Read & Win: Sarah Morgan's <i>First Time in Forever</i> Read & Win: Sarah Morgan's First Time in Forever Sarah Morgan Read an excerpt and enter for a chance to win a copy of your own! <i>Vampires Never Cry Wolf</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Vampires Never Cry Wolf: Exclusive Excerpt Sara Humphreys "Looks like there are lots of things you don’t know about me, Ms. Pemberton." <i>Heartbreak Cove</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Heartbreak Cove: Exclusive Excerpt Lily Everett "It was all he could do not to use the leverage to reel her in for a kiss." <i>Darker Than Desire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Darker Than Desire: Exclusive Excerpt Shiloh Walker "That was all she said before he killed her."
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February 26, 2015
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Coreene Callahan
Showing posts by: Megan Frampton click to see Megan Frampton's profile
Fri
Jan 30 2015 8:10am

Do You Rewrite the Classics? Madame Bovary and Other Tragic Romantic Women

Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary has been adapted for the big screen, starring Mia Wasikowska and Ezra Miller. As many classic novels go, the heroine in the book has an eventual downfall (Anna Karenina? Tess of the D'Urbervilles?) because of a forbidden love.

As a romance reader, I find myself wanting to stop the movie halfway, when everyone is still happy, and pretend the second half didn't happen. Have you ever rewritten the ending to a classic book or movie to give the protagonists a Happy Ever After? If so, what titles, and what was your alternate ending? 

Thu
Jan 29 2015 4:43pm

Romance News Roundup: Bull Rider Heroes, The 100 Angst, and More!

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

A Family for the Bull Rider by Tina Leonard—Harlequin is partnering with bull-riding organization Professional Bull Riders (PBR) to launch a new series line, Harlequin Pro Bull Riders. First up they'll reissue four romances about bull-riding heroes from author Tina Leonard with new covers featuring real, live bull riders Harve Stewart (pictured in the cover on the right), Matt Triplett, Reese Cates, and Zane Lambert. The books will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart, so be on the lookout in May for A Family for the Bull Rider, Heart of a Bull Rider, One Wild Bull Rider, and The Bull Rider's Twins.

—Deal Alert: Colette Auclair's Thrown is currently $1.99 at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. We ran a First Look review of Thrown in December 2013.

[+The 100 angst—and shirtlessness—ahead...]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 2:49pm

Could Downton Abbey End After Season 6?

The cast of Downton Abbey Season 5It hasn't been officially confirmed, so we're taking this report with a grain of salt for now, but UK tabloid The Mirror claims it is an “open secret” that Downton Abbey will end after its sixth season to allow creator Julian Fellowes to concentrate on his next project, The Golden Age.

Several members of the cast were in Los Angeles, C.A., for the Screen Actors' Guild Awards last week, and were apparently taking meetings for their next roles.

There are a lot of loose ends to be tied up before Downton Abbey ends, however. Will Lady Mary remarry? Will Lady Edith get a happy ending? How about Bates and Anna? 

Even if this story's proven false, the show has to end sometimes, which makes us wonder: What loose end are you most curious about? Will you watch through to the very end of the series?

For more news as we hear it, stay tuned to our Downton Abbey Collection.

Thu
Jan 29 2015 8:23am

Throwback Thursday: What Was Your First Cabin Romance?

Hummingbird by LaVyrle SpencerEarlier this week, Team H&H had a snow day, which reminded us of cabin romances, where the hero and heroine get stuck together, usually because of inclement weather. It's often used in historical romances, where it's otherwise difficult to maneuver the hero and heroine together alone because of propriety.

Some readers adore cabin romances, because the forced time together means an escalation of the romantic relationship. 

Chances are you've read at least one cabin romance—what was your first? 

Wed
Jan 28 2015 8:10am

Pride and Prejudice Published on January 28, 1813

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”—Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Two hundred and two years ago on this day, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was published. Since then, P&P has inspired all manner of books, movies, theater, web series, and been the gateway to romance for many a reader.

