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Most Anticipated For Fall

We hate to see summer fade away, but the new novels publishing over the next few months gives us plenty to be excited about for fall. Our R@R bloggers share their pics for the top of their TBR pile.

VAMPIRES OF MANHATTAN by Melissa de la Cruz

I am a new Melissa de la Cruz convert. As you already know, I recap the weekly Lifetime series, Witches of East End which is based on her books about the Beauchamp family; now I have a new de la Cruz series to follow. Vampires of Manhattan is a spin off of de la Cruz’s YA series, Blue Bloods. Since I am not a big reader of all things Young Adult, I will admit to not being completely familiar with that series. Have no fear; de la Cruz does an excellent job getting me up to speed. I was able to glean enough back-story about each main player in this series to make me,  a newbie, feel right at home. [...]

RIGHT KIND OF WRONG (Finding Fate #3) by Chelsea Fine

I didn’t read the previous novels in the Finding Fate series as this book could be read as a stand-alone. I feel that sometimes even though authors say you can read a book out of order from the rest of the series you still miss something. But, I was pleasantly surprised that I had no problem following along with Jenna and Jack’s story. This book was a quick read. Even though the problems Jenna and Jack dealt with, especially in the second half of the book, are heavy I would categorize this book as a light read. I actually think that was one of the reasons I didn’t totally fall in love with Right Kind of Wrong. There were some [...]

THE LAIRD by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes’s latest series is about three men tangled together during the Napoleonic Wars and the aftermath. These are not light reads; they are romances, yes, but they deal with trauma both at home and abroad and how the characters cope with the horrors they’ve witnessed and their new lives back home in England. I randomly picked up an ARC of the first book of the Captive Hearts series, The Captive, a couple of months ago without knowing what the book was about. I did this pretty much only because I had heard of Grace Burrowes and thought the cover was pretty. My only exposure to her books in the past was a reading at Lady Jane’s Salon in New [...]

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Eight

Denial was the name of the game in this week’s episode. Whether it was denying family, guilt, or their past, everyone worked hard to forget. We open with Masters meeting with an old college friend, Francis. Frank and his wife are having fertility problems and would like to consult with Masters. The entire conversation makes Masters uneasy. In fact, Bill tries to pass Frank off on another specialist but Frank refuses. Masters reaction to his friend’s appearance in his life is odd. Later, when Frank and his wife come in for testing, Masters once again seems uncomfortable with his friend’s presence. When the results come back Frank is found to have an extremely low sperm count. Bill makes an appointment [...]

Trailer: DOWNTON ABBEY, Season Five

We have to wait a bit longer than our friends across the pond for Downton Abbey season five (it premieres in the U.K. on September 21 while here in the U.S. the date is January 4) — but that just gives us all the more time to build up our anticipation! In the meantime, this trailer promises a season of high drama and more changes for Downton.

Books to Buy: New Releases This Week

September is here, and not a moment too soon from the looks of these new releases. We have a wounded war veteran in need of some lovin’; a new hot hockey team; a wicked witch whose cold heart is melted; a return to Club Inferno…and more.

Best of August

Hiya all, this is Sara @HarlequinJunkie, stopping by to share with you some of our favorites reads from August. We’ve been reading up a storm and it has been a great month of summer reading on the blog. The books below are not to be missed! Check out the list and then let us know: What have you been reading this month? Is there one book that stuck with you more than others, left you with a book hangover? We would love to hear about it. Please hit the comments and share (Over-sharing is allowed!)

Hot Scots and the Five Reasons Monica McCarty Loves Them

Monica McCarty is no stranger to hot Scottish Men: her Highland Guard series, feature scorching hot Highland warriors who are as deadly with their looks as there are with their fighting skills. Part of Robert the Bruce’s elite secret army in the fight to reclaim his crown, these Highland Guards are prepared for every battle—except for falling in love.   Hot Scots! Five reasons we love those Scottish heroes . . .  There’s no doubt about it, Scotsmen are hot right now. Whether it’s on the pages of a favorite novel or on the TV screen with the recent Outlander craze, we American lasses can’t seem to get enough of those strapping lads in plaid. Sure they are brave, tough, [...]

