<i>Infamous</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Infamous: Exclusive Excerpt Jenny Holiday "Hunter is all Jesse can think about..." <i>Courtly Pleasures</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Courtly Pleasures: Exclusive Excerpt Erin Kane Spock "Can they create a second chance at love before it’s too late?" <i>Roomies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Roomies: Exclusive Excerpt Christina Lauren "Will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?" <i>A Duke in Shining Armor</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Duke in Shining Armor: Exclusive Excerpt Loretta Chase "So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him...?"
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November 21, 2017
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How to Advocate for Happily Ever Afters
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Insight into MaryJanice Davidson’s Deja New
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Helena Hunting: A Sexy, Angsty, Funny Superstar
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3 Pets from Romance We Wish Were Ours
Tara Leigh
Mon
Nov 13 2017 11:30am

Set Sail: Outlander Season 3, Episode 9 Jamie and Claire Heart-to-Heart

Outlander 3x09, The Doldrums

Show/EpisodeOutlander, Season 3, Episode 9, “The Doldrums”
Couple(s): Jamie and Claire

Outlander 3x09 Captain's LogThere’s only one thing Jamie and Claire can do when Portuguese slavers nab Young Ian; sign on a merchant ship bound for Jamaica, in pursuit. Jamie becomes supercargo of the merchant ship, Artemis, with Claire as the ship’s surgeon. Wracked with guilt Jamie  suspects this may be God’s punishment on him. Maybe Claire was right about them not belonging together. If she wants to go back, he’ll take her to the stones. Nothing doing, Claire says, and they board the ship together, in time for a crash course in nautical superstition.

Both women and redheads are considered bad luck on shipboard, so Jamie and Claire need all the luck they can get. Touching the horseshoe nailed to a post on deck is crucial, but not apparently effective, as we get Surprise Fergus, with Surprise Mrs. Fergus,—Jamie’s stepdaughter, Marsali—who had handfast just that morning. Consummated? Nope. Okay, then, all Jamie has to do is keep them from consummating, and the marriage won’t be binding. Separate cabins for both, which also means separate cabins for the Frasers. Claire is not okay with this.

[Read more...]

Mon
Nov 13 2017 9:30am
Excerpt

Laine Ferndale Excerpt: The Infamous Miss Ilsa

Laine Ferndale

The Canadian frontier-set Fraser Springs series continues with a delightful tale of second-chance romance.

Street-smart and confident Ilsa Pedersen has become an indispensable right-hand woman at Wilson’s Bathhouse, and found a home and family in Fraser Springs. But she hasn’t forgotten the shame of being tossed out penniless as a teenage housemaid by the wealthy Whitacre family when she was found kissing their only son. The only thing that will truly secure her future is independence, and Ilsa has plans to open a dress shop in the big city.

Dr. Theo Whitacre must complete an internship at the grand hotel in Fraser Springs before the socially awkward young man can head off to Europe for a career in medical research. Finding Ilsa in this backwater town is a delightful surprise. But while she is more than happy to be his friend, she won’t trust him a second time with her heart.

When a rash of illnesses begins plaguing the town’s tourists, Theo’s employer doesn’t believe his theory that the hotel is at fault. Only with Ilsa’s help can Theo save the afflicted patrons, and as they work together, they find their teenage romance rekindling. But as their dreams pull them in such different directions, can they truly make a future together?

Get a sneak peek at Laine Ferndale's The Infamous Miss Ilsa (available November 20, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Music began to drift down the stairs; for the first time since Theo had arrived, someone was actually playing the grand piano in the lobby. He didn’t recognize the cheerful, ragtime number.

Ilsa clapped her hands with delight. “Oh, that’s too perfect!” She stood up and held out her hands to him, palms down. “Dance with me.”

“I don’t know how. I’ve never learned any steps.” She pulled him to his feet anyway.

[Read the full The Infamous Miss Ilsa excerpt...]

Sun
Nov 12 2017 10:00pm

Things Fall Apart: Poldark Season 3, Episode 7, Romelza Heart-to-Heart

Show/EpisodePoldark, Season 3, Episode 7* (US)
Ship(s): Ross/Demelza (Romelza), Dwight/Caroline, Drake/Morwenna

*Editors Note: This is Episode 7 as broadcast by Masterpiece PBS in the U.S. This episode originally aired on BBC One as Episode 8.

Warning: this episode has allusions to sexual assault, but nothing explicit on screen. It is mentioned in this recap.

