<i>The Perfect Game</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Perfect Game: Exclusive Excerpt Elley Arden "An unlikely attraction—threaten to derail their season." <i>Ruck Me</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Ruck Me: Exclusive Excerpt Rebecca Norinne "What started off as a bit of fun has quickly spiraled out of control..." <i>His Command</i>: Exclusive Excerpt His Command: Exclusive Excerpt Sophie H. Morgan "Follow his lead and she'll get everything she's ever wished for." <em>Her Fake Engagement</em> Her Fake Engagement Gigi Garrett H&H members can read our brand-new original novella for FREE!
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Showing posts tagged: Christina Lauren click to see more stuff tagged with Christina Lauren
Fri
Jun 30 2017 11:00am

13 Books H&H Reviewers Couldn’t Put Down in June 2017

Our reviewers give us the scoop every day on the books they're loving and share their opinions here on Heroes and Heartbreakers. However, each month, we ask them to make a tough decision and recommend the best thing they've read over the last month! It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle a bit more.

Without further ado, here’s the installment for June 2017 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the Related Posts section at the bottom of the post):

Darlene Marshall:

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Hunted by Meagan Spooner (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is my pick. I've read a lot of Beauty and the Beast stories over the years, and I'd put this one in the top five. Yelena, nicknamed “Beauty”, is a hunter like her beloved father. When the family suffers a reversal of fortune the father and daughter depend on their hunting skills to keep the family alive.

This Beauty is bookish, yes, but also an athletic outdoorswoman, skilled with her bow. It's a refreshing change from the usual B&B fare. We also have two sisters who, rather than being greedy and hating Beauty, love and support her, another refreshing change.

The Beast is...the Beast. We know he's got a prince inside of him, but he is sufficiently beastly to Beauty to help us buy into the entire tale.

Finally, using Russian folklore and setting for the tale helps give it a fresh twist, and works well with the narrative.

I'm almost sorry it's shelved as a YA novel. Had I not read such glowing reviews from fellow authors, I might have missed this altogether, and that would have been a shame. I highly recommend it to readers of any age. It's excellent.

Victoria Janssen:

My favorite read of June 2017 was We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (Amazon | B&N | Kobo), about families and how we think about families, and also about animals and how humans relate to them, and what that says about us both. I suspect I'm going to get a lot more out of this book as it percolates slowly through my brain in days to come.

[Read more...]

Wed
Jun 14 2017 2:30pm

16 Audiobook Narrators You’ll Have a Crush on by the End of this Post

Source: Shutterstock

I have such a crush on…your voice.

I was brand new to audiobooks in 2012. At the time I was a high school English teacher driving an hour back and forth to grad school one night a week, and I wanted something more than the radio. A colleague had just finished listening to Maggie Stiefvater’s Scorpio Races and said it was one of the best audiobooks he’d ever listened to, so I gave it a shot.

The narrators are Fiona Hardingham as Puck and Steve West as Sean. The story itself is fantastic, but read by these two performers it was utterly magical. Also, something interesting happened. I kind of fell hard for Steve West—‘s voice. I even blogged about it on my short-lived YA blog, ending my review with the wish that I could have Steve West narrate my inner monologue. And he responded to my blog post. And yes I’m still squeeing about years later because yes I still crush on his voice and his audio performances. In fact, I’m currently listening to Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer, narrated by—of course—Steve West.

It wasn't until Steve West commented on my Facebook that I learned audiobooks are more than just having books read to you. Beyond earning some bragging rights, I learned it’s a full-on performance. Single actors can sometimes taking on various roles with such distinguishably different voices that it often astounds me it’s the same person the whole way through. And when you click with the right narrator, it is a transformative experience.

For those of you still on the fence about whether or not to try an audiobook, I’m going to share a list of my narrator crushes with you and the books they performed (with audio samples!) that hooked me. Because now I seek out my favorite narrators as much as I do my favorite authors. For any of you who already adore audiobooks as much as I do, please share your voice crushes in the comments so we can bring more readers over to the audio side. Also, it’s important to note there are so many different ways to listen to audiobooks: CDs, audiobook subscriptions, your public library’s digital collection, etc.

