<i>Pregnant by the Billionaire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Pregnant by the Billionaire: Exclusive Excerpt Karen Booth "His departure warranted something closer to an embrace and a kiss on the cheek." Sexy Contemporary Sampler Sexy Contemporary Sampler Cherrie Lynn, Jessica Linden and Elizabeth Hayley Start reading now! <i>Single-Minded</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Single-Minded: Exclusive Excerpt Lisa Daily "Alex navigates the booby-trapped world of modern dating" <i>Oversight</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Oversight: Exclusive Excerpt Santino Hassell "A broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze..."
From The Blog
June 28, 2017
Problematic Fave: You’ve Got Mail
Jennifer Proffitt
June 27, 2017
Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Gracie, Hassell, and Blair
Team H & H
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Sexy Contemporary Sampler
Cherrie Lynn, Jessica Linden and Elizabeth Hayley
June 24, 2017
ICYMI: June’s Free E-Book, Psy-Changeling, Top Lorraine Heath, and more!
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June 23, 2017
5 Reasons You Should Listen to Audiobooks
Nicole Leapheart
Showing posts tagged: Sarah MacLean click to see more stuff tagged with Sarah MacLean
Tue
Jun 27 2017 4:31pm

Make or Break: Romance Deals & News from Tessa Bailey, JR Ward & 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

Make Me by Tessa BaileyDeal Alert: Tessa Bailey's contemporary romance Make Me, Book 3 in the Broke and Beautiful series, is $.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Construction worker Russell has been in love with Abby since he met her, but she's way out of his league. Or is she? P.S. You can also read Tessa Bailey's H&H Quickie scene “Penalty Kiss” for free on H&H anytime.

Deal Alert: J.R. Ward's contemporary family saga The Bourbon Kings, first in the Bourbon Kings trilogy about the Bradford family, is $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* The return of prodigal son Tulane Bradford to his family's estate, where his one-time love Lizzie King is the head gardener, leads to all sorts of delicious complications. Picture all the characters with help from our Bourbon Kings fantasy cast.

Deal Alert: Sabrina Sol's contemporary romance Delicious Temptation, first in the Delicious Desires series, is $.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Good-girl Amara wants to save her family's Mexican bakery, if only they'd let her, but she also wants to do very bad things with her brother's ex-best friend, Eric. Bad boys are a romance staple for good reason.

Deal Alert: Joanna Bourne's French Revolution-set historical romance The Forbidden Rose, Book 3 in the Spymaster series, is $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* She's a French aristocrat living in secret as a British governess, and he's a spy out for revenge on her family. It shouldn't end well, but it totally does. Enjoy out-of-the-ordinary historicals? Here are 5 more worth checking out this month.

Deal Alert: May McGoldrick's historical romance Taming the Highlander, a RITA finalist and the second book in the Scottish Relic trilogy, is $1.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Conall Sinclair, the Earl of Caithness and a wounded warrior, can't stand to be around anyone...except Innes Munro, who can sense his past with a touch and who makes him burn with want. McGoldrick fans will be happy to hear about a new story in the Say Yes to the Scot anthology also featuring Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harington, and Sabrina York—read samples from the book.

[+Jeaniene Frost excerpt, Ilona Andrews interview & more...]

Tue
Jun 20 2017 9:30am

First Look: Sarah MacLean’s The Day of the Duchess (June 27, 2017)

The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean
The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel #3)
Avon / June 27, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital 

Note: This review will leave you absolutely dying to read Sarah MacLean's The Day of the Duchess, however, it does contain some light spoilers so if you don't want to be spoiled at all, come back to discuss once you've read the book! 

My initial review looked like this:

The Day of the Duchess is the best book Sarah MacLean has ever written. You should read it immediately.

Heroes & Heartbreakers tells me that you might like a more thorough review, however, so here we are. In order to contain the SQUEE, I’ve broken it down into three parts…

Did Sarah answer all of my/our questions?

Back in January, I wrote a post speculating about this book. I had so many questions, particularly about Sera’s pregnancy and whereabouts. Some pretty heavy spoilers drop in the first 50 pages of the book, so I’m going to be a little cagey in this review. Let’s just say that all of the questions are answered.

