What are they saying?
Last month, a member of my local chapter of the Romance Writers of America gave a presentation on Reviews. She did a wonderful job. She showed everyone how even best-selling romance authors can have two and one star reviews. That reviewers can even hate our favorite stories. You know, the books you catch yourself re-reading on those rainy, gloomy days in an effort to cheer yourself up.
Of course, being an author, my books are up for review. The funny thing about it, like so many authors out there, I can have mostly 4 and 5 stars, but it’s the 1 and 2 stars that catch my attention. Many authors say when they read the lower stars, they look for common complaints and then try to improve from there.
Personally, I find the common complaints to be the story didn’t go the way the reviewer wanted or the character wasn’t acting like a goody two-shoe. How boring! So I say, they need to write their own books.
I like my characters to have flaws. Not just that they place their elbows on the table as they eat type of flaws. But that they have low self-esteem, or too confident, or see the world as dog-eat-dog type of existence, or they can be a number one asshole/bitch. I like to think I make my characters real. I guess that’s why I hear “gritty” in a few of my books’ reviews. I take that to mean the characters and their actions are close to real life.
Unlike real life, I do make sure the ending is happy or at the least satisfying, especially when it comes to the main two characters. And they change by the end of the book and for the better.
And thinking of stars, how often have you seen a reviewer write “I give this book three and half stars,” but show only 3 stars. What? First, don’t say half if the program doesn’t allow half stars (or coffee cups, hearts, or whatever). Three and half should always be rounded up to 4 stars. I had to get that off my chest. It drives me crazy.
Or their review will read, “I loved this book!” And then give 3 stars. What? LOVE is only worth 3? Crazy.
I wish booksellers and review sites would get rid of stars (or whatever they use) and just have reviews. Or maybe booksellers should explain their star (or whatever) system to reviewers. All of it is inconsistent. Once again, I had to get that off my chest. We authors know we cannot make comments on reviews or we’ll be gang-banged by the reviewer community, especially the trolls. So we grin and bear it.
With all of that being said, let me show what they are saying about my latest book, Crossing The Line. My first hockey romance book. And yes, they will only the good comments. Thankfully, the yucky ones are fewer.
Per Marcia, I found the characters interesting, more so as they were developed. The provocative plot written with an appealing voice made this an engaging read.
Per Diane, Carla Swafford did a great job with the plot. It was clever how things played out. The story was thought-provoking and heartfelt. This is the first book that I have read by Carla Swafford. I enjoyed her writing style. I am interested in continuing to follow this series. I recommend this book to people that enjoy sports romances.
Per B., Kitty made my heart break from the first page. She had no self confidence, worth, or esteem. Casey (Roman’s agent) was a total [skeeze] and disgusting looser. Roman had a good heart and he melted mine with his intentions and actions towards Kitty from the first day.
Per lq, Kitty, especially, showed a great deal of personal growth and changes over the course of the novel in [a] way that I found endearing.
You can find the reviews on Goodreads or/and Amazon.