<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...?" <i>Deal Breaker</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Deal Breaker: Exclusive Excerpt Tara Leigh "Will their untamed emotions be a deal breaker?" <i>The Infamous Miss Ilsa</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Infamous Miss Ilsa: Exclusive Excerpt Laine Ferndale "Their dreams pull them in such different directions, can they truly make a future together?"
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Showing posts tagged: Christmas click to see more stuff tagged with Christmas
Nov 7 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Lauren Layne’s An Ex for Christmas (November 7, 2017)

An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne
An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly #5)
Loveswept / November 7, 2017 / $4.99 digital

I loved An Ex for Christmas—it was exactly the pick-me-up read I needed. Not only is it a fantastic feel-good romance, it’s perfect for the holidays, and the full romance package. I teared up, laughed out loud, and rolled around in happiness from the utter omgsocutefunhotperfect-ness of it all.

Even if you don’t read the blurb you know Mark is the hero from the start. I mean, how our heroine Kelly waxes poetic about him, how he’s pretty much perfect, and they already share custody of a dog. I mean really. Then there are the more obvious signs out how he always lets her have her way, he’s there for her, he does not want to hear about her love-quest... and yeah you might think this all sounds ridiculous, but NOPE. Lauren Layne makes it work.

[Read more...]

Oct 26 2017 8:30am

First Look: Christmas in Kilts Anthology (October 31, 2017)

Christmas in Kilts by Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Bronwen Evans, Lavinia Kent, and May McGoldrick

Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Bronwen Evans, Lavinia Kent, May McGoldrick
Christmas in Kilts
St. Martin's Swerve / October 31, 2017 / $4.99 digital

Five authors bring Christmas in Scotland to life in Christmas in Kilts.

First up is Terri Brisbin, with A Highlander’s Hope. It features an unlikely love between a man in a position of authority in his clan and the village whore. Iain MacKillop is a mature man whose wife died years ago and who has patronized a neighboring village’s whore. His family has been encouraging him to remarry and he has decided to do so, but worries about how his laird will react to his choice of wife.

None of those previous plans mattered now, for over the last few days he’d finally decided that he wanted her, and not as his whore. Not even as his leman. As his . . . wife.

Oh, he was not ignoring the challenges to getting what – who – he wanted, for Iain did not delude himself into thinking this would be an easy matter to resolve. Many people would have their say, whether invited to or not, and many of his kith and kin would object and place obstacles in his path.

The greatest obstacle is Robena herself. For, though she loves Iain, she can’t see herself as anything other than a whore, and therefore, not fit to be a wife.

[Read more...]

Oct 3 2017 8:30am

First Look: Emma Douglas’ A Season of You (October 3, 2017)

A Season of You by Emma Douglas

Emma Douglas
A Season of You (A Cloud Bay Novel)
St. Martin's Press / October 3, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

What is it about the Christmas season that makes people let down their defenses? Albeit, in Mina Harper’s case, temporarily. Mina Harper, a member of Cloud Bay’s famous Harper family, is a reclusive widow. Her one activity, outside of painting furiously and privately, is being a reliable member of the island’s marine search and rescue squad. Will Fraser and his brother own a whiskey distillery and run a bar. That fact alone is enough, in Will’s mind, to keep Mina from ever looking in his direction since her beloved husband Adam was killed by a drunk driver.

Mina’s night is heading south. As she tells Stewie, her yellow Lab, while glaring at the back of her Jeep, “Not to misquote Monty Python or anything, but that is an ex-tire.” But she already knew the night was doomed when she turned on the radio.

She’d turned off the radio when they’d started playing “This Time of Year,” an old Blacklight song. The holidays were hard enough without hearing her dead father sign about them.

[Read more...]

Mar 21 2017 4:00pm

On the Run: Romance News & Deals from Julia London, Kristen Painter 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 Vampire's Mail Order Bride by Kristen Painter

Deal Alert: Kristen Painter's paranormal romance The Vampire's Mail Order Bride is FREE at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* This charming book follows Delaney, who's on the run from the mob, in the small, spooky town of Nocturne Falls where she finds herself engaged to a 400-year-old vampire. Kristen Painter sure knows how to write a vampire. 

Deal Alert: Julia London's Scottish historical Wild Wicked Scot is $.99 at Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* Reviewer Carol Malcolm says London “does a fine job of portraying two very different people who have one thing in common: being at the mercy of their time and place” in this satisfying and intriguing romance. 

[+A Mariah Carey classic gets a movie...]

Dec 26 2016 2:00pm

What Romance Should You Read, Based On What You Asked for for the Holidays?

