<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
Adriana Anders
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!
Team H & H
October 20, 2017
In Defense of the Flawed Heroine
Darlene Marshall
October 20, 2017
Gena Showalter Reveals the Next Two Couples in Lords of the Underworld Series
Team H & H
Showing posts by: Tamsen Parker click to see Tamsen Parker's profile
Oct 9 2017 2:00pm

Unearthing Geologist, Paleontologist & Archaeologist Heroines

In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

We Dig Heroines in STEM!

Today we're thrilled to welcome Tamsen Parker (In Her Court) to Heroes and Heartbreakers as she dons her author hat. We've loved Tamsen's series on heroines in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) and with this edition she's unearthing some of our favorite heroines who are geologists, paleontologists, and archaeologists. Thanks, Tamsen!

STEM professions offer so many opportunities to make good puns, no bones about it. I promise I’ll stop and we can get to the books, which is what I know you’re really here for. Let’s rock and roll…

Unless you’ve got a serious thing for competence porn, academics might not be super high on your list of sexy professions. But Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones had a bunch of us swooning over an archaeology professor. And if you think about it, archaeology is about as close to treasure hunting as academics can get. Of course the Lara Crofts of the world may have us thinking it’s all tight tank tops, alluring sweat, and adventures. While the reality for most archaeologists is much more staid, it’s still pretty cool to unearth the secrets of the past.

[Read more...]

Jul 3 2017 9:30am

Everybody Hurts: Sadists in Romance

The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker

Today we're thrilled to have Tamsen Parker (The Cartographer) on Heroes and Heartbreakers. It's no secret that Tamsen's Compass series is kinky and sexy, but it's with the last book that things get a little more sadistic too—in a fun way! Tamsen is here today to talk about sadists in romance and their unique path to a happily-ever-after. Thanks, Tamsen!

Tall, intelligent, built, kind, well-endowed, hard-working, handsome, honest. These are some ways people might describe their ideal romance or real life hero. Strangely, sadistic is probably not making the Top Ten Hero Traits. But for some people, it’s high on their lists. Sure, characters may end up star-crossed with someone who doesn’t share their kinks, but for the most part, sadists are going to find their Happily Ever After with either a masochist who enjoys pain, a bottom who is so proud of what their body can take that they subject themselves enthusiastically to their partner’s smarting ministrations, or a submissive who delights so much in pleasing their partner that they’ll withstand being hurt because their partner enjoys hurting them. Notice how all of those are voluntary and giving enthusiastic consent?

One of the heroes in The Cartographer is the inimitable Reyes Walter who is an unapologetic sadist. And why should he apologize? He’s exceedingly careful and conscientious about choosing his partners, who are all delighted to be with him. He also derives an immense amount of pleasure and satisfaction in teaching other people about BDSM—whether pain is their kink or not—so much so that he’s made it his career.

[Read more...]

Jun 22 2017 12:00pm

Tamsen Parker’s Compass Series: “There’s No Shame Here”

Tamsen Parker

The Cartographer by Tamsen ParkerIt's always sad to see a series end, but with every ending is a new beginning... or so the saying goes. Tamsen Parker has given us six hot reads in her Compass series, but if you're new to the series, Tamsen is here today to introduce an excerpt to the first book in the series that will leave you wanting to binge the entire hexalogy! 

On June 26th, the sixth and final book in the Compass series will release. Having The Cartographer out in the world will be bittersweet since I’ve been writing books in this universe since I started publishing. When I first started writing these books, I anticipated Personal Geography and Intimate Geography being a duology telling the story of India Burke and Cris Ardmore, a.k.a. my Scarlett O’Hara submissive heroine and her beta Dom hero.

But a funny thing happened. Those books turned out to be almost as much about India’s relationship with her BFF Reyes Walter as they did her romance with Cris. And people started asking for Rey’s book. In the meantime, I had ideas for some of India’s co-workers and colleagues to get their own HEAs which I gave them in True North and Due South, and Rey stuck his nose in their business too because he cannot even help himself.

Though the stories differ in trope (including a second chance redemption romance, and a holiday office romance), kinks (D/s, bondage, impact play, exhibitionism, voyeurism, humiliation play, violet wand, rope, and more), and pairings (Books 1-5 are m/f, Book 6 is m/m), the one overarching theme is that there’s nothing wrong with wanting what you want, it’s how you go about getting it that matters.

Which I think is why Rey ended up being the glue of the series. He’s taken it upon himself to help people get what they want and feel good about getting it. The characters in the Compass series are far from perfect—where’s the fun in that anyhow?—but they offer emotionally intense and realistic BDSM (even so, please to not be using as a How-To Manual!). They all have their hang-ups—some about sex, some about kink, but most of all about feelings (OMG, feelings are hard). But no matter how self-conscious or uncomfortable the heroes and heroines feel, I hope it’s clear there’s no shame here. About the kinks they’re into, about the kind of sex they want to have, or about the complicated feelings that come along with loving another person. 

To celebrate the wrapping up of the series, the first book, Personal Geography, is free at all retailers for a limited time. Enjoy an excerpt of India and Rey’s banter from the opening of Personal Geography below, and then come along for the HEAs of India and Cris, Slade and Pressly, Evans and Lucy, and last but certainly not least, Rey and Allie. Thanks for joining me on this journey, and happy reading!

[Read more...]

Mar 23 2017 9:30am

How Do You Keep Guardian/Ward Romances From Going “Too Taboo”?