There's a whole lot of sniping going on in this week's Poldark, but that's the least of everyone's worries. 

A lot has happened—George gets elected to Parliament, Morwenna has the idiot Whitworth's baby, Ross and George mince words in a pub, Demelza is unsure whether or not Ross is worth all of his trouble, and Elizabeth is left behind at Trenwith. 

[Read more...]

Sun
Nov 12 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

Heather McCollum Excerpt: The Devil of Dunakin Castle

Heather McCollum

The Devil of Dunakin Castle by Heather McCollum

Englishwoman, Grace Ellington, has made a home in Scotland, but to escape from the meddling people around her who seem to think she needs to wed right away—because women need saving, right? —she volunteers to journey north to aid a friend in childbirth.

Keir MacKinnon, the younger brother of the MacKinnon clan chief, has been raised to strike fear in people, on and off the battlefield. Trained to uphold MacKinnon law, he has hardened into a lethal warrior. Caught in a Highland blizzard with the feisty Grace, Keir realizes the beautiful woman who saved him can also save his nephew’s life.

Sparks fly when he takes her against her will to his home, and Grace’s courage is put to the ultimate test. Is Keir MacKinnon the passionate, kind man she saved in the Highland blizzard, or is he truly the cruel executioner who seeks to solve all issues by the sword?

Get a sneak peek at Heather McCollum's The Devil of Dunakin Castle (available November 13, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Grace had wanted adventure, and by God she’d found one. And damnation, it was going to kill her.

[Read the full The Devil of Dunakin Castle excerpt...]

Sun
Nov 12 2017 10:00am

Perpetual Anticipation: Top 10 Moments in the Sizzling Slow Burn of Miss Fisher and Jack

Phryne and Jack of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

The long and flirty road of Phryne Fisher and Jack Robinson in “The Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries”  has been one of growing respect and friendship, interrupted opportunities, and intense eye-banging. Honestly, every single episode has at least one scene to make a shipper melt. Jack's first barely there smile when Phryne feeds him in “The Green Mill Murder.” Phryne sitting fetchingly on Jack's desk as they discuss a case. Every time Jack inadvertently runs into some appealing part of her anatomy. And the witty banter of two smart people sharing a constant dance of push and pull.

But of course, some episodes carry particular shipping weight. Here are ten landmark moments in the Phrack relationship.

“I Do Like a Man With a Plan”

Season 1, Episode 1, “Cocaine Blues”

The pattern is set at Miss Fisher and Jack's first meeting, in which his arsenal of authority and male dominance utterly fails to stop her from investigating a murder. Jack, a classic starchy hero, displays reluctant recognition of her deductive skills, and even more reluctant recognition of her charms, eyeing her as she walks away for the first of many times.

[Read more...]

Sat
Nov 11 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

Lexi Blake Excerpt: At Your Service, Masters and Mercenaries

Lexi Blake

At Your Service, Masters and Mercenaries by Lexi Blake

Juliana O'Neil's promising future was burned away in the heat of battle. She had been an officer with a bright future in the military, but now she is struggling to survive. Her husband gone and her career in shambles, she finds a job at Top as a hostess and tries to put together the pieces of her life. The last thing she needs is any kind of male attention, but she can't help but be amused at her neighbor and coworker's lothario antics. Not that she would have anything to do with him, at least not for more than one night.

Javier Leones doesn't understand monogamy. No woman could ever be enough for his endless libido, but he has to admit Juliana has his attention. For reasons he doesn't fully understand, he can't seem to get the gorgeous redhead with the sad eyes out of his head. After one scorching night together, he realizes he'll never be able to get her out of his system. But with his reputation, he fears she'll never see him as more than a one-night stand.

When their passions collide, these new lovers will be forced to confront Juliana's past and come to terms with Javier's present. Will they find their way or will this reservation be canceled at the last minute?

Get a sneak peek at Lexi Blake's At Your Service, Masters and Mercenaries (available November 14, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Kai stepped out of the kitchen and smiled her way. “You look lovely tonight, Jules. I’m happy to see you here. I think I saw Cal in the dining room. Let me introduce the two of you.”

[Read the full At Your Service excerpt...]

Sat
Nov 11 2017 10:00am

First Look: Denise Grover Swank’s Always You (November 28, 2017)

Always You by Denise Grover Swank

Denise Grover Swank
Always You (Bachelor Brotherhood #3)
Forever / November 28, 2017 / $7.99 print, $3.99 digital

The one-that-got-away trope can be difficult to embrace. If a couple is so right for each other, why did they break up in the first place? If the reasons were legitimate at the time, are they sufficiently and believably resolved? Always You tackles these issues head-on.

