Review: The Evolution of Ivy: Poison

Review: The Evolution of Ivy: PoisonThe Evolution of Ivy: Poison Series: The Evolution of Ivy #1
January 30, 2017
Genres: Psychological, Sociology
Pages: 287
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

They won't recognize the new me.

But they know the old me well—the me she harmed, and the me he loved.

She thinks she has him. But I'm going to take him back.

He thinks she's the one. But I'm going to show him he's wrong.

I thought it was over. But now I have a chance.

The Evolution of Ivy: Poison blipped onto my radar because of the blurb. I mean, read it, chick sounds devious, vengeful and determined. I love that kind of shit. I like taking a peek into the heads of crazy people.

Ivy is that. Crazy. Devious. Vengeful. Most definitely determined. It’s not likely that you will like her. It’s not likely that you will understand the lengths in which she will go to get what she wants.

Or, at least, that’s how I came out of this read. Ivy is not really the hero in this story. There isn’t one. I finished the last page of this book basically disliking every single character. Yet, you don’t hate Ivy either. It’s a really twisted feeling. You want her to win but you know she doesn’t completely deserve to either. It’s all a lot of mindfuckery.

I don’t even know how to start to describe the story, there is just too much to giveaway and nobody likes a spoiler. The basic gist is that Ivy and Brookes were childhood friends of the closest kind. He left for a time and when he came back, Ivy had changed physically and their friendship didn’t survive it. It’s a betrayal Ivy has carried with her forever and now she’s in a position to enact some revenge.

The thing is…it’s hard to get behind exactly who she wants her wrath to fall on. It’s not Brookes but, in my eyes, he’s the one who had stabbed her with the sharpest knife. Again, it’s a bit of mindfuckery, your feelings reading this book are all over the place. Something I really didn’t mind, at all. You question a lot of the motives and feelings of the characters and I appreciate that so much.

One issue I had was with was the pacing. There were a few times the story fell off for me, it’s awfully slow at times. Another issue – there is one strange side story unraveling that I don’t fully understand it’s purpose. It threw me off track. I’m sure it gets explored more in the next book and hopefully it’s placement will become clear at that point.

Final thought – it’s not a bad debut. Campbell shows some promise as an author with a great imagination and a twisted sense of portraying right and wrong. I’ll absolutely be picking up the next book, I just won’t really be biting my nails in anticipation.


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Behind the Cover Story: End of Eden by S.L. Jennings

by S.L. Jennings
Also by this author:

Behind the Cover Story is a cover reveal with an exclusive guest post from the author about said cover. Maybe, it’s an explanation of how they came up with the concept. Maybe, it’s how they found their model. Maybe, it’s more than that.

 

 

I thought I knew what Hell was like.
I thought I had been living it all these years on Earth—abandoned, forgotten, and left with a dangerous secret that not only made me the Se7en’s #1 target, but also turned me into a deadly weapon, a threat to every human in my path.
I was wrong.

In order to survive Lucifer’s plans for me, and his unquenchable thirst for more power, I have to surrender my humanity. I have to lose a part of myself in order to find my way back to him.
Back to the demon who saved me, only to break me.
Back to Legion.

But even supreme evil has its limits, and the real foes never show their devastatingly beautiful faces.
Forget fire and brimstone. They aren’t shit compared to what’s coming.

Centuries-old bonds will be broken. Unlikely alliances will be forged. And innocent blood will be spilled. Blood that will stain my hands for the rest of my mortal days.

I thought I knew what Hell was like.
I was wrong.
Hell is coming.
Hell is just the beginning.

 

~ Guest Post ~

 

When I started kicking around the idea for the Se7en Sinners Series, I knew that the covers needed to be hot, sexy, and deliciously dark. The series is paranormal romance/urban fantasy, so I wanted to capture that supernatural vibe, while also making it appealing for readers who don’t usually gravitate to that genre.