And now for the list! While I read both YA and adult, all books I’m sharing are chock full of what we come to Heroes and Heartbreakers for—ROMANCE!

[Read more...]

Tue
Jun 13 2017 1:00pm

Sally Thorne and Christina Lauren on Hate-Love Goals and Fangirling Over Each Other’s Books

The line between love and hate can be very fine, especially when you add in the extra complications of office rivalries! Christina Lauren recently released their office romance Dating You / Hating You and we're head over heels for it—but did you know they're also friends of another office romance author we're crushing on? Sally Thorne's debut, The Hating Game, landed on many Best of the Year lists, and has left us panting for more. Today, these authors are here to dish on all bookish things, love-hate, and office shenanigans. 

Meet you at the water cooler!

Writing often starts as a hobby—Christina and Lauren, even though you’ve been in the business for a while now, we know you’ve been working on this book longer than most people would guess. Can all three of you you tell us about the origin story for Dating You / Hating You and The Hating Game?

Christina Lauren: Dating You / Hating You was initially going to be a ‘standalone spinoff’ from the Beautiful Series, where two young professionals meet and hit it off the weekend before a job interview. They find themselves at the same office on Monday morning, and both meet Will Sumner from Beautiful Player, only to be told that he needs them both temporarily, and the permanent position will be opening at the end of the summer. Cue the competition.

But this outline didn’t last very long, and we adjusted it before we even began drafting in mid-2015.  We wanted the boss to be a bit of a villain, and that would never have worked with our beloved Will.

Incidentally, we’ve been friends with Sally for a number of years, and after she finished a draft called Hating Joshua Templeman she sent it to us to read. Only a few pages in we knew we wouldn’t be able to read it until we’d finished drafting because of the similar concept, but we hooked her up with Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary anyway, and the rest is history.

Sally Thorne: The Hating Game was a present for a friend’s birthday. I said I’d write her a short story and needed a prompt word to inspire me. The prompt word she gave me was ‘nemesis’ and it was a real lightning strike. I could see a man and a woman in a silent office, opposite each other, staring, a sense of tension and animosity between them. I started writing in every spare moment I could grab and couldn’t stop until The End, around six weeks later. It was my first manuscript that I got all the way to The End- everything else I ever started just fizzled out and are in the elephant graveyard in my computer marked ‘archive’ This story really wanted me to tell it- I just never imagined I’d ever publish it. I’m still in a state of shock.

[Read more...]

Mon
Jun 5 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Christina Lauren’s Dating You/Hating You (June 6, 2017)

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren
Dating You/Hating You 
Gallery Books / June 6, 2017 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

Christina Lauren is back. And I for one am glad that this writing duo has ventured into stand-alones with Dating You / Hating You, their first romance release after the long-running, fan-favorite Beautiful series. And if there’s a shift in tone, it’s still the same great Christina Lauren we love.

Carter and Evie hit it off at mutual friends’ couples Halloween party, where they’re singles and strangers, but who come dressed as Harry and Hermione… I mean, this is a no-brainer. But it’s really in the brutal light of day that they discover they’re both top Hollywood agents, and the hits keep coming when they learn in that Twilight Zone kind of way that their companies have actually merged and not only are they now under the same roof—they’re in the same department, competing for the same job. Talk about trick or treat.

So far I’ve only given them the bullet points:

  • Hiding in my office, worrying I was going to be fired.
  • Meeting with Brad.
  • Thinking I might not be fired.
  • Surprise! There might only be a job here for one of you.
  • And by one of you, we mean you or this new guy you want to bang.

[Read more...]

Wed
May 31 2017 9:30am

June 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List

Find your future faves with this delightfully convenient shopping list of romance novels coming out in June.

We’ve divided them up by week to make it easier for you to find the newest releases. For those who’ve got a very specific obsession, we also divided the list up by subgenre and there are some great books to look forward to, and you can can find them in our printable version. Our shopping list is the biggest yet, so don’t forget to take this printable version with you when it’s time to shop!

