<i>The Legend</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Legend: Exclusive Excerpt Donna Grant "Can Wyatt save Callie’s life—without putting her love in the line of fire?" Get Jenna Bayley-Burke's <em>Just Married</em>! Get Jenna Bayley-Burke's Just Married! Team H & H Join the club and download your copy of Just Married! <i>Abroad</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Abroad: Exclusive Excerpt Liz Jacobs "The last thing Nick wants is to face his deepest secret." <i>A Stardance Summer</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Stardance Summer: Exclusive Excerpt Emily March "Will their summer romance stand the test of time?"
From The Blog
June 21, 2017
A Bisexual Reader’s Romance Wishlist
Cerestheories
June 20, 2017
Cover Tuesday: Exclusive Reveals from Russell, Lang, and Ashenden
Team H & H
June 20, 2017
Games: A Gateway to Romance
Sahara Hoshi
June 19, 2017
Game: Plan Your Dream Wedding and We’ll Guess Your Groom!
Team H & H
June 19, 2017
Top 10 Lorraine Heath Historical Novels
TanyaLK
Mon
Jun 19 2017 9:30am

Top 10 Lorraine Heath Historical Novels

An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath is becoming a Queen among Historical Romance writers because it seems she can do wrong. Each story that comes out has it all. I’m talking chemistry, a hero who is battered but not broken, a strong and multi-layered heroine, and a love that conquers all!  Below is a very opinionated opinion of her top 10 historical romances, in honor of her newest, An Affair with a Notorious Heiress.  At first I thought this would be easy but I love all of her books. How to rank, then?

10. Waking Up With the Duke

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

Duke of Ainsley is known for his bedroom prowess. But he’s also been charged by his injured best friend to make a baby with said wife. Everything about this scenario shouldn’t work, but it does, thanks to Heath’s brilliant storytelling. And how will this end up with a happily ever after?

9. An Affair with a Notorious Heiress

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

The Marquess of Rexton has spent his life trying to attain respectability after suffering from the ununusual parentage of his common mother. Now he’ll stop at nothing to attain the Lady Lansdowne, even if he has to fake court her sister, despite the Lady’s scandal….

8. Surrender to the Devil

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

Frannie is a pickpocket and street thief, not a lady. Yet she can’t deny the attraction to the Duke of Greystone, despite his selfish desires to only bed her not wed her. Note: these are the parents of #9 the Marquess of Rexton.

[Read more...]

Mon
Jun 19 2017 8:11am

What Is Your Squick Trope?

We talk about squick words all the time—words that gross us out in romance novels (I'm looking at you, moist). However, squick can apply to many things, so today I want to hear about the tropes that squick you out? What do you not like about them? Have you found exceptions? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

Sun
Jun 18 2017 11:00am

If You Like Julie Garwood, Try Mary Wine’s Highland Hellion

Highland Hellion by Mary Wine

Did you cut your historical romance teeth on Julie Garwood’s memorable Scottish historicals? If so, you’ll relish the tempestuous and unusual heroine of Mary Wine’s Highland Hellion. Katherine Carew is unforgettable—“Illegitimate daughter of an English earl… Abducted to Scotland at age 14… No family, no reputation… No rules.” Since her abduction she has been allowed to train with the young men of her adopted clan. Wearing the plaid, not dresses, Katherine is a tomboy, a trained fighter, a hellion in the Highlands.

Recently Marcus, the head of her clan, decreed Katherine would have to stop riding out and raiding with his warriors. She rails against her fate. No one is going to curb her wings.

The night beckoned to her with warm air and enough clouds to keep the moonlight low. It was just a ride. A few hours to restore her spirit before she had to resume the role Fate had decided was hers.

Hellion?

Perhaps.

Katherine is unworried about tempting fate, even though just days earlier she was almost captured by the men of another clan when she was adventuring at night. Why would she take that risk? Is there a man involved?  Oh yes. And she knows his name and his status: he’s “the heir to an honorable Highland laird.”