His Custody by Tamsen Ward

Essential Steps to Keep a Guardian-Ward Romance from Getting “Squicky”

Today we're thrilled to welcome Tamsen Parker (His Custody) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Tamsen often wears her blogger hat at H&H, but today she'll be wearing her author badge! His Custody is a take on the guardian-ward romance often found in historical romance. However, when it comes to taking this trope into a contemporary setting, there are certain things an author—and reader—she beware of! Tamsen is here to talk about a few of those potential pitfalls, and how to avoid them! Thanks, Tamsen!

Guardian/Ward Romance. To some readers, this sounds like it goes together like oranges and ketchup, but for others it’s catnip. Between the power dynamics and the taboo and the age differences, there’s a lot to tempt and a lot of potential for squick. Some of that is mitigated when the book is set in a historical context—it was more common for couples to have a large age difference, not to mention that custody arrangements could be far less formal back in say the Regency period.

Contemporary guardian/ward romances are a bit of a different beast. You can find a number of contemporaries from the 1970s and 1980s, but what about current contemporary guardian/ward romances? Not so many. Although one person in my reader group loves them because she used to read a lot of historicals with this set-up, but as her reading habits have moved more toward the erotic end of the spectrum, she’s kept an eye out for guardian/ward contemporaries which have more of an edge but still have her beloved trope.

[Read more...]

Nov 3 2016 9:30am

Top Ten Political Romance Favorites on Screen, Stage, and on the Page

A lot of people read romance for the escapism, and nothing makes people want to retreat into a fantasy world faster than the current political climate. At least in the US. You Canadians can just sit there being all smug and thinking to yourselves “Soory, not soory,” because you’ve got this:

SourceArt Babych / Shutterstock.com

But if you like your romance with a side of the political, there are plenty to choose from in a wide variety of media. While they aren’t all romances as we in Romancelandia dictate (no HEAs or even HFNs to be seen in some of these titles), they all involve political machinations alongside lots of feels or good old-fashioned sexy-times. In no particular order, here are some of my personal faves.

[Read more...]

Mar 23 2016 2:00pm

Religious Diversity in Romance: Judaism Edition

True Pretenses by Rose Lerner

According to the Romance Writers of America website, Inspirational romance can be defined as “Novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are an integral part of the plot.” Which is great as a concept, but out in the marketplace of romance in brick and mortar stores and virtual shelves, what Inspirational romance really looks like in practice is evangelical Christian romances. Usually “sweet” and often featuring conversion or being saved as part of the narrative, these are the books we call Inspies.

But there are other books out there that feature other religions as an essential part of the story. There are also books which would rightly belong in other categories because religion is presented as just one facet of multidimensional characters without faith being part of the conflict in the book. In this post, I wanted to feature some books with Jewish main characters.

True Pretenses by Rose Lerner: An unusual Regency romance in that it takes place in a small town and not in fashionable London, I loved the complex characters. Lerner has a fun and engaging voice and I was fascinated by Ash, the Jewish con man hero. He hits the tricky balance of a fundamentally good man who’s done some bad things perfectly.

[Inspiring Jewish characters to win you over ...]

Jan 12 2016 12:00pm

Dapper AF: Crushing on Dapper Women

Dapper women in suits

Today we're thrilled to welcome Tamsen Parker to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Tamsen is part of the For the First Time anthology featuring some pretty stellar stories—as the cover copy promises, get ready to meet your next book boyfriend (or girlfriend, as the case may be). Tamsen's story in For the First Time, out today, features a dapper woman, and Tamsen is here today to talk about the dapper trend and how awesome it is—for men, women, straight, or gay. Everyone should be dapper as f**k. Thanks, Tamsen!

Sometimes the world is a serendipitous place. The day after I was invited to contribute to For the First Time, this Buzzfeed post popped up in my Twitter and Facebook feeds. Repeatedly. And why wouldn’t it? I mean, damn. Just look at these ladies!

I knew as soon as I saw them that I needed to write my own dapper heroine. Which then sent me on a hunt: you don’t see many dapper heroines in romance. (Image Source)

What do I mean when I say dapper? I don’t just mean well-dressed, nor do I mean women who dress to be intentionally mistaken for men. Sure, they might be messing with gender and playing with androgyny, but I mean women who are unapologetically rocking stylish menswear: blazers, ties, vests, and pocket squares, oh my.

[Dapper women are in and sexy ...]

Sep 22 2015 9:30am

Tied Up in Nots: The Portrayal of Kink in Pop Culture

Today we're thrilled to welcome Tamsen Parker to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Tamsen writes pretty hot romance...like the kinky sort of hot romance! Her latest release Craving Flight is the biproduct of the GoodReads BDSM writing challenge, and is available now for all readers. As romance readers, kink isn't necessarily a new thing to us, but to pop culture in general, kink is still very taboo. Tamsen is here today to talk about the portrayal of kink in pop culture, and why more people should remember that “your kink isn't my kink but your kink is okay.” Thanks, Tamsen!

I love a lot of things about romance. Some of the things I love are what I love about all books: the ability to be transported to a world that’s not my own, to see the world from other perspectives, and the capacity of words on a page or a screen to entertain. But there are a few things specific to the genre I write in. I love the high emotion, the hot sex, and the promise that at the end of the characters’ journey they’ll be getting a well-deserved Happily Ever After.

Another thing I love about romance (and erotica) is that it’s one of the few places in pop culture where you’ll find positive portrayals of BDSM and people who are into kink. Because, frankly, there aren’t many. When I first came up with the idea for this post, I asked around social media about instances outside romance and erotica where kink had been positively portrayed. I got a pitifully short list of suggestions.

[Kinky has to be mastered ...]