Source: Shutterstock

Christmas may be over, but there are still romances to be read…and gift cards to be spent. Here are some suggestions for books that belong under your tree based on what you asked for (and hopefully received) from Santa. 

Ugly Christmas Sweater

If you go all out for Christmas and rock an ugly Christmas sweater with elf socks and jingle bells on your feet, check out Penny Watson’s Sweet Destiny. This is the final installment of her Klaus Brothers series. This is a series for those of you us who believe in holiday magic. The Klaus brothers are Santa’s sons and they all have a role in the family business. In Sweet Destiny we finally see Wolfgang (Wolf to those in the know) get his happily ever after. He’s watched his four brothers find love and now the head of the Klaus charitable arm needs to find some happiness. The harsh reality of seeing those in need has worn him down.  Enter Belinda—part human, part snow fairy—complete perfect match for Wolf’s ailing heart. I am sad to see this series end.

[Read more...]

Dec 25 2016 10:00am

The Gift of Love in the Silver Belles Anthology

Silver Belles Holiday Anthology

There’s something about the holidays and anthologies that go together like Santa and his reindeer. Or Durga Puja and gossip. Or Winter Solstice and a prayer said outdoors. Though I am an avowed Christmas romance fanatic, I quite enjoyed the stories in this anthology that explored holidays outside of my purview.

That all the couples were over 40 was a bonus. The problems and issues that these couple needed to overcome were much more relatable. There were some issues that stuck in my side and took me out of the story a little. I’m one of those people who read to escape the ordinary—that Harlequin ad campaign was perfect for me—but the issues were based on my own personal reading preferences and so were minor.   

The Christmas Pony by Sarah M. Anderson was a strong start. It hit a lot of my holiday romance buttons. Alice is a 50-something teacher who finds herself on the wrong side of the law when a neighbor drops a pony on her porch and a hunky 40-something animal control officer comes sniffing around. These two hit it off in the chemistry department quick and the banter between the two of them warmed me like a nice cup of hot cocoa. Throw in some ugly Christmas sweaters and a heart-warming subplot that keeps a family together and I’m feeling like an angel just got their wings.

[Read more...]

Dec 24 2016 3:00pm

We Say I Do to Lisa Kleypas’ I Will

I WIll by Lisa Kleypas

Miss Caroline Hargreaves is just the sort of respectable spinster that rakish Andrew, Lord Drake, is looking for in a sham engagement! She is perfectly content to take care of her mother and brother in the family’s lovely London town home, however, when she learns that her brother is squandering the family bank, Andrew seizes the opportunity to propose: If she can pretend to fall in love with Andrew, enough to convince his father to re-include Andrew in the will, then Andrew will stop gambling and partying with Caroline’s brother.  As soon as the town sees their faux-love, and Andrew is back in the will, then Caroline’s brother will be fine, and everything will go back to normal.

Don’t call her a blue-stocking just yet; she might be sweet and innocent with her glasses, but Caroline is not afraid to call out Lord Drake on his awful rakehell behavior.  Die-hard Lisa Kleypas fans might recognize Andrew, Lord Drake, as the villainous brother of Logan Scott from Because Your Mine.  Andrew only knows Caroline or “Caro,” as his friend’s sister. She only knows him as a Super Rake that her brother parties with too much. 

[Read more...]

Dec 22 2016 10:00am

A Romance Novel for Every Woman in Your Squad

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Today we're thrilled to host Jill Shalvis (author of The Trouble with Mistletoe) on Heroes and Heartbreakers. Jill is here today to help you with any last minute shopping you may need—with a book idea for everyone on your list! Thanks, Jill!

Need some secret Santa ideas?  Give my favorite present—BOOKS!  Here are some recommendations for each gal pal in your group:

For the dreamer:  There’s always one friend whose head is in the clouds and may or may not be “off in her own world.” For the holidays, why not literally give her a new world to explore? The Charley Davidson series (paranormal/fantasy) by Darynda Jones is phenomenal. Start things off with the first installment, First Grave on the Right, and then binge right up to #10 that came out this year, The Curse of the Tenth Grave.

[Read more...]

Dec 21 2016 2:00pm

What Was the Best Downton Abbey Christmas episode?

Christmas at Downton Abbey

A Definitive Ranking of Every Downton Abbey Christmas Special

The holidays are here and it’s time to revisit one of our favorite shows. Downton Abbey premiered in the UK in November of 2010 and changed the face of television, re-invigorating interest in period dramas. It is because of Downton’s success that we are now enthralled with Poldark, The Crown, and Victoria. With the exception of the first year, each season of Downton ended with a spectacular Christmas episode, tying up loose ends, perhaps introducing new intrigues, or giving us some of the most romantic moments of the show. This is how I would rank each of those episodes in order of preference. Beware of spoilers, of course!