BROKEN by Lauren Layne

I’m a huge fan of Lauren Layne because she shines in writing witty, chemistry-laden romances guaranteed to tug at your heart!  I loved the first in this series, Isn’t She Lovely, so I was thrilled to have Olivia’s story. Even though she was technically the cheating girlfriend (not as bad as it sounds, I promise) I felt bad for her. Olivia is trying to escape and redeem herself for a mistake that cost her longtime boyfriend. Taking a job as a caretaker for an injured veteran satisfies her need for penance and to get away from all her friends, but Olivia doesn’t really know what she’s gotten herself into. Thinking she’ll be caring for an old injured man, she’s shocked [...]

The Romance of a Small-Town Getaway

It’s a frequent scene in books and films: a big-city couple throw their overnight bags into a car late on a Friday afternoon. They leave the city and drive to a smaller, quieter, more intimate place, one where the air is scented not by auto exhaust but by grass and wildflowers and perhaps the inviting aroma of fresh coffee from a cafe on the corner. Instead of department stores and streets of swanky places to dine, there are unique, family-run shops and a handful of mom-and-pop restaurants. Cell phone service might be spotty at best, and that’s just fine, because our couple has come to a small town to disconnect from their harried workweek routines and reconnect with each other. [...]

BREATHE by Kristen Ashley

I’m a huge fan of Kristen Ashley.  Her romances usually include a sassy, sweet heroine and an infuriating, but lovable alpha male in a story that will break your heart, and then make it soar with happiness.  No one writes alpha males better, and Chace was one of my favorites. Breathe was old-school Kristen Ashley at her finest. Faye is the town librarian, and a geeky bookworm.  She’s also been in love with Chace for the better part of thirteen years, since he moved to Carnal and joined their police force. But, alas, Chace had never acknowledged her existence in all those years, and she gave up on him when he married the town slut, Misty, six years ago. This [...]

ONE MORE CHANCE by Abbi Glines

Grant Carter did everything in his power to convince Harlow Manning that he was a good guy. More than a smooth-talker and someone she could trust. He had to overcome his reputation as a playboy, and his history with Harlow’s half-sister, Nan, a woman with a reputation of her own. Harlow had taken the chance, falling hard and fast for the guy who thrilled her with his all-consuming desire. After a lifetime of avoiding bad boys like Grant, she had opened herself to the possibilities of love… But a life-changing secret has torn them apart, and now Grant and Harlow must decide if they have enough fight to make it work – or if the pain of betrayal has permanently [...]

#HunkDay: Hot For Teacher

Happy #HunkDay! It’s back to school and that can only mean one thing for hunk day: the hot professor. It’s such a common fantasy that it’s become almost a cliche. Late nights after class, visiting for “office” hours, the appeal of the uber-intellectual, his sexy glasses….Ahem. I should just get to the photos before things get a little too sexy–cliche! I mean cliche! Before things get a little too cliche. There we go. …And here you go: five hunks that most likely aren’t actually professors, but they look the part and probably have better abs than your actual professors did (unless you happened to be the luckiest student in the world!). Follow the rest of the action on the Romance at Random Facebook and Twitter and [...]

The Best of Summer 2014

As the dog days of summer come to an end, we’ve asked our bloggers to pick the pages that got them the most hot and bothered this beach season. Together, they’re sharing their picks for: Best Hero, Best Heroine, Best Debut Novel. Best Continuation of a Series, Biggest Surprise, and Best Cover. Get ready to add a few things to your TBR!   Francesca from Under the Covers Best hero: Jay Fields from Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway.  Because he’s intense, alpha and possessive.  When he focuses on his woman his attention is all consuming.  But he’s also funny and sweet in a way that makes you want to be the one just spending time and hanging out with [...]