With my last few books, I had gotten into showcasing local talent on my covers—models, artists, and photographers—and reached out to my friend, Kristina Lowe, a badass makeup pro who works with a ton of beauty industry professionals. She and her business partner, Courtney, also have their own business, Maud, which is a collective of some of the best talent in Spokane. And since Kristina was one of the first people I confided in while brainstorming Born Sinner, it’s no wonder that the main character, Eden, had begun to look very similar to her.

Eden, our heroine in the Se7en Sinners Series, is an edgy, silver-haired, tough-as-nails chick from South Side, Chicago. Her life hasn’t been easy. Actually, it’s been downright shitty. So I wanted to capture that rawness…that tormented vulnerability. I wanted her to be a normal, relatable young woman. Kristina was seriously meant to be Eden. Her hair was already silver, she has dark brown eyes, plus she’s been blessed with curves for days. We enlisted the help of Mika Reyes Photography, an amazing local photographer and fellow military wife, and with Maud on hair and makeup, we brought Eden to life!

But it didn’t stop there. As we were creating Eden, I realized that the cover for End of Eden wouldn’t match the cover for Born Sinner, which was released in August 2016. But lucky for us, Kristina had the perfect L…at home. Her husband, Steven, who had just gotten home from deployment, made his modeling debut and totally nailed it! Maud painted on his tattoos, darkened his hair (he’s a blonde), and turned their studio into a set. Because Kristina and Susan (the photographer) had read Born Sinner, they knew exactly how to breathe life into the shoot. Plus, with husband and wife as the models, we were able to capture that natural, raw chemistry. I didn’t even attend the second part of the shoot so it would be that much more intimate.

After the photo shoot, the amazing Hang Le did her thing, and created cover gold. She also designed the Se7en tattoo on L’s chest, as well as the feathered title font. When she sent them to me, I was blown away. They were exactly how I had imagined: hot, sexy, and hot damn dark! And, they’re even more precious to me because they were truly a labor of love for my friends and me. It became a personal project that we all cared deeply about. I hope that love and intimacy translates for readers as well.

 

Add End of Eden to Your TBR

 

~ Where it all Started ~

 

Twenty-two years ago, I was cut from a cold, sodden womb, and cradled in the filth and poverty of Chicago’s concrete arms. Statistically, I wasn’t supposed to survive these streets past the age of eighteen.

Fate had a different plan.

I was bred for one purpose and one purpose only: to unleash death and destruction on my world.

My thoughts are power.

My words are weapons.

Evil created me then grace tried to save me. But first…it tried to kill me.

They call themselves the Se7en. They are sin and salvation, and everything we’ve feared from the beginning of time. And their leader is the deadliest of them all.

They don’t lose.

They don’t compromise.

And most importantly, they don’t distract themselves with mortal weakness.

Not until me.

Kill one to save a million.

That’s what he told me when he took me as his prisoner.

Kill one to save a million.

That’s what he’s been trying to tell himself ever since he took me into his arms.

Book Links: Kindle US | Paperback

 

 

About S.L. Jennings

S.L. Jennings is a military wife, mom of three, coffee addict, Willy Wonka enthusiast, and real-life unicorn. She’s also the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of Ink and Lies, Taint, Fear of Falling, The Dark Light Series, along with a few other titles that she’s too lazy to type. She’s been with her high school sweetheart for almost 18 years, and he still can’t get her Subway sandwich order right. But he’s cute and brings her vodka, so she keeps him around. They currently reside in Spokane, WA with their three stinky boys and their equally stinky, asshole cat.

The Jennings fam has lived overseas in Germany most of their lives, which is where S.L. penned her very first book, Dark Light. She was having a quarter life crisis, and since she has a background in music and even had a recording contract in her teenage years, writing seemed like a natural progression. Five years later, she’s still at it and still in crisis. Her family doesn’t have the heart to tell her that she’s actually just crazy.


