<i>Slow Hand</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Slow Hand: Exclusive Excerpt Victoria Vane "Nikki closed her eyes and parted her lips on a sigh of surrender..." <i>Maybe This Christmas</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Maybe This Christmas: Exclusive Excerpt Sarah Morgan "She tried to walk past him but lost her balance and fell against his chest..." <i>Treasure on Lilac Lane</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Treasure on Lilac Lane: Exclusive Excerpt Donna Alward "It had been her first kiss, and she’d looked at him with stars in her eyes..." <i>A Beaumont Christmas Wedding</i>: Excerpt A Beaumont Christmas Wedding: Excerpt Sarah M. Anderson "She stopped breathing as his hands skimmed over her..."
From The Blog
October 21, 2014
Spooktacular Matchmakers in Romance
Maggie Boyd
October 21, 2014
What Do You Want to See More Of?
Megan Frampton
October 20, 2014
Unusual Shifters in YA and Adult Romance
Sahara Hoshi
October 17, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Magic Mike XXL Cast
Team H & H
October 17, 2014
H&H Debriefing: Binge Reading—Do You Do It?
Team H & H
Showing posts by: Natasha Carty click to see Natasha Carty's profile
Wed
Aug 27 2014 4:30pm

10 Signs You’re Addicted to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Series

With a series that shows no signs of slowing down, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series has made for some amazing reading. And some Menyons are obsessed. Are you wondering if you’re a Menyon or just a reader? Here’s a surefire way to know if you’re a Menyon:

1. When you hear the words “BBQ sauce” or “QVC,” you immediately think of the Simi and wish she was around. In all honesty, you really wish she were your best friend.

Alex eating ribs in Happy Endings
Source: blumfly.tumblr.com

 

[Count 'em down...]

Tue
Apr 1 2014 11:00am

First Look: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Illusion (April 1, 2014)

Illusion by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon
Illusion (Chronicles of Nick)
St. Martin's Press / April 1, 2014 / $18.99 print, $9.99 digital

Nick Gautier is tired of his destiny. He doesn’t want to be the son of a demon who’s fated to end the world. Nor does he want to see another demon or other preternatural creature who wants to kill or enslave him. He just wants to be normal and have normal problems like everyone else.

But normality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When he gets sucked into an alternate reality where his mother has married his mentor and his Atlantean god best friend has become a human geek, he begins to understand that no life is free of pain, and that every person has a specific place in the universe . . . Even the son of a hated demon. Most of all, he sees that his powers aren’t the curse he thought they were, and that the world needs a champion, especially one its enemies can’t imagine rising up to defend the ones he should destroy.

Old enemies and new friends square off for a major battle that will either restore Nick to his real world, or end him forever.

Illusion is the fifth book in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Chronicles of Nick series and as it's progressed, we are getting to see more of whom Nick has become in the present-day Dark-Hunter novels. Nick has just had his sixteenth birthday and is still trying to figure out who he is in the world, like most of us were at sixteen. The only difference is that Nick has the ability to completely destroy the world when he reaches adulthood.

[In other words, what every teenager thinks they can do!...]

Mon
Feb 3 2014 5:30pm

First Look: Rachel Caine’s Prince of Shadows (February 4, 2014)

Prince of Shadows by Rachel CaineRachel Caine
Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet
NAL / February 4, 2014 / $17.99 print, $10.99 digital

In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…

…And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

Everyone knows the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet, but Rachel Caine's Prince of Shadows offers the story from another perspective, that of Benvolio Montague. Don’t forget everything you know about Romeo and Juliet, as Caine doesn’t stray far from the tale (she does a bit) but we get it freshly from a new perspective and we find out a few new things that will break your heart and help you understand that Romeo and Juliet weren’t the only casualties in this tale.

“Blood had been spilled, and all Christians knew that blood washed away sin.”

[Life's tough all around in Verona...]

Wed
Oct 16 2013 9:30am

5 Reasons Gregori Ivanov from Lauren Dane’s Cake Would Make an Incredible Boyfriend

Cake by Lauren DaneIn Lauren Dane's Cake, we meet Gregori Ivanov, rock star of the Seattle art scene. With his tattoos, piercings and sensual sneer, Gregori is the ultimate bad boy. But Gregori loves women like he loves cake and champagne—intensely, but only for the moment.