[Read more...]

Dec 21 2016 9:30am

Come Visit RaeAnne Thayne’s Small-Town Christmas Romances!

The Cowboy’s Christmas Miracle by RaeAnnne Thayne

I am a fan of well-written romance fiction with small-town settings, and I love Christmas romances. It is hardly surprising then that I count RaeAnne Thayne’s Christmas books among my favorites. Thayne began her Cowboys of Cold Creek Special Edition series in 2006, and this month marks the publication of the fifteenth novel in the series. Eight of these books, including the last five, are Christmas romances set in and around Pine Gulch Idaho. The stories are linked not only by setting but also by the theme of Pine Gulch as sanctuary and/or retreat. As one character says, “People who come to Pine Gulch are either looking for something or running away.” For many of the people in Pine Gulch, Christmas is a time of painful loss and cruel memories, but in the small community, they find that Christmas can also bring healing and new beginnings.

[Read more...]

Dec 17 2016 4:35pm

Smile After Smile: Christmas with Children in Romance from Balogh, Morgan, and More!

Kiss Me, Santa by Karina Bliss

Karina Bliss mentioned in her most recent newsletter that she just reissued Kiss Me, Santa, her novella in Harlequin’s 2010 Christmas anthology, That Christmas Feeling. I own a print copy of the anthology, but I rushed to download a digital copy of the novella. (This Christmas season most of my reading is done Kindle Fire in hand.) Kiss Me, Santa is the kind of Christmas read I like best. The season is more than a backdrop, and the novel has a child in it—a believable kid who is all real-boy and who is integral to the story, a child of divorce who loves both his parents. I understand that many readers dislike children in romance fiction, but I am not one of them. I especially enjoy children in Christmas romances. For me, Christmas and kids go together like mistletoe and kisses; Christmas trees and A Charlie Brown Christmas music and “Silent Night” in my life...and the holiday romances I love.

I started my annual reread of Christmas favorites last month. Among those at the top of my Christmas TBR list are these top ten favorites with kids.

[Read more...]

Dec 11 2016 1:00pm

We Wish You A Jo Beverley Christmas

Star of Wonder by Jo Beverley

One of my favorite Christmas rituals is rereading Christmas books from my keeper shelves. For more than two decades, Jo Beverley has been part of this tradition. I start with the novellas. Any reader who has followed Ms. Beverley over her career knows that she loved writing medievals, and her Christmas stories affirm that love. Two of her novellas, “Day of Wrath,” first published in Star of Wonder (1999), and “The Wise Virgin,” first published in The Brides of Christmas (1999), are set in the medieval period.  They are an unusual mix of violence, romance, and Christmases quite different from the ones we know. “Day of Wrath” (retitled “Star of Wonder” in the e-book boxed set Mistletoe Kisses and Yuletide Joy) takes place in 999. Wulfhera of Foxton leaves her convent amid the chaos of Viking raids and millennium expectations of the Second Coming of Christ to return to her home where turmoil has overtaken it as well. Raefnoth Eldrunson, the man she loved and lost, has become an embittered widower consumed with guilt and a thirst for revenge. Hera’s own family is scattered, with her father near death, her eldest brother in Rome, and her younger sister besotted with an enemy. Can even the legendary star sapphire necklace of which Hera has sung bring happiness from all this misery? “The Wise Virgin” is set later in the period, but it is no less fierce. When Joan of Hawes secretly replaces her cousin Lady Nicolette de Montelan as the Blessed Virgin in the traditional Christmas pageant, it is Joan who ends up kidnapped by the celebrated Edmund de Grave, the Golden Lion, “[b]eautiful as St Michael, brave as St George, protector of the weak, defender of the right.” Not only does the kidnapping mean that Nicolette’s pregnancy will be revealed, but it also means the generations old feud between Joan’s family and the de Graves will likely erupt into another battle. But when a sharp-tongued lady and a legendary warrior spend Christmas Eve trapped together in a cave, the spirit of the season may bring unexpected peace and love.

[Read more...]

Nov 14 2016 2:00pm

What Christmas Stories Should You Read?

Christmas in Eternity Springs by Emily March

5 Christmas Stories You Need to Read!

Today we're thrilled to welcome Emily March (Christmas in Eternity Springs) who is offering up her top 5 Christmas stories! The holiday season is kicking up into high gear, so to get in the spirit, let us know what you're looking for in your holiday read and we'll offer up a recommendation! 

