<i>The Love Song of Sawyer Bell</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Love Song of Sawyer Bell: Exclusive Excerpt Avon Gale "A tough decision about her future—and what it means to follow her heart." <i>The Rogue's Conquest</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Rogue's Conquest: Exclusive Excerpt Lily Maxton "There's too much at stake for James to give in to his growing attraction." <i>Jaw Dropping</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Jaw Dropping: Exclusive Excerpt L.P. Maxa "It’s the reality she was sure she never wanted but now craves." <i>Sugar Pine Trail</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Sugar Pine Trail: Exclusive Excerpt RaeAnne Thayne "She wonders if things could be this merry and bright forever…"
From The Blog
September 23, 2017
ICYMI: Bittersweet Book Club, Nalini Singh Excerpt, Indie Romances, and more!
Team H & H
September 22, 2017
Happy Endings for Susan Mallery's You Say It First
Janet Webb
September 21, 2017
3 Books That Put the Romance Back in Fiction
Keira Soleore
September 21, 2017
Victorian Women & the Periodical Press
Sandra Schwab
September 21, 2017
4 Moments That Prove 10 Things I Hate About You Is The Best
Sep 23 2017 1:03pm

Avon Gale Excerpt: The Love Song of Sawyer Bell

Avon Gale

Victoria “Vix” Vincent has only two weeks to find a replacement fiddle player for her band’s summer tour. When classically trained violinist Sawyer Bell shows up for an audition, Vix is thrilled. Sawyer is talented, gorgeous, funny, and excited about playing indie rock instead of Beethoven. Their friendship soon blossoms into romance, even though Vix tries to remember that Sawyer’s presence is only temporary.

Sawyer’s parents think she’s spending the summer months touring Europe with a chamber ensemble. But Sawyer is in dire need of a break from the competitiveness of Juilliard, and desperately wants to rediscover her love of music. Going on tour with her secret high school crush is just an added bonus. Especially when Vix kisses her one night after a show, and they discover that the stage isn’t the only place they have chemistry.

But the tour won’t last forever, and as the summer winds down, Sawyer has to make a tough decision about her future—and what it means to follow her heart.

Get a sneak peek at Avon Gale's The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (available September 25, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Vix smiled, remembering those days of hurried handjobs in the van, the time she’d sucked Jeff off while he was driving. They’d almost run into a semi, and that was the last time she’d done that.

“You guys are still friends, though.”

“Oh, sure,” Vix agreed. “He was someone who got me. I told him about the bisexual thing, and he was fine with it. Of course, he was fine with me ‘experimenting.’” She shook her head. “Like I said, guys seem to think bisexual women exist so they can watch them with other girls and then fuck them after.”

[Read the full The Love Song of Sawyer Bell excerpt...]

Sep 23 2017 11:00am

First Look: Cecy Robson’s Of Flame and Fate (September 26, 2017)

Of Flame and Fate by Cecy Robson

Cecy Robson
Of Flame and Fate (Weird Girls #2)
Cecy Robson / September 26, 2017 / $3.99 digital

Cecy Robson shows us that Fate and Destiny are not one and the same in her latest Weird Girls novel.  In Of Flame and Fate, Destiny and Fate collide. No, really.  Like BANG, right into each other.  The seer of Destiny—known as Destiny—and the seer of the Fate—known as…um, Johnny—actually collide at a rock concert. 

Well however they meet, it is not a good thing. Whenever a seer of Fate or Destiny are born at the same time, very bad things happen. Very bad! Cataclysmic! That could be why the forces of evil are suddenly swarming on Lake Tahoe.

“What’s the problem with having Fate and Destiny?”  I ask, seeing that there obviously is.  “Aren’t they the same thing?”

“They are, and they’re not,” Gemini replies, his expression darkening further.  “They’re not supposed to coexist.  They can’t actually, not in the same lifetime.”

“Because they’re anomalies?” I ask.  That’s my guess.  But there’s more, obviously.

