Discussion Time (1/29): Why must there be smoochies?

Seriously, what’s the deal with this? Why do so many writers think that we absolutely must have romance in our reads? It drives me nuts in so many cases, because its just not necessary. Like Angelfall, by Susan Ee. That would have been an excellent top-rated read… except that it contains the start of this thing between Penryn and Raffe, which was completely unnecessary.

I’m sorry, but angels came to earth to destroy crap. Killed billions of people. He initially treats her like crap and is vastly superior on a physical sense to her. Now, he could (and does seem to) develop a grudging respect for her that should have stayed right there! Whereas right from the beginning she’s in this love/hate thing. Ee does a good job of dancing around it, and not letting it develop into a big thing, but…but why does it even have to be a thing to begin with? Why do we have to have romances in our books?

(I’m not deliberately picking on Angelfall. I do like the fact that it at least seems to be a slow build romance. Its just the most recent example of it I’ve read.)

What kind of message are we sending? Oh, yes, girls can be strong, have common sense, and be able to do lots on their own…but that’s not enough. There has to be at least ONE love interest, and preferably two. Wwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhyyyy? Why is this a thing? Especially in young adult books. Why do we need to write it in constantly that unless you’re gaga for a guy and he’s gaga for you – your story is incomplete? These characters are in their teens/twenties! At that age, I barely knew if I liked boys or girls or both! Heck, I was more obsessing over the latest singer’s abs and then dealing with college than I was worrying about finding my happily ever after!

I was talking to my friend, and between the two of us we could only come with one book that contained a male and a female main character where there wasn’t some sort of undercurrent going on, and that was one I just recently read!

Now, I know somewhere along the lines I’ve read a couple other books where it wasn’t all lovebirds and such, but its so much rarer than it should be. There’s a main male character and a main female character and they’re friends. That’s it. That’s all you get from them is …they’re friends. They work fantastically well together, they tease and respect each other, and there’s not even a hint of the need for smoochies! And you know what? This was a fantastic book! Valentine (the girl) kicks butt. She saves the day on more than one occasion. She even rescues the guy (Paul). She also forms a relationship with his kid. Not because she wants to get in his pants, but because she realizes the kid (who spends most of the book hospitalized) is lonely and needs a friend. Great book.

In one of my other favorite books, there’s definitely a romance in it – but my favorite relationship? Its not the romance one. Its the one between the cop and her (male) mentor. They rag each other, care for each other, will go to the wall for each other …and there is not, nor has there ever been, a hint of romance there.

So, yeah, when you’re reading the Young Adult books especially, have you ever taken a step back to wonder why we feel the need to put romance in everything? I’m not saying its a bad thing to have it in there, but its in basically every bloody book!  How many books have you read where the first thing you talked about in your review was the romance? the love triangle? If you took that portion of things out of the book, would they be different? Would you like them more or less?

Talk to me!






A Review of Alien Contact for Kid Sisters by Edward Hoornaert

The Book Cover and Synopsis for Alien Contact for Kid Sisters by Edward Hoornaert

Keep Reading!

A Review of Sweetly Cursed by Cameron Glenn


Keep Reading!

A Review of Forever Hers by Caroline Cairn

What’s it about?

Book Cover of Forever HersFeisty twenty-four year old Holly, or Miss Greedy as her friends call her, receives a wooden cube as a gift from an enigmatic elderly lady who happens to be her mother’s new neighbour in Lossiemouth, a small Scottish fishing town.

What she doesn’t expect, is for the cube to contain Blayne, a Spirit of Saoradh only she can see and touch. Blayne is a playful, headstrong ghost with no recollection of his human past and an ability to grant Holly’s wishes whenever she calls for him — as long as said wishes don’t raise any questions from the public that is. So a shiny new car might be out of the question, but the possibility of a flat stomach, a consistently spotless house or a perfect daily hairstyle more than make up for it.

Through their incessant banter, Holly and Blayne grow closer while fighting against their mutual attraction since they have no possible future together.

But when the painful reality of Blayne’s existence is revealed, Holly will realize that it’s not always the girl who needs to be saved. -Goodreads Synopsis

Keep Reading!

Review of Earth’s Children Series by Jean Auel

What’s it about?

The Earth’s Children series tells the story of (1) Ayla, a young girl whose parents were killed when she was young. Ayla gets taken in by Neanderthals, raised among them as one of their own, and is later exiled. (2) Ayla finds a valley that’s uninhabited, and makes it into her home. She struggles to do everything on her own that the Clan would have helped with had she been with them. Eventually she befriends a horse, a mountain lion, makes a momentous discovery, and… discovers a man. A man that looks like her. (3) Jondalar convinces Ayla to return home with him. Along the way they get side-tracked and end up spending the winter with the Mammoth Hunters (Mamutoi), where Ayla shares the knowledge of her ability to tame animals, gaining a new friend to replace Baby along the way, and expands her knowledge of customs and skills. Things threaten to end badly with Jondalar because of a misunderstanding regarding a particular dark-skinned ivory carver.  (4) Jondalar and Ayla leave the Mamutoi, continuing their journey towards Jondalar’s home. They are strangers on a Journey. Some will like them, some will hate them, and some will threaten them. (5) They finally get to Jondalar’s people, but as they prepare for the Summer Meeting and Mating, its clear that there are some problems with Ayla integrating into the new society. (6) Ayla has accepted a large role within the Zelandoni (Jondalar’s people), and they have a young daughter to boot. The time apart and demands on Ayla drive a wedge between her and the man she loves, and it begins to look as though it will end on a heartbreaking note. This is the conclusion to the Earth’s Children series.

