<i>Devil's Cut</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Devil's Cut: Exclusive Excerpt J.R. Ward "Only one thing’s for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder." There Be Dragons Here! There Be Dragons Here! Isabel Cooper, Ashlyn Chase and Sara Humphreys Excerpts from Isabel Cooper, Ashlyn Chase & Sara Humphreys <i>One True Pairing</i>: Exclusive Excerpt One True Pairing: Exclusive Excerpt Cathy Yardley "The two pretend to date, fan fiction becomes reality." <i>Perilous Trust</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Perilous Trust: Exclusive Excerpt Barbara Freethy "It was all the control she had right now, and she was hanging on to it."
From The Blog
July 26, 2017
Aladdin’s Casting Isn’t One Jump Ahead—It’s Steps Behind
Mala Bhattacharjee
July 25, 2017
Ilona Andrews on Writing Together, Kate and Curran's Finale, and Hidden Legacy!
Team H & H
July 22, 2017
ICYMI: Latest Free E-Book, H&H Original, Unusual Historical, and more!
Team H & H
July 19, 2017
Do We Treat Widows and Widowers Differently in Romance?
Cerestheories
July 16, 2017
The Only Way You Can Reread Joanna Bourne’s Spymaster Series: In Order
Janet Webb
Showing posts by: Cerestheories click to see Cerestheories's profile
Sun
Jul 23 2017 11:00am

First Look: Alisha Rai’s Hate to Want You (July 25, 2017)

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai
Hate to Want You
Avon / July 25, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Hate to Want You is full of classic romantic elements, but features smart, real characters who feel 100% modern. With this book, Alisha Rai has given us a Romeo who is kind, sexy, great at his job, but making some poor choices in his personal life. Her Juliet is independent, caring, self-aware enough to deal with her depression, but avoiding her family and her feelings for Romeo. Rai’s writing combines the best of old and new, creating a story you won’t be able to put down.

But first. Look at that cover. Do you need some time alone? I’ll give you a minute.

Okay, now let’s talk about the book. Alisha Rai starts her Forbidden Hearts series with my favorite book of hers yet. If you’ve read A Gentlman in the Streets or Serving Pleasure, you know that’s saying something. In her trademark style, she ramps up the sexual tension and heart-wrenching yearning to give romance readers the Romeo & Juliet they’ve always wanted. The story is slowed at times by exposition, but Rai weaves history and relational details into deeply emotional scenes that will leave readers wondering how things could have gone so wrong. Long-held secrets, complicated family dynamics, and blazing hot chemistry make this a page-turner.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jul 20 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Rogue Desire Anthology (July 20, 2017)

Rogue Desires Anthology

Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins, Ainsley Booth, Emma Barry, Dakota Gray, Stacey Agdern, Jane Lee Blair, Tamsen Parker
Rogue Desires
Pronoun / July 20, 2017 / $.99 digital

Eight romance authors have teamed up for Rogue Desire, an anthology of what they’re calling “Resistance Romance.” The result is eight stories that serve up doses of heat and hope during a tumultuous political time. It’s like this: the daily (hourly?) news cycle is exhausting, but like a car crash in slow motion, many of us can’t look away. If you can’t look away but also like to read romance… this is the anthology for you.

While a couple of the stories didn’t work for me personally, I was completely engrossed in others. As is the magic of anthologies, every reader has a different favorite, and I really hope some of you will seek me out on Twitter to talk about yours. In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of each story:

Grassroots by Adriana Anders

In the first story, the heroine is running for city council and meets the hero, a visually-impaired hacker/inventor while she’s canvassing. The hero is super hot, but hasn’t had a real relationship because he hasn’t found someone who gets him. The heroine doesn’t have a “name” and just wants to do right by her community. He uses his network to help her out, and she helps him come out of seclusion. This story is known to have made at least two H&H bloggers cry.

[Read more...]

Wed
Jul 19 2017 9:30am

Do We Treat Widows and Widowers Differently in Romance?

The Lawrence Browne Affair by Cat Sebastian

The 3 Factors to How We Treat Widows vs. Widowers

After much “research,” I have a hypothesis regarding the treatment of widows and widowers in romance:

The divide isn’t based on male/female but rather on time period. We treat modern widows differently than historical widows.

Okay, before you give me examples of why I’m wrong, hear me out. I have some supporting evidence.