“In part,” he answers. “But it’s what happens when they’re together that’s the real issue.”  He releases a harsh breath. “According to mystical beliefs, their powers brutally clash, interfering with the natural balance of the earth and triggering the start of unspoken evils.”

Everyone thought it was simply Destiny’s prophecy that Celia and Aric’s child would destroy all evil which is causing demons and shapeshifters to swarm the area bringing mayhem and death.  Maybe it’s not. 

If a Fate or a Destiny already exists, the witch’s law states that the second child born with the same power must be killed within its first year of life. Johnny’s parents knew this so they took their son and ran, raising him among the humans and keeping him away from any paranormals who would have sensed his powers. The law only decrees that Johnny should have been killed before he turned one. Since Johnny is now 20, the various counsels are at a loss as to what to do. 

[Read more...]

Sep 22 2017 4:30pm

Sweet, Sweet Fantasy, Baby: Romance News & Deals From Robin LaFevers, Lydia San Andres, and More

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Deal Alert: Robin LaFevers's YA fantasy romance Grave Mercy is $1.99 at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | etc.* Escaping the brutality of an arranged marriage, seventeen-year-old Ismae finds sanctuary at St. Mortain's convent. There she learns the ways of the sisters, who serve the gods of old and train her to become an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. Everything changes when Ismae is sent on a vital mission and meets Gavriel... Fill your weekend with more kick-ass fantasy heroine!

Deal Alert: Lydia San Andres's historical romance A Summer of Scandal is $1.99 at iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Emilia Cruz didn't expect to come face-to-face with the darling of the literary world, Ruben Torres, at a boating party. Nor did she expect to have him disparage the sexy serial she writes under a pseudonym. Ruben is intrigued by the mysterious author, and the more he writes about her, the better his papers sell...and the more he wants to find out who she is. Do you love authors as protagonists in romances?

Deal Alert: Victoria Denault's sports romance Score is $1.99 at Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Hockey star Jude Braddock knows he's not built for long-term relationships. So when his once-friend Zoey comes back into his life, he sees an opportunity to live the life he never thought he wanted. Recently divorced Zoey isn't in the market for more heartbreak, but Jude may prove to be too much to resist. Score big on some more great hockey romances!

[+ Jessica Williams's new sci-fi Showtime show]

Sep 22 2017 2:00pm

“I am an angstbunny par excellence”: Comments That Made Our Week

We at Heroes and Heartbreakers are so proud of and thankful for this wonderful community. Thank you for always adding a little extra sparkle to our week. In honor of Fan Friday, we want to give a special shoutout to a few of our favorite comments, and the readers behind them. We love your work!

AnnaBowling is a self-proclaimed angst bunny

AnnaBowling in Moving On Sucks: Outlander 3x02 Heart-to-Heart

Possibly unpopular opinion. but I was okay with this episode. Not a favorite, but didn't hate it. Full disclosure, I am an angstbunny par excellence, provided I get my happy ending (though full disclosure on the full disclosure, I have not made it this far in the books) so as long as Claire and Jamie do find their way back to each other, I can get through this. Not that I like them sleeping with other people, but Claire has a husband in her “now,” and what is Jamie supposed to do, if he believes Claire is really truly dead? Go live by himself in a cave?

Oh wait, that is exactly what he did, and his angst came through beautifully, which fit with the entire extremely bleak episode. We have missing limbs/extremeties, Jamie is basically walking around without a heart, but with enough to take care of Jenny by setting her up to betray him, which is kind of him betraying her; Frank and Claire try to make some headway in their marriage, but while Frank is with Claire, Claire's mind is with Jamie...for an angstbunny, this is a salad bar.

Still want my HEA, though, but for now, this will do. Most certainly agree abotu Claire's unflattering clothing in 1949, because I also like fashion. She has to suffer that, too?