Matt Osborne stayed in Kansas City after he graduated from college. He’s made a good life for himself—the only thing missing is a life partner. He even has a family, sort of—he’s his nephew Ethan’s guardian while Ethan’s mother attends medical school on the West Coast. Ethan’s the reason that he volunteered to coach soccer. It seems that more than five-year-old soccer players think Matt’s a terrific guy.

Standing at the edge of a grass soccer field, Matt stared into the sea of parents’ faces and resisted the urge to groan. Obviously, word had spread after last season that Coach Matt was relatively good looking, somewhat successful, loved kids, and most important, was single.

[Read more...]

Fri
Nov 10 2017 1:30pm

That’s Our Spot: Arrow Season 6, Episode 5 Olicity Heart-to-Heart

Arrow, Season 6, Episode 5Show/Episode: Arrow Season 6, Episode 5 “Deathstroke Returns”
Ship(s): Olicity

Arrow 6x05 Captain's Log

Councilwoman Pollard, the woman who introduced the anti-vigilante bill (the same one that’s being pushed to a citywide vote), is targeted by a sniper. Dinah spots the danger in time to save the councilwoman but the sniper gets away. Oliver is unable to handle the issue from City Hall because Slade is in town (and hanging out at his apartment no less!). Slade wants his help to locate his son, who goes by the name Kane. He’s been tracking him all across the globe, since last we saw him, and now in Kasnia, working for the Australian Secret Service but he was captured and is in prison. Slade needs Oliver to use diplomacy to help him, not the Green Arrow, so he wants him to go with him to Kasnia. Uhm. I’m getting a red flag here.

Felicity and Curtis are tracking the sniper who is… Vigilante. Dinah is investigating the sniper’s nest with Diggle. They all question why Vigilante would want to target Pollard. Samanda Watson shows up and has some questions about what Diggle is doing at a crime scene. She wants to interview him officially.

[Read more...]

Fri
Nov 10 2017 12:00pm

First Look: Lecia Cornwall’s Enchanted by the Highlander (November 14, 2017)

Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall

Lecia Cornwall
Enchanted by the Highlander (Highland Fairy Tale #4)
Swerve / November 14, 2017 / $3.99 digital

Lecia Cornwall’s latest in her Highland Fairytale series, Enchanted by the Highlander, is exactly that: Enchanting. The story flows, and the romance buds until the leads have their HEA. I found chills erupting all over my skin several times and it involved moments where the Hero, John Erly, and the Heroine, Gillian MacLeod didn’t even kiss. You see, Gillian MacLeod is the shy MacLeod. The one whom all her sisters’ feel they must talk for and protect. But beneath her shy façade is a woman capable of protecting herself, a woman who knows her mind, and until recently felt silenced.

Everything changes when she falls for John Erly, the Sassenach. Her father, the fearless Laird MacLeod of Glen Iolair, would never allow his daughter to marry an Englishman. Yet, that is who owns her heart. Though not because John pursues the lass. Rather, he tries in vain to avoid her, because he knows he’s not worthy of her love.

[Read more...]

Fri
Nov 10 2017 9:30am
Excerpt

Santino Hassell Excerpt: Citywide

Santino Hassell

Citywide by Santino Hassell

A collection of standalone stories....

A record-breaking heat wave engulfs the Five Boroughs, and emotions run as hot as the temperatures.

In REROUTED, Chris Mendez is trying to live a drama-free life. That doesn't include another threesome with Jace and Aiden Fairbairn. But then a citywide blackout leaves them trapped together, and Chris is forced to re-examine everything he thought he knew about relationships and his own heart.

In GRIDLOCKED, former Marine Tonya Maldonado is keeping real estate heiress Meredith Stone on permanent ignore. Mere isn't Tonya's type. Not even close. Who cares if she kisses like a dream and has the filthiest mouth this side of the East River? But then a security detail at a summer party ends with her saving Mere's life and discovering they have more chemistry than she'd ever imagined.

In DERAILED, Stephanie Quinones escapes the heat and her complicated love life by going on a company retreat. Trouble is, it's a couples' retreat, and she lied about having a boyfriend. Unfortunately, the only person willing to play pretend is her on-again/off-again fling, Angel León. They're currently “off again,” but after a week in the woods, Stephanie realizes she wouldn't mind them being permanently on.

