H&H Quickies #19: Donna Alward—Prompt Me! H&H Quickies #19: Donna Alward—Prompt Me! Team H & H Ever wanted your favorite author to write a story based on YOUR idea? <i>The Deep End</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Deep End: Exclusive Excerpt Kristen Ashley "Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into..." <i>Perfect for You</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Perfect for You: Exclusive Excerpt Candis Terry "In that breath-stealing moment, Dec thought they might be in for..." <i>Damage Control</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Damage Control: Exclusive Excerpt Lisa Renee Jones "I wrap my arm around her waist and pull her naked body against me..."
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Showing posts by: JohnJacobson click to see JohnJacobson's profile
Wed
Jan 4 2017 1:00pm

Insert Groom Here Hits the Sweet Spot

Insert Groom Here by K.M. Jackson

For someone not even close to thinking about marriage, contemporary romances with a marriage theme hit a sweet spot for me. K.M. Jackson’s mass market debut, Insert Groom Here, is the start of a trilogy that promises to hit that sweet spot over and over again. Jackson’s latest is a contemporary slow burn romance that has a cute romantic comedy sense of humor, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. As a fan of contemporary romance, I gobbled this one up.

Public humiliation was not on Eva Ward’s wedding agenda. After she and her fiancé, Kevin, competed in a contest hosted by a nationally syndicated morning television show, they won a dream wedding. A perfectly poised wedding for the perfectly put-together life Eva crafted for herself. The announcement on live television was the icing on the wedding cake—and then Kevin dropped the bomb.

He decided that he wasn’t going to marry Eva at all. Without consulting her first. In front of the entire country. Eva, normally calm and collected even with the cameras rolling, lost it, and handed him his lying ass on a platter while the cameras still rolled. In fact, she told him that she’d go forward with the wedding anyway. Any groom would do.

[Read more...]

Mon
Oct 24 2016 1:00pm

5 Category Romances That Will Make Your TBR Pile Sing!

Feels Like Home by Beth Andrews

Whether you read category romance religiously, or whether you’re looking to try it for the first time, there’s something for you. That’s the beauty of category romance! I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m a bargain shopper when it comes to ebooks. I also tend to get buyer’s paralysis when I’m faced with so many decisions. Over 18,000 books on sale is a huge pool to pick from, so I wanted to give my two cents about some hidden (and not-so-hidden) category romance gems.

Feels Like Home by Beth Andrews

Beth Andrews is an underrated genius when it comes to the Superromance line. (For new readers, this is the line that’s perfect for contemporary romance lovers that enjoy fleshed out dynamics involving family and/or community and mild-to-hot sex scenes.)

Andrews always writes with an eye towards the complex. Her heroines are never doormats, and her heroes are never total alphaholes. Feels Like Home was my introduction to her, and I think it’s a great place to start. There’s wedding planning (ah!), a romance between a heroine and her ex-husband, oodles of family drama, southern vibes, and a lot of changing views. The hero’s family doesn’t accept the heroine easily…but the reward is there.

There are also several other series of Andrews’ on sale. The Truth about the Sullivans is another one worth checking out, particularly On Her Side. It has an attorney heroine with a heavy dose of competence porn and decent suspense, which made it very easy to binge read.

[Read more...]

Tue
Oct 18 2016 2:00pm

First Look: Lauren Layne’s To Love and to Cherish (October 18, 2016)

To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne
To Love and to Cherish (The Wedding Belles, #3)
Pocket Books / October 18, 2016 / $5.99 print & digital

There’s nothing quite more tailored to the world of romance than weddings. So, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that a go-to contemporary romance theme is often that of wedding planners. Lauren Layne’s Wedding Belles series explores those connections between weddings and romance narratives. To Love and to Cherish is the final book in the trilogy, and it deftly explores how planning and executing other people’s dreams can make us ignore our own.

Eight years ago, Alexis Morgan was ordering a drink at an NYC bar, wondering if her goose was well and truly cooked. Her brilliant idea for an upscale wedding planning business was without a single investor. Her move to the city to follow the dream of owning a business—the dream she’s worked for through years of college and hard work—seemed like a failure. Just as she felt like giving up, the universe gave her hope.

[Read more...]