[+2 more comments of the week]

Sep 22 2017 1:00pm

Happy Endings for Susan Mallery’s You Say It First

 You Say it First by Susan Mallery

It is a truth universally known that romance readers have a thing for small-town series. RaeAnne Thayne, the author of the Haven Bay series, explored the allure of inter-connected stories and the community-as-family at Heroes and Heartbreakers. A favorite destination of readers is Susan Mallery’s town of Fool’s Gold. After twenty or so (who’s counting?) books, Mallery announced she had a new series and destination in mind—Wedding Inc. In the town of Wedding Inc. are some of the characters from a community we’ve come to love over the years. Break out the champagne because who wants to say goodbye to family and friends?

Sculptor Nick Mitchell recently moved from Fool’s Gold to the premier California destination wedding venue Happily Inc. Nick is one of the five Mitchell boys. Fans of Susan Mallery will remember his egotistical, domineering glass-artist father, Ceallach Mitchell—Nick’s troubled relationship with Ceallach drove him not only to leave Fool’s Gold but also to abandon his original dream of working with glass.

Because while he’d grown up working with glass, in the past decade he’d fallen for wood. Glass was cold and mercurial, but wood was alive. Wood had a soul.

[Read more...]

Sep 22 2017 12:07pm

Lily Maxton Excerpt: The Rogue’s Conquest

Lily Maxton

Wallflower Eleanor Townsend is not like most women. She has no interest in marriage, the ton, or fashion. Instead, her heart lies with science. And when the opportunity to present a paper arises, she takes it, even though it means dressing as a man. But her disguise doesn't quite work. Someone notices-and the brute intends to blackmail her!

Former prizefighter James MacGregor wants to be a gentleman, like the men he trains in his boxing saloon. His first step is gaining a beautiful, wealthy wife. Eleanor Townsend is not that woman, but a chance encounter gives him the leverage he needs. She'll gain him entry to high society and help him with his atrocious manners, and in return, he won't reveal her secret. It's the perfect arrangement. At least until the sparks between them become more than just their personalities clashing. But there's too much at stake for James to give in to his growing attraction.

Get a sneak peek at Lily Maxton's The Rogue's Conquest (available September 25, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

 “And now the four of us will join hands and turn.” She braced herself for that sweet, unwanted shock again. She’d expected it to be less potent than the first time, but it wasn’t. Oh, it wasn’t.

It was almost worse. Now she knew what he felt like, and she was still startled by the sensation.

He gripped her gently, loosely. Every time he shifted, the rough pads of his hands scraped across her knuckles. She was aware of every inch of her body—the tight clasp of her stays around her chest, tighter with each breath in and then easing, the soft but thick flannel stockings enveloping her legs, garters wrapping around her sensitive thighs. She was aware of her skin, for the first time, as a living, breathing thing. A thing that could feel pain and pleasure and sensation and want.

[Read the full The Rogue's Conquest excerpt...]

Sep 22 2017 9:30am

4 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for September 2017

The Corsair’s Captive by Ruby Dixon

A new entry from a favorite author, covers that I couldn’t resist and more to talk about this month!

As Ruby Dixon herself says in a delightfully amusing note at the end of The Corsair’s Captive (Amazon), her latest sci-fi romance release, “The last thing I need to write is another series.” Yes, probably true with all she has going on, but just as she couldn’t seem to resist the idea of a big blue barbarian space pirate, neither could I, not once I saw the cover and read the blurb. The book is on the short side but a fast, fun read.  Kivian’s a pirate with a well-developed fashion sense (a pirate needs his spiffy duds, as he explains several times, or how will anyone know he’s a pirate?), expertise at cheating in games of chance, a fast ship, and a kind heart. Or at least a heart ready to instantly recognize his mate when he meets kidnapped human Fran under really bad circumstances.

She’s being treated as a pet by an ooli frogman with intrusive annoying tentacles and bad intentions. Kivian is on the space station to swindle the guy with the unpronounceable name and once he sees Fran, can’t rest until he steals her too.  They all meet in a bar that feisty Fran says is “like a tripping bananas version of the cantina from ‘Star Wars’.” Everyone there is fascinated by her, and not in a pleasant way. She mistrusts Kivian’s motives at first as well but he’s definitely the more attractive choice and swears not to touch her without her permission.

[Read more...]

Sep 22 2017 8:02am

What Couples Are You Falling in Love With?

