<i>Mortal Danger</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Mortal Danger: Exclusive Excerpt Ann Aguirre "I didn’t want to worry about Kian, considering how little I trusted him..." Read & Win: Daisy Goodwin's <i>The Fortune Hunter</i> Read & Win: Daisy Goodwin's The Fortune Hunter Daisy Goodwin "She smiled and put a finger against his lips..." <i>Driving with the Top Down</i>: Excerpt Driving with the Top Down: Excerpt Beth Harbison True friends provide a roadmap to finding what you’re really looking for... <i>A Woman Made for Sin</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Woman Made for Sin: Exclusive Excerpt Michele Sinclair "When he showed his pleasure with a low growl, she smiled against his mouth."
From The Blog
July 22, 2014
An Argument for Adam Driver's Sex Appeal
Megan Frampton
July 21, 2014
Sandra Schwab’s Historical Romances
Anna Bowling
July 18, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Tim Howard
Team H & H
July 17, 2014
Non-American Authors for Your Staycation
Leigh Davis
July 17, 2014
Faith and Romance is Not a Contradiction
Michele Andrea Bowen
Showing posts by: Megan Frampton click to see Megan Frampton's profile
Jul 22 2014 1:15pm

Driven to Distraction: An Argument for Adam Driver’s Sex Appeal

Adam Driver and Lena Dunham in GirlsThe French have a word, jolie laide, for “good-looking ugly women,” women such as Anjelica Huston, Bette Davis, and Tilda Swinton. There isn't such a term for good-lucking ugly men, but there should be, and one of the prime examples of that would be Girls (and future Star Wars) actor Adam Driver.

He's a really good actor—he has made his Girls character go from being a reprehensible, shirtless, sex-addicted slacker to being a caring, shirtless, sex-addicted slacker. In other words, the character has remained true to himself, even though our perceptions of him have changed dramatically through the seasons. That's due as much to Driver as it is to the show's writers.

[A little of both makes for a perfect combo...]

Jul 22 2014 8:00am

You Know Nothing: What’s the Last Thing You Read You Knew Nothing About?


With romance novel sites (such as this one!), social media, conferences, book signings, and other opportunities for virality, it's now hard to find an author about whom you know nothing

But there has to be something you picked up purely because of the blurb, the cover, or the price (no word of mouth allowed!).

What's the last thing you read that you knew nothing about before?

Image courtesy of YouKnowNothingJonSnowDaily.

Jul 21 2014 8:08am

What Couples Have Survived the Moonlighting Effect?

Last week, Heather reported on news that Arrow's Olicity (Oliver and Felicity) might actually become a couple.

While 'shippers might be filled with glee at the prospect, there is also concern that the couple, once together, won't be as satisfying as anticipated (see Rachel Hyland's excellent post HEA = RIP for more on this).

So we're asking today, what 'shipped couples are as good as fans thought they would be? What couples have avoided the Moonlighting Effect

Jul 18 2014 8:15am

Keira Knightley and Chloe Grace Moretz in Laggies

It's odd to see Keira Knightley a) not in period garb b) being purposeless and c) with an American accent, but here in Laggies, she does all three.

A woman stuck in permanent adolescence lies to her fiancé about going on a retreat and spends the time hanging out with friends instead.

Laggies also stars Sam Rockwell as the dad/love interest. It will be in theaters September 26. 

Jul 17 2014 8:04am

Throwback Thursday: Your First Harlequin Romance?

Blue Jasmine by Violet WinspearIt's rare, if not impossible, to find a romance reader who hasn't read at least one romance published by Harlequin. Many of our first romance reads were Harlequins, stolen from our mothers' (and grandmothers') stashes. 

Harlequin began publishing medical romances in 1953, books with titles such as Nurse in Love, Helping Doctor Medway, and Make Up Your Mind Nurse.

Do you remember the first Harlequin romance you ever read? What details do you recall? 