Cecilia Tan’s Top Five List for SLOW SATISFACTION

This week brings the third book in Cecilia Tan’s Struck by Lightening series. In SLOW SATISFACTION, James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit—not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won’t give up on Karina and will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them? James offers Karina not only the truth but a place at his side… onstage. He wants Karina to star in his final musical production and enter his life and his world fully and completely. As the two work together, they rekindle the trust and love [...]

MY HIGHLAND SPY by Victoria Roberts

Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do—he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep. Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator. Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her [...]

Author Exclusive: Allison Brennan talks with Carla Neggers

One of the fun things about being an author is the friendships formed with other writers. Take Carla Neggers and Allison Brennan, for example. The two met years ago at a writers’ conference and have been friends ever since. They’re both prolific, award-winning, New York Times bestselling authors of romantic suspense/romantic thrillers featuring FBI agents as lead characters, write two different series and share a friendship with Mariah Stewart. But that’s where the similarities end. Carla has two grown children and two grandchildren; Allison is still raising her five offspring. Carla lives in Vermont; Allison, in California. Carla has a journalistic background; Allison served as a legislative consultant for the California State Assembly before launching her author career. But both [...]

LONGING (Club Inferno #2) by Jamie K. Schmidt

The term “erotic romance” perfectly encapsulates what it contains-a blend of compelling story with very sensual, hot sex scenes. As engaging as the story is in LONGING, the second installment in Jamie K. Schmidt’s Club Inferno series, I have to admit that I couldn’t wait to get to the sex scenes, especially when the heroine, Anya Litton, says things like this when talking about her boyfriend, Clint Reyes, a Dom and a stripper: “Let’s see…I could give up amazing sex with a hot Dominant stripper sex god who worships me and wants me in his life for a rich Italian count who dumped me because his mommy told him to. Decisions, decisions. Money doesn’t mean sh*t. I’m staying with Clint.” [...]

TRUE BLOOD, Series Finale

True Blood met its final death with the odd mix of zany plot twists, lingering grief, exploding vampires, dropped narratives, and awkward allegories about discrimination that defined all seven seasons of the series. Much of the episode was dedicated to Bill and Sookie arguing about Bill’s impending death.  He desperately wants Sookie to kill him with her faerie powers. Not only will this release Bill from the burdens of being a vampire, but will mean that Sookie is no longer fae. After seeking counsel on the issue from a range of somewhat unlikely individuals, including Jason and Reverend Daniels, Sookie agrees to sever the ties between herself and the world of vampires by killing Bill. Eric and Pam, meanwhile, serve [...]

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Seven

This episodes kicks off with two of the worst things that could happen while having sex. Freddie and his new chick, Caroline are enjoying each other all naked and such when Freddie’s Mom, Joanna walks in and sees aplenty. Across the way, Killian and Eva are going at it (as they are wont to do all the freaking time) when suddenly Killian sees an altered version of Eva — or did he see the real Eva? Either way, what he saw was a total boner killer since Eva looked like a craggy old witch, warts on the face and all. Speaking of things that you know are going to turn sexual, Dash surprises Ingrid at the library and invites her [...]

SINS AND NEEDLES by Karina Halle

To be honest I was really hesitant about picking up this book, because I don’t usually like con stories.  I hate people trying to cheat others out of their hard earned money, and take things the easy way.  There are of course exceptions to this for me:   The reason for the con is to defraud a defrauder, someone who “deserves” it in some way.   The con is to serve up some much deserved revenge.   I guess I’m not a turn-the-other-cheek sort of girl, well in fiction anyways.  If someone’s got it coming I relish the payback! Much of Ellie’s conning (in the past) fell under one of those categories, so I could excuse it.  But that’s not [...]

