<i>Rank & File</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Rank & File: Exclusive Excerpt L.A. Witt "Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they'll both face court-martial." <i>The Love Song of Sawyer Bell</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Love Song of Sawyer Bell: Exclusive Excerpt Avon Gale "A tough decision about her future—and what it means to follow her heart." <i>The Rogue's Conquest</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Rogue's Conquest: Exclusive Excerpt Lily Maxton "There's too much at stake for James to give in to his growing attraction." <i>Jaw Dropping</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Jaw Dropping: Exclusive Excerpt L.P. Maxa "It’s the reality she was sure she never wanted but now craves."
From The Blog
September 23, 2017
ICYMI: Bittersweet Book Club, Nalini Singh Excerpt, Indie Romances, and more!
Team H & H
September 22, 2017
Happy Endings for Susan Mallery's You Say It First
Janet Webb
September 21, 2017
3 Books That Put the Romance Back in Fiction
Keira Soleore
September 21, 2017
Victorian Women & the Periodical Press
Sandra Schwab
September 21, 2017
4 Moments That Prove 10 Things I Hate About You Is The Best
Showing posts by: Anna Bowling click to see Anna Bowling's profile
Sep 11 2017 10:30am

Torn Between Two Lovers: Outlander 3x01 Jamie x Claire Heart-to-Heart

Outlander, Season 3, Episode 1

Show/Episode: Outlander, Season 3, Episode 1, “The Battle Joined”
Couple(s): Jamie and Claire

Outlander 3x01 Captain's Log

For Jamie, the battle of Culloden may be over, but Claire and Frank’s battle reaches fever pitch, the two conflicts both worlds apart and yet intrinsically intertwined. Jamie lies near death on the battlefield, helpless as the British soldiers search among the fallen for valuables, and survivors, whom they quickly dispatch. Disjointed images of the battle flash through Jamie’s mind, both horrific and hauntingly beautiful at the same time. From a melee of countless soldiers on either side, the conflict narrows to its heart; Jamie and Black Jack Randall, face to face. Time seems to stop around them as they confront each other. Jack lands a vicious slice to Jamie’s thigh, but Jamie slips a knife between Jack’s ribs, and the two men fall, entwined on the very cusp of death. Is Jack alive? Dead? Imaginary? Hard to tell with Jamie’s mindset, but then a rabbit hops past, one small detail that makes this all the more heart-rending, and then the big bomb drops. Jamie hallucinates Claire walking toward him, dressed in her shift. She asks if he’s alive, and then boom, reality. It’s not Claire, but Murtaugh, intent on getting Jamie off the field before he’s slaughtered like other survivors. Jamie would rather die.

[Read more...]

Sep 3 2017 11:00am

What’s the Difference Between a Regency Romance and a Victorian Romance?

Source: Shutterstock

Regency vs Victorian Romance: A Reader’s Guide

One look at the romance shelves in any bookstore will show that the nineteenth century is hot, hot, hot when it comes to historical romance. Far enough removed from living memory that it has that once upon a time factor, and yet not so far back that readers new to the genre find themselves plopped into a totally alien environment. Nineteenth century historical romances fall, for the most part, at least on one side of the Atlantic Ocean, into two camps: Regency and Victorian, but what do these terms really mean? This book I’m reading, is it Regency or Victorian? What’s the difference, and how do we tell them apart? Great question. Let us count the ways.

Perhaps the easiest way is to go by the book. History book, that is, where we can look at the strict definitions of the terms. The Regency period in England ran from 1811-1820, when King George III was deemed mad, and unfit to rule. His son, the eventual George IV, stepped in to rule as Prince Regent. Still a prince, technically, but doing what the king would do, if the king could do it. This era ended with the death of George III and ascension of George IV, as king in his own right.  If we want to stretch things a bit, and, with the popularity of series within Regency romance, we often do, we can expand the definition to cover roughly 1795-ish to 1837, when Queen Victoria ascended, after the death of William IV (he doesn’t get an era named after him, poor chap, at least not in romanceland.) Victoria stayed on that throne for a whopping 67 years, until her death in 1901, which ushers in the Edwardian age, aka Downton Abbey time.

[Read more...]