Get a sneak peek at Santino Hassell's Citywide (available November 13, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

 “I’m not gonna lie and say I haven’t been thinking about moving on,” I admitted, nudging the iPad away. “I want to move out of Jamaica, and I want a new car, and I need more money for down payments and new furniture. It’s just that . . .”

Aiden raised an eyebrow, waiting, and kept waiting even when Jace slipped into the room to stand beside him. He’d already stripped down to his underwear and bare feet, although he was still wearing his threadbare T-shirt. After winding his thin arms around Aiden’s muscular torso, he peered at me with a devilish grin.

“What are we talking about?”

[Read the full Citywide excerpt...]

Thu
Nov 9 2017 3:30pm

One Last Time: Romance News & Deals from Isabelle Ronin, Kendall Ryan, and More

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

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Chasing Red by Isabelle Ronin

Deal Alert: Isabelle Ronin's new adult romance Chasing Red is $.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* Caleb Lockhart is a man with everything—or at least he thinks he is until he meets Veronica Strafford, a siren in a red dress that he has to have in his life. Don't forget the New Adult Best Bets for October!

Deal Alert: Christi Caldwell's historical romance My Lady of Deception is $.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* Spend a season with Caldwell as Georgina Wilcox is forced to be a servant in her father, “The Fox”'s home. When he captures Lord Adam Markham, Georgina finds herself fascinated and drawn to the dashing man.

[+Deals from Kendall Ryan and Becky McGraw]

Thu
Nov 9 2017 1:30pm

First Look: May McGoldrick’s Romancing the Scot (November 14, 2017)

Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick

May McGoldrick
Romancing the Scot (Pennington Family #1)
Swerve / November 14, 2017 / $3.99 digital

In Romancing the Scot, May McGoldrick begins a new series on the next generation of Penningtons. We start with Hugh Pennington, Viscount Greysteil. Hugh is an avid balloonist who finds a surprise in the new basket which has just arrived from Antwerp: A nearly dead woman. Grace Ware was running from the villains who killed her father when she hid in the crate, only to find herself nailed in and in a ship’s hold for a five day trip to Scotland. It was touch-and-go, but Hugh and his sister Jo save Grace’s life and she slowly recovers from her ordeal. While healing, she learns that she and Hugh were on opposite sides of the late war in France.

Grace accompanied her father to war, an Irish Colonel who fought with the French against the English. Hugh lead a Scots brigade and was a hero of the Napoleonic wars. He is now Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts in the Borders. As they get to know each other and Grace learns of Hugh’s history, she realizes that they were all too often at the same place.

[Read more...]

Thu
Nov 9 2017 11:01am
Excerpt

A.E. Jones Excerpt: To Have and To Howl

A.E. Jones

To Have and To Howl by A.E. Jones

Law means following the rules. Love means breaking them.

Julia Cole is a lawyer on a mission. After three long years, her husband's murderers have been convicted. Until their leader breaks out of magically-strengthened, impossible-to-break-handcuffs in the courtroom, that is. Someone is helping them. And that someone is threatening Julia. But she will not back down from them or the man tasked to protect her...a man who scrambles her long-buried emotions.

Jack Dawson is a werewolf with a secret. One that could change his life forever. But his problems have to take a back seat while he protects Julia. He can't afford to let down his guard—against the evil forces threatening Julia, against his growing feelings for her, fighting to be heard, and against his secret—which could destroy everything.

Can Julia and Jack finally let go of their pasts and begin a new future together?

Get a sneak peek at A.E. Jones's To Have and To Howl (available November 13, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Jack stopped in front of Julia’s office door and watched her hunched over her computer, typing away. He knocked on the doorjamb.

She looked up from her computer screen, and blinked. “How’s it going?”

“Okay. We’ve checked your house and made sure everything is physically and magically secure.”

“Where’s your brother?”

[Read the full To Have and To Howl excerpt...]

Thu
Nov 9 2017 9:30am

Everything I Learned About Wilderness Survival I Learned in Girl Scouts

Watch Point by Cecilia Tan

Today we're thrilled to welcome Cecilia Tan (Watch Point) to Heroes and Heartbreakers! Research can sometimes be the most fun part of writing, but with Cecilia everything she learned for her recent Navy SEAL romance... she may have just learned it all as a Girl Scout! Thanks for coming by, Cecilia!

