<i>The Cougar's Wish</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Cougar's Wish: Exclusive Excerpt Holley Trent The room may have been nearly dark, but he caught her flinch—her surprise. <i>Dark Alpha's Embrace</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Dark Alpha's Embrace: Exclusive Excerpt Donna Grant "Her soft curves blunt the sharp edges of my soul..." <i>Knight Protector</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Knight Protector: Exclusive Excerpt Rue Allyn "Desire raced in his heart, and his head swam." <i>Out of Nowhere</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Out of Nowhere: Exclusive Excerpt Roan Parrish "We kiss so slow it’s like melting together."
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Showing posts by: Jessica Moro click to see Jessica Moro's profile
Wed
Feb 10 2016 2:00pm

Indie Spotlight: New-to-You Books from Vi Keeland, Meghan Quinn, and More!

Abruption by Riley Mackenzie

We're celebrating independent women (and men..and publishers)! On a seasonal basis, our bloggers will be offering up a list of their favorite books coming from independent and self-published outlets. Tune in every three months for another look at the indie books that got their hearts racing.

Abruption by Riley Mackenzie is a new-to-me author. These two touched my heart with their story about Guy, Finny, Maxie and Jules. Jules is the new nurse manager on the floor and encounters Guy during her first week at the hospital. Guy is a single parent to two small children, Maxie and Finn. Guy also works at the hospital but even on his off hours is constantly there, as Finn gets sick often. OMG, Finn and Maxie are the cutest! Their interactions with Guy and Jules pull at your heartstrings and have you rooting for a HEA for them. Jules finds herself quickly enamored with this family despite a tragic past. As Guy and Jules’ love grows, so does Finn’s mysterious illness. This whirlwind romance will make you laugh, cry and speed read to find out all the answers.  

[Indie books that have our hearts racing ...]

Wed
Feb 3 2016 9:30am

Ballroom Battlefield: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Spoiler warning! This post contains spoilers on both the book and the movie, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. 

When I first saw the novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. Full disclosure, I wasn’t a fan of the original Pride and Prejudice so I didn’t have any desire to watch this film and/or read the book. However, I can’t say no to FREE so when I received free passes I said, “Why not?” Fast forward to today and I’ve now seen this movie not once, but twice! I actually loved it. It’s nothing like what I expected and I think it can cater to a wide audience. Putting a zombie spin on the classic story really did take it to new heights, but what really pushed the movie to a greater edge were the actors.

Beware, spoilers ahead.

[We are all fools in love or zombies ...]

Wed
Jan 27 2016 5:30pm

Under Pressure: New Adult Romance Best Bets for January 2016

Hooked by Love by Toni Aleo

This month's round up is titled after one of my favorite Bowie songs (he will be so missed), it applied perfectly to these New Adult reads. These characters are under a lot of pressure to make decisions and to deal with the next step in their life but, with a perfect partner they'll find the road isn't so hard. Elle Kennedy slams back in with her series that is a must read and we find some other notable NA authors on this list as well. With social, family and friendly pressures, these bad boys don't always make the perfect choices bu, the journey to making better choices is what makes these picks so great. Read on to find out.

Hooked by Love by Toni Aleo the third in the Bellevue Bullies series and is story of the only remaining single Sinclair brother, Jace. Each can be read as a standalone, Jace is the youngest and has a ton of pressure to live up to the family name. Now that both of his brothers are in the NHL, all eyes are on him to complete the family circle. He's sworn NO DISTRACTIONS however, Avery crashes into his life and he can't let go. Avery is an inspiring singer with BIG dreams as well. Jace and Avery have to make some tough choices but, let's just say these two were HOOKED! It was funny, so steamy and included family too.

[High pressure love ...]

Mon
Jan 25 2016 11:00am

Nothing Mundane About It: First Impressions on Shadowhunters

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I’m a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument’s book series. I was captivated by the dialogue, the world building and some memorable characters. So when they announced that ABC Family, now Freeform, was doing a TV show, you better believe I was excited.

