<i>Back to Before</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Back to Before: Exclusive Excerpt Tracy Solheim "He was grinning now, sexy laugh lines fanning out from his eyes..." <i>Foster Justice</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Foster Justice: Exclusive Excerpt Colleen Shannon "His mind might find her repulsive but his body sure as heck didn’t." Now Win This!: <i>Fifty Shades</i> Poster Now Win This!: Fifty Shades Poster Team H & H You've seen the poster, now here's a chance to have your own! <i>Marked</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Marked: Exclusive Excerpt Rebecca Zanetti "Heat pooled at the apex of her legs, stunning her with need..."
From The Blog
December 20, 2014
3 Harlequin Presents Authors Who Get it Right
John Jacobson
December 19, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Silver Bells Foxes
Team H & H
December 18, 2014
I Dream of Genies in Romance Novels
Sahara Hoshi
December 18, 2014
Happy Parental Pairs in Historical Romance
Janga
December 18, 2014
Saying Goodbye to The Hobbit
Christopher Morgan
Showing posts by: Tiffany Tyer click to see Tiffany Tyer's profile
Tue
Dec 16 2014 11:00am

First Look: Larissa Ione’s Revenant (December 16, 2014)

Revenant by Larissa IoneLarissa Ione
Revenant (Demonica)
Grand Central / December 16, 2014 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

For five thousand years, Revenant believed he was alone in the world, a fallen angel beyond any redemption. Now he finds he has a twin brother who had all the light and love Revenant was denied. Caught in a tug of war between Heaven and Hell, he must weigh his thirst for revenge against his desire for a mysterious female named Blaspheme-a female whose very origins could deliver him into salvation . . . or destruction.

Blaspheme has a deadly secret: she's the forbidden offspring of an angel and a fallen angel. Hunted by both heavenly and satanic forces, she has survived only by laying low and trusting no one. When Revenant claims he can save them both, how can she possibly believe him? But the powerful angel is persistence incarnate and for Blaspheme, there's no place she can hide in Heaven or Hell where he won't find her . . .

Last year saw a real return to Larissa Ione's popular and super-imaginative Demonica series and a merging with her Lords of Deliverance series, with Reaver, the most powerful angel in Heaven restored to grace as a Radiant, as well as the “good twin.” In a companion novel that continues to show profound effects on the paranormal fate of the world, Revenant is the dark side of the coin, the angel who's equally as powerful as his brother but who's only ever known a life in Hell, the “bad twin.”

[We do love a bad boy...]

Mon
Dec 1 2014 11:15am

First Look: Lorelei James’s Schooled (December 2, 2014)

Schooled by Lorelei JamesLorelei James
Schooled (The Mastered Series)
Intermix / December 2, 2014 / $2.99 digital

When Amery Hardwick first met martial arts master Ronin Black, she wasn’t ready for the level of his sensual artistry—or his need for extreme control. Nor was she prepared for the primal urges it released in her. Amery and Ronin were made for each other.

When they married they were certain their future would be a fulfilling journey of love and passion. But happily ever after is never so simple. Six months later, while in Japan, Ronin is training with his sensei, while Amery is consumed by her own burgeoning career—and a culture shock with which she is struggling to adapt.

Now, from the heady pleasures of Tokyo bondage houses to the unyielding family traditions pulsing with every beat of Ronin’s heart, Amery and Ronin find the limits of their relationship tested once again, and shocked to discover what they’re willing to do in order to save it.

The great thing about sequels after fan favorite couples get their HEA is the comfort of knowing they have conquered all and come out together, while still getting to see them learning to navigate the everyday obstacles of life. This is exactly what we find in Lorelei James's Schooled, her follow-up to the Mastered duet featuring Ronin and Amery Black. 

[Getting schooled takes on a whole new meaning!]

Thu
Nov 27 2014 10:00am

First Look: Beth Kery’s Only for You (December 2, 2014)

Only for You by Beth KeryBeth Kery
Only for You (One Night of Passion)
Berkley Trade / December 2, 2014 / $16.00 print, $9.99 digital

Former Army intelligence officer Seth Hightower may work with the Hollywood elite as a makeup artist, but he’s learned not to trust the rich and famous with anything more than a good time. Only one woman ever tempted him to break his rules about dating actresses—and she left him with the memory of a single night and a lifetime of what-ifs.