Tue
Sep 27 2016 1:30pm

First Look: Holiday Temptations Anthology (September 27, 2016)

Holiday Temptations by Donna Hill, Farrah Rochon, and K.M. Jackson

Donna Hill, Farrah Rochon, and K.M. Jackson
Holiday Temptations
Dafina / September 27, 2016 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Holiday romances are a special sort of addiction for me. Along with the pumpkin spice lattes and sweaters, the changing of the seasons usually signals an opportunity for me to break out romances laced with feel-good cheer, family gatherings, lots of snow-related activities, and  – I love it all. Holiday Temptations is a perfect bottling of the holiday season with three featured novellas that explore the different ways that couples can come together and find love. For me, a great holiday romance is allowed to be both sentimental and sexy, and Holiday Temptations hits both of those themes.

In “The Gift of Love” by Donna Hill, Traci Long is a drama professor whose life dream is to produce the play she’s been writing for years. She’s always struggled with adding heart to it, but instead of giving up, Traci goes to a nearby coffee shop and works on it constantly. When she orders her usual, Traci usually checks out Noah Jefferson, a hot barista that always remembers her order. A onetime encounter with him at a movie theater leads to an impromptu date, which leads to another one, and another one. Traci has spent the past few years struggling to find her heart again, and Noah may be the person to help her find it.

[Read more...]

Thu
Sep 15 2016 10:00am

Best Friend’s Older Brother and the Big Apple Are Up for Grabs in Sarah Morgan’s Sunset in Central Park

Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

After the dreaminess of Sleepless in Manhattan, Sarah Morgan has returned to her crew of small town ex-pats in New York City with Sunset in Central Park. This second book in the trilogy follows Frankie, a grumpy garden designer with fierce loyalty, and the brother of her best friend, Matt. It’s a classic friends-to-lovers tale that weaves in the Manhattan of people’s dreams with broken pasts, rooftop gardens, and romantic chemistry thicker than NYC’s air pollution.

Introversion is Frankie Cole’s calling card. As one of NYC’s breakthrough garden designers and one of the three women running its newest high-end events company, her life is hectic. She lives with her two best friends—Paige and Eva–and Paige’s sexy older brother in a Brooklyn brownstone that he bought and fixed up. She loves them all dearly, but some nights for her are best spent with a good book and the sweet company of herself.

The truth is, Frankie doesn’t always like being alone. She adores Paige and Eva; working with them has been a dream come true. It’s the prospect of being with someone romantically that sends her diving into her shell. After watching her mother become single and develop a reputation as the town cougar, Frankie’s idea of romance is more than a little scarred. Avoiding men and everything they bring to the table seems like the best way to prevent another Cole woman from garnering a reputation.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jul 28 2016 10:00am

Criminals are a Girl’s Best Friend in Sophie Jordan’s Hell Breaks Loose

Hell Breaks Loose by Sophie Jordan

When Sophie Jordan comes to play, she brings an alpha male and a plot that will leave you dizzy. Hell Breaks Loose is no exception to that. The second book in her Devil’s Rock series takes the volatile combination of one kidnapped president’s daughter and one escaped convict and turns it into a romance. Folks, this book is a great example of a story that will have you running to the bookstore (or to your ereader) if you love a romance steeped in moral ambiguity.

Being the daughter of the current President of the United States is not easy. Grace Reeves spends most of her life under security detail. Well, when she’s not attending society events or luncheons for nonprofit groups. Her life is holed up. She can’t go out and eat by herself, much less walk around like a normal human being. Grace already struggles with feeling invisible. Under her father’s shadow, she’s all but disappeared.

Grace decides to sneak out. To grab one burger for herself. To finally do something for herself. She’s in Texas and she’s someplace relatively safe – it should be an easy win; a few hours away for dinner before Grace has to return to her political family and the recent news of the man that her parents have arranged for her to marry. A man she has no sexual interest in whatsoever. Yet, when Grace steps out of sight, she gets kidnapped.

[Not for the faint of heart...]

Tue
Jul 26 2016 8:30am

First Look: Jackie Ashenden’s Dirty for Me (July 26, 2016)

Dirty for Me by Jackie Ashenden

Jackie Ashenden 
Dirty for Me (Motor City Royals #1)
Kensington / July 26, 2016 / $9.95 print, $7.99 digital

The good-girl/bad-boy trope is still going strong in Romancelandia, and Jackie Ashenden’s latest book is a fine (and I mean fiiiiine) example of just how hot it can be. Dirty for Me is the first book in Ashenden’s new series, Motor City Royals, which showcases the city of Detroit and a motor shop in one of its neighborhoods. Dirty for Me is a prime example of the way that the good-girl/bad-boy narrative can be a hot one that empowers both of its characters with agency–and a good deal of sensuality along the way.