Hope Springs on Main Street by Olivia Miles

Today is the first day of fall—Happy First Day of Autumn! For many of us it's our favorite time of year (everyone on Team H&H is pretty excited). 

So, to celebrate today we're asking you, what couples (on TV or in books) are you totally falling for? Who are you loving?

Tell us all about it down in the comments!

Sep 21 2017 4:30pm

What’s in a Name?: Romance News & Deals from Sarah MacLean, Julie Garwood, and More

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Deal Alert: Sarah MacLean's historical romance A Rogue by Any Other Name is $1.99 at Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* “The first in the Rules of Scoundrels Series, Michael Lawler, the Marquess of Bourne, traps Lady Penelope Marbury into marriage in order to gain her dowry, which includes his ancestral lands that he foolishly gambled away when he was younger.” The former friends, now enemies, enter into an inconvenient marriage and find that they each have something the other desires.

Deal Alert: Julie Garwood's American historical romance For the Roses is $1.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* The four Clayborne brothers lived a rough and tumble life until they found an abandoned baby girl in a New York City alley, rescued her, and moved out to Montana. Now all grown up, Mary Rose has to confront the secret of her past when the swaggering and dangerous Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald rides into town. Don't miss out on some more unusual historicals! 

Deal Alert: Katy Evans's new adult romance Womanizer is $.99 at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | etc.* Olivia doesn't expect to have an instant attraction to a stranger...only to find out that stranger is her brother's best friend and the CEO of the company where she interns, Callan Carmichael. Olivia probably could've used these tips on how not to act around the hot guy in your office...

Deal Alert: Piper J. Drake's romantic suspense novel Absolute Trust is $1.99 at iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Brandon Forte returns to his hometown to open a facility for service dogs. It also puts him back in the line of fire of the one woman he's never been able to forget, Sophie Kim. When enemies from Brandon's past put Sophie's life in danger, he's willing to risk everything—including his life—to keep her safe. Need more heart-racing action? Don't miss out on these great romantic suspense titles!

[+Crave apps, Santino Hassell, and Richonne on EW]

Sep 21 2017 2:00pm

3 Books That Put the Romance Back in Fiction

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

The earliest readers of Heroes & Heartbreakers know that I used to write opinion articles here. This is my first piece in a long time, and I am so delighted to return here. The Romance in Fiction column will feature books that have a strong romantic subplot. While I read widely and enjoy fiction of all kind, I find that the stories that resonate with me best are the ones with a love interest in them. I don't necessarily mean only romance genre fiction, but also general fiction with a touch of romance.

For example, I love C.S. Harris's long-running Sebastian St. Cyr Regency mystery series for the detecting elements and the era, but also for the thread of Sebastian's romantic entanglements that, to me, is the heart of the series and the driving force of the series.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey through the romance to be found in fiction as I explore which books spoke to me vividly.

The three stories I have chosen below are stories of bravery, where the protagonists have to take courage into their hands to achieve happiness.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

This book is set in the English countryside. There is all the insularity and peculiarity of living in close quarters with a few families. Everyone is in everyone else's business and gossips about whoever is not there. Bossy women run the social life of the village. Old spinsters run the gardening clubs and book clubs. Middle-aged men play golf. But then comes this Pakistani-British family in the midst of all this country whiteness. They're “othered” and treated as foreigners even though they were born in England, and they forever disturb the homogeneous harmony of the village.

[Read more...]

Sep 21 2017 1:00pm

The Quiet Revolution: Victorian Women & the Periodical Press

Yuletide Truce by Sandra Schwab

Today we're thrilled to welcome Sandra Schwab (Yuletide Truce) has done a lot of research for her Victorian romances. While in historical periods it's often assumed that women were oppressed, there was a quiet revolution going on behind closed doors—and amidst the pages of periodicals. Sandra is here today to talk about Victorian women and the plans they put into action for equality. Thanks, Sandra!