Authors: Have we missed your release before? Drop us a line at heroesnhearts@gmail.com with your title, full name, release date, and series name (if you have one) for your upcoming July 2017 release!

Jump to New Releases for the Week of:

June 1-6 |  June 7-13 June 14-20June 21-30

Week of June 1 through June 6

[New Releases Ahead!]

Wed
May 17 2017 12:01pm
Excerpt

Christina Lauren Excerpt: Dating You / Hating You

Christina Lauren

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

Everyone knows that all’s fair in love and war. But these two will learn that sabotage is a dish best served naked.
Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.
But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?
Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending, or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, hilarious story of romance in the modern world.

Get a sneak peek at Christina Lauren's Dating You / Hating You (available June 6, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Get caught up and read Chapter 1, here!

Chapter Two
Carter

Michael Christopher finds me Saturday morning, paper open on the table, coffeemaker sputtering quietly in the background.

“Glad you didn’t try to drive home.” His voice is broken-glass scratchy, and when I look up, I grin at the sight of him in a blue velvet bathrobe hanging haphazardly open over a faded T-shirt and a pair of striped boxers. Atop his head, his hair reaches a campfire peak.

“Morning, Mr. Hefner.”

He swears roundly when his foot locates a handful of Legos buried in the fluffy kitchen rug.

[Read the full Dating You / Hating You excerpt...]

Tue
May 9 2017 4:25pm

Read Chapter 1 from Christina Lauren’s Dating You/Hating You

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Back in October, we fell in love with the concept of Christina Lauren's Dating You/Hating You. Office rivals turned friends turned lovers? Yeah, we're definitely going to be “flagging for follow-up” to get the scoop on this book! In a reveal of the first chapter on Hypable, Christina and Lauren admitted this is their favorite trope to write, and we gotta say, we love to read it, too! 

Learn more about the book here: 

Everyone knows that all’s fair in love and war. But these two will learn that sabotage is a dish best served naked.

The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending, or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, hilarious story of romance in the modern world.

Are you totally hooked? So are we! 

Learn more about or pre-order your copy of Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren, available June 6, 2017: 

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

 

 

Buy at IndieBound

Buy at Kobo

 

 

 

 

Tue
May 9 2017 2:30pm

Sharing is Caring—Especially in a Group-Listen of Christina Lauren’s Wicked Sexy Liar

Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren’s Wicked Sexy Liar took my audiobook virginity in a crazy threesome last year and my reading life has never been the same . . .

Before my audiobook threesome, I’d been completely against audiobooks. I’d sworn that listening to a book instead of reading was dishonest and downright cheating. I never believed that I’d be completely spent after one weekend with a new book boyfriend, even after I’d shared him with two other women who’d swooned right along with me.  

My friends and I had been on the road for two hours already, and we’d exhausted all the car games we knew, listened (and sung at the top of our lungs) to as much old school music we’d been able to tolerate and we’d still had at least three hours before we’d reached our destination – the Spring Fling writer’s conference. Chicago North Romance Writers hosted the conference and Cristina and Lauren were one of the keynote speakers. After some debate, we’d agreed to listen to Wicked Sexy Liar using the car stereo. 

[Read more...]

Thu
Apr 20 2017 4:45pm

Don’t You Forget About Me: Romance News & Deals from Sophie Kinsella, Luanne Rice, 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

Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella

Deal Alert: Sophie Kinsella's women's fiction novel Remember Me? is $1.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* After an accident, Lexi faces a three-year gap in her memory and has absolutely no clue how she ended up with everything she ever wanted...but did she really? Do you love Kinsella? We've got some additional authors for you to try.

Deal Alert: Rose Pressey's paranormal romance A Charmed Life is $.99 at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* Halloween LaVeau's got a full plate as the leader of the Underworld and the owner of a bed-and-breakfast. This quirky and funny paranormal romance will leave you laughing and wanting more of Halloween and crew. 