Aug 10 2017 1:00pm

A Victorian Romance Starter Kit: 5 Victorian Era-Set Romances You Must Read

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

The Victorian era has a special place in history. Spanning an impressive sixty-three years, it closes out the 19th century and gives us a world still far enough back in history to have that historical feel that transports readers to an earlier time, while also bringing in aspects of the modern world we take for granted. Poised between the grand sweep of history and the dawn of a new century, the Victorian era provides a canvas for a wide variety of stories. While some might associate this setting with modesty and propriety, it was also an age of exploration, invention, a time when arts, technology, commerce, and society as a whole would never be the same, all perfect backdrops for unforgettable historical romance. Where, one might ask, should an interested reader begin their own exploration of this setting? Consider the following.

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne: (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) Nobody does raw Victorian passion like Kerrigan Byrne. These aren’t nice or easy reads. They rip the lace curtain off the past and face the hardships head-on, pairing imperfect people who are perfect for each other. In this, her fourth entry into her fabulous Victorian Rebels series, Imogen, a nurse and serving maid,  has no choice but to spend one passionate night with Cole, the Duke of the title. The two make a real connection before Cole disappears. Imogen’s entire life becomes collateral damage, but Byrne heroines are resourceful women, so, when Cole returns, he finds her an entirely different woman from the one he remembers.  This is one hard-earned happily ever after, proving that love does conquer all.

[Read more...]

May 28 2017 11:00am

New Girl Nick and Jess: An Adorkable Timeline

New Girl's Nick & Jess

Note: This post contains spoilers for all-aired episodes of New Girl—particularly focused around the Jess/Nick courtship. 

Right from the start, when Jess moves in with Nick and the gang, in “Pilot,” we see the seeds of a beautiful more-than-friendship. Nick, reeling from the effects of his own breakup, will do anything for his friends, even the brand new one who’s crying over Dirty Dancing on his couch. He turns off the TV and drags Jess out to a bar. Jess encourages him to be more in touch with his feelings, lest he end up alone and full of regret. Nick responds with a sarcastic comment about becoming more like Jess, but, at the end of the night, it’s Jess who’s chatting up a new likely prospect, while Nick texts his ex, Caroline.

In “Wedding,” Jess accompanies Nick to a wedding, to make Caroline jealous, and it works. The two share a fake kiss, and Caroline flirts with Nick again, but also reveals she has a new boyfriend. Embarrassed, Nick hides in a photo booth until Jess coaxes him out. He repays Jess for her friendship by dragging her onto the dance floor, where they do the chicken dance and Caroline is the last thing on Nick’s mind. Nick and Jess both see each other naked (though not at the same time) in “Naked.” In “Cece Crashes,” Cece tells Jess that a man’s feet point at what he wants. Later, when Jess and Nick brush their teeth in the communal bathroom, their feet point at each other.

[Read more...]

May 12 2017 11:00am

What Will Amy’s Answer Be?: The Big Bang Theory 10x24 Shamy Heart-to-Heart

Big Bang Theory

Show/Episode: The Big Bang Theory Season 10, Episode 24, “The Long Distance Dissonance”
Ship(s): Sheldon/Amy

Big Bang Theory, Captain's Log

Fans of The Big Bang Theory know Sheldon hates change, and Shamy shippers know how far he’s come since his first meet-awkward with the one and only woman who could ever appreciate him for the unique individual he is: Amy Farrah Fowler. We’ve seen them negotiate a relationship agreement, date, confess their love, consummate that love, and even cohabitate. We’ve seen them break up,  make up, and we know that Sheldon holds the one ring that will bind them all (well, the two of them, but the rest of the gang isn’t going anywhere) but what we don’t know is how, or if, Shamy is going to go the distance, now that Amy’s Princeton fellowship takes her to the opposite coast from Sheldon. He’s in California, she’s in New Jersey, and a lot can happen in three months,

On the communication front, things look good at the start of the episode. Amy and Sheldon flirt via Skype -only Amy can make grammatical nitpicking downright seductive- but it’s soon evident that she misses Sheldon, and that the feeling is mutual. With Leonard resuming his duties at Sheldon-tending in her absence, Amy’s got nothing to worry about, right? Wrong. Enter Ramona, the tall, blonde, beautiful, ex-Olympic swimmer grad student, with a crush on Sheldon. Now she’s got her degree, she’s his new co-worker, and she’s looking at him the way Bernadette used to look at Howard. Penny and Bernadette debate whether they should clue Amy in on this new development. Sheldon’s not making a move, though, so maybe keeping an eye on Ramona will be enough.