Hollywood “It” girl Gia Harris is used to being in the spotlight. But after she witnesses something that puts her life in danger, she needs to avoid prying eyes. Seth’s special skills make him the perfect person to keep her famous face out of the news, but their history makes him the last person she wants to be alone with. He’s far too tempting—and now, far too close…

As Seth conceals Gia from those who would do her harm, they can’t ignore the blistering attraction between them. And when they give in to their cravings, they reveal more about themselves than either of them has ever laid bare before…

Beth Kery returns to her One Night of Passion series with the final installment, Only for You, whose connecting premise to the other stories is beginning with a scorching one night stand and leading to true romance. And like in the other entries, Seth Hightower—whose story we've been waiting for—and Gia Harris, both huge fixtures in the Hollywood scene, have a one-night encounter that is far from ordinary. 

[Extraordinary!...]

Sat
Nov 22 2014 10:30am

3 Things the Fifty Shades of Grey Film MUST Get Right

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as Christian and AnaLove it or hate it, E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey is a cultural phenomenon. It's a polarizing work inside and out of romance circles, but its bestseller status many times over and overwhelming penchant as watercooler talk made a transition to the big screen basically inevitable. The thing is, its popularity means that just about everyone has an opinion on the idea of a BDSM romance novel translating to theaters. It's really the first exposure of the genre to blockbuster feature film status. And regardless of the final product, Fifty Shades of Grey struck a chord with people across the globe for a reason, and above all, the film version has to respect that. The Fifty Shades film should make us love it for the same reasons the book resonated with so many. It must reflect the story we've come to know and in order to do that, it has to nail three things: the extreme sex, the proper articulation and balance of the romance, and Christian Grey.

As a film, Fifty Shades of Grey has one objective to accomplish: Walking the tightrope of honoring what fans and readers love about the addictive quality of the work while doing justice to our overactive imaginations as we've devoured the story and know it well. It needs to take itself seriously but not too seriously.

The intensity that should have come across in the first official trailer released this summer at times unfortunately just feels slow, boring, and even cold. So often BDSM is portrayed poorly and inaccurately, and with the visual component of the props and the Red Room of Pain, it cannot be a bunch of cheap thrills. It can't be stereotype and it can't just be an extreme version of Twilight. Execution of the BDSM lifestyle here is a concern, and it's one of the main hit-or-miss elements upon which the film's success hinders, and there will be plenty of fact-checkers in the audience.

[What else will fans be expecting?...]

Tue
Nov 18 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Sophie Jordan’s Wild (November 18, 2014)

Wild by Sophie JordanSophie Jordan
Wild (Ivy Chronicles)
Avon / November 18, 2014 / $13.99 print / $2.99 digital

Months after her boyfriend dumped her, Georgia can still hear the insults he hurled at her. Boring. Predictable. Tame. Tired of feeling bad, she’s ready to change her image, and go a little wild. What better way to prove her ex wrong than a hot night of sexual adventure at the secret campus kink club?

In the shadowy den of the kink club, she unexpectedly runs into Logan Mulvaney, her friend’s little brother. A player extraordinaire too hot for his own good, he may be younger, but the guy is light years ahead when it comes to sexual experience. Now he’s telling her to go home—“good girls” don’t belong here!

Georgia is tired of having others define her. She’s going to teach Logan a lesson he won’t forget—one white hot, mind-wrecking kiss . . . that leads to another . . . and another . . . and. . . . Realizing she’s way in over her head, Georgia runs.

Only Logan won’t let her go. Everywhere she goes he’s there, making her want every inch of him. Making her forget who she is. Who he is. And just how wrong they are for each other.

There's nothing better or more fun than a good girl gone bad. With Wild, Sophie Jordan wraps up her sexy New Adult trilogy, the Ivy Chronicles, with the long-awaited story of too-perfect Georgia and bad boy Logan. And if the first book in the series was all about foreplay, this one is all sexual tension. The good girl and bad boy is a common theme in New Adult, but the two best things about watching it unfold here: Georgia's fall from good girl status, and that Logan's the one to take her there.

[He's got Georgia on his mind, huh?]