Marriages of Choice vs. Convenience

While there are present-day unhappy marriages and olden-day happy marriages, the advent of divorce, birth control, and economic independence for women has changed the marital landscape. This means that widows and widowers these days are more likely to have been in love with their late spouse. We see characters who may internally compare their new love with the old, and authors who are respectfully making it clear that one is not replacing the other. Characters may have a hard time making room for this new partner in their life while holding on to the memories of the love they had before. It’s a fine line that contemporary authors walk, trying to convince readers of the depth of both loves.

In historicals, it’s more often that the widow(er) has lost a spouse who was, in one way or another, forced upon them. The heroine may be a young widow who married a man 30 years her senior and is just now able to marry of her own will. The hero may have married a spiteful woman with a large dowry, who ran off and is now deceased. (Looking at you, Lawrence Browne Affair) Since so much historical romance focuses on the lives of the aristocracy, marriages are frequently arranged based on financial or political benefit, not on any sort of suitability.

[Read more...]

Tue
Jul 18 2017 1:00pm

First Look: On Fire Anthology (July 18, 2017)

On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories

Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel*
On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories
Cleis Press / July 18, 2017 / $10.99 digital

On Fire is the latest in writer/editor Rachel Kramer Bussel’s erotica anthologies with Cleis Publishing… but it was my first modern erotica anthology ever. I’ve read erotic romance, sure. Romance anthologies, yes. My first anthology of erotica, I suppose, would be Anais Nin’s The Delta of Venus. But a book of pure smut written and edited by and for women? This was my first. It won’t be my last.

In the introduction, Kramer Bussel says:

“…these stories are both tender and dirty, sometimes within the span of the same page. That is the beauty of these erotic storytellers – they don’t skimp on love or lust, instead entwining them in tales that make your pulse pound, your heart race, and your breath sigh.”

That, in two sentences, sums up the anthology. The stories within are varied, so I think there’s something for everyone here. Some stories are kinky, some are not. Some stories focus on two partners, some couples invite others in for the fun. A couple of the stories are about new lovers, but most take place within the bounds of already existing relationships.

It’s this last bit that I found fascinating. In several of the stories, a couple that’s been together for months, years, centuries (yeah, there’s a paranormal), explores the physical and emotional intimacy that already exists in their relationship. In a couple of the cases, this aspect of their love has been neglected. In one memorable story, the couple swings, and the sexual part of their joint life has very clearly never been neglected. There are stories of partners reuniting after an absence. Stories of partners drawing upon their trust and love to share new or previously daunting aspects of their sexuality.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jul 6 2017 9:30am

Grumpy and Charming Heroes—You Get it All in Cat Sebastian’s The Ruin of a Rake

The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

Cat Sebastian has carved out a place in my TBR: it looks like an uptight man being completely undone by a cheeky man who’s both jaded and comfortable with his sexuality. Said cheeky man is likely going to believe in love by the end of the book, and the uptight man will realize that he can let down his guard now and again. This is not to say that her books are predictable or boring, but rather that I find the whole “grumpy repressed dude meets flirty charming dude” conceit to be both comforting and compelling. It’s nice to pick up a book and know that you’ll get lots of sparks, both in the banter and in the bedroom.

“I think that what you really like is discomposing my state of mind. Turning me into a babbling fool.”

Courtenay became very busy adjusting his cravat.

“Oh my God, I’m right. This is what you like. You like seeing me desperate for you.” It was mortifying, this knowledge that his sad own lack of control was what Courtenay sought.

“You’re so pretty when you’re desperate.”

Julian gasped. “Nobody has every called me pretty. Or desperate.”

“You’ve been keeping terrible company, my dear.”

You don’t have to have read the last book, but if you did, you’ll remember that Courtenay is the Earl of Radnor’s rake of a brother-in-law and that he metJulian’s sister, Eleanor, at Radnor’s house. Since that meeting, Eleanor and Courtenay have become good friends, and Julian believes that his sister’s reputation is being tainted by her association with Courtenay. Eleanor, meanwhile, wants Julian to use his own good reputation to help ease Courtenay’s way back into society. After years of not caring at all what society thought of him, Courtenay is forced to take some responsibility for his reputation if he wants his brother to allow him to see his nephew (whom we also met in the last book). This sets up a classic forced proximity/enemies-to-lovers trope to start off the story.

