<i>Make You Mine </i>: Exclusive Excerpt Make You Mine : Exclusive Excerpt Jackie Ashenden "He looked down into her eyes, shadowed in the dim light of the room." <i>The Unlikely Lady</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Unlikely Lady: Exclusive Excerpt Valerie Bowman "A soft smile touched Jane’s lips, despite her best efforts to stifle it." Now Win <i>This</i>: <i>Hugo & Rose</i>! Now Win This: Hugo & Rose! Team H & H Enter for a chance to win a copy of Hugo & Rose! <i>Lawless in Leather</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Lawless in Leather: Exclusive Excerpt Melanie Scott "He took a deep breath, and more of her perfume snuck into his brain."
From The Blog
May 3, 2015
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Jennifer Proffitt
May 1, 2015
Friday Beefcake: Hot Guys Grilling and Picnicking!
Team H & H
May 1, 2015
Held Captive Erotic Romance Novels from Stein, Warren, and More!
Rhyll Biest
May 1, 2015
A Beginner's Guide to Shifters and Demons
BizJaust
April 30, 2015
Best Reads of April 2015
Team H & H
Showing posts by: John Jacobson click to see John Jacobson's profile
Tue
Apr 28 2015 3:45pm

First Look: Lorraine Heath’s The Duke and the Lady in Red (April 28, 2015)

The Duke and The Lady in Red by Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath
The Duke and The Lady in Red (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #3 ) Avon / April 28, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Sparks fly in the finale of the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James Place series, as the last wicked rogue meets his match.

When Rosalind Sharpe gains the attention of the deliciously wicked Duke of Avendale, she’s torn between her distracting attraction to the notorious rogue and the knowledge that he—rich as Croesus—is the perfect target for a deception that will put her swindling days behind her.

However, Avendale is no fool. After he discovers the tantalizing lady packing up to leave London with his coins in tow, he confronts her with a scandalous proposition: she can have all the money she requires…for a week in his bed.

Desperate for the funds, Rose agrees, but on one condition: he must never question her motives. Avendale quickly sees beneath her mask and discovers she is more than passion and pleasure—she is everything he has ever desired. But claiming her requires he unveil her secrets and lose her forever. Unless he can put his own dark past aside and risk everything for a chance at love.

Lorraine Heath has been heralded by reviewers and publicists alike as an unsung master of historical romance. Her latest book, a conclusion to a series that follows characters that stretch humanity, is The Duke and the Lady in Red. It’s the story of a con artist and a Duke with no scruples. It captured me from start to finish, and I can officially say I am on the Lorraine Heath fan train. Not only is the book poetic, but it deals with characters that are real and messy, appealing to the romance reader that doesn’t like the easy way out with their happily ever after’s.

When Rosalind Sharpe walks into one of the many parlors and entertainment halls of London, she is playing a game. Women like Rose are not for the faint of heart. Her ability to pull a con, seduce a man, and gain financial reward from it all is unmatched. It is when she meets eyes with the Duke of Avendale that she finds what will be her greatest mark yet in the world of thievery. Rose may not have chosen the life she lives, but she is nothing if not a master of deception.

[The Duke just may steal her heart...]

Thu
Apr 9 2015 11:15am

Forget the Wedding Present, Bring the Heat in Lauren Gallagher’s I’ll Show You Mine

I'll Show You Mine by Lauren GallagherLauren Gallagher’s I’ll Show You Mine is a book that enflames with sexual tension from the first page. Erotic romance like this is the reason heat ratings exist, and I can mean that only as a compliment. Gallagher’s book is a satisfying read in terms of the kinky relationship between the hero and the heroine, and the strength of the romance is specifically in the intensiveness of the small moments between the two characters. Sometimes the best romances are made up of small moments. In this case, the small moments just happen to include a lot of foreplay, sexual tension, and (pleasurable) pain.

Sometimes it takes a wedding to change everything. Alyssa Warren’s is the maid of honor in her sister’s wedding. The wedding is beautiful and everything their family wanted it to be—on a boat, no less. If only Alyssa could escape the gossip about her past, she’d be set. A terrible mistake made several years before permeates every whispered discussion about her it seems. Because of this, Alyssa’s romantic life—especially her sex life—has gone on hold.

[Dry spell is about to end...]