[Read more...]

Apr 5 2017 11:00am

Do Rick and Michonne Survive The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale?: The State of Our Favorite Apocalyptic Ship

The Walking Dead's Rick and Michonne

Beware: This post contains spoilers for The Walking Dead—especially revolving around the romance between Michonne and Rick Grimes—including the Season 7 finale.

Rick Grimes and Michonne (no canonical last name) do not meet cute, or meet at all, really, until the third season of The Walking Dead, but when they do, neither will ever be the same. “When the Dead Come Knocking,” Michonne risks her life to deliver a shopping basket full of the baby formula Rick’s newborn daughter, Judith, desperately needs since her mother, Lori, died in childbirth. Rick and son, Carl, fend off the walkers that would have preyed on Michonne, and bring her to the (supposed) safety of the prison where Rick’s group had taken shelter, but does he trust this mysterious newcomer, even though she’s saved his daughter’s life? Nope. Okay, Michonne knows her way around a katana, and has two armless, jawless walker “pets” on leashes, and sobs when she holds baby Judith, but Rick hallucinates his dead wife, and has telephone conversations with her on a phone that isn’t connected to anything. We see, right away, these are two strong, yet broken people, who need somebody who understands this kind of pain.

Source: miss-swan.tumblr.com

[Read more...]

Mar 29 2017 11:00am

Bones Series Finale Rewards Booth and Brennan Shippers

Booth & Brennan in Bones

Show/Episode: Bones Season 12, Episode 12, “The End in the End”
Ship(s): Booth/Brennan 

Captain's Log

Seely Booth runs on luck and faith. Temperance Brennan relies on logic and reason. He’s all heart, she’s all head. Together, they make a perfect team, in work and in life, and we’ve been there for every step of the journey. Now, after twelve years, it’s time to say goodbye.

In the series’ 100th episode, “The Parts in the Sum of the Whole.” Psychologist Lance Sweets pointed out the obvious; these two were madly in love with each other. Sweets encouraged Booth to declare his love for Bones, but Bones wasn’t yet ready, and turned him down. He had to move on, no matter how long it took him to find someone else. Even so, in the next episode, Booth posed as Bones’ (faux) husband at her high school reunion, but the end of Season 5 separated the two, as Booth returned to his military roots and deployed. Absence did indeed make Bones’s heart grow fonder, and she was at last ready to give their romance a try, but too late—Booth came home with a new love, Hannah. Bones sobs her regret to a truly torn Booth, who thought he was doing what she wanted. In time, Booth and Hannah’s relationship fizzled, and Bones was his comfort. When squintern and friend, Vincent Nigel-Murray fell prey to one of their nemeses, in “The Hole in the Heart,” Booth and Bones comforted each other, leaving fans wondering did they or didn’t they consummate the love all of us could plainly see.

[Read more...]

Jan 26 2017 10:30am

First Look: Joanna Shupe’s Mogul (January 31, 2017)

Mogul by Joanna Shupe

Joanna Shupe
Mogul (The Knickerbocker Club #3)
Zebra / January 31, 2017 / $7.99 print, $4.99 digital

With an opening line like “She never expected to find her former husband in an opium den,” one might think that Mogul, the third installment of Joanna Shupe’s Knickerbocker Club series, might not be the sort of historical romance novel one comes across every day. One would be right. Why is that, one might ask? One asks a good question. Let’s break that down.

First, the titular mogul in question is Calvin Cabot, owner of three different newspapers, passionately dedicated to spreading the truth, even when, maybe especially when that truth is uncomfortable. Knickerbocker fans may feel like the wait has been forever for Calvin to get his own book, and, now that he’s in the spotlight, he does not disappoint. What’s the worst thing that could happen to a man with a reputation for valuing the truth? Toss up, one says, between having a secret of his own and that one lapse in judgement, where he didn’t investigate, and thus, lost everything that mattered? In Mogul, Shupe gives Calvin both.

