<i>Primal Heat</i> Part 1: Exclusive Excerpt Primal Heat Part 1: Exclusive Excerpt A. C. Arthur "His lips took hers in a hungry connection..." <i>In the Fast Lane</i>: Exclusive Excerpt In the Fast Lane: Exclusive Excerpt Audra North "He could hear that strong feminine voice in his mind." <i>Do Not Forsake Me</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Do Not Forsake Me: Exclusive Excerpt Rosanne Bittner "He always knew there’d be the devil to pay." <i>The Perfect Bargain</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Perfect Bargain: Exclusive Excerpt Jessa McAdams "He was right—she was too prim for that."
From The Blog
July 5, 2015
9 Reasons Robyn Carr's Preacher Will Be Your Next Book Boyfriend
Scarlettleigh
July 2, 2015
Listening to Tessa Bailey's Officer Off Limits
PhoebeChase
July 2, 2015
5 Heroines Who Don't Care About Scandal!
Julie LeMense
July 2, 2015
Alexis Hall's Compelling Couple in For Real
Janet Webb
July 1, 2015
The Role of Family in Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy
Sharon Ashwood
Showing posts by: Sahara Hoshi click to see Sahara Hoshi's profile
Wed
Jun 24 2015 1:00pm

Up, Up, and Away: Superheroes in Love

Vigil by V.J. Chambers

Black Widow and the Avengers have given us multiple shipping options but here are some series that have the love story already laid out while the heroine and hero fight crime or sometimes, each other.

Vigil by V.J. Chambers is basically a New Adult Batman with a Lois Lane-like hero. Cecily Kane is looking for the scoop on Vigil, a masked crusader who apparently happens to be a billionaire. In this case, Cecily might be right to stay away and she’s a pretty naïve heroine, but if you got to hook up with the fictional equivalent of Batman wouldn’t you?

If you’re looking for something even more erotic and in the vein of a Batman-like hero, Hero by Leighton del Mia will definitely satisfy lovers of dark romance. Filled with tropes like the capture fantasy, dark erotica and just a heads-up, dubious consent, hero Calvin Parish literally whisks heroine Cataline Ford away for her own safety. Whether or not it’s for her own good is up to the reader to decide as the book presents dual points of view from both Calvin and Cataline.

[More superheroes trope novels we love...]

Thu
Jun 18 2015 9:30am

Turn the Trope Around: Heroines Take on Male-Dominated Tropes

To Professor With Love by Linda Kage

If I asked you to name common romance tropes most readers could give me a list: brother’s best friend, friends to lovers, alpha billionaire, etc. It’s time to turn these tropes on their heads and put some power in the hands of the female heroine.

A common and upcoming trope that has risen is the teacher-student trope. There have been a number of releases featuring a swoonworthy male teacher and his student—Tessa Bailey’s Need Me and Teresa Mummert’s Honor Student to name two. What I like seeing is the pairing of a female professor with a male student. Two works that feature this include: To Professor With Love by Linda Kage and “Miss Congeniality” by Shelly Laurenston, part of the When He Was Bad anthology.

To Professor With Love features the affair between Aspen, a young English professor and her student, Noel Gamble, the campus football superstar. There isn’t a huge age difference between the two as Aspen was a child prodigy and quickly accelerated to her position. However, the position of a female professor is unique as she has to navigate her passion for Noel Gamble as well as the social mores becoming a female faculty member. I know about this book because I beta read it and loved the idea of reversing the trope. Part of this interest had come from reading Shelly Laurenston’s “Miss Congeniality,” that features the ice-cold Irene Conridge. The ways she meets her future mate, Niles Van Holtz is hilarious, Van Holtz assumes Conridge is a student when she is in fact a professor. Once again, the female professor is a prodigy who rose to professor level status. The story itself is not about Van Holtz and Conridge as teacher and student but does take place in a university setting as well as having the hero lust over a female professor.

[More heroines who take on male dominated tropes...]