I fell in love with Victorian periodicals back in 2010, when I was invited to give a paper at the annual conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. The conference was held at Yale, which was nerve-racking enough, but what really blew my mind was the camaraderie among the scholars in this field—and the sheer breadth of the field itself. That conference was a revelation, and I was hooked.

Upon my return home, I immediately started to forage around the online catalogues of antique bookshops, and a few weeks later, several huge packages containing all volumes of the satirical magazine Punch from 1841-1891 arrived on my doorstep. (I think the nice UPS man was a bit taken aback that I nearly burst into tears when I opened the door and saw him.) The 154 pounds of Mr. Punch moved into my sitting room, and for the next five years, my academic research focused on this particular magazine — and soon influenced my fiction as well.

[Read more...]

Sep 21 2017 12:16pm

L.P. Maxa Excerpt: Jaw Dropping

L.P. Maxa

Lincoln Sumner’s life is perfect. He gets to live every man’s dream: He’s in a perpetual state of adolescence working as a baseball coach at St. Leasing Boarding School for Boys. He bags all the chicks he wants, vacations around the world every summer, drives a hot car too fast, and has the best packmates in the world. “Forever” is not in the stars for Linc. Then the gorgeous new school nurse arrives.

Madden West’s life is perfect. Working her dream job as a trauma nurse in short-term gigs all over the world, she lives life on her terms, goes where she wants and does what she wants with whomever she wants to do it. When the opportunity to become the school nurse at St. Leasing falls into her lap, she says, “Sure, why not? Never been to Colorado.” When she meets sexy baseball coach Linc Sumner, she thinks, “There’s my next fling.” Until everything changes and forever is more than a possibility, it’s the reality she was sure she never wanted but now craves.

Get a sneak peek at L.P. Maxa's Jaw Dropping (available September 28, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“Have you lost your ever loving mind? You signed that contract Linc, you swore.” Baze pointed down the bar toward Madden. She had her lips wrapped around the mouth of a beer bottle and it was making Linc’s dick rock hard. “She is medical personnel that means she is one hundred percent off fucking limits to you. Pun entirely intended.” Baze was fighting mad. Like nostrils flared, teeth grinding pissed off.

Linc thought Baze was being completely unreasonable. “Come on man, she’s gorgeous.” Linc knew he was whining, but damn if he didn’t care.

[Read the full Jaw Dropping excerpt...]

Sep 21 2017 9:30am

4 Moments That Prove 10 Things I Hate About You Is The Best

10 Things I Hate About You

The best adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is the 1999 romantic comedy 10 Things I Hate About You. This is a fact. (Shh, let me have this.) There’s a lot to love in the movie, from Allison Janney’s romance-writing guidance counselor, Ms. Perky, to the sonnet-rapping English teacher, Mr. Morgan. Joey is a terrible/excellent antagonist who gets exactly what’s coming to him when Bianca publicly kicks his butt at prom. Kat and her dad have a heartwarming moment that speaks to the beauty of a parent-child relationship and the ways that changes as kids grow into adulthood.

It’s a GREAT MOVIE. The best part, though? Kat and Patrick’s relationship. Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles have some serious chemistry, and their relationship is what got me hooked on the enemies-to-lovers trope. Without further ado, I offer my top 4 Kat & Patrick scenes in this, my favorite of all rom-coms.

4. The Almost Kiss

For their first sort-of-date, Kat and Patrick go to a party. Kat really doesn’t want to be there and gets rather sloshed. During a memorable table dance, she hits her head on a chandelier and Patrick catches her. He brings her to a swing set in the backyard and tries to keep her awake for fear that she has a concussion. There’s a touching moment… then she vomits. Later, he’s driving her home and she opens up about her dream of starting a band. It’s the first time she’s let her guard down with him, even going so far as to say “you’re not as vile as I thought you were.” (Best line.)

[Read more...]

Sep 21 2017 8:02am

What Piece of Clothing from a Book or Movie Would You Add to Your Closet?

