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From Publisher’s Website

Rancher Staten Kirkland, the last descendant of Ransom Canyon’s founding father, is rugged and practical to the last. No one knows that when his troubling memories threaten to overwhelm him, he runs to lovely, reclusive Quinn O’Grady…or that she has her own secret that no one living knows. 

Young Lucas Reyes has his eye on the prize—college, and the chance to become something more than a ranch hand’s son. But one night, one wrong decision, will set his life on a course even he hadn’t imagined. 

Yancy Grey is running hard from his troubled past. He doesn’t plan to stick around Ransom Canyon, just long enough to learn the town’s weaknesses and how to use them for personal gain. Only Yancy, a common criminal since he was old enough to reach a car’s pedals, isn’t prepared for what he encounters.
In this dramatic new series, the lives, loves and ambitions of four families will converge, set against a landscape that can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful, where passion, property and pride are worth fighting—and even dying—for.

My Review:

Overall, this was a good book. It was well written and there was good character development. However, I would not classify this book as a romance novel. A romance novel has a plot that is driven by the developing romantic relationship of two or more characters. This book more along the lines of Chick-Lit. While there is a Happily Ever After ending, this still wasn’t a romance novel.

This was an ensemble novel. Every few chapters (sometimes every chapter) was from the point of view of a different character. There six different points of view written in this book. All of them were written in third person, which was nice otherwise I would have been confused even with the beginning of the chapter having the character’s name. Eventually, all of the story lines collide at the end of the novel.

These types of stories are some of my least favorite to read. There are very few exceptions, but I don’t tend to select ensemble books.

There were only two story lines (which actually covers four of the characters) that I was interested in. I feel that each story line could have been it’s own story. The other story line, I’m not sure why it was included other than to give a uniting event for the climax and ending of the novel.

I give Ransom Canyon a 3 Horseshoe rating.

This book was provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Ransom Canyon is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also available from Barnes and Noble in Nook and Print.

Publication Details:

Author Jodi Thomas
Title Ransom Canyon
Format Print
Length 335 Pages
Publication Date August 25, 2015
Publisher HQN
ISBN 978-0-3737-8844-6

From Author’s Website

A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan’s dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don’t know whether he’s friend or foe. But they’ll have to figure out soon, because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.

At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs….

The connections to Chicago’s Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last….

My Review:

First a few things about the series. I originally added the first book, Some Girls Bite to my Goodread To Read list in August 2010. I don’t remember who recommended it to me. For some reason, it got lost in the shuffle of life. Recently, I was looking at Goodreads and discovered the book again. But this time I discovered that there was 11 books, and 3 novellas in the series. I will admit that I read the entire series in approximately 14 days (from initial ebook purchase of the first book to my finishing this book). I love these characters. I love Merit almost as much as I love Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews. I have a feeling that I will be re-reading this series much like I do the Kate Daniels series.

This series is not a romance series. This series is a Paranormal Fantasy series that does happen to have some romance and sex included. But the romance does not drive the individual books or the series.

Now, on to Dark Debt. This was a great book. While the author does give basic background for first time readers of the series, I would not recommend reading this book without the previous ones, especially Blood Games. Of all of the books in the series, this one’s twists and turns are more complicated that involved than previously. Chloe Neill did an amazing job on this book.
As much as I loved this book, I couldn’t give it 5 Horseshoes. There are some continuity issues. One is series related, but the rest are related to this book only. The series related one is about the existence of Incubi. In book 9, Wild Things, one of the supernatural creatures kidnapped was an Incubus. However, in this book, the reader is told that Incubi do not exist and the legend was created as a way to explain the sexual bent that some vampires’ powers take. While it isn’t a big continuity issue, it still bugged me.