Mon
Jun 15 2015 9:30am

First Look: Chantal Fernando’s Arrow’s Hell (June 16, 2015)

Arrow's Hell by Chantal Fernando

Chantal Fernando
Arrow’s Hell (Wind Dragons MC #2)
Gallery / June 16, 2015 / $15.00 print, $3.99 digital

From bestselling author Chantal Fernando, the second book in a sexy romance series featuring the bad boys of the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club and the women who fall in love with them. Being the younger sister of a Wind Dragons MC member isn’t as great as you’d think it would be. I can’t escape the details of my brother’s exploits. No one tells me anything. Men who know who I am tend to stay away from me. And worst of all: the members of the MC are off-limits. When Arrow catches my eye, I make it my mission to make him happy again. When I fall head over heels in love with him, I just hope he will be there to catch me. And that my brother doesn’t kill him…

In Chantal Fernando's Dragon’s Lair, the first book in the Wind Dragons MC series was in my favorites of 2014 so I jumped at the chance to review Arrow’s Hell. Taking place after a number of the events in Dragon’s Lair, Arrow’s Hell opens up with a small glimpse into what Arrow’s life is now, a life full of regrets and disappointment for not saying the things that were important at the right time. Enter Anna, the heroine and sister of one of the MC club members, Rake. If I had to categorize this installment of the Wind Dragons MC series, I’d put it as more intense than the Kristen Ashley Chaos series but on the lighter side of the kind of events we see in Joanna Wylde’s Reapers series. Arrow’s Hell does a great job of maintaining a fine balance between the interpersonal dynamics of Anna and Arrow while throwing in some MC club drama.

[It is all about the bad boys and the women they love...]

Wed
Jun 3 2015 2:30pm

Beyond Man’s Best Friend: Unusual Pets in Romance from Laurenston, Pierce, and More!

The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston

If you’re on Twitter, Facebook or any sort of social media, you’ve probably seen your friends’ pets or sometimes even your favorite authors’ pets. It’s not surprising when a hero or heroine has to take care of a fuzzy friend, but it is fun when they’re especially memorable.

The most recent read that had a memorable pet for me was Shelly Laurenston’s The Unleashing and the heroine’s pitbull, Brodie Hawaii. Not only does this pitbull get reincarnated into a Crow, a mythical warrior for the goddess Skuld, but also Brodie Hawaii is hilarious, basically living the life of luxury much to her mistress’ dismay. Add on the fact that the Crows’ leader is constantly bewailing their house’s lack of insurance and you’ve got comedic gold in the form of a pitbull with powers.

Sometimes a pet can make a hero look more badass or mysterious other times the pet makes the hero look a little…weird. I’d argue this is the case with the hero, Matt’s rabbit, Laurence, in the much beloved M. Pierce’s Night Owl, the first in the Night Owl trilogy. Not only does Matt own a rabbit which is a pretty normal pet, but the fact that he walks it at night makes it a bit quirky and readers who love the series say Laurence sometimes steals the show.

[More Unusual Pets in Romance]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 9:30am

First Look: Elle Kennedy The Mistake (April 28, 2015)

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy
The Mistake (Off-Campus #2)
Elle Kennedy / April 28, 2015 / $4.99 digital

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game...

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Do you like a good grovel from a hero and a whipsmart heroine? Then you’ll love Elle Kennedy’s The Mistake. The follow-up to Kennedy’s New Adult hockey romance The Deal, The Mistake features Logan, who thinks he’s pining after The Deal’s heroine, Wellsey. Enter young freshman, Grace who proves to be more than distracting to Logan and suddenly his best friend’s girlfriend isn’t the only thing on Logan’s mind. The Mistake is aptly named as Logan does screw up in a big way (no spoilers here though) and when he wants to get Grace back, she’s determined to make him work for it. What differentiates book 2 from the first book in the series is that there is a natural rhythm to the relationship between Logan and Grace.

[Their attraction is too strong to stay away.]