In The Incredibles, Edna Mode had one hard and fast rule: No Capes. Luckily we are not superheroes, and Edna Mode isn't here to critique us because when we found out that we could buy the cape that Howl wears in Howl's Moving Castle, suffice to say we were thrilled. Would you ever buy an item that's been featured in a book or movie? Have you ever gotten any themed clothing? We confess we have a lot in our own closets so feel free to share your own fandom finds down in the comments!

Sep 20 2017 4:30pm

The Pleasure Principle: Romance News & Deals from Elizabeth Hoyt, R.C. Ryan, and More

Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in romance.

{Did you know you can sign up to receive Afternoon Tea as an e-mail? Sign up to have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

Deal Alert: Elizabeth Hoyt's historical romance Duke of Pleasure is $1.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* “When Hugh Fitzroy, Duke of Kyle, is charged with bringing down a secret society known as the Lords of Chaos, he’ll need Alf’s help.” Alf's identity as the Ghost of St. Giles, and a woman, creates sizzling tension and chemistry between her and Hugh as they band together to fight the dangerous lords. 

Deal Alert: R.C. Ryan's contemporary cowboy romance The Maverick of Copper Creek is $2.99 at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | etc.* This small-town romance comes with “a fair amount of suspense included; the small-town aspect becomes so well integrated that you can’t help but appreciate it. It also has a romance with just enough heat to live up to the sexy cowboy on the cover. That doesn’t hurt, either.” Cowboys, reunited lovers, and a mystery to solve...what's not to love?

Deal Alert: Yasmine Galenorn's urban fantasy Fury Rising is $.99 at iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Add another fantasy romance to your TBR pile, with the first book in Galenorn's Fury Unbound series. Kaeleen Donovan, a minor goddess, is charged with hunting down Abominations by night and running her Crossroads Cleaning Company by day. When the chaos magicians arrive to upset the balance of the world, it's up to Kaeleen and her friends to stop the world from crumbling. 

[+Sarina Bowen book news]

Sep 20 2017 3:00pm

Julie Ann Walker Black Knights Inc. to End with Built to Last

Built to Last by Julie Ann Walker

Today we're thrilled to not only announce that Julie Ann Walker's Black Knight Inc. series would be ending (sob!) with Built to Last, but we also get to share the cover! While we're sad to see the series go, we got a chance to sit down with Julie and learn everything we could about the last book, and thrills we have to look forward to in the finale of the series! 

Without further ado, learn more about what's to come in Built to Last:

Masterful, mysterious, and completely ruthless, Jamin “Angel” Agassi joined the Black Knights Inc. after a mission-gone-wrong forced him to undergo extensive plastic surgery and change his name. He's going to bring down the world's worst crime syndicate, and hopefully keep Sonya Butler, a love from his past, from discovering who he really is...

When a dark-eyed stranger gets caught up in Sonya’s latest mission, she starts to question all her hard-won instincts. Something about Angel tells her he's more than he seems, and sometimes, when she least expects it, he reminds her of a man she used to know. As the bullets fly, she realizes that in love and war nothing is ever what it seems...

And now get the scoop straight from the source herself:

[Read more...]

Sep 20 2017 1:30pm

“Found Family” Can Be the Best Family

Source: Shutterstock

4 Favorite Found Families

Family doesn't always have to be the people you're related to by blood. Many of us have found that the people we're closest too are the ones that we share no blood ties with at all. Today, authors Michele de Winton (Ride Me Right), Violetta Rand (One Taste of Angel), Michele Mannon (author of the Deadliest Lies series), and Katana Collins (author of the Harrison Street Crew series) are here to discuss some of their favorite found families in fiction. Thanks, ladies!

Note: These authors are part of a massive sale of books. Check out their titles on sale, and peruse all the books (over 100!!) that are on sale from now until September 25. 

Definition: A group of unrelated persons who commit to one another as a family.

Oceans Eleven. Harry Potter. Friends. The Found Family is a favorite trope used within fictional storytelling. It’s often done with clear intention and can be very obvious, like in the movie, The Avengers. This story revolves around an unlikely band of misfit superheroes who’ve joined together to save the world. And if you think about it, this is usually the case with adventure stories where the plot lines revolve around newly established and often unexpected brotherhoods. Moviegoers appreciate the rich characterization that goes hand in hand with this type of storyline.