Jul 16 2014 8:03am

Dude Looks Like Is a Lady: Thor’s New Incarnation

Thor is a womanYesterday, Marvel Comics made the announcement that as of October, Thor will be a woman, wielding the hammer Mjolnir, taking over for the previous (male) Thor. Thor remains a god—not a goddess—and will have all the powers of all previous Thor iterations.

Here's some more info from Marvel's press release:

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss. “The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

Series writer Jason Aaron emphasizes, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

What do you think of this news? 

Image from Esad Ribic/Marvel

Jul 15 2014 8:00am

Hot Male Librarians?

Henry Cavill in ALA READ PosterYesterday, Jackie Lester's post on Hot Librarians focused on three female librarians. But what about, one H&H community member asked, about hot male librarians?

Victoria Dahl—one of the authors mentioned in that first post—said she was working on a book with a male librarian, while Heidi Cullinan said she's got an upcoming book with one as well.

They're a rare species, but they do exist—what other male librarians in romance can you think of?

Jul 11 2014 8:12am

Censorship Is Born: Thomas Bowdler’s Birthday!

Forbidden Love

Thomas Bowdler, born on this day in 1754, has achieved literary notoriety for his publication of The Family Shakespeare, a version that was edited so as to be more appropriate for women and children.

The term “bowdlerize” means “to change (a book, play, movie, etc.) by removing parts that could offend people.”

Bowdlerization exists today, as when a new version of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn was released with an offensive term replaced with one that is supposed to be less offensive.

It's a slippery slope, but it's pretty clear that we can all agree on one thing: Shakespeare's work does not improve after editing.

What's your take on bowdlerization?

Jul 10 2014 8:29am

Throwback Thursday: Family Sagas?

Penmarric by Susan Howatch

Back in the '70s, romance novels were disguised as family sagas, spanning generations, and following multiple couples through to an eventual HEA.

Colleen McCulloch's Thorn Birds, Belva Plain's Evergreen, Barbara Taylor Bradford's Emma Harte series, Susan Howatch's books—if you wanted a thick book rife with description of historical places and passionate men and women, there were plenty of books from which to choose.

Did you read any of these family sagas? Which were your favorites? And have you ever gone back for a reread?

Jul 9 2014 8:21am

Didn’t See THAT Coming: What’s the Most Unexpected Turn a Romance Novel Has Taken?

An Unexpected Blessing by Unoma Nwankwor

Romances always have a HEA; but the path the two (or more, depending on the genre) characters take varies greatly.

There have been many “No way!” moments in romance. What is the most unexpected turn a romance novel has taken in its inevitable progression to its Happy Ever After?

Jul 8 2014 8:30am

How Do You Revel in Your Obsessions?

Mindy and Danny in The Mindy Project

Here in H&H HQ, Kresley Cole fangirl Jenn Proffitt has been obsessing over the upcoming release of Dark Skye. Heather Waters has been known to spend a few hours reading Mindy and Danny (from The Mindy Project) fanfic, while Megan can't pass up Anne Stuart titles as they're digitally published, even though she owns ALL of Stuart's books in print.

We've all done obsessive above and beyond the norm things in the name of fandom; how do you revel in your obsessions?

Mindy/Danny image via Mindy Kaling's Instagram

Jul 7 2014 8:16am

Who’s the Smartest Heroine in Romance?

Back in the summer of 1678, a Venetian noblewoman named Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman to receive a doctorate of philosophy. Elena received a mathematics degree as well, spoke several languages, and wrote several treatises and academic studies.

And because we love a smart woman—especially when she's a romance novel heroine—we want to know:

Who's the smartest heroine in romance?

Jul 3 2014 8:10am

Throwback Thursday: What Traditional Regencies Did You Read?

The Battling Bluestocking by Amanda ScottMany of the biggest historical romance authors writing today, including Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, and Loretta Chase got their start writing Traditional Regencies.

The traditional Regency line is gone now, but many historical fans discovered the genre through these books, which tended to be more historically accurate than other historicals and often (though not always) had less explicit sex.