Sera wants a divorce because she wants to own property, something she can’t do as a married woman, since women aren’t legal entities in 1836. She also wants, after nearly 3 years of hiding, to finally be free of her past with Malcom, Duke of Haven. Sera is a complex heroine who is competent, grieving, and mad as hell. Sarah MacLean writes books with feminist overtones, but this may be her most feminist book yet. Sera is a heroine to cheer for, but she’s not perfect. She’s strong but flawed, smart but blinded by emotion, jaded but hopeful.

“The whole world thinks you ruined me before you married me, when the truth is that I was not ruined until after the fact. You ruined my hopes. My dreams. My future. You ruined my life. And I’ve had enough of that. I am here for one reason only, Your Grace. I want my life back. The one you stole.”

Was Haven successfully redeemed?

[Read more...]

Wed
Jun 7 2017 4:30pm

All Bite, No Bark: Romance News & Deals from Susan Howatch, Rebecca Zanetti, 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

Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann

Deal Alert: Brooklyn Ann's historical paranormal romance Bite Me, Your Grace is $1.99 at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* Ian Ashton, the Lord Vampire, enlists the help of budding novelist Angelica Winthrop in order to quell the growing suspicions around London about vampiric sightings. If you love this, we've got lots of Unusual Historicals to recommend...

Deal Alert: Susan Howatch's family saga Cashelmara is $1.99 at Amazon | etc.* If you're in the mood for a British saga, look no further than Susan Howatch's Edwardian-set drama. Cashelmara follows the fortunes of three generations as they struggle for survival.

Deal Alert: Rebecca Zanetti's romantic suspense novel Mercury Striking is $1.99 at iBooks | Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* The first novel in Zanetti's Scorpius Syndrome series introduces us to a dystopic world in chaos with Dr. Lynn Harmony and Jax Mercury doing their best to try and save it. Check out our First Look. 

[+Beverly Jenkins cover reveal, Dan Stevens Q&A, & Boozy books...]

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!]

Tue
Apr 4 2017 4:30pm

Crazy Little Thing Called Love: Romance News & Deals from Valerie Bowman, Sarah 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

Crazy Pucking Love by Cindi Madsen

Deal Alert: Cindi Madsen's sports romance Crazy Pucking Love is $.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* A best-friend's-little-sister story with a bit of a twist—she's the team captain's little sister. Suit up for this too-sexy-to-put-down hockey romance. H&H staffer Jenn Proffitt named Crazy Pucking Love one of her top romances of 2016. 

Deal Alert: Valerie Bowman's Regency romance The Irresistible Rogue is $1.99 at iBooks | AmazonKobo | etc.* The fourth book in Bowman's Playful Brides series is a delightful romp that includes a spy mission, not-so-unrequited love, and forced proximity with lots and lots of pining. Check out our First Look.

Deal Alert: Sarah Morgan's romantic comedy Sunset in Central Park is $.99 at Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* This friends-to-lovers story set against the busy backdrop of Manhattan left reviewer John Jacobson delighted with Morgan's ability to “create a world that allows you to dream of a love that has the perfect aftertaste of sweetness and satisfaction we crave.”

[+Cover for the next Alyssa Cole Loyal League novel & Sarah MacLean Recommends!]

Fri
Mar 10 2017 1:17pm

Breaking News: Sarah MacLean Announces Bareknuckle Bastards Series!

Author Sarah MacLean announced on Twitter today that we've got new books to look forward to!!

The Day of the Duchess author is starting a new series called Bareknuckle Bastards, and promises that we'll get a peak at the Bastards in the upcoming Scandal and Scoundrels series release. 


 

We're so excited!

[Read more...]

Fri
Feb 10 2017 5:30pm

Slings & Arrows: Romance News and Deals from Lauren D.M. Smith, Lili Valente, 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 Emperor's Arrow by Lauren D.M. Smith

Deal Alert: Lauren D.M. Smith's The Emperor's Arrow is $.99 on iBooks | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | etc.* Get swept into a high-fantasy romance, full of kick-ass lady warrirors. And make sure you check out 11 more unforgettable fantasy novels from this Winter 2017.

Deal Alert: Lili Valente's A Love So Dangerous is FREE on Amazon | Kobo | B&N | etc.* A dirty-talking bad boy takes center stage in this scorching hot romance. What is it about dirty-talking heroes that we just can't get enough of?

Deal Alert: Christine Kingsley's Return to Love is FREE on Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N | etc.* A bakery owner and the cowboy she never forgot meet up in this small town romance. If you were a small town romance, what would you be?