Thu
Apr 16 2015 5:00pm

Got the Magic in Me: Magical Girls Have It Tough from Sailor Moon, Laurenston, and More!

Sailor Moon and Luna from Sailor Moon
Source: sailorscoutsforever.tumblr.com

Re-watching clips of Sailor Moon, I realized that being a magical girl/heroine is pretty difficult. For those not familiar with the Sailor Moon storyline, basically the heroine is a reincarnated princess from a kingdom destroyed by evil and in her second life she must battle those same evil forces while gaining a second chance at true love.

Looking at romance novels, it’s pretty clear that heroines with magic are normally destined for a rough time. Paralleling the Sailor Moon case, Romina Russell’s young adult romantic adventure Zodiac places the fate of an entire planet on the shoulders of young Cancerian, Rho. After a tragedy strikes her home world, Rho is literally the chosen one to lead her planet. Not only does she have to convince people of the big bad threat that could destroy the Zodiac Houses, but she also has to make people trust her despite her age. As the first part of a trilogy, readers see how Rho struggles not only with her leadership role but also with a not-so-classic love triangle, add in the fact that this features astrology and you get a fun, but perilous journey of a young girl coming into her own.

[Learning lady stuff and magic stuff...]

Tue
Apr 14 2015 9:30am

First Look: Charlotte Stein’s Taken (April 14, 2015)

Taken by Charlotte SteinCharlotte Stein
Taken (Under the Skin #3
Avon Impulse / April 14, 2015 (digital); May 12, 2015 (print) / $3.99 print, $2.99 digital

It was just a prank I didn't want to be a part of. I never meant to hurt anyone, least of all Johann Weir. You wouldn't know that he sells literature for a living. He has these wild eyes—eyes that light something up in me—and he must be twice as big as I am, with strong, warm hands. Hands I try not to imagine everywhere.

He scares me. And thrills me.

But now the deed is done, and I have to face the consequences. He says he just wants to hold me here until the police come, but it's been hours and I'm still here.

Chained to a pipe in his back room like a prisoner.

The only person I have to talk to is Johann, and I tell him dark, shameful secrets—secrets that involve the metal around my wrist and him standing over me. But I can't stop. I need him to know everything. I need him.

Johann has his own secrets—ones he wants to tell me too. And more than anything, I want to listen. And maybe, before he sends me away, he'll punish me.

Just a little.

Just enough.

Charlotte Stein is an author with a certain set of skills (Liam Nesson joke made!) in terms of writing what I call the most awkward meet-cutes in the genre. Taken is no exception, as it begins with a lovely bit of larceny that Rosie, the main character, kind of stupidly agrees to. After getting caught because that’s probably what would happen to most of us, she ends up handcuffed in the basement/pseudo-bedroom of one possibly werewolf/crazy Johann, the hero and a quirky bookseller.

[He could be a killer...or a romance hero!...]

Mon
Apr 6 2015 2:30pm

First Look: Joanna Wylde’s Silver Bastard (April 7, 2015)

Silver Bastard by Joanna WyldeJoanna Wylde
Silver Bastard (Silver Valley #1)
Penguin / April 7, 2015 / $15.00 print, $5.99 digital

First in the new Silver Valley series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Reapers Motorcycle Club Novels

Fourteen months. For fourteen months, Puck Redhouse sat in a cell and kept his mouth shut, protecting the Silver Bastards MC from their enemies. Then he was free and it was time for his reward—full membership in the club, along with a party to celebrate. That’s when he saw Becca Jones for the first time and set everything in motion. Before the night ended he’d violated his parole and stolen her away from everything she knew.

Five years. It was five years ago that Puck destroyed Becca and saved her all in one night. She’s been terrified of him ever since, but she’s even more terrified of the monsters he still protects her from... But Becca refuses to let fear control her. She’s living her life and moving forward, until she gets a phone call from the past she can't ignore. She has to go back, and there’s only one man she can trust to go with her—the ex-con biker who rescued her once before.