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Review: The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

Review: The Possessions by Sara Flannery MurphyThe Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy
Published by Harper Collins February 7, 2017
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances

In an unnamed city, Eurydice works for the Elysian Society, a private service that allows grieving clients to reconnect with lost loved ones. She and her fellow workers, known as “bodies“, wear the discarded belongings of the dead and swallow pills called lotuses to summon their spirits—numbing their own minds and losing themselves in the process. Edie has been a body at the Elysian Society for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses’ anesthetic effects and distances herself from making personal connections with her clients.

But when Edie channels Sylvia, the dead wife of recent widower Patrick Braddock, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the murky circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s drowning, Edie breaks her own rules and pursues Patrick, moving deeper into his life and summoning Sylvia outside the Elysian Society’s walls.

After years of hiding beneath the lotuses’ dulling effect, Edie discovers that the lines between her own desires and those of Sylvia have begun to blur, and takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly, she finds her quiet life unraveling as she grapples not only with Sylvia’s growing influence and the questions surrounding her death, but with her own long-buried secrets.

A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.

After I finished reading The Possessions, I had to use my Phone a Friend to discuss the genre labeling. I’ve seen some call it a romantic thriller, but I wouldn’t call it that. I’ve seen some call it a fantasy, it is in a sense, but that didn’t seem quite fitting either. We settled on psychological thriller. It’s absolutely got the psychological part down, the thriller part is there but slightly more understated.

In fact, so much of this book is written in an understated way. More on that in a minute, first let’s get to the housekeeping bit.

Edie spends her days as other people. She channels them for money, with the help of a little white pill. She never remembers the experiences, it’s as if she falls asleep for awhile as a deceased spirit takes over her body. Then she wakes as herself again. Herself, however, isn’t much of a person. She rarely socializes with others, she has more possessions belonging to dead people than she has of her own. She moves through her day always waiting to escape herself and become someone else. Someone dead.

She looks at me as if I’m the invading spirit in her child’s body.

Edie is very good at moving through her life in a systematic and cold way. She has to be in order to avoid a past she won’t discuss and does not want to remember. Patrick, a new client, makes that all the more difficult. He’s hired her to channel his wife who’s death is surrounded by questions. Edie immediately feels a connection, but that connection is more with Sylvia, the dead wife, than with Patrick – the man she believes she’s falling in love with.

The Possessions introduces an interesting and thought provoking plot. If you could, would you want to contact a deceased love one? To what end or purpose? Is it healing or does it draw out the process of grief? All of these things are touched on in this tale. But one other thing is, as well. If a spirit could inhabit your body for a short period of time, could they do it for longer? Would they ever want to leave it?

For a crooked second, Sylvia is in the room with me. A drowned specter, white skin peeling away like fruit rind, eyelids eaten into filigree by the fish.

For Edie and Sylvia, that’s the key question, as Sylvia becomes more and more a part of Edie and Edie is all too willing to let her stay. To be her. The more time she spends as Sylvia, with Patrick, the more she digs in to Sylvia’s life…and her death. A search that eventually uncovers everyone’s secrets, including her own. 

Back to that understated part. Murphy wrote this book with a slow pace that still keeps you excited enough to turn the page. It’s written with a creepiness that’s indirect, I guess would be the word for it. It’s not blatant on the page. You feel like you are reading normal, every day thoughts of a lonely and quiet woman, until she thinks of wanting to slide her fingernail under skin and peel it all away. Then it’s right back to a sense of quiet normalcy.

It’s a strange read, very different than anything I’ve read in quite a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did wish the end had been a bit stronger, but it felt genuine to Edie’s character, so I won’t give it too much flack. It’s a solid start to Murphy’s career and I’ll be watching for more from her. 

 


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Review: Anti Stepbrother by Tijan

Review: Anti Stepbrother by TijanAnti Stepbrother by Tijan
August 21, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 321
Format: Audio, eBook
Source: Purchased
Length: 10 hours 26 minutes

He told me to settle.
He asked what was wrong with me.
He called me an easy target.
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

*Stand-alone novel

Where has CADEN BANKS been my entire life?!

Or more importantly why have I waited so long to read a title from TIJAN?!