What traditional Regencies do you remember reading?

Jul 2 2014 8:20am

What’s the Worst Way a Hero or Heroine Has Gotten Dumped?

Last week, Robin Thicke made a not romantic pathetic desperate video that is basically an entreaty for his estranged wife to forgive him.

While we have no advice for that scenario, it had to have been precipitated by a bad breakup (we have no clue on if it was the worst breakup ever).

Breaking up often starts a book, with the hero or heroine getting dumped in an incredibly awkward, unpleasant, many times public, way.

What's the worst way a hero or heroine has gotten dumped in a romance novel?

Jul 1 2014 8:03am

Two Sides to Every Story: the Eleanor Rigby Trailer

The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them, a new film starring  James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain, tells the story of a married couple whose marriage falls apart after a tragedy. The film will be out on September 26, but then six weeks later, two new versions—one titled The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him, the other The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her, will be out, so viewers can see the two sides of the Them story.

In making these versions, director Ned Benson is drawing on the Rashomon Effect, where all the narratives are suspect. There is bound to be a lot of Oscar buzz for this film, and it's an intriguing approach to telling a story.

h/t to Heather Waters for the post!

Jun 30 2014 8:10am

What’s the Most Memorable Nickname in Romance?

“I mean to make ye call me ‘Master,’ Sassenach.” His soft voice was a threat of revenge for the agonies of the last minutes. “I mean to make you mine.”

If you've read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, the term “Sassenach” is forever in your memory. But Jamie Fraser's nickname for Claire isn't the only memorable one  in romance (although it might just be the most memorable).

What other nicknames do you remember from romance novels? And what romance novel nickname is the most memorable?

Jun 27 2014 8:02am

Spotting the Easter Egg in Romance Novels

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas Easter eggs in media such as computer games, software design, and movies are hidden messages or inside jokes that only people familiar with the particular type of media will get.

But do Easter eggs exist in romance novels?

We went to Twitter, and the answer is yes! Larissa Ione has several mentions of Star Trek (she is a big fan), Maisey Yates has a heroine from one (unconnected) book come from the fictional hometown of another series, while Sherrilyn Kenyon mentions a Kinley MacGregor (her historical alter-ego) book in one of her Kenyon releases. And there are many more examples.

Have you noticed any Easter eggs in romance? What ones did you spot?

Jun 26 2014 8:19am

Throwback Thursday: First Nora Roberts?

Megan's Mate by Nora RobertsChances are, you've read at least one Nora Roberts novel, either under her own name or writing as J.D. Robb. Roberts's career spans from 1981 to the present, and she has written in a multitude of genres.

So do you remember your first Nora book? What was it? Do you continue to read her, and which of her books are your favorites?

Jun 25 2014 8:15am

How Long Does it Take for You to Know Your Current Book is Going to be Amazing?

Last week, Heather, Jenn, and Megan debriefed the H&H Community with what we're each thinking about/obsessing over.

Although only seven pages in (at the time), it was clear to your Morning Coffee-er that Loretta Chase's Vixen in Velvet was going to be an incredible read.

For one thing, it's Loretta Chase. For another, the hero and heroine meet and flirt in the very first scene, and then she keeps adding layers to what is likely to happen, so that within just a few pages you are delightedly anticipating the rest of the book.

What's the shortest amount of time you've read a book and just known it was going to work for you? How long does it take for you to know your current book is going to be amazing?

Jun 24 2014 8:16am

What’s the Longest Series You’ve Kept Up With?

Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon

With Diana Gabaldon's Written in My Own Heart's Blood securing the top spot on a number of sales lists, it's clear fans are not tired of her Outlander world. Next year, J.D. Robb will release her fortieth full-length In Death series book, while Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole, J.R. Ward, and other authors show no signs of stopping their respective series. That's a lot of books in series for fans to read, and definitely requires commitment.

What is the longest series you've kept up with?