Most Addictive Characters
Caught in Amber - Cathy Pegau (Carina Press)
In Caught in Amber, Cathy Pegau takes the drama of the criminal highlife and its ugly underbelly to the future and a remote earth colony. The characters that populate this tale are the kind that sticks with you long after the read is done. From the courageous recovering addict heroine to the emotionally torn hero to the seductive drug lord, these characters come to life on the page with a richness that places the novel at the top of my recommended reading list.
Best New Post-Apocalyptic Series
The Defiance Series - Stephanie Tyler (Carina Press)
The first two books in the new Defiance series tap into the popularity of motorcycle culture and new adult heroes and heroines, pushing them into a post-apocalyptic setting. The series is built around the power struggle happening in the Defiance Motorcycle Club and the romances that complicate matters in an angsty, wonderful way for the younger generation, but the books also pull in environmental disaster and political conspiracy threads that promise a larger world to come.
Most Creative Twist on the Alien Abduction Trope
Captive (The Survival Race) - K.M Fawcett (Forever Yours)
Captive starts with the familiar premise that aliens abduct human women as breeders and from there, takes the road less traveled. The heroine is not taken to be a mate to an alien, but to breed with another captive human…on a world were humans are pets. The author fearlessly creates a world where the climate is unsuited to human life, the aliens are many-times larger than the humans, and some pets are treasured and pampered while others are forced to compete in The Survival Race—a deadly sport that few survive.
Best Call Back to Book One in a Long Running Series
True - Laurann Dohner (Ellora's Cave Publishing)
This series is published as paranormal romance, but the central premise of men and women genetically engineered for use in drug testing at a powerful pharmaceutical company lands it squarely in SciFi Romance. True is the eleventh book in this popular series and it carries on the tradition of consistent, tightly connected stories where characters overlap and everything comes back around. The author goes back to a loose thread from book one to supply the villain in this book. This series never strays far from the core romance that fans expect, played out in endless variations from book to book, and it doesn’t strive to be eloquent or thought provoking, but the tapestry of characters and internally consistent world is an accomplishment to be much admired.
Best Romantic Subplot in a SciFi Movie
Star Trek into Darkness – J.J. Abrams, Director
This award should actually go to both of the new Star Trek movies. As a fan of Star Trek in all its incarnations, the addition of the Spock-Uhura romance is one of the best things made possible by the re-boot movies. The author has done a wonderful job of weaving this relationship into the ensemble without breaking the Kirk-Spock dynamic.
About Charlee Allden
Charlee Allden is a long time fan of SciFi, love, adventure, and happily ever afters. She grew up in Florida where a huge fallen oak tree in the swampy woods near her home served as her very own Star Ship Enterprise. By day she’s a technical writer and in her spare time she pursues a variety of geek endeavors, including blogging about SFR. When the moon is full, she writes fiction. She’s a veteran of Dragon*Con, a member of Romance Writers of America©, and has a tendency to take on more projects than any sane woman would. Sanity is over rated, anyway.