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Saturday, November 12, 2011

If You Don't Like Erotic Romance...

...then why in the hell are you reading it?




Better still, why do you feel compelled to comment on how bad you think it is because of all the sex?

Just recently I stumbled onto a review site that delights in tearing apart authors in its reviews, especially erotic romance authors. I found the site because I was looking up an erotic contemporary from an author I really love. Damn, did the review tear her latest book apart. And the comments after the review reminded me of teenaged girls in high school. Seriously nasty. Some were downright personal and cruel.

Which brings me to why I'm writing this blog. I'm mystified by reviewers or readers who say they started the book and were horrified by the steamy scenes or multiple partners or BDSM. Huh? What did they expect in an erotic romance that's clearly marked as a menage or one with some kink? A handshake? A kiss on the cheek? Longing, yearning gazes?

Erotic romance has sex - most times, lots of sex - hot, steamy, lusty sex - time to face the truth.

Many times these individuals complain that there's absolutely no romance, only the sex. All right, I'll admit that happens sometimes, and authors who make that mistake don't reach many fans because erotic romance is about the physical and emotional journey of the characters. On occasion, someone bitches about the storyline being so fantastic that no normal woman would want to do that with the guy (or guys). Granted, that may be true, but this is fiction, ladies. If we wrote about what we did during an ordinary day with ordinary guys our readers would die from boredom.

If you don't like the genre, don't read it. No one is holding a gun to your head. If you want realism, then read non-fiction, there's plenty out there.

Just don't think your opinion is the be all and end all. The author who was torn apart in the review is a national bestseller. Apparently many, including me, believe her work to be spot on.

20 comments:

Liz said...

tell you what, put a gun to my head and MAKE me read more of it! I love it!well said dear, thanks

Debby said...

What a good question!! I can never understand why people read things they know ahead of time they will not like. There are so many books out there. Read something that appeals to you. Be happy!

Tina Donahue said...

LOL - I'm with you on that Liz! :)

Tina Donahue said...

So true, Debby - it's like they just have to trash erotic romance. Personally, I'm not crazy about heavy duty sci-fi so I don't read it. And I'd never comment negatively on it just because I, personally, don't like it.

Tim Smith said...

Call me naive, but isn't that why publishers provide a blurb and in most cases a heat rating? If one takes the time to read those, they can't come back with shock and awe over the content.

Great post!

Tina Donahue said...

Yep, publishers not only do that, Tim, some of them state whether it's menage, has BDSM, M/M, F/F, forced seduction, etc. etc. etc. That pretty much clears up any confusion. Thanks for your support. :)

N.J.Walters said...

Amen! While I applaude a reviewers choice to step outside their comfort zone and try something new, it's tough for the author who gets a bad review when the book doesn't really warrant it.

Tina Donahue said...

Is there anything more disheartening, NJ? You're writing toward a specific audience and then someone slams you because you're meeting that audience's needs.

jean hart stewart said...

Agree with all the comments...Why read it if you disapprove before you even open the book?

Tina Donahue said...

So true, Jean. And some of the comments are so nasty. Whew. It's like the net brings out the worst in some people.

Tim Smith said...

No one has ever ripped my books for content, but I once received a terrible write-up from a female blogger because - GASP! - it was a romance written by a man!!! Seriously - that was in the review, along with a few other nasty remarks. I think she had her mind made up before she read it.

Tina Donahue said...

That's awful, Tim - reverse discrimination. Sheesh

Adele Dubois said...

:Applause: Great post, Tina. Why read erotic romance if you're uncomfortable with frequent, graphic sex scenes? That's what the subgenre offers.

Some people also seem to forget that their reaction to a movie, book, or piece of artwork is only their OPINION. Not fact.

Best--Adele

Tina Donahue said...

You nailed it, Adele - opinion, not fact. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Shelley Munro said...

The thing about the romance genre is that there's something for everyone, ranging from inspirational to erotic and everything in between. I've read a couple of inspirational romances, and while they were good, they weren't for me. I exercised my readers' choice and moved on to a different genre. I didn't feel the need to leave bad reviews everywhere because they weren't to my taste. A bad review is fine, but make it a balanced one, and don't revert to viciousness or a personal attack on the author.

Good post, Tina.

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Shelley. Totally agree. You can try it and if you don't like it - move on. No need to be negative.

lisagk said...

I think it is entirely possible some people just complain about a book to get the attention by having comments posted. Great post.

Tina Donahue said...

You could be right, Lisa. The anonymity of the net has made it possible for people to vent like they wouldn't if they were face to face.

Fiona McGier said...

Oh boy, do I ever agree with you, Tina! I write erotic romance which is relatively "tame" by the standards of the best-sellers, since there are no "big pile of puppies" menage scenes, or shifters, and I don't write m/m romance. I guess I'm a "traditionalist"!?!
But in my husband's family I'm considered a pariah because I write sex scenes, and my MIL asks me to write "something she'd like to read". Sigh. We all answer to the muse who inspires us, and my muse likes stories with hot sex scenes between one female and one male. Too tame for some, too hot for others. I guess you can't please everybody!
And seriously, the covers usually give you a real insight into the content, more so with e-published books than traditional ones. So the discerning reader should be able to find stuff they will enjoy, and avoid what they don't.

Tina Donahue said...

Do I ever know what you mean by not being able to please everyone, Fiona. I gave up trying years ago to keep my sanity. :)