[Read more...]

Sat
Jun 17 2017 11:00am

Nalini Singh’s Silver Silence Spoilers: Why It Was So Hard to Start the New Arc of the Psy-Changeling Series

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Long running series are so addictive. A good series writer knows how to cleverly and oh so maddeningly tease, infuriate and delight us with bits and pieces, that keep us anxious for the next book in the series, and there is no doubt that Nalini Singh is an excellent series writer.

Like you, I counted down the days, anxiously waiting to get my hand on Silver Silence, the newest book, and a new direction in the series for Singh’s Psy-Changelings’ series featuring BEARS!

The glimpse that Singh shared was so enticing:

Silver Mercant believed in control. It was what made her so good at what she did—she was never caught by surprise. She prepared for everything. Unfortunately, it was impossible to prepare for the heavily muscled man standing at her apartment door.

“How did you get in?” she asked in Russian, making sure to stand front and center in the doorway so he wouldn’t forget this was her territory.

Bears had a habit of just pushing everything out of their way.

This bear shrugged his broad shoulders where he leaned up against the side of her doorjamb. “I asked nicely,” he replied in the same language.

“I live in the most secure building in central Moscow.” Silver stared at that square-jawed face with its honey-dark skin. It wasn’t a tan. Valentin Nikolaev retained the shade in winter, got darker in summer. “And,” she added, “building security is made up of former soldiers who don’t understand the word ‘nice’” One of those soldiers was a Mercant. No one talked his way past a Mercant.

Except for this man. This wasn’t the first time he’d appeared on her doorstep on the thirty-fourth floor of this building.

“I have a special charm,” Valentine responded, his big body blocking out the light and his deep smile settling into familiar grooves in his cheeks, his hair an inky black that was so messy she wondered if he even owned a comb.

So now that you’ve read it, let’s talk about it. You have read it, haven’t you? Because this is a Major Spoiler blog for the book.

[Spoilers ahead!]

Fri
Jun 16 2017 4:30pm

So Gone For the Weekend: Romance News & Deals from Suzanne Brockmann, Mira Lynn Kelly, 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

Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann

Deal Alert: Suzanne Brockmann's romantic suspense novel Gone Too Far is $1.99 at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* Gone Too Far is in second place in our definitive ranking of Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series. Sam and Alyssa finally get their own book after battling for years to reach their HEA. When Sam Starrett's daughter goes missing and a dead body turns up at the scene, he enlists FBI agent Alyssa Locke to help him—even though she's got serious doubts about Sam's innocence.

Deal Alert: Mira Lyn Kelly's contemporary romance May the Best Man Win is $1.99 at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* The first book in Kelly's Wedding Date series is a trope-y enemies-to-lovers story. Jase and Emily keep finding themselves in one another's company as a number of their mutual friends get married. Their simmering resentment turns into much more with each passing interaction. And check out our review for the second book in the series, The Wedding Date Bargain

Deal Alert: Kari Lemor's romantic suspense novel Wild Card Undercover is $.99 at iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | etc.* “Undercover FBI agent Chris Shaunessy is after crime boss Salazar Moreno in Miami. He finds help through Meg, a waitress at the club owned by Salazar.” The two pose as lovers in order to help Chris nab the bad guy, but all the heat between them turns their convenient relationship from hot to blazing. 

[+Today on H&H]

Fri
Jun 16 2017 2:00pm

“Women should acknowledge every part of who they are”: Comments That Made Our Week

We at Heroes and Heartbreakers are so proud of and thankful for this wonderful community. Thank you for always adding a little extra sparkle to our week. In honor of Fan Friday, we want to give a special shoutout to a few of our favorite comments, and the readers behind them. We love your work!