The book related continuity issues mostly had to deal with Merit’s wardrobe. While most nights she is dressed in her beautiful new leathers (which actually don’t get mentioned as being her new ones since she was gifted them) there are a few times that she wears the House’s standard uniform, a black suit. There is one scene where she is wearing the suit and ends up chasing a perp. After the unsuccessful chase, there are mentions of her wearing her leathers. Once again, for most people not a big deal, but for me…… I feel that this should have been caught in the various levels of editing that takes place. There are other continuity things but I can’t think of them at this time.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next book to come out in March 2016.

I give Dark Debt a 4 Horseshoe rating.

This book was purchased by the reviewer.

Dark Debt is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. Also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author Chloe Neill
Title Dark Debt
Format Ebook
Length 295 Pages
Publication Date March 2015
Publisher New American Library
ISBN 978-0-6981-8071-0

From Amazon’s Website

The Legend begins…

For centuries, stories of the Fae have been passed down from generation to generation throughout the Scottish Highlands. Over time, the truth of their existence was reduced to nothing more than childhood fairytales. Until now! On the eve of war between Good and Evil, Ella of Andor, the Fae Princess of Darkness embarks on a journey that would ensure her kingdom’s victory as prophesied. But in a twist of fate, Ella is led to the mortal world where she soon discovers a mystery about her past that could destroy everything she has ever known.

After returning home from battle against a neighboring clan, Laird Galen Graham stumbles upon an injured woman in desperate need of care and protection. Wanting to return her to her family becomes a difficult task when he discovers the lass cannot speak. While trying to solve the mystery behind who she is, Galen finds himself falling in love with a lass he knows nothing about.

Forced to return to the Fae world, can Ella stop the war threatening to destroy her kingdom, or will she give up her destiny to return to the man she has fallen for in the mortal world? After discovering the truth about the mysterious lass, will Galen be able to let her go?

Follow Ella and Galen’s fantastic journey filled with magic, danger, love, and mystery.

My Review:

Oh, where to start. In general the writing was good, as well as the character development. But this story had many issues. So many in fact that I almost quit reading the story multiple times. I did finish the book, but it was painful.

There are two sides to this story. There is the Fae realm and 15th Century Scotland. The Fae Realm was nicely created and well rounded. I could easily see the land and the creatures that were described. The history of the land was interesting and the author does a good job in making the reader want to stay in this realm and discover what happens to the people of it.

Then we get to the 15th Century Scotland. The number of items incorrect drove me nuts. I will admit that Scottish History is a big interest of mine and has been for a very long time. I usually don’t mind dialect in stories, but I felt that it was over used. There was at least one time where the author used the words dinna and no in the same sentence, causing the sentence to have a double negative.

The author also tended to use words that are not in common use and for one, the context wasn’t correct. At one point Galen tells his second to impose a cheminage for those who crossed his border. Cheminage is a fee traditionally applied to people taking items to market through a forest that is owned by a Lord. Very few clans would be able to man their entire border to collect this fee. The amount of money they would make compared to the man power needed makes it ridiculous. The economy of the Highlands in the 15th Century was still primarily barter based and due to poor roads, trade with others was not widely done. Trade and coins were common in strong economic centers like Perth, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, etc. The average person wouldn’t be carrying coin, therefore making the cheminage unrealistic.

Much to my surprise, we discover that the clan blacksmith and the clan healer lived ten miles from the clan seat. Why would you put these two very important people so far from the center of the clan? Typically both of these people would either live within the castle walls or just outside the walls. The average person walks at the speed of three miles per hour, and a walking horse averages four to five miles per hour, a distance of ten miles would not be covered at a trot or faster pace. At these speed averages, it would take people two and half to three and half hours to cover ten miles. No intelligent Laird would have these people so far from the largest grouping of clan members. Later in the story we discover that the armory is nine miles from the castle. Why isn’t within the castle walls?