After the movie didn’t do too, well—with many different opinions on it: I loved it—the TV show had a lot of hype surrounding it. Fans poured in hope and excitement that our precious characters would be given a new life on the small screen. There was a lot of build up to the first episode and I hungrily awaited any announcements, videos and I was beside myself with excitement with the announcement of the actors, particularly Jace and Clary, the primary characters.

The actors and actresses are all a great match appearance-wise to their characters. There were some familiar faces among the cast, such as Dominic Sherwood from Vampire Academy (another favorite), Harry Shum, Jr from Glee and a Step Up alum Isaiah Mustafa, who can be recognized from the Old Spice commercials. After being disappointed in the actor choice for the movie, I was holding on to my hopes and dreams of Jace and I skipping down to happiness on the TV show. I firmly believe they delivered. He’s blonde, looks great in leather and has pretty great skills with a sword. I went into the first episode with my heart fully settled on Jace being my absolute favorite of the show.

[Mortal Instruments to ABC's Shadowhunters ...]

Tue
Dec 29 2015 9:30am

The Best New Adult Romances of 2015—Ring in the New (Adult) Year!

Falling Away by Penelope Douglas

New Adult authors had an amazing year redefining this every changing genre. Yes, there is still a lot of angst but considering the age bracket of every changing emotions and life choices, why wouldn’t there be. That angst however, was balanced off by playful banter. More charismatic characters ranging from alpha males to nerdy heroes, sassy heroines to the girl next door, we had it all. These are just some of MY favorites from my monthly NA best bets round up.

Falling Away by Penelope Douglas has Jax finding his HEA. A jack of all trades, Jax quickly stole your heart and then proceeded to sweep you off your feet. K.C is his unlikely heroine. With K.C. coming back into town for reasons beyond her control, he’s finally able to make a move on the girl he’s never forgotten. But will she be able to handle his secrets? Page-turning and with so much intrigue I couldn’t handle myself!

Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez is a gut-wrenching story that spans years, a friends-to-lovers story that takes many twisted turns. Be prepared with some hard liquor and tissues on hand because you’re in for a wild ride.

The Deal by Elle Kennedy, I can’t gush enough over The Deal! With its amazing one-liners, clever banter and incredibly charismatic characters, I laughed from beginning to end. Pulling off an amazing balancing act between angst and humor is what made this book so great. 

[Oh! more please ...]

Mon
Dec 28 2015 10:00am

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of 2015, Part 4

Playing By the Greek’s Rules by Sarah Morgan

Each month, we ask our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle a bit more.

It's the end of the year now, and so we've asked them for their top three books that made the year in reading so memorable. Without further ado, here's Part 4 (of four parts) of our bloggers best reads of 2015—and don't forget to check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3:

Miss Bates:

When H&H asked me to pick the best three romances I read in 2014, I agonized. I penned lists. I culled lists. I whittled lists. I wrote long- and short-lists. This year, my top three romances danced in my head like seasonal sugarplums! I knew exactly who they were and why I loved them. Here they are, in no particular order other than the mental sugarplum one.

Sarah Morgan’s Playing By the Greek’s Rules is a brilliant riff on the opposites-attract trope. Lily Rose, former-foster-child, waif-heroine is made of loving, empathetic steel. Her sunny ways and self-soothing personal philosophy break down the walls of Jericho around pragmatic, commitment-phobe hero Nik Zervakis’s heart.

[The final best reads of 2015 ...]

Tue
Dec 22 2015 5:00pm

Santa, Define “Naughty”… Characters Behaving Badly from Ashley, Douglas, and More!

When reading a story I’m always looking for someone to root for—whether it be the underdog, or that snazzy character that captures my attention. While yes, most of my favorite characters are the “good” ones, I can’t help but love when there’s naughtiness to them. You can’t be good all the time and these characters prove that being bad has its perks.

You know that feeling of disappointment, when you come up with so many witty lines after a horrible confrontation? Well, Sloane Avery knows that feeling all too well. In Jamie Howard’s Until We Break, Sloan is forced back into the town she desperately needed to escape but, this time she puts things on an even playing field. Sloane uses her newfound confidence to basically destroy the relationships of those who did her wrong. The calculated destruction was impossible to stop reading and once the ball was rolling it didn’t stop! Of course, a change of heart did happen but, the consequences were harsh. Sloan definitely earned herself a spot on the naughty list!