earthdragonwing knows that women wear many hats

earthdragonwing in Wonder Woman and That Pesky Love Interest Storyline

I totally agree with you. Women should acknowledge every part of who you are. I am a mother, wife, electronic technician, christian. I've been a diplomat, hostess, a supervisor, a handyman, a sailor (USN), a suffragist, and many more roles that I've had to assume in my life. I've experienced every human emotion possible. So, Wonder Women is not demeaned in any way by finding love with a man like Steve Trevor in the midst of war. She will never shirk from her duties to the world and a man like Steve would never have let her. As other have said, she grew more as a woman by learning to love and learning who she is and wants to be. My life has been one about family. I have lived and grown to know what is important, what to fight for and not fight for, and not lose who I am. This is why I love this story, because Wonder Woman is plainly a woman inside and feels exactly as any woman does. She is smart because she does not deny that part of herself and neither should any woman.

[+3 more comments of the week]

Fri
Jun 16 2017 1:00pm

“Love, Magic, Reckoning”: A Beginner’s Guide to Madhuri Pavamani’s Keeper Series

The Keepers Series by Madhuri Pavamani

Everything you need to know to make The Keepers Series your next keeper

When you start a new series, quickly getting a feel for the setting is key, and that's never more important than when reading a paranormal. One of the most original romances we've read this year is Madhuri Pavamani's Keeper series, which introduces readers to the world of Poochas, Keepers, Deaders—and the hot romance between Dutch and Juma.

Want to know more? Of course you do! With help from author Madhuri Pavamani herself, allow us to present an introduction to Books 1 and 2 of the Keeper series, Dutch and Juma, as well as scoop on Book 3, Death.

First off, what are the important terms?

Poocha: Death’s reclaimers, those beings who help the dead cross back into life. Poochas have nine lives and are the archnemeses of Keepers. Death chooses who shall become a Poocha.

Deader: Nickname for the dead used by Death, her Poochas, and the Alighters.

Alighter: Alighters work with Poochas to assist in the reclamation of the dead. Fixers of memory and circumstance, they often work in teams around the globe to wipe memories and clear the way for a Deader to return to life.

Keeper: Deadly assassin of The Gate, trained to hunt and kill Poochas. Only Keepers may become Ren and lead The Gate.

Each of these roles is dependant on the existence of the others, Pavamani tells us, adding: “These three are intertwined by necessity more than desire—without deaders, there would be no need for poochas, and without poochas, there would be no need for keepers. Each is the reason for the other’s existence, a most twisted co-dependency based upon death, death, and more death.”

[Read more...]

Fri
Jun 16 2017 12:06pm
Excerpt

May McGoldrick, Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington Excerpt: Say Yes to the Scot

May McGoldrick, Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall and Anna Harrington

You are formally invited to the Highland wedding event of the year. These four lasses are about to meet their matches in an original digital anthology featuring stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington, and May McGoldrick.

HOW A LASS WED A HIGHLANDER by Lecia Cornwall
In this retelling of The Princess and The Pea, Laird Alex Munro of Culmore has just five weeks to find a bride and marry her...or else the clan will be cursed with ill luck. Cait MacLeod finds herself caught in a clan feud, and when she tries to stop a deadly raid, she ends up as Alex Munro’s prisoner. With timing running out, is this couple meant to be?

A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER by Anna Harrington
She was the laird's daughter. He was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot with nothing to offer but his heart. Fate tore them apart, but now he's back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?

A MIDSUMMER WEDDING by May McGoldrick
Their marriage was two decades in the making. The young, educated woman and her highland, pirate husband, betrothed when they were still children. But on the day of their wedding, Elizabeth Hay and Alexander Macpherson are in for a surprise.

THE SCOT SAYS I DO by Sabrina York
Catherine Ross's world is turned upside down when her brother gambles away every penny they own. But to make matters worse? He’s lost everything to none other than Duncan Mackay, the rugged Scot who Catherine loved for years—but he never noticed her, and now she positively loathes him. But her brother’s in danger of going to Newgate, and the despicable Duncan has a plan– she can claim back the money and save her brother. If she marries him…

Get a sneak peek at May McGoldrick, Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington's Say Yes to the Scot (available June 20, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

[Read the excerpts...]

