What have I done…

In my last book review I said the next book on my list was a dragon shifter romance and… honestly I spoke too soon. This book has been difficult to get through. So I’m abandoning it for something by Tessa Dare instead.

In life news, things get messier every day and I’ve yet to be fired from my day job. Which is, let’s be real, a miracle considering how my biannual review went.

How’d it go?

Well… I told my boss, the man who employs me, that I wouldn’t mind being murdered as much if my murderer was a cannibal. Because for some reason getting eaten after being killed makes more sense to me than just being murdered and having my corpse desecrated for no reason. Like serial killers who start off torturing pets and small animals? Infinitely more disturbing than a kid killing a small animal and eating it.

I said all of this to my boss. And he just said it was remarkably utilitarian of me.

HOW AM I NOT ON A WATCHLIST?? WHY DIDN’T HR CONTACT ME???

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non-traditional s** scenes

Warning: This blog post contains frank discussions of sex in reference to romance novels.

Alright now that that’s out of the way… as some of you may know, I’m currently in the middle of writing a romance novel. I’m toying with making it part of a category (Divorced Dads), but that’s irrelevant.

What I wanted to talk about today was sex scenes. I read books without them all the time. I also read romances that include them. The only thing that disappoints me is when I read a romance that includes a sex scene, but all the moves boil down to is P in V + NO TOUCHING ANYWHERE ELSE. I don’t know why it bothers me so much except that it seems so unnatural.

Like, you’re seriously gonna tell me that this manly man didn’t even grab a boob before putting it in? WHAT? No boob while putting it in? Is this the author’s way of telling us no boobs existed in old timey England?

Which leads me to my current problem.

I’m in the middle of writing the first of three sex scenes in my novel. Don’t as me why I’m writing three, I just picked a number and went with it. Anyway, I’m in the middle of the first one and I’m feeling kind of apprehensive because it’s not something you usually see in a romance novel let alone one about a divorced dad. I’m worried that it’ll read “too weird” for romance readers, but I also don’t see it as being “too weird” myself.

I don’t want people to be put off by it, but it also doesn’t contain anything “kinky”. Not by my standards at least.

Ugh, dilemmas, am I right?

Book Review: Some Like It Scottish by Patience Griffin

This review contains possible spoilers so proceed with caution.

The cover review for Some Like It Scottish can be found at my Instagram coveringlove.

Oh geez guys, where do I start with this one? The beginning? Yeah, let’s do that.

Some Like It Scottish is the story of Kit Woodhouse and Ramsey Armstrong. Kit is a successful matchmaker with goals of singlehandedly pushing her once rich family straight out of poverty. Ramsey is a fisherman who wants to leave the business he has with his brothers and take charge of his own future by starting his own. The two meet when Ramsey gets saddled with driving Kit around Scotland as she tries to sign up eligible bachelors for her matchmaking service. At some point love happens.

I got this book as a birthday gift from a friend who never read it herself. If it hadn’t been a gift, I don’t think I would have picked this book up for myself. The description on the back didn’t sound very compelling. Girl goes to Scotland, girl falls in love. The twist? He’s not her usual type.

This book is part road trip romance, part small town romance. Normally I love road trips as a method of forced proximity. I even love small town settings. There’s something so cozy about everyone knowing everyone else. That kind of enmeshing in a person’s life can lead to some great comedic moments.

Unfortunately, Some Like It Scottish lacked a lot of that small town humor. The side characters were grating instead of charming. They only warmed up to the heroine once she’d “proven herself” by cooking for Ramsey’s family and cleaning their home. Hostile small towns belong in murder mysteries, not romance novels.

So many parts of this book baffled me that I don’t even know where to begin. Several times I had to check the publication date (July 2015) and remind myself that this was set in modern times. For example, there were at least two times where Ramsey went out of his way to “frighten” the heroine in a sexual context. His POV clearly stated that he wanted to scare her away from him by doing so. Buddy, what the fuck? It’s 2015, why are we scaring women by cornering them in their rooms and rubbing up on them? Why is that your intention, Ramsey?

It’s one thing if it’s a misunderstanding, but this was deliberate on the hero’s part.

And maybe it’s because I’m a child of the 90s or maybe it’s because I grew up in a blue state, but some of the descriptions of the men in this novel rubbed me the wrong way. They’re even referred to as “dogs” at one point and it’s not cute. It’s all very “boys will be boys” and “real men do this” and “real men take charge” and constant hints about how the men of the village can’t control themselves and are possessive of the newcomers. We get it Patience, the Scots like to fuck and the women are there to be fucked.

Most of the problems I had with this book had everything to do with how it peddled backwards views and very little to do with the writing. Overall, the writing was good. I was just incapable of connecting with either the hero or the heroine. In the novel the heroine is 26 and it was published in 2015. That would make her a year or two older than me and instead it felt like we were culturally eons away from each other.

Like, if a family invited me over for dinner and then made me “earn my keep” I’d fuck right off into the woods. The behavior from some of the extended family was so incredibly rude and none of it made any sense to be honest. At least, not in this day and age.

The only gripe I have with the writing is that the sex scenes seemed unnecessary and unbelievable. I think this book would have been improved if it all faded to black which, to be frank, is something you’ll normally never hear me say. All this talk about passion and how each time they made love they got closer and I saw none of that on the page. Each time was the same or close to the same as the last. The only thing that changed was the location. All that read very “Insert Tab A into Slot B”

All in all, I’d give Some Like It Scottish by Patience Griffin three stars out of five. She does a good job with crafting a story and the stakes felt very high for the characters. My enjoyment of the book was only hindered by the mindsets of literally all the characters on the page, heroine included.

The next book I’m reading is another gift (by the same friend) and that one’s about dragons. I’ve never read a dragon romance or whatever they’re called so this should be very interesting.