I picked up AS shortly after its release in August for my reading preparation for the Mile High Author Event last year and I seriously FELL IN LOVE, madly in love with this book.  I’ve learned after quite a bit of trial and error that I love brooding heroes, quirky heroines, college romances, and somewhat realistic situations… Well this book had it all!  And I can’t go without mentioning that there was a Gilmore Girls’ reference which basically sealed the deal for me.

So with my growing obsession of audiobooks I seriously was on pins and needles waiting for the audio to release and it did not disappoint.  November 15th was marked on my calendar and as soon as the day came I listened all day and fell even more in love with Summer and Caden then I even thought possible.

Bailey Carr and Vikas Adam performed this story perfectly!

Summer Stoltz has this festering crush on her stepbrother Kevin and now that they are in college together she finally thinks its her chance… until she meets Caden Banks the big asshole.  But as time passes and her what begins as an accidental run in with Caden, who also happens to be Kevins fraternity brother, turns into a friendship that no one expected it becomes harder to see him as the  asshole she initially judged him as.

Summer and Caden develop this easy routine where they fall in line with one another and it felt like watching two magnets connect without any fuss.  I adored that so much of the book was spent exploring their friendship and adjusting to each others needs and then wanting to insert themselves into one anothers lives.

And once feelings are recognized is it only one sided?  What if the want for more than a friendship isn’t reciprocated?  All the unknowns surely can drive a person crazy.

Then the plot turned a bit more serious than I expected and for me this either goes one of two ways: it crashes and burns or it is the greatest thing to ever happen.  Since I want to give this book a million stars I am sure you can guess which direction it went.

Perfection, I don’t know what else to say about this book other than it was perfectly timed and executed.  In fear of ruining it with spoilers I will say whether you read the ebook, paperback, or listen to the audio the book translates well in any case!  One more thing, CHAPTER 35, chapter fucking 35.  Seriously I don’t want to admit how many times I’ve listened/read that specific chapter but I will say that it is in the double digits. 

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Review: Unhinge by Calia Read

Review: Unhinge by Calia ReadUnhinge Published by Ballantine Books Genres: Romantic Suspense, Suspense
Pages: 401
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Hold your breath and count to ten. Soon it will be over before it ever began.

No matter how many times Victoria Donovan repeats that phrase to herself, she’s still trapped behind the walls of a mental institution. Once upon a time, her life was like a fantasy: Wes, the handsome fiancé, followed by a storybook wedding and a white picket fence. But then a picture-perfect marriage twisted into something sinister. And as Victoria’s world warped from dream to nightmare, her husband’s obsessions pushed her beyond the breaking point.

At first Fairfax Mental Health Institute seems like a safe place for Victoria to heal with her baby, Evelyn, and to hide from Wes, presumed dead by everyone except Victoria. Her husband is still alive, she has no doubt: He slips into her room at night to torment and tempt her. One smoldering kiss and she’s powerless. Of course, no one believes her about these visits. When she meets a sexy, mysterious stranger intent on helping her recall her past, Victoria isn’t sure she can trust him. But deep in her heart, she also knows that the only way out of Fairfax is to remember the way she came in.

I finished Unhinge by Calia Read about two months ago and that woman knows how to fuck your mind a thousand ways till Sunday and leave you with your jaw hanging on the ground. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Okay this is only my second title from her but both times I have been completely flabbergasted!

Never am I ever able to predict anything that happens in her books, I drive myself half insane trying to come up with scenarios that all end up being wrong.

Pretend Mommy had me super intrigued since Unravel and whoa… whoa… whoa…

Victoria whether she be the villain or the victim her story is one that kept me on the edge of my seat! I’ve said this before but just to drive my point home, Calia Read is one of the most descriptive writers I have ever read from. She describes without over indulging in needless details but the picture she paints is vivid and vast. I can see everything playing out in my mind from the garden Victoria has grown to the master bedroom she shares with her husband.