Clan of the Cave Bear - Earth's Children Series Bk 1Valley of Horses - Earth's Children Series bk 2Mammoth Hunters  - Earth's Children series bk 4

Plains of Passage - Earth's Children series book 4Shelters of Stone - Earth's Children series bk 5Land of Painted Caves - Earth's Children series book 6


My Review of the Earth’s Children Series

The Earth’s Children series is a sweeping prehistoric tale of survival, innovation, and romance. The author did meticulous research, and drew upon archaeological findings and understandings to make this series as realistic as possible. Auel writes in such a way that you are there with Ayla, seeing what she sees, hearing what she hears, and figuring things out with her.

Wonderfully written for the most part, you are introduced to a varied cast of characters that you either love or hate, but rarely feel nothing for.  My favorite book of the series was The Mammoth Hunters (I consulted my best friend on this series overview, and she agrees), and even though I didn’t particularly love Clan of the Cave Bear (perhaps because I read it after I’d read #2 and #3), I can’t say anything bad about it. It laid out the beginnings of the story well enough.

Auel never really hits that ‘slump’ book that all authors seem to have, which is a great thing. However, this awesomeness might contribute to her series downfall. If you read this series (and I do highly recommend you do so), you will fall in love with it. Bask in the awesomeness of this series, but do yourself a favor… just skip from page 575 on.

Basically the only big reveal you need to know about is Ayla telling everyone how (message me if you want to know. Its really not that big of a deal, but if I outright say it, someone will hissyfit over “Spoilers”.)

This author, who had done such a such a fantastic job bringing us the dramatic story of Ayla and Jondalar’s magnificent journey on both a physical and emotional level, completely freaking RUINS it with an unnecessary inclusion of relationship tension just so that she could end on introducing a particular concept which did not need to be included!  This left both myself and my friend incredibly angry and disappointed. It left us with a sour memory of a horrible ending to a fantastic series.

Seriously, the part that I’m warning you away from is such a downfall/disappointment that regardless of what actually happened in that book, that is what we remember. GRRR-ARRRRGHHHH!!!

(if it wasn’t for the absolutely horrible end of the last book, I probably would have given this series a 5 star over-all. That’s how bad it was!

4 Star Rated Review

Click here to find the Earth’s Children Series now on Amazon.

Hargrove House Review (The Haunted #1)

Book Cover for Hargrove House by Allie Harrison

As a child, Torrie Reynolds entered the haunted Hargrove House on a dare. Terrified by what she’d heard while inside Hargrove House, she avoided it since. Now fifteen years later, Torrie is an interior decorator. When Will Dalton buys the infamous Hargrove House and offers Torrie the job of refurbishing it, she has no choice but to take the offer to keep her business afloat. As the house is restored and rooms come alive with character and color Torrie brings to them, her fear of the house fades. Hargrove House begins to even feel like home to her. With each finished renovation project, it is harder for Torrie to leave. It is even harder for her to leave the comfort of Will Dalton’s arms. But she discovers there are things more terrifying than ghosts when she learns why Will is digging in the dark, frightening cellar. – Goodreads Synopsis


Keep Reading!

Quick Review: The In Death Series by J.D. Robb

What’s it about?

Set in the near future, the In Death novels are police procedurals starring Lt. Eve Dallas and a few members of the Homicide Division of the NYPD.

It also follows Eve’s personal life as she battles to overcome her demons, learns to build friendships, and tries out the whole relationship thing with probably the worst man a cop could hook up with. Filthy rich, gorgeous, and walking the line for Eve, Roarke is the bad boy turned good for the love of a good woman.

There are 41 books in the series, not including novellas, and it is still going strong.

What did I think of it?

The In Death series is one of my favorites. With a series this large, there are going to be some fantastic books, and there are going to be some check-in/filler books. Not every single one of them can be a complete hit. Its just not possible. If you expect that, then you’re just being unreasonable.

This series is wonderful. J.D. Robb (Aka: Nora Roberts) has created a believably near-future world that has recently recovered from the devastation of the Urban Wars. The setting is rich, the characters burn themselves into your mind, and you find yourself laughing at the give-and-take among the group even as you’re wondering about the latest murder/mystery they’re trying to solve.

The lives of the group aren’t always happy. They don’t always win. People get hurt. But, overall, they overcome, and the group dynamics are half the draw to the books. I love watching Dallas and Peabody bicker over stupid crap just as much as I love the satisfaction I get from them taking down a murderer.

Its not ground-breaking work, but it is good fun reading and I recommend it to anyone who likes a blend of romance and suspense.

