<i>Christmas in Kilts</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Christmas in Kilts: Exclusive Excerpt Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Bronwen Evans Read excerpts from five holiday books! <i>Cuffed</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Cuffed: Exclusive Excerpt K. Bromberg "What's one night of sex going to hurt . . . right?" <i>The White Lily</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The White Lily: Exclusive Excerpt Juliette Cross "There's more to the duke than she thought." <i>Nailed It</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Nailed It: Exclusive Excerpt Cindi Madsen "It's much easier to fix up a house than a broken heart..."
From The Blog
October 23, 2017
A Survivor on Hope, Healing, and Happily Ever Afters
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October 21, 2017
Tracy Wolff’s Royal Pain: From Rake to Royal
October 21, 2017
ICYMI: Win 10 Books, New Nora Roberts Book, Book Club Discussion, and more!
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October 20, 2017
In Defense of the Flawed Heroine
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Gena Showalter Reveals the Next Two Couples in Lords of the Underworld Series
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Showing posts by: Elizabeth Poteet click to see Elizabeth Poteet's profile
Oct 23 2017 4:39pm

Time Doesn’t Matter: Outlander Season 3, Episode 6 Jamie & Claire Heart-to-Heart

Outlander, Season 3, Episode 6, A. Malcolm

Show/EpisodeOutlander, Season 3, Episode 6, “A. Malcolm”
Couple(s): Jamie and Claire

Outlander 3x06 Captains Log

It's happened my friends, the moment we've all been waiting for, the thing that's kept us going through all the angst, sadness, mild suburban depression. Thank the TV Powers That Be because Jamie and Claire have reunited!

Sigh of relief.

The episode starts with a very urbane looking Jamie doing some mild treason in his Edinburg printing shop. You know, the normal. Intellectual Jamie is pretty dang hot. Potentially as hot as Running in a Kilt Jamie. Well, almost. He's grown up—he has reading glasses now!—and settled into a nice life of printmaking—so cool!—and more mental traitorous activities like printing pamphlets and other revolutionary paper goods.

Enter Claire.

Our beloved hero is reading some papers drinking an alepot and wearing his glasses when the door opens behind him. Thinking it's his assistant, a sassy and disgruntled Geordie, Jamie doesn't bother to look up, just starts talking...

[Read more...]

Oct 12 2017 1:30pm

Is Fred OK? Riverdale 2x01 Heart-to-Heart

Riverdale, Season 2, Episode 1, "A Kiss Before Dying"

Show/Episode: Riverdale, Season 2, Episode 1, “A Kiss Before Dying”
Couple(s): Archie/Veronica (Varchie), Betty/Jughead (Bughead)

Riverdale, Season 2, Episode 1 Captain's Log

We begin our story the same way we ended season one: with plenty of d-r-a-m-a.

Fred Andrews (aka Hot Dad) is bleeding out, Archie Andrews is frantically driving his father to the hospital (without a valid driver's license), and there's blood like pretty much everywhere. On Archie's letterman jacket, all over Hot Dad, in the car, on the snow, covering the floor at Pop's. In other words, welcome back to Riverdale, the sweetest little murder town on TV.

The big questions of the episode: who shot our beloved Fred and will he survive?

Dun dun dun.

Once Fred is dramatically taken off to some old-fashioned looking ER by hospital staff, we cut to the rest of our cast of meddling kids. Betty is at home drinking OJ with her mom who has some very strong words to say about her daughter's deepening relationship with Jughead (“...if that beanie wearing cad defiled you...”), while Veronica is drinking a mimosa with her mom who also has some parental disapproval to dish out, while Jughead is back at his dad's trailer all alone without any form of orange juice. Then they all get the call to assemble and sit vigil over Fred's bedside (hotness alert: Jughead takes his father's motorcycle and it's attractive). Because this is a TV show, they all arrive at the same time for an epic group hug.

[Read more...]

Oct 10 2017 2:00pm

Betty and Jughead (Bughead) Are Riverdale’s OTP

Riverdale's Jughead and Betty

Look, I've never really been a fan of comics, but even I know Archie and Betty are meant to be. They're Archie and Betty. The Girl Next Door and the titular hero of the comics should definitely be the One True Pairing (OTP). How could they not be destiny?

At least that's what I thought before watching Riverdale.

Fun, self-referential, gloriously melodramatic, my newest CW obsession brings Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead off the page and into a colorful new world... and challenges all my expectations. Yeah, Betty and Archie may be “end game” in the comics (an observation TV-Kevin even makes in the pilot episode), but in this show, all bets are off.

And in Riverdale, Jughead Jones has some mad chemistry with Betty. Like sweet, sexy, slow burn chemistry. Their romance isn't something hot and bright from the get-go. Betty and Jughead start as friends, allies, and as they spend time together, their connection grows, a connection built on sharing and some pretty tough emotions. Jughead is there for Betty without question. Betty sees beyond Jughead's loner, weirdo persona. With him, she doesn't have to be perfect, and that vulnerability is why I think Bughead is the new end game.

[Read more...]