Puck will help her again, but this time it’ll be on his terms. No more lies, no more tears, and no more holding back what he really wants...

Joanna Wylde has established herself as an author of MC (motorcycle club) books that are known for their grit and edge. While a plethora of MC books have flooded the market, Wylde’s ring true with a rawness and authenticity that makes her work so compelling.

[How does Silver Bastard measure up?...]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 9:30am

First Look: Kylie Scott’s Deep (March 31, 2015)

Deep by Kylie ScottKylie Scott
Deep
St. Martin's Press / March 31, 2015 / $14.99 print, $3.99 digital

Their one night stand wasn't supposed to end this way…

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the devastatingly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man who's ever made her feel out of control with desire? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister, and no matter how hot the chemistry between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben has a moment of weakness in Sin City, he learns that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible...but will it lead to a true connection of the heart?

To say that I’m a Kylie Scott fangirl is an understatement. She’s written everything from post-apocalyptic romance to the highly successful Stage Dive series. With the close release of the Stage Dive books in succession, it could be quite easy for the series to have the same feel book after book. Scott, however, mixes things up. While Deep has the same feel in terms of the humor amongst the band and the characters are consistent, Lizzy and Ben are a completely different couple from that of, say, Lizzy’s sister, Annie, and drummer Mal.

[What's Lizzy and Ben's story like?...]

Wed
Feb 25 2015 2:00pm

Telling the Truth in Blood: Anne Bishop’s Others Series

Written in Red by Anne BishopWarning: This post contains SPOILERS for Anne Bishop's Others series.

Written in Red, the first book in Anne Bishop's urban fantasy series, starts off almost like many a romantic suspense novel: a mysterious character is on the run from her captors. What makes this scenario totally different, however, is where she finds refuge.

Readers are introduced to Meg Corbyn, a character who is mentally not quite a girl but not quite a woman on the run from those who have held her prisoner. There is magic in Meg’s blood—she is a cassandra sangue which translates to “blood prophet.” That means Meg gets glimpses of the future. The only problem? You have to cut Meg’s skin to do so. And there are a limited amount of times a cassandra sangue can be cut before she goes insane.

Meg ends up fleeing to the Lakeside Courtyard. There, Meg meets Others leader and shapeshifter Simon Wolfguard. To make a long story short, the two form a friendship where Meg now serves as the Liaison for the Others (vampires, shape shifters, etc.) who want human goods. Meg is basically a UPS store for the Others. As the leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, Simon is one part Meg’s boss, one part Meg’s friend, and one part Meg’s potential love interest.

[Love interest, did you say? Hmm!...]

Thu
Feb 19 2015 10:30am

First Look: Jackie Ashenden’s Living in Secret (February 24, 2015)

Jackie Ashenden
Living in Secret (Living In...)
Samhain / February 24, 2015 / $4.50 digital

Lawyers Connor and Victoria Blake had a high-powered marriage to match their meteoric careers—until a secret from Victoria’s past came back to haunt her. A year after it all fell apart, Victoria is ready for a new job, a new town.

Instead of signing the divorce papers, though, her husband has a tempting proposal—one week of no holds barred before moving on with their lives. She’s never stopped wanting him, but he’s always kept the deepest part of himself locked away.

Connor already endured one brutal betrayal in his life, and Victoria’s cut him to the core. But during a naughty game of one-upmanship with a sexy stranger, he sees a different woman, whose warmth and passion he craves like a drug.

In one week they expose dark passions that set them both free. But amidst searing desire that should fuse them together, Connor is coming to the brink of a decision to choose what’s more important. The last secret he’s holding inside, or the woman he can’t let go.

If there was an alternative title for this book it’d be “How to Fix Your Passionless Marriage with Really Hot Sex.” This is the third installment in Jackie Ashenden’s Living In … series and probably the most intriguing out of the three. The first two books explored sexuality and sensuality while dealing with some serious topics. Living In Shadow’s Luc dealt with the repercussions of being forced into service as a child soldier, while Living in Sin’s Kahu dealt with the painful past of building a life from poverty as well as prostitution.