However, the Found Family trope can be showcased in a slightly more subtle way, as is the case in the movie, Steel Magnolias. In this movie, a deep, very realistic sisterhood develops between the characters. Yet it’s the undercurrent of what bonds them together—a strong case of southern moxie along with a dark, painful tragedy—that bears closer inspection. 

We asked four dark contemporary/suspense authors to share examples of their favorite brotherhoods and sisterhoods. And, as is the way with author-hoods writing within the same trope, we received four uniquely different responses.

[Read more...]

Sep 20 2017 12:11pm

RaeAnne Thayne Excerpt: Sugar Pine Trail

RaeAnne Thayne

Librarian Julia Winston is ready to ditch the quiet existence she's been living. She's made a list of new things to experience, but falling for Jamie Caine, her sexy military pilot neighbor, isn't one of them. Julia's looking to conquer life, not become the heartbreaker's latest conquest. But when two young brothers wind up in Julia's care for the holidays, she'll take any help she can get—even Jamie's.

Happy to step in, Jamie reveals a side of himself that's much harder to resist. Not only is he fantastic with kids, he provides the strength Julia needs to tackle her list. She knows their temporary family can't last beyond the holidays, but the closer she gets to Jamie, the more she wonders if things could be this merry and bright forever…

Get a sneak peek at RaeAnne Thayne's Sugar Pine Trail (available September 26, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Jamie waited for Julia’s answer with an anxiousness that he didn’t quite understand.

The idea had been one of those spur-of-the-moment things, but it suddenly seemed vitally important that she say yes.

“What do you say?” he pressed, when her silence dragged on. “Think the boys might enjoy an airplane ride? Aidan and I can keep a close eye on the three kids on the flight there. On the way back, there will be a dozen more Caines to watch them on the plane.”

[Read the full Sugar Pine Trail excerpt...]

Sep 20 2017 11:00am

Sarina Bowen on Bittersweet, Zara’s Hero, and More True North Goodness!

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

After a wonderful spring and summer, H&H’s E-Book of the Month Club program is going on a short break. We hope you enjoyed the free e-books and will let you know as soon when the next free e-book is available for download.

In the meantime, we’re happy to say that Book Club continues! We invite you to join us for monthly discussions, author Q&As, and more about books we’re loving, like Sarina Bowen's Bittersweet!

We can't help but talk about books all day, every day, and we always take the opportunity to celebrate our favorites. This month, we've decided to continue the book love—and the book club—with our spotlight on Sarina Bowen's Bittersweet. When it comes to farmer heroes, we definitely think his tractor is sexy—especially when that tractor is being ridden by one of Sarina Bowen's heroes! When Bittersweet, the first book in Bowen's True North series, came out, we immediately had a major crush on the cover, and our infatuation only got fiercer when we started reading! Today we sit down with Sarina to discuss everything we love about the True North series, what ciders inspired the Shipley Farm's brand, and, of course, what makes Griff and Audrey such standout characters.

Heroes and Heartbreakers: At 27, Griffin is very young to have to run his family’s orchard and worry about his siblings’ college funds; what appeals to you about responsible heroes like Griff?

Sarina Bowen: The thing about Griff is that he doesn’t have to run the orchard or pay the college tuition. But he thinks he has to. I was drawn to the idea that his greatest strength (responsibility) is also his greatest flaw. He sees himself as Mr. Unavailable until Audrey shows him otherwise.

H&H: Audrey is a bit of a lost lamb in the beginning of the book but flourishes under the attention of the Shipleys. What did you hope readers would take away from her arc?

SB: We don’t all get it right on the first try. Audrey is proof of that. But she’s sunny instead of bitter. She really is Griff’s opposite in this way.

H&H: What would you say is your favorite Griff and Audrey scene in the book and why?

SB: Definitely the pig butchery! Another woman would be scared off, but not our Audrey.

[Read on for cider recommendations, Zara scoop, and more...]