Review Policy

About My Reviews

What I Read: I prefer contemporary and new adult romance titles.  I reserve science fiction for my husband, who enjoys it.  I keep historical fiction on the book shelf in the young adult genre for my kids’ studies. And paranormal is great on my TV screen (True Blood or Hemlock Grove) but I can’t get into it in my books—I need the visuals. So basically NO paranormal, fantasy, or historical.

Most of the titles I currently read contain strong language and/or detailed sexual situations. So reader discretion is advised if that bothers you.  These titles are for mature audiences whether it says so or not. Just assume they are unless I say otherwise. 

How I Can Help Authors & Readers:
Book reviews are posted here on the blog, Amazon, and Goodreads. (I'll post to B&N if you request, but frankly their site is not very user friendly for reviews. If you want my soapbox on B&N's review posting, PM me.)  I'll also link the review on Twitter, Facebook, tsu, and Google+ and tag the author(s) so they know the review has been posted.

I don’t discriminate against backlist titles; if I liked the book it doesn’t matter if it’s new or old, I’m happy to promote it.  I don't think a good book should have an expiration date. At the same time, I’d love to help give a new book more exposure.  I’ll review titles from established publishers as well as independent authors. As of late, I’ve mainly been reading indie works.

In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy doing author and character interviews. I participate in cover reveals, release blitzes, and blog tours for titles that interest me. Book reviews are honest, and if there are parts/aspects I don’t love, I try to present it in a manner that’s helpful as constructive feedback for the author and assists readers with making purchasing decisions. As someone who worked in the book industry for almost a decade, I understand that all reviews, positive and negative, can be valuable tools to help authors become more successful writers. Thus, to maintain the integrity of my reviews and the review system as it's intended, I will NOT withhold a lower rated review.

Star Rating:
5  Great Book/Love It
4  Good Book/Like it
3  Okay Book/There was a mix of ‘good’ and ‘could use improvement’
2  Not So Good Book /Not my cup of tea
1  “Let’s not go there”  (*In fact, I generally try not to go there. I read book descriptions, other reviews, and download a sample before purchasing so if the selection has made it past all those filters and I still hate it, then something must have been misleading.)

I also use half and quarter stars. (For example a 4.5 equates with a "really like it.")  I have personally read all of the books reviewed on this site in their entirely and some I've read more than once.  5+ star reviews are all ones I've read multiple times. They are books that I feel are definite re-reads where something new can be discovered or enjoyed on subsequent readings. (Kind-of like a ride in Disney World where you catch a new detail each time.)

Full Disclosure: Books reviewed on this blog are either ones I purchased myself or received as an ARC from the author or an affiliate of the author for an honest review. My reviews are completely unbiased and not influenced by how the book was obtained, though they are all obtained by legal means. I do NOT condone book sharing or pirating in any form. If you came to my blog looking for anything of that nature, shame on you and go familiarize yourself with copyright laws! 

What My Reviews Include: 
Reviews include a brief summary of the book  in case this is the first time a reader is hearing about it, and because that is the proper way to write a formal review as generally taught in high school English class. If you're new to reading/writing reviews, check out Book Reviews 101 on this site.

If I take the time to read a book, I will give it a thorough review.

Reviews include assessment and analyses of plot, characterization, relevant themes, the romantic aspect, and the often all important ending. Let's face it, if you don't think an ending can make or break a story and its perceived success than you must not be familiar with the TV shows of Lost or Dexter. ;-)  Anyways, the ending always weighs heavily in my assessment. It’s how and where the story evolves. It’s the last feeling the reader is left with. The beginning has to hook me, but the end should leave me with a good feeling. (*whispers H-E-A*).

When relevant, recommendations on similar titles or other books in the series will close the review. When reviewing books in a series I will note if I have read the previous books or if I am new to the series. I don’t have a problem reviewing books out of sequence as along as I can follow along.

Personal Preferences and Reading Hard Limits:
I prefer full length novels with no cliff-hangers (although there are always exceptions to that rule).  HEA’s are a must. Consider it the whole ‘book escape’ thing—I like books that leave the reader with a good feeling.

I’m extremely partial to first person narratives. A third person narrator in a romance book tends to make me feel distanced from the characters, and I often have a hard time getting into the story.

I'm not fazed by swearing. Have a character that drops the F-bomb a hundred times? It won't offend me; it's simply language and semantics.

Graphic or detailed hook-ups between the H and h are perfectly fine, and probably pretty hot ;-) Between someone else in the story, probably not. I don't tolerate cheating between the H and h or reading about extensive hook-ups one of them has with someone else when they aren't together. I read romance to read about the main couple and their love story.

Both the H & h must be healthy--this includes being STD free.

I don’t want to read about an h who’s pregnant to some other guy or an H that gets another girl pregnant.  Babies between the H and h are fine, in fact it’s usually pretty sweet provided the child isn't kept a secret from one of them. I don't find a deadbeat dad or a mother who kept her child from it's father romantic so basically no secret babies.

I don’t like stories that make me cry; I like ones that make me smile and occasionally laugh. The purpose of reading romance for me is to get lost in an engaging story as an escape from all the depressing things on the news or seen first-hand in real life. If you'd describe the story as "a good ugly cry" then it's not something I'm interested in.

I like drama in a good way, but I'm not a fan of large amounts of angst or unnecessary misunderstandings. (This isn't daytime TV.)

I prefer strong female characters. Not fond of ones who cry a lot. I do not want to read about an h being raped by another man. I can make exceptions for dubious consent between the H & h, but otherwise I feel that rape has no place in a romance novel. Seriously, this is a far too overused plot device that does nothing for the role of women in fiction other than present them as victims.  So... here's my soapbox on female characters:  I was once a feminist lit grad student. Spent many classes and hours examining the role of women in literature through history. Most of the pieces I dissected were written by men before women had the rights and opportunities they do today. We've come far in the world. So I implore every female author of the 21st Century as well as readers to not accept weak, wishy-washy, abused, victimized female leads. Create women characters that inspire and empower. Let's set some better examples and leave a new legacy in women's lit.

Lastly, a significant (non-disposable) character's death is my final big deal-breaker (no pun intended). I absolutely won’t read about the death of a child. And no Romeo and Juliet ending. I like (read require) both my H and h alive in the finale!

So with that said, to submit for consideration for review, see the contact tab...

No comments:

Post a Comment