Deal Alert: Luanne Rice's women's fiction novel Home Fires is $1.99 at iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Anne returns to her island hometown as her marriage falls apart and Manhattan loses its luster. A house fire ignites a change in Anne and brings about love she never could've expected. Second chances can be oh, so sweet. 

Deal Alert: Christine d'Abo's erotic romance 30 Nights is $2.99 at Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* Research assistant Glenna has a major crush on a handsome university professor, Eric, and decides to conduct an experiment they''ll never be able to forget. Don't you forget to check out these erotic Best Bets!

[+Christina Lauren cover & a Maya Banks excerpt...]

Fri
Apr 14 2017 4:30pm

Sin-Sational: Romance News & Deals from Christina Lauren, Tessa Bailey, 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

Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren

Deal Alert: Christina Lauren's new adult romance Wicked Sexy Liar is $1.99 at iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | etc.* You will definitely be entertained by London and Luke in the fourth book of Lauren's Wild Seasons series. Heat, tension, and the city of sin combine to make this one delicious read. 

Deal Alert: Tessa Bailey's contemporary romance Worked Up, the third book in her Made in Jersery series, is $.99 at Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | etc.* Bailey is known for her dirty-talking heroes, and Duke Crawford is no exception. Reviewer Tiffany Tyer says that Made in Jersey is Bailey's “best series to date.”

Deal Alert: Dakota Gray's erotic romance Perv is $.99 at Amazon | etc.* This book will absolutely burn up your e-reader with this amazing enemies-to-lovers story full of teasing, revenge, and—OMG—so much hotness. Perv also received an honorable mention on the list of 2016's best kisses in romance novels for kisses...er...not on the mouth.

Deal Alert: Rebecca Zanetti's romantic suspense novel Deadly Silence is $1.99 at Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* Reviewer Dolly Sickles says Zanetti is a “master at weaving together four tension-filled, substantial storylines” in this first book of her Blood Brothers series. 

[+The Last Jedi trailer and Still Star-Crossed get a premiere date...]

Fri
Mar 31 2017 4:30pm

Let’s Hear it for the Ladies!: Romance News & Deals from Debbie Macomber, Tamara Morgan, 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

Stealing Mr. Right by Tamara Morgan

Deal Alert: Tamara Morgan's romantic suspense novel Stealing Mr. Right is $.99 on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Penelope's a jewel thief and her husband, Grant, is an FBI agent. A dangerous mix to be sure—especially as she finds herself falling for him (for real this time). Get a taste of Stealing Mr. Right with an excerpt from chapter 1. 

Deal Alert: Debbie Macomber's contemporary romance 50 Harbor Street is $1.99 at Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* The fifth book in Macomber's Cedar Cove series brings another mystery to the small, cozy, yet always bustling Cedar Cove. Macomber may write sweet romances, but that doesn't mean they're soft. (This series was also adapted for the Hallmark channel! Check out H&H's coverage.)

 Deal Alert: Tia Louise's romantic suspense novel The Prince and the Player is FREE at Kobo | iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* The first book in Louise's Dirty Players series pairs Zelda—on the run from an assassin—with Cal, playboy prince extraordinaire determined to win Zelda's heart. Get started with the series, and follow this Swoonie nominated couple!

[+Sherrilyn Kenyon excerpt & Christina Lauren talks feminism and romance novels...]

Mon
Mar 6 2017 4:00pm

Christina Lauren’s Roomies is a Marriage of Convenience Plot with a Broadway Twist—Exclusive Book Announcement!

Roomies by Christina Lauren

The yumminess of a marriage of convenience, the delight of roommates to lovers all set to a Broadway backdrop?! It doesn't get much better than that in Christina Lauren's new book, Roomies.

The mad geniuses behind the book had this to say:

“We had so much fun writing this book. Not only does it have have some of our favorite tropes—marriages of convenience, a mysterious International man and friends to lovers—but goes somewhere we've never gone before: The bright lights of Broadway. ”

We couldn't agree more! For Christina Lauren fans, the end of the Beautiful series was a bittersweet goodbye, but there was so much to look forward to! Dating You/Hating You is just around the corner, but if you need to add more of their books to your TBR pile (and let's be real, we always do) then you'll want to add Roomies!