Mon
Nov 10 2014 1:45pm

First Look: Kit Rocha’s Beyond Possession (November 10, 2014)

Beyond Possession by Kit RochaKit Rocha
Beyond Possession (Beyond 5.5)
Kit Rocha / Novmeber 10, 2014 / $2.99 digital

Tatiana Stone has worked hard to establish herself as one of Sector Four's most skilled crafters. All she wants is peace—but the sins of her father haunt her. He ruled the sector as a petty tyrant before the O'Kane takeover, and plenty of people harbor bitter memories of his cruelty. Especially now that Tatiana’s beloved baby sister has fallen in with a man who wants to start a revolution.

Zan failed his boss once, and it won't happen again. So when Dallas O'Kane asks him to defuse the rebellion brewing in the sector, he’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done—including seduce Tatiana. It’s the perfect opportunity to get closer to the pretty crafter and complete his mission. But what he discovers is a fiery, passionate woman—and an affair that could destroy them both.

With every visit to Sector Four, there's more and more to admire about the O'Kanes. In Kit Rocha's Beyond Posession, we meet fallen princess Tatiana Stone, whose father's brutal regime was taken down by Dallas O'Kane, leaving her to pick up the pieces and try to make a life for herself, caught in the chains of the old life she hated, but a stigma she can't escape, as well as fragile loyalty to the new authority she can't fully join. And the best and worst part of this new world order for Tatiana and her place in it is Zan.

[Beyond contradictions]

Tue
Nov 4 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Christina Lauren’s Dirty Rowdy Thing (November 4, 2014)

Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina LaurenChristina Lauren
Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Season #2)
Gallery / November 4, 2014 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

Despite their rowdy hookups, Harlow and Finn don’t even like each other...which would explain why their marriage lasted only twelve hours. He needs to be in charge and takes whatever he wants. She lives by the Want-something-done? Do-it-yourself mantra. Maybe she’s too similar to the rugged fisherman—or just what he needs.

Christina Lauren's new Wild Seasons series has been full of surprises. Its premise, that what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, is a sort of cosmic comeuppance and a hell of lot of fun. We knew Harlow and Finn's story was an explosive one, the couple who made the most of the wedding night following an impulsive quickie wedding but went their separate ways in the light of day. But there's something they can't get out of their systems, and the surprising thing is how much more it is than that.

The Christina Lauren duo's take on their first rugged, outdoorsman hero proves that Frenchman hottie Ansel was not a fluke and all of their men are just that sexy. Finn is burly and hard-working, quiet and thoughtful, until he's all take charge and dominant behind closed doors, and just the thing to give feisty vixen Harlow a run for her money.

[She needs someone to keep her on her toes...]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 1:00pm

First Look: Darynda Jones’s Seventh Grave and No Body (October 21, 2014)

Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda JonesDarynda Jones
Seventh Grave and No Body
St. Martin's Press / October 21, 2014 / $25.99 print, $12.99 digital

Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out the jugular of Charley Davidson and serve her lifeless, mangled body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and the more she retraces his last steps, the more she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancé who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life. But all of that combined barely scratches the surface of her problems. Recent developments—and a few distressing prophesies—have forced her to become a responsible adult. Exactly the kind of adult she’s never aspired to be. To conquer such a monumental task, she’s decided to start small. Really small. She gets a pet. But how can she save the world against the forces of evil when she can’t even keep a goldfish alive?

A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.

We’re doomed.

Charley Davidson, the heart and soul of Darynda Jones's fantastically funny Grim Reaper series, is growing up. She's wearing more hats than ever, but it's not just about her, and not even just about her and Reyes anymore. Charley is more than the sum of all of her self-named body parts and deadpan one-liners,  and she's becoming stronger with each installment of this heroine-centric series.

[You go, girl!]