I have a thing for the bad boy, especially one covered in piercings and tattoos. The sensual sneer Gregori always seems to wear is but a bonus.

1. He might be the bad boy, but once he sets his heart on something, Gregori is devoted and focused. He throws his whole heart into his work, like everything else he does in his life. If you are the object of his attention, he will give it to you one hundred percent.

“The building could fall down around him and he wouldn’t notice. There was something incredibly sexy about that. His intensity was sort of overwhelming, but in the best sort of way.”

2. He is sexy, sexy. His hair may change like the wind (currently scarlet red and mohawked) but his body is a work of art. Pierced and tattooed, Gregori is one beautiful piece of eye candy. Plus, he wears leather pants in one scene, nom!

“In short, he was a visual buffet. And she was really hungry.”

[+3 more reasons Gregori's irresistible...]

Tue
Sep 17 2013 10:46am

Snark and Headlessness in Sleepy Hollow

FOX's Sleepy Hollow bannerSleepy Hollow had its debut episode last night, and thankfully it lives up to the promise of its trailer. The show is based on the 1820s novella The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, but is a modern retelling with plenty of twists.

Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) wakes up after his “death” in 1780 in the current world of Sleepy Hollow, but he doesn't come back alone. His nemesis, the Headless Horseman, is in the present as well. The Horseman quickly begins his killing spree in a bid to find his lost head, the very head that Ichabod took off his shoulders before he died. Long story short, the Horseman is a demon, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is on a call with her partner, the sheriff of Sleepy Hollow, when she gets her first sighting of the Horseman—who promptly cuts off the sheriff’s head. Abbie teams up with Ichabod to find the Horseman’s head and finds out a lot more paranormal activity has been happening in Sleepy Hollow for many years.

[Thoughts on the first episode?...]

Tue
Sep 3 2013 4:30pm

First Look: Amanda Bonilla’s Vengeance Borne (September 3, 2013)

Vengeance Borne by Amanda BonillaAmanda Bonilla 
Vengeance Borne (Sentry of Evil #1)
NYLA / September 3, 2013 / $10.99 print, $4.99 digital

As the local hunter, and a ward of the Sentry, a secret organization dedicated to eradicating the forces of evil, Jacquelyn has been protecting the small town of McCall, Idaho for the past five years. The hours are horrible, the pay is nonexistent, she has to work with her jealous ex-boyfriend – and forget about quitting. She’s in for life.

When a rugged drifter comes through town, Jacquelyn immediately knows what he is – an Empath who can read emotions and sense what others are thinking – even though it’s clear the handsome stranger has no idea what, or how powerful, he is…

When people in McCall start turning up dead, viciously ripped to shreds as if by a wild animal, Jacquelyn knows better. Furies are loose in Idaho and hell-bent on exacting revenge. But against whom? And for what purpose? Jacquelyn has until the full moon to stop the Furies’ killing spree and save the people of McCall, figure out how to work with her ex – oh, and there’s a handsome stranger in town who’s in desperate need of some schooling…

Amanda Bonilla's Vengeance Borne has lots of romance, but what I paid most attention to was the characters' flaws. Jax is emotionally flawed due to a death, while Micah is mentally flawed—or so he thinks. Both deal with their flaws in different ways; Jax runs head on into trouble, while Micah has tried to keep his own demons at bay with the use of medication.

[Flawed characters are the best characters...]

Wed
May 22 2013 3:00pm

Squick Me Out, Part 4: Return of the Moist

Origami by caribb via FlickrIt’s that time again, where I gross you out and make you dirty giggle in your office. I can’t believe this is my fourth squick words post; I'd have thought I wouldn’t have to do this anymore. That my posts would serve as a warning of what words not to use. Alas, no one listens and I am sufficiently grossed out once again. So without further ado, let's squick.

Folds: I don’t know about you, but when I hear a vagina described as folds I think one of two things: either folding laundry or folding origami.

Speaking of words to describe vaginas, what is with the references to highways and bodies of water? Channels, tunnels and caves, what are we, riding on the Autobahn?  

