<i>Infamous</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Infamous: Exclusive Excerpt Jenny Holiday "Hunter is all Jesse can think about..." <i>Courtly Pleasures</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Courtly Pleasures: Exclusive Excerpt Erin Kane Spock "Can they create a second chance at love before it’s too late?" <i>Roomies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Roomies: Exclusive Excerpt Christina Lauren "Will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?" <i>A Duke in Shining Armor</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Duke in Shining Armor: Exclusive Excerpt Loretta Chase "So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him...?"
From The Blog
November 21, 2017
From Team H&H, With Love
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How to Advocate for Happily Ever Afters
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Helena Hunting: A Sexy, Angsty, Funny Superstar
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Tara Leigh
Showing posts by: Sage Spelling click to see Sage Spelling's profile
May 9 2017 1:30pm

Sharing is Caring—Especially in a Group-Listen of Christina Lauren’s Wicked Sexy Liar

Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren’s Wicked Sexy Liar took my audiobook virginity in a crazy threesome last year and my reading life has never been the same . . .

Before my audiobook threesome, I’d been completely against audiobooks. I’d sworn that listening to a book instead of reading was dishonest and downright cheating. I never believed that I’d be completely spent after one weekend with a new book boyfriend, even after I’d shared him with two other women who’d swooned right along with me.  

My friends and I had been on the road for two hours already, and we’d exhausted all the car games we knew, listened (and sung at the top of our lungs) to as much old school music we’d been able to tolerate and we’d still had at least three hours before we’d reached our destination – the Spring Fling writer’s conference. Chicago North Romance Writers hosted the conference and Cristina and Lauren were one of the keynote speakers. After some debate, we’d agreed to listen to Wicked Sexy Liar using the car stereo. 

[Read more...]

Aug 18 2016 12:00pm

Come Slyther In: Why Snape Might be the Best Character in the Harry Potter Universe


Severus Snape as played by Alan Rickman

If you haven’t read The Harry Potter Series—where have you been for the last 20 years? Needless to say, Spoiler Alert!

In Harry Potter and The Sorceress’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, Professor Snape was perceived as a mysterious and dark man. His velvety voice and his long sweeping black robes added to his allure, (I’ve always wondered what he wore under those robes *grin*) but it was his ability to command a room that really got my attention.

 “You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making,” he began. He spoke in barely more than a whisper, but they caught every word —Snape had the gift of keeping a class silent without effort. “As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses...I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death—if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.”

[Mysterious and divisive...]

Mar 20 2016 9:00am

5 Scenes That Prove Laura Kaye’s Caden Is the Perfect Book Boyfriend!

5 reasons to make Laura Kaye's Caden your book boyfriend

Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers for Laura Kaye's duology, Hearts in Darkness and Love in the Light. If you haven't read either or both books, this post will likely spoil it for you! Reader beware. 

Caden Grayson and Makenna James is a couple that resonated with me. I can’t be in an elevator without thinking about their encounter. How could I not? It is so romantic! Two strangers get trapped in a dark elevator and spend hours learning about one another, comforting each other, and falling in love. It was a picture perfect romance.

[Take me between your... Book Boyfriend...]

Jan 12 2016 5:30pm

First Look: Laura Kaye’s Love in the Light (January 12, 2016)

Laura Kaye
Love In The Light (Hearts in Darkness #2)
Laura Kaye / January 12, 2016 / $2.99 digital

Two hearts in the darkness… 

Makenna James and Caden Grayson have been inseparable since the day they were trapped in a pitch-black elevator and found acceptance and love in the arms of a stranger. Makenna hopes that night put them on the path to forever—which can’t happen until she introduces her tattooed, pierced, and scarred boyfriend to her father and three over-protective brothers. 

Must fight for love in the light… 

Haunted by a childhood tragedy and the loss of his family, Caden never thought he’d find the love he shares with Makenna. But the deeper he falls, the more he fears the devastation sure to come if he ever lost her, too. When meeting her family doesn’t go smoothly, Caden questions whether Makenna deserves someone better, stronger, and just more…normal. Maybe they’re just too different—and he’s far too damaged—after all…

“He was a man who’d been taught that life didn’t give you what you wanted, or if it did, it took it away again.”

Love In The Light, the sequel to Hearts In Darkness, by Laura Kaye is a love story that featured two people who fell in love in a dark elevator and attempted to find happiness within each other’s arms in the light. But it seemed much easier for them to focus on each other in the tiny darkened elevator.  Love In The Light, is a story about healing scars and patching wounds with the power of love.