I'm one of those people who doesn't like to jump into the Christmas season until after Thanksgiving. However, the minute Thanksgiving dishes are washed and put away, I like to sit down, rest my weary feet, and indulge myself by reading a Christmas story or twelve. Here are a few of my favorites. 

1. Silver Bells by Luanne Rice is an endearing story that deals with serious subjects in a hopeful, uplifting way. This story about second chances and the lonely librarian and a Christmas tree seller who meet on the snowy streets of Manhattan will warm your heart.

[Read more...]

Nov 1 2016 12:00pm

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the year: 3 Favorite Holiday Movies!

Three Christmas Wishes by Sheila Roberts

Sheila Roberts (Three Christmas Wishes) loves acting as a real-life version of a Santa’s elf—whether it's dreaming up a fun Christmas story, shopping for gifts year-round, or making the holidays fun for friends and family. In Three Christmas Wishes, on a lark three friends who are suffering in the romance department, good thing Santa is around to help. Today Sheila tells Heroes & Heartbreakers about her favorite holiday movies, which she watches every year. Thanks, Sheila!

I love Christmas! Absolutely love everything about this time of year. I especially love Christmas tales. (Just sayin’ right now, “A Christmas Carol” is the best Christmas story ever written. (Thank you, Charles Dickens!)

There’s something very fun about seeing what’s been written on the printed page come to life on the screen, especially when it’s your own novel!  Two of my books have appeared as movies (On Strike for Christmas on the Lifetime movie channel and The Nine Lives of Christmas on the Hallmark channel) and I have truly enjoyed seeing them appear on screen. While the movies were different than the books, they did capture the core story, and I got a kick out of seeing “based on a novel by Sheila Roberts” right there under the movie title. My husband and I even made a cameo appearance in Nine Lives. Needless to say, there was great cheering over our acting debut at our red carpet party.

Much as I loved those movies, they don’t make my top three. I mean, how can you beat...

[Read more...]

Oct 16 2016 10:00am

Season’s Greetings from Hope Ramsay’s A Christmas Bride

A Christmas Bride by Hope Ramsay

Amidst the cheerful “making a list and checking it twice” crowd that prevail at Christmas are always people whose circumstances make them reluctant participants in the pervasive jolliness. David Lyndon is a recent widower. He has a young daughter, he is running for Congress, and if Christmas would just go away, that would be fine with him.

Willow Peterson retreats to Shenandoah Falls, the town where she grew up, after a fruitless attempt to do the right thing—she blew the whistle on corporate malfeasance and the only thing blown out of town is her. She’s a failed 34 year-old whistleblower living under her mother’s roof.

A charming aspect of A Christmas Bride is the “it takes a village” cast of characters—be it Willow’s counter-culture mother and laid-back sister or David’s uptight, controlling mother and his adorable, anxious daughter Natalie—but we never lose our focus on the evolving relationship between Willow and David. Willow was a close friend of David’s deceased wife and she mourns her friend. Her place in David’s past somewhat muddles the possibility that they might become more than friends in the future.

[Read more...]

Oct 4 2016 11:00am

A Colorful Christmas: Emily March’s Christmas in Eternity Springs

Emily March's Eternity Springs Series is filled with adorable dogs and their sometimes wayward humans, and now you have the opportunity to relax and color in the paw print above, creating a little magic of your own.

So grab a cup of hot chocolate from the Mocha Moose Coffeehouse and break out your colored penicls, and then get cozy with March's newest installment in the Eternity Springs Series, Christmas in Eternity Springs. This book will lift your spirits with a story of healing past hurts, finding a second chance at love, and embracing Christmas cheer. 

Click on the image above or click here for a full-page printable PDF to color in this page from March's Eternity Springs adult coloring book

[Read more about Christmas in Eternity Springs...]

Oct 1 2016 10:00am

First Look: Debbie Macomber’s Twelve Days of Christmas (October 4, 2016)

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber
Twelve Days of Christmas
Ballantine / October 4, 2016 / $20.00 print, $10.99 digital

There are two types of Christmas romance novels. One has a Christmas/holiday theme, and the other just takes place around the holidays. Of course both are nice, but ones with the theme definitely put readers in a holiday mood. Debbie Macomber’s Twelve Days of Christmas explores the theme of kindness and will certainly put you in that mood.

Julia Padden is a paragon. She elected to work at Macy's and go to school part-time rather than rack up a large student loan debt. She also is very active in her church, and volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club. She is cheerful, kind and seems to be always in a good mood. She is the perfect person to rub a grinch the wrong way.

And that is exactly what she does to Cain Maddox. Julia's bubbly personality is like a screech down a blackboard to him—flashing out warning, warning, danger. He’s learned his lesson, and he’s not going to fall victim to her attractive nature or looks.  He has rebuffed her several times, but she still seems to be hitting on him.