[Read more...]

Mon
Jul 3 2017 1:00pm

Why We Need—and Love—#OwnVoices

Source: Shutterstock

We need to talk about reading #ownvoices. If you’re not a Twitter nerd, the hashtag is used to describe books written by an author who shares the background of her characters. This does not, however, mean that if I wrote a book about a white cis lady, that I could use the #ownvoices label. It does mean that if I wrote about a bi character, I could call it #ownvoices. Why? Because the label is expressly designed to help readers find books that accurately represent marginalized populations.

With the growth of the diverse books movement, we’ve seen lots of authors take on writing more diverse casts. This is great, but it’s also not the whole point. Diverse publishing should be at all levels, from reader to author to editor. The #ownvoices tag enables readers find books that may more accurately represent a population they don’t usually read about. These books are less likely to reinforce stereotypes and more likely to treat the characters as full, flawed characters with lives that don’t revolve entirely around one aspect of their body or identity.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jun 29 2017 12:00pm

Why I Can’t Read Pregnancy Plots in Romance

Source: Shutterstock

...And The Reasons I Suspect Everyone Else Loves It

Every time a pregnancy-themed romance pops up in my newsfeed, I roll my eyes. Then I sigh and remind myself not to “yuck someone else’s yum.” I remind myself what it was like to be pregnant, to want to be pregnant, and that pregnant ladies need love, too. I pretty much fight with myself for 30 seconds each time. It goes something like this:

Personal Icks

Ugh, pregnancy. I hated being pregnant. The first time was 2 months of nausea, 4 months of people telling me I was too young/poor/unsettled to have a kid, and then 2 months of hugely swollen feet. Second time? 5 months of nausea, followed by 3 months of whatever, and a doctor who kept asking was I really sure I didn’t want my tubes tied?

But not everyone hates being pregnant! My best friend loved it. She felt beautiful and sexy and proud of her body. Unlike me, she had no acne, and childbirth went so easily she almost didn’t make it to the hospital.

[Read more...]

Wed
Jun 21 2017 2:00pm

A Bisexual Reader’s Romance Wish List

 Source: Shutterstock

Happy Pride Month! Time to learn more about me than you ever wanted to know! Pride is a complicated time for me, as a woman married to a man. I’ve identified as bi since high school, a fact my male friends thought was “so hot.” (I stopped telling people about it for that reason.) When I became comfortable enough with myself in college, I came out to a gay friend who promptly decided I must be a lesbian. I met my husband when I was 18, while playing an online game. It was over a year before I found out that she was actually he. When we met in person when I was 20, we starting dating. Ten years later, we have two kids and a house and all the trappings. You could put us on some sort of propaganda poster for “traditional marriage.” Guess what? I’m still bi.

As a bi reader, I read lots of queer romance, lots of straight romance, lots of romance in general… but I don’t often see myself represented. And, while I love reading about all kinds of love, I am putting my “wish-list” out into the universe in hopes that maybe the universe will send me some books.

[Read 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...]

Mon
Jun 12 2017 2:00pm

Do You Want Dad to Give Romance a Try? Give Him One of These 11 Books

Giving Romance for Father’s Day,
Or How To Embarrass the Men in Your Life This June

It’s almost the middle of June, which means graduations, barbecues, and that awkward holiday you dread shopping for every year: Father’s Day. If you don’t dread it, or don’t have a father in your life (spouse, bio-dad, whatevs), you can repurpose this list for any time you feel compelled to make a man feel awkward. Unless you’re lucky enough to have men in your life who read romance, that is. I’ve compiled a list of the Stereotypical Dad categories to make your gift-giving a success!

The Techie Dad

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Disclaimer: my own SO is a systems engineer, so I’m relying on his opinions pretty heavily here. (Apparently, tech romance can be hard to read if you work in the industry.) I’m going to assume this dad is a giant geek and include a fantasy rec here, too.

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) has everything he’d expect from an epic fantasy (Game of Thrones), but without the rape and misogynist overtones. It’s got a kickass hero and heroine, plus a big cast, horses, a road trip with monsters, and magic.

Love on My Mind by Tracey Livesay (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is an opposites-attract romance with a neuro-atypical hero who happens to be a tech billionaire, and a PR specialist heroine who has to get him camera ready before a product launch. Secrets and nerdery aplenty.

[Read more...]