[Love can drive out the dark ... ]

May 4 2015 4:15pm

First Look: Christina Lee’s Two of Hearts (May 5, 2015)

Two of Hearts by Christina LeeChristina Lee
Two of Hearts
Penguin / May 5, 2015 / $14.00 print, $5.99 digital

From the author of the Between Breaths novels comes a gripping romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love…

Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional —not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over.

Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he’d lost forever.

Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she’s also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.

I ignored how my shin tingled simply when his fingers touched me...

There is nothing I love more than sweltering chemistry between the hero and heroine and in Two of Hearts by Christina Lee, Dakota and Shane’s sexual tension is intense. It’s a story of first Love and second chance and from the first few pages—I was captivated by their attraction to on another. Yet, they both harbored unresolved feeling of their past and I was drawn by their conflicted feelings. I wanted them to surrender to their passionate. I rooted for them as a couple within the first few pages, but it seemed that Dakota had a different idea.

[We like different ideas...]

Dec 23 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Donna Grant’s Hot Blooded (December 30, 2014)

Hot Blooded by Donna GrantDonna Grant
Hot Blooded (Dark Kings)
St. Martin's Press / December 30, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital

His name is Laith. To most, he’s known as the owner of a local pub near Dreagan. But little do his patrons know that beneath his handsome, charming exterior Laith has the heart and soul of a Dragon King—one who wields control by keeping his friends close and his enemies closer. Until a beautiful, mysterious stranger enters the picture, and sets his whole world on fire…

To learn the truth about her dead father, Iona has returned to Scotland only to learn that she’s part of an ancient pact with Dreagan—one that will threaten the fragile peace with the Dragon Kings. Gorgeous, sly Iona isn’t like anyone Laith has ever met before...and she harbors a secret that others would kill to possess. Will she complete him—or destroy him?

Donna Grant's Hot Blooded includes the return of our adored couples from previous novels, but also a hint of a secret relationship between Con and the Fae Queen. What is really going on between them, and is Con’s MIA status lately because of the Queen?

[So many questions!]

Sep 12 2014 12:00pm

Firing Readers Up: Donna Grant’s Dark Kings Series

“They had a responsibility as Dragon Kings, a duty that no other could fulfill. An obligation caused by one of their own so very long ago."

The Dark King series by Donna Grant, has its origins a millennium ago, when dragons ruled over all the other creatures. The leaders—men who shifted into dragons—were powerful, magical and immortal, and became known as the Dragon Kings. When the humans appeared, the Kings' job was to protect them  and keep peace between both human and dragon race. Everything fell apart when a human woman who had vowed to love a Dragon King betrayed them all. The Dragon Kings had to conceal the dragon race from the human realm and placed a spell to protect any Dragon King from falling in love with a human again.

Eons later, a new evil lurks to disturb the peace the Dragon Kings have worked so hard to attain, pulling them into a war they don’t want. To make matters worse, the magic placed on the Dragon Kings is failing. One by one, the Dragon Kings are falling in love with the same race that had betrayed them all those years ago.

In the first Dark King book, Dark Craving, Hal has found his mate with the human, Cassie Hunter. The magic that was supposed to make him immune to human affection isn't working: “He wanted Cassie with an unmovable, unyielding tenacity.”

[We like that kind of tenacity...]

Aug 29 2014 9:30am

First Look: Mandy Baxter’s One Night More (September 2, 2014)

One Night More by Mandy BaxterMandy Baxter
One Night More
Zebra / September 2, 2014 / $6.99 print, $7.59 digital

Savvy, hard-riding, rule-breaking—they’ll go anywhere and do anything it takes to protect and serve. But this U. S. Marshal has just met his match—and playing for keeps is one sizzling game…

Getting saved from disaster by a handsome stranger—Harper Allen has no problem with that. But when he leaves without a word or a clue to his real identity, the newbie reporter writes it off as the best one-night-stand she’ll ever have. Until a year later, when Harper comes face to face with the man assigned to hide her from a senator’s killer…

Galen Kelly hasn’t forgotten a single sensual minute of his night with Harper . . . or that she betrayed him. With the FBI also on their trail, he’s got to pretend he’s never met her or risk both their lives. But as danger closes in, Galen may not be able to protect himself from taking the biggest risk of all…

One Night More is the first in Mandy Baxter's US Marshal series, and filled with intense, fast-paced action and scorching-hot sexual chemistry between the hero and heroine. The intensity of their attraction had me immersed deep inside their minds and emotions.

[More, more, more!]

