Dear Bitches, Smart Authors Podcast

65. When The Ending Goes South, and What We’re Reading

Sarah and Jane answer a letter from Sue who asked how we grade a book when the book is awesome right up until the ending, and then the ending is terrible. Plus, we discuss what books we're currently reading.

Here are the books we discussed in this podcast: 

Book Love Overdue - Pamela Morsi Book The Sum of All Kisses  - Julia Quinn Book Gifts of Honor / Starting from Scratch - Stacy Gail

Book World After Susan Ee Book Angel Fall Susan Ee Book Unrestrained Joey W. Hill

Book Sweet Home - Tilly Cole Book Falling for the Marine Book Love a Little Sideways - Shannon Stacey



Book RISKYThis podcast is brought to you by InterMix, publisher of Jo Davis’s RISKY, second in the new, can’t-miss, choose-your-own-hero romance series, available for download November 19th!  

TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVERS is a gripping and sexy romance trilogy with a unique twist: Our heroine needs your help to decide who wins her heart…RISKY is the second novella in this sizzling new series, in which two enticing men will vie for Anna’s heart—culminating in a choice that will be determined by reader vote!

Still hurting badly from Grayson Sloan’s betrayal, Anna Claire meets Joaquin Delacruz—and she is completely won over by the wealthy and sophisticated casino mogul. Joaquin is like no one else she’s ever known—insanely sexy, passionate. . .and extremely dangerous.

Joaquin’s fortune is built on crime; but unlike Gray, he hides absolutely nothing from her. Soon she finds herself ensnared in the web of a powerful, magnetic man who can’t—and won’t—promise her forever.

But Joaquin is used to getting what he wants, and he wants Anna. He is even starting to dream of going legit and living a normal life, with Anna by his side. That is, if Anna's ex, the FBI agent who is his most hated enemy, doesn't get in his way. . .

Pick a lover for heroine Anna in Jo Davis’s new romance series, TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVERS! You’ve met Grayson. Download RISKY now to meet Joaquin. 




This week's music was provided by Sassy Outwater, and this track is called “Dragons,” by Parisian group Caravan Palace. You can find their album, “Caravan Palace,” on iTunes, and you can find the band on MySpace and Facebook.

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  1. 1
    Miranda says:

    My #1 ‘awesome until the end’ book would be The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. I practically ran into walls by reading that book while walking, then the end was all WTF?

  2. 2
    Heather S says:

    I read “Love Overdue”… and it was AWFUL. The cover and cover blurb convinced me to buy it, but when I sat down to read it, it was all things morbid, depressing, and miserable. The heroine was one of those “everyone in town rallies around her and loves her, even though she’d just moved there” types, and the “big romance” we’re supposed to believe in started with a drunken one night stand (of course), leaving both convinced it’s True LURV. Don’t get me started on the heroine’s frumpy clothing choices, but most of all: the hero’s mother. Just NO. DEPRESSING. I was so turned off that I will never read another Pamela Morsi book.

  3. 3
    kkw says:

    OMG I just read that Morsi book and there are no words for how I hated it. I hated it all along. It’s not like it was great up until the ending. It was just no, no, fuck no, how are you going to justify, no, uh-uh, oh no you *didn’t*
    There is an unconscionable amount of time devoted to the topic of suicide, and I don’t suppose it’s possible to make me care about the wheat harvest, particularly when it is in no way relevant to character development or plot. And that dog, god, don’t get me started on the dog. It makes plot moppets look respectable. And the mom hires the PI but doesn’t know that the heroine is the One from That Night but still just knows via the online posted resume that this is the woman for her son? Sure. What?
    But mostly, why, why would a woman decide to pick up a guy for a one night stand, do so, have the best sex evah, better sex than the universe has ever known, and then wake up in the morning so overwhelmed with shame about having had the wonderful experience she had actively sought that she sneaks off and hides and flagellates herself for nearly a decade? Why? Why?!
    Ok, turquoise plastic heels are embarrassing, but it was probably the nineties, that shit happened. Who cares?
    And the ex-wife. And the autistic dude. And the PTSD dude. And the cheerleader. Ok, so the one dimensionality of the characters pretty much sums it up, but each one is like a small explosion of whatthefuckery in my brain. My anger cannot be condensed.
    It’s not bad writing, although it would have been great if an editor had taken a pass at it. It didn’t have to be this bad. Really. I can’t point to a single good thing about it but I put off dinner because I just couldn’t believe it wasn’t going to redeem itself, I really really really wanted to like it.

  4. 4
    Ellie says:

    I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one to experience BOOKRAGE!!!™ at the end of love overdue.  It was like she just said, “Meh. I’m tired of writing this shit. Gonna fast forward and call it done.”

  5. 5
    library addict says:

    I’m pretty sure Jane talked about the bad football book in one of the previous podcasts. Either that or I’ve reached the point where I hear both of your voices when I read reviews you’ve written so clearly that I remberer what you wrote as if it were spoken. Because I remember Jane talking about it.

    I know I have end of book rage before. But I am blanking on titles so I guess I have successfully blocked them out. 

