There Be Dragons Here! There Be Dragons Here! Isabel Cooper, Ashlyn Chase and Sara Humphreys Excerpts from Isabel Cooper, Ashlyn Chase & Sara Humphreys <i>One True Pairing</i>: Exclusive Excerpt One True Pairing: Exclusive Excerpt Cathy Yardley "The two pretend to date, fan fiction becomes reality." <i>Perilous Trust</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Perilous Trust: Exclusive Excerpt Barbara Freethy "It was all the control she had right now, and she was hanging on to it." <i>The Perfect Game</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Perfect Game: Exclusive Excerpt Elley Arden "An unlikely attraction—threaten to derail their season."
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Apr 25 2017 1:30pm

The Greatest Love Songs Don’t Exactly End Happily

The Truth About Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke

Today we're thrilled to have Laura Lee Guhrke (The Truth About Love and Dukes) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Many authors get inspired by music while they write, but it's sad to say... many of the greatest love songs in music don't actually end all that happily. Laura Lee is here today to how popular love songs and romance novels can differ so much when it comes to their endings. Thanks, Laura Lee!

In a romance novel, a happy ending is a given. That’s why I began reading romances, and I’ve always been sure that’s why my fellow readers read them. For most of my life, I’ve been convinced that everyone wants a happy ending. Because, well, why wouldn’t you? Life’s hard enough, right?

But the other day while listening to Pandora, it occurred to me that many, if not most, popular songs (at least those that appeal to anyone over thirteen) do not have happy endings. Every rose has its thorn, after all, and cowboys, so Axel Rose tells us, sing their sad, sad songs. Heck, Taylor Swift has made an entire career based on her notoriously unhappy love life. Another man, another break-up, another million dollars…actually, that’s not so sad, when I think about it.

Anyway, even I, romance writer and lover of happy endings that I am, have been known to find inspiration in songs that aren’t exactly happy. In my latest book, The Truth About Love and Dukes, the Victorian-era couple find love because of the heroine’s advice-to-the-lovelorn column, and while it has its HEA, the inspiration for the book was a song called “Want Ad Blues.” Blues songs aren’t known for spreading happiness and good cheer.

[Read more...]

Apr 14 2017 1:00pm

Battle of the Bands: Who Are the Best Rock Stars of Romance?

More Than a Feeling by Erika Kelly

Today we're thrilled to welcome Erika Kelly (More Than a Feeling) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Erika is finishing out her Rock Star Romance series and what's a better way to send off a band than with a battle of the bands. Erika is here today to list some of her favorite bands of Romancelandia—and then you get to vote! Thanks, Erika!

Raise your hand if you grew up with rock star posters taped to your bedroom walls.

Maybe the David Bowie one with paint slashed across his face? Avril Lavigne in her bustier or the Van Halen guys with their big, fluffy hair? Andy Gibb with his shirt unbuttoned, exposing his hairy chest—no? You didn’t have that one?

We’ve all shed a tear as we sang along with a ballad, imagining the hot lead singer had written it for us. We’ve fantasized about our rocker catching sight of us across a crowded room, instantly recognizing our soul-deep connection. A bond so fierce he’d toss aside his supermodel girlfriend.

Okay, so maybe no one wrote ballads for us. And maybe our rocker’s gaze skimmed right over us to check out the supermodel instead. But who needs reality when we can live out our fantasies in rock star romances?

[Read more...]

Feb 17 2017 3:00pm

Friday Beefcake: 5 Drummers That Won’t Skip a Beat!

Source: Brian Patterson Photos / Shutterstock, Inc.Today we're thrilled to welcome Jamie Shaw (Havoc) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. The final book in Jamie's Mayhem series features drummer of The Last Ones to Know, Mike. Jamie is here today to celebrate other favorite drummers with a special guest beefcake. Thanks, Jamie!

1. Travis Barker — Blink-182

Travis has the “bad boy drummer” look down to a tee, and I’m a total sucker for bad boys. The tattoos, the piercings... yes, please! Plus, he’s a doting father, which makes him even sexier.

[Think you can handle these sexy drummers?]