Fri
Jun 16 2017 9:30am

Is It Hate or Is It Love? The Closeness of Fear and Desire

Stranger by Robin Lovett

Today we're thrilled to welcome Robin Lovett (Stranger) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Robin writes dark, gritty romance, and knows a thing or two about about the line between love and hate, fear and desire. Today she's here to talk about that fine line. Thanks, Robin. 

That enemies to lovers trope that so many of us love…

Why does that work so well?

They say opposite personalities attract, but I say opposite emotions attract too. The passion that comes out of a relationship that begins with mutual dislike can turn explosive.

The “I hate you. This changes nothing,” declared during a love scene creates the ultimate experience of the forbidden, which gets a lot of us going and turning pages like mad. I can’t get enough of the high stakes game wondering, when will this shouting match turn into a hot-and-heavy?

But why? From intense hatred comes life changing love? It doesn’t make sense—at first sight (pun intended).

But it makes a hell of a lot of sense, if you really think about it.

[Read more...]

Fri
Jun 16 2017 8:02am

Do You Think You Could Ever Give Up Your TBR Pile?

Tuesdays and Fridays—two days of the week when we tend to load up our e-readers and bookshelves with new books and get ready to read! However, for some, the idea of this growing to-be-read pile can be very stressful. And so they give up the pile... and just read what comes up! 

Do you think you could give up the TBR pile? Is your TBR pile a list or do you have an actual pile? 

Tell us all your TBR angst down in the comments!

Thu
Jun 15 2017 4:30pm

Warm Bodies: Romance News & Deals from Kylie Scott, Sherrilyn Kenyon, 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

Flesh by Kylie Scott

Deal Alert: Kylie Scott's paranormal romance Flesh is $2.99 at Amazon | iBooks | etc.*  “Zombies may not seem like a logical choice for romance...but there’s something about peril that sets a tone for convincing, light-speed romance.” Daniel, Finn, and Ali band together to survive and end up succumbing to the passion that's between the three of them. 

Deal Alert: Sherrilyn Kenyon's paranormal romance Dragonmark is $2.99 at Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon | etc.* In this Dark-Hunter series novel, hero Illarion, a dragon made human against his will who has been forced to serve humanity, may get the chance to free himself—for a cost.

Deal Alert: Bethany-Kris' romantic suspense novel The Arrangement is $.99 at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Kobo | etc.* Viviana and Anton's marriage was a deal made between their two leading mafia families. However, when Anton's family is killed and Viviana is left vulnerable, Anton steps up to save the only woman he's ever loved. Sometimes marriages of business have a way of becoming much more. 

Deal Alert: Synithia Williams' contemporary romance From One Night to Forever is $.99 at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | etc.* Aaron craves the freedom of the open road, but when he gets a business opportunity too good to pass up, he decides to settle down in a small-town in Tennessee. Things get complicated when he has a one-night stand with the beautiful and resilient Kacey, who turns out to be his new business partner's little sister. Don't you just love a best friends' sibling romance?

[+Anne Bishop cover reveal]

Thu
Jun 15 2017 3:05pm

Julianna Keyes’ My Roommate’s Girl Explores Dark Pasts and Second Chances

My Roommate's Girl by Julianna Keyes

Aidan and Aster are an unlikely pair in the beginning of Julianna KeyesMy Roommate's Girl. Aidan is a college student who has been given a second chance at life in the form of a second-chance type program at Holsom College. He’s been able to keep up everything by working at the school library participating in the mandatory extracurricular of frisbee baseball and keeping his head down. All this changes when he moves off campus and meets his roommate, Jerry, and titular roommate’s girlfriend, Aster. What begins is mainly an obsession with Aster where Aidan makes some unsavory moves to make a connection between him and Aster happen.