Tue
Jun 6 2017 11:00am

First Look: Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna’s Way Down Deep (June 6, 2017)

Way Down Deep by Charlotte Stein & Cara McKenna

Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna
Way Down Deep
Self-published / June 6, 2017 / $2.99 digital

Here’s what you need to know about Way Down Deep:

  1. Cara McKenna and Charlotte Stein wrote a book together.
  2. It’s a modern-day epistolary novel told through texts.
  3. The hero is a single dad who moved to England to be with a traumatized toddler he didn’t know about.
  4. The heroine is an agoraphobe who is reluctant to share details about herself.
  5. It all starts with a text to a number that’s been reassigned…

Full disclosure: I love everything I’ve read by Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna. I knew going into this that I was probably in for a great read and had really high expectations. Readers, you know that sometimes this leads to big disappointment. I’m here to tell you that this is not that time.

I’ve never read anything like Way Down Deep. The format alone leads to all sorts of interesting writing choices, like how the authors build sexual tension, how and when the characters might reveal certain details (like their names!) to each other, and how to write an entire book in what we think of as the shortest modern communication form.

[Read more...]

Sat
May 13 2017 1:00pm

Harlots Isn’t a Romance, But There’s Still A Lot to Love

Harlots on Hulu

Have you ever read one of Eloisa James’s Desperate Duchesses and thought “well, that hardly seems realistic?” Me, too! As romance readers, we willingly accept all manner of fantasy: aristocrats with six-pack abs, many unmarried dukes who are both sexually experienced and in great health, spinsters who find love at the age of 32… The list goes on. These are the cute parts of that fantasy world, though. The uglier parts include an obvious lack of any people of color and a bevy of secondary characters who, for narrative purposes, are disposable.

Harlots, one of Hulu’s new spring shows, makes it impossible to ignore those people. We see the rich fops with their wigs and powders and intricately embroidered waistcoats, but we see far more of the freedmen, working folks, and, of course, the harlots.

[Read more...]

Sat
Apr 29 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Juliet Lyons’ Dating the Undead (May 2, 2017)

Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

Juliet Lyons
Dating the Undead (Undead Dating Service #1)
Sourcebooks / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

In Juliet Lyons’ print debut, Dating the Undead, she introduces us to a world in which vampires are “out” and someone is making bank running a dating site for them. You can find a link to the pun-derful site and an excerpt here.

Our snarky heroine, Silver, is booted from a New Year’s Eve party after she catches her date making out with another girl and she reacts (justifiably) poorly. Lucky her, a sexy Irish vampire just happens to approach on the street while she considers whether or not to return to fetch her handbag. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-hot, and it leaves Silver interested in furthering her acquaintance with vampire men.

Logan, the sexy Irish vampire, is, of course, infatuated with Silver and is immediately tasked by his vampire overlord with glamoring her to hate vampires. Silver, meanwhile, is approached by the police for information on the vampire world that she may accumulate through dating vamps. Silver gets onto V-Date and proceeds to date a number of utterly boring vampires. None of them get her going quite the way Logan does.

[Read more...]

Wed
Apr 12 2017 9:30am

First Look: Lenora Bell’s Blame It on the Duke (April 18, 2017)

Lenora Bell
Blame It on the Duke (Disgraceful Dukes #3)
Avon / April 18, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Lenora Bell’s third novel, Blame it on the Duke, follows in the pattern she set with her first two—a witty, tropey, sexy romp. In this installment, however, she’s given us a meaty subplot to chew on: the spectre of mental illness.

Nick Hatherly is “lost” in a bet made by his father. The “winner” is Lady Alice Tombs, a skilled linguist who wishes to travel to India before marrying anyone. She has been actively discouraging any suitors with awkward, often off-putting, conversation since the time that readers met her in How the Duke Was Won. Her parents, particularly her social-climbing mother, are determined to marry her off as soon as possible, thus the bet and ensuing betrothal. Nick is a self-described rake, determined never to marry or sire any children. His father isn’t the only member of his family to go mad, you see. At one point, he walks Alice down a gallery of family portraits and describes all the ways his ancestors have descended into lunacy.

On the surface, we see the couple that doesn’t want to marry and doesn’t want to fall in love. If that’s a dynamic that pleases you, look no further. The couple goes so far as to write up a contract that states the exact terms of their marriage: no children, Alice gets to go to India, Nick gets to stay in London, they will have one month of “training” before Alice leaves, during which time Nick will be faithful to her.