Tamara Eliot is the kind of woman that works her way to the top. As the daughter of a well-known man running a famous corporation, Tamara could be perceived as riding her father’s coattails. In actuality, Tamara works her ass off to make herself noticed in the company, highly aware that her father’s employees don’t see her as an asset but instead as yet another brand of nepotism.

It’s not surprise that Tamara’s life has been privileged. Her parents have money, lots of it, and Tamara grew up with the expectations of a mother and father that want a society daughter. She enjoys the luxury of having a modern, furnished apartment and designer clothes, but she could do without the parental meddling, especially in her love life.

[Bad boys are so good...]

Tue
Jul 5 2016 2:00pm

A Bad Bitch of a Binge-Read: Bingeing Christina Saunders Gets Dark & Sexy

Bad Bitch by Christina Saunders

I don’t binge read. I’m one of those readers that will space out the books in a series, even one by a favorite author, just so I can hold off on the ending. However, I’m always up for new things, and the simultaneous release of Christina Saunders’s new trilogy gave me the perfect opportunity to see if binge-reading is even possible for me.

Bad Bitch, Hardass, and Total Dick make up the Bad Bitch trilogy; the trilogy is connected by the heroes, the Granade brothers. Each of the brothers has gone into the legal profession, and each of them is a tried-and-true alpha dude with a taste for equally alpha women. While the books are totally standalone, the books lend themselves to a binge read. The plots are separate enough to feel unique (as opposed to a traditional series), but the stories and characters are familiar enough to create a steady, familiar experience during the binge read.

[Who's the baddest bitch of them all?]

Fri
Jun 10 2016 2:00pm

Nacho Figueras Gives You a Taste for Polo in High Season by Jessica Whitman

High Season by Jessica WhitmanIt’s a truth universally acknowledged that many well-minded people go through a time when they are obsessed with horses. While not every budding horse obsession leads to polo, it’s hard not to like the idea of polo after falling in love with horses. Jessica Whitman and Nacho Figueras's High Season piqued my interest because of the connection between horses and sport (something that Theresa Romain’s new series is also exploring) and the partnership between a well-known polo player and the romance community. High Season manages to be a successful contemporary romance perfect for anyone with a curiosity towards polo and a love of dramatic rich-people drama.

Veterinary work in upstate New York is Georgia’s life. She lives with her father on their ramshackle farm, tending to their animals and working for a local vet. It’s not the glamorous life that some of her classmates from Cornell are living, but she’s content. Georgia is doing what she loves most: taking care of animals. She also can’t bear to leave her father alone after her mother abandoned them in favor of a high-profile career with horses.

Georgia’s best friend from college surprises her with plane tickets to join him in Florida–partially to ogle his new boyfriend, partially to catch the polo matches going on. When Georgia takes the risk and goes, she finds herself in a world unlike her extremely modest hometown. Polo players, their families, and their horses are the height of glamour. It’s there that she meets Alejandro Del Campo, the eldest son of the famous Del Campo family, and one of the most famous polo players in the world.

[And everything changes...]

Sat
Jun 4 2016 1:00pm

An Ensemble Read: Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

My love for Sarah Morgan’s books is no secret. Since she’s moved to writing trilogies of standalone-length novels, Morgan has shown how her ability to draw a character can expand to the character’s larger community. Sleepless in Manhattan is the first book in a trilogy that takes characters that have formed their own community in Brooklyn after growing up in Puffin Island (which readers will recognize from Morgan’s last series.) Sleepless in Manhattan is a series opening full of Morgan’s trademark humor, sexual tension, and portrayal of close friendship—all in a magical version of Manhattan.

Events planning is about preparing for contingencies. Paige Walker has wanted to be an event planner since she left college; getting a job at Star Events, a premiere agency in New York City, was the beginning of the rest of her life. Paige has helped increase its clientele and more than proven her worth. When she gets called into a meeting, she’s anticipating that she’ll finally be given a promotion. Paige soon finds that the one contingency she never planned for was the one that occurred. Paige is fired.

[But with every bad end is a good beginning?]