[Secrets galore!]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 5:30pm

I Dream of Genies in Romance Novels from Showalter, Cassidy, and More!

Ever since I saw the television series I Dream of Jeannie on Nick at Night, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of someone having the ability to grant wishes. Luckily for romance readers, there are plenty of genie or djinn romances to choose from.

Heather Demetrios's Exquisite Captive is a recent Young Adult title that tells the story of Nalia, a young jinni who was owned by Malek and is offered freedom by the mysterious Raif, a leader of a revolution. Part mysticism and part young adult glamour, readers will enjoy being brought back and forth between Nalia’s former life as a captive and her current life as a free-spirited young woman deciding life on her own terms.

Before there was On Dublin Street, Samantha Young published Smokeless Fire, part of the Fire Spirits series. The book follows a young girl’s entrance into a complicated struggle between multiple factions, all the while dealing with a broken friendship and a complex love interest.

[It's like a magical boss-secretary trope...]

Tue
Dec 9 2014 10:30am

First Look: Katy Evans’s Ripped (December 9, 2014)

Ripped by Katy EvansKaty Evans
Ripped (Real)
Gallery / December 9, 2014 / $15.00 print, $7.99 digital

Pandora assumed getting her heart broken by her bad boy ex could only happen once—until Mackenna Jones comes back to town for the biggest concert of his career. They say girls are getting pregnant just thinking about the Crack Bikini tour and it's destined to be a huge hit.

Oh, it'll be a hit alright—when Pandora comes out swinging. She and her friend Melanie are determined to humiliate him onstage. But when they're caught by security and her ex is summoned, Mackenna decides not to press charges if she'll join him on tour and follow certain conditions—rules designed to give him the upper hand and keep her in close contact with him once again. Soon, the passion they once shared is reignited, and no matter how much Pandora wants to hate him, her hard exterior starts to crack.

And worse: Mackenna knows it, too. But he hasn't uncovered all her secrets... 

Before we begin, let’s just get the band name out of the way, Crack Bikini. Yes, the hero is part of a band named Crack Bikini. All good? Let’s continue. Fans of Katy Evans’s Real series will be familiar with Brooke’s prickly friend, Pandora. Pandora may seem like a woman with too much baggage and no excuse on her shoulders, but in Ripped you find out why she’s so jaded. The short answer is Kenna. Kenna and Pandora were young lovers with large plans, but things didn’t work out. Pandora didn’t give Kenna the instant “I love you,” that he needed, so he took off and got on the train to music stardom. Now Crack Bikini is in Pandora’s town and she wants revenge. Revenge leads to a reunion and the two are back arguing and at times snuggling between the sheets.

[Ripping our hearts out in the process?]

Tue
Dec 2 2014 10:30am

First Look: Monica Murphy’s Owning Violet (December 2, 2014)

Owning Violet by Monica MurphyMonica Murphy
Owning Violet (Fowler Sisters)
Bantam / December 2, 2014 / $15.00 print, $4.99 digital

I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and survived. The one who devoted herself to her family’s business empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.

Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.

One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch . . . and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug, and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure, and I believe him. For once, I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.

My everything.

Sometimes neither the hero nor heroine are very likeable at the start of a novel. That’s the case in Monica Murphy’s Owning Violet; neither Violet, who lets her current boyfriend cheat on her, nor her potential hero Ryder, who sets out to use Violet to get ahead in the company, are likeable at first. But what’s so great about Murphy's Owning Violet is how the characters change over time. I admit I thought Ryder was going to be an unredemptive jerk. Yes, he’s got a sordid past that drags him down, but there wasn’t a lot going for him when he announces his plan to sleep his way to the top. Violet comes across as a wishy-washy heroine who lets herself go along for the ride, abut s the story progresses you want to cheer for her as she exhibits more and more of the backbone that she lost along the way.