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Seven

I’m not sure how what to think about the latest episode. It was a lot of fast forwarding to set up future storylines. We begin by jumping ahead five months. Lester has come back from Hollywood after being jilted by his lover as well as the movie business. He will once again be documenting Masters and Johnson’s study. Lester’s new obsession with documentary filmmaking has him recording the interactions between the staff in the study as well as the participants. It’s a twist that shows how deeply Masters’ study, as well as his relationship with Virginia, has touched everyone in his life. After Masters was fired from his last job he opened his own clinic. His fertility patients were reluctant [...]

Books to Buy: New Releases This Week

This week we return to Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor; a criminal psychology expert hunts a lethal Lothario; lovers find themselves on the opposite sides of a potential apocalypse; passion is sparked on a remote island; and a preacher’s daughter is touched by the love of a marine.

IN BED WITH A ROGUE by Samantha Grace

This book, the second in a series, was quite fun. Baron Sebastian Thorne has happily been a rogue for all of his mature life, since women began propositioning him when he was sixteen. When his fiancée eloped with his best friend, his ego took a hit as well as his reputation. He’s not necessarily on the path of reformation when the book begins, he’s simply trying to stay out of trouble. Then, after a few chance meetings with Helena, he decides that a little liaison with her would not be terrible. Helena, Lady Prestwick, is a widow with a lot of money and a good reputation, and she intends to keep it that way. Without her position in good society, [...]

Why I Write Gay Romance

There is no one perfect answer to why I write gay romance novels. Strangely enough, I began writing Regency romance. I loved the glamour of the ballgowns and the whole English aristocracy. After all, who doesn’t like a Duke in a pair of tight buckskins? But last year I read my first male/male romance. I picked up a book by Abigail Roux called Cut and Run. It looked interesting and was a series, which I loved. I began reading it. And when I next looked up it was three hours later and I couldn’t believe how enthralled I was with the story. I bought the entire backlist and more. I went searching for more authors and read Mary Calmes A [...]

Multicultural Romance This Month

We welcome author Alyssa Cole with her new monthly look at what’s happening in multicultural romances. This month, she has three top picks to chase away the end-of-summer blues…

ADULTERY by Paulo Coelho

Despite the attention-grabbing title, Adultery, the new novel by the award-winning author of The Alchemist, is not really about cheating. It’s more about that space we reach in the middle of our lives when we start to doubt everything – the midlife crisis. On the surface, Linda has less reasons for experiencing this crisis than most. She’s in her thirties, attractive, rich, and she lives in beautiful Geneva, Switzerland. She has a loving husband, children, and a good job as a political journalist. All things considered, it’s not easy to empathize with her unhappiness. But as we all know, depression isn’t rational. And Linda is depressed. She explains, “I am a woman torn between the terror that everything might change [...]

Beauty and the Bodice Ripper

I dreamed that one day my love of make-up and love of fiction would somehow  converge. Fantasy is now reality: MAC Cosmetics just debuted their new line of romance-novel inspired cosmetics! Their new collection, called A Novel Romance, hit stores yesterday and is described as “teeming with deep, luscious shades that will leave you feeling overwhelmed with desire.” You know where you’ll find me on my lunch break. For more, visit MAC.    

Movie Review: MAY IN THE SUMMER

Cherien Dabis’s May in the Summer (Dabis is the writer, director, and star of the film, as well as a co-producer) follows May and her sisters – who all grew up in the U.S. — on a visit to Amman, Jordan to prepare for May’s wedding. The wedding is the central plot device of the film, and in some ways is also its central flaw. May’s devoutly Christian mother (Hiam Abbass) disapproves of her Palestinian Muslim fiancé Ziad (Alexander Siddig in almost no screen time whatsoever), who is a high-profile scholar in the U.S.  Additionally, May and Ziad are trying to hide their cold feet from Ziad’s mother who is deliriously into wedding planning, while May juggles the dramas of [...]