Mon
Apr 6 2015 5:00pm

First Look: Tara Sue Me’s The Enticement (April 7, 2015)

The Enticement by Tara Sue MeTara Sue Me
The Enticement (Submissive #5)
Penguin / April 7, 2015 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me returns to the story of Abby and Nathaniel to explore the passion after the ‘Happily-Ever-After’…

Limits were made to be pushed.

Abby West has everything she wanted: a family, a skyrocketing new career, and a sexy, Dominant husband who fulfills her every need. Only, as her life outside the bedroom becomes hectic, her Master’s sexual requirements inside become more extreme. Abby doesn’t understand Nathaniel’s increased need for control, but she can’t deny the delicious way her body reacts to his tantalizing demands…

Between Abby’s reluctance and Nathaniel’s unyielding commands, the delicate balance of power between the Dominant and his submissive threatens to shift. And as the underlying tension and desire between them heats up, so does the struggle to keep everything they value from falling apart …

Trilogies like the Submissive trilogy have slowly started ending following the post-Fifty Shades boom. Tara Sue Me’s latest book, The Enticement, came as a bit of surprise considering it takes the lead where her first trilogy ended. The story is a continuation of the tale of Abby and Nathaniel, now married and parents, and their adventures in the world of BDSM. The Enticement is a balanced portrayal of a Dom/sub relationship with BDSM and other erotic situations incorporated, showing its readers a romance that struggles with marriage and continual sexual pleasure, not just a romance that struggles with the positives and negatives of BDSM. 

[It's all a balance...]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 3:05pm

First Look: Jaci Burton’s Love After All (March 31, 2015)

Love After All by Jaci BurtonJaci Burton
Love After All (Hope #4)
Penguin / March 31, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

In the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Hope Burns, a woman discovers that the man she least expects is exactly what she needs…

High school math teacher Chelsea Gardner has the perfect plan. She’s tired of dating all the wrong men, and after years of frustration, she’s developed a foolproof list of requirements for finding “The One.”

Bar owner Sebastian “Bash” Palmer finds Chelsea beautiful, smart and fun, but he thinks her list is ridiculous and unnecessary.  Intent on proving Chelsea is looking for love in all the wrong ways, he offers to help her find the “perfect” man.

Chelsea knows Bash isn’t the right guy for her—he barely meets one of her criteria—but there’s something about the charismatic man that has her yearning for things that are most definitely not list approved.

Because sometimes, a relationship that looks totally wrong on paper can turn out incredibly right…

Small-town romance has gotten a facelift lately with authors like Jaci Burton taking the helm. While the stories of Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, and Sherryl Woods are still as popular as ever, authors like Burton are a breath of fresh air with their experience in erotic contemporaries helping them out. Love After All is the fourth book in Burton’s Hope series, and is a younger, sexier take on the themes of family and community that make up small-town romances.

[Sexy small town? How do we get there?]

Thu
Mar 19 2015 2:30pm

A.M. Arthur’s Take on Poverty, Sexuality, and Male Bonding in The Truth as He Knows It

The Truth as He Knows It by A.M. ArthurWhile the amount of men compared to women in m/m romance can be questionable, occasionally I find myself absorbed in an m/m romance that swims in male characters. A.M. Arthur’s The Truth as He Knows It manages to create a fascinating interplay of men in a small Pennsylvania town. I’m not normally one to find that kind of m/m appealing, but the look into masculinity, poverty, and my home state made The Truth as He Knows It worth the reading time.

Officer Noel Carson resides in a tiny Pennsylvania town where everyone knows everyone else. He spends his work nights working for the force and his occasional days off with his friend Tristan. Tristan has short term memory issues because of a past event where he and Noel were assaulted by a group of homophobic men. While their lives have never been the same since, Noel visits Tristan as often as possible to help retain some sense of normalcy.

One night on the job, Noel finds himself working on a noise complaint that leads to rescuing a male stripper from a group of rowdy intoxicated women. That stripper is Shane, a man with a past who is making ends meet by working at the local deli during the day and stripping at night. Shane’s brother Jason works a menial job to try and pay off their various debts, but Shane can never shake the immense guilt that tells him those debts are his fault.