One of the fun things about being a writer is getting to research all kinds of interesting things for my books. When I started writing a Navy SEAL hero, I immediately set to work researching Navy SEALs. (There's a lot to know.) But sometimes real-life experience works its way into my novels in unexpected ways. When my Navy SEAL hero kidnaps a billionaire's son to a rocky island in Maine (in December, no less) I ended up falling back on my knowledge, not of the Navy SEALs, but the Girl Scouts. 

I started in Scouting when my family had moved to a new town when I was about 10. I was a bookish nerd having trouble making friends at my new school. Since I didn't have any friends (yet), I spent a lot of time in the woods behind our house pretending I was in a Jack London story. I read a lot of “wilderness survival” books: Julie of the Wolves, Robinson Crusoe, etc. In The Lord of the Rings, I ate up all the stuff about traipsing across Middle Earth. My mother discovered that the nearest Girl Scout troop met at the church walking distance to our house, and she signed me up hoping that I'd find my niche.

[Read more...]

Thu
Nov 9 2017 8:04am

TV Shows and Clothing Brands: Tacky or Perfect?

Scandal had a clothing line with The Limited. Riverdale's Jughead's beanie at Hot Topic. Mad Men had a brand at The Banana Republic. With so many TV shows and movies having lines at clothings stores, it can be hard to resist! 

Would you buy a clothes based on your favorite show or do you find it tacky or are they clothes you would wear? 

Tell me your thoughts down in the comments!

Wed
Nov 8 2017 4:00pm

Honor Bound: Romance News & Deals from JD Robb, Elizabeth Boyce, 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

The Honorables by Elizabeth Boyce

Deal Alert: Elizabeth Boyce's Regency historical romance series The Honorables is $.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* Get 5 complete stories from Boyce, including Honor Among Thieves “the first book in the new Honorables Series, this story is perhaps the most scandalous of all...” Enjoy 5 kick-ass heroines and a “band of brothers” know as The Honorables.

Deal Alert: Tricia O'Malley's paranormal romance Wild Irish Eyes is $.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* Pub owner Cait Gallagher craves a moment of silence from the voices in her head...because she's a psychic. She's had feelings for her handsome landlord, Shane MacAuliffe for years, but their constant bickering back and forth infuriates and intrigues them both. This pseudo-office romance is sure to delight!

[+A deal from JD Robb]

Wed
Nov 8 2017 1:30pm

How ’90s YA Taught Me to Love the Reformed Bad Boy

Take the Lead by Alexis Daria

Today we're thrilled to welcome Alexis Daria (Take the Lead) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. It's always fun to talk about how each of us came to romance, and Alexis is here today to talk about one of the aspects of romance that drew her in from the very beginning: the reformed bad boy! Thanks, Alexis!

Many romance readers remember their first taste of the genre. Maybe they found a book under their sister’s bed, or their mother left some on the nightstand, or their friend dragged them to the library. However, looking back further might reveal an interest in HEAs that started before that moment. Maybe that’s why finding that first romance novel was like uncovering a treasure, a feeling of, “Ah, this is what I’ve been looking for.” For me, 90s YA played a big role in setting me on the path toward reading romance.

My mother is an avid romance reader. When I was a kid, she’d read me the funny parts of the books she was reading, but told me I was too young to read them myself. (Thanks for the mixed messages, Mom.) When she found I’ll Be Seeing You (1996) by Lurlene McDaniel on the YA shelf in the bookstore, I suspect she was glad to discover a romance novel that was age-appropriate for her then-thirteen-year-old daughter. We both read and enjoyed it, although I can now see the problem with a story whose main conflict hinges on the girl thinking she’s too ugly for the boy. Nevertheless, encouraged by my interest, my mother brought home more Lurlene McDaniel titles for me to read.

Little did we know.

[Read more...]

Wed
Nov 8 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Alisha Rai’s Wrong to Need You (November 28, 2017)

Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai
Wrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts #2)
Avon / November 28, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

 If someone asked me to describe Alisha Rai’s books, I’d say that she excels at writing three things in particular: heroines, family, and sexual tension. Her latest book, Wrong to Need You, is a great example of Rai’s strengths. The Forbidden Hearts series is full of secrets, intense emotions, and forbidden love, and features men and women who are, despite their circumstances, genuinely good people.

Sadia Ahmed is the sister-in-law of the heroine of Hate to Want You, but she’s so much more. Sadia is a single mom to six-year-old Kareem, middle of five Pakistani-American sisters, owner/manager of the Kane family cafe, bartender at O’Killian’s, and a conflicted widow. As we learn early in the book, Sadia and her late husband, Paul, were about to divorce when he died, but because she’s afraid of being seen as a failure, Sadia hasn’t told anyone. She also sort of hates running the cafe but, again, doesn’t want to sell it and be seen as a failure. Alisha Rai reliably delivers heroines who have complex inner lives and motivations, and Sadia is no exception.