Sun
Aug 31 2014 1:30pm

First Look: Erin McCarthy’s Shatter (September 2, 2014)

Shatter by Erin McCarthyErin McCarthy
Shatter
Berkley / September 2, 2014 / $14.00 print, $5.99 digital

From the USA Today bestselling author of True, Sweet, and Believe comes a tantalizing New Adult novel about finding love in the most unexpected ways…

Kylie Warner prides herself on being optimistic, but after finding her best friend in bed with her boyfriend and flunking chemistry, her upbeat attitude has taken a dive. Even an impromptu hook-up with her sexy new chemistry tutor only brightens her mood slightly. After all, it’s not like she’ll ever see the tattooed scholar again…

While he’s a whiz at complex equations, Jonathon Kadisch has trouble when it comes to figuring out women. So when Kylie tells him that she’s pregnant after their night of passion, he’s at a complete loss. He’s prepared to be a good father—unlike his own deadbeat dad—but he’s less prepared to fall for the genuine and alluring blonde bearing his child.

With emotions running high, Kylie wonders if Jonathon’s devotion is out of growing love or looming obligation. And when heartbreak threatens to tear them apart, Jonathon will have to fight for the only girl who’s ever made him feel whole…

Erin McCarthy's True Believers series has always been a little set apart from the typical New Adults. The raw, gritty writing and the forthright way everyone just speaks their mind has been notable from the start, but in the course of four books, the topics explored have grown increasingly heavier, forcing an inherently lovable group of underdogs in a series that really shows the underbelly of college life to grow up very fast. And with Shatter, there's one issue at the forefront: unplanned pregnancy.

[That makes things more complicated...]

Fri
Aug 22 2014 3:00pm

First Look: Anna Campbell’s What a Duke Dares (August 26, 2014)

What Duke Dares by Anna CampbellAnna Campbell
What a Duke Dares (Sons of Sin #3)
Grand Central / August 26, 2014 / $8.00 print, $7.99 digital

What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that's who. She's known Camden Rothermere since they were children-and she also knows she'd bring nothing but scandal to his name.

Cam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can't stop her. Then her brother's dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he'd finally gotten over.

The only way they'll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they're married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed-until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins . . .

At the Romantic Times Convention in May, Lisa Kleypas declared during a panel that what she hopes for the future of historical romance is a return to the lush, sweeping, epic dramas of the past. In my mind, this is some delicious cross between bodice rippers that got our blood pumping and the tamer but still romantic and memorable historical hits of recent years. And What a Duke Dares, the third novel in Anna Campbell's Sons of Sin series, is a good start to usher in this hybrid that represents the best of both worlds.

[Dare to tell us more!...]

Wed
Aug 20 2014 2:00pm

Outlander IS a Bodice Ripper

Outlander by Diana GabaldonBodice ripper*: A controversial term for the earliest of romance novels with a certain formula. Sure, they call to mind those notorious covers of the '70s and '80s where the hero grips a heroine who's effectively spilling out of her top as they both appear to be in the throes of never-ending orgasm. And for those well-versed in the genre, there are other qualities bodice rippers are known for, most importantly the content. Overall, the bodice rippers of old do share commonalities. Yet breaking some aspects of the ancient mold doesn't automatically prevent inclusion. And in light of this, Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, beloved as it is to its legions of fans and for all its glory in busting through genres to appeal to millions, is every bit the bodice ripper.

For many, the term bodice ripper is immediately negative. They're realistic, but not pretty. Never mind the fact that I gained more knowledge about very specific events in history and the human element in historical nuances from bodice rippers than I did from their textbook counterparts, and to this day Stormfire—the mother of all bodice rippers—remains one of my very favorite novels. The truth is, the characteristics that define a bodice ripper spill from the pages of Outlander, and in many ways Outlander is as polarizing as that infamous name.

[Tell us more...]

Mon
Aug 11 2014 1:00pm

First Look: Kit Rocha’s Beyond Addiction (August 11, 2014)

Beyond Addiction by Kit RochaKit Rocha
Beyond Addiction
Kit Rocha / August 11, 2014 / $3.99 digital

She’s fought like hell to leave the past behind.

Trix changed her name and her life when she got clean four years ago. Now, she has a new family and a job she loves—tending bar and dancing at the Broken Circle. As an O’Kane, she’s happy, untouchable. Until a nightmare from her old life tears her away from her home and drags her back to Hell—also known as Sector Five.

He’s still living—and dying—in it.

Losing Trix was the kick in the head Finn needed to get sober, but working as an enforcer for a man he hates is slowly crushing his soul. The only thing that keeps him going is his determination to destroy Sector Five from the inside. Then Trix comes back into his life—alive, in danger—and nothing else matters.