[But you're trying to work them off!]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 6:15pm

First Look: Vicky Dreiling’s What a Devilish Duke Desires (February 24, 2015)

What a Devilish Duke Desires by Vicky DreilingVicky Dreiling
What a Devilish Duke Desires
Grand Central / February 24, 2015 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

WILL A FEW FLIRTATIOUS STEPS

Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle's title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it's all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.

LEAD TO A SCANDALOUS SEDUCTION?

Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome—not to mention wealthy—duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man's trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry's scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn't change it first.

Back when it first released, I glommed Vicky Dreiling’s How to Marry a Duke. It was a fun Regency romance with a Bachelor-like premise. I’m not a fan of most reality television, but I am a fan of authors that can take a cute concept and execute it well. Dreiling’s What a Devilish Duke Desires is as much of a success, but with shades of the film Pretty Woman and the show Dancing with the Stars. It’s a Regency palate-cleanser that enchants you with its adorable romance and its depiction of class movement.

[Prepare to be enchanted...]

Sat
Feb 21 2015 12:30pm

Alpha Hero Meets Confident Heroine in Tressie Lockwood’s How to Avoid a Billionaire

How to Avoid a Billionaire by Tressie LockwoodAlpha billionaires populate Romancelandia in droves. In Tressie Lockwood’s latest novella, How to Avoid a Billionaire, the alpha billionaire is an extreme version of the breed. He’s extra tough and extra alpha, but he makes up for it by being the best of the best in bed. Lockwood’s novella does more than add to the ever-growing boom economy of billionaires: it features a biracial heroine who is more than a match for the alpha billionaire bent on seducing her.

Melanie Cai is a talented ad executive who knows she’s good. Her work environment doesn’t appreciate the talent Melanie brings to the table, so it’s a welcome surprise when she finally gets full credit for a major campaign she created. The appearance of Ryder Neyland in Melanie’s life makes things all the more interesting. He tries to play it cool, but Melanie is a professional, and knows all about the ruthless billionaire.

Ryder drips sex appeal with his built frame and heated looks. Melanie has no idea that Ryder is getting to know her for much more complicated reasons than seduction—he wants revenge because of her ad campaign. In Ryder’s world, it always comes down to money and image, and that campaign caused him to lose a fair amount of both. Ryder may be a sore loser, but nothing’s better than a good act of revenge with an incredibly sexy woman.

[Or so he thinks...]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 10:30am

First Look: Victoria Dahl’s Flirting with Disaster (January 27, 2015)

Flirting with Disaster by Victoria DahlVictoria Dahl
Flirting with Disaster (Girls' Night Out #2)
HQN / January 27, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

Artist Isabelle West has good reasons for preferring a solitary life. Tucked away in a cabin in the woods, she has everything she needs…except a red-hot love life. That is, until a hard-bodied US marshal threatens to unearth secrets she's spent years protecting. But giving in to the sparks flying between them can only lead to one thing…disaster.

Tom Duncan lives by the letter of the law. But no one has tempted him—or confused him—more than free-spirited Isabelle, who arouses his suspicion and his desire. As their connection grows, and their nights get hotter, they find their wild attraction might shake everything he stands for—and expose everything she has to hide. 

Flirting with Disaster is the second book in Victoria Dahl's new contemporary romance series, Jackson: Girl’s Night Out. The series follows a group of women who are friends in a small town, most of whom are out of their twenties. I’ve followed Dahl on Twitter for years, and I’ve always been interested in trying her contemporary romances because of the voice she’s projected as an authorial brand. Flirting with Disaster met every expectation in voice, and was far from the usual small town based romance novel.

[You've piqued our interest!]

Tue
Jan 20 2015 6:15pm

First Look: Jeanette Grey’s Through the Static (January 20, 2015)

Through the Static by Jeanette GreyJeanette Grey
Through the Static
Samhain / January 20, 2015 / $14.00 print, $4.49 digital

The only way to save him is to let him into her mind…and her heart.

When cybernetics researcher Aurelia Locke is attacked, she instantly recognizes her assailants as a Three—a mercenary unit made up of a trio of soldiers whose minds have been cybernetically linked, their pasts erased, their wills subsumed.

By the skin of her wits, she escapes to an abandoned house, where she hacks its security system in her desperation to find refuge.