[+A Kresley Cole reading guide and more...]

Tue
Jan 10 2017 4:00pm

Where’s Sera’s Baby? and Other Questions We Have for The Day of the Duchess

The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

This post contains spoilers for all books in the Scandal & Scoundrel series by Sarah MacLean and heavy speculation on what's to come in The Day of the Duchess. 

Sarah MacLean’s Scandal & Scoundrel series is loosely based on modern celebrity scandals, complete with gossip rag columns sprinkled throughout. As with modern scandals, we readers don’t know the full story or probably even half of the story. But isn’t it delicious to speculate? Let’s do.

The next installment in the series is The Day of the Duchess, featuring the Duke and Duchess of Haven, Malcolm and Seraphina. In the first book, the heroine, Sera’s sister Sophie, pushes the Duke into a fish pond at a garden party after a very public row… after she catches him with someone who is very much not Sera. It causes a scandal that compels Sophie to dash off into the country, get shot, get married, etc. That shove is really the catalyst for the plot of The Rogue Not Taken. To say it’s memorable is an understatement.

In book two, A Scot in the Dark, the heroine, Lily, has become a friendless outcast, until she meets the Soiled S’s. Like the modern day Kardashian sisters, the Talbot sisters (Sophie, Sera, Sesily, Seline, and Seleste) fill the pages of the gossip rags in London. Sesily and Sophie in particular befriend our Lily, standing up for her during her own scandal. But where’s Sera?

Sounds like we’ll find out in The Day of the Duchess!

What We Know

[Read more...]

Thu
Nov 24 2016 3:00pm

Trivia: Can You Remember These Romance Novelists’ First Novel?

It's H&H Trivia Night, and what could make trivia more fun!?—make it about romance novels! Flex your brain muscles and see if you can recall your favorite romance author's very first novel! There are some tricky ones on the list, can you guess them all correctly? 

Special Note: Each other is under their first full book under this exact pen name, not necessarily the first one they ever published under any pen name. It adds some extra spice, don't you think?

[Can you guess them all?]

Wed
Nov 2 2016 11:00am

Sarah MacLean The Day of the Duchess Stepback Reveal

Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Today we're thrilled to reveal the stepback for Sarah MacLean's The Day of the Duchess. Last week, we got to see the full cover, and the stepback is always a great surprise to find—especially in this case as it gives us a glimpse of the steaminess to come between estranged husband and wife, Seraphina and Malcolm, the Duke and Duchess of Haven! When you have a couple coming back together again—especially after everything this couple has been through—there needs to be a good grovel. Sarah MacLean is here today, too, to give us a sneak peek at just what Haven will need to do to win back his wife! Thanks, Sarah!

There are many many reasons to love this stepback. First, it's bananas
sexy. I mean, that hand, that back, that foot...where is that foot
going? *fans self* Second, for all its sexiness, it's so tremendously
romantic. The level of adoration that this hero is showing for this
heroine? It's just perfect. But for me, the best part about this
stepback is that it shows exactly what has to happen in this book.

The Day of the Duchess is the story of a marriage gone horribly, horribly
wrong. We first meet this couple at the start of the Scandal &
Scoundrel series in the first chapter of The Rogue Not Taken, when
they are knee-deep in loathing for each other. This book begins years
later, after both of their lives have been changed forever. Seraphina,
the heroine, turns up demanding her freedom, and the hero, Haven, has
to prove his worth to her. In doing so, he's going to have to give up
everything he's ever wanted. He's going to have to get down on his
knees. He's going to have to worship her. In short, he's going to have
to grovel. And that's why I love this stepback so much—he's so
devastated by their past—and so desperate for their future. I love
it.

[Read more...]

Thu
Oct 27 2016 4:22pm

Living for Lovegame and The Day of the Duchess: 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

Lovegame by Tracy WolffDeal Alert: Tracy Wolff's dark, sensual romantic suspense Lovegame is only $.99 in e-book at Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | etc.* If you're curious about Wolff's backlist, Miss_D very much enjoyed her 5-part Play Me serial, noting: “Erotica on its own is good, but erotica with emotional angst and well-written characters is wonderful!”