Meet our hero and heroine and learn more about Roomies with the official description:

[Read more...]

Tue
Dec 13 2016 5:37pm

Lisa Kleypas to Tell Garrett’s Story Next?!: Romance News & Deals

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.}

Fresh Outta the Oven

Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas—Call a doctor! Lisa Kleypas was on Facebook Live at 3 p.m. EST today and we got a little hint at what's to come for fans of her Ravenels series. While we're still waiting on Devil in Spring, it may be time to reread Marrying Winterborne to get to know Garrett Gibson, the female doctor who won our hearts, and the next heroine of the untitled Ravenels book! 

Commander in Chief is reporting for duty! If Katy Evans' Mr. President left you wanting more, I have some very good news: The second book in the White House series is less than a month away, and our first hints at what's ahead for Matt and Charlotte can be found in the newly unveiled official description for Commander in Chief, which publishes January 11, 2017, with the tagline “Power has never been sexier.”

Could Christina Lauren's next book be their sexiest yet? Bustle investigates—and reveals the cover of Dating You / Hating You, out June 6, 2017.

Ready to go into hibernation with a great series? BookRiot offers up “10 Complete Romance Series to Binge-Read.”

[+E-deals on Chanel Cleeton, Loretta Chase & more...]

Sat
Nov 19 2016 12:00pm

Author Spotlight: Remember the First Romance Novel You Read?

Source: Shutterstock

Everyone remembers their first! Their first romance novel, that is. Over the past two years, we've had the honor of hearing from some of the genre's most beloved writers in a special Author Spotlight exclusively in our Heroes and Heartbreakers weekly newsletter. One question we've put to authors regularly is what they remember about the first romance novel they ever read. Now, we hope you enjoy reading all their delightful answers in one place!

Want to be the first to get updates on your favorite authors? Sign up to receive the Heroes and Heartbreakers newsletter.

What book introduced you to romance, and what do you remember about it?

Lauren Billings (a.k.a. one-half of Christina Lauren)

I grew up in the Bay Area, but nearly every weekend, my parents would take us north to a damp, drafty cabin on the Russian River. We’d build a fire and, away from social stress, homework, and sports routines, my sister and I would read for hours on end.

She would read John Steinbeck. I would read Danielle Steel.

I tore through them all. The first I read—Palomino—was a well-loved mass market paperback from a used book store. I bought it because I’d been away to summer camp, and had fallen in love with horses; I had no idea that it was a romance novel. But I was instantly smitten.

The family drama was All Kinds of Amazing, but let’s be real: I lived for the kissing parts. I liked Steinbeck all right, but from the moment I read Palomino, I knew that romance was my jam.

[Read more...]

Sat
Oct 29 2016 11:00am

October 2016 New Adult Romance Best Bets: Things That Hump Go Bump in the Night

Honor by Jay Crownover

October is the month when the temps start cooling (for some people) but the romance gets hotter. There’s more suspenseful but romantic readings and even some stories that go hump bump in the night. This month gives us a good blend, in New Adult, of these kind of reads. From villains finding their match to thrilling reads that include characters getting their ultimate revenge even to the paranormal with some Dragon Riders that are sure to steal your heart. Check out this month’s best bets in New Adult.

Honor by Jay Crownover is gripping and raises my stress levels. Nassir has been in the background of all the other books in the series (each can be read as a standalone) and he’s finally getting his story with Key. Filled with tension, there’s a raw energy between the characters that electrifies the story. True to each of their spirits, this book has darker themes but, Jay makes you believe that even a villain deserves to have his other half.

Twisted Palace by Erin Watt is the conclusion to this deliciously suspenseful series and it doesn’t hold back. With drama, great emotions and even higher stakes Ella and the Royals must find the answers they seek, before it’s too late. One of my favorite reads of the month, I can’t wait for more from this author duo.