Jinx is already on high alert when his Three notices something isn’t right with their safe house. But he never expected to find a woman wounded and bleeding out in his own bed, or that his visceral reaction to her would begin to awaken his lost past from a years-long haze of violence.

In a mad gamble to escape, Aurelia frees Jinx from his Three by severing his neural connection to them and tying his mind to hers. The power of their link shocks them both, manifesting not only in shared thoughts, but in an intensely passionate physical connection.

But dangerous forces pursue them, intent on reclaiming Jinx and silencing Aurelia’s knowledge. Her only chance of saving him is to risk everything—her research, her heart, and her life.

Cyberpunk with mentally-linked sex scenes? Through the Static hit hot buttons I didn’t know I had, and there’s always a level of giddy excitement that comes with being introduced to tropes and world types that you never knew existed before. Jeanette Grey’s latest novella, a sexy exploration of cyberpunk romance that thrives on its accessibility for readers new to the subgenre, plays with a cybernetic future where the world is dangerous and the secrets cybernetic. 

[Static shock!]

Thu
Jan 15 2015 10:30am

First Look: Elley Arden’s Running Interference (January 19, 2015)

Elley Arden
Running Interference (Cleveland Clash)
Crimson / January 19, 2015 / $4.99, digital

As a wide receiver for the Cleveland Clash, Tanya Martin is tough inside and out. The 5’9” beauty can take a hit and keep on going. But when the man she was best friends with - and secretly in love with - in high school comes home the same day she learns her father’s gym is in financial trouble, she’s unexpectedly blindsided.

Super Bowl MVP Cam Simmons is only back in town to convince his mom to move out of her failing neighborhood and live in luxury with him in Boston. But running into Tanya stirs up plenty of old feelings he never resolved. He was happy to leave his old life behind him when he hit the NFL, but walking away from their friendship was a mistake he wants to rectify.

Tough women rock, especially when they’re romance novel heroines. Elley Arden’s Running Interference features a heroine who definitely qualifies as tough. She trains at her father’s gym, holds down a job as a physical education teacher, and plays on a women’s football team. Her love of sports is foiled by her determination to protect herself and her family at any cost.

Running Interference is the first book in a series featuring the players of the Cleveland Clash, the women’s football team that proves that women can tackle problems and find romance, too.

[They're multitaskers!]

Mon
Jan 5 2015 3:00pm

First Look: Erin Knightley’s The Earl I Adore (January 6, 2015)

The Earl I Adore by Erin KnightleyErin Knightley
The Earl I Adore (A Prelude to a Kiss)
Signet / January 6, 2015 / $5.99 digital

After receiving word that her sister has eloped, even ever-optimistic Sophie has trouble staying positive. She needs to secure her future before the scandal destroys her prospects, although she doesn’t relish the idea of a hasty marriage. But her longtime crush has just shown up for the summer festival in Bath. He may be the key to avoiding disgrace and getting a happily ever after…if she can bring herself to pursue him.

John “Evan” Fairfax, Earl of Evansleigh, is one of the most popular bachelors in the ton. However, his easygoing ways hide a dark past he’s determined to keep secret. Evan has always kept acquaintances at arm’s length for self-preservation, but there’s something irresistible about Sophie…and her seductive charms may well sway the confirmed bachelor to seize a chance at love.

What do you get when you combine an oboe-playing heroine with a talking problem and a titled hero with a love of Italian opera and a dark secret? You get Erin Knightley’s The Earl I Adore. The second book in her Prelude to a Kiss series, The Earl I Adore is equal parts sweet and dramatic as it follows two extremely kind characters with two extremely screwed-up families. The portrayal of music and its connection to the friends-to-lovers plotline makes the novel sing as beautifully as the Italian arias the hero and heroine fall in love to.

[Singing pretty little love songs!]

Sat
Dec 20 2014 2:15pm

May We Present to You: 3 Harlequin Presents Authors Who Get it Right

One Night... Nine Month Scandal by Sarah MorganIt has been no secret that I have a darling love for the Harlequin Presents line of category romances, which focus on privileged protagonists. One could take all of the wealthy businessman found within the category’s history and single-handedly take over every major cooperation on the planet ten times over. At its core, the Presents line has always been a glorious sense of escapism, and in the hands of a good author it can be social commentary and subversion of the privileged tropes it plays to. It doesn’t make the category perfect, but it does make the category line something beyond the fantastic tropes it presents.