At one point, Galen is planning on going to Stonehaven to visit the market because the trade ships would have come in that day or the day before. The author lets the readers know that Stonehaven is two hours from the castle. There are a few issues with this. First, the Laird would not have left to do the marketing. He would have a man who would do that and only a few times a year. By stating that Stonehaven is only two hours away, the author has stated that Stonehaven is closer than the clan blacksmith or healer. In the 15th Century, Stonehaven was a fishing village. It was never a trading port. The closest trading port was actually Aberdeen, which is north of Stonehaven. Even now, Stonehaven is still a fishing village but also relies on tourism for income. Then there is the name issue. Stonehaven did not get its name until the start of the 17th century. Stonehaven and much of the land around it was Clan Keith land. Another reason this whole scenario wouldn’t work is that trade ships wouldn’t attempt the North Sea in the winter. The sea is too treacherous.

When the author finally gave us a general idea where in Scotland the story was taking place, I discovered that the story is taking place over a hundred miles from where the author really wanted. Stonehaven is on the eastern coast of Scotland. During the story we learn that Galen’s clan Graham was having a feud with Clan MacGregor, and Galen was trying to forge an alliance with Clan Campbell and their Laird the Duke of Argyll. These clans never had land along the eastern coast of Scotland. For the most part, their lands were northwest of Glasgow, approximately a hundred miles from Stonehaven.

Imagine my surprise when I read the author biography at the end of the story and discovered that she has written three other Scottish Historicals.

I found that the relationship between Galen and Ella very platonic. Yes, Galen lusted after Ella but I never really felt that these characters fell for each other. The sex scene was not necessary to this story. It didn’t move forward the story or their relationship. It felt like the author went, “Wait, this is romance. It must have sex.” This story would have been just fine without the sex, especially since I feel that the characters didn’t have mutual desire for each other.

The end of the story was very abrupt. There were things not resolved in the Fae realm. How can Ella take the Queen’s offer and leave the Fae realm without completing a task she had set for herself? The author could have extended the story by having Ella and Galen working together. Even if they failed at the task, it would give a level of closure. Instead, Ella didn’t pursue the task and left it for others who looked to her for leadership. I realize that the author wanted to keep the task unfulfilled so she can have a series, but there should have been an attempt.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I give Legend of the Fae a 2 Horseshoe rating.

Legend of the Fae is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions.

Publication Details:

Author April Holthouse
Title Legend of the Fae
Format Ebook
Length 236
Publication Date March 2015
Publisher Self Published Through Amazon
ISBN 978-1-5077-6137-3

From Author’s Website

My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon’s heart out through its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world. How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending. Then there’s Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven’t had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, the world will burn.

My Review:

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and the premise of the book. I found the world interesting and definitely would like to read more about this world. I will be reading the prequel novella, and the sequel once it is published.

I’m not quite sure how to categorize this book. There is a dystopian Urban Fantasy future but then the main character is sent back in time to prevent the event that caused the dystopian future. I wouldn’t list it as a romance novel, because the relationship between Alana and Gaelen wasn’t the core of the story. The core was stopping the disaster that was coming. It was very similar to Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniel series, in that it has romance but it isn’t the driving force of the book.

I did find some issues. This novel could have gone through one more time with a copy editor. I found wrong words (using triskette instead of triskele) and some phrasing that didn’t make sense. There is one scene where there is a slight tense change during an observation that Alana makes and it makes is seem like she was comparing the situation to a previous time instead of seeing it for the first time.

This story is in the First Person Point of View, which I have no issues with, and I have no problem with switching between First and Third Person Point of View. (My favorite author jumps between the two regularly, but it is done by chapter usually.) My problem was the occasional jump to Third Person Point of View to provide information that the author felt was vital to the story. Since my first read through, I have read parts again, including a couple of the Third Person Point of View scenes. I’ve decided that the Third Person Point of View scenes are not needed. They really don’t provide information that the main character doesn’t figure out later, except for one scene which I still can’t figure out why the information was revealed in this book.

