<i>Single-Minded</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Single-Minded: Exclusive Excerpt Lisa Daily "Alex navigates the booby-trapped world of modern dating" <i>Oversight</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Oversight: Exclusive Excerpt Santino Hassell "A broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze..." <i>Coach's Challenge</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Coach's Challenge: Exclusive Excerpt Avon Gale "Succumb to the passion that might cost them everything..." A Binge Guide to Tamsen Parker's Compass Series A Binge Guide to Tamsen Parker's Compass Series Tamsen Parker "I don’t like to think about where I would’ve ended up without him."
From The Blog
June 24, 2017
ICYMI: June’s Free E-Book, Psy-Changeling, Top Lorraine Heath, and more!
Team H & H
June 23, 2017
5 Reasons You Should Listen to Audiobooks
Nicole Leapheart
June 23, 2017
A Definitive Ranking of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson Books
Maggie Boyd
June 22, 2017
10 Dirty Football Terms You Didn't Know Are Legitimate
LizLincoln
June 22, 2017
Love on a Deadline in Liora Blake’s Second Chance Season
Janet Webb
Mon
Jun 26 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Tamsen Parker’s The Cartographer (June 26, 2017)

The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker

Tamsen Parker 
The Cartographer (Compass #6)
Tamsen Parker / June 26, 2017 / $14.99 print, $3.99 digital

Helping people is the best, most important thing I can do.  It’s what I’ve chosen to be faithful to instead of whom.

Reyes (Rey) Llewelyn Walter calls himself a life coach. A purveyor of happiness. A kinky white knight. As the master of BDSM (no pun intended), Rey loves to dive in and work his magic on those he feels could benefit from his tutelage. Which, in his opinion, is everyone. He loves to create happily ever afters or happy for now(s), but refuses to even consider the same for himself. That is until a stop for a nightcap at a local watering hole introduces him to a gorgeous young man who screams masochist to Rey’s sadist.

Just you wait. You have no idea what else I’m going to ask you for.

Aloysius (Allie) Emmett Hart II is a man with a mission. With the face of an angel and a body made for sinning, Allie is fresh out of the military and trying to find a job and a place to live while helping take care of his widowed sister and her kids. Strong, independent, and under a mountain of obligations, Allie isn’t looking for a boyfriend—or a savior.

[Read more...]

Mon
Jun 26 2017 11:31am

Veep’s Amy and Dan Are WHAT?! (Season Finale Spoilers)

Dan and Amy in Veep

WARNING: Major spoilers for the Veep Season 6 finale.

Veep's Amy Brookheimer and Dan Egan have been locked in a will-they-or-won't-they love/hate relationship for so long now that you could be forgiven for thinking it would never happen, especially given that the scales have long seemed tipped toward “hate” and the two hardly interacted at all in Season 6. But patience comes to those who wait...and wait...and wait, apparently, because shippers got the shock of a lifetime in last night's season finale, when Amy revealed that she's pregnant—and that Dan's the father.

[We've gotta discuss this...]

Mon
Jun 26 2017 9:30am

First Look: Jeaniene Frost’s The Sweetest Burn (June 27, 2017)

 The Sweetest Burn by Jeaniene Frost

Jeaniene Frost
The Sweetest Burn (Broken Destiny #2)
HQN / June 27, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

The Sweetest Burn brings a gotta-save-the-day-paced plot, a great dose of the supernatural, and chemistry that sparks. All of those elements are practically expected in a Jeaniene Frost book at this point. She’s the woman who brought us Cat and Bones, Vlad and Leila, after all.

What makes The Sweetest Burn’s Ivy and Adrian’s relationship so remarkable is the way each character’s internal conflict about their relationship fuels the delicious will they won’t they. Ivy is destined to fall in love with Adrian. Adrian is destined to betray her in the ultimate way—the kind that is supposed to leave Ivy dead. They both know these facts. It’s more than a Capulet/Montague thing. This isn’t families warring. It’s Heaven and Hell. Their free will may let them avoid fate, but how can they trust each other?

[Read more...]

Mon
Jun 26 2017 8:02am

Have You Read Any Series Continuities?

Continuity (noun): the unbroken and consistent existence or operation of something over a period of time.

When this word is applied to a new book series, it can really change things. It means that a series you're excited about will be taken on by not one single author, but many! Continuities aren't a new concept, but we're starting to see them more and more in romance. 