[Add them to the naughty reading list ...]

Thu
Dec 17 2015 9:30am

Check Me (Out) Twice: New Adult Best Bets for December 2015

Defy by Allie Juliette Mousseau

I can’t believe December is already here! This month’s New Adult reads end the year with a bang, from kidnappings to car chases, illicit love affairs to sweet beginnings, I couldn’t get enough. If I was Santa, I would enjoy checking these twice.

Defy by Allie Juliette Mousseau reads like an action movie with its fast-paced action and highly stressful scenarios. This is book three in the Brothers of Ink and Steel series but can be read as a standalone. Ryder has always lived fast and hard. As a bounty hunter, he doesn’t have time for attachments. But, when his latest mission becomes entangled in a drug war, he can’t help but sink when he feels protective of a mysterious girl. Rachel had no idea deciding to go to a frat party would forever change her life. After being a witness to a horrible crime, she thought she was safe with the police but then she wakes up chained, in a monster’s home. Leaving her life in the hands of a stranger that lives a life with no rules is daunting but, they might just defy the odds.

The Best Goodbye Abbi Glines is the latest in the Rosemary series but can be read as a standalone. Captain thinks he’s ready to leave behind his unconventional career and move on to new areas and ideas. The only thing left for him to do is the new restaurant launch in Rosemary Beach, once he finishes, he’ll be scot-free —or so he thinks. Rose, the new server, seems to be hiding many secrets and once they’re revealed, the tangled web will be a tight noose around their necks. One of my favorites in the series, Captain and Rose’s story is filled with intrigue and, of course, cameos by many favorite faces.

[New adult romances you'll read twice ...]

Sat
Nov 28 2015 12:00pm

Be Thankful for the Bad Boy: New Adult Romance Best Bets for November 2015

Once Kissed by Cecy Robson

It’s that time of year where a lot of reflection takes place and gratitude. I, for one, am extremely grateful for the literary bad boy and these characters are excellent examples as to why. The “bad boy” can turn your day right side up or, more than likely tie you into knots. These new adult heroes listed below will all have you thanking the stars for their creation.

Once Kissed by Cecy Robson is the start of a new series, the O’Brien Family. Her stories are engrossing, her alpha males are charismatic, tough, yet vulnerable. She continues the trend in Once Kissed with Curran O’Brien. Tess is a straitlaced law student trying to get out of her father’s thumb one semester at a time. When Curran and Tess meet again, these opposites are pulled together by circumstances (i.e nutzos after Tess) beyond their control. I laughed, I smiled, and I was enthralled with their story. I can’t wait for more in the series! 

The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan has a man-bun, check. Beard, check. Virgin? Eh. Not what you normally expect when you think of the new adult hero but, Ethan Dexter has been way too busy to focus on things other than football. His quiet intensity drags Fi in and she’s reluctant to get involved with what she thinks is a hot shot player. One kiss sets Dex and Fi off on a game plan that she didn’t know she needed. 

[Thankful for all the bad boys ...]

Sun
Nov 8 2015 10:00am

Leveled By Jay Crownover as a Reader Reads Her First Male/Male

Leveled by Jay Crownover

Leveled by Jay Crownover has popped my male/male cherry! As my first book in this realm, I had a few pre-conceived notions going in but, they were blown them out of the water. Leveled is a bridge between the Marked Men series and the new spin-off, Saints of Denver. Lando and Dom are characters that have had small story lines in the background of the Marked Men series and that are now getting a very well-deserved story. I especially wanted Lando to have an HEA after his heartbreaking past. For those of you that don’t remember, Lando is the ex-boyfriend of Remy (Rule’s twin) and Dom is Royal’s best friend. 

I had a picture in my mind of what both of these characters were like going into the story. Lando is the physical therapist who agrees to take on Dom’s case. Dom is still recovering from the injuries he acquired while on the force. His rehabilitation isn’t going as well as it should and Lando swoops in to the rescue. I was pleasantly surprised with the characters, Lando is a tough, smart, quietly assertive man, who knows what he wants and has a plan. Dom is aggressive and more of a wears his heart on his sleeve kind of person. Right from the beginning, sexual tension oozed between the two. It was like being caught in a hurricane of lust.