[And then she comes back, right!?]

Wed
Apr 5 2017 2:00pm

Adriana Anders’ Blank Canvas Series: “Dark, Smart, and Full of Heart”

3 Defining Characteristics from Adriana Anders' Blank Canvas Series!

Debut author Adriana Anders’s Blank Canvas series has popped up on my radar several times lately. Gorgeous covers with tattooed skin and provocative taglines. Rave reviews and tattoos… Wait, I already mentioned the tats. They’re important, though! These darker stories haven’t been my go-to in the last year or so because I’ve been burned by heroes that I felt were controlling and abusive. Does this sound like you? Well, have no fear: these books are the dark romances you’ve been waiting for.

Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders

The Ink

This post is based entirely on the first two books in the series, Under Her Skin and By Her Touch. They both take place in the small town of Blackwood, Virginia and feature one protagonist who lives in the town and one who comes to town seeking the help of the local dermatologist, who specializes in tattoo removal. In both cases, the tattoos were involuntary, though both characters have voluntary tattoos as well.

I have some ink. I chose it and I love it. I drew it on my skin for weeks before making it permanent. The idea of being inked against my will is horrifying. In Under Her Skin, Uma has been tattooed by an abusive boyfriend. The tats are all over her body, saying crude things like “mine” and “bitch.” She starts the book completely incapable of looking at her own body. In By Her Touch, Clay was inked ON HIS FACE by the sadistic biker who discovered his undercover cop identity.

[Read more...]

Fri
Mar 24 2017 1:00pm

5 Iconic Phoebe and Cole Moments from Charmed

Charmed's Phoebe x Cole

Now that you’ve had some time to stop dancing about in anticipation of the Charmed reboot, it’s time for a rewatch. Or a first watch, if you missed out on all the campy, soapy, witchy fun back in the late 90s/early 00s. Charmed is primarily about the relationship between the sisters, BUT the ‘ships added a lot of drama to the show. Everyone has their favorite pairing and I happen to have a controversial fave: Phoebe and Cole.

Phoebe and Cole meet in the beginning of Season 3, when he’s posing as an Assistant District Attorney to steal the sisters’ Book of Shadows. The Book of Shadows is their magical tome in which all family spells are recorded. Eventually, we discover that Cole is actually the demon Belthazor, and he’s a real bad dude. In his human form, he’s really hot and charming though. He falls in love with Phoebe and their relationship is dark and difficult and pretty much what made me a paranormal romance reader. So bear with me as I list my top 5 episodes featuring the Phoebe/Cole ‘ship.

The Meet-Cute

The Honeymoon’s Over
Season 3, Episode 1: 

This episode is mostly about Piper and Leo getting in trouble with the Powers That Be for their taboo relationship. The Freak of the Week situation involves a court that’s populated by a demonic judge, public defender, bailiff… etc. The audience both meets Cole and discovers his demonic nature in this episode, but Phoebe doesn’t know that part yet. Mostly they just engage in flirty banter and an awkward calf-grab.

[Read more...]

Tue
Mar 14 2017 9:30am

First Look: Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union (March 28, 2017)

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Alyssa Cole
An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League #1)
Kensington / March 28, 2017 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

“They risked their hearts and their lives. For freedom. For justice. For love…”

Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union is the first in what promises to be a riveting series. In this novel, Elle Burns is a former slave turned spy for the Union during the Civil War. The year is 1862, the setting Virginia. Elle meets Malcolm McCall, a Scotsman turned Pinkerton detective. I read the first few chapters in small bites, absorbing details as Alyssa painted a scene rich with details of time, place, and societal norms. Once I hit the main spy story, however, there was no stopping.

Setting an interracial romance during the Civil War is a risky undertaking, but Alyssa has handled it with aplomb. Drawing on her experience writing about the Revolutionary War and the Civil Rights movement, she’s given us a story that reflects the complexities of being both a patriot and an agitator for change. Despite the government- and society-sanctioned abuses suffered by her race (and her own family) Elle is a woman who loves her country and is willing to give her life in service to making it a better place. I cannot think of a person more patriotic than she, and knowing that the character is based on a real woman made me read parts of the story with tears in my eyes. (I cheated and read the Author’s Note before the rest of the book.) Elle is my new favorite heroine. She has an eidetic memory, but she’s also capable of making connections and acting in roles that others wouldn’t stand.