Tue
May 17 2016 3:30pm

Come Fly With Me (and Chanel Cleeton)

Fly With Me is so hot it burns. I’m not a fan of Top Gun, and I don’t have a particular thing for men in the military (although uniforms can be pretty sexy.) Yet, Chanel Cleeton’s new series opener makes me want to turn on Top Gun and get it on with a sexy fighter pilot right this second. Fly With Me is a sizzling example of contemporary romance at its finest. Hot couples, intelligent relationship dynamics, sex that makes you swoon, and a writing style that makes this premise as addictive as it is promising.

Jordan Callahan is spending the weekend in Vegas for a bachelorette party. For her younger sister. Who’s marrying a guy that saw Jordan’s tits once in high school. Jordan’s delighted that her sister is madly in love with a great man, but she can’t help but be jealous. Jordan has created a successful small boutique business back home in Florida; her dog is adorable and she works with one of her best friends. Now that she’s approaching thirty, she has most of her life figured out—but she can’t help but feel like she’s almost missed the boat when it comes to finding someone to love.

Now, a girl’s weekend in Vegas probably won’t get Jordan married. It can get her laid, and a night out at the bars gives Jordan a chance to use every curve on her body to her advantage. Vegas is full of possibility. When two hot-as-fuck men approach their bachelorette group, Jordan sees someone that makes her glad for Vegas’s many hotels.

[So many...]

Wed
May 4 2016 1:00pm

Hot Like Fire: Christine Feehan’s Fire Bound

Fire Bound by Christine Feehan

Fire Bound is Christine Feehan with a gentle touch, and I am here for it. Granted, Feehan’s heroes are so alpha that “gentle” in this case is very subjective. It’s a wonderful example of how her books can have an emotional range with the presentation of its heroes and heroines. More than that, it’s a paranormal romance that does what Feehan does best: spies and conspiracies, fated mate romances, and lots of push and pull between the lead couple.

Glassblower Lissa Piner has found her true home. With her parents long dead and no family to speak of in the United States, she has regained a sense of life in Sea Haven with her sisters of the heart. She’s felt fulfilled by working with them on their collective farm; it gives her a space to protect the people that she cares about, something she didn’t feel like she could do many years ago. As her heart-sisters have slowly gotten married off, however, Lissa has been given the reminder that she’s the family loner.

The men that these women have married all hail from the Prakenskii family. The Prakenskiis are trained assassins with enemies everywhere. It means that a woman that loves a Prakenskii is subject to his stubborn personality and his constant desire to keep her protected. While Lissa isn’t with a Prakenskii man, her pseudo-brothers-in-law still want her to be safe. They decide to put their brother Casmir on the job of shadowing her while she goes to Europe to sell her handmade glass chandeliers.

[I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier...]

Tue
Apr 19 2016 3:30pm

First Look: Amanda Quick’s Til Death Do Us Part (April 19, 2016)

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick 
'Til Death Do Us Part 
Berkley / April 19, 2016 / $27.00 print, $13.99 digital

Amanda Quick is my crack. Jayne Ann Krentz has a lot of commendable work under her name and her Jayne Castle nom de plume, too, but Amanda Quick will always be my favorite. The Quick historicals have shifted from 90’s romps to more subdued historical romances with mysteries and paranormal elements.

‘Til Death Do Us Part represents a shift in Quick’s style that I think readers will find welcoming. Quick clearly delights in writing the gothic elements of the story, and the hero/heroine pairing is guaranteed bait for any reader with a passion for witty, sensible societal outcasts. ‘Til Death Do Us Part is a wonderful addition to Quick’s body of work with enough of a mystery to keep her loyal readers excited.

If there’s one thing Calista Langley knows, it is the difficulty of introductions. Calista may effectively be “on the shelf” as a woman whose season has long passed, but that doesn’t mean she’s without skill. Calista’s introduction agency serves the best and brightest of the Ton. It particularly serves those looking for a push towards a romantic partner or friend that is best suited to their needs. Free of gold diggers and con artists, Calista provides members of the Ton a second chance at being understood.

[A fun Gothic romance ...]

Wed
Mar 16 2016 12:30pm

Dumplin’ and the Unapologetic Beauty of a Fat Heroine

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Fun Fact from Team H&H: Dumplin' was just named RT Magazine's Book of the Year. 

Beauty pageants are a world unto their own. We’ve seen the likes of Toddlers and Tiaras and several Miss America mishaps (thank you, Steve Harvey). Beauty pageants are a cultural focal point because they show the clash of so many different ideas: beauty, “traditional womanhood,” gender and its roles, reward, competition, and the quest for a good swimsuit.