Jul 21 2016 5:16pm

Sherrilyn Kenyon Deal & Book Soundtracks: Romance News

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

Son of No One by Sherrilyn KenyonDeal Alert: Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter novel Son of No One is on sale for $2.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* Are you a Menyon? Discover the 10 signs you're addicted to Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series.

Deal Alert: Jamie K. Schmidt's contemporary romance Life's a Beach is only $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* How do you choose your beach reads? What even makes a book a “beach read,” anyway? 

Fresh Outta the Oven

Rachel Grant's Body of Evidence, coming to a theater near you? Maybe! Word is, producer Nancy Cartwright's company Spotted Cow Entertainment has secured the movie and TV rights to the romantic suspense novel about an archaeologist and the sexy U.S. attorney who aren't sure how to trust each other but who definitely want to jump each other's bones. Yum.

[+Book soundtracks & Luke Cage interview...]

May 3 2016 12:30pm

Scarlett Cole & Band Bishop Collaborate—Listen to “Living Without You” Now!

The Purest Hook by Scarlett Cole

Today Heroes and Heartbreakers is thrilled on two levels to welcome Scarlett Cole to the site. First, Scarlett's The Purest Hook releases today (yay!), and second, Scarlett has brought with her the world premiere of a song that was written exclusively for the release of The Purest Hook (double yay!): Bishop's “Living Without You.”

Listen to the world premiere of Bishop's “Living Without You,” written and performed exclusively for the release of The Purest Hook by Scarlett Cole:


Plus, to celebrate the newest book in her Second Circle Tattoos series, Scarlett introduces some of the songs that say it for Pixie and Dred, and for her:

Ever had that moment when a song comes on and it feels as though the lyrics were written just for you? Like the time in 1984 when my friend Joanne was convinced Wham had read her mind before writing Last Christmas. Or have you associated a song with a period of your life so strongly that every time you hear it you’re transported back there? I can’t hear “Nightswimming” by REM without thinking about a packed Japanese Airlines flight to Tokyo.

For me, that carries over to writing stories. I want my characters to have that kind of connection to music too. Whether it is a memory of their own that gets written into the story, or music that inspires the scene I am writing.

[+Discover Scarlett's Purest Hook playlist!...]

Apr 28 2016 1:30pm

Why Prince Songs Make a Perfect Soundtrack for Romance Novels

GP: Prince loved and celebrated women!

Today we're thrilled to welcome Abigail Strom to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Abigail's new college romance, Claire, which came out last week, features a kickass female musician named Claire, and it’s fair to say that she wouldn’t be who she is without Prince—none of us would, really. Abigail is here today to talk about the enduring power of his songs and why Prince will never be forgotten. Thanks, Abigail!

I first got into Prince when I was thirteen years old, and even though I didn’t understand half of what he was singing about until much later, there was one thing I knew right away.

Prince loved women. He loved them on every possible level.

When you thought he was writing about sex, he was also writing about love. And when he wrote about love, he often found it through sex.

[Prince made the perfect songs for romance ...]

Apr 22 2016 5:00pm

Prince: 5 Most Memorable Moments

Prince gave us sexy in so many ways, from straight hair to high-heels, lace to the original skinny-leg. Count yourself lucky if you ever heard him sing live or rock a stage, or even met him in person, because he’ll forever be considered the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). The Pop Icon introduced us to many firsts, some that can be mentioned here and others that cannot. I’ll always remember him for being exactly who he wanted to be, Prince, and reminding us to live free. The Beautiful Ones always have to go... We miss you! 

Share your Prince moments with us in the comments below. 

[The Purple Reign continues ...]

Apr 15 2016 9:30am

First Look: Kylie Scott’s Dirty (April 19, 2016)

Dirty by Kylie Scott

Kylie Scott
Dirty (Diver Bar #1)
St. Martin's Griffin / April 19, 2016 / $14.99 print, $4.99 digital

Kylie Scott gifts us with a new series—Dive Bar—which takes place in the hometown of our beloved drummer, Mal, from Stage Dive. The first in the series, Dirty features Vaughan Hewson, guitarist for the now defunct band that opened for Stage Dive on tour. Coming home to Idaho was never in Vaughan’s plans. Yet, here he is, back at the place he’s been running away from since high school. Everything about this trip home pointed to suckiness. That is, until Vaughan discovers a woman in his bathtub.