Flaps: When I see the word flaps in a novel, I automatically think trucker flaps. You know the ones with the half naked ladies on them that hang over your tires? Alas, there is nothing sexy about your flaps. If anyone put the words moist and flap together, I think my eyes would burn.

[I dunno, that sounds like a challenge...]

Fri
Apr 26 2013 9:30am

Cut to the Chase: Piercings in Romance Novels

Piercings image by ButterflySha via Flickr Creative CommonsBack in the late 1980s, when we talked about piercings, we just meant your ears—remember that? Never mind how bent out of shape people got when men started getting their ears pierced! Nowadays, it’s commonplace to see a business man with a tattoo and an earring while working a finely tailored suit.

Did you know that there are five different types of female genital piercings and ten male genital piercings? Thankfully, we usually only hear about the hood/clit with females and the Prince Albert with men because some of those piercings are pretty ouch to think about. Certain piercings are said to heighten the sexual experience; no comment out of Tori and me on that. Please be warned, when googling some of these piercings, no amount of eye bleach will help you unsee some of the horrors you will find. Trust us, we kept getting distracted.

PA: The Prince Albert piercing enters the urethra through the underside of the base of the glans (either side of the fraenum) and exits out of the penis via the urethral opening.

Healing time: 2 - 12 weeks

Books that feature the PA:

  • Dangerous Games by Lora Leigh
  • My Fair Captain by J.L. Langley
  • Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn

[What's your favorite piercing in books?...]

Tue
Mar 26 2013 9:30am

J.R. Ward’s Lover at Last Discussion Post (MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS!)

Here you have it: A complete play-by-play of all of the events in J.R. Ward's Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11), out today. This review 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 Lover at Last here to whet your appetite, plus a Qhuay timeline!)

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.

[Ready to discuss allllll the Lover at Last things?!...]

Tue
Mar 26 2013 9:30am

First Look: J.R. Ward’s Lover at Last (March 26, 2013) (NO SPOILERS)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This here is a NON-SPOILERY post! To talk spoilers (as in, any major events or developments in Lover at Last), visit our Lover at Last SPOILERS POST!

Lover at Last by J.R. WardJ.R. Ward
Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11)
Penguin / March 26, 2013 / $27.95 print, $14.99 digital 

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: it seems Qhuinn has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young. It’s hard for Blay to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. And Qhuinn needs to come to terms with some dark things before he can move forward…

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.

It wouldn’t be a J.R. Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood novel without name brands and pop culture, and Lover at Last doesn't disappoint. From John Matthew and Qhuinn discussing how the Antichrist is surely coming due to the fact that Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber are on the radio to Mr. C talking about Channing Tatum looking “hot as fuck,” through these references we get glimpses into what makes the BDB books so enjoyable.

[Channing Tatum's hotness IS oft discussed these days...]

Wed
Mar 20 2013 4:30pm

First Look: Victoria Dahl’s Too Hot to Handle (March 26, 2013)

Too Hot to Handle by Victoria DahlVictoria Dahl
Too Hot to Handle
HQN / March 26, 2013 / $7.99 print, $6.15 digital

Merry Kade has always been the good girl. The best friend. The one who patiently waits for the guy to notice her. Well, no more. Merry has just scored her dream job, and it's time for her life to change. As the new curator of a museum in Wyoming, she'll supervise a lot of restoration work. Luckily she's found the perfect contractor for the job.

Shane Harcourt can't believe that someone wants to turn a beat-up ghost town into a museum attraction. After all, the last thing he needs is the site of his dream ranch turning into a tourist trap. He'll work on the project, if only to hasten its failure…until the beautiful, quirky woman in charge starts to change his mind.

For the first time ever, Merry has a gorgeous stud hot on her heels. But can she trust this strong, silent man, even if he is a force of nature in bed? When Shane's ulterior motives come out, he'll need to prove to Merry that a love like theirs may be too hot to handle, but it's impossible to resist.

There are three schools of romance readers: those of us who want a complete escape from reality, those of us who want a character that we can relate to and those of who want both. Luckily, Victoria Dahl writes not only relatable characters but gives us a great escape on top of a great story.

[Does this prove true in Too Hot to Handle?...]