[Owning a backbone?]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 7:30pm

First Look: G.A. Aiken’s Light My Fire (November 25, 2014)

Light My Fire by G.A. AikenG.A. Aiken
Light My Fire (Dragon Kin #7)
Kensington / November 25, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

The trouble with humans is that they're far too sensitive. Forget you put a woman in the local jail for a few months—and she takes it so personally! And yet she is the one trying to assassinate the queen. And now I'm trapped with Elina Shestakova of the Black Bear Riders of the Midnight…gods! That endless name!

But what am I to do? I am Celyn the Charming with direct orders from my queen to protect this unforgiving female.

Even more shocking, this unforgiving female is completely unimpressed by me. How is that even possible? But I know what I want and, for the moment, I want her. And I'm sure that she, like all females, will learn to adore me. How could she not when I am just so damn charming?

How do you keep a series relevant after so many books? G.A. Aiken seems to have the answer. Her Dragon Kin series has gone through the primary family members introduced in the series opener as well as touching on some cousins and other relatives. Light My Fire sort of brings the series home with the story of Celyn the Charming and Elina Shestakova. The romance between Celyn and Elina is hilarious, from the moment the pair meets to the time Celyn throws Elina in prison and leaves her there…for months.

[More like quench my fire, amirite?...]

Sat
Nov 22 2014 3:15pm

First Look: Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Touch (November 25, 2014)

The Darkest Touch by Gena ShowalterGena Showalter
The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld)
Harlequin / November 25, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin's every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeleycael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean her end, but resisting her is the hardest battle he's ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can't win.

Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series has reached national as well as international fame, spawning a spin-off and a manga series. What’s so compelling about each book in the series is not only watching the heroine and hero come together, but it’s watching the hero’s internal struggle. Each of the Lords is unique as he or she is possessed by a demon. In The Darkest Touch, fan-favorite Torin, keeper of Disease, finally gets his chance at a happily-ever-after.

Torin’s demon is unique; Disease has rules that comes with it such as no-hand-to-hand, skin-to-skin contact, or otherwise a plague spreads. In addition, the disease that manifests itself is unique each time. If Torin touches an immortal who might weaken but survive the disease, he or she still becomes a carrier for whatever strain Disease decides to produce at that point. Enter Keelycael, the Red Queen, the last of an enigmatic species called Curators and powerful enough to take Torin as well as Disease on.

[Look who's finally met his match...]

Tue
Nov 11 2014 5:30pm

What to Expect When You’re Expecting...Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Touch

Gena Showalter's The Darkest Touch, Torin's story, is one of the most anticipated books in her Lords of the Underworld series. Why? Because he shouldn’t be able to touch any body without spreading death and disease. And it was revealed in earlier installments that he was pretty much a virgin. We’ve seen him on and off in the series with the female Lord, Cameo. Initially, the two were supposed to end up together, but Showalter nixed that idea. Here’s a list of what we can expect in the exciting installment of Showalter’s LOTU universe:

1.     Tortured heroes and more tortured heroes—The Lords of the Underworld universe is based on the idea that these super-soldiers opened Pandora’s box and now must suffer the consequences of their actions by having the demons inhabit their bodies. With most of the Lords now experiencing an HEA, there will be a lot of focus probably on the remaining two who are unpaired: Torin and Cameo. Don’t expect things to come easy for Torin, even if he meets his heroine. The angst and suffering yet later redemption the heroes find in their heroines/partners are a trademark of this series.

2.     Sassy, yet vunerable, heroines—Readers of the series have seen surprise appearances by Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark heroines, and Showalter writes her heroines in the same vein. The women are sarcastic and unpredictable, yet all of them have vulnerabilities that make them somewhat relatable no matter what awesome powers they might possess.

[Would you said phenomenal cosmic powers?]