Second, every Knickerbocker hero meets his match, and Calvin meets his in smart and beautiful Lily Davies, daughter of a wealthy mine owner. While the slender brunette on the cover of this book is lovely, one wonders if it’s not Lily’s cousin, Cora, standing in while Lily, a smart as a whip, curvy blonde, is busy running her late father’s mining company. When Lily and Calvin first met, Lily had yet to take the reins of Davis Mining, purportedly to hold the position until her brother, Tom, comes of age (sure, Lily, you’re holding it for your brother. We believe that. Not like you actually like all that corporate derring-do for yourself.)

[Read more...]

Jan 18 2017 4:00pm

Top 5 Highlanders in Romance: The Essential Highland Romance Experience

Source: Shutterstock

Kilty Pleasures!

First of all, boys in kilts. Better than that, men in kilts. Got your attention now? Good. Put the words, “Highlander,” or “Highlander,” on a book cover, and odds are, that book is getting picked off the shelf for at least a look. It’s no surprise. It’s worth a mention that, while all Highlanders are Scots, not all Scots are Highlanders. A Highlander’s devotion to their home and way of life is like none other. Doesn’t hurt that a Highland hunk isn’t hard on the eyes, either. Takes some muscle to wield that sort of weaponry, and when it’s for the right cause, well, dinna fash, lass; all will be well in the end. A strong Highland man or woman, with the right partner beside them, can be an unstoppable force, especially when it comes to commanding reader devotion. Though the motto of the  Highlander movie and TV franchise is, “there can be only one,” thankfully, that’s not even close to true in the romance genre. These Highlanders are likely to bring their whole clan along with them, for even more adventure and romance. That’s a true boon to both new and experienced reader, alike.

Read one Highland romance, and you’ll be part of the clan. Read more than one, and you’ll be ready to extend some Highland hospitality to those only now discovering all that Highland romance has to offer. Here are a few to whet the appetite:

[Delicious Lairds Ahead...]

Jan 16 2017 10:30am

The Case For Book Boyfriend Status: Piper Huguley’s Lawrence Stewart from The Lawyer’s Luck

The Lawyer's Luck by Piper Huguley

Lawrence “Lawyer” Stewart, from Piper Huguley’s The Lawyer’s Luck, has everything a romance hero needs to confirm book boyfriend status. Should it please the court (or the readership) his qualifications can be summed up in the following five points:

1) He loves his work. Making it through the rigors of law school takes intelligence, dedication and drive. Doing all of the above without the benefit of the internet, energy drinks or a permanent place to live, that takes something extra. Doing all of the above as a man of color in the nineteenth century, that takes even more. Lawrence pursues his life’s calling from the back of a horse, as he rides circuit for his mentor, a judge who can no longer take on the arduous duty of being the law for a series of towns and settlements. He takes his responsibilities seriously, whether it’s conducting marriage ceremonies, settling disputes, leveling judgements, or tracking down the runaway horse he absolutely needs if he’s going to make his circuit in time to take his law exams.

2) He has a strong moral code. When Lawrence believes something, he believes it. He has a strong Christian faith that he relies upon, but does not push on others, and checks himself and his choices against that non-negotiable fact. Because of his belief that slavery is wrong, he risks his livelihood to help Realie, the enslaved woman who stole his horse in her own bid for freedom, he’s willing to put his own goals aside to ensure she gets what’s best for her. Though he has more than one opportunity for casual sex—both with Realie, and with another woman—that’s not for him, and his resolve remains firm. Everything he’s got is for his future wife, (because she’s getting it all; oh lucky, lucky Realie) and that’s not open for discussion.

[A total dreamboat...]

