Laura Griffin

Listorama: 11 Romance Novels for Clever Ladies

Listorama: 11 Romance Novels for Clever Ladies

Recently, The Mary Sue--a website I have deeply conflicted feelings about--posted a super-ignorant, click-bait-y piece about romance novels and romance readers.

Rather than rebut the silliness (because what's the point), I thought I'd offer some recommendations for clever ladies looking to try out the genre, want to try a new subgenre of Romance or who want to revisit it after an absence. I'm not an expert, but I've read reasonable widely in the genre and appreciate that it is, in many ways, a deeply feminist field of offerings, particularly in recent years. 

The following are 11 smart big-R romances (read: happy ending of a central love story, as defined by the Romance Writers Association) I recommend for Clever Ladies who are interested in the genre. Keep in mind that there's just about something for everyone in this genre, so if there's not something that's up your alley on this list, there's probably something out there--leave a note in the comments and I'll see what I can do. 

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Quick Thoughts: What I've Been Reading

Quick Thoughts: What I've Been Reading

I've been reading up a storm lately, thanks to having been stuck in the house for way too long with that previously-mentioned flu. I hit on some gems, but also landed on some real stinkers. 

Here are some quick thoughts on a bunch of them. 

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List-O-Rama: Beginner's Guide to Awesome WTFery

List-O-Rama: Beginner's Guide to Awesome WTFery

A couple of weeks ago, I detailed my favorite fictional Awesome WTFery. I love explosions, random ghosts and fake relationships with a possibly unhealthy passion. Much of my love of WTFery manifests itself in my movie and television watching, but it creeps into books too. 

Are you wanting to delve into a big of Awesome WTFery escapism? Here are a few I dare you not to secretly devour.

The Lux Novels by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Entangled Teen)

Why It's Awesome WTFery: Hot aliens live in West Virginia, hijinks ensue. 
Bonus Points: Sex-Positive YA; No Love Triangle

I just blew through the first three Lux novels by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and while I'm not normally ​one to be embarrassed by my reading, I'm not exactly proud of not being able to put these books down. The plot of these (marginally) sci-fi young adult urban fantasy romance series is incredibly absurd and has continuity issues, but damn... the plot just moves along at a swift clip and Armentrout manages to make the reader care about snarky teen book blogger Katy and her good-looking pain-in-the-ass alien neighbor Daemon. 

Amazon | Goodreads

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Review: Scorched by Laura Griffin

Review: Scorched by Laura Griffin

Scorched by Laura Griffin

In Laura Griffin’s Tracers series—like in the television series 24, which I enjoyed—practical considerations are unnecessary. In the Tracers world, domestic terrorists drive MINI Coopers, anthropologists defuse bombs and everyone is terribly attractive. 

Scorched is the sixth book in the Tracers series, which follows employees of a top-notch private crime lab in Texas. The series has featured hackers, scientists, sketch artists, cops, criminal investigators, writers and FBI agents who all work to solve crimes while simultaneously finding true love.

Yes, Laura Griffin’s Tracers books are as awesome as they sound. 

Admittedly, this latest installment isn’t my favorite because it marks a distinct departure from the previous novels which focused on local crime-solving and veers toward stopping a terrorist plot (in addition to solving a local crime—it’s complicated). However, it still features Griffin’s trademark fast-paced writing and capable, tough characters.  

Scorched features forensic anthropologist Kelsey Quinn at the Delphi Center, where she focuses on identifying bodies. While on a dig in The Philippines, where she’s investigating a mass grave, Kelsey discovers a body that’s buried separately from the others, one that’s had facial reconstruction and appears very out-of-place for a remote Asian island. Suspicious, she takes samples and sends them to her former fiance, Blake, who works for the FBI. 

Upon her return to the United States, Blake asks Kelsey to come to his apartment because he has information about the evidence she collected oversees. Except when she gets to his apartment, Blake is murdered and Kelsey is a witness and on the run. And because she fled, she’s also a suspect. 

Kelsey suspects that law enforcement is involved in a larger conspiracy related to Blake’s murder, and turns to her ex-boyfriend Gage, a Navy SEAL who worked for her uncle Joe. This is where I was a bit confused—I’d not realized that Griffin has published a novella featuring Kelsey and Gage, Unstoppable, and that provides much of these characters’ backstory.

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