Oct 2 2017 11:00am

Everyone Is Still a Little Miserable: Outlander Season 3, Episode 4 Heart-to-Heart

Show/EpisodeOutlander, Season 3, Episode 4, “Of Lost Things”
Couple(s): Jamie and Claire

Outlander 3x04 Captain's Log

Time certainly flies when you aren't having any fun at all. At least in Outlander, because great news everyone! It's now 1968 and Claire has a huge helmet of hair and a grown daughter. Yup, seems like just yesterday (or two weeks ago) that Brianna was just a baby, smiling in her crib and gurgling. Now, she's a grown woman and helping her mom dig through boring historical papers in Scotland in order to find Jamie. And while their quest seems to start on a positive note—they found record of Jamie's prison time!—the ends grow cold and so does Claire's hope.

Thank goodness, Brianna has the hunky Roger there to distract her with his doleful eyes and his beard and flirting...maybe. Knowing this show, I'm betting something terrible happens to the pair of them.

Basically, the future sucks. The only positive light: Claire's epic '60s eye makeup.

I literally wrote in my notes “blah, blah, blah,” which I think shows just how much I cared about the present timeline. To sum it up: Claire knows Jamie survived the battle, their last lead turns out to be a log of ship manifests from 1635, the dead end sends Claire to a bar for whisky (and in a show about time travel does anyone think 1635 isn't going to eventually be important?!), Brianna and Roger flirt some and share a kiss (more on that later), Claire gives up her hope, bags are packed, and we see a plane land. No mention of Frank. Remember Frank? Apparently, no one else does.

[Read more...]

Sep 18 2017 1:30pm

Moving On Sucks: Outlander Season 3, Episode 2 Heart-to-Heart

Outlander, 3x02, Surrender

Show/EpisodeOutlander, Season 3, Episode 2, “Surrender”
Couple(s): Jamie and Claire

Outlander 3x02 Captain's Log

Well, Jamie now lives in a cave, Claire is a reluctant 1950s (technically 1949) housewife, and Frank is about at the end of his supporting and loving rope. Welcome back to Outlander, y'all. In the immortal words of Backstreet Boys, “quit playing games with my motherforking heart.”

Because “Surrender” is all about the age-old question: How the heck do you move on from a failed revolution and a soulmate lost to time?

For Jamie, he decides to live in a cave and turn into cross between a vagrant and a crazy survivalist. Yup, you read that right, our hottie Jamie, the Jamie of the great cheekbones, the only Hollywood redhead (besides Domhnall Gleeson) you've ever been attracted to (sorry, Archie Andrews), looks like shit for 90% of the episode. Long scraggly hair that looks like my own sorry bedhead, a full beard that's more “what animal died on Jamie's face” and less “hot lumberjack,” and a really ugly hat complete the package. Plus, the aforementioned he-lives-in-a-cave-in-the-woods-near-Lallybroch thing. Did I mention the fact he lives in a cave like a troll? Jamie's been hiding out in the three years since Culloden, and he's not coping too well. He barely speaks (I started a tally for how many words he says during the episode, then got tired after 25, but still, he's rather taciturn), and sure, an emotionally struggling Jamie is woo! for character development, but it's boo! for female fans because that accent deserves all the screen time it can get. In fact, I wrote in my notes: hotness factor -2.

[Read more...]

Aug 3 2017 2:00pm

The Romance Reader’s Guide to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

Idris Elba in The Dark Tower

We've all seen the trailers. Sexy Idris Elba versus “Alright-Alright” Matthew McConaughey in a dystopian, fantasy battle royale touted as GOOD vs. EVIL. In the trailer, Idris is all noble, dusty, and sexy. He growls about shooting from his heart, and my heart pitter patters. McConaughey looks sharp in his black suit and Evil Guy Grin. They banter, they try to kill one another, there's a big Mordor-like tower.  In other words, how could I resist? Stephen King's epic Dark Tower fantasy series is coming to theaters as The Dark Tower, so like any good nerd, I picked up the first book, The Gunslinger, at the airport for some pre-movie reading.

It was definitely not what I expected. At all.

And I have a lot of feelings. Feelings about the story, feelings about how the movie looks nothing like the book, feelings about the style of writing. Basically, I need to join a book club just for this series so I can talk about my feelings. Let me know if you're interested.

[Read more...]

May 24 2017 2:00pm

The Dirty Dancing Remake Is ... Fine

Dirty Dancing on ABC

Before we go any further, there’s something I want y’all to know. I am not a Dirty Dancing superfan. Not by a longshot. I grew up “watching” the movie at sleepovers in between prank calling school crushes and playing MASH, and while I own the soundtrack, I don’t listen to it regularly. It was an impulse buy from a bargain bin at Walmart. I can’t tell you which song belongs to which scene or recite any lines from the original film other than the iconic “baby in the corner” one.

Needless to say, I didn’t go into watching the TV remake with any real expectations. I wasn’t prepared to hate it, I wasn’t prepared to love it. I’m Switzerland.

Now, if you love the original, I think we both know why you’re reading this post. You want to hear all about how horrible it was. How little Miss Sunshine is no Baby. How the TV movie pales in comparison to the theatrical release. If that’s the case, superfans, don’t watch the TV movie. You’re gonna hate it. Don’t read this post, you’re gonna hate that too.