It’s hard to talk about this book and avoid spoilers because there is so much going on. The first third of the book is very heavy on Aidan’s perspective but later goes to the back and forth. The back and forth between hero and heroine perspectives is classic Keyes as evidenced in her Carina Press Time Served series and her independently published Burnham College series. Aster does serve as a solid foil to Aidan’s initial obsession, namely she’s not what he expected. Aster has actually served time in prison, shares a background of an unreliable mother and a drug addicted father. Meanwhile, Aidan’s parents are stuck in an endless loop where Aidan’s father gambles precious items away and his mother puts up with that behavior. Both protagonists are in the second-chance program. Aster for her arrest, Aidan for his court appearance after committing grand theft auto on a bait care. As a result, the two share a connection and background that goes beyond attraction.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jun 15 2017 1:00pm

First Look: A.M. Madden’s Vanishing Act (June 20, 2017)

Vanishing Act by A.M. Madden

A.M. Madden
Vanishing Act
Loveswept / June 20, 2017 / $4.99 digital

If love at first sight is your thing, then Vanishing Act by A.M. Madden is just the book for you. Bonus, the heroine is biracial and her family fled from racial discord in Apartheid South Africa. This is not your usual cute-boy-meets-cute-girl and falls in love story. Rather, there’s deception and depth to these characters, which makes the story interesting.

Landon Price is famous. He has won an Oscar already, and after his latest film is wrapped up, he needs an escape. Thus he travels with an alias for a name and heads to a little unknown island in Hawaii. Here he meets Zara Jobert, eight years his junior with looks that could melt him into a puddle. Only she doesn’t know she’s beautiful. WHAT? How can a modelesque twenty-three-year-old not know how beautiful she is?

Well, that is part of her backstory.  Without giving too much away, we learn early on that her father was very political and black. Her mother was ten years his junior and a blonde beauty from Europe.  This interracial union might seem uneventful here, but back years ago when Apartheid was toppled in South Africa, interracial unions were unheard of and dangerous. The Jobert’s felt this danger firsthand with a crime resulting in the death of Zara’s sister. Hence Zara was sheltered to the greatest degree. And why we understand why Zara can be so clueless.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jun 15 2017 12:01pm
Excerpt

L.A. Witt Excerpt: Chief’s Mess

L.A. Witt

Chief's Mess by L.A. Witt

Anthony Talbot is in Anchor Point to visit family, but after two days of strife, he needs a break. A local gay bar is calling his name.

When Chief Noah Jackson sees that red head stroll into the club, he immediately wants him. They’re perfectly matched, and before long, they’re burning up the sheets. Noah can’t get enough. Anthony can’t stay in Oregon for long, but as soon as he leaves, he’s counting down the days until he can fly back for more. And between his increasingly frequent visits, there’s always phone sex, sexting, webcams . . . anything they can get.

But Noah’s got a carefully crafted façade, and Anthony can’t help noticing the slowly forming cracks. The scent of alcohol in the middle of the day. The extra drinks at dinner. The hint of red in his eyes. Anthony knows what it means. He doesn’t want to believe it, but he’s seen this before, and there’s no denying it. If Noah doesn’t get his downward spiral under control, he’s going to lose both his career and the first man he’s ever really loved.

Get a sneak peek at L.A. Witt's Chief's Mess (available June 19, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Finally got home, Noah texted. Be on in a minute.

I grinned like an idiot, sitting there on my bed and waiting for him to hit me up on Skype. He’d been late leaving work, which was a pretty regular occurrence. Sometimes he’d grab a shower when he first walked through the door, so I was patient.

But literally a minute after he texted me, the Skype call came through.

I accepted it of course, and my heart fluttered when he showed up on the screen.

[Read the full Chief's Mess excerpt...]

