Friday, February 10, 2006

Can These Authors Be Saved?

Jane Feather - Quick question: how the hell did you go from VICE to ALMOST A BRIDE?

Karen Hawkins
- Your early books were incredible, but lately your books just drag. THE SEDUCTION OF SARA and THE ABDUCTION OF JULIA made me an instant fan. AND THE BRIDE WORE PLAID and LADY IN RED...well, they forced me to reconsider your auto-buy status.

Stephanie Laurens
- Seriously, LADY, how many more Cynster novels are you going to write? Follow Julia Quinn's Bridgerton lead and end it right now! Also, make sure you don't forget to add a bit of character development into your stories. That usually helps! Oh, one more thing...stories about cheating spouses and wives who just accept adultery with open arms...well, let's just say..DON'T FUCKING THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN! You're a romance novelist and I want romance, not stories tainted with syphillis-ridden coochies!

Mary Balogh
- I have nothing to say about your writing abilities because quite honestly I LOVE ALL OF YOUR BOOKS. However, I must say that I am a tad bit disappointed that your new releases are now published IN HARDCOVER every year and a half! At this rate, your new SIMPLY quartet will be done by 2010 and all the novels you are currently plotting...well, what's the point? Looks like your fans will be reading them in their graves! Outrageous! I don't know who sucks most...AVON or DELL Publishing? It's a toss up!

Suzanne Enoch
- You wrote one of my most favorite books, LONDON'S PERFECT SCOUNDREL. I will never forget the hero, Lord St. Aubyn, one of the sexiest men ever to grace the pages of a romance novel. This said..well..I have to be honest. SIN AND SENSIBILITY was IMO the worst book of 2005. I purchased your new book, AN INVITATION TO SIN, at a UBS, but I'm not even sure I want to read it, especially since AAR gave it a so-so review.

brought up an interesting point in one of her posts to me:

Have you noticed there have been a lot of reviews of Avon books that have been in the C range at AAR lately? I see a C grade, check the publisher and sure enough - Avon.

Unfortunately, it's not just AVON. Lately, a lot of European Historicals, AVON and other, (with a few exceptions, of course) are getting grades that are below average. What's the cause? Hmmm...maybe...just maybe...I may be going out on a limb here, so stay with me:

  • Lack of Character Development...check
  • Door Mat Heroines Galore...check
  • Whipped heroes who don't kick the crap out of their runaway knocked up girlfriends...check
  • Asinine Storylines...check
  • The Big Misunderstanding that can be cleared up with a simple question...check
  • The "I'm a sweet innocent little virgin and I'm going to fuck the brains out of the first hot stud I see; THEN I'm going to refuse to marry him, BUT I will continue sleeping with him" storyline...check
  • The "Ruined Debutante (never quite 'ruined') who becomes a teacher" storyline...check
  • The Virgin Widow Plot...check
  • The 1-2 year gap between books in a series...even bigger check
hmmm...deterioration of the romance genre? less than below average AAR grading? What could it be?

The authors mentioned above have a great deal of potential.

Mary Balogh is an auto-buy for me. She excels at writing intense and heartwrenching novels. However, I'm not too pleased by the fact that her new releases are now published as hardcovers for $22 a piece. In addition, I not only have to hit the pavement to buy one of her books, but I have to wait years to get'em, too. ABSURD! Her books are written and are being held hostage for a higher profit by the publishing company. SICK (and so typically AVONESQUE Devil in Winter-like of them)!

When I think of Enoch, I think of Lord St. Aubyn. He's the reason I cannot and won't give up on her just yet. He's the reason I'm so heartbroken when I read the less than stellar reviews of her new historicals (I hear her contemporaries ROCK though!).

Hawkins...I keep buying her books because I hope she'll get out of whatever funk she's in. Or maybe I'm the one in a perpetual funk? Or maybe...NOT! I still don't understand all the praise she got for AND THE BRIDE WORE PLAID from those on the AVON board. What the hell? I couldn't get past Chapter 2!

I no longer have any hope for Laurens. Laurens pissed me off royally after I read the Cynster girls' stories, ON A WILD NIGHT and ON A WICKED DAWN. BLAUGH! The heroines acted like they were 13! MORONS (I love this word!!!). I will no longer buy a Laurens' novel (and, sorry, SCANDAL'S BRIDE will not make me change my mind).

Feather? I've hated every book I've read of hers. The last one, ALMOST A BRIDE, hurt me it was so boring! Can she be redeemed? If you were to ask a true Feather fan, the answer would be a resounding YES. They have one book in mind: VICE. I haven't read it...decided to give it a try this weekend, but I keep on hearing it is one of her best novels.

***Luckily, my UBS doesn't discriminate. I know that, even if the book is worse than my 5th grade essay on the history of the Golden Gate Bridge, they'll take it and give me store credit. So I'll keep on trying new books, new authors and then whine about it all on my blog.

Please note: I realized, after reading my post, that my comments may be construed as TOO HARSH. I don't mean to offend any authors who may or may not stumble upon my blog. You're obviously very talented; there's a reason I bought your books. However, your recent books did nothing for me - zip, zilch, nada, niente. I will continue to follow your writing progress and, for the most part, believe you capable of penning another great work.


Isabel said...

I tried reading Jane Feather, couldn't get into it.

INVITATION TO SIN- was all right. the heroine got on my nerves a bit.

Janet W. said...

I want to put your blog on billboards all over romance land: I adored earlier books by all the authors you've mentioned (and you WILL adore Vice or we're gonna have words). But talk about letting down their fans! Keep up the good work!

romancelover said...

Well, Janet...I started it a few minutes ago...I have a steaming cup of tea with lemon next to me and I decided to spend a nice evening at home, just relaxing and reading. I finished the prologue and am now reading Ch. 1. I will let you and everyone know how it goes. Anything has to be better than ALMOST A BRIDE (argh...that was sooooooo bad), right? I bought so many books today...happy and broke!