“There was more than a spark when our palms touched. There was an electrical current that blazed a fiery trail all the way up my injured arm and made my spine tingle at the contact. I held his pale gaze and searched openly for any sign that he felt it, felt something.”

[Let this one pop your male/male cherry ...]

Thu
Oct 29 2015 11:00am

Double, Double, Secrets, and Trouble: New Adult Best Bets for October 2015

Wrong by Jana AstonOctober’s New Adult picks brings on a lot of strong characters. From struggling to find a new career to fighting pasts that don’t seem to go away, these characters show us emotions on a grand scale. With secrets that rear their ugly heads, I found that each of the stories in this month showed us different ways to show strength. Whether it be, fighting for your rights (not just to party) or showing us that you CAN make your own future regardless of your past, these stories, hit all the right marks. 

Wrong by Jana Aston is a rom-com that keeps the laughs rolling. Sophie always falls for the wrong guy and she keeps the record going by falling in serious like with her regular coffee shop customer. Sounds fine? Turns out he’s her new gynecologist. However, Luke is the man of her dreams and their road to HEA is filled with hilarious moments and lots of steamy connections.

Chaser by Staci Hart falls under the-don’t-date-my-little-sister genre. Cooper didn’t think about Maggie as anything other than his best friend’s sister, until the night of her wedding. Cooper’s playboy reputation precedes him leading to some trouble. But, Maggie might be the one to make him change it all.

[Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...]

Sun
Oct 25 2015 1:00pm

Creepy and Kooky Kinky: Morticia and Gomez Addams as Healthy Portrayal of Kink

A tender moment between Morticia and Gomez in the Addams Family MovieWith Halloween fast approaching, what better time than now to talk about one of my favorite creepy couples, Gomez and Morticia Addams. From the popular tv and film franchise, and with many other adaptations in between, The Addams Family one of my favorite shows/movies to watch. With their obsession with all things macabre, dark, and the color black, they weren’t the norm compared to other family sitcoms. I am obsessed with the family’s dark, tongue-in-cheek humor and the love between Gomez and Morticia.

With their Gothic horror-movie-type-family you would think their interactions would be stiff and stilted but, that’s not the case. Gomez and Morticia Addams are the iconic goth couple but I think their marriage transcends stereotypes. They are one of the first couples to explore their sexuality in pop culture. The movie may have had a family rating but there was an eroticism implied that made it much more than just another cookie cutter movie.  

[It made it perfect...]

Tue
Oct 6 2015 3:30pm

First Look: Katie Ashley’s Redemption Road (October 6, 2015)

Redemption Road by Katie Ashley

Katie Ashley
Redemption Road (Vicious Cycle #2)
Signet / October 6, 2015 / $15.00 print, $5.99 digital

The New York Times bestselling author of Vicious Cycle plunges readers into a world of danger and desire in her newest in the Vicious Cycle motorcycle club romance series. 

Looking for a walk on the wild side, Annabel Percy, the daughter of a powerful politician, gives in to an attraction to a sexy biker she meets one night. But she finds herself living a nightmare when she’s kidnapped and transported into a hell on earth she never could have imagined.

Born and bred into the Hells Raiders MC, Nathaniel “Reverend” Malloy lives and dies for his brothers. But when he becomes the unexpected savior of a rival club’s captive, Rev makes it his personal mission to nurse Annabel back to health—and to shelter her from the nightmares that torment her.

Once Annabel heals, she’s stunned to realize she is falling for the seductive man who saved her. Faced with their impossible attraction, can she accept the life he leads, or will Rev walk away from the only life he’s ever known for the woman he was never supposed to love?

***

“The worst of circumstances had brought us together, but some of the greatest loves in the world were born of tragedy.”

Katie Ashley returns to the dark world of Hell Raiders MC with Nathanial ”Reverend” Malloy, the president of the MC. Rev was first introduced in Vicious Cycle however, this book can be read as a standalone. Katie Ashley once again hits it out of the park by bringing on the dark and gritty view of the MC. She is taking us down the twisting road of trying to turn the MC into a club that sit on the legal side of things. However, before they can move towards that, Rev takes on a mission that could decidedly throw all of their work away.