Pretend Mommy, Victoria, is a character we were introduced to in Unravel as mentioned but we know from the start of her story she is already “crazy” seeing as she is in Fairfax to begin with. So with that knowledge it’s hard to believe that she really isn’t crazy and I mean her nickname is Pretend Mommy.  This is one of the reasons I am basically bald after reading Calia Reads books because for the life of me I cannot predict anything, she is just that damn good! 

Carrying on with Victoria she has no knowledge of how she ended up in a crazy facility or why she is there… her only memories are of her husband and even those are extra spotty. Wes seems to be the perfect husband who gives Victoria the entire world and they live this perfectly polished life until the subject of children is brought up.  It definitely adds in some kinks to what seems to perfect when they become reproductively challenged.  Their days become longer, nights turn colder, touches no longer linger and they can’t seem to find their way back to what once was.  

Then… it all makes sense and my mind is FUCKED! I had to keep reading the same parts over and over not because anything was wrong  with it but because I just couldn’t believe what happened like how did she pull all that off right under my nose.  Bam, bam, and bam freaking damn genius Calia Read is.  

If you like/love suspense you NEED to read this!~

 


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Review: The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders

Review: The Unwanted Wife by Natasha AndersThe Unwanted Wife Series: The Unwanted Series #1
Published by Montlake Romance March 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 249
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

No one had ever looked at her and seen perfection—until now.

Delicate, titian-haired Theresa Noble has met her father’s associates in the past, but the gorgeous, Italian-born Sandro De Lucci leaves her speechless. Eighteen months into their marriage, however, Sandro has turned to ice. Desperate to escape a relationship that has proven to be as stubbornly passionate as it is cold and hateful, Theresa summons up the courage to ask for a divorce. But before he’ll grant her request, Sandro demands something from Theresa: a son.

The stalemate sickens her. Never mind that Sandro has yet to introduce Theresa to the large family that means so much to him. Or that Theresa overhears her husband on the phone with a mystery woman. Most damning is that Theresa senses, in Sandro’s treatment of her, the behind-the-scenes machinations of Jackson Noble, her cruel father. From the depths of her anxiety, Theresa must seek an empowering truth about the husband who calls her, with such cold affection, his cara, his beloved.

Revised edition: This edition of The Unwanted Wife includes editorial revisions.

For days and days, Debbie was telling the rest of us that we needed to read this book. She specifically told me that it gave her similar feels to Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn, a book I really enjoyed and cried at while reading. Something I just don’t do often. Well, I picked it up and she was absolutely right. It broke my heart in much the same manner.

Theresa married Sandro for love. What she didn’t realize was that he did not have the same motives for marrying her. While his cold demeanor towards her surfaced rather quickly, it took her a year and a half to finally realize that she is more than the nuisance Sandro treats her as. In their shared bed, he’s an attentive and giving lover. Outside the bedroom, he wants little to nothing to do with her. When she gets the courage to ask for a divorce, he gives her one condition. She can have her divorce, after she gives him a son. Now she must navigate a life with no purpose aside from being a brood mare and an unwanted wife to the man she once loved. 

Theresa is somewhat of a doormat, but when you get her history, you understand why. Normally, I am not so much a fan of this type of character but it works perfectly for this story and you do see her will to fight for herself.

Sandro, on the other hand, starts the story off as such a dickhead. You do eventually get an understanding of why he acts as he does, though there were still times that I was not very sympathetic to his plight. He does come through at pivotal times. I think I would have enjoyed an occasional trample through his brain, however.

I was on the verge of tears from start to finish, while reading this book. You cannot avoid feeling for Theresa. It’s such a depressing existence and Anders writes it in a way that each time you think there might be a little relief for your heart, you’re wrong. A new barb gets thrown and you are right back to feeling the sadness. I never, actually, cried but my eyes were welling with tears for much of the story. Which, I could not put down. Reading this over the holiday was a bad idea, I was ready to kick all my family out of my house so I could get back to reading.

I think Anders has cemented herself as one of my go to authors when I’m in need of some super-angsty-all-the-feels type reads. Well done.


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Some book trends, practices and tropes are timeless, but others we’re happy to see disappear. Here are some trends in our indie community we hope to say good-bye in 2017.