Dec 13 2016 2:30pm

The Big Six: The 6 Times This is Us Made Us Feel Too Much

Source: NBC

From the opening of the pilot episode, to the last moment of the first midseason finale, This Is Us has hit us right in the feels, every single time. From the agony of infant loss, to the joy of welcoming biological and adopted children on the very same day, This Is Us began as it meant to go on. While the bonds between parents and children, siblings and friends are important, romance fans have a smorgasbord of standout romantic moments to see us through until new episodes return. Check these out for a start:

Best Birthday Ever:
Rebecca/Jack, “Pilot”:

Even being nine months pregnant with triplets won't stop Rebecca from delivering Jack's traditional saucy birthday celebration, even if she has to get extra creative with her lingerie. (A tiny-towel-clad Milo Ventimiglia surely doesn’t hurt, either.) Jack's assurance that she arouses him in any state wins her heart, and ours. Shipping full speed ahead for these two. We believe the deep and passionate love they have for each other, and, when we don’t think this besotted pair of parents-to-be can get any happier, Rebecca’s water breaks, announcing the imminent arrival of three more Pearsons to share Jack’s special day.

[Read more...]

Oct 19 2016 12:00pm

First Look: Joanna Shupe’s Baron (October 25, 2016)

Baron by Joanna Shupe

Joanna Shupe
Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2)
Zebra / October 25, 2016 / $7.99 print, $4.99 digital

Will Sloane, railroad baron and aspiring politician (how’s that for a hero with a timely occupation, US readers?) knows where he’s going…or so he thinks. Charter members of Shupe’s Knickerbocker Club series already know the way Will thinks. In Magnate, Will had a few lessons to learn. Though Will didn’t believe a woman could run a successful business, his sister, Lizzie, proved him wrong. Will also learned of some shady doings within his own company, and has hitched his wagon to an up and coming politician, his sights on the state capitol and making a better life for those who depend on him.

 Ava Jones, aka Madame Zolikoff, fake clairvoyant and real survivor, knows she’s not speaking to the other side. There is no other side; all of the signs from the spirits are her own trickery, but it’s for a good cause. Actually two of them. Sure, Ava wants to give her clients some hope in the wake of the losses in their lives, and she does that to the best of her ability, but she is also the main support for her younger siblings. Nobody gets out of New York City’s underbelly without a fight. Ava has dreams of taking them away from long days of hard labor in factories, or hawking newspapers on the streets, to an idyllic farm in upstate New York, whether they want to go or not.

[Read more...]

Oct 11 2016 11:00am

Next Steps: The Big Bang Theory 10x04 Shamy Heart-to-Heart

Captain's Log Big Bang Theory

Show/Episode: The Big Bang Theory Season 10, Episode 4, “The Cohabitation Experimentation”
Ships: Sheldon/Amy, Leonard/Penny, Howard/Bernadette

All three couples share some special moments when a broken water pipe forces Amy out of her apartment and into Sheldon’s, though Howard and Bernadette’s story doesn’t affect that of the other two couples, which may feel a little unbalanced to some viewers. Each couple, though, shows us exactly why they’re perfect for each other, and why we ship them. Let’s take a look.

Howard, Bernadette, and Raj return home after their first sonogram, Howard and Bernadette unsure if they made the right call in not learning the baby’s sex. Raj, however, does know, as he peeked in the doctor’s file. All they have to do is ask him, and the back and forth over whether they should ask reminds us how much these two are on the same wavelength. Raj doesn’t get much sleep that night, as he’s interrupted by multiple phone calls that go nowhere, but it’s clear that  at least Baby Wolowitz can rest easy in the knowledge that their parents are crazy...for each other.

[Read more...]

Sep 21 2016 11:00am

Happy Birthday! This Is Us Season 1, Episode 1 Heart-to-Heart

This Is Us, Kate/Toby

Show/Episode: This Is Us Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”
Ship(s): Kate/Toby, Jack/Rebecca

Captain's Log This Is Us 1x01

This Is Us introduces three ships in the pilot episode, each with their own dynamic, all connected at an intimate level we don’t learn until the end of the episode, though some savvy viewers may figure it out earlier than that. What we do know is that four of these people share the same birthday, and each character with that birthday will find their lives change forever on birthday number thirty-six.


Our first birthday boy is Jack, whom we first meet in his birthday suit, as his wife, Rebecca, carries out their birthday tradition, of a sultry, lingerie-clad dance. She suspects it doesn’t have quite the same effect this year, as she is nine months pregnant with triplets, and, in fact, goes into labor during said celebration, but Jack can’t think of anything better. The camera stays tight on the expectant parents as they rush to the hospital and find themselves in the care of the kindly but mysterious Dr. K, a substitute for their regular doctor. Jack refuses to believe there will be any other outcome than taking three healthy babies and one healthy wife home, despite Dr. K’s repeated warnings that the delivery is high risk.

