<i>Under Fire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Under Fire: Exclusive Excerpt Scarlett Cole Six will do whatever it takes to protect her—or die trying... <i>Stone Cold Fox</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Stone Cold Fox: Exclusive Excerpt Evangeline Anderson 'Reese will use all of his strength to protect the woman he loves…" <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
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Showing posts by: Lauren Smith click to see Lauren Smith's profile
Feb 20 2017 2:00pm

Are You a Betty or a Veronica?: The Riverdale Reading List!

 Betty or Veronica? Betty vs Veronica- The Riverdale Reading List!

By now you may have heard…Archie Andrews and his pals from the Riverdale comics are back!! And starring in a brand new, dark, gritty, sexual version on the CW Network. As a huge fan of the comics and now hopelessly addicted to the show after just one amazing episode, I’ve always wondered who Archie might end up: Betty, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, sweet, supportive, smart girl next door, or Veronica, the dark-haired, dark-eyed, sassy yet classy, city girl who falls hard for our favorite ginger haired hero.

I love that both girls are truly nice, as far as how they treat each other and Archie. It’s a real love triangle. I still can’t decide who I’m rooting for: the girl who’s always dreamed of being with Archie and has always supported him and his dreams, or the girl who’s lost her money, her friends and now is having to start over and falls for the charming Archie because he’s so different from her old life.

As a tribute to the exciting debut of Riverdale, I’m giving you the ultimate Betty vs Veronica book list that way you can read each week to satisfy your hunger for more Riverdale until the next episode airs.

[How 'bout a little Betty and Veronica?]

Feb 17 2017 10:30am

What Is the Difference Between a Rake and a Rogue?

Rake or Rogue?

If you’ve ever walked down the aisle of a bookstore in the romance section you’ve no doubt scene one or two words that consistently jump out at you when you peruse the historical romance titles. Rake and Rogue seem to be the most popular and possible the most misused.

So what do the words Rake and Rogue actually mean when it comes to historical romance books? I’m going to break it down for you!

So what is a Rake (also known as a Rakehell?)? A rake, short for rakehell (analogous to “hellraiser”), is a historic term applied to a man who is habituated to immoral conduct, particularly womanizing. Often, a rake was also prodigal, wasting his (usually inherited) fortune on gambling, wine, women, and song, and incurring lavish debts in the process. Comparable terms are “libertine” and “debauchee.” The term rakehell itself comes from the idea that these men are so bad or wicked that they will be having their feet raked over the coals in hell, hence Rakehell. So a basic definition for a rake is that he’s a seducer and a charmer.

So what then is a Rogue? It seems to have a far more negative connation with definitions ranging from: vagrant, tramp, a dishonest or worthless person, or a mischievous person. A basic definition for a rogue within a romance novels is that a rogue is a wild card, a man who is really unpredictable and possible dangerous (but not to the heroine in a bad way)

[Do you prefer a rake or rogue?]

Nov 13 2016 3:30pm

Brave Isn’t Just a Word for Supergirl: On Alex’s Coming Out

I love superheroes. There’s no question about that. I’m the first in line for every single Marvel and DC Comics movie. So naturally I’m totally obsessed with the TV show, Supergirl. There’s so much about this show I could gush on forever, but lately I’ve been even more addicted to the show because of the characters and how they develop and not just the incredible superhero storylines.

It isn’t just about Kara, Supergirl herself, but the broad range of secondary supporting characters including Kara’s older human sister Alex. Alex has always been the silent strength behind Kara, the older sibling who sacrificed her world and her dreams to keep Kara and her secret identity as a Kryptonian safe.

[Read more...]

Mar 13 2016 11:00am

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.—A Romance Reader’s Delight!

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Gabby and Illya

As a movie buff, I am addicted to spy movies and movies with love stories. Guy Ritchie in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. gives you just that: a spy/love story movie. But what’s so brilliant about it is the trio of the characters he uses to create the love story.

Let me start off by saying I’m not a fan of clichés. I don’t like to read them or watch them in any form. A lot of spy movies try to work in a romance story where Mr. Sexy Agent is a womanizer and gets all women to fall into his bed. Hum Hum, we’ve been there before. And then magically Mr. Sexy Agent falls for the perfect woman who has a Victoria Secret model style body. Again, I’m not interested in that. Give me a love story where the characters are real and fleshed out. I want to sigh and swoon, not sigh in irritation.

[A romance movie for the ages ...]