Getting her home could be a suicide mission. The only thing deadlier is the old spark that flares to life between them. Soon, Finn and Trix are battling the one addiction neither of them ever managed to kick—each other. And it could cost them everything.

War is coming to Sector Four. A sector leader is dead. Alliances are shifting, as tenuous as a secret deal or a knife in the back. And two people are caught in the crossfire. Kit Rocha's Beyond Addiction picks up with Finn and Trix right where book four's cliffhanger left off, and soon the two are on a good, old-fashioned road trip O'Kane style, running for their lives and trying to get home, wherever that is. For Trix, the O'Kanes are family, but Finn, a Sector Five renegade enforcer under corrupt leadership, isn't sure where he belongs now. He only knows that now that he has Trix back, he can't let go of her again.

[Love is the drug!]

Tue
Aug 5 2014 3:30pm

First Look: Lorelei James’s Hillbilly Rockstar (August 5, 2014)

Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei JamesLorelei James
Hillbilly Rockstar (Blacktop Cowboys)
NAL Trade / August 5, 2014 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

She’s protecting his body and guarding her heart....

Country music star Devin McClain understands there’s a downside to life in the public eye, but the laidback Wyoming cowboy has never imagined he’d attract crazed fans who would do anything to garner his attention. When veiled threats become real, he agrees to hire a discreet security detail. But Devin is shocked when that bodyguard is a hard-bodied woman. He’s even more stunned to be attracted to the steely-eyed stunner.

Former soldier Liberty Masterson’s return to civilian life has been fraught with challenges until she lands a job with a prestigious security firm. But when she agrees to provide personal protection during a cross-country tour, she doesn’t realize she has signed up to masquerade as the playboy star’s girlfriend. Though she’s more comfortable in combat boots than high heels, she has no choice but to appear to be the sexy groupie Devin prefers.

Living in close quarters causes the chemistry between them to ignite, and Devin realizes he wants to turn their charade of a romance into reality. Although Liberty surrenders to his every whim behind closed doors, she fears the sexy country star doesn’t see the real her; and Devin can’t help but worry when the tour ends that there might not be enough between them to build something that won’t fade away....

With Hillbilly Rockstar, Lorelei James doesn't just return to her Blacktop Cowboys series, she takes it on the blacktop in a new way, with country rockstar Devin McClain, and in doing so, creates an erotic western/rockstar romance hybrid that features the best of both genres. Because although book six steps outside of the ranching setting of Muddy Gap, Wyoming, it still fits right in with the heart, family, and sense of community we've come to love about this series that's light-hearted and fun yet manages to pack a punch. And all this takes place on the Heroes and Heartbreakers tour!

[Yee-haw!...]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 9:00am

First Look: Sophie Jordan’s A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin (July 29, 2014)

A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin by Sophie JordanSophie Jordan
A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin
Avon / July 29, 2014 / $7.99, print / $6.99, digital

The last woman on earth he would ever touch . . .

Declan, the Duke of Banbury, has no interest in ushering Rosalie Hughes, his stepsister, into society. Dumped on him with nowhere else to go, he's determined to rid himself of the headstrong debutante by bestowing on her an obscenely large dowry . . . making her the most sought-after heiress of the Season.

. . . is about to become the only one he wants

But Rosalie isn't about to go along with Declan's plans. Surrounded by fortune hunters, how is she supposed to find a man who truly wants her? Taking control of her fate, Rosalie dons a disguise and sneaks into Sodom, a private club host to all manner of illicit activity—and frequented by her infuriatingly handsome stepbrother.

In a shadowed alcove, Declan can't resist the masked temptress who sets his blood afire . . . any more than Rosalie can deny her longing for a man who will send her into ruin.

The best thing about A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin, the first book in Sophie Jordan's new Debutante Files series, is that it not only features that forbidden stepbrother/stepsister theme, it celebrates it. Declan and Rosalie were thrown together as children, raised under the same household when their parents married, but upon his father's death, Rosalie and her mother were cast out and Declan and Rosalie went their separate ways. Not only have they not seen each other in years, they don't have much in common anymore, he the wealthy prince – or duke, as the case may be – she the lowly pauper. Until the day when Rosalie returns to her stepbrother's doorstep, needing him once again.