[Read more...]

Jun 5 2016 1:03pm

Never Again: Outlander 2x09 Jamie/Claire Heart-to-Heart

Jamie and Claire talk at the wagon in Outlander 2x09Show/Episode: Outlander Season 2, Episode 9, “Je Suis Prest”
Ship: Jamie/Claire

Je suis prest,” or, in English, “I am ready,” may be Jamie’s clan motto, but ain’t nobody ready for what happens in this episode. First of all, remember all those men Lord Lovat gave Jamie for Scotland's glory, Simon's advancement, and Lovat's own personal ass-covering? Yeah, about them. New development: a bunch of them deserted on the way to Lallybroch (but Young Simon is totally on the whole convincing-them-to-come-back thing, we're sure) and those who do make it all the way to their destination are not exactly seasoned soldiers.

Murtagh, Angus, Rupert, and Fergus all give Jamie and Claire a warm welcome, though Willie is nowhere to be found. Jamie immediately puts an arm about Claire's waist, lest she need support on hearing poor Willie's fate, but his fate is a good one—he's married and Irish girl and sailed off for the colonies. Dougal's arrival completes the family reunion. He's full of fatherly pride at the news Jamie will be joining the Jacobite cause. Their men, however, are a different story. They don't even know how to march, much less hold a weapon. That's going to have to change.

[Murtagh has his work cut out...]

May 22 2016 4:08pm

Losing Faith: Outlander 2x07 Jamie/Claire Heart-to-Heart

Claire and Jamie grieve in Outlander season 2, episode 7Show/Episode: Outlander Season 2, Episode 7, “Faith”
Ship: Jamie/Claire

We start this episode with an array of 1950s nature books, and a red-haired little girl calling over her mama to look at the pretty bird. Mama, of course, is Claire, and identifies the bird as a heron. Little girl wants to know if Claire has ever seen a heron in real life, and yes, she has, in Scotland, a long time ago...and we’re back in Scotland, Claire’s present giving way to her past.

Claire lies on Mother Hildegarde’s table, surrounded by concerned nuns, a physician attending her. She has a vision of a heron overhead, and the screen goes white. When she regains consciousness, she’s no longer on the table, but in a bed. She feels her midsection and asks for her baby. Mother Hildegarde has the sad task of informing Claire that her baby has joined the angels. Mother Hildegarde baptized the baby—though it is illegal to do so unless the child is alive—named her Faith, and had her buried in consecrated ground. She’s also brought a priest to give Claire an unction for the sick, as Claire’s fever is not abating, after several days.

[You can fight this, Claire...]

May 18 2016 1:30pm

Castle and Beckett’s Storybook Ending: Castle 8x22 Heart-to-Heart

Castle and Beckett HEA

Show/Episode: Castle Season 8, Episode 22, “Crossfire”
Ship: Castle/Beckett (Caskett)

Caskett 8x22 Captain's Log

After eight years of solving crimes, in both the real world, where Kate Beckett is sworn to protect and serve, and the fictional worlds of Richard Castle’s novels, where he aims to misbeh...ah, entertain, the story of the rogue mystery novelist and dedicated police officer comes to an end. They’ve never had an easy road; right from the start, creatively blocked mystery author, Castle, found his muse in dedicated police detective, Beckett, who did not need or want a consultant, thankyouverymuch. There was the small matter, though, of that string of murders ripped straight from Castle’s novels, and Beckett will do anything to crack the case, even if that means letting a writer with more imagination than common sense tag along.

On the job, they’ve put their powers of deduction to the test against serial killers, terrorists, perpetrators of international intrigue, cunning kidnappers, and the ongoing mystery of Beckett’s own mother’s murder. Off the job, they’ve dealt with other partners, the grit and glamour of Castle’s career, especially when Nikki Heat, the character Castle based on Beckett, makes some waves -and a feature film. Beckett has had other partners, and she’s not by any means the only woman in Castle’s life. He’s a true ladies’ man, those ladies including his actress mother, spirited teenage daughter and multiple ex-wives. 

[She's not the first wife, but she'll be the last...]

