Stole the power to talk to animals (when she stole telepathy), but gave it to her sister

Personality:

Sexually liberated, Lanthe is playful, seductive, and flirtatious. While she would never admit it, she loves children, and while her sister is very cynical, Lanthe has always been a huge romantic. Her personality is much like the Valkyries and Witches—a little bit goofy, and a whole lot of crazy. She was previously very promiscuous because she was trying to recapture the look of acceptance and affection she saw (and likely felt) with Thronos. But her promiscuous days are over, since Lanthe lost a bet to her sister and now must be celibate for one year. I have an inkling that Thronos will convince her to break that promise! 

[And then there's Thronos...]