Have you read any series that have more than one author attached? What did you think? What have been your favorite examples? Has it lead you to discover any new authors? 

Tell me about it in the comments!

 

Sun
Jun 25 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

Lisa Daily Excerpt: Single-Minded

Lisa Daily

Single-Minded by Lisa Daily

Alex has planned and executed her life with laser focus since she first met her future husband at the play-doh table on the first day of kindergarten. They have a terrific life, a gorgeous house on the bay, and fantastic careers they love. There's only one problem: Alex's husband has a secret. A big one.

Now, Alex’s perfectly planned life has completely fallen apart, her biological clock is starting to feel like the timer on a nuclear device, and she finds herself drooling over her completely-dreamy-but-definitely-off-limits client, a star chef opening a hot new restaurant.

Armed with dating guidance from her oddball collection of advisers—including her gay ex-husband, a foul-mouthed political consultant, a perkily masochistic yogi, and a pot-smoking octogenarian—Alex navigates the booby-trapped world of modern dating, in her search for a second chance at love.

Get a sneak peek at Lisa Daily's Single-Minded (available June 27, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“There are nine guys you have to date before you meet the one you actually fall in love with. Just sleep with two of them and you’ll be all set,” says Darcy. “It’s mandatory, like leveling up in a video game … The bad boy, the quarterback…”

“… the foreign guy, the tantric sex guy, the sensitive artist…,” adds Sam.

[Read the full Single-Minded excerpt...]

Sun
Jun 25 2017 11:00am

5 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for June 2017

Mars Ho by Jennifer Willis

Time to talk about some scifi romance Best Bets from new releases in late May and June.

It was probably inevitable that someone would mix reality shows and the idea of sending people to Mars. Jennifer Willis does a pretty good job with the concept in her new book Mars Ho! (Amazon)  As the book’s blurb says, What would you do for a one-way trip to Mars? The idea is that the reality show exists alongside the world’s space programs and the production team allegedly works with the scientists to assemble a team of eight individuals to establish a new colony on Mars. The actual fact of the situation is that all the tropes of shows like The Bachelor, Survivor, and Big Brother come into play—the scheming, strategizing, alliances, producer shenanigans, real and contrived emergencies…and in the middle of it are Lori Ridgway and Mark Lauren, two decent people with high level skills, who really want to go to Mars. But can they trust each other? Can anyone trust anyone?

The meet-cute as the show begins, with contestants giving up all their personal possessions to don the corporate logo-branded uniforms. (Corporate branding of literally everything the contestants touch, wear or consume is a hilarious and all-too-true running joke in the book.) Lori is lingering over her Victoria’s Secret lingerie and Mark enters the wrong dressing room by mistake. The producers are salivating over the encounter, as you can imagine, especially since he’s naked, so they let the scene go on. Mark says, “How are you supposed to say goodbye to the Earth if you can’t even let go of your underwear?” Yes, but doesn’t he understand it’s high end purple lace underwear?!

[Read more...]

Sat
Jun 24 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

Santino Hassell Excerpt: Oversight

Santino Hassell

Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.

Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.

As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.

Get a sneak peek at Santino Hassell's Oversight (available June 26, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“What if we traded?”

Again, Six just stared at him. This beautiful personification of blankness but with burning black eyes.

“What if you answer one measly little question, and I give you something good in return?”

“Money?”

“I was thinking more along the lines of sex.”

“I’d prefer money.”

[Read the full Oversight excerpt...]

Fri
Jun 23 2017 4:36pm

A Race Against the Clock: Romance News & Deals from Catherine Coulter 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

Hemlock Bay by Catherine CoulterDeal Alert: Catherine Coulter's sixth Savich and Sherlock suspense novel, Hemlock Bay, is #1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock's latest case hits close to home as they race to uncover the truth about Savich's sister's car accident. Was it a suicide attempt or sabotage? Here's what you need to know about the (too?) long-running series...

Deal Alert: Iris Johansen's retro romance The Lady and the Unicorn, first published in 1983, is $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Billionaire Rafe is confined to his home as he recovers from a nasty bout of pneumonia and he's going stir-crazy until lovely game warden Janna sneaks onto his property. She's determined to convince him to give her the land she needs to save endangered animals, and he's determined to have her... Strike it rich with more billionaire heroes recommended by fellow readers.