[An alpha man with a soft spot ...]

Mon
Sep 28 2015 1:00pm

Fall by Chance: New Adult Romance Best Bets for September 2015

Fighting Wrath by Jennifer Miller

This month’s New Adult reads range in setting but one thing is the same, they all took a chance on something bigger than themselves. They took a leap into the unknown and whether it be in a strict religious community or a football stadium, they managed to carve out a new beginning with love.

Fighting Wrath by Jennifer Miller is the second in her Deadly Sins series but, can be read as a standalone. Tyson is dealing with residual anger from his childhood and he’s turned to underground fighting to let it out. He meets Sydney at the local bookstore that he takes his niece to for story time (swoon). Their attraction is instant and their relationship blossoms but, secrets threaten to tear it apart. Will they fight for their happy ending or will their secrets prove to be too much?

Sins of Sevin by Penelope Ward is a forbidden romance. Sevin has been raised in a strict religious family and has always felt as though he’s been suffocated by it. However, tragedy forces him to reevaluate and he’s soon courting his future wife but, it’s the wrong sister. The pull to Evangeline can’t be ignored but with family values, relationships and religion in the way, will they get the ending they deserve? This book pulled me in all different directions! THE FEELS!

[Falling for these New Adult Best Bets ...]

Tue
Sep 8 2015 8:30am

What’s in the Box!?: “Box” Sets for Book Lovers

Book subscription boxes seem to be all the rage right now. So I’ve been on the hunt for fun book boxes and I’ve come across some pretty spectacular items. So far, I’ve only signed up for three of these because I couldn’t make up my mind! So I’ll describe the three boxes I actually subscribe to and other boxes that I’ve heard about.

BookWorm Box

BookWorm Box:
Items: Signed books and swag
Reaction: Slightly Apprehensive but then AWESOMENESS

I first came across subscription book boxes when I was introduced to Colleen Hoover’s, Bookworm Box. Proceeds from this box go to charity and they’ve raised thousands of dollars so far. This box feeds into my signed book desiring heart and has been steadily adding to my paperback horde. It contains two signed (not personalized) books, various swag from different authors and (my favorite) a bookworm pen. Seriously, it’s my favorite pen and has the best ink. Each month the books received in the box are a surprise and waiting to see what I get usually require a glass of wine after. Kidding, the wine is a life requirement. But it’s a lot of fun waiting to see what you get.

[Are you a book box subscriber?]

Fri
Aug 28 2015 10:00am

No Judgment: New Adult Romance Best Bets for August 2015

Souls Unfractured by Tillie Cole

The New Adult August favorites that burned up my kindle were fast-paced reads that gave me a lot to think about. These heroes and heroines are much more than what they appear to be. From opposites, to hiding behind stereotypes, they prove the age-old saying, don’t judge a book by its cover.

Souls Unfractured by Tillie Cole is the story of Maddie and Flame. I’ve been waiting for this book and it was so worth the wait! Flame is part of the “psycho-trio” and he’s extremely twisted. Maddie is part of the original Cursed ones from her cult and has been slow to integrate into the outside world. Maddie and Flame need and help each other in forming better relationships with others and themselves. Their story is beautiful, poignant but extremely dark. Flame might seem like a twisted individual on the outside but he hides many mysteries that Maddie can only bring to light.

Better When He’s Brave by Jay Crownover is the story of good (and hot) cop Titus matched with Reeve, a girl who has lived on the wild side. Titus has always thought the world was black and white but Reeve destroys this manner of thinking. On the surface, Reeve is a criminal —she’s made these bad choices to avenge her sister. When Titus needs help bringing down the newest threat to the Point, Reeve is the last person he wants to depend on. However, Reeve is the key to stopping the threat and close quarters might prove there’s more than a spark there.

[Apologize for nothing. You are still young...]

Tue
Aug 11 2015 10:15am

Beyond the Brawn: 5 Things to Love About John Cena, Beyond His Muscles

John Cena from WWE

I’m not afraid to say it, but I had no clue who John Cena was before Total Divas.

