<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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Showing posts tagged: Artists click to see more stuff tagged with Artists
Mar 26 2015 8:30am

Love Is In the Air: Not-Your-Usual-Historicals Best Bets for March 2015

March is that time of year when we’re all desperate for daffodils and Easter candy, but would happily settle for someone to dig us out of the snow bank where we’ve been imprisoned for months on end.  After the longest, coldest winter that never seems to want to end, what better way to get ready for spring than with a new crop of unusual historicals!  And this spring really has sprung with some Regency era romances featuring twists, a gritty Victorian that set my heart racing, and a plethora of titles launching brand new series.


His Wicked Reputation by Madeline Hunter

Gareth Fitzallen is celebrated for four things: his handsome face, his notable charm, his aristocratic connections, and an ability to give the kind of pleasure that has women begging for more. Normally he bestows his talents on experienced, worldly women. But when he heads to Langdon’s End to restore a property he inherited—and to investigate a massive art theft—he lays plans to seduce a most unlikely lady.

Eva Russell lives a spinster’s life of precarious finances and limited dreams while clinging to her family’s old gentry status. She supports herself by copying paintings while she plots to marry her lovely sister to a well-established man. Everyone warns her of Gareth’s reputation, and advises her to lock her sister away. Only it is not her sister Gareth desires. One look, and she knows he is trouble. One kiss, however, proves she is no match for this master of seduction.

A Regency-era romance with a twist, Booklist says, “Hunter’s PhD in art history stands her in good stead in this fascinating, danger-tinged novel, the first in a new trilogy.”

[What else awaits this month?...]

Mar 4 2015 2:50pm

First Look: Colleen Hoover’s Confess (March 10, 2015)

Confess by Colleen HooverColleen Hoover
Simon & Schuster / March 10, 2015 /

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

Colleen Hoover’s gift for captivating narratives and complicated characters makes for stories of intense emotional conflict. You feel everything that the characters to. I never know what to expect when I start a Colleen Hoover book, I just know that I'm going on one hell of a journey. Confess did not disappoint. It grabbed me from the prologue and the characters lodged themselves firmly in my heart.

[They're nice and cozy in there...]

Jan 27 2015 9:30am

First Look: Victoria Dahl’s Flirting with Disaster (January 27, 2015)

Flirting with Disaster by Victoria DahlVictoria Dahl
Flirting with Disaster (Girls' Night Out #2)
HQN / January 27, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

Artist Isabelle West has good reasons for preferring a solitary life. Tucked away in a cabin in the woods, she has everything she needs…except a red-hot love life. That is, until a hard-bodied US marshal threatens to unearth secrets she's spent years protecting. But giving in to the sparks flying between them can only lead to one thing…disaster.

Tom Duncan lives by the letter of the law. But no one has tempted him—or confused him—more than free-spirited Isabelle, who arouses his suspicion and his desire. As their connection grows, and their nights get hotter, they find their wild attraction might shake everything he stands for—and expose everything she has to hide. 

Flirting with Disaster is the second book in Victoria Dahl's new contemporary romance series, Jackson: Girl’s Night Out. The series follows a group of women who are friends in a small town, most of whom are out of their twenties. I’ve followed Dahl on Twitter for years, and I’ve always been interested in trying her contemporary romances because of the voice she’s projected as an authorial brand. Flirting with Disaster met every expectation in voice, and was far from the usual small town based romance novel.

[You've piqued our interest!]

Dec 8 2014 12:00pm

Untouched: Exclusive Excerpt

Lauren Hawkeye

Untouched by Lauren Hawkeye

Some secrets are best left locked away in the past….

Alexa Kendrick has no recollection of the car accident that left her scarred and sent her life careening wildly off course. When the half-sister she thought she’d never meet shows up at her door with an invitation to a new life, Alexa finds herself in Florence, Arizona, a town notorious for being populated with more prison inmates than actual citizens…a town that has done its best to hide its own dark secret.

After Ellie is called out of town, she leaves her sister with the keys to her flower shop and Alexa finds herself swapping lives with her sibling: running Ellie’s business, living in the house left to them both by their absentee father…and forging a smoldering relationship with sexy-as-sin penitentiary officer, Nate Fury—a man with his own demons.