Click Baiting    

Dear Click Baiters,
Fuck you.

Sincerely,
The Rest of The World.

No, but seriously. Why. For the love of all things holy, WHY. If you’re a blogger, I get that you want people to click your link and buy shit off of them. But, you have fans on your page, and it is seriously the biggest fuck you to them when you click bait with all of your “Oh Em Gee! This book ROCKED MY WORLD! Click here to find out what I’m talking about!” ‘s but never give the book’s title or author. Just don’t. Tell your damn followers specifically what book you’re spazzing about. And if you’re good at blogging, and can say more than “OH MY GOD” with a million explanation points, they will click the link. I promise. They will. So please just do us a favor and tell us the title and author and stop the click baiting, you dicks.

Step Everything Books  We feel like this was a trend that really took off in 2015 and unfortunately decided to continue in 2016. Don’t we have enough step brother, sister, father, mother, cousin, uncle or aunt twice removed romance books out there? Can we PLEASE move on to a different taboo? This trope is played out. Move on, please

Woe is Me SyndromeIs anyone else tired of seeing all the “Woe is me” FB statuses, tweets and posts? Woe is me I made USA Today but not NYT. Woe is me people aren’t seeing my FB posts. Woe is me I bought so many books last week that I can’t buy anymore till payday. Woe is me I have 400 5-Star reviews but this one 2-Star review will ruin my career.  Thousands of innocent people are dying around the world. A reality television star was elected President of the United States. There are thousands of homeless people living on the streets. People are fighting cancer and other deadly diseases. There are bigger issues other than being on top or the most popular. If you step back and take a look at the big picture, your life doesn’t suck if you’re still able to do your dream job, have a roof over your head, food on the table and fans who will continue to buy your books.

Photographers Hiring “Models” from the gym or GNC – It’s been said before, but it could be said again: JUST BECAUSE HE HAS MUSCLES AND TATTOOS DOES NOT MAKE HIM A MODEL! Yep, we called out the shouty caps on that one. We won’t even apologize for it. Models should be photogenic, they should look good in all kinds of situations and from many angles. They should even be able to make the most awkward of situations, say standing in a bathtub – wearing a cowboy hat – holding a towel over their junk, look like an excellent idea. It may appear to be an easy job, but it’s not. We’d love to see a tad (by tad we mean heaps) more discrimination. We get it, “hot” is subjective, yada yada yada…but let’s be honest, some of the cover photos we’ve seen pop up the past couple of years are just plain silly. And before you go commenting with things like “Hey, they are really nice guys!” – we aren’t saying they are douchebags. Well, not all. We’re simply stating that cover models should be able to actually model.

Models Turned “Authors” – While we’re on the topic on male models, lets talk about models turned authors. Now, we’re not saying dudes can’t write romance, but it’s a little suspect seeing a model all of a sudden become an author. To us, it feels like they’re trying to tap into a market that they have no business in and are only in it for dolla, dolla bills y’all. They aren’t writers and have probably never read a romance book before jumping into the indie book modeling business. To us, you’re exploiting the women that find you attractive for money. We see what you’re doing and we’re not fans of it. And keep your shirts down, too. Your abs have nothing to do with how well you can construct a story, and if you want people to take you serious as an author, write more and flaunt less you silly little peacocks.

Authors Who Write for Sales Figures and Not Their Art All the books we have loved for more than a hot minute, are books that were written with thought and with a labor of love. This trend of thin plot, thick sex bullshit, in our minds, degrades the romance genre as a whole. It plays into the “mommy porn” stereotype. Yeah, great, you are making a quick buck – pumping out ‘book’ after ‘book’. Good for you. But at what cost? Really? We won’t call it art, we probably won’t call you authors either.

Violence, rape, etc… – All four of us have enjoyed Dark Romance reads in the past. But, it is really beginning to feel like a competition between authors on who can come up with the most degradable and horrific situation to put their heroine in. Or hero, as the case may be. Do some stories call for violence? Yes, absolutely. Is it necessary for your girl to be raped and beaten repeatedly throughout the book? Maybe not. Sometimes a single incident can be more profound. Here’s to hoping for the idea of ‘less is more’ in this genre’s future.