When did you first read Pride and Prejudice? Do you have a favorite quote? 

Tue
Jan 27 2015 8:20am

Coming of Age in Girlhood

Girlhood, a coming-of-age film that opens in New York City theaters this Friday, and Los Angeles theaters the following Friday, is unusual because it is a French language film featuring a black heroine. Girlhood has been winning (or was nominated) for awards on the festival circuit.

IndieWire's synopsis reads, “In Celine Sciamma's Girlhood, Karidja Toure stars as Marieme, a 15-year-old in a difficult family situation and no interest in school. When she meets a trio of carefree tough girls, she ditches the only existence she's known to join their clique — and changing her name, her dress, and her life to do so.” 

If it doesn't reach your city, it might be worth keeping in mind for when it hits streaming services. 

Mon
Jan 26 2015 11:22am

“Every Day, Every Man Has a Choice": Watch Outlander 1.5’s Opening Scene

Starz has released the first few moments of the first episode from the second half of Outlander Season 1, which we've dubbed Season 1.5.

By telling part of the story through Jamie's eyes, the series is already diverging from Diana Gabaldon's book, which is told exclusively from Claire's point of view. What do you think of the decision to open the episode with a Jamie voiceover?

Outlander returns April 4 with “The Reckoning.” Find all of our coverage of the show and book series in the Outlander Collection.

Mon
Jan 26 2015 8:18am

What Pulls You In Every Time?

Idris Elba in Details MagazineLast week in the H&H Debriefing, we talked about Big Misunderstandings, which can put some people off a book (where you start yelling, “Just talk to each other, already!”).

Today we want to find out the top reason you think, “Oh, yeah, I HAVE to read that one!” It could be a trope, a type of character, a set-up, a genre, there are animals in the story, or anything else. 

What pulls you in every time? 

Fri
Jan 23 2015 3:37pm

Romance News Roundup: Kit Rocha & Loretta Chase Sale, Vanity Fair on Fifty Shades of Grey

Welcome to H&H's brand-new daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

In this week's H&H Debriefing, Megan and Jenn talk about a trope that can divide readers' on a book: The Big Misunderstanding! Do you love this set up, or if you never saw it again, it would be too soon? Let us know in the comments!

Vanity Fair has an interesting article about the making of Fifty Shades of Grey (h/t to Janet Webb), including this about the sex:

The sex, Taylor-James says, is tastefully handled: “It’s details, flesh and fingers and skin and eyes and looks.” She thinks that if you saw the actual sex “the mystery would be gone. You see a lot, but you don’t have to see anything graphic.”

Beyond Addiction by Kit Rocha—The books in Kit Rocha's Beyond series are discounted or free for a very limited time on all e-reading platforms. Find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

—Loretta Chase's iconic romance novel, Lord of Scoundrels, turns twenty years old this month, and fans are celebrating with the #LOSLove hashtag, sharing what they love most about the book. It's on sale for $1.99 right now also at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes!

Craveonline reports that a psychologist has analyzed over 300,000 books of erotica to find the word used most often. The word? It has four letters—but it's not the word you're probably thinking of. It's “cock.”

—The new Ellie Goulding music video for the song “Love Me Like You Do” features new clips from Fifty Shades of Grey—check out the scenes of Christian and Ana all set to the backdrop of Goulding's beautiful voice. Watch it here!

**Daily reminder that we don't know how long these deals will last, so get it while it's here!**

Fri
Jan 23 2015 8:30am

“Candy for Dinner!": Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trailer

A woman escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over again in New York City.

What would you want to do first if you had lived in an underground bunker for the past 15 years? Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, streaming on Netflix in March, is the new project from 30 Rock's Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. From the basis of this trailer, we're in! 

Thu
Jan 22 2015 8:15am

Throwback Thursday: Who Was Your First Byronic Hero?