Deal Alert: Susan Mallery's contemporary romance A Fool's Gold Christmas is $1.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks | etc.* “In most of the more than one hundred romance and women’s fiction novels she has written, Mallery shows the messiness and the complications of families, and she shows her heroes and heroines finding what Frankie in Carson McCullers’s A Member of the Wedding called 'the we of me,'” writes Janga in her piece “There's No Place Like Home: Finding Family with Susan Mallery.”

Deal Alert: D.D. Ayres' K-9 Rescue romance Primal Force is discounted to $2.99 in e-book at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* As Ayres points out in a special H&H guest post, the best romance heroes and most beloved dogs share a lot of qualities. How true is this, really?!

[+Sarah MacLean's The Day of the Duchess cover is heeeeere...]

Tue
Sep 20 2016 9:30am

The Double Standard of the Virgin and the Vixen, The Scoundrel and the Saint

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

Today we're joined by Sarah Maclean (A Scot in the Dark) on Heroes and Heartbreakers. For both the characters in Sarah's A Scot in the Dark, they're faced with the double standards of the world they live in—neither one being wanted for anything beyond how society sees them. Sarah is here today to discuss this very double standard, and asks the important question: why can't we have it all? Thanks, Sarah!

The Virgin & the Scoundrel. The Wallflower & the Rake. The Bluestocking & the Bastard. I can hear your happy romance novel sighs right now, Romancelandia. We love a rogue. And not just in books. We love a cad in the world. The sports star with the winning smile and the scandalous past. The Clooney-esque playboy who finally meets his match. The natural-born charmer, tall, dark and handsome, who can have any woman he wants. I should know, as I’ve written my fair share of scoundrels, and fallen hard and fast for every one of them.

[Read more...]

Fri
Sep 16 2016 11:50am

Seraphina’s Hero Is Who?!: Scoop on Sarah MacLean’s The Day of the Duchess!

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLeanWe've been speculating about the heroine of Sarah MacLean's third Scandal and Scoundrel novel, The Day of the Duchess, since even before the release of Book 2, A Scot in the Dark, last month. MacLean teased that we'd seen this particular heroine before, and we gave it our best guess. Turns out—we were right!

Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, is our leading lady. Which makes her hero...

Wait, could this possibly be right?

Stop reading now if you don't want ANY spoilers about the book...

***Spoiler Alert***

[Should we have known all along?...]

Tue
Aug 30 2016 4:00pm

First Look: Sarah MacLean’s A Scot in the Dark (August 30, 2016)

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean
A Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel #2)
Avon Romance / August 30, 2016 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

A Scot in the Dark, the second entry in Sarah MacLean’s Scandal & Scoundrel series, follows Alec Stuart and his ward, Lillian Hargrove. Alec is the Duke of Warnick, a Scot who inherited the title after the 17 others in line for it before him died in a variety of unexpected ways. Most of them didn’t have families, so their properties and responsibilities all fell to him. Lily is one of those responsibilities, and after falling in love with the wrong man, she finds herself a pariah with no prospects.

The story begins when Alec is instructed to fix things and travels to London, finding a spirited young woman who is (justifiably) tired of men and rules. MacLean is a master of tension (she teaches workshops on it, I’m not exaggerating here), and the tension in the novel comes largely from a lack of trust between our main characters.

Alec was raised by a father who emotionally abandoned him after Alec’s English mother physically abandoned them to return to London (and then died shortly thereafter). Apparently she didn’t love her family enough to stay in the country, and Alec has spent his life either trying to win her approval or giving the metaphorical middle finger to England and wandering his Scottish estate barechested with two giant dogs for company.

[Read more...]

Tue
Aug 23 2016 12:03pm
Excerpt

A Scot in the Dark: Exclusive Excerpt

Sarah MacLean

A Scot in the Dark: Scandal & Scoundrel, Book II by Sarah MacLean

Lonesome Lily turned Scandalous Siren

Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate . . . until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke

The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.

Tartan Comes to Town

Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else’s problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It’s the perfect plan, until Lily declares she’ll only marry for love...and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much...

Get a sneak peek at Lisa Sarah MacLean's A Scot in the Dark (available August 30, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“Lovely” Lily Starts Season with Specious Style

At half-nine that evening, Alec stood at the foot of the main staircase, trying to avoid the gaze of the painting nearby. The bejeweled hound within appeared to see everything from her position and, as she lay in repose on her inane silk pillow, she most certainly mocked him.

[Read the full A Scot in the Dark excerpt...]

Fri
Aug 12 2016 8:42am

What Would You Like to See This Year?