Apr 6 2016 9:30am

Howdy Neighbor: Charis Michaels’ The Earl Next Door

The Earl Next Door by Charis Michaels

Know that feeling when a moving van pulls into the neighborhood, the urge to peek from behind curtains at wha—and who—is coming out of the van and into the no-longer-vacant house? There’s an excitement that boils when the stuff coming out of that van is pretty darned cool, and hey, wait, what are the new neighbors wearing? They’re taking that in there? They have a what? No, seriously, a what? Time to brew some coffee, bake some cookies and get on over there to say hello, because this neighborhood just got a lot more interesting. The Earl Next Door, by debut author, Charis Michaels, is like that.

That’s also pretty much exactly the first scene, as American heiress, Piety Grey and her African servant, Tiny, descend upon Henrietta Place, in Mayfair, London, home to longtime resident, Lady Frinfrock, and her nurse, Jocelyn, Not only are there new arrivals, but their grand carriage careens into the perfectly proper street with unseemly speed, and they’re moving in next door to the newly-inherited, and impoverished Earl of Falcondale, who seems as eager to get out as the new neighbors are to get settled in place. Of course these two worlds must collide, and of course Lady Frinfrock sends her soon-to-be-erstwhile nurse over to investigate and report back.

[Hello, new hot neighbor ...]

Apr 3 2016 10:22pm

“Whatever You Do, I Do”: Sleepy Hollow 3x17 Ichabbie Heart-to-Heart

Ichabod and Abbie hold hands in Sleepy Hollow Season 3 episode 17Show/Episode: Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 17, “Delaware”
Ship: Ichabod/Abbie (Ichabbie), Joe/Jenny (Joenny)

Ichabod and Abbie relationship tracker in Sleepy Hollow 3x17It all starts with the hand porn. Ichabod and Abbie feast before their trip to the catacombs.  He makes her cappuccino—with his face in the foam, ahem—and she brings him gourmet maple-bacon donuts. She wipes powdered sugar from his beard, twice; he drinks her coffee. There’s soft laughter, tender looks, casual touching—enough that this actually feels like a strange sort of love scene, and it is. Ichabod doesn’t even have to ask the question on his mind. Yes, Abbie is scared of going back to the catacombs, but what he does, she does, that’s the deal.

In the archives, Team Witness has some trouble accepting their two newest members. While Pandora tries to convince the rest of the team that she really does want to help bring down Hidden, Daniel strolls in, asking if this is a good time to join the team. He can’t pretend he hasn’t seen what he’s seen. Abbie isn’t so sure this is a good idea. If anything happened to Daniel, she would never forgive herself, but this is where he wants to be: here, for her. When this is all over, he promises, with a tender caress, they have to go back to the house at Virginia Beach and make up for lost time. Abbie plans to hold him to that, though this being the last episode before the season (and possibly series) finale, maybe she should just pencil him in. Okay, he can play, too.

[Damn, Daniel, back at it again...]

Apr 1 2016 11:00am

Sheldon’s Shame: Big Bang Theory 9x19 Shamy Heart-to-Heart

Sheldon and Amy in Big Bang Theory 9x19

Show/Episode: The Big Bang Theory Season 9, Episode 19, “The Solder Excursion Diversion”
Ship(s): Sheldon/Amy (Shamy), Penny/Leonard, Howard/Bernadette

Big Bang Theory 9x19

Sometimes, the big moments in a relationship are really the quiet ones, as both storylines in this episode prove. We’ll go with the B story first. Penny and Bernadette lend a hand -literally- to Leonard and Howard’s prototype of their new invention. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to wrap wire, so even Penny can make a contribution to science here, or she could, if they hadn’t run out of solder.

No big deal; the guys will go get more, and be right back. One little problem. They get a chance to participate in an advance viewing of the Suicide Squad movie. Standard method of operation here is to come up with a lie to tell their wives why they’re going to be gone hours instead of minutes, and that’s exactly what Leonard does. Howard, however, texts Raj with the truth, not knowing Raj has popped in to see how the women are doing, and Raj spills the beans. The trio plots to bust the guys, but plotting is all they can do, because Leonard and Howard decide to come clean and admit where they were. They even bring flowers. Raj leaps out of the closet to bust them anyway.

[Oh Raj...]