When I first became a published author, I worried about reader reviews on Amazon and other sites. I’ve gotten better, but unlike some writers who say they don’t pay them any mind, I can’t help but read them. I hope to get past that one day, but right now I want to see what people like or don’t like to make sure I’m on the right track.
Over the months, as I’ve read reviews of my books and those of other authors, I’ve noticed a pattern of types of reviewers has emerged. See if you recognize any of these.
The Incomplete: These readers state the book is so bad they couldn’t finish it. Yet they wrote a review. It’s not like eating salty soup. The soup will be salty throughout, so by all means, send it back to the kitchen. But what if the book got better a third of the way through? Maybe it started slow but picked up. You might have given it a 3 or 4 instead of a 2. It’s rare that I can’t finish a book, but if I don’t, I don’t review the book. But hey, that’s just me.
The Head Scratcher: These are the ones who review a book and you wonder if they read the same book you did. Have you ever experienced that? They mention points that are missing that were included, they bash dialogue, characters, and/or plot points that weren’t even in the book. I end up scratching my head after reading one of these reviews.
The Fortune Teller: They hate books that are so predictable. They see the end coming before you do, and you wrote it! They know all the twists and turns a quarter of the way through, no matter how many detours and U-turns and roadblocks you create to throw them off. Listen, there are only so many ways you can write a secret baby plot, marriage of convenience, friends to lovers, reunited lovers, enemies to lovers, cougars, and May-December romance, etc.—in my humble opinion. By the way, they’re supposed to end up together in the end. Would you be satisfied with a mystery novel if you got to the end and the mystery was never solved? I rest my case.
The Saint: These are the ones who give a book a low rating because of some personal reason. They often don’t even finish the books, thus making them a combo reviewer, which in this case would be an Incomplete Saint. To them I’d like to ask, umm…you’re shocked it’s an M/M romance? How’d you miss the two men on the cover or the names Damon and Harrison in the blurb? You do know when a naked woman on the cover is gagged and blindfolded, bound by ropes, attached to a spreader bar, surrounded by five half-naked men and the title is Breaking Bettie that the content will be graphic and erotic and not sweet romance, right? Oh, right, you didn’t. That’s why you gave the author a 1 out of 5.
The Simon Cowell (aka The Book Snob): They’ve never read a book they really, really like, and we should be filled with gratitude if they deign to bless us with a 3 out of 5. They’ve created their own rating system, and a 3 is top honor. They bandy about terms like characterization, goal, motivation, and conflict. One would think they’d worked in a literary agency or publishing house in New York. Not so. They’re simply more knowledgeable about the writing process than we are, and we’re lucky to have them critique our work.
The Emotional Reader: They write essays about the book because they are emotionally connected to a character or characters. You wrote the type of plot they like to read. They feel deeply. Exclamation points, italics, and bolded words are scattered throughout their review. The review is almost as long as the story itself and filled with passionate prose for their love of the writer’s work. They simply loved it.
I know what you’re wondering. Which one are you, Delaney? Well, just call me the Emotional Saint. First of all, if I don’t like a book, you’ll never know, because I don’t write reviews for books I don’t like. If I can’t give a book at least a 3 to show I liked it, I don’t even bother.
I’ve been caught off guard in the past by the content in some books (The Saint), but for the most part, I can usually tell if a book is the kind that I’d like to read. If my chest tightens, my scalp tingles, or the sex scenes leave me needing a cold shower, I’m going to gush like a groupie in my review. Can’t help it. It’s my way of saying thanks to the author for putting out such a high-quality product.
Okay, your turn. Which type of reviewer are you?
Coming May 20, 2011: Fight for Love
Alone in the house with Rafael, Rebekah’s pulse hammered a warning, alerting her she was at a disadvantage.
“Was there anything else you wanted to ask me?”
“We were discussing how tense you were.” His voice was dangerously low and inviting.
“And I told you, I’m not tense. I’m fine.”
“Turn around.” The words conjured erotic images of him behind her. Her body moistened at the thought of doing what he asked and lifting her bottom against his hips. “Let me give you a massage.”
“Oh.” The erotic image dissipated. “I’m fine. Really.”
“You used to like my massages.” His voice lowered even more.
Magic hands, she used to call him. Once he’d eased the tension in her shoulders and back, he would ease the aching in her loins with firm, sure strokes.
“Relax,” he said, taking matters into his own hands and turning her around so she faced the table. His long fingers began to move in a soothing motion across the knotted muscles. “You’re really tense, amada.”
The initial touch of his hands sent jolts of electricity darting across her skin. Despite his size and strength, his fingers moved gently across her shoulder blades, kneading the tight tissue with the skill of a professional masseur. Having been an athlete for years, he’d mastered the technique of manipulating the various muscles. He applied the right amount of pressure, and her eyes drifted closed. She had no choice but to let go and soften to his touch.
“That’s better,” he whispered.
The warmth exuding from him caressed her skin, making the back of her neck tingle. The slow ascension of arousal began somewhere deep inside her and climbed at a steady pace through her body.
He abandoned her shoulder to encircle one wrist and brought the back of her hand to his lips. Her eyes flew open.
The other hand slid down the length of the A-line skirt, smoothing over the roundness of her hip. She heard him take a deep breath. “Now I remember.” His voice rumbled close to her ear. “Pomegranate Orchard is the name of the scent you wear.”
“Rafe, I’ve already warned you.” She retrieved her hand with a firm twist. A pulsing awareness thrummed through her, making her breathless and needy, wanting him with every fiber of her being. She turned to face him.
Bracing a hand on either side of her, he trapped her between him and the round table. “I’m not good at following directions.”
“Keep your hands to yourself.”
“You didn’t mind a moment ago.”
“I mean it.” She didn’t sound as harsh as she wanted to.
A crooked, unconcerned smile appeared on his face. “Well, if you don’t want my hands on you,” he said, “maybe my mouth is more to your liking.”
Delaney Diamond writes sweet and sensual romance novels with multicultural characters. She loves when Emotional Readers review her books and give her a 4 or 5 star review. Head Scratchers need not apply.
Her first book in the Hot Latin Men series, The Arrangement, was an All Romance Ebooks bestseller. The second book in the series, Fight for Love, will be available May 20, 2011 at Amira Press. Read Chapter one of The Arrangement at delaneydiamond.com. Join her and the other romance lovers on Facebook.