Jan 6 2016 1:00pm

Forbidden: Her British Stepbrother: Exclusive Excerpt

Lauren Smith

Forbidden: Her British Stepbrother by Lauren Smith

Kat has always been a good girl. She studies hard and never stays out too late. But when sitting in a pub on her birthday, she realizes she's a nineteen-year-old virgin who's never really lived. And she wants tonight to be the night that changes.

Then she sees him walk in. He's tall, dark, handsome, and straight out of her deepest fantasies. His voice makes her knees feel weak, and when he smiles, she imagines him doing wicked things to her in bed. From the look in his eyes, she knows he's imagining it too. So when he asks if he can walk her home, she hears herself whisper yes…

Get a sneak peek at Lauren Smith's Forbidden: Her British Stepbrother  (available January 12, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Editor's Note: Added bonus—Lauren Smith is one of Heroes and Heartbreakers awesome bloggers. Read this excerpt, and then read her posts!

He lifted his glass to his lips and sipped. It wasn’t ale he was drinking but something else, a dark, warm gold color, probably Scotch. She realized she must have been staring at his mouth when he licked his lips and spoke again.

“Keep staring at me like that and I’m liable to kiss you.”

Desire and hunger lit up his eyes, heating the strange mixture of blue and green. It almost made her forget that she was talking to a stranger. It really was possible to lose yourself in someone’s eyes. Maybe the poets weren’t wrong about love at first sight. She didn’t love this man, but she was…captivated by him, which felt like love, in a strange sort of way. The lightness of her head, the wobbly knees, the fascination with him.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt...]

Nov 21 2015 3:00pm

Gothic Romance Movie Night: 3 Movies to Add to Your Queue Tonight

Rebecca, 1940 Rebecca with (Joan Fontaine) and (Laurence Olivier) as Maximilian "Maxim" de Winter

Every fall I get lost in the turning colors of the leaves, the whisper of them as they scuttling along the streets like spiders. The deep orange hue of pumpkins lit by candlelight and the eerie chill of an early winter wind sweeping down from the north to caress my neck causes the fine hairs to rise and goosebumps to break out. This season, ever shadowed by the press of a coming winter and the weight of snow, seems to fill me with a strange and wondrous need to explore the macabre and indulge in gothic flights of fancy. There’s no better way to do this than to watch some good old-fashioned gothic romance movies.

There are three which stand out most that I absolutely must recommend for my fellow romance readers. Rebecca, Suspicion and The Uninvited.

[What are your type Gothic Romances? ...]

Oct 13 2015 11:00am

Until Death Do Us Part: 7 Must-Read Novels for the Halloween Lover

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Halloween is my absolute favorite time of the year. If I could have pumpkins outside my house and fake bats hanging from my ceiling all year round, I would definitely do it. But since I can’t do that without making my neighbors raise their eyebrows, I’m going to share my top 7 must read Halloween Romances. Why 7? Well in the world of Harry Potter 7 was a special number in the magical world. So 7 sounds good to me! I’m ranking these in no particular order, so put on your witch hat, dust of your broom and let these books cast a spell over you this fall!

1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A woman with latent witch abilities raised by her darling crazy witch aunts gets rescued by a sexy French vampire who helps her uncover the secret of her past. She learns she’s the daughter of two of the most powerful witches to ever exist and they locked her abilities inside her as a child to protect her. The chemistry between the witch and the vampire in this book is just off the charts and Harkness writes in such a rich, luscious style that you’re just sucked into the story (get it, sucked?).

2. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Yes, it’s not a vampire or werewolf book, but it’s aliens and those are sort of Halloweenish right? Just go with me on this. It’s one of the best romances I’ve probably ever read. Meyer shows the world her insight into humanity and love both physical and platonic in this book. A small silvery parasite-like alien is implanted in a 21 year old female host body of a resistance fighter. When the alien wakes up, the human host uses memories to make her fall in love with humans, particularly one human male. What follows is one of the most powerful love quadrangles I’ve ever read. Four souls, four hearts, four love stories woven seamlessly into a story of what it means to be human and to love.

[Halloween novels for the taking ...]

Sep 6 2015 10:00am

Shipping Sunday: Killjoys’ D’avin/Dutch

Dutch and D'avin in Syfy's Killjoys

Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of SyFy’s show Killjoys as well as all the sexy and emotional details that make Dutch and D’avin’s relationship so epic.

Now let me guess…you’re thinking this is a show about bounty hunters in space. Already you’re thinking, I’m not a science fiction fan so why should I keep reading? Well trust me… if you aren’t a sci fi fan, this is the one show that will change your mind and it’s all because of the characters.

So who are these characters? Okay, so to break it down we have essentially three characters. One girl and two brothers.