Lord Byron

George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron, was born on this day in 1788, and his personality, looks, and legacy have left us with the “Byronic hero,” found in books, movies, and television shows. TVTropes says,

"Byronic Heroes are charismatic characters with strong passions and beliefs who may act in ways which are contrary to mainstream society. They tend to be fearless and volatile in their emotions and behavior. He (and it is almost always a male) is on his own side, and has his own philosophy which he will not change for anyone.

His internal conflicts are heavily romanticized. He is a very cerebral character; he broods over his struggles and beliefs. Some are portrayed with a suggestion of dark crimes or tragedies in their past.

Examples of the Byronic hero include Dracula, Dr. House from House, Sherlock Holmes as portrayed on-screen, James Bond, and Heathcliff.

Byronic heroes are littered throughout romance novels, and can be the anti-hero, hero, or villain; which Byronic hero was your first? 

Wed
Jan 21 2015 3:21pm

Romance News Roundup: Outlander DVD/Blu-ray Release Date, Fifty Shades of Grey Leaving Out That Scene

Welcome to H&H's brand-new daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

—News straight from Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe! Starz will be showing the first scene from the second half of Outlander Season 1 just prior to the start of Black Sails this Saturday. 

—In other Outlander news: Dates have been announced for the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Outlander: Season 1, Volume 1. In addition to the series' eight episodes, the Blu-Ray release will also include deleted scenes and commentary with Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore and two featurettes. The first, titled Outlander: An Epic Adaptation,” has Outlander author Diana Gabaldon sharing her thoughts on first writing the book to seeing it on screen. The second featurette has the producers and costume designers going behind-the-scenes and sharing what it takes to dress the characters in the show. The release is set for March 3. 

Pre-order copies of the DVD/BluRay at Amazon | Barnes & Noble.
Pre-order copies of the Collector's Edition at Amazon | Barnes & Noble.

—Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie, won't include the infamous tampon scene, Variety reports. Likely, if you read the books, you wondered if that scene (where Christian removes Ana's tampon) would make it to the film. Nope; “It was never even discussed," the film's director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, told Variety

Wed
Jan 21 2015 8:32am

What Course Corrections Would You Suggest?

 
 

Pencils have erasers for a reason. Everyone makes mistakes; everyone makes bad decisions. (N.B. there’s a big difference between the two—mistakes and bad decisions).

To err is human. Therefore one of the most important skills we can develop is course correction. It’s direly important to understand when a mistake is a mistake, to learn from our indiscretions, to change course and move forward a better person.—The Minimalists

In the comments for yesterday's Sleepy Hollow recap, Heather Waters mentioned that the show's network is advising a course correction before it gets renewed for Season 3.

And yesterday also saw the publication of Karen Marie Moning's Burned, a marked return to the Mac/Barrons-driven Fever series rather than the Dani O'Malley tangent begun in Iced

If you are a fan of a series, whether television or book, chances are you have an opinion abou where a series should go and how it went wrong or could go right. Let us know your thoughts! What course corrections would you advise? 

Gifs courtesy of singlittledove

Tue
Jan 20 2015 1:00pm

Karen Marie Moning’s Burned SPOILER THREAD!! (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Burned by Karen Marie MoningHere you have it: It's FINALLY HERE! A complete play-by-play of all of the events in Karen Marie Moning’s Burned (Fever #7), out today. This post is made up ENTIRELY of SPOILERS and is intended only as a place for fans to gather and discuss the book AFTER reading it, so if you have yet to finish, steer clear of anything after the jump. Go finish the book, then come back. (There’s a non-spoiler-y First Look of Burned here to whet your appetite, plus all our Karen Marie Moning content).

MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW THE JUMP.

SPOILERS SO MAJOR THEY WILL RUIN THE BOOK FOR YOU IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

***LAST CHANCE: Seriously, leave this post now if you haven’t finished BurnedThis is a post to discuss the entire book. There’s a non-spoiler-y First Look of Burned here and other Karen Marie Moning content here.***

[You've been warned...]