Feb 19 2014 9:30am

First Look: Lisa Renée Jones’s His Secrets (February 24, 2014)

His Secrets by Lisa Renee JonesLisa Renée Jones
His Secrets
Pocket Star / February 24, 2014 / $.99 digital

All I wanted to do is take her back to bed, and bury myself and the demons of my past inside her. But I can’t. Not now. Maybe not ever.

Lisa Renée Jones's His Secrets by  is a novella from the Inside Out series that shows a different point of view—literally. In this scrumptious quickie, Chris Merit’s most inner thoughts are uncovered and readers are given a deeper insight into Chris’s fears, self-doubt and his adoration to Sara. In the previous novel, Revealing Us, Chris’s secret was revealed, but in His Secrets the significance behind his agony is revealed. Even though he feared Sara’s reaction towards his past, he laid all his cards on the table. No more lies or untold truths. He let her see with her own eyes what he was capable of, and hoped she would accept it all.

Sara’s hand comes down on my arms and I pull her in front of me to face the window. “Look at her, Sara. Look at her. This is what I brought you to Paris to see.” Then I turn her to face me, one of my hands on the glass by her head, the other on her waist. “My secret wasn’t about the shooting. That’s what I let you believe, but no more.”

[Get to know Chris...]

Dec 2 2013 2:30pm

First Look: Sylvain Reynard’s Gabriel’s Redemption (December 3, 2013)

Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain ReynardSylvain Reynard
Gabriel's Redemption
Berkley / December 3, 2013 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he’s confident that they can face any challenge. And he’s eager to become a father.

But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront Julianne about the subject of her presentation—research that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel’s darkest secrets.

In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.

Sylvain Reynard's Gabriel’s Redemption is sheer romance at its best:

“Have you ever made love in an orchard before?”

Her eyes widened and she shook her head.

“Then I’m glad I’m your first.”

She tightened her grip on his hand. “You’re my last, Gabriel. My only.”

[Happy sigh...]

Aug 30 2013 12:30pm

5 Reasons Why The Blackstone Affair’s Ethan Blackstone Would Make an Incredible Boyfriend

Naked by Raine MillerEthan Blackstone, an ex-Special Force officer, now the lead of a high end British security firm, had been given the job of protecting Brynne, an American student studying in London. At first he refuses, but then he sees her picture—and had to make her his girl—but keeping her safe is his first priory.

Did I mention he is gorgeous? Besides the tall, dark and dangerous, thing he has going on, I learned there was more to Ethan Blackstone than persona and striking looks, and they are the qualities that make him a perfect boyfriend.

1. He loves with his whole heart and soul

In All In, we get inside Ethan’s head, and what a wonderful place it is. That man can love, even when his heart is torn to shreds. Emotional turmoil doesn’t stop a man like Ethan; he never gives up on what he wants. He say “Sorry” when he is wrong and “I love you,” not only in bed. He is the type of man who shows the woman he loves just how much he adores her, and just how far he will go to keep her happy, health and safe. This loving man will embrace you while you cry; hold your hair off your face while you puke, and give you space when you need it.

[Ok...but what else you got?]

Aug 1 2013 1:00pm

Plus-Sized Heroines and the Heroes Who Can’t Get Enough of Them

On the Plus Side by Tabatha VargoThere are many more plus-sized heroines popping up in erotic romance novel, offering another image of a sexy woman. A heroine doesn't have to be a size two to be sexy; curves are sexy and desirable. Below are some great examples of erotic romance novels featuring bigger heroines:

On the Plus Side, the Chubby Girl Chronicles by Tabatha Vargo, sets up a rich, innocent and chubby girl, Lily, who falls head first for Dillon, a man who is initially interested in her for all the wrong reasons.

In Imogene Nix's Blame the Wine, Cara is a plus-sized woman who's stuck in a job going nowhere—not to mention in love with her boss who doesn’t even knows she exists. But when a temp position arrives, fate and a little supernatural help leads her towards the gorgeous, super smart, and geeky hero (her boss, of course!).

[There's more where that came from...]

Mar 10 2013 10:00am

Beyond the White Pages: Multicultural Heroes from Jackson, Lin, Jenkins, and More!