After narrowly escaping a nightmare of a wedding to a man in love with his best friend, Lydia Green climbs over a six foot fence, breaks into the home located behind the fence, and seeks refuge in the tub of the bathroom. Suffice to say, Lydia and Vaughan have an auspicious start to their relationship.

And I was so definitely probably going to jail. Someone ought to give me a cookie. My ability to take a bad situation and make it worse today was amazing.

“You touch any of my stuff?” he asked. “Take anything?”

“Yes, your sofa is cunningly hidden down the front of my dress. You won’t believe where I fit the TV.”

Again, his eyes narrowed dangerously.

“Between you and me, probably not the time to be funny, babe.”


[Meet me at the bar ...]

Jan 28 2016 9:07am

Throwback Thursday: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Is a Romance Novel on Acid?

TeddyP, the resident boy on the Heroes and Heartbreakers editorial staff, recently shared Bonnie Tyler's “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with us and simply said: “It is basically many genres of romance covers on acid.”

“Once upon a time I was falling in love...
Now I'm only falling apart”

He's not wrong. 

Jan 22 2016 5:11pm

Romance News: Snap Up Kit Rocha & Lexi Blake Deals

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

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

Deal Alerts

Beyond Happily Ever After: "Blank Canvas" by Kit Rocha

Kit Rocha's Blank Canvas, one story in a series of vignettes and outtakes from the O'Kanes/Beyond series—and featuring Rocha's famous trio, Ace, Cruz, and Rachel—is being offered as a free download on the authors' site. You can also purchase it for $.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, etc.* Since Ace is the resident tattooist of District Four, take a look at tattoos in romance and their symbolism. 

Lexi Blake's suspenseful and erotic Masters and Mercenaries bundle of the first three books in the series is free (marked down from $5.99)! Snap it up from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBookstore.* See why Paranormallibrarian says this series is the Bond franchise—if James Bond owned a BDSM club on the side. 

[+celebrating David Bowie with Labyrinth's grown-up Toby...]

Jan 14 2016 4:17pm

Romance News: Contemporary Deals on Laura Kaye, Erin McCarthy, and More

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

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

Deal Alerts

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye—With Laura Kaye's Love in the Light out this week, you may be curious about the first half of Makenna and Caden's story. Well, catching up just got real affordable: Hearts in Darkness, where the two fall in love while stuck in an elevator, is marked down to only $.99 in e-book for the moment at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBookstore, etc.*

Ava Miles' Dare River contemporary romance Country Heaven is currently free (normally $.99) in e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and more.* Miles treated us to recommendations for foodie romances in her 2014 guest post “Food Is Life: Gastronomique Romance for Our Food-Obsessed Culture.”

Erin McCarthy's New Adult romance You Make Me, first in the Blurred Lines series and (worth noting) a modern-day retelling of Wuthering Heights, is another free read today at iBookstore, Barnes & NobleAmazon, etc.* Do you consider Wuthering Heights a romance? Is Heathcliff a hero? Could a change in circumstances have turned things around? Let the debates rage on...

LuAnn McLane's Happily Ever After novel A Prince in Plain Sight is discounted to $2.99 (down from $4.99) in e-book at the moment at Amazon.* Jonesing for some downtime in a small town? Scarlettleigh suggests several other stops in her piece “Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Small Town Romance.”

[Sarah J. Maas cover, Oscar nominees & Alan Rickman's Snape...]

Dec 31 2015 12:15pm

The Best of 2015: Team H&H’s Top 30 Romances

The Deal by Elle KennedyThe bloggers have had their fun, and now Team H&H is here to give you their top picks in all things romance—books, movies and TV, and music.

For more Best of 2015 recommendations, see what had the bloggers buzzing in their Best of 2015 picks in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4!

Let us begin....

Heather Waters, Site Manager

Regency England. Modern college campus. The magical world of Ravka. Post-apocalyptic Earth. Rest assured, falling in love is possible anywhere, anytime, and no one exemplifies this quite so well as the 8 couples I've chosen as my favorite fictional relationships for the year, all of whom remind me how lucky I am and what a joy it is to write about romance for a living.