Dumplin’ is an answer to that culture in the form of a character who is beautiful, difficult, fat, and worth every page she’s presented on. The book’s been lauded for a number of its successes and has also been optioned for film from Disney, which lends an interesting lens to the story and its components. I read this book knowing that it would be fun and important, but also with a question of what made something that seemed so counter-societal a viable choice for film option.

Also, there’s a lot of Dolly Parton love in it, and I’m game for anything that appreciates Dolly.

[Pull out all the Dolly Parton's hits ...]

Mon
Feb 8 2016 2:00pm

High Society in Kennedy Ryan’s Until I’m Yours

Until I'm Yours by Kennedy Ryan

Billionaires, bombshells, and models have started to dwindle a bit in contemporary romance, yet Kennedy Ryan’s latest book makes a compelling argument for their return. Until I’m Yours is the fourth book in Ryan’s Bennett series. Ryan explores the ins and outs of high society with characters that challenge the status quo. Until I’m Yours follows a heroine that’s hardened and challenging, one that will be very familiar for fans of the previous books in the series. Ryan’s exploration of wealth, healing, and romance is exactly what you need if you like heroines with an edge.

Sofie Baston has made a career out of modeling. She’s outlasted the competition and made her status as a model over the age of thirty something to savor, especially in an industry that emphasizes youth as beauty. Her career has furthered the rift with her father, a high-powered man who wanted her to get a prestigious education and follow in his footsteps in the bourgeois elite. Instead, Sofie is proud of her body and the art it can contribute to.

Business man and entrepreneur Trevor Bishop has worked his ass off to get to where he is today. While his story of business success involves a classic dropout-from-Princeton style plot, Trevor is serious as hell about his work. His success has come from creating sustainable business models in other countries that encourage their individual agency and methods. Trevor Bishop is a good man who’s made it big—and when he sees Sofie Baston modeled on a billboard, he’s a man with a new mission in mind.

[And so are we...]

Wed
Jan 13 2016 9:35am

How To Know You’re in a Diana Palmer Novel...

Wyoming Rugged by Diana Palmer

Your hero is a cowboy, or a sheriff, or involved with general law enforcement/military fields.

Your hero is also a Republican (explicitly stated, or implied).

You, the heroine, are feisty but too “traditional” for the modern world.

If it hasn’t been established by now, you’re either a resident of a state with cowboys and cattle ranchers, or you just really love the history behind states with cowboys and cattle ranchers.

Before the end of the book, you will have visited a ranch, or at least the general state of Wyoming/Oklahoma/Nebraska/etc.

The first time you meet the hero, he’s grouchy. You are attracted to him – but wait, you hate him!

You find yourself unable to look away from the hero’s chiseled body and chest hair.

Your hero specifically has a *mat* of chest hair.

When your hero says something insulting to you, you fire back an insult. He may call you promiscuous, but he’s too insecure about his attraction to you to be honest.

[I mean that's a Diana Palmer novel for you ...]

Wed
Dec 23 2015 2:00pm

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of 2015, Part 3

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

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 3 (of four parts) of our bloggers best reads of 2015—and don't forget to check out Part 1Part 2, and stay tuned for Part 4:

John Jacobson:

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne - Byrne’s new historical is lush and provocative, with the deep language and drama of older historicals and the escapist spunk of newer historicals. Her characters are entrancing in their emotional depth. I was taken away by the narrative - there’s no other book like it out there today.

What a Devilish Duke Desires by Vicky Dreiling - Dreiling writes sweet historical romances with a sexy zing. This book hits all of the high notes with strong threads of dramatic action and romantic longing. The hero and the heroine are fundamentally good people caught up in bad circumstances, and the way Dreiling unveils their happily ever after is expert. Dreiling’s added homage to popular reality television in a Regency-garbed setting creates a humor that makes it the perfect sweet confection.

[What are your top 2015 recommendations? ...]

Mon
Oct 19 2015 5:30pm

First Look: Alyssa Cole’s Mixed Signals (October 19, 2015)

Alyssa Cole
Mixed Signals (Off the Grid #3)
Carina Press / October 19, 2015 / $3.49 digital

Four years after the Flare, the world is finally starting to rebuild

For Maggie Seong, that means leaving the safety of her family's cabin for college. She won't be alone, though—hunky former military cadet Edwin Hernandez, family friend and self-appointed Protector of Maggie's Virtue, will be there. Maggie would much prefer that Edwin himself dispose of her “innocence,” but he's already rejected her advances once, and a girl has her pride.