Mon
Mar 18 2013 4:30pm

First Look: Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Rocks the House (March 26, 2013)

Kitty Rocks the House by Carrie VaughnCarrie Vaughn
Kitty Rocks the House
Tor / March 26, 2013 / $7.99 print & digital

On the heels of Kitty’s return from London, a new werewolf shows up in Denver, one who threatens to split the pack by challenging Kitty’s authority at every turn. The timing could not be worse; Kitty needs all the allies she can muster to go against the ancient vampire, Roman, if she’s to have any hope of defeating his Long Game. But there’s more to this intruder than there seems, and Kitty must uncover the truth, fast. Meanwhile, Cormac pursues an unknown entity wreaking havoc across Denver; and a vampire from the Order of St. Lazaurus tempts Rick with the means to transform his life forever.

Kitty Rocks the House is the eleventh novel in Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series, and what is most noticeable in this book is the growth in Kitty and her pack of friends. She has matured into her role as co-pack leader with her mate Ben—amazing, considering how outspoken and rule-breaking she is.

Never short on sarcastic remarks or wit, Kitty has finally learned balance, and better yet, to choose her words carefully in her new position. Between Ben’s easygoing nature and the newish position, Kitty has risen to the challenge of diplomat between the weres and the vampires as well.

[You've gotta love when characters learn and grow over time...]

Wed
Dec 5 2012 5:30pm

Squick Me Out, Part 3: Revenge of the Moist

Red velvet cupcake image by rottnapples via FlickrAs you all know, I absolutely detest the word “moist.” Since my first post on Squick Words, I’ve been known to get “moist bombed” on Twitter. That’s when a random author who knows of my moist-related phobia, has a conversation with me and throws the word moist into said conversation out of nowhere. It’s mean and cruel, but makes me cackle every time.

So I am a glutton for punishment and have come back with Squick Words post number three. Some of the not-so-lovely words I have come across or heard about this year.

Velvet sheath: now what in the bloody hell is that? Either a really rocking heavy metal band or the coolest looking outfit known to mankind.

“What are you wearing?”

“Oh, the Velvet Sheath Collection, dahling.”

[If only that were the case...]

Tue
Nov 13 2012 1:30pm

No Glove, No Love?: Condoms in Contemporary Romance

No Glove, No Love...Condom use in contemporary romance is a sticky subject (pun totally intended). Contemporary romance straddles the line of reality and fantasy; they are written usually in the same time period we are reading in, thus condom use is a sign of the times. In my generation, at least, we’ve been brought up knowing you MUST use a condom to prevent HIV/AIDS, but that is not the same for a historical romance.

Speaking to other readers about condom use in novels, many say they don’t mind them not being used because in their personal lives that have been in a long term relationship or married so they don’t notice the lack of condom. I have a problem with that theory because many of the couples in romance novels are JUST meeting and having sex for the first time. In my reality, I would be asking right away for a condom. The whole “are you clean, I’m clean” line I have seen in some books also bothers me. You’re about to have a one night stand with a man and you believe him right away? No thanks. Never mind the whole you could have a baby thing; kinda huge, don’t you think?

[Then we get into the whole secret baby trope...]

Mon
Jul 23 2012 11:26am

True Blood Season 5, Episode 7 Recap: Vampire Drunk Bloodlust, Oh MY!

Bill, Eric, and Alcide in True BloodIt’s been one week since someone had sex on True Blood, and this week had zero sex. WTH! We should really start doing a countdown.

Things we learned last week: Russell staked Roman, Alcide issues a Master challenge to JD, Terry leaves Arlene, Sam saves Andy’s life and Sookie finds out her parents were killed by a vampire.

(Need to catch up? Check out our previous recaps: Episode 5.01 |Episode 5.02 | Episode 5.03 | Episode 5.04 | Episode 5.05 | Episode 5.06)

This week is all about the WTF, there was just so much WTF.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Instead of killing Eric, Russell hangs him by a silver noose. He gets captured, yet is released later on.
  • Sookie gets checked out by the fairies and finds out her magic is depleting. If she keeps using it, she’ll become a vanilla human.

[Sookie, a plain old human? Can you fathom it?...]

