<i>Power Play</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Power Play: Exclusive Excerpt Mallery Malone "Surprising herself, she kissed him back, her arms twining about his neck..." <i>Ultimate Sins</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Ultimate Sins: Exclusive Excerpt Lora Leigh "Crowe was in love with Amelia, whether he realized it or not..." Valerie Bowman Presents a Prequel Scene to <i>The Unlikely Lady</i> Valerie Bowman Presents a Prequel Scene to The Unlikely Lady Valerie Bowman Read an original Quickie scene from Valerie Bowman! <i>Magic Breaks</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Magic Breaks: Exclusive Excerpt Ilona Andrews "The feel of his mouth on mine was like coming home..."
From The Blog
July 30, 2014
Top 10 Tips to Toppling from the Top of the Ton
Sophie Jordan
July 29, 2014
J.R. Ward Announces Bourbon Kings Series
Megan Frampton
July 28, 2014
Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer!
Megan Frampton
July 27, 2014
2014 RITA and Golden Heart Winners
Team H & H
July 25, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Hero Inspiration
Team H & H
Showing posts by: Megan Frampton click to see Megan Frampton's profile
Thu
Jul 31 2014 8:03am

Throwback Thursday: What Was Your First Historical?

Savage Surrender by Natasha PetersHistorical romance was the top genre in romance for many, many years, and if you found your way to romance by borrowing an older relative's books, chances are you found your way to a historical (not a traditional Regency) at some point in your reading career.

What was your first historical? Do you continue to read them? 

Wed
Jul 30 2014 1:55pm

Outlander’s “Just a Bodice-Ripper”? Really, Vanity Fair?!

Jamie and Claire in Starz's OutlanderEarlier this week, Vanity Faira posted an article with the headline “Does the New Outlander Series Have What It Takes to Be More than Just a Bodice-Ripper?b

In the piece itself, journalist Joanna Robinson says that no, it does not, and writes that “in order to become a true hit, Outlander, a steamy, time-traveling romp through Scotland, is going to have to find a way to appeal to more than just your dear old mum. In other words, it can’t just be Fifty Shades of Plaid.”

Annoyed? You're not alone.

The article goes on to mention that the most recent installment of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander book series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. Let's think about that discrepancy for a moment.

[Yes, please, let's discuss...]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 8:19am

What Couple Shouldn’t Have Been Together?

Yesterday we were discussing the couples with the most chemistry, and then this article from Entertainment Weekly popped up—“I'm Still Not Over...House and Cuddy's Terrible Relationship.”

There have been some couples, including House and Cuddy and Thor and Jane, whose characters have suffered when they became paired, or their chemistry was non-existent.

What couple, in books, movies, or TV, should never have gotten together? 

Gif from BecauseHiddles.tumblr.com

Tue
Jul 29 2014 9:47am

J.R. Ward Announces New Series: The Bourbon Kings!

An Irresistible Bachelor by J.R. WardJ.R. Ward has signed a three-book deal for a contemporary romance series called “The Bourbon Kings.” The first book will come out in late 2015, and the series will delve into "the intertwined fortunes of several ultrawealthy Kentucky families who have made their fortunes from bourbon.”

Ward, writing as Jessica Bird, has published contemporary romances before (including An Irresistible Bachelor, pictured here), but these will be the first contemporary books she's written since starting the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Have you read Ward's contemporaries before? Are you intrigued by the idea of this series? 

Tue
Jul 29 2014 8:20am

Which Couple Has the Best Chemistry?

Eric and Sookie in True Blood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of us have our favorite couples from romance novels, and usually what makes them our favorite is that the characters separate are fine, but together, their chemistry is explosive, and you can't imagine any other person being a better fit for them.

Which couple has the best chemistry?

Gif from Alexanderskarsgardnet.tumblr.com

Mon
Jul 28 2014 3:28pm

Sarah MacLean Offers a Peek at Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover!

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLeanSarah MacLean has just released a sneak peek at her forthcoming release, Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, the fourth (and highly-anticipated) book in the RITA award-winning Rule of Scoundrels series.

**The excerpt below contains SPOILERS for earlier books in the series. Read at your own risk.**

March 1823
Leighton Manor

“I love you.”

 Three strange, small words that held so much power.

Not that Lady Georgiana Pearson—daughter of one duke and sister to another, child of honor and duty and pristine presentation, and perfectly bred female of the ton—had ever heard them.

Aristocrats did not love.

And if they did, they most certainly did not do something so base as to admit it.

So it was a shock, frankly, that the words spilled from her lips with such ease and comfort and truth. But Georgiana had never in her sixteen years believed anything so well, and she had never been so quickly rid of the shackles of expectation that came with her name and her past and her family.

Yes. Love had freed her.

Read the rest at Sarah MacLean's site.

Mon
Jul 28 2014 11:30am

New The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer!

“No one else can do this but her.”

The latest trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is out, and shows the ramifications of what happened in Catching Fire, when certain people were revealed as being secret rebel sympathisers, and Katniss Everdeen had to make choices that would change her life forever. 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 comes out November 21, 2014. 

Mon
Jul 28 2014 8:10am

What Job Should the Next Wave of Heroes Do?

It's hard to believe (hi, Kylie Scott and Olivia Cunning!), but it used to be that rock star heroes were supposedly a hard sell to romance readers. Now it seems that doctors and lawyers are scarcer, while tattooed artists, bikers, club owners, and even criminals are de rigeur in romance.

So we want to know—what job will the next group of heroes come from? Or what profession would you like to see more heroes doing?

Fri
Jul 25 2014 8:30am

Which God Do You Fancy?

Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson, opens today, and it is the second movie featuring Hercules to be released this year (the first, The Legend of Hercules, starred Kellan Lutz).

Beyond the obvious (no shirts, please, we're gods!), there is something about gods and their battles that appeals to filmgoers, judging by how many of these tales are made into movies.

It strikes us, however, that it would be very difficult to actually be in love with a god, no matter how many muscles he had. That said, some of the gods are more appealing than others. So if you had the choice, which ancient god would you want for your mate? 

Thu
Jul 24 2014 8:20am

Throwback Thursday: First Susan Elizabeth Phillips Book?

Risen Glory by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Susan Elizabeth Phillips (or SEP, for short) will release a new book, Heroes Are My Weakness, in just about a month. SEP's first book as a solo author (she published one previous book with a co-author under a pseudonym) was Risen Glory, published in 1984, an American historical set just after the Civil War (and reissued as Just Imagine).

Since then, SEP has published over twenty books, most (all?) of them contemporary romance.

What was your first Susan Elizabeth Phillips? 

Wed
Jul 23 2014 8:06am

What’s Your Grittiest Sexiest Read?

Beyond Addiction by Kit RochaWith more and more MC, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, nihilistic (and other euphemisms for 'dark') romances gaining popularity, it's time to take your recommendations for grittiest, darkest, sexiest read out there.

So what's your nomination for the grittiest, sexiest read? 

Tue
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...]

Tue
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.

Mon
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

Fri
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. 

Thu
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? 

Wed
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

Tue
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?

Fri
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?

Thu
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?