Thu
Jun 15 2017 9:30am

First Look: Sabrina Jeffries’ The Pleasures of Passion (June 20, 2017)

The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries
The Pleasure of Passions (Sinful Suitors #4)
Pocket Books / June 20, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Sabrina Jeffries’ new book, The Pleasures of Passion, is about two people who suffered great heartbreak in their youth and now have to decide whether or not to take a chance on loving and trusting again. Brilliana and Niall were separated when Naill killed a man in a duel avenging the rape of his sister and had to flee the country. He asked 17-year-old Bree to go with him, but she couldn’t leave her dying mother in the care of her feckless father. Seven years later Naill, newly pardoned, has returned but his reunion with the widowed Bree is fraught with misunderstandings and fears. Bree has soured on men in general and one cannot blame her.

(Niall) was simply one man in a long line of them who’d betrayed her trust, starting with her father and ending with her husband, who’d lied about why he’d gone to London to gamble away all their money.

All of them had abandoned her in one fashion or another, leaving her heartbroken and destitute. Never again would she rely on one of them. Niall had been a mistake, and these days she was trying to learn from those.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jun 15 2017 8:08am

What Is Your Earliest Shipping Memory?

Shipping—the act of supporting two fictional characters in a romantic relationship—is something you may not even know you're doing when you're doing it. It can manifest in any way from simply watching a show just for your favorite couple to writing fanfic or creating fan art. As romance readers, it may be something we don't even realize we're doing, especially if we've been shipping for a long time. 

In true Throwback Thursday fashion, what is your earliest shipping memory? Did it start with a TV show where you could see the UST (unresolved sexual tension), but didn't know what it was called? Was it before you started reading romance, when you were reading a book and wanted the couples to get together with every fiber of your being? 

Tell us about your first shipping memory!

 

Wed
Jun 14 2017 4:30pm

How ’Bout a Dance?: Romance News & Deals from Tessa Dare, Teri Wilson, 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

One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare

Deal Alert: Tessa Dare's historical romance One Dance with a Duke is $1.99 at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | etc.* The first book in Dare's Stud Club trilogy pairs an unlikely heroine with an arrogant, reclusive duke. Spinster Amelia d'Orsay catches the eye of the fourth Duke of Morland—seemingly against his will—but don't worry: “Dare transforms many a romance cliché along the way to the HEA.”

Deal Alert: Teri Wilson's contemporary romance Royally Roma is $1.99 at iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Kobo | etc.* If you are a fan of the Audrey Hepburn classic Roman Holiday, then Wilson's Royally Roma is for you. Don't miss out on the hijinks as a prince tries to escape his regimented life to enjoy the city with Julia, a tour guide and student who has no idea who he is. Royals behaving badly sometimes make great stories. 

Deal Alert: Remmy Duchene's male/male romance So Into You is $.99 at Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | etc.* Two diverse heroes from very different classes deal with life, loss, and family obligations. The journey from insta-lust to true love  proves to be a long and winding road for Alfred and Darius. Did you read any of 2016's best male/male romances?

[+Jaci Burton cover alert & excerpt from Samantha Young...]

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...]

Wed
Jun 14 2017 1:30pm

Romance in the Age of the Trigger Warning: Do Readers Need to be Warned?

Source: Shutterstock

The presence of Trigger Warnings has been fast growing. We see them more and more. Sometimes clear, sometimes vague, but always—in my opinion—helpful.

I wish there were more of them.         

But not everyone feels the way I do. Some complain they’re annoying, and they’re spoilers. It’s true. They do let the reader know what to expect. But for those of us who need trigger warnings, it sometimes makes it possible for us to read at all.

Many gravitate toward romance because it’s a safe space. We know the happily-ever-after will come. That love will triumph over evil. That no matter how bad it gets, it will all be okay. They provide a security no other genre can give us. In our real world, where HEA is not guaranteed in any part of our lives, romance novels are nothing short of priceless.

For the most part, our heroines and heroes won’t be harmed, assaulted or abused between the covers of the books. Usually, there won’t be any graphic violence or offensive slurs. These days, we expect consent in all romantic situations, unless of course it’s a character’s particular kink. In which case, a warning to the reader that this will be the case is polite.

I need my trigger warnings. I depend on them.

[Read more...]