Top 8 'Ships of 2015:

Hannah/Garrett in Elle Kennedy’s The Deal If you'd asked me late last year, I'd have told you I needed a breather from New Adult romances. They brought the angst I craved, but not enough of the froth I needed. My scales felt tipped too far into darkness when I depend on a fair share of sunshine in my escapist reading. Then I discovered The Deal. Hannah and Garrett charmed my socks off with their delightfully well-worn path to love (girl asks popular jock to teach her how to woo another man, only to find—gasp!—she's fallen for her tutor, and he with her) that nevertheless contains a few surprises.

[Read all our editors' picks...]

Oct 27 2015 12:00pm

A Playlist As Cold As Ice: The Perfect Songs for Every Hockey Romance Lover

The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen

We are so thrilled to welcome Sarina Bowen to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Sarina writes the Ivy Years series, and the latest book, The Fifteenth Minute came out last week. Many of her books feature hockey players, and for research—and fun—Sarina spent many a game day writing down the songs the DJ at hockey games would play. Today, Sarina is here to share some of those songs, and offer you a playlist so you can prentend like you're at the game with her and get in the mood for your next hockey romance. Thanks, Sarina!

I love sports romance. But sometimes the athletes aren't the only cool people in the arena! Sometimes I sit there in my ticketed seat and wonder how a girl could get to drive a Zamboni. Who's in control of the kiss-cam? And who's spinning the tunes I'm hearing over the sound system?

The music at a sporting event really adds to the party-like atmosphere. And certain songs have become sporting anthems. I wonder if Queen had any idea when they released “We Will Rock You” in 1977 that it would play for three decades and counting in arenas all over the world?

[What's on your hockey romance playlist?...]

Oct 23 2015 4:05pm

Romance News: Jessica/Luke Gets Steamy in Full Jessica Jones Trailer

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage make out in Jessica Jones season 1
Gif via

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage hook up us in the first full-length trailer for Marvel's Jessica Jones, the whole first season of which will hit Netflix on November 20. Whereas sometimes it's weird the way I like to try to pick my 'ships as early as the show's description, here I feel justified in saying I'm eager to see what kind of romance could be in store for Jessica/Luke: After all, the two are married and in love in the comics universe. Thoughts on the trailer? Looking forward to David Tennant's villain Kilgrave? Were you one of the lucky few to see the first episode at New York Comic Con? TELL ME EVERYTHING.

H&H's own Jennifer Proffitt is warming up for a thrilling #XOXOConnects Q&A with Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter as I type this, so get your questions ready! Tell her I sent you when you tune into the Google hangout event tomorrow, Saturday, at 3 p.m. ET, as part of XOXO After Dark's “all-day online readerfest you can attend in your pajamas.”

[+Jill Sorenson deal & “Hello” new earworm...]

Aug 14 2015 3:19pm

Romance News Roundup: Downton Abbey Season 6 Pics, Outlander Song, and More!

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

The cast of Downton Abbey Season 6—We're only about a month out from the premiere of the final season of Downton Abbey in the U.K. and it's starting to get real: The first official photos of Season 6 (or Series 6 for our British readers) are here! You're seeing the group portrait (above) and the Dowager Countess (below the jump); visit Mashable for a good look at all 9 photos.

—If you've always dreamed of being a Harlequin author, there's still time to submit your manuscript in their annual So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) contest, in which the grand prize is a 2-book publishing contract with Harlequin! Learn everything you need to know about the contest here. The deadline to enter your story is September 21.

—Ahead of the release of Volume 2 of the Outlander soundtrack on September 25, Entertainment Weekly has the extended version of the show's main theme, “The Skye Boat Song,” from composer Bear McCreary and vocalist Raya Yarbrough (fun fact: The duo, who are married, also made beautiful music together for Battlestar Galactica.).

—Deal Alert: Monica McCarty's The Recruit is currently $1.99 in e-book at e-tailers including Amazon, iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble (via BookBub).*

*We don't know how long deals will last, so get 'em while you can!

[+Your first look at Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey Season 6...]