[A little taboo...]

Wed
Jul 23 2014 2:00pm

The Ultimate Temptation: Best Friend/Little Sister Romances

Until Fountain Bridge by Samantha YoungWhat is it about the brother’s best friend and his little sister hooking up that is so irresistible? It's one of the most popular themes in romance, appearing over and over again.

Perhaps the main appeal is there's a sort of built-in chemistry that naturally exists between these two people who have denied what they want, sometimes for years. He wants to protect her like a brother. but feels something so much stronger and not very brotherly towards her. There are endless possibilities resulting from this chemistry. And whether it's a noble hero who's trying to keep the brothers' code of honor, or the heroine whose feelings of fondness toward her brother's best friend have grown into an abiding romantic love, the combination of these qualities and degree of urgency in giving in and crossing the line are what makes these stories our favorite.

In Samantha Young's On Dublin Street series, Adam and Ellie's story is a simmering, quiet tale told in the midst of Braden and Joss's big love, but it's not at all unexpected. In fact, we hope for their happy ending just as much. But between years of friendship and the fear of ruining that, along with worry about Braden's disapproval, misunderstanding and frustration have stood in the way. Though it takes a life-or-death crisis to finally bring these two together, Young throws the trope on its head when it's easy-going Braden who roots for Adam and Ellie most of all. They're one of those couples who we just know is meant to be because once they allow it, everything's easy, and two such sweet people deserve nothing less.

[They had a long journey...]

Wed
Jul 16 2014 1:15pm

First Look: Kate Pearce’s Tempting a Sinner (July 29, 2014)

Tempting a Sinner by Kate PearceKate Pearce
Tempting a Sinner (Sinners Club #2)
Kensington / July 29, 2014 / $15.00 print, $13.50 digital

Within the circles of British intelligence, Benedict, Lord Keyes, is known for his cold brilliance and strict military demeanor. Yet this icy exterior masks a man of smoldering passion and scorching sexuality who will do anything to keep his past a secret. . .

Miss Malinda Keyes refuses to be intimidated by Lord Keyes. In fact, she enjoys a good battle, especially one of erotic wiles and carnal cunning. Determined to expose his lordship's past, she will use every wanton weapon in her arsenal to tease and tempt this sinner into the ultimate sensual surrender. . .

Tempting a Sinner is the second in Kate Pearce's spinoff Sinners Club series, and as wonderful as its House of Pleasure predecessor is, this is the writing Pearce was made for. The Sinners Club itself isn't quite what I was expecting; it is a gentleman's club with some nefarious, behind closed doors sexual activity but perhaps not the constant, no-holds-barred orgy I anticipated. Yet this series is markedly naughtier and more forbidden than it might seem at first blush. And that's exactly as it should be.

[We're already onto our second blush!...]

Fri
Jul 11 2014 10:00am

When Second Is the Best: Memorable Secondary Relationships in Romance Novels

Simply Scandalous by Kate PearceSometimes the trickiest thing in romance isn’t finding a compelling, well-composed main love story, but offering a secondary romance storyline that not only folds in naturally, but stands out on its own as a fully developed, integral part of the book. In a world of serial romance, duologies, and series, these aren’t books with couples whose stories are ongoing, introduced in one book only to receive full-length attention at some point. These are those special ones who manage to grab our attention and capture our hearts in a reduced number of pages in someone else’s story. And often they manage to completely steal the show.

This is the case in the final book of Kate Pearce’s long-running, successful House of Pleasure historical erotic series, where the stakes get higher and higher in each book. Emily is the youngest member of the Delornay-Ross clan, and she’s had her eye on the house manager Ambrose for some time. Not only does he work at the pleasure house, an establishment from which the family has attempted to keep Emily away, but he’s a former slave. This is an attraction we’ve seen lurking in the background, but in Simply Scandalous their story is told in a climactic, satisfying way. Richard and Violet may have been the official primary couple, but it’s Emily and Ambrose who are truly memorable.

“I’ll help you with the society mothers, but only if you will help me with Ambrose.”

“I’m quite happy to assist you with winning Ambrose.” His smile was devilish. “But I think we will have to be a little more direct than dancing too many times together or slipping off to wander around the family grounds. I doubt Ambrose will play by society rules. Are you willing to risk your reputation?”