…and eventually I will own every JD Robb book, but geeesh! There’s a lot!

Click here for the Goodreads page for J.D. Robb.

You can buy these books pretty much everywhere, including all your local book stores. I recommend the cheapest places, because it gets expensive quick!

Quick Review: In the Garden Series by Nora Roberts

What’s it about?

(Synopses from Goodreads)

Book 1: Recently widowed Stella Rothschild has found a new love in Logan Kitridge. But there is someone who isn’t happy about Stella’s growing feelings for Logan: the Harper Bride, an unidentified woman whose grief and rage have kept her spirit alive long past the death of her body.

Book 2: A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis. And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night…

At forty-seven, Rosalind Harper is a woman whose experiences have made her strong enough to bend without breaking–and weather any storm. A widow with three grown sons, she survived a disastrous second marriage and built her In The Garden nursery from the ground up. Through the years, In The Garden has become more than just a thriving business–it is a symbol of hope and independence to Roz, and to the two women she shares it with. Newlywed Stella and new mother Hayley are the sisters of her heart, and together the three of them are the future of In The Garden.

But now the future is under attack, and Roz knows they can’t fight this battle alone. Hired to investigate Roz’s Harper ancestors, Dr. Mitchell Carnegie finds himself just as intrigued with Roz herself. And as they being to unravel the puzzle of the Harper Bride’s identity, Roz is shocked to find herself falling for the fascinating genealogist. Now it is a desperate race to discover the truth before the unpredictable apparition lashes out at the one woman who can help her rest in peace…

Book 3: Hayley Phillips came to Memphis hoping for a new start, for herself and her unborn child. She wasn’t looking for a handout from her distant cousin Roz, just a job at her thriving In the Garden nursery. What she found was a home surrounded by beauty and the best friends she’s ever had-including Roz’s son Harper. To Hayley’s delight, her new daughter Lily has really taken to him. To Hayley’s chagrin, she has begun to dream about Harper-as much more than a friend…

If Hayley gives in to her desire, she’s afraid the foundation she’s built with Harper will come tumbling down. Especially since she’s begun to suspect that her feelings are no longer completely her own. Flashes of the past and erratic behavior make Hayley believe that the Harper Bride has found a way inside of her mind and body. It’s time to put the Bride to rest once and for all, so Hayley can know her own heart again-and whether she’s willing to risk it.

(click on the covers to be taken to the Goodreads page for the appropriate book)

What did I think of it?

I think that some of Nora Roberts best books are the ones that deal with a touch of the supernatural, while being grounded in ‘real’ people with well-laid out thoughts, relationships, and feelings.

Such is the case with her In the Garden Series, where we follow the stories of three different couples, with each of the females having vastly different backgrounds, as they find themselves and each other, and deal with the resident ghost, all while running a plant nursery.

Blue Dahlia‘s main female character is attracted me because she’s a relatively young widow and mother of two small boys that are full of snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails. She’s moved to Tennesee and taken over the job of Nursery Manager at Harper House.

Black Rose‘s main female character is the owner of the Nursery, and of Harper house. She’s a widow once, a divorcee, and at her age is completely comfortable in her own skin and willing to tell people off without thinking twice about it. She also provides a mothering presence. Her story reinforces that you don’t have to be young to find love.

Red Lily‘s main female character came to Harper House because she had nowhere else to go. Heavily pregnant and completely alone, she’s been determined to prove herself, provide for her baby, and what does she get for her troubles? Possibly possessed!

I really think there’s a book for all types of romance readers in this series, and definitely recommend it. However, if you’ve suffered infant loss, in utero or other, this series may be hard for you to read. I can no longer read it because Haley’s pregnancy is mentioned so much.

Basic Technical Details
In the Garden | Author: Nora Roberts | Genre(s): Romance & Supernatural |

A Review of Devoted in Death by J.D. Robb

What’s it about?

Book Cover for Devoted in Death by J.D. Robb

Ella-Loo and Darryl are soul-mates. They’re also spree killers who get off on the abduction, torture, and eventual murder of their victims. A futuristic wanna-be Bonnie and Shakespeare-quoting Clyde.  They don’t ever plan on stopping.

Except, you know, the part where they stupidly commit the latest murders in NYC, and its everyone’s favorite long, lean, homicide cop to the rescue. Along with her drool-worthy billionaire reformed bad-boy husband.

Could I be talking about anything other than J.D. Robb’s latest  in the In Death series? …. didn’t think so.


Keep Reading!

Help Me! I need something different to read!

So, as the title of my blog so clearly states, I love scifi and scary stuff. I tend to not branch out much except for the occasional romance or funny piece.

However, sometimes you just need something different.

So here’s my no-nos:

No novels featuring a character dying.

No high-school level kiss-kiss drama novels.

No non-fiction (this obviously includes biographies. Ewww.)

So… anyone have any suggestions?


Pssstt… if you haven’t entered the giveaway for an Audible book or E-book (Your choice), click HERE


  • Get the latest book reviews in your inbox!

    Enter your email address to subscribe to SciFi and Scary via email and receive notifications of new posts by email.