I know, I know, I mean I don’t completely live under a rock. I had noticed him on the occasional WWE commercial but he really captured my attention on Total Divas, a WWE reality TV show that features many of the women. With his muscles stacked on muscles and his ability to pile drive wrestlers through tables, I figured he was a bro’s bro. However, much to my pleasant surprise he’s so much more than that!

John Cena and Beer gif
Via bellatwins

Allow me to explain myself. He has a different side that’s hilarious, charming and pretty awesome.   He’s been branching off into other projects outside of wrestling, such as different movie roles, fitness plans that he’s heading, appearing on Total Divas which has assisted in garnering attention and attracting a new fan base. For those of you were just as ill informed as I was, here are some reasons why John Cena is more than just muscles (and some moments when he really cracked me up).

[Who knew the WWE turned out great hot commodity...]

Sun
Aug 9 2015 9:00am

First Look: Bella Jewel’s Hard to Fight (August 11, 2015)

Hard to Fight by Bella Jewel

Bella Jewel
Hard to Fight (Alpha's Heart #1)
St. Martin's Press / August 11, 2015 / $3.99 digital

Grace is a bounty hunter who wants to be taken seriously, but her boss refuses to believe that a woman can bring down a dangerous criminal. She finally gets a chance to prove herself when she's given the case of a lifetime: capture Raide Knox and bring him to justice.

Raide is a dangerous fugitive on the run...and the sexiest man Grace has ever met. Catching Raide won't be easy. He's not the kind of man to go down without a fight. Raide is more intense and frustrating than any man she's ever had to deal with, and the instantaneous attraction that sparks between them is undeniable. One thing is for sure...it's going to be a case they will never forget.

**Hard To Fight is a full-length standalone romance with a HEA**

Hard to Fight by Bella Jewel is the start of a new series, Alpha’s Heart. Raide Knox, our main character has previously appeared in some of Bella’s other books but no worries this can be read as a complete standalone. He was always described as a dark, gorgeous character that is on the run. He’s jumped bail and always has to stay ahead of the game. Jokingly, it was said that a woman would be the one to bring him down and what a woman Grace is.

[She's out to capture his heart with her bounty hunter skills...]

Tue
Jul 28 2015 10:00am

Out of the Zone: New Adult Best Bets for July 2015

When You’re Back by Abbi Glines

This month’s round up includes some pretty hot badasses of new adult that can break down barriers whether it be emotional or even, the friend zone. Being stuck in the proverbial friend zone can be the absolutely worst but, these men show that you can be nice and friendly while maintaining their alpha selves.

When You’re Back by Abbi Glines is the second in the Mase and Reese story but the 12th Rosemary Beach novel. I can’t believe there’s so many and I’ve read them all — think the OC meets the South in this series, as it heats up. What happens when Mase and Reese reunite and there’s a lot more obstacles in their path than they originally thought? Will their fairy tale romance come to an end?

Fighting Shadows by Aly Martinez is a fight to the finish. Ash Mabie shines throughout the story with her resilience, and pure joy at experiencing life. Flint is drowning in his bitterness over his condition, lost love and struggling to keep it together. When they meet, sparks fly but is it enough to bring Flint out of the darkness?

[A different kind of love...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 1:00pm

Second Chances in a Small Town: Laura Trentham’s Caught Up in the Touch

Caught Up in the Touch by Laura Trentham

“Unlike his cousin, he’d never fought the ties that bound him to Falcon. He’d gone away to college, but his heart ached for home like a tree cut off from its nourishing roots.”

Small town reads are one of my favorite tropes. It’s the sense of community and family in each one that can make this “setting”, into an actual character that lives and breathes. This can be said of the town of Falcon, the setting of Laura Trentham's Caught Up In the Touch.

The premise of Caught Up In the Touch is one of second chances, at love and remaking their lives on their terms, for both characters. Jessica Montgomery heads to Falcon to try to recruit Logan Wilde for her father’s company. When she lands in Falcon, a series of events unfold that forces her to stay longer than expected, and she’s charmed by the magic of the town. Jessica has been struggling under her father’s thumb and the people, especially Logan, fill her with a peace that she has been missing.

[Taking some time away helps to open the heart...]