You might look at my rating and wonder why I gave the rating I did after listing the problems I found. Well, let me explain it. I felt that this book was better than a 3 Horseshoe rating but not quiet a 4 Horseshoe rating, but I couldn’t bring myself to do a 3 ½ Horseshoe rating only because you can’t have half of a horseshoe. (I know. There aren’t very many 5 legged horses out there….) Because of my waffling, I talked to my husband about my dilemma. He stated that most people won’t pick up on the things I do. He had me rate the book as if I was an average reader.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I give Anointed a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Anointed is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. Also available from Barnes and Noble in Nook and Print.

Publication Details:

Author Maggie Mae Gallagher
Title Anointed
Format Ebook
Length 401 Pages
Publication Date February 2014
Publisher Self Published
ISBN 978-0-9914-8171-2

From Publisher’s Website

This cowboy is living a charmed life

Winning comes naturally to bronc rider Brady Caine. Ruggedly handsome, careless and charismatic, the rodeo fans adore him and the buckle bunnies are his for the taking. He’s riding high when he lands an endorsement deal with Lariat Western Wear that pairs him up with champion barrel racer Suze Carlyle.

Until one wrong move changes everything

A stupid move on Brady’s part lands Suze in the hospital, her career in tatters. Now it’s a whole new game for both of them. Brady is desperate to help Suze rebuild her life, but he’s the last person she wants around now. Suze’s got plenty of grit and determination—learning to trust Brady again is a very different matter.

My Review:

Thank you, Joanne! Finally a large busted cowgirl (like me) who knows the importance of keeping the girls from bouncing too much and the struggle of getting out of one of those $60 sports bras! Somehow, I’m able to ignore breast support in romance novels, but I absolutely love when an author gets it right, including the acrobatics it takes to put one on or take it off. :-)

I swear Joanne was in my head when she wrote this story. Like Suze, I’ve always wanted a horse service animal, and I don’t know who said it to me as a child but cowgirls don’t cry (especially in public) is so seared in to my brain that I don’t think a mental health professional can remove it.

I truly love these characters; Brady with his hidden need to take care of others, and Suze with her hidden belief that she isn’t good enough for anyone. I understand the pain of feeling like you aren’t good enough for your daddy. Just like my Andy did for me, Brady shows Suze that she is good enough and doesn’t need to worry about what her father thinks (which works most of the time). It’s amazing how much love can heal.

I love stories of friends falling in love. Probably because that is how my marriage happened. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

How to Kiss a Cowboy is the second book in Joanne’s Cowboys of Decker Ranch series.

I give How To Kiss A Cowboy a 5 Horseshoe rating.

How To Kiss A Cowboy is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. From Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author Joanne Kennedy
Title How To Kiss A Cowboy
Format Print
Length 480 Pages
Publication Date February 2015
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-8369-7

From Publisher’s Website

Can a girl ever have too many cowboys?

No sooner does pint-sized spitfire Jill Cleary set foot on Fiddle Creek Ranch than she finds herself in the middle of a hundred-year-old feud. Quaid Brennan and Tyrell Gallagher are both tall, handsome, and rich…and both are courting Jill to within an inch of her life. She’s doing her best to give these feuding ranchers equal time—too bad it’s dark-eyed Sawyer O’Donnell who makes her blood boil and her hormones hum…

My Review:

Okay, Carolyn, my second favorite couple from your books is a three way tie! Trace and Gemma from Just a Cowboy and His Baby will always be my favorite but Lucas and Natalie from The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby , Finn and Callie from Cowboy Boots for Christmas, and Sawyer and Jill are in a very close second.

One of my favorite romance tropes is friends falling in love. While technically Sawyer and Jill are strangers who become friends almost from necessity, they do go from friends to a couple.

Like all of Carolyn’s heroines, Jill is smart, sassy, and isn’t afraid to kick ass. I love that being “dolled up” isn’t a priority. Like me, she is happiest in her Wranglers and boots. While very independent, Jill understands that being in a couple is about being partners and taking care of each other. It was a hard lesson to learn but she did. Sawyer needs a partner not a princess.