[Read more...]

Wed
Nov 8 2017 11:17am
Excerpt

Daisy Goodwin Excerpt: Victoria and Albert, A Royal Love Affair

Victoria & Albert by Daisy Goodwin

The official companion to the second season of the PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria by award-winning creator and screenwriter Daisy Goodwin.

More than 16 million viewers watched the first season of the Masterpiece presentation of Victoria, created and written by Daisy Goodwin—the highest-rated PBS drama in twenty years, second only to Downton Abbey. But what happened after the Queen married her handsome prince? Did they live happily ever after, or did their marriage, like so many royal marriages past and present, fizzle into a loveless round of duty?

This all-new companion book by Daisy Goodwin and Sara Sheridan transports us to the private world of Victoria and Albert. Though first cousins, they could not have been more different: Victoria was impulsive, emotional, and capricious, Albert cautious, self-controlled, and logical. But together they forged a bond with each other and with their people that would change the world. Drawing on letters and diaries and fresh insights into royal history, this gorgeous book charts the constant ebb and flow of power within the couple’s surprisingly ardent and modern marriage.

Sumptuously illustrated and full of rich insider detail, Victoria & Albert takes us behind the scenes of the magnificent TV drama, including fascinating, in-depth information on the actors, the props, and the costumes – and bringing an extraordinary royal marriage even more fully to life.

Get a sneak peek at Daisy Goodwin's Victoria & Albert (available November 21, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

It could have been a disaster. First cousins catapulted into a match that suited the dynastic ambitions of their relatives. A pair who seemed to have nothing in common: he was a highbrow who had studied science and philosophy; she liked dancing and watching lion tamers. He got up early and ate very frugally; she liked to sleep in and loved tucking into a plate of lamb chops. All they had in common was their liking for dogs (he had a greyhound called Eos; she, of course, had Dash, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel), music—oh, and an overwhelming physical attraction for each other.

You only have to read Victoria’s diaries during their courtship to know that this is no marriage of convenience but a throbbingly passionate love match. She writes about Albert in his white cashmere breeches with nothing underneath; he writes about how his whole soul longs for Victoria. This was a pair who couldn’t keep their hands off each other, as their nine children in seventeen years testifies. One of my favourite facts about Albert is that he came up with a special gadget that meant he could lock their door without getting out of bed, which was handy if you had a palace full of servants and children. But Victoria and Albert’s marriage was passionate in every sense. They were the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of the nineteenth century—two huge personalities who were locked in a battle for mystery over the other. They fought fiercely, with stand-up rows that raged all over the palace, and then they made up with equal passion. Their rows were over things that many modern couples can relate to: the upbringing of their children, the amount of time they spent away from each other, the inequality between them when it came to status—as Albert wrote sadly to one of his friend, ‘I am the husband but not the master in the house.’

[Read the full Victoria and Albert excerpt...]

Wed
Nov 8 2017 9:30am

First Look: C.D. Reiss’s Bodyguard (November 14, 2017)

Bodyguard by CD Reiss

CD Reiss
Bodyguard (Hollywood A-List #2)
Montlake / November 14, 2017 / $12.95 print, $3.99 digital

“My name is Mandy, and I’m addicted to bodyguard romances.”  “Hiiiiii Mandy.”

Addicted? YES. Bodyguard romances are totally reader catnip for me.  I have Tara Wyatt and her absolutely fantastic Bodyguard series to blame because after reading that series, I always kept an eye out for the bodyguard/protection storyline.  Lo and behold, who hooks me with that storyline? The glorious and uber talented, CD Reiss. After reading and thoroughly enjoying Bombshell, the first book in the Hollywood A-List series, I knew I’d be reading whatever Ms. Reiss was writing next.  Luckily for me, it was a bodyguard romance! I was jumping for joy because I knew, I just knew it would be excellent. And it was.

Emily is a talented choreographer for her best friend and superstar singer, Darlene McKenna. She and Darlene left their hometown together as dancers and set off to Hollywood in search of fame and stardom. Darlene finds the fame and stardom, but Emily’s path is redirected to choreography, due to a jerk of an ex-boyfriend.  Vince, the ex, has been stalking her since they broke up. Our sweet, smart and talented Emily is a beautiful bird living in a cage.

[Read more...]