But arranging flowers by day and tangling with the only man who has ever seen her real self by night isn’t enough to silence the mysterious panic that fuels Alexa’s dark dreams. When Nate brings home a book written by an inmate, one describing an unspeakable crime, the shackles binding Alexa’s own lost memories begin to shatter. And as the devastating truth comes to light, she realizes that Nate holds the key to unlocking her past, as well as her heart.

This excerpt is part of a great blog tour, see the other stops on the tour, and read the other excerpts:

12/3       Fiction Vixen
12/4       Smexy Books
12/5       The Sub Cub Books
12/6       Vilma's Book Blog
12/8       Heroes and Heartbreakers (That's us!)

Get a sneak peek of Lauren Hawkeye's Untouched (available December 9, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

There was nothing for her here. Her mother had been right. Now she was stuck, prolonging the agony until Ellie got back.

Scowling, she pulled a pen from her purse and, pulling a napkin from the metal dispenser on the table, started to sketch. After she’d inked the first few curves of the waitress’ face, she realized with a start that this was the most art that she’d done in a year.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt from Untouched...]

Sep 5 2014 10:00am

Broke, Homeless, and Hated: Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Most Down-on-Their-Luck Heroines

Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsA down-on-her-luck heroine is a fairly common and an often used plot device. but that said, nobody writes them better than Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Phillips’s forte is melding pathos and humor in an inimitable way that has us both empathizing and laughing at the heroine’s situation, even as we watch her face formidable challenges. Being a Susan Elizabeth Phillips heroine is not for sissies, because for most of the book the heroine is living by two truisms: only the strong survive and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Most of Phillips’ heroines have some type of financial problem, but others—well they’re just drowning in bad luck. Many heroines had some horrific past incidences, like the rape Phoebe Somerville experienced, but this list is based on current circumstances. Here in my opinionated opinion are the top five luckless Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ heroines:

5. Isabelle Favor from Breathing Room

Deciding Factor for placement: Broke, jobless, jilted, joke on Letterman, I.R.S. tax bill

A heroine who gets to escape her troubles by living in Italy for two months shouldn’t seem pathetic, but is easy to pity Isabelle Favor. Her accountant runs off with her money, leaving her at the mercy of the I.R.S. and David Letterman. Then her boyfriend dumps her, explaining that he has fallen for someone else, and together they’re having a baby. He then cruelly twists the knife by stating his palm pilot is warmer in bed than Isabelle. As Isabelle’s troubles are exposed, her career as a life coach hits the skids. If she is not successful in the four cornerstones of her business—healthy relationship, professional pride, financial responsibility and spiritual dedication, then of course she has no credibility.

[And that's pretty important...]

May 1 2014 12:00pm

Meet the Earl at Midnight: Exclusive Excerpt

Gina Conkle

Meet the Earl at Midnight by Gina Conkle

Lord Greenwich is notoriously elusive. His tendency to hide his face in public and refusal to appear in London Society have even earned him some choice monikers, including “the Phantom of London.” Is he disfigured? Mad? Hiding something? With a reputation like that, no woman wants to get near the dark earl.

And no one is more surprised than Miss Lydia Montgomery when she is betrothed to the earl in order to save her family from penury. But if Lydia wants a chance at happiness, she’ll have to set aside her fear of Lord Greenwich and discover the man hiding behind the beastly reputation…

Get a sneak peek of Gina Conkle's Meet the Earl at Midnight (available May 6, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“I can’t be sure if you’re happy to have wed me or to get a child on me?” Breathing heavily, she pulled away from Edward’s voracious kisses

“Both.” He pressed her back against the hallway wall, and his lips worked their way along her hairline down to her earlobes bare of jewelry.

 He worshipped those plump bits of flesh, spreading goose bumps all over her with soft bites and attention; that was the first part of her he undressed when they were alone in the vermillion hallway. Ear bobs glittered somewhere in the sea of red. 

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Meet the Earl at Midnight...]

Mar 14 2014 1:00pm

Belle Gone Bad: Exclusive Excerpt

Sabine Starr

A Little Scandal. . .

Belle Thompson will do just about anything to bring the murderer of her father and fiancé to justice. Even partner up with Mercy Huntingdon, a notorious artist known more for his scandalous sculptures than his skill with a six-shooter. But Belle and Mercy may have a common enemy, and if posing as his muse-a sensuous lady of the evening-will get Belle her man, the Texas beauty is up to the challenge. . .

Might Do A Girl Good. . .