In the coming months you'll see reviews, excerpts, and more coming from our bloggers and guest authors from some of the biggest names in the genre: Sarina Bowen, Sarah MacLean, Nalini Singh, Robyn Carr, RaeAnne Thayne, Mary Balogh, and Mary Janice Davidson, just to name a few. 

What books are you most excited about? 

Mon
Aug 1 2016 10:57am

Breaking News: Sarah MacLean’s The Day of the Duchess is Next in her Scandal & Scoundrel Series!

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean took to her Instagram and Twitter today to let us know that the next novel in her Scandal and Scoundrels Series will be The Day of The Duchess out early 2017. 

I'm curious to know who'll be next up in this exciting and delicious series.

When asked by a reader if the book's heroine might be Sera (Sophie Talbot's sister and another of the Dangerous Daughters, Seraphina), MacLean teased on Twitter that “you've met this particular duchess before!” but wouldn't say who!

 

— sarah maclean (@sarahmaclean) August 1, 2016

What are your theories?

And remember, if you're not caught up on the series, The Rogue Not Taken is the first book, available now; the second, A Scot in the Dark, available for pre-order, is out August 30, 2016.

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

 

 

Mon
Jul 11 2016 3:00pm

Best Books to Read After Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series

Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day

Sylvia Day is known for her deeply emotional, well-written and sexy as hell novels. I fell in love with her writing after meeting Gideon and Ava in Bared to You. If you’re bummed that Sylvia Day’s addictive Crossfire series has concluded, you can get your fix with these great reads:

Try out Sylvia Day’s back catalog!

If you haven’t already read her other books, you should! She is one of the authors who convinced me to read historical romance and now I’m hooked.

According to Day herself, Seven Years to Sin is the novel that inspired her to write Bared to You, so it’s a great place to start. Alistair and Jessica end up on a ship together, so if forced proximity entertains you like it does me, you’ll have a good time. Both characters have history together but Day resists the urge to put them into bed immediately, building up some A grade sexual tension.

[Treat yourself!]

Mon
Jun 27 2016 4:55pm

Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Heart Cover & 5 Deals: 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 have your daily cuppa delivered straight to your inbox.}

Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh

Fresh Outta the Oven

Elena's armed to the teeth on the cover of Nalini Singh's Archangel's Heart! The next Guild Hunter book will be out on November 1, 2016—stay tuned for more scoop as we get closer... Haven't joined the Guild Hunter fold yet? Here's what you need to know.

Top Off Your TBR Pile

Deal Alert: Sarah MacLean's first Scandal & Scoundrel novel, The Rogue Not Taken, is discounted to $2.99 in e-book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* [MacLean's] stories are like crack,“ says TanyaLK in her First Look at The Rogue Not Taken, ”where I feel so emotionally attached to the characters and can’t seem to pull myself away in order to do basic necessities like sleeping, eating…you get the drift.“

Deal Alert: Janet Chapman's time-traveling-highlander romance The Highlander Next Door is on sale for $1.99 in e-book at iBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Want more time-travel romances? We've got you covered.

—Deal Alert: Sonali Dev's The Bollywood Bride is marked down to $2.99 in e-book at Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* The Bollywood Bride is one of 27 books on our Ultimate TBR Pile.

[+Julie Garwood and Karen Robards steals!...]

Thu
Jun 16 2016 9:30am

Is the First Hero the Most Accessible?: How The introduction to a Series Can Make a Difference

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

If you binge-read series like I do, you may have noticed a trend that I like to call the Vanilla First Syndrome. Let’s assume that men are like ice cream and we readers enjoy different flavors. Let’s further assume that our authors want us to have a chance to experience their particular brand’s texture, quality, serving size… Okay the metaphor breaks down there. Here’s my hypothesis: if heroes are like ice cream and authors are brands of ice cream, they frequently choose to offer us a Vanilla hero before serving up the Salted Chocolate Bacon Pecan. (Please someone, sell that ice cream and I will buy the hell out of it.)

I was curious why this trend is so common and whether it was intentional, so I’ve done some “research.” (By research, I mean reading a lot.) I’ve been on a Historical kick lately, binging on Lisa Kleypas, Maya Rodale, and Sarah MacLean, so I’ll be using them as examples. I promise you, the trend isn’t limited to Historicals.

[Is there a butter rum pecan flavor?]