Mon
Jul 9 2012 11:04am

True Blood Season 5, Episode 5 Recap: Cookie- and Russell-Tossing

Tara and Jessica fight it out in True Blood 505, Let’s Boot and RallyThings we learned last week: Sam finds his shifter buddies dead, Sookie is moving on to Alcide and Tara tried death by Jersey Shore.

Chelsea would normally be your recapper today, but I am subbing for her this week—she promised that this time I would get more nakedness. She lied. This really felt like a filler episode, tying up some loose ends and adding some new threads. It wasn’t all that exciting, but it made some things make more sense.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sookie and Alcide are about to get it on, when all that Sookie drank comes back on Alcide’s shoes and that’s when Eric and Bill walk in.

[Perfect timing, boys...]

Mon
Jul 2 2012 5:00pm

Which Hero is on Your “List"?, Part 2

Demon Marked by Meljean BrookWe are back with Part 2 of our H&H bloggers “List” choices—the list is the fictionalized version of characters you would love to see nekkid if you could, where not even your spouse or partner could say you can’t have them. Because hey, they’re on your “allowed to do it with” list!

(If you missed Natasha, Synde, Victoria, and Evangeline’s choices, see The List, part 1.)

Brie

Michael (Meljean Brook’s Guardian series):

He’s an angel and has black wings. Is that enough? No? Good because he isn’t really an angel. But he’s intense, brooding and mysterious. He can heal people, teleport and change his appearance, so if I ever get tired of him I can ask him to morph into Michael Fassbender (I’d have him watch Shame first so he gets all the details right).

[Someone’s priorities are clearly in order...]

Mon
Jul 2 2012 11:57am

True Blood Season 5, Episode 4 Recap: In Which [Redacted] FINALLY Make Out

Alcide in True BloodThings we learned last week: Newlin is the new Nan, Eric and Bill must find out where Russell is, Pam totally did it with Eric and Tara still hates Sookie and Lafayette.

(Need to catch up? Check out our previous recaps: Episode 5.01 |Episode 5.02 | Episode 5.03)

*******SPOILERS*******

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tara goes all death by Jersey Shore and bakes herself on high in a tanning bed. Pam feels her pain and ends up commanding her dumbass out of the tanning bed.
  • Lafeyette finds out Sookie confessed to Alcide about what happened to Debbie and flips out on her. He ends up calling her the Angel of Death before sashaying away.

[Oh, Sookie...]

Fri
Jun 29 2012 10:30am

Which Hero is on Your “List"?, Part 1

The Asylum Interviews by Jocelynn DrakeMany couples have “The List:” you know, the list of celebrities your significant other has given you a free pass to have sexual relations with them if you somehow run into them? Because chances are you will never run into said celebrity, so it’s okay to dream.

Today, we’re riffing on the idea of “The List,” asking H&H bloggers to offer the three heroes they’d want to play hide the kielbasa with. We got some wicked answers, and I may be fighting with my fellow bloggers over a few of these men.

I had no idea our bloggers loved so many heroes, so this will be split into two parts. (Already caught up on Part 1? Click here to go to The List Part 2!)

Natasha

Bronx (The Asylum Tales by Jocelynn Drake): I fell head over heels in love with Bronx, it was love at first sight. Bronx is a troll and no he’s not built that way, he’s a big old enforcer style troll who works as a tattoo artist. Swoon, free tats! Sadly, Bronx doesn’t date humans so I’m screwed, and not the good kinda screwed.

[But then there’s always...]

Mon
Jun 18 2012 11:19am

True Blood Season 5, Episode 2 Recap: Where EVERYBODY Is Pissed!

Tara in True Blood Season 5 episode 2This entire episode can has two major plot points: Tara is batshit crazy as a vampire and the Authority is scary as hell! Hell, to sum it up EVERYONE is pissed at somebody. Also, Newlin dancing.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tara being completely batshit crazy as a fledgling vampire, vampire tantrum anyone? Running all over the place, attacking and biting Sookie only to have Pam giggle, then finally step up and pry her off Sook. She’s like a toddler on speed! Lafayette looks terrified the entire time this is happening, especially when she goes for him. Thankfully, Pam steps up and commands Tara not to bite the humans. Before taking off to Fangtasia and leaving Tara with Sook and Lafayette.

[If Pam goes, I go...]