Deal Alert: Marina Adair's contemporary romance Chasing I Do, first in The Eastons series, is $1.99 in e-book at Amazon.* After learning her fiance is cheating, Darcy runs out of the wedding while carrying a big secret: She's pregnant. When she runs into her ex's brother, Gage, a couple years later, she can't help but be drawn to him, and he to her... How do you feel about the secret baby trope?

[+Tiffany Reisz cover & Pride Month deals!...]

Fri
Jun 23 2017 2:00pm

“We would play video games together all the time”: 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!


TeddyP had a true friends to lovers story

TeddyP in Games: A Gateway to Romance

Before my girlfriend and I started dating, we would play video games together all the time. Our love for video gaming was part of the reason we became such close friends. Fast-forward 5 years, one things led to another and we ended up falling in love with each other (friends to lover trope).

The first night we first kissed we were in the middle of playing the game Bioshock... a game we have played together 2 other times. 3 years later, we are still playing video games together... and still kissing.

So, yeah, video games DO lead to romance... and it is frakin' sweet.

[+2 more comments of the week]

Fri
Jun 23 2017 1:00pm

5 Reasons You Should Listen to Audiobooks

Source: Shutterstock

Audiobooks aren’t new, and certainly with the popularity of apps like Overdrive and Audible, there is more accessibility than ever. Recently I have become obsessed with audiobooks, in no small part because my workload leaves my brain nothing but sludge at the end of the day. If you haven’t listened to a book in a while, this summer is the perfect time to get into the habit. You won’t regret it! Make no mistake however; a terrible narrator or terrible source material can turn you off, but it’s worth the risk and here’s why:

1. It’s the perfect opportunity to reconnect with your favorite reads.

Many moons ago when I discovered The Black Dagger Brotherhood book series, I also discovered Jim Frangione’s voice in the audiobooks, and the same goes for Kimberly Alexis, who has been the voice for most of the Anita Blake series audiobooks. The perfect synergy of voice and source material can take your imagination to another level, just when you think you know the story by heart.

[Read more...]

Fri
Jun 23 2017 12:05pm
Excerpt

Avon Gale Excerpt: Coach’s Challenge

Avon Gale

It's been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he's built a successful career behind the bench. When he's offered the opportunity to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he's convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds that the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression. And it only gets worse when Shane's rough good looks give Troy inappropriate thoughts about a member of his team, even if Shane's set to retire at the end of the season.

Shane's career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he's an aging goon and with a team that doesn't trust him, the coach, or each other. Despite his determination to not get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team... and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.

Get a sneak peek at Avon Gale's Coach's Challenge (available June 26, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

They were both silent as the bartender returned with two drinks—Shane’s Coke had two cherries that time—and took Callahan’s bill with an air kiss when Callahan told him gruffly to keep the change.

“So this at least answers my question.”

[Read the full Coach’s Challenge excerpt...]

Fri
Jun 23 2017 9:30am

A Definitive Ranking of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson Books, Based on Swoonworthiness

Which Mercy Thompson book is the most romantic?

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Romantic fantasy has more than its share of super couples.  Ilona Andrews has three of them: Kate and Curran from The Kate Daniels series, Dina Demille and Sean Evans from the Innkeeper Chronicles and Nevada Baylor and Connor “Mad” Rogan from The Hidden Legacy series. Kelley Armstrong has Elena Michaels and Clay from The Otherworld series. Then there’s Bones and Cat from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series; Charley and Reyes from the Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones and Anna and Charles from Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series. But perhaps one of the BEST loved super couples of all time is Briggs’ Mercy and Adam from the Mercedes Thompson series.

All of these couples have the advantage of having their romance grow over the course of many publications.  We get to see Mercy and Adam move from a frenemies-neighbors status to their current married state slowly, as their love story progresses through 10 books, numerous short stories and even a few graphic novels.