The Celebrity Syndrome – Some of us have been around for a hot minute. Some of us knew you when you were just another struggling debut author or blogger. Some of us remember how nice and humble you were. Some of us saw your rise in the industry. Some of us saw how that changed you. Some of us think you should remember what it was like for you a few years ago. Some of us don’t really like this new you. Some of us think that it’s great you are selling more books now but aren’t sure why that turned you into a raging asshole. Some of us think that you just write book reports and kids in grade school can do that, too. Some of us think you should at least try to remain a little humble and appreciative. Some of us want less pictures of your LV bags and more about your work, please and thank you. Some of us would like to remind you that, unless TMZ is buying photos of you, you ain’t shit honey.

Reviewer Attacking – You had to know this was coming, right? We fully agree that reviews that personally attack an author are bad form. If a review says anything along the lines of this author is a horrible person and should just kill themselves, that sucks. However, if the review or rant is strictly criticizing the product, based on said reviewers opinion – it’s sort of fair game. It’s a product, just like any other. Say you go to a coffee shop and order a peppermint mocha (mmm, yummy), the barista is as cute as a fucking button with a great personality and you love her. But, when you take a sip of that minty goodness, it tastes like diarrhea drip – you have every right to say “my coffee tastes like shit and this is not what I was expecting.” It doesn’t change the fact that the barista is a great person. It doesn’t change the fact that yesterday, and probably tomorrow, she’ll make your candy cane coffee perfectly. Today though, that PRODUCT, didn’t fulfill your needs. Next time you think you need to incite a mob over a bad review, don’t make it personal by calling the reviewer a jackass. That’s making it personal. Besides, quite a lot of people buy books based on bad reviews. We’re bloggers, not promoters and not book sellers. We don’t love everything we read and that’s okay. 

The Mob Mentality The definition of a bully: noun – a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. verb – use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants. <– Got that? Therefore, when something in life isn’t going your way and instead of handling it like a big girl you post about it on Facebook, essentially opening the door for your minions to attack the source of your problem, you may be a bully.

DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA – So. Much. Drama. Get over yourselves. Also, if you constantly say you hate drama yet, it continues to find you – YOU are the drama.

 

So there you have it! For the love of books, we’re hoping these trends disappear  after this year. BUT, we do have a list of things we’d love to see more of in the coming years.

 

Single Dads We love them and we’d be so happy to see more. Especially if they are not just the weekend warrior types. We want the burly beasts to be in the diaper changing trenches, full time!

Good Parents – While we are on the subject of parenting, let’s ask this question. Why are there so many bad parents in books? Let’s have some good ones, we like good parents. We ARE good parents. We want more of those. They make us warm and fuzzy!

Fantasy – There is few better experiences in the world, than a book submersing you into a fantastical land. A world of dragons or faeries or goblins or whatever your imagination comes up with. While most really good Fantasy seems to come from the YA authors, we would really enjoy seeing more adult versions too.

Underdogs – Nerds, Geeks, Beta Males. Give us a guy who flies under the radar but still manages to find a way to win the girl. Not all hot guys have to be an in your face Alpha. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good – true – Alpha. But we like options, too!

Anal – Clarification: Good and careful anal. ‘Nuf said.

Blue Collars – We would absolutely love to see more blue collar heroes. They don’t all need to be CEO’s. A lot of us readers are married to the loves or our lives and they happen to be electricians or machinists or, you know, real life jobs. More down and dirty boys, please!!

Romantic Suspense – With maybe a little bit of a heavy hand on the romance. We are all for some thrills in bed and out of it!

Quirky Heroines – This goes along with our the underdogs. Not all heroines have to be Barbie doll perfect. Our favorites tend to be the ones a little left of center.

Realistic Drama – Life is hard enough, we don’t need to add the whole bag of drama dealing chips to it.

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