Sarah Morgan

In my eyes, Sarah Morgan is the queen of the Harlequin Presents novel. Morgan's heroes play into the “alpha” tropes while checking themselves when it comes to the power of the heroine.

Morgan’s One Night…Nine-Month Scandal was my first encounter with her twisting of the trope. In order to make up for the hurting the heroine, the hero buys her a room full of teddy bears. A room full of teddy bears. There is no denying the cuteness of this gesture, and it’s a gesture that works because of its privacy and because of its clear acknowledgement that the hero is wrong. Not only all of that, but I read this book years ago and it still creates a pitter-pat of feeling in me because of how wonderful it came across at the time.

[A room full of teddy bears will do that!]

Thu
Nov 13 2014 3:30pm

Struck by Love in L.A. Witt’s Starstruck

Starstruck by L.A. WittSometimes the greatest romances arise from the greatest friendships. In the case of L.A. Witt's Starstruck, the opening novel in the shared universe of Bluewater Bay, romance derives from the friendship between veteran actor Levi Pritchard and young heartthrob Carter Samuels. Levi has been retired in Bluewater Bay since his action-star typecasting drove him out of the business. Carter Samuels is filming a new show called Wolf’s Landing in the tiny, well-to-do town of Bluewater Bay.

The show’s gaining popularity has led to an influx of attention on the small town—even its hideaway celebrity, Levi. One of his best friends in the industry ends up directing the show and offering Levi the part of a lifetime, a part that would allow him to get back into the job that he loves without being subjected to typecasting. Levi has gotten used to his life of solace in the woods of Washington, but one look around the set wouldn’t hurt. One look at Wolf’s Landing and Levi sets his sights on Carter.

In a perfect world, Levi would be able to talk to Carter without a problem. In the world of Hollywood, Levi has always been speculated as being potentially gay, and his conservative parents have never liked those speculations. Carter is a blatantly out and proud actor, so hanging out with him would give the press a little too much to work with. Levi is honest with himself about his sexuality, but telling the world as a former action star is something he’s never been able to do.

[But maybe by the end of the book?]

Mon
Nov 10 2014 5:30pm

First Look: L.B. Gregg’s There’s Something About Ari (November 10, 2014)

There's Something About Ari by L.B. GreggL.B. Gregg
There's Something About Ari
Riptide / November 10, 2014 / $9.99 print, $3.99 digital

Buck Ellis’s future seems pretty damn bright. With a full college scholarship in hand, he’s going to ditch Bluewater Bay and pave the way for his kid brother Charlie to do the same. The only fly in Buck’s ointment is his ten-year addiction to his best friend since second grade, his true love, and his Achilles’ heel: Ari Valentine, Mr. Least Likely to Succeed.

But then Buck’s mother dies, changing everything, and five years later, his future is still on hold. It’s a struggle to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads, and Charlie on the straight and narrow. Buck can’t afford any temptation, especially in the form of the newly returned, super hot, super confident, super successful television star Ari Valentine.

ADHD poster child Ari Valentine left for Hollywood and lost everything, including his bad reputation. Then the breakthrough role of his career lands him back in Bluewater Bay, to the stunned disbelief of, well, everyone. But there’s only one person Ari longs to impress—the only person who ever really mattered to him, the person he left behind: Buck Ellis.

There’s Something About Ari takes the friends-to-lovers trope and does it with lifetime friends as opposed to recent friends, as L.A. Witt did in the Bluewater Bay-set Starstruck. There’s something deeply satisfying about longtime friends twhoat come to love each other romantically and sexually, and L.B. Gregg’s first-person novella is an emotional exploration of that story with an intense look on how leaving can make you realize so much even as it removes you from those that you love most.

[There's something about friends-to-lovers]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Eden Bradley’s Rogue (October 21, 2014)

Rogue by Eden BradleyEden Bradley
Rogue
Samhain / October 21, 2014 / $3.50, digital

Madrid, 2069

He is Rogue.

He has known no other life, no other name. Turned at the tender age of nineteen on the dark streets of London, he wanders Europe, angry and rebellious, haunted by the crime that has followed him for over a century. Always alone.