But while the graphic novels and short stories provide truly interesting insight into how Adam and Mercy’s world is formed and how all the many, many people they interact with fit into it, it is the books that truly give us the courtship payoff. In order to really appreciate the outcome, the books MUST be read in order. Not only does this provide the natural progression of the affair, it is imperative if you are to have any sense of the overlying plot of the series. If you want to read the books in order and watch this luscious love story unfold from beginning to end, follow this excellent timeline.  That said, some books are more romantic than others so here is their swoon ranking:

10. Blood Bound (Book 2)

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

This is the second book in the series but introduces us more to Adam’s competition than it moves the Mercy/Adam relationship forward. Here we learn of Mercy and Samuel (Mercy’s ex) past. We also have some tender moments with Mercy’s longtime friend, Stefan, who clearly has more feelings for her than she does for him. 

[Read more...]

Fri
Jun 23 2017 8:08am

What Genre or Type of Book Do You Keep Trying to Make “Work”?

There's always that one genre or type of book or author that we know we should like... and yet something keeps holding us back. For example, when talking with a friend recently, she lamented that she knew she should like steampunk but just couldn't find the right book as her entry. Do you feel that way? Do you have a genre like that? Have you been able to find the book that made the genre click for you? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

 

Thu
Jun 22 2017 4:30pm

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Romance News & Deals from Julie Garwood, Theresa Romain 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

Hotshot by Julie Garwood

Deal Alert: Julie Garwood's romantic suspense novel Hotshot is $1.99 at Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* Peyton Lockhart has inherited a charming oceanfront resort that has to show a profit in order to stay in the family. When she realizes someone is out to sabotage her and the threats escalate into dangerous territory, she goes to childhood friend and FBI agent Finn MacBain for help. Julie Garwood has written in a couple different subgenres—how many of her titles have you read?

Deal Alert: Theresa Romain's historical romance A Gentleman's Game is $.99 at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | etc.* Mystery takes center stage in this Regency romance. Nathaniel Chandler has learned to trade on his charm after his family's streak of bad luck. He suspects Rosalind Agate, his father's new secretary, has something to do with the latest bad luck that's befallen him, but they both have to put aside their suspicions in order to save both their lives. Try out a steamy excerpt from A Gentleman's Game

Deal Alert: Emma Hart's contemporary romance Dirty Past is $1.99 at Kobo | iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Ella's life gets interesting after she walks out of her wedding, throws her phone in a lake, and takes a job as a PA for Dirty B, a rock band full of dreamy, too sexy men. Band member Tate Burke has always been the love 'em and leave 'em type, but when Ella's terrible ex turns back up, a protective streak he didn't know he had turns their relationship into so much more. Who tops the charts as your favorite rock stars of romance?

[+Today on H&H]

Thu
Jun 22 2017 2:00pm

10 Dirty Football Terms You Didn’t Know Are Legitimate

Source: Shutterstock

Sports romances are hot these days, and it's not just because athletes usually have a six-pack and a pinchable butt. Football players are tough and manly, not to mention they do all right financially. And several are quite nice to look at. As a lifelong football fan and romance reader, this is one of my favorite trends yet.

In addition, football is loaded with terms that carry double meaning. The kind that make me snicker like a pre-teen boy when they come out of Troy Aikman's mouth during a broadcast. Here I share 10 of those terms so they don't make you do a spit-take the first time you read them in a romance novel.

Tight end: The classic double-entendre football term. Jokes about players having tight ends are almost cliché at this point. But tight ends do typically have especially tight (rear) ends. In football, the tight end is an offensive player who functions as both a receiver (catches the ball) and a blocker (keeps the defensive players from getting to the player with the ball). They're usually bigger guys, like 6'6", 265-pound Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots. Gronk has even been made somewhat infamous in the romance world thanks to the self-published fanfic of sorts, A Gronking to Remember.

Score: If a football-playing romance hero plays his cards right, this is something he can do twice. First by scoring points on the football field, then by scoring with the heroine in bed. On the field, the defense tries to stop him; in romance, he likewise encounters obstacles he must overcome to score his happily ever after (interpret HEA however you'd like).

[Read more...]

Thu
Jun 22 2017 1:00pm

Love on a Deadline in Liora Blake’s Second Chance Season

Second Chance Season by Liora BlakeThinking over the very enjoyable Second Chance Season, the lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine” kept running through my mind: “You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us…” Chicago-born writer Cara Cavanaugh takes the biggest chance of her life when she turns down a lucrative offer from a big-city newspaper and takes a freelance assignment in the small Colorado town of Hotchkiss. Is this going to be a small-town-life-rules trope tale? Particularly since the “Grand Valley series” encompasses the towns of Paonia and Palisade,

 

…where the wineries, orchards, and a bunch of crafty artisan businesses are the big draw in this once quiet part of southwestern Colorado. While the Grand Valley used to be nothing more than an afterthought in the state, now—thanks to whoever dreamed up the concept of agritourism—it’s a destination.