[Read more...]

Tue
Oct 25 2016 4:30pm

Starships, Secret Societies & Stars Hollow: Romance News & Deals

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

Queen of Swords by Katee RobertDeal Alert: Katee Robert's gunrunner-meets-prince-on-a-starship sci-fi romance Queen of Swords, Book 1 in the Sanctify series, is only $.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* Love romances set in space? Be sure to also check out Melissa Landers' Starflight, Michelle Diener's Dark Horse, and more out-of-this-world books you should read.

Deal Alert: Sarah Morgan's contemporary romance Sleepless in Manhattan is on sale for $.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble etc.* “Sleepless in Manhattan is a series opening full of Morgan’s trademark humor, sexual tension, and portrayal of close friendship—all in a magical version of Manhattan,” writes JohnJacobson in his spotlight on the book.

Fresh Outta the Oven

—Christina Lauren's next book is called...Dating You/Hating You: Out next summer, the contemporary romance will pair up two characters who meet through their friends and enjoy a first date only to find themselves suddenly competing for the same job. Oops! For more scoop, read writing duo Christina and Lauren's whole Q&A with Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Still processing the end of the Beautiful series? We're here for ya!

Leigh Bardugo is moving to Ninth House: The author of YA fantasy novel Six of Crows and its sequel, Crooked Kingdom, has sold two new books to publisher Random House, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The first, titled Ninth House, will launch a new series about 20-year-old heroine Alex Stern, who has “lived a lot of lives before we meet her,” when she unexpectedly gets accepted to Yale University in order to keep an eye on the school's secrety societies. Anyone else suddenly flashing back to The Skulls?

[+Sherryl Lister cover, Gilmore Girls trailer, and more...]

Mon
Oct 3 2016 2:00pm

First Look: Christina Lauren’s Beautiful (October 4, 2016)

Beautiful by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren
Beautiful (The Beautiful Series #10)
Gallery Books / October 4, 2016 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

It’s clear that Christina Lauren love their lovable players, strangers, bitches, and bastards as much as we do because they’re going out in style. In the last of the best-selling, widely loved and praised Beautiful series—also the final title—workaholic Jensen and down-on-her-luck but adventurous Pippa live across the pond from each other, but have enough mutual friends and family that it seems like fate when they’re brought together as the only non-couple on a couples’ road trip, both needing an escape from lives that have become way too droll to still have so much ahead.

It was a good call having the other players on this boozy, scenic road trip be Will and Hanna—the forever favorites—and Ruby and Niall, the most recent happily ever we get to revisit so soon. In fact, there are a lot of parallels to Ruby and Niall for Pippa and Jensen: jaded, divorced heroes; fun-loving heroines; and a slower burn than some of the more frantic early beginnings for this crowd. It’s almost as though we’ve seen not only the evolution of characters we’ve come to love so much, to feel as ours, but also that of the authors pulling the strings. The emotions are deep, the real-life impact can be felt, and above all, their stories are about two people who come together exactly right.

[Read more...]

Tue
Sep 6 2016 9:45am
Excerpt

Beautiful: Exclusive Excerpt

Christina Lauren

Beautiful by Christina Lauren

The tenth work in the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling series that started with Beautiful Bastard.

A new couple finds love, and the casts of the previous books join in to celebrate this series finale in the most Beautiful way possible.

Get a sneak peek at Christina Lauren's Beautiful (available October 4, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

One

Pippa

I’ve tried not to be too bitter about the close friendship between clarity and hindsight.

Such as, only once you’re sitting for your final exams do you register that you might have studied a bit more. Or perhaps, staring down the barrel of a gun held in your face, you think, Gosh, I really was quite a wanker.

Or maybe you’ve just happened upon the white, thrusting bum of your idiot boyfriend as he shags another woman in your bed, and you muse with a touch of sarcasm, Ah, so that’s why he never fixed the squeaky stair.

It was the Pippa alarm.