Things look pretty bleak romance-wise until Maggie discovers that Devon, the pre-Flare internet boyfriend she'd assumed was dead, is not only alive but on campus. Despite the passage of time, their bond is strong, and they quickly pick up where they left off. Even as Devon aims for a chance at love IRL—everything Maggie thought she'd wanted—Edwin's desire to protect her makes her question her heart.

Maggie's torn between the future she didn't dare to hope for and the past she can't let go of. And when a group of neo-Luddite terrorists threaten the campus, everyone's loyalties will be tested. To ensure that the world doesn't go back to the dark days following the Flare, Maggie might have to sacrifice it all.

We all have someone that takes us too far; nothing is quite as enjoyable as reading a romance that explores that. The crossing of a line, of friend to lover,  is a trope that relies on our interest being piqued by the risk of changing that relationship. Alyssa Cole's Mixed Signals takes that conceit in a post-apocalyptic setting, adding in characters with diverse identities that struggle to know what it all means in an unknown setting.

[It's a strange new world...and we love it!]

Mon
Sep 21 2015 3:30pm

First Look: Jill Sorenson’s Shooting Dirty (September 21, 2015)

Jill Sorenson
Shooting Dirty (Dirty Eleven #2)
Carina Press / September 21, 2015 / $3.99 digital

She's his only salvation

Ace Clemmons has wanted Janelle from the moment he first saw her. Taking her captive while he carried out his last hit as a member of Dirty Eleven nearly broke him. Now that he's gone straight, he's back in her life, looking to stake his claim. He can't erase the past but he'll do anything to make it up to her.

Janelle Parker needs a new start, far away from the trailer park and the strip club. A down and dirty affair with a tattooed criminal is a step in the wrong direction, but she can't resist Ace's deliciously commanding touch, which has haunted her dreams for months. Soon they're both in too deep, falling hard and fast—until an old feud with a rival motorcycle club explodes into an all-out war. Dirty Eleven's enemies won't hesitate to hurt Janelle to get to Ace. She has to fight to survive…and for the fiercest love she's ever known.

Warning: One of the quoted scenes involves a character discussing childhood sexual assault. If that triggers you, please skip the quoted scenes.

Romance has seen a quick and fierce trend of motorcycle club novels since the success of Kristen Ashley’s infamous series. Romance has also seen a gradual appreciation of author Jill Sorenson, whose romantic suspense novels have come to redefine the subgenre’s ideas of suspense to include natural disaster-flavored situations. What’s perhaps new is Sorenson’s take on the motorcycle club novel with her Dirty Eleven series out through Carina Press. Shooting Dirty, the second book in the series, has all of the hallmarks of Sorenson’s challenging plotting with the added bonus of richly drawn main characters that ride—and cross—the lines of morality.

[Read with caution ...]

Tue
Sep 1 2015 3:30pm

First Look: Kerrigan Byrne’s The Highwayman (September 1, 2015)

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

Kerrigan Byrne
The Highwayman 

St. Martin's Press / September 1, 2015 / $7.99 print, digital

STEALING BEAUTY

Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of Victorian London's wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who've wronged him...and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception-and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands...

COURTING DESIRE

But Farah is no one's puppet. She possesses a powerful secret-one that threatens her very life. When being held captive by Dorian proves to be the only way to keep Farah safe from those who would see her dead, Dorian makes Farah a scandalous proposition: marry him for protection in exchange for using her secret to help him exact revenge on his enemies. But what the Blackheart of Ben More never could have imagined is that Farah has terms of her own, igniting a tempestuous desire that consumes them both. Could it be that the woman he captured is the only one who can touch the black heart he'd long thought dead?

I love big romances. Like most readers, I cut my teeth on Lindsey, McNaught, Garwood, and Devereaux. Historical romances were big and bold; they glittered with page after page of purple prose and fuschia covers. Even though historical romance as it is today is still enjoyable and subversive, I find myself searching for the modern author that can help recreate the joy of those original romances. Kerrigan Byrne's The Highwayman is my most recent answer. It's bold, it's brazen, and it's still decidedly modern—the historical romance we've been waiting for.

[What you've been waiting to read...]