Mercy Huntingdon needs Belle Thompson. Not only in his big, brass bed, but by his side as he tracks a kidnapper. Yet once he crosses into outlaw country with the gorgeous bounty hunter, all of his protective instincts go into overdrive-as well as a passion more powerful than the revenge that drives them both. . ..

Get a sneak peek of Sabine Starr's Belle Gone Bad (available March 20, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

A Message from Sabine Starr about Belle Gone Bad
I love the Old West. Naughty. Nice. And everything in-between. For naughty, I set Mercy, a sculptor of sensuous nudes, on a collision course with nice, a straight-shooting bounty hunter named Texas Belle. They’ve both loved and lost. They’re gun-shy. But they’re determined, particularly in the heady excitement of outlaws, gunfights, rowdy saloons and sizzlin’ love scenes.

1884, Delaware Bend, Texas

“Hey, Mercy, come see this!” Big Jim McMahon called from the batwing doors of the Red River Saloon.

Theodore Lafayette Huntingdon Jr. glanced up. Mercy. Lots of folks out West used a “summer name” instead of a birth name. But he hadn’t come up with an alias quick enough, so he’d been given one and it’d stuck.

“Now that’d sure make a fine painting.” Big Jim crossed muscular arms across his broad chest as he stared outside over the top of the doors.

Mercy sat at a round table by a front window where he could take advantage of the early morning light. He’d been sketching across white paper as he laid out the design for an oil painting that Big Jim had commissioned to hang over the Red River’s legendary bar.

“Get over here or you’ll be cussing and damning for days ’cause you missed her entrance.” Big Jim pointed outside.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt from Belle Gone Bad...]

Jan 11 2014 11:00am

First Look: Annie Burrows’s Portrait of a Scandal (January 21, 2014)

Annie Burrows
Portrait of a Scandal
Harlequin Historical / January 21, 2014 / $6.50 print, $5.99 digital

Her heart and hope long since shattered, Amethyst Dalby is content with her life as an independent woman. With wealth of her own, and no one to answer to, she is free to live as she pleases. 

Until a trip to Paris throws her into contact with the one man who still has a hold over her - the bitter but still devastatingly sensual Nathan Harcourt! Living as an artist, this highborn gentleman has been brought low by scandal - and he is determined to show Amethyst that life is much more fun if you walk on the dark side…. 

Sometimes the setting for a novel becomes as important a player as the protagonists, and so it is with the city of Paris in Annie Burrows's Portrait of a Scandal. The English are flocking to Paris now that the war is over and Amethyst Dalby is one of them. She is there, ostensibly, to find new markets for the business her aunt has left her.

[Ah, the city of love...]

Dec 2 2013 2:30pm

First Look: Sylvain Reynard’s Gabriel’s Redemption (December 3, 2013)

Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain ReynardSylvain Reynard
Gabriel's Redemption
Berkley / December 3, 2013 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he’s confident that they can face any challenge. And he’s eager to become a father.

But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront Julianne about the subject of her presentation—research that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel’s darkest secrets.

In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.

Sylvain Reynard's Gabriel’s Redemption is sheer romance at its best:

“Have you ever made love in an orchard before?”

Her eyes widened and she shook her head.

“Then I’m glad I’m your first.”

She tightened her grip on his hand. “You’re my last, Gabriel. My only.”

[Happy sigh...]

Oct 17 2013 11:00am

Gabriel’s Redemption: Exclusive Outtake

Sylvain Reynard

Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain Reynard

Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he’s confident that they can face any challenge. And he’s eager to become a father.

But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront Julianne about the subject of her presentation—research that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel’s darkest secrets.

In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.

Heroes and Heartbreakers is thrilled to host this exclusive outtake from Sylvain Reynard's Gabriel's Redemption (available December 3, 2013), the final book in Gabriel's Inferno Trilogy.

“Body Painting”

Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

“I think you missed a spot.”  Gabriel’s blue eyes twinkled as he gestured to a patch of wall near the doorframe.

He’d just entered the bedroom and was staring at Julianne, who had splotches of white paint on her faded, old jeans and black t-shirt.  Her dark hair was tucked under one of his University of Toronto baseball caps.  She looked adorable.

[Log in or register to read the full outtake from Gabriel's Redemption...]

Sep 9 2013 11:00am

Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait: Exclusive Excerpt

Grace Burrowes

Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas...

For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he's commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart's desire—won't it?

...Will break both their hearts

Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny's career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.