[Read more...]

Sep 26 2016 12:00pm

First Look: Carolyn Brown’s Merry Cowboy Christmas (September 27, 2016)

Merry Christmas Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

Carolyn Brown
Merry Cowboy Christmas (Lucky Penny Ranch #3)
Forever / September 27, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the house is the presence of one wickedly hot cowboy who’s come to stay for the holiday. Fiona Logan is downright shocked to return to her childhood home and find that the tall blond stranger who came to her rescue on an icy road will be sleeping just across the hall from her bedroom. Talk about temptation…

Jud Dawson never believed the Lucky Penny Ranch would live up to its name until now. Fiona is gorgeous, smart, funny, and everything he thought he’d never find. Now all he has to do is convince her to stick around town instead of hightailing it back to Houston. But with the wild weather, nosy neighbors, and a new baby in the family, getting her to admit that she’s falling in love might just take a Christmas miracle.

Christmas romance novels have always been my weakness.  I love the holiday season and I love romance novels so the two together is a recipe for bliss. With her latest addition to her Lucky Penny Ranch series, Merry Cowboy Christmas, Carolyn Brown catches on the perfect mix of holiday magic alongside romance hot enough to keep any body warm during the longest days of the year.

[Read more...]

Dec 21 2015 5:30pm

Naughty & Nice List: Holiday Romance Edition

Evergreen Springs by RaeAnne Thayne

We all know that when it comes to what gets put under the tree, being on the naughty list is not a good thing. The nice list is where it’s at. But when you’re talking about romance novels? Totally different story. Naughty, Nice and somewhere in between.

Nice List:

Evergreen Springs by RaeAnne Thayne
When it comes to holiday romance novels, the cover can give a lot away when it comes to list placement. I didn’t even have to read this one to know it would go on the nice list. A snowy ranch with horses and mountains in the background was all I needed. This story about a widowed rancher and father who needs a Christmas miracle and gets one in the form of Dr. Devin Shaw. This one has lots of holiday feels.

A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas by Kim Redford
Another rancher – do they all have hearts of gold? This rancher also happens to be a volunteer firefighter. When he keeps running into a city girl he dubbed his Christmas angel, while tracking down suspicious fires, sparks fly between them.

[Read something naughty & nice ...]

Dec 20 2015 10:30am

Wishing You a Mary Christmas: Mary Balogh Holiday Stories, 2015 Edition

A Regency Christmas III by Mary Balogh, Sandra Heath, Melinda McRae, Edith Layton, and Mary Jo Putney

This week I changed my playlist to my Christmas setting. Most of the songs on the list I have heard countless times, but listening to them again always leaves me with a smile on my face, a lump in my throat, and a feeling that, to borrow a phrase from Dickens, I am honoring Christmas in my heart. Mary Balogh’s Christmas stories give me the same feeling. It is hardly surprising then that I started my Christmas celebration a little early this year by downloading Christmas Gifts and Christmas Miracles, two newly reissued collections of Balogh’s Christmas novellas. With these six stories and the four included in Balogh’s 2003 collection Under the Mistletoe, all ten of Balogh’s novellas from Signet Regency Christmas anthologies are now available.

Christmas Gifts includes “The Best Christmas Ever” (1991, A Regency Christmas III), “The Porcelain Madonna” (1992, A Regency Christmas IV), and “The Surprise Party” (1995, A Regency Christmas VII). All three have a poignant note, feature children, and end with unexpected gifts.

In the first story, Edwin Gwent, Viscount Radbrook, only son of the Earl and Countess of Crampton, is concerned because his five-year-old daughter Anna does not join her cousins in the family tradition of making a Christmas wish before the fire the night before Christmas Eve. Anna has not spoken since her mother accidentally drowned trying to retrieve Anna’s ball. That happened more than two years ago, and Anna, who lost her voice after screaming for two days, has lived in silence since then. However, she has other ways of making her preferences known, and she makes it clear she prefers Miss Emma Milford to the beautiful Miss Chadwick whom her father is considering as his next bride. Anna’s undeclared wish was for a new mama, “someone very quiet and ordinary. Someone who smells of roses. Someone with soft, slim hands.” But Emma shattered Lord Radbrook’s heart nine years ago when she allowed her parents to persuade her to reject the young viscount’s offer of marriage. Even his daughter’s inexplicable choice of Emma’s company is not enough to make Lord Radbrook risk his heart—and his pride—again, but Christmas can work magic in the hearts of small children and in the scarred hearts of adults as well.

[Balogh has a special place for Christmas and it reads well ...]