Not so fast on that prediction.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jun 22 2017 12:00pm
Reprint

Tamsen Parker’s Compass Series: “There’s No Shame Here”

Tamsen Parker

The Cartographer by Tamsen ParkerIt's always sad to see a series end, but with every ending is a new beginning... or so the saying goes. Tamsen Parker has given us six hot reads in her Compass series, but if you're new to the series, Tamsen is here today to introduce an excerpt to the first book in the series that will leave you wanting to binge the entire hexalogy! 

On June 26th, the sixth and final book in the Compass series will release. Having The Cartographer out in the world will be bittersweet since I’ve been writing books in this universe since I started publishing. When I first started writing these books, I anticipated Personal Geography and Intimate Geography being a duology telling the story of India Burke and Cris Ardmore, a.k.a. my Scarlett O’Hara submissive heroine and her beta Dom hero.

But a funny thing happened. Those books turned out to be almost as much about India’s relationship with her BFF Reyes Walter as they did her romance with Cris. And people started asking for Rey’s book. In the meantime, I had ideas for some of India’s co-workers and colleagues to get their own HEAs which I gave them in True North and Due South, and Rey stuck his nose in their business too because he cannot even help himself.

Though the stories differ in trope (including a second chance redemption romance, and a holiday office romance), kinks (D/s, bondage, impact play, exhibitionism, voyeurism, humiliation play, violet wand, rope, and more), and pairings (Books 1-5 are m/f, Book 6 is m/m), the one overarching theme is that there’s nothing wrong with wanting what you want, it’s how you go about getting it that matters.

Which I think is why Rey ended up being the glue of the series. He’s taken it upon himself to help people get what they want and feel good about getting it. The characters in the Compass series are far from perfect—where’s the fun in that anyhow?—but they offer emotionally intense and realistic BDSM (even so, please to not be using as a How-To Manual!). They all have their hang-ups—some about sex, some about kink, but most of all about feelings (OMG, feelings are hard). But no matter how self-conscious or uncomfortable the heroes and heroines feel, I hope it’s clear there’s no shame here. About the kinks they’re into, about the kind of sex they want to have, or about the complicated feelings that come along with loving another person. 

To celebrate the wrapping up of the series, the first book, Personal Geography, is free at all retailers for a limited time. Enjoy an excerpt of India and Rey’s banter from the opening of Personal Geography below, and then come along for the HEAs of India and Cris, Slade and Pressly, Evans and Lucy, and last but certainly not least, Rey and Allie. Thanks for joining me on this journey, and happy reading!

[Read more...]

Thu
Jun 22 2017 9:30am

Jenna Bayley-Burke’s Just Married: First Comes LoveFriends with Benefits, Then Comes Marriage

Just Married by Jenna Bayley-BurkeJune’s book club pick is Just Married by Jenna Bayley-Burke. This book ticks all the romance trope boxes. For any romance reader, it’s like a big hug with all of the elements of a romance story we know and love. It was a fast read for me because Jenna does a great job of bringing these characters to life. There’s intimacy and banter and a lot of unresolved issues to move the story along.

Miranda is a successful lawyer living in Seattle that enjoys a friends with benefits relationship with her BFF Callum. Callum is an uber successful businessman and he’s having issues with an inheritance from his father. A clause requires a wife and an heir and who better to help than his Miranda. One little issue. Miranda has no idea that she’s about to become his wife.

“Mira had the ability to look sexy and innocent at the same time, and no matter how often he’d seen her put on that grin it got him every time.”

[Read more...]

Thu
Jun 22 2017 8:25am

How Many Books Can You Read at Once?

Juggling Briefcase and Baby by Jessica Hart

During the summer it's hard enough to juggle work, vacation, kids home from school, and all the other things that life throws our way. It may be even harder to get in that reading time. However, some still manage to read a book or two during these summer months—and sometimes even several books at the same time. Can you alternate between multiple books at the same time? If so, how many books are you reading at once? 

Tell us how you manage to juggle so many different books down in the comments!