[Read more...]

Mon
Mar 6 2017 10:30am

Who Will Replace the Billionaire Romance Hero?

After a lengthy time on top (ha), it appears that the Billionaire Hero may be losing favor with the romance-reading population. I’ve read a bunch of the billionaire books, everything from the alpha dom types to the tech geniuses, and I agree with Romancelandia. Time for a change! So, who’s next?

Nuts by Alice Clayton

The Earthy Types

Farmers. Construction workers. Artisan cheesemakers. Men who work with their hands and have a connection to their work. These men provide so many opportunities for sensory description: the smell of baking bread, the smell of fresh cut hay, and the fascinating play of light and shadow over well-defined muscles. Who better to replace the workaholic billionaire hero than a man who appreciates hard work and the pleasure to be found in creating something?

Supporting Evidence:

Alice Clayton’s Hudson Valley series – So far, we have one book about a cheesemaker and one book about a walnut farmer. Clayton’s signature laugh-out-loud romantic comedy stylings combined with heroes at your local farmer’s market? Yes, please.

Tiffany Reisz’s Men at Work series – I already wrote about these books and my absolute love for them, so I wasn’t going to list them here, but… seriously. These books. You should read them.

Sarina Bowen’s True North series – As a Vermonter, I’m biased, but let’s just say that Bowen’s hunky flannel-wearing farmer lumbersexuals are just what romance needs right now.

[Read more...]

Wed
Mar 1 2017 4:00pm

The My Monster Boyfriend Comic is the Paranormal Romance You’ve Been Waiting For

Smut Peddler: My Monster Boyfriend

Last time, on Smut Peddler Presents… *cue swirly flashback screen* We talked about an anthology of dirty comics made by a whole mess of talented ladies!

This week, we’ll catch up with the ladies (and some new ones!) as they launch a brand-new anthology of dirty comics called Smut Peddler Presents: My Monster Boyfriend. In a special encore, we’ll also going to give a couple of paragraphs to Yes, Roya, a comic first made available when Iron Circus Comics was Kickstarting this anthology.

First things first. CHECK OUT THAT COVER.

Is that not the cover of every paranormal romance novel ever? Pouty lips, glowing eyes, ripped shirt… giant horns, pointy ears…  Let’s be honest, I bought this book for the cover. Good marketing, Iron Circus Comics.

Next up: Stats!

  •  222 pages
  • 10 stories
  • Full color!
  • Lots of weird shit, with stories so diverse you don’t even know what you’re looking at sometimes! (I am not even exaggerating.)

I bought this in PDF and read on my iPad, since it’s in full color and some of the artwork simply needs a bigger screen. I really valued being able to zoom in on some of the panels because the artwork is quite lovely.

My Monster Boyfriend is an erotic comics anthology unlike any other. 220 pages of cute monster boys. Robots, demons, aliens and spirits, with their human and not-so-human lovers, in ten incredible stories by comics' best and brightest. … Hold on. It’s about to get weird.

[There are monsters inside!]

Sat
Feb 18 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Megan Frampton’s My Fair Duchess (February 28, 2017)

My Fair Duchess by Megan Frampton

Megan Frampton
My Fair Duchess (Dukes Behaving Badly #5)
Avon / February 28, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Fun Fact: Megan Frampton is the former community manager of Heroes and Heartbreakers—we now love being able to talk about her historical romances!

As you might suspect, My Fair Duchess, the latest in Megan Frampton’s Dukes Behaving Badly series is a retelling of the classic My Fair Lady. Yes, there’s a makeover and a reluctant man overseeing the education of the plucky young lady. The real hook, however, is an inversion of the governess-artistocrat trope. I loved it.

Our heroine, the newly-minted Duchess of Blakesley, is an anomaly. She becomes a duchess due to an old forgotten ruling in her family line that allows any direct heir to inherit, not just the most closely related male. A note at the beginning of the novel should clear this up for you in case you are thinking “oh come on, that’s not a thing!” (It was a thing in one family, one time.) Having been raised by servants in the country while her father allows the duchy to languish, Genevieve is woefully unprepared for the role. She needs a new wardrobe, training in estate management, an entire new staff, and the confidence to pull off the demeanor expected of a duchess.

[Read more...]