Jill came to Burnt Boot to help her two aunts out but quickly finds herself the center of attention in the the Brennan and Gallagher feud. One of her aunts, Gladys, has property that sits smack dab between the two feuding families, and has water rights that both families want. Bring on the hard core wooing and one up-man-ship. I’m sure Quaid and Tyrell are nice men but their courting skills need serious improvement. Hopefully they will find women, that they truly want, who will show these cowboys that money and land size doesn’t matter.

Sawyer is part of the O’Donnell clan that we met in the Spikes and Spurs series. He is the cousin of Finn and Gemma. This hard working cowboy comes to Burnt Boot originally to get away from his ex girlfriend, and to spy on his cousin Finn, but he ends up getting a foreman job on Gladys’ ranch. Because the feuding families want the ranch so bad, they each send a single lady after Sawyer so that Quaid and Tyrell have a shot at the heir of the property.

I was sad that we didn’t get to see Honey Brennan in this story. In Cowboy Boots for Christmas, Honey was sent after Finn. Her nemesis, Betsy Gallagher was in this story. I think the women in this feud spend more time fighting each other than actually wooing the cowboy they have been unleashed upon.

The feud between the Brennans and the Gallaghers crack me up. Probably because it is very easy for me to image a small town divided by one. Having grown up in a farming and ranching community that had one primary family, I’m sure that at some point in the history of the town there was a feud. But no feud will ever be as epic as the Brennan and Gallagher feud.

Sawyer and Jill make a great team. They truly complement each other well. Once they settle their minor dispute, they are a united front against the onslaught of wooing.

There were a few minor editing errors and the cover model doesn’t have the “soft black hair covering his bare chest”. (As Jill says: “… Little boys have bare chests. Men have hair. Hunky cowboys have just the right amount…”) Plus, I’m still baffled by the reasons the feuding families did a couple of things to Sawyer and Jill. However, this book deserves the rating I’m giving it.

The Trouble with Texas Cowboys is the second book in Carolyn Brown’s Burnt Boot series.

I give The Trouble with Texas Cowboys a 5 Horseshoe rating.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title The Trouble with Texas Cowboys
Format Print
Length 332 pages
Publication Date January 6, 2015
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-9608-6

From Publisher’s Website

Tis the season for…
A pistol-totin’ woman who’s no angel
A tough rancher who doesn’t believe in miracles
Love that warms the coldest nights

After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can’t wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person.

When he pulls in, there’s Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.

Lucas is unfazed. But wait…is that a BABY in her arms?

My Review:

Recipe for a great Christmas season romance:

  • Snow
  • Holiday Decorations
  • A Sexy Cowboy
  • A Gun Toting Sassy Cowgirl
  • An Adorable Baby

Shake until well mixed. Sprinkle in three ranchers who want to have babies around the ranch. Finally, enjoy the wonderful story that Carolyn Brown has written.

While Trace and Gemma from Just a Cowboy and His Baby are my favorite characters that Carolyn has written, Lucas and Natalie are not far behind. Actually I could easily see Natalie and Gemma being best friends (too bad it’s 300 miles between Savoy and Goodnight)!

Natalie is a handful. She is a woman who can handle ranch chores, raise a child alone, cook killer meals for the men on the ranch, and shoot better than most men. But she has been lonely since her best friend died in Kuwait. Luckily, Lucas was more than willing to fill those boots. After eleven months of chatting online, they are finally meeting. Lucas’s tour in Kuwait was done and he was coming home.

Natalie and Lucas thought they knew each other after all the hours they spent chatting online but they quickly learn that there are things you can only learn about a person when you are together. They learn to navigate through a meddling ex-girlfriend, Lucas’s male relatives, Natalie’s mother, and assistance from the ghost of Lucas’s grandmother to find love.