Aug 6 2015 3:18pm

Romance News Roundup: X-Files Split, Laurelin Paige Deal, and More!

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

Mulder and Scully in The X-Files

—Sorry shippers, and H&H's own Heather Waters, but the rumors are true: Mulder and Scully have broken up. We'll wait here while you scream in pain. Entertainment Weekly confirmed with Fox executives that Mulder/Scully are no more, saying in their article earlier today (after viewing a clip from the reboot):

In the clip, Scully describes herself as “your friend and physician” to Mulder. We checked with a source close to Fox who confirmed that, indeed, the two are no longer together. 

Read the full article here and mourn the loss...but maybe there's another endgame in sight? This is a safe place, feel free to vent your feels in the comments!

—In other TV news, Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley will join the cast for NBC's live production of The Wiz! Uzo will play Glinda the Good Witch, while Amber will play the Addaperle the Good Witch of the North. They'll be joining all-stars like Queen Latifah (as the Wizard), Mary J. Blige (as the Wicked Witch of the West) and David Alan Grier (as the Cowardly Lion). Will you be tuning in to the December 3 broadcast?

—Deal Alert #1: Want to read Falling Under by Lauren Dane, but missed picking up book 1 in the Ink & Chrome series, Opening Up? Now's you're chance. Opening Up is available for $1.99 at e-tailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.* Check out Tiffany Tyer's first look of Opening Up and Chelsea Mueller's first look of Falling Under. Find all things Lauren Dane at Heroes and Heartbreakers by searching our tag.

—Deal Alert #2: Pick up a copy of Laurelin Paige's Free Me for only $0.99 at e-tailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore. Check out all things Laurelin Paige by searching the Heroes and Heartbreakers tag or her alter ego with writing partner Kayti McGee under Laurelin McGee.

*We don't know how long these deals will last so get them before they're gone!

Apr 17 2015 4:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Classical Musicians from Stewart, Lyon, and More!

Noah StewartThere's just something about musicians. We love them in romance! Maybe it's the idea that they're tortured souls or that they're good with their hands. Today, our focus isn't so much on the rock star or lead guitarist, but on the classical musicians—from operatic tenors to concert violinists, and lots of goodness in between!

What musicians do you like?

[Moonlight serenade, anyone?]

Apr 3 2015 3:37pm

Romance News Roundup: Sophie Jordan Deal & Game of Thrones Rap!

Welcome to H&H's daily news roundup! Grab a mug of tea and a scone and let's gossip about what's hot in the romance world right now.

Wicked in Your Arms by Sophie Jordan—Deal Alert: Sophie Jordan's Wicked in Your Arms (Forgotten Princesses #2) is currently $.99 in e-book at Amazon.* Find out Jordan's top 10 tips to toppling from the top of the ton here.

—Alyssa Cole has revealed the cover for her second Off the Grid novel, Signal Boost. See the cover and read the description here. And for more of Cole, read her H&H guest post on the top 3 unconventional Brooklyn love stories.

Bustle has 7 very good reasons The Mindy Project needs to be renewed, and as Mindy/Danny (Dandy!) shippers here at H&H, we couldn't agree more.

[Brush up on your Game of Thrones knowledge...]

Mar 4 2015 9:21am

“This One for the Footmen”: Downton Funk

Wanting to catch up on Downton Abbey, but just don't have the time to devote to four seasons of British Period Drama goodness? Or maybe you're already missing the Crawleys after Sundays season finale? Never fear, College Humor is here for you! You can catch up on major Downton plot points and get this catchy tune stuck in you head! Be warned, “Downton Funk” is set to the tune of Mark Ronson's “Uptown Funk,” featuring Bruno Mars, and it will get stuck in your head!

What do you think, would Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, approve of this mash-up?

Jan 9 2015 5:30pm

Friday Beefcake: Curl Up in Bed with Tatum, Foley, and More!

Scott Foley in BedIt's the time of year when all good boys and girls just spend the winter months in bed, under the blankets, or otherwise all bundled up. Whether you're cuddling with your animals, your children, or your significant other, you might want to think about asking these guys to join you later.

Who is the beefcake you want to curl up with this winter?

[Baby, it's cold outside...]