Emily met his wicked blue gaze. “Yes, for Ambrose, I believe that I am.”

[That's a mark of a good woman...]

Tue
Jun 24 2014 3:30pm

First Look: Sharon Page’s Deeply in You (June 24, 2014)

Deeply in You by Sharon PageSharon Page
Deeply in You (The Wicked Dukes)
Aphrodisia / June 24, 2014 / $15.00 print / $12.99 digital

Anxious to save her brother from debtor’s prison, Helena Winsome agrees to find proof that the Duke of Greybrooke is a traitor. Well aware of his wicked ways, she takes on the guise of a demure governess. But his smoldering sensuality overwhelms her—as does his vow to make her his lover, a scandalous promise that leaves her weak with desire…

Darkly handsome and powerfully seductive, the Duke of Greybrooke is a man of deep passion. When the lovely Miss Helena Winsome turns down an offer to become his mistress, Grey takes on the challenge. He’ll expose Helena to the erotic thrill of carnal pleasure and tease her senses until all she can do is beg for more…

Deeply in You is the first in Sharon Page's new Wicked Dukes series, but more than that, it's her return to straight erotic historicals. This is welcome news fans of her brilliant Sin trilogy. And this first book packs a punch with its governess heroine, rakish duke, and enough espionage and back-stabbing to keep us guessing the whole way through.

[Guess we'll have to read more!]

Tue
Jun 3 2014 8:30am

First Look: Rhyannon Byrd’s Keep Me Closer (June 3, 2014)

Keep Me Closer by Rhyannon ByrdRhyannon Byrd
Keep Me Closer (Dangerous Tides #2)
Berkley / June 3, 2014 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

Five years after the end of his marriage and his career as a detective, Alex Hudson wears a permanent suit of armor to keep the world at bay. Now a PI in South Florida, he believes that he’s better off free of romantic complications—even if a certain beautiful redhead makes him sweat with little more than a look. But he’s determined to steer clear of women and the trouble they bring. Until trouble comes uninvited...



Renowned therapist Brit Cramer has seen her fair share of violence and knows how to handle it. But when a former patient targets Brit as his feminine “ideal,” she finds help in the last place she ever expected—the tall, dark, outrageously sexy Alex Hudson, who saves her from a violent attack. Brit’s been powerfully attracted to Alex from the moment they first met several years ago, but she knew better than to do more than enjoy the view…

The initial uncertainty they both feel shatters in the face of a searing, absolute desire, but their time is running out as they find themselves caught in the sights of a madman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Before they know it, they’re fighting not only for their lives, but for the possibility that they may have both found exactly what they’ve always wanted and needed...in each other. 

Rhyannon Byrd and her urgently erotic suspense novels are a well-kept secret in a niche genre that she's expertly made her own. Packed with quiet but visceral intensity from start to finish, Byrd's books make their mark because just as the suspense element is a real presence, the heavily sexual bent of the romance is at the forefront.

[Sexual suspense!...]

Tue
May 27 2014 3:30pm

First Look: Sophie Jordan’s Tease (May 27, 2014)

Tease by Sophie Jordan

Sophie Jordan
Tease (The Ivy Chronicles)
William Morrow / May 27, 2014 / $13.99 print, $2.99 digital

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She’s always chosen her hook-ups carefully, and she's never broken her three cardinal rules:

Never let them see the real you.

Never fall in love.

Always leave them begging for more.

Then comes Shaw. A hotty from the wrong side of the tracks, he’s immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn’t even try to take her to bed—he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy dark-eyed bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, she finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she’s throwing out her rulebook. Suddenly, she’s the one panting for a guy she can’t control. A guy who won’t settle for anything less than the real Emerson, who forces her to do things she’s never imagined, including facing a past she thought she'd buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more . . .

With Tease, the second release in the painstakingly honest series The Ivy Chronicles, Sophie Jordan gives us two people who aren't what they seem. By the end of Foreplay, we may feel we have a fairly strong grasp on Emerson, the resident wild child party girl who celebrates her sexuality and makes no apologies for it. But the truth is much less definable, and turning expectations on their head is what Jordan's New Adult books are becoming known for.

[Don't tease us!...]