  6. 6
    L. says:

    My bookrage has to do with an old, old romance. The kind of old romance where the H/h hold hands and that’s as racy as it gets. She’s a poor orphan. He’s landed gentry whose social status is so above her (and he won’t let her forget it). The whole book is their struggle to be together. Finally the landed gentry dude gets off his high horse and decides not to care what society thinks of his love for the poor orphan girl.

    Then literally five pages from the end poor orphan girl is stabbed and she dies.

  7. 7
    Heather S says:

    KKW – I know, RIGHT?! I tried to warn you. Was that book not incredibly depressing? I was hoping for “bubbly small-town librarian romance”, but ended up getting gruesome suicide description, character dwelling on suicide pretty much the whole book, and a whole bunch of WTFery. I mean, what the heck happened with the biyotchy librarian? She just disappeared! “Love Overdue” didn’t hit as many of my RAGE Buttons ™ as “Temptation and Twlight” by Charlotte Featherstone (home of a truly intolerable and unforgivable excuse for an Alphole “hero”), but the packaging was GROSSLY misleading about the contents.

  8. 8
    JMM says:

    I was so annoyed by a “Second Chance at Love” book. (I know, that’s an old line) in which the heroine decided at the LAST MINUTE (Well, on the last page) that yes, she WOULD have a baby since the hero didn’t have any. (She had FOUR kids already, from late teens to a nine year old). All the angst over the fact that she was older; she’d already had her children and was done with babies – and poof!

  9. 9
    Heather S says:


    I was like that over “Baby Proof” by Emily Giffin. Childfree couple splits because husband decides he wants kids after all, wife doesn’t, they divorce, he gets new girlfriend, then, at the end, heroine decides that she’ll consider having kids if it will mean she gets her husband back. Basically, this heroine compromises what she wants and what she knows about herself in order to make someone else happy. As a childfree woman myself, this offends me, because it portrays childfree people as just needing to “find the right person” in order to have the desire to reproduce. The fact is, no matter how you cut it, you can’t compromise on something like having kids. You either have them or you don’t, and once you have them, that’s it. Done deal. You can’t take it back (or stuff them back in and ask for a refund) if you hate parenting or get sick of the kid.

  10. 10
    Vicki says:

    Btw. Dancing in the Moonlight by Raeanne Thayne has a amputee heroine who lost a leg in, I think, Afghanistan.

  11. 11
    Tabs says:

    The only book I have ever given a one-star rating on goodreads is one of Nora Robert’s suspense books that biffed the ending in the the last five pages.  LAST FIVE PAGES. 

    I enjoyed the book.  It was fine.  The suspense plot was solved.  The romance had reached the HEA point.  And then… PSYCH! Suspense plot wasn’t really solved!  Hah!  Take that!!

    I’ve read a number of her suspense books both before and after that one and haven’t seen it happen again.  But oooh it still burns me.

  12. 12
    kkw says:

    @Heather S – I know, I know, and I appreciate the warnings but it never does any good. It’s like when the milk has gone off – why can’t I just agree it’s off, why do I always have to smell it myself? Why am I then surprised that it smells so bad?
    I have apparently made a lifelong commitment to bad choices.
    I guess I need a little toto dog to save me from myself. I’m still angry about that dog. There may be a book rant coming on.

  13. 13
    Jo says:

    The epilogue to Mockinjay, I pretend it doesn’t exist that way I don’t feel all ragey whenever I think of the book.

  14. 14
    SB Sarah says:

    @JMM – I hate that. I read that book (or one like it) and the OMGWANTBABIEZNOW at the end made me so irritated.

    It’s amazing how a really bad ending to a book sticks with you, isn’t it? Jane’s totally right – that’s the “last”ing impression you have of the book. True for me, too.

  15. 15
    Lisa says:

    I get emo-tingles too! Happy to know someone else does too.

  16. 16

    Great podcast!

    The book with the female disabled war vet you were talking about is DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT by Raeanne Thayne.  It is a wonderful book!

    It is still free on Amazon:

    and At B&N:

  17. 17
    Sue says:

    This is my letter! I’m downloading it right now, and I’m soexcitedsoexcitedsoexcited!

    @Heather S and @kkw, I agree about the suicide subplot and the mother character! It’s probably why I felt ultra betrayed. It’s like, I rolled with the suicide plot! I rolled with her weird matchmakery motives! I did all this because I thought I would be justly rewarded by the ending and I so wasn’t. I didn’t write this in my letter because a) it would have made the letter too long and b) I was afraid it would get too spoilery.

    I did like the book, probably because Reunited Lovers and Frumpy Librarian are two of my favorite tropes and I can’t help how they are like catnip to me. Just… the ending. So cruel.

  18. 18
    Sue says:

    AND ALSO: it is TOTALLY Reader Blue Balls! IT IS! (And now, dear men in my life, I see how painful blue balls must actually be. Snerk.)

  19. 19
    Aly says:

    I really hate it when a book is really good and then has a terrible ending. I feel so cheated!

    It’s easier to forgive a bad beginning than a bad ending. Bad endings are like big buckets of water dumped all over the book, turning its pages into mush.

  20. 20
    Claire says:

    Skies of Gold, by Zoe Archer, is a steampunk romance that features a heroine who lost part of her leg in a bombing. It’s the last book in her Ether Chronicles series, but you can read it first (like I did!) without spoiling the rest of the series or feeling lost in the world.

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