I loved this book. I’ve read bits and pieces multiple times since I finished it. This will be one that I will re-read regularly, not just during the holidays. I’m hoping that Carolyn will give us glimpses of these two in the other books of this series. Life for this couple will be filled with fireworks and love.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby is the second book in Carolyn Brown’s Cowboys and Brides series.

I give The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby a 5 Horseshoe rating.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby
Format Ebook
Length 346 pages
Publication Date September 24, 2013
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402280498

From Back of the Book

Charismatic bar owner Rowdy Yates isn’t the kind of man women say no to. So when he approaches waitress Avery Mullins, he fully expects to get her number. However, the elusive beauty has her reasons for keeping her distance—including a past that might come back to haunt them both.

Avery spends her nights working for tips… and trying to forget the secret Rowdy is determined to unearth. But when history threatens to repeat itself, Avery grows to rely on Rowdy’s protective presence. As the sparks between them ignite, she will be forced to choose between the security she’s finally found… and the passion she’s always wanted.


My Review:

This is part of a Blog Tour set up by BookTrib.

Getting Rowdy is the third book in Lori’s Love Undercover series. We first learned about Rowdy in Run the Risk. We quickly learn that Rowdy has a huge protective streak. We never really find out why until this story. This is one of the few stories by Lori Foster in the past 2 years that doesn’t have human trafficking, but it still deals with other important issues.

Rowdy is the type of man that any woman would be proud to call her own, or call a friend. He is kind and caring. Lori really shows that people can choose the kind of person they want to be no matter the type of upbringing they had. After living with abusive drunk parents, Rowdy could have easily followed that road and no one would have blamed him. But at a young age he made the decision to protect his sister and do what he could to provide for her. Rowdy isn’t the typical hero, but he is one (even if he doesn’t see it).

Avery comes from a well off background and is in hiding. Many people, including Rowdy, would think she was crazy for leaving, but when one’s safety is at risk, you do what you have to. What I love about Avery’s story is that it shows that any can be a victim. It doesn’t matter what your social status may be. Avery’s story also shows us how much she has matured and become independent since she left her family. Avery also discovers how much she enjoys working and earning her own way.

I enjoyed the interaction between these two characters. Their banter and easy going relationship was a lot of fun to read. Their easy camaraderie led to a believable relationship. Yes, they have their issues but overall it was an easy transition from being friends to being lovers and being in love.

I give Getting Rowdy a 4 Horseshoe rating.

From Lori’s Website: The November issue of Cosmopolitan magazine goes on sale today and guess what you can find inside? A coupon for $1 off Getting Rowdy from any brick & mortar bookstore. It’s only valid until November 1, so get this deal while you still can!

Getting Rowdy is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. 

Getting Rowdy is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author Lori Foster
Title Getting Rowdy
Format Print
Length 448 Pages
Publication Date September 24, 2013
Publisher HQN
ISBN 978-0-3737-7779-2

R.C. Murphy spends her nights writing urban fantasy novels and a slew of short stories for her blog, The Path of a Struggling Writer. By day she is a not so mild-mannered housewife, wrangling vampires, demons, and various other nasty creatures. R.C. has joined forces with fellow writers, artists, and actors to form the Zombie Survival Crew where she reviews movies, TV shows, as well as penning articles on important survival skills. Her articles on survival in the zombie apocalypse are featured in the ZSC anthology Undead is Not an Option. Readers can find visit her at her web site, her Facebook Fan Page, and Twitter.

Let’s Talk About Sex

Lately there’s been a rash of authors throwing up their hands and staring in wonder as their fans tear into them about their newest books. Not because the writing is shoddy or lacking in any substantial way. Oh no. It’d be understandable if authors were being called onto the carpet for releasing a half-thought-out book. Instead, they’re being shamed for not turning their novels into literary porn. (If you just imagined two novels humping, you’re my new best friend.)