Get a sneak peek of Grace Burrowes's Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait (available September 24, 2013) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Jenny Windham’s siblings have conspired to ask her and portrait artist Elijah Harrison to retrieve a forgotten gift from an empty manor house. Elijah and Jenny have had lapses before, despite the fact that they’re headed in separate directions… All Jenny wants for Christmas is one more moment with Elijah…

“Will you make love with me, Elijah? You’re leaving tomorrow, I know that, and I shouldn’t ask it. I shouldn’t want it, but I do. I want you, so much. Please?”

Not touching Elijah Harrison over the past days had been the hardest thing Jenny had asked of herself, ever. Harder even, than watching her siblings find true love, one by one.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait...]

Jun 15 2013 11:00am

The Secrets of Mia Danvers: Exclusive Excerpt

Robyn DeHart

The Secrets of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart

Since losing her sight in a childhood accident, Mia Danvers has resided in a small cottage on the vast Carrington estate. Thought to be dead, Mia lives a life of virtual seclusion—until one night, while walking home, she happens upon a horrendous crime.

Alex Foster, Eighth Duke of Carrington, lives according to society’s expectations for him. He’s never met the woman who lives in the cottage at the edge of his property. But when she arrives at his door in the pouring rain terrified and claiming she has witnessed a murder, she seizes his attention.

Mia is determined to help the authorities track down the culprit, even though the only person willing to accept her aid is the handsome, arrogant duke. Working closely together proves difficult as Mia’s beauty and independence tempts Alex to ignore convention and follow his desire. But what neither of them know is that this murderer has struck before in Whitechapel, taunting the British press only to vanish—a ruthless killer who knows that Mia is the only living witness to his crime…

Get a sneak peek of Robyn DeHart's The Secrets of Mia Danvers (available June 18, 2013) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“Lord Carrington, why are you here?”

“There was another killing,” he said abruptly.

Mia’s blood turned to ice. Though the weather was not as cold today as it had been in previous days, a chill chased up and down her extremities, making her wool dress feel like nothing more than a flimsy night rail. One moment they’d been discussing the benign and now another poor girl was dead. Mia’s hands fisted and she realized how badly they’d been shaking, though not from the cold. She was instantly quite thankful she’d already set down her sculpture and tools so that she did not break anything. She wrapped her arms around herself. “Another? Here, at Danbridge?”

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of The Secrets of Mia Danvers...]

May 18 2013 11:00am

Seduction’s Canvas: Excerpt

K.M. Jackson

Seduction's Canvas by K.M. Jackson

“I want to paint you” Artist Samara Leighton had wanted to say those words to the sexy motorcycle rider who lived in the building ever since she first laid eyes on him nearly a year ago. But now that the words were out she couldn’t stop her heart from beating wildly in her chest.

“Honey, you don’t have enough paint to cover me.” Security specialist Mark Thorn didn’t mean to come off as a hard ass. As a matter of fact, he wanted nothing more than to let the tempting artist from across the hall do whatever she wanted to him and then some. But her haughty demeanor left the normally cool rider off his game.

Samara knew this was her only chance to live out her long-standing fantasy and she wasn’t going to let it slip through her fingers. She had very little time before her show was done and the pressure of her family legacy meant she would finally go through with living out her life under the umbrella of the Leighton name and its responsibilities. There would be no more downtown jaunts, lazy museum afternoons, and evenings spent lost in the magic of color and her canvases. And definitely no time spent holding tight to the muscular form of her dark rider while the horrors of her past and her cares drifted further away with each mile of road they covered.

Get a sneak peek of K.M. Jackson's Seduction's Canvas (available May 27, 2013)  with an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 2. K.M. Jackson is also known as the Heroes and Heartbreakers blogger, Kwana Minatee-Jackson.

I want to paint you. Did she really just say that? Out loud?

“Excuse me?” Sam heard the confusion in his gravelly voice — or was that amusement? Her mouth opened to a wide “O” as she felt her cheeks heat in embarrassment. After brunch with the parents could this day get any worse?

She shifted; her spine stiffening as she forced her well worn mask back into place though inwardly she shook. There was no way in hell she was addressing her earlier painting comment. Her first time speaking with her silent rider and that was what she said? Just perfect. “Sorry, I was just, um, talking to myself and, well, adjusting.”

[Continue on to read the full excerpt of Seduction's Canvas...]