Mon
Nov 3 2014 9:30am

First Look: Charlotte Stein’s Intrusion (November 4, 2014)

Intrusion by Charlotte SteinCharlotte Stein
Intrusion (Under the Skin)
Avon Red Impulse / November 4, 2014 / $2.99 digital

I believed I would never be able to trust any man again. That kindness was only for fools and would lead me down that same terrible path into darkness. I thought so with every fiber of my being—and then I met Noah Gideon Grant.

Everyone says he’s dangerous. He never comes out of his house—a place that looks like it could be featured in Serial Killers Monthly. But the thing is … I think something happened to him too. I know the chemistry between us isn’t just in my head. I know he feels it, but he’s holding back. The pleasure he gives me is unreal—if only I could give something in return. If only he would let me in. I think I can make him feel something good. And for the first time in forever, I want to.

He’s made a labyrinth of himself. Now all I need to do is dare to find my way through.

If there is one thing Charlotte Stein is a master of, it’s the slow burn in romance, specifically building up sexual tension until you and her protagonists cannot take any more. Stein’s latest, Intrusion, is no exception. Her latest hero is definitely quixotic; the first time the heroine meets him, he's walking around at night. He’s unusually perceptive, his hair is a mess, and he’s not quite there all the time. Yet something draws the heroine to Noah, despite the fact that she initially thinks he’s a dognapper. 

[Sounds ruff!...]

Tue
Oct 28 2014 4:30pm

Raising Them Right: The Best Parents in Romance Novels from Quinn, Dane, Kleypas, Banks, and Moning!

The Bridgertons Happily Ever After by Julia QuinnParents/guardians play important roles in everyone’s lives and especially those of fictional characters. Though with the rise of New Adult, parental involvement in romance novels seems to be going the way of Disney films, with little to no parental involvement at all. Based on some crowdsourcing via Twitter and HeroesandHeartbreakers.com, here’s the parents who readers said are the best and why:

Violet Bridgerton from Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series:

This was one of the overwhelming favorites from readers. Violet Bridgerton is apparently a saint. After all, she has eight kids to look after and their assorted cousins, in-laws and a corgi (corgi!), too. Some have requested she get her own HEA and after doing a little research, Violet gets a story in “Violet in Bloom” part of Quinn’s The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After explaining how she met the love of her life, Edmund.

Edward and Polly Chase from Lauren Dane’s Chase brothers series:

Another overwhelming response came for this pair. The four Chase brothers certainly seem like a handful: one’s a sheriff, one falls in love with a down-on-her luck woman and two have to convince their respective heroines that they love them. Tie this is in with the standard hot sex and a little suspense for which Dane is known and you’re off to the races. Raising four boys plus guiding them in the trials and tribulations of love isn’t easy, but Polly and Edward provide a stable home and great guidance making this parenting pair a reader favorite.

[Great parents=Great Kids...]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 5:15pm

Could You Love a Hedgehog?: Unusual Shifters in Young Adult and Adult Romance from Aiken, Singh, Kenyon, and More!

When we think of shifters in paranormal romance we typically think of bears, wolves, etc. However, the world of shapeshifting opens up a lot of possibilities for the reader and for author’s imaginations.

For example, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s Hawksong introduces Danica, an avian shapeshifter and her nemesis/love interest, Zane, a cobra shapeshifter. Hawksong is a young adult paranormal with a Romeo and Juliet set-up. Atwater-Rhodes doesn’t stop there; her follow-up books in the series include wyverns, wolves and falcons.

Avian shifters aren’t unusual to young adult or adult romance. Nalini Singh has included them in her Psy-Changeling series, and one of my favorite side characters of hers is Tijan, the Rat. Nevertheless, avian shifters are unusual enough that they’re worth talking about, and even more unusual is an avian shifter gay romance, such as Kim Dare’s Avian Shifter series. The avian shifters have a clear class system, as demonstrated in Duck!, Magpie and others. Usually the weaker bird of the two is the sub (these books include BDSM, also) and the stronger bird like a hawk or predator bird is the dominant. 

[Color us intrigued...]