He is Ramsey.

Member of the Vampire Council, all he has are his memories of dazzling grief and unrelenting pain—his only respite is blood and sex. Until a young rogue vampire poaches in his territory…

Inexorably drawn to each other, the head of Madrid’s Midnight Playground and the rebel from nowhere will find passion in each other’s arms—and discover a dangerous secret that could irrevocably change both their worlds.

This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

Warning: Savage m/m vampire sex. Fangs and viciousness. The infamous, alluring, and dangerous Capture Gardens. Did we mention hot, kinky vampire sex? Take a breath and enter if you dare!

 

The vampire craze may have waned, but there will always be a part of me that loves a sexy vampire. Eden Bradley’s Rogue is the fifth installment in a futuristic series that explores a world run by vampires. Rogue is a novella that packs a lot of sexiness into one space. Bradley is no stranger to writing erotic romance, and like all good erotic romance, the novella is set up so that the sex scenes give the readers a window into the romantic arc and the world presented in the story itself.

It all begins with a rogue. With no memories of his human past, he roams from country to country, blatantly ignoring the laws of vampire civilization in order to remain free, in order to remain angry. He has been sneaking into the luxury estates run for the play of those in vampiric society—estates designed for any and all to enter for indulgent games, blood, and sex. The only requirement is that those that use the estates are vampires.

[So no humans, allowed?]

Wed
Oct 15 2014 4:30pm

Poisonous Affairs in Aleksandr Voinov’s A Taste for Poison

A Taste for Poison by Aleksandr VoinovFantasy m/m romance has never experienced a writer quite like Aleksandr Voinov. A Taste for Poison, the third book in his gripping fantasy Memory of Scorpions series, is a perfect example of the rapier-sharp style for which Voinov has become known. The fantasy world and the romance within are sharp in more ways than one, their razor intelligence is only overpowered by their daggered intensity. A Taste for Poison is not an easy read; it’s a book to satisfy readers who want a politically charged fantasy with imminent danger and a simmering romance that tries to survive within the world’s harsh environment.

Kendras is the leader of the Scorpions, an elite group of mercenaries currently working under King Andrastes. Andrastes has barely survived an assassination attempt. Transformed, Andrastes is determined to go to war against the Elder of Vededrin. The Empire does not agree with this, especially with how ruthless Andrastes has become—even towards Kendras, his former lover.

[Tasty, tasty poison!]

Tue
Sep 30 2014 4:30pm

First Look: R.C. Ryan’s The Maverick of Copper Creek (September 30, 2014)

The Maverick of Copper Creek by R.C. Ryan

R.C. Ryan
The Maverick of Copper Creek
Forever / September 30, 2014 / $8.00 print / $7.99 digital

Ash MacKenzie broke his share of hearts when he left Copper Creek all those years ago and struck out on his own. Tall, tough, and proud. That's how Brenna always remembered him, and from the looks of things, he hasn't changed much. Once, she thought he could save her-whisk her away from her rough childhood home and start fresh together. Now she knows better . . .

Ash isn't planning to stick around town long. As soon as he uncovers the truth about his father's death and makes sure the family ranch is safe, he'll be back out on his own. And then he runs into Brenna Crane. It broke his heart to leave her once-a herd of stampeding horses couldn't make him do it again. But Brenna has made a new life for herself, one that doesn't include him. Now he just has to convince her to give their first love a second chance. 

If my history of reading romance proves anything, it’s that I have a weakness for cowboys with chest hair. I liked it in Diana Palmer, and I liked it in R.C. Ryan’s The Maverick of Copper Creek. But beyond the physical makeup of Ryan’s hero, I also found myself with a weakness for the setting and its inhabitants. 

[Chest hair + Setting + Inhabitants = A good read!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 2:00pm

Beyond Darkness and Angst: The “New” New Adult

Make It Count by Megan EricksonNew Adult bestseller lists seem to be crowded with books that deal with everything angst.  There are the books about death, the books about assault, the books about broken pasts and broken presents.  There are books about looming, clouded secrets that prevent people from ever having good relationships until “that person” comes along.

But New Adult is so much more than the traumatic past and the dark alpha-male hero.  New Adult can be fun and comedic, too.