Tue
Jan 20 2015 9:30am

First Look: Karen Marie Moning’s Burned (January 20, 2015)

Burned by Karen Marie MoningKaren Marie Moning
Burned (Fever #7)
Delacorte / January 20, 2015 / $27.00 print, $13.99 digital

It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing.

MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed. Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil is blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

Burned is one of the most anticipated books in romance, long-delayed and coming (belatedly) on the heels of Iced, which took a left turn from where Karen Marie Moning's Fever series had been heading.

[It's getting hot in here!...]

Tue
Jan 20 2015 8:00am

“It’s You, Isn’t It?:” Cinderella Trailer

Well, doesn't this look lovely? Directed by Kenneth Branagh, and starring Cate Blanchett, Lily James, an almost unrecognizable Richard Madden, and Helena Bonham-Carter, Cinderella will be in theaters March 26, 2015.

Which version or reimagining of Cinderella is your favorite? 

Fri
Jan 16 2015 8:07am

What Couple Has the Best Chemistry?

If you watched the Golden Globes last week, and are a romance fan, likely you took note of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan from Fifty Shades of Grey presenting together. They looked...awkward, as though they'd just met backstage. 

Jezebel wrote a post about their lack of chemistry, and while it's interesting to see their examples, we prefer to be more positive.

So instead of talking about Dakota and Jamie, let's talk about couples with great chemistry, in books, movies, or television. Which couples make the top of your list? 

Gif from WeHeartIt

Thu
Jan 15 2015 8:20am

Throwback Thursday: Connie Brockway’s Promise Me Heaven

Promise Me Heaven by Connie BrockwayConnie Brockway's first book, Promise Me Heaven, was released twenty years ago, in 1994. Since then, Brockway has published some iconic romance novels, including As You Desire, My Dearest Enemy, The Bridal Season, and more. Here's the blurb for Promise Me Heaven:

Lady Catherine “Cat” Sinclair will do whatever necessary to save her family from financial ruin—including marrying the ton’s most eligible bachelor for money. Lacking the skills to seduce the rich lord, Cat seeks out a legendary rake to school her in the art of desire. But when she finally tracks down Thomas Montrose—now retired—she dismisses him as “over the hill.”

Once a rake of mythic notoriety, Thomas is happy to forget his dissolute past and tend his country estate, until, that is, his peace is disrupted by a charming and infuriatingly dismissive miss. While he may no longer seduce women, he has certainly not forgotten how to make them surrender to his charms…and he’s only too happy to prove Cat wrong. So the master seducer promises to teach her his scandalous secrets

But Thomas never dreams his beautiful student could send him to the edge of temptation…or that witnessing her dazzle every lord who crosses her path would make him insanely jealous. Now he must act quickly—and overcome the secrets of his past—before he loses forever the woman to whom he’s already lost his heart. 

If you're a historical romance reader, you've certainly read this plot, but have you read this book? What was your first Brockway? What is your favorite of her titles? 

Wed
Jan 14 2015 8:10am

Glitter is the Best Revenge?

Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsTrying to dishonor someone's family name is SO nineteenth century. If you're looking for a way to really get back at someone, ShipYourEnemiesGlitter is offering to send an envelope full of flitter to your enemy. They open it, a ton of glitter spills out and gets everywhere, they have to clean it all up, and they'll probably find it everywhere for days.

It's a unique form of revenge (the site is NSFW in its language, by the way, but what would you expect from a site that wants to glitter bomb your enemies for a fee?)

What are the most distinctive forms of revenge you've seen in romance novels? 

Tue
Jan 13 2015 8:37am

“Everyone Creates the Thing They Dread:” Avengers: The Age of Ultron Trailer

The second trailer from Avengers: The Age of Ultron is here, and it doesn't look good for our favorite group of superheroes.

Ultron is voiced by James Spader, whose unique tone has never been eerier. Avengers: The Age of Ultron will be in theaters May 1, 2015.