Yes, sex in books is often something wonderful, thrilling, and gives the reader’s day a little extra oomph when they’re done reading. However, sex cannot and will never be the entire plot of a book. A sex scene is one moment in the lives of these people/creatures the author created. If a book was nothing but sex, then readers assume the character has no job, no responsibilities beyond a good shag. That’s not how life works, and even in the most fantastical, sex-driven books, it isn’t how a character would live their life.

I’m one of those weirdos who thinks a character (and heck, even the guy at the end of the bar who’s been sending me drinks all night) has to earn the right to have sex. Sex is never a guarantee. There’s nothing thrilling about opening a romance novel and knowing when, where, and how hard a couple are going to go at it. Romance novels are stories of how these two people build a relationship. How they learn to trust each other enough to be nude and vulnerable in front of a virtual stranger. There’s no magic wand you wave in real life that’ll tell you if the cute chick checking you out at the party is sane enough to sleep with, because at some point she may snap and you’re missing important parts of your body. You. Never. Know.

Also, it is hard to write sex, guys. Okay, rephrase that . . . it is hard to write good, inventive sex scenes that aren’t a rehash of everything else already committed to paper. Think of it like a dance, not everything is going to be Thriller. Sometimes you end up with a limping, off-beat tango and your partner has broken your big toe from stepping on it repeatedly. It is like trying to reinvent the wheel. Sex has been around, literally, forever. It is why we’re all here. Finding new, exciting ways to describe something we all will do at some point in our lives sucks. And not in a good way. Authors are banking on their talent to keep the reader from stopping mid-fictional-hump and saying, “That’s not how it works.” I’m not immune to this. Every time I think I have something cool to offer, my editor shakes her head and I realize she’s right. There are physical limitations to what a normal person can do. Remembering those in an effort to write the New Best Sex Thing Ever is a trial.

Not every sex scene works in the context of the story plot, either. An author may come up with the Hamlet of sex scenes, but if it stalls the flow of the plot, it’ll have to go. Maybe the scene will move to later in the book. Maybe it’ll be dumped in a “For Later Use” file and put into another story. Just depends on where the characters are mentally, physically, and if the flow of the story calls for a little time out. Unlike real life, sex for the sake of having sex doesn’t often fit into a story.

The next time you feel like grabbing a pitchfork and torch over an author’s lack of sex scenes in a book, stop and think what you’d do in their shoes. We try our best to titillate readers while telling a good story, but sometimes we can’t make Fetch happen. And we shouldn’t. When you force something on a story, it falls apart. I’d much rather read a sexless romance story than a forced sex scene. Focus on good writing, not cheap thrills. There’s an entire internet full of porn for that.


Thank you R.C. for coming to PonyTails today! I am doing a giveaway of 1 ebook of Enslaved. This is open to everyone. The winner will be selected using and will be announced around September 24, 2013. Please fill out the form below.

About Enslaved:

The gods are flawed . . . and they make awful parents.

Deryck knows first-hand the cruelty of the gods. Three thousand years after his birth, he is still trapped, forced to service humans as an Incubus—unable to choose whom he sleeps with, and living a life completely devoid of love. There is no out for him. No hope. Or so he thought.

Shayla McIntire spent five years getting her life back on track after the accident claiming her husband’s life. She is content to a nice, boring, subdued life free of the abuse she suffered before. Her friends are worried. They want her to find the man of her dreams and move on.

Little do they know, the Powers That Be have decided the man of Shayla’s dreams for her. There’s just one hitch, he’s enslaved to the gods and it will take power she doesn’t know she has to free him. Deryck isn’t the only one hoping Shayla will free him, though.

Enslaved is available from Amazon and from Barnes and Noble.

This was our largest giveaway ever here at PonyTails! We had 179 entries!  Thank you to everyone who entered.

I used to choose the lucky person to receive the print editions of If I Were You and .   The winner is….

T.J. – I emailed BookTrib your information.  You should receive your books soon!


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