Fun New Adult exists, and it’s a story style that is growing in popularity as New Adult books are picked up by different publishers.  It’s also a story style that provides a relief for those that are tired of all of the emotion brought on by dark “realistic” stories that rely heavily on trauma to create character narratives.  These light New Adult books still tackle important character arcs, but they’ll leave you laughing instead of crying, which makes all the difference. 

Make it Count by Megan Erikson

I chose this book as my Best-Of for June here on Heroes and Heartbreakers.  Erikson’s debut New Adult novel is the first in a series about Bowler University.  It features a serious (and nerdy) hero and a determined (but playful) heroine.  The book deals with some heavier issues such as the struggle of living with a learning disability that goes unnoticed in the public school system, but it deals with them in an atmosphere that is humorous rather than sad. 

[Got to laugh to keep from crying!]

Tue
Sep 9 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon’s Mending Him (September 9, 2014)

Mending Him by Bonnie Dee and Summer DevonBonnie Dee and Summer Devon
Mending Him
Samhain / September 9, 2014 / $5.50 digital

As his world collapses, love opens his heart.

Robbie Grayson has always felt like a bit of an outsider in the Chester family, though he’s related by blood. An orphan taken in at a young age, he is further set apart by a limp inflicted by a childhood illness.

Nevertheless, he’s content enough with his quiet country life—until a mercurial wastrel named Charles Worthington explodes into it. And Robbie is assigned to play nursemaid to an invalid with an attitude.

Injured in a carriage accident, Charles arrives at the Chester estate drunk as a lord and with empty pockets. Despair consumes him as his broken body slowly heals, but the kindness of quiet, thoughtful Robbie saves him from drowning in self-pity.

Over chess matches and conversation, these polar opposites challenge each other to break out of old patterns, until desire burns through the thin veneer of pure friendship. Yet their passion could destroy the family bonds they value so highly. Especially when someone catches wind of their relationship—and threatens blackmail.

The immense angst of m/m historical romance is hard to beat.  Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon have co-written several of these m/m historical romances, the latest of which is Mending HimMending Him follows two characters, one who lives with disability and one who is recovering from an injury, and throws them together in a place where their attraction is far too electric to ignore.   

[Sparks fly!]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 10:45am

First Look: Lauren Jameson’s Linger (September 2, 2014)

Linger by Lauren JamesonLauren Jameson
Linger
Penguin / September 2, 2014 / $15.00, print / $5.99, digital

On her last night in Nevada before embarking on a yearlong veterinary internship, Scarlett Malone is celebrating—and looking for one night of incredible pleasure. But the man who draws her eye is not her usual type: He’s a cowboy whose alpha-male tendencies tempt her beyond belief. Scarlett can’t understand why she wants this man and no one else, but she’s determined to entice him to submit.…

Dr. Logan Brody lives an isolated life in rural Montana, running a ranch and suppressing his submissive tendencies. Only on his occasional trips does he give into his hidden urges. He can’t deny his scorching attraction to Scarlett or that she makes him want more, but he never lets anyone break him down fully. He’s hers for one night and one night only.

But when Scarlett shows up at Logan’s door as his intern for the year, he realizes that the walls around his heart are about to crumble—and that this sexy dominant woman has no intention of letting him keep control.…

Nothing causes pages to burn quite like a submissive alpha male cowboy and a Mistress determined to make him hers.  Lauren Jameson’s Linger is a stunningly sexy concoction that weaves together two souls with a taste for volcanic-hot sex.  Scarlett Malone is just about to leave her home for a veterinary internship.  City life doesn’t teach a veterinarian all of the in’s and out’s of large animal care, and the only way to get the needed hands-on experience is to work under someone who takes care of those big animals on a day-to-day basis.  This means going out into the quiet countryside of Montana and leaving the hustle and bustle of city life behind.

Before Scarlett leaves for a year, she takes one more night to fulfill her sexual desires.  A rich friend of hers owns one of the hottest BDSM clubs in the area; she has trained to be a Mistress and has more than her share of fans.  That final night, Scarlett enters the club to see a man that she has to have.  A tall cowboy with a beautiful body—a cowboy who may very well be a Master himself—immediately catches her attention.  Scarlett is in luck: her cowboy is a submissive, if an alpha one, and the challenge he will provide her is just what she needs. 

[Challenge accepted...]