[Ship these bounty hunters...]

Jul 28 2015 4:30pm

Danger, Curves Ahead: Positive Body Image and Romance Novels

The Gilded Cage by Lauren Smith

Today we're thrilled to welcome author Lauren Smith to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Lauren's latest release in her Surrender series, The Gilded Cage, came out last month, and the first book in the series The Gilded Cuff, featured a heroine who was not stick thin or classically beautiful and, in fact, battled quite heavily with body image. However, like in any good romance, our heroine found a man who embraced her for all she was. Lauren is here today to talk about body image, and the perception of curves in society, and of course, romance novels. Thanks, Lauren!

Whoever thought that romance novels would play a positive role in perception of female body image for readers? I certainly hadn’t. When I first started reading romances, I read the classics. You know the ones with the tiny heroines who weighed like 80 pounds dripping wet, with delicate bones, tiny feet and child-like hands. Now I don’t know about you, but I am certainly not like that. My point is…I’m normal. 

Normal is important. I think there’s been far too much stress on size, rather than health in recent years when it comes to female body image. After reading a lot of these older romances and seeing how the heroes loved these petite women, I would glance down at my own body with a mixture of disgust and despair. My child-bearing hips and full breasts were not something that these old-fashioned romance heroes wanted in a woman? What a horrible thought, right? Yeah, it didn’t go over well with me either. So color me delightfully surprised to find that newer romances go against this tradition and present readers with heroines more like me.

[Embrace the curves...]

Nov 14 2014 3:00pm

Two Angry Men: Pistols at Dawn

His Wicked Seduction by Lauren SmithToday we're joined by author Lauren Smith, whose new League of Rogues novel, His Wicked Seduction, stars a best friend's little sister and a rakehell. Sounds like an awesome combination! Lauren's book includes a duel, and she is here to discuss dueling and how to get into the proper dueling mood. Thanks, Lauren!

When writing a book, a good writer gets into their characters’ heads. When I wrote His Wicked Seduction, the second book in my League of Rogues series, I knew two of my heroes would be engaging in a duel. But why and how? To find these answers and get into the proper dueling mood, I did a little research.

Picture this: You’re a popular English gentleman, good with the ladies, excellent with a pistol. You’re chilling at your local club when some dude you don’t even know comes up and demands satisfaction because you allegedly slept with his sister...

Okay, sure. You’re spoiling for a fight because you happen to be an excellent pugilist (a boxer). But this guy wants to challenge you to an official duel over some chick you can’t even…? Let’s rewind for a second, because if you’re going fight a duel there’s a few things you need to know.

First off, the history of dueling. We all have that infamous image in our minds of two men in a field counting paces, then turning to fire pistols at each other. How did this trial by single combat develop though? Weren’t we originally a bunch of guys in fur loincloths running around with clubs trying to clobber each other? How the heck did we go from that to two chaps pointing pistols at each other over ladies?

[That is a good question...]

Oct 29 2014 12:30pm

His Wicked Seduction: Exclusive Excerpt

Lauren Smith

His Wicked Seduction by Lauren Smith

Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn’t frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.

Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.

That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.

But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.

Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.

Get a sneak peek of Lauren Smith's His Wicked Seduction (available November 11, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Horatia still hadn’t changed into her nightclothes. Restlessness had her up well past midnight. Knowing Lucien was somewhere in the house was unsettling, and she worried about that blasted cat. Muff should have been curled up on the extra pillow in her bed, but he was conspicuously absent. There was a chance a passing footman or maid had closed the grates around the fireplace and he hadn’t been able to get back down.

Unwilling to let him stay in the cold chimney all night, Horatia abandoned her room and went in search of the cat. She tried to think of all of the other places he could be, and not the one place she wished she could be at that moment. In Lucien’s arms.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt from His Wicked Seduction...]

Jan 3 2014 1:00pm

Wicked Designs: Exclusive Excerpt

Lauren Smith

Wicked Designs by Lauren SmithFor too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.

Warning: This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.

Get a sneak peek of Lauren Smith's Wicked Designs (available January 7, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Godric looked away from her. “My mother died in childbirth when I was a boy. The babe died with her.”

There were no words that could ease the hurt of losing a loved one, especially a parent. One felt lost, with no chance of salvation. Nothing could replace the sheltering warmth and security of a parent. To be robbed of that was akin to losing one’s innocence.

Godric spoke again. “You have not really grieved, have you?”

It was less a question and more an observation. How odd that talking to Godric about her tragedy should be so easy. He was a stranger, yet already few barriers stood between them.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Wicked Designs...]