The Arrangement by Delaney DiamondBeing part of a world filled with so many different nationalities and cultures, it's odd that more non-white heroes aren't in our romance heroes—so when they appear, it's something special. Non-white heroes have a different spice and swagger. For example, instead of focusing my attention on the hero from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Ian Miller, I was attracted to Toula’s brother Nick and her cousin Angelo. They're hard to find, but it is possible to find multicultural heroes across all genres. Here's a few of my favorites:

If you’re looking for a Latin lover, try Delaney Diamond’s Hot Latin Men series, including The Arrangement, Fight for Love, Private Acts, Second Chances and The Ultimate Merger. These sexy men will ignite your flame with their super-hot personas and Latin flavor.

[A little Latin love to spice up your romance!...]

Feb 12 2013 4:30pm

The Heroines in “Damaged Heroes” Romance Novels

Bared to You by Sylvia DayIt seems readers (including me) have gone head over heels for the rich, sexy, sex-gods with tormented souls. Heroes such as Gideon Cross, Christian Grey, Ethan Blackstone and Gabriel Emerson want to change, to become better men, all because of the women who steal their hearts from the moment they meet. Who are these lucky ladies? Can they handle our intensely passionate heroes?

In Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Trilogy, the heroine is a spitfire. Eva Tramell is in a whirlwind of drama due to her tormented past and difficult relationships with family and friends. Her family is very overprotective and constantly worried about her safety. She moves to the Big City in search of her independence, but finds herself addicted to Gideon Cross. Both seem to find the other irresistible and their passion is quite explosive in a co-dependent kind of way.  Both of them harbor issues of abusive pasts, and even though Eva strives for control of her life and from the dependency that consumes her with Gideon, she repeatedly reverts to her destructive ways. She is too impulsive for her own good and her first instinct is to run whenever she feels insecure. All in all, Eva is a fighter, and definitely keeps Gideon wanting more.

[Right where she wants him...]

Dec 31 2012 10:00am

Ring in with Romance!: Best of 2012, Day 5

Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day

May old friends be forgot? We don't think so! We're celebrating our favorite reads with five days of the Best of 2012. We asked our bloggers for their favorite recommendations of 2012, with one stipulation, they had to be new to them and not necessarily new to 2012. We know we got a few recommendations to add to our to be read piles and it's a great way to feed those readers!

Don't miss out on the shopping list for these great recommendations once you finish reading, and check out the recommendations from Day One, Day Two, Day Three, and Day Four, too! Click here to view the Day Five shopping list.

Sage Spelling:

The Renegade Angels series by Sylvia Day.
A dark and dangerous world where vampires are fallen angels, and lycans and vampires rebel against the elite Special Ops unit of the seraphim as each race struggles for power over one another.

[Struggles for power, you say? That sounds fun!]

Oct 28 2012 10:00am

Beyond the Wolf: Other Shifters in Paranormal Romance

Club Dead by Charlaine HarrisWerewolves such as Elijah Reynolds from Sylvia Day’s Renegade Angels series and Jacob Black from Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Saga have long intrigued paranormal romance readers, but what about the non-wolf shifters?

Who are they and what is their preferred shifting form? Do they stay within their packs, or do they find love with other forms of shifters? Are they at war with other shifters or work together? Take a look at the list we have complied of all the must-read creatures that howl, hunt and creep in the night.

Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series, set in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, has Alcide Herveaux, werewolf pack leader, but also includes many non-wolf shifters. Merlotte's owner, Sam Merlotte, is a shapeshifter. Unlike most shifters, which can change into a specific type of animal, Sam can change into any animal he comes in contact with or views a picture of, although his favorite shifting form is a collie dog. Calvin Norris is the leader of Hotshot's pack of werepanthers. People can become werepanthers by being bitten by one, which is why Jason Stackhouse changes into a werepanther every full moon. John Quinn is a full-blooded weretiger, one of the last few of his kind.

[Lions and tigers and panthers, oh my!...]

Oct 8 2012 4:30pm

Sylvia Day’s Writing is Worthy of Being Bared to You

All Revved Up by Sylvia DayWhile Reflected in You, the second book in Sylvia Day's Crossfire series currently tears up the bestseller charts, it seems like an excellent time to dive through Day's backlist to find other, older delights.

What makes her books so consistently good? Her characters. Day’s heroines have real depth. They are fiercely independent, have their own means and resolve, and are usually only submissive in bed. Her heroes are true alpha heroes; tough as nails, powerful, influential, and most of all, drop dead gorgeous and downright dirty in the bedroom. Her plots are thrilling, from murder mysteries to romantic reunion stories, ranging among several genres.

If you loved the toe curling Bared to You, she has a long list of stories that will have you rapidly turning the pages.

If you want another hot and steamy contemporary—but don’t have the time to sit with a long novel—take a look at Day’s “All Revved Up.”

[Start your engine...]