Because, as we established, I’m not a fan, and I found the remake to be perfectly fine.

Let’s break down some of the good, the bad, and the baby.

[The good, the bad, and the Baby]

Nov 25 2016 10:30am

In Defense of Breaking Spines

Source: Shutterstock

We’re not monsters. We’re not bad people.We’re not book hating anarchists. We’re your friends, your neighbors, your sisters and spouses. We work next to you, come to your book club, eat at the same Thanksgiving table. We’re bibliophiles, casual readers, publishing professionals. And we like breaking our books’ spines. We like turning down the corners on the page. We like the feeling of a worn book in our hands. Not because we don’t cherish our books, but because we love them so much. You see our devotion in the fine lines down our mass market spines, the battered covers of our beloved romances, the finger smudges on the ink. Each mark we make is a reflection of our excitement. We are the readers who forget our subway stops, who know that when you are in a book time and space and comfort doesn’t matter. Water warped pages from when we simply must keep reading while in the bathtub. Torn covers from multiple journeys at the bottom of a bag. Creased corners from when a passage was so good, so amazingly good, we needed to be able to find it in a second. Spines that lay flat so we can hold the book in one hand while eating that slice of pizza with the other. Those broken spines, the perfectly broken spines, that mark our favorite scenes so our books automatically flip to the chapters where we most want to linger and reread, that keep our books open so we can get lost, that take us back to the places and characters who have become part of us, those broken spines are how we show our love. We’re not monsters. We’re not bad people. We’re not book haters. We love our books, but we love the stories in them more. That’s why we have multiple copies of the books we adore. We are the people that break the spines and we’re not apologizing. 

Mature content below the jump. Parental supervision is advised.

(Just kidding but the content may shock some viewers) 

[Read more...]

Nov 11 2016 10:30am

8 Linda Howard Comfort Reads for Every Situation

What are the best Linda Howard novels?

Cry No More by Linda Howard

Confession: I’m a serial re-reader. When I’m stressed, tired, overworked, overwhelmed, sad, or just plain lazy, I turn to my old favorite shelf for a pick-me-up. A book I know I’m going to love, a book that feels like returning home. Sure, I know the ending, but so what? I love these characters, I know these characters, I miss these characters. You don’t stop talking to your BFF just because you know each others’ secrets. If you do, you’re a bad friend.

And for me, the author I always pick back up when life isn’t going the way I want: Linda Howard.

I really cannot preach enough about the gospel of Linda Howard, circa 1999. The mid-to-late-90s (plus a handful of early 2000s titles, which I’m sneaking in) are my jam when it comes to prime comfort read material. For me, that time period is a perfect merger of the alpha heroes—they know what they want and aren’t afraid to go after in—of the 80s and the heroines I associate with modern romances—they are smart, kickass, competent, who are vocal about sex, demand respect, and don’t take any shit. Plus, the plots are pretty darned good. Serial killers, psychic heroines, sultry New Orleans nights, hunky neighbors, a librarian in disguise!**

And while I will never claim to be a Linda Howard expert (I would need at least one advanced degree in Howardism), I have a lot of opinions. Very strong opinions. So if you’re stressed, tired, overworked, overwhelmed, sad, or just plain lazy, and looking for a guaranteed read here is my definitive list of The Ultimate 90s Girl Guide to Linda Howard.

[And the top 8 are...]

Jul 29 2014 12:23pm

First Impressions of Outlander Episode 1, “Sassenach”: Wait ’n’ See

Jamie and Claire in Outlander series premiere

Last night, major Outlander fan Lizzie Poteet attended an NYC screening of the first episode for H&H, even going so far as to risk her seatmates' disgust to live-tweet the post-screening Q&A with the cast and crew in order to feed our insatiable appetite for all things Jamie/Claire. (Thanks/sorry, Lizzie!) Here, she gives us her Outlander backstory (we all have one, don't we?) and then shares her first impressions of the Outlander series premiere, which Starz will begin streaming this week on August 2 and which will air on U.S. television on August 9. (Full disclosure: Lizzie is an assistant editor at St. Martin's Press/Macmillan, Heroes and Heartbreakers' parent company.)

For me, Outlander was one of those books, the ones you put off reading for years because you know, deep in your heart, that once you read it…you’ll never go back. And at the time, I simply didn’t have room for another rabid obsession in my life—I already had Lord of the Rings, Julie Garwood, and Buffy. Could I handle another fandom? Because here’s the thing we all know about the first book in Diana Gabaldon’s time travel series, Outlander is simply irresistible.

I have a working theory—confirmed by Executive Producer Ron Moore last night—that it is literally impossible to pick up Outlander and not fall in love with Jamie and Claire. You may not be a series regular and they may lose you after a few books, but the thing is: that first book is magic. It transcends genre and time. Maybe it’s because as my friend Amanda put it, “it’s this really realistic romance about a woman who travels through time…” But it is. It is really realistic. And epic. And romantic. And just plain good.

[Can the television series measure up?...]