I threw my purse at him mid-thrust, hitting him squarely in the back. It sounded like a hundred tubes of lipstick hitting a brick wall.

[Read the full Beautiful excerpt...]

Wed
Aug 17 2016 4:45pm

The Fifty Shades Revolution... Or Why I’m Thankful for E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

It's hard to believe that Fifty Shades of Grey was only published back in 2011, but here we are five years later... and I am grateful. Yes, you read that correctly: Grateful. Am I a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey? Not really. Do I know people who are? Of course. Do I judge them for it? Not one bit.

Fifty Shades triggered a reading revolution the likes of which we hadn't seen since J.K. Rowling dared children to call themselves “readers” without mockery or Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series challenged women and teens to choose a side in an epic reading war. In fact, it was because of Twilight that we are here today talking about this phenomena. It got teens reading, and six years later, it got them intrigued in its published fan fiction, Fifty Shades of Grey. 

Women who were told they weren't readers, who were too busy to read, who only thought books were those recommended in your English lit class—they all became book lovers. Teens and grandmothers alike were reading Fifty Shades of Grey and talking about romance in a way that hasn't been seen since its first rocket to the mainstream consciousness in the 1970s and '80s. In 2011, the book community was about to embark on a reading rebellion like few of us have ever seen—and that the majority of us were fully prepared for. 

What was Fifty Shades' Influence? 

The Conversation

As one of my friends on Twitter mentioned, Fifty Shades not only had us talking about it among fellow readers, but also took the conversation to a large national stage with widely respected and “legitimate” news outlets. It wasn't just niche readers who were talking about it, but mainstream news outlets. It was talked about in every newspaper, magazine, and morning show. The author became a celebrity, and shortly after, a movie was made—bringing the series to even greater global attention. 

While many outlets talked about it in a derisive way, the books also had people asking questions: Why is romance so popular? Who is actually reading it? Is everyone secretly a sexual deviant? 

Okay, that last probably wasn't asked all that often, but who can forget the Today show feature calling Fifty Shades of Grey “the dirty secret in the suburbs,” but don't worry, Dr. Drew (the biggest opponent of the book in that segment) quickly got schooled by the internet on the subject. 

However, in starting the discourse—condescending as it was at first—the series allowed us to change the conversation and correct some long-held misconceptions. 

[Time to break out of the ties that bind the genre...]

Wed
Jul 6 2016 4:30pm

Romance and Fan Fiction Readers Have More in Common Than You Think

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Do you like fan fic? Are you still recovering from the ending of the Harry Potter or Twilight series? Do you like to read fun, sometimes wacky stories? Me, too. I don’t spend nearly as much time on WattPad or Archive of Our Own as devoted readers, but I’ve found fun parallels in novel-land.

If you don’t know what fan fiction (fan fic) is, the simplest definition is this: works of fiction written by fans of a commercial work. The fan fic is not written for profit and is written as an act of love. Popular franchises that have generated a lot of fan fic include Harry Potter, Twilight, Marvel/DC comics, numerous bands (bandom!) and Supernatural. Supernatural has even featured their fandom on episodes of the show!

If you are a romance reader, fan fic can offer you short (or sometimes longer) interludes with ‘ships you miss and ‘ships that never existed in canon. For fan fic readers, romance can offer new, long form stories that hit the same buttons as your favorite couple stories. There are several reasons why romance and fan fic readers overlap. One reason is that both work with tropes, often inverting them or pushing them to some pretty wacky and fun places. Another reason is the ‘ships. (Relationships.) Wish Harry and Hermione had hooked up? Harry and Draco? Harry and Ron? Or maybe you’re Team Jacob? Fan fic is here for you.

When I started writing this post I was nearly paralyzed with self-doubt.  Fan fic is incredibly personal. Agreeing on source material you like is one thing, but then agreeing on what aspects or ‘ships should be pulled out and given their own longer stories? That’s a different beast entirely. So take these recommendations for what they are – favorites of mine as a fan fic and romance reader.

[Team Fan Fic!]