Sunday, January 20, 2013

Reading Addiction Book Tours Guest Post & Review: Just For Now

I Hated This Book! Or, Coping With Negative Reviews
To be honest, I thought this one would be easier. In the first place, I haven’t had that many negative reviews (knock on wood). So I should be able to dismiss those I have received as outliers, or shrug and say, “can’t please everyone,” right? Alas, it’s not so easy. It’s like somebody telling you your baby is ugly. It still hurts. Here’s what I’ve found:
1.      People love it or hate it for the same reasons. For example, “Just for Now” is a tender, funny story about family, without a lot of external drama. It is many readers’ favorite of my books. But other readers haven’t been crazy about it, for the same reason. Too much family, too much about the kids, not enough excitement. It’s personal taste.
2.       An apropos quote. Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” It’s one thing to examine your negative reviews, or negative comments within positive reviews, for anything that is truly HELPFUL. Was the ending rushed? Do you have grammatical errors that need to be fixed? That’s helpful. That your book didn’t appeal to someone’s personal taste—not helpful.
3.      Your mileage may vary. I’ve written four books, and just in my little critique circle, there are four different favorites! My readers share the same diversity of opinion. When I think about my own favorite authors, I don’t love all their books equally. Some of them I don’t even care for very much. I’ve never been a huge fan of “Mansfield Park,” because Fanny Price is kind of a drip, isn’t she? And she and Edmund seem set to have a mighty virtuous and boring life. And yet I’ve read it at least three times, because Jane Austen writes so well. 
4.      It goes double for sex. Think people’s opinions differ about your heroine? Get reviewers going about the sex in your book! I’ve had people say, about the SAME BOOK:
“I loved . . . that the sex scenes weren’t so intense.”
“I found the sex scenes to be a little kinky for my taste.”
“Too much explicit sex.”
“Plenty of hot steamy sex.”
One reviewer thought that the hero putting his hand over the heroine’s mouth was BDSM (that would be the “hated it” category). Bottom line (so to speak), there is a huge variation in steam levels in contemporary romance. When your books are just getting known, people are finding out if they like the way you write, and in particular, the way you write sex. You are finding your audience. And that ain’t everybody.
5.      The acid test. I realized, after wrestling with the “ping-pong ball” effect, where I’d think: “It’s good!” “No, wait, it’s bad!” “No, it’s good!” after every review, that the REAL question was, “Did I write the book I wanted to write?” And in all four cases, I answered, “Yes, I did.” That is all I can do. And it’s all that matters. On to Book Five.

Contemporary Romance
Title: Just For Now(Escape to New Zealand #3)
Author: Rosalind James
Date Published: 8/30/2012

There’s no place like home . . .
For teacher Jenna McKnight, nothing spells “heartbreak” like finding her husband with somebody else–in her bed. Clearly, it’s time to reinvent herself. A new body, a new city, and a new job later, she’s done just that. This isn’t really her home, though. Or her family, however much she wishes it were. And playing house can be a dangerous game.
New Zealand rugby star Finn Douglas is just looking for a temporary nanny. Not a girlfriend, and definitely not a wife. He can’t resist Jenna’s cooking, it’s true. Who knew that he’d have so much trouble resisting her? He wants to do what’s right for his kids. But waiting is so hard . . .

Review: Rosalind James is one of my favorite discoveries of last year. She writes romance that give you those warm fuzzy feelings. This is the third book in her Escape to New Zealand series, but don't worry if you haven't read the other two, these are stand alone books.

You can compare her writing to early Debbie Macomber or something from the Harlequin Super Romance line. It is romance that is family oriented and not all about the sex.

Its great escape read, the kind that makes you feel good all over when you've read it.

What I like about Jenna and Finn are how real they are. They've had problems, they've got baggage, but they feel real. That's what really makes things work for me. I also love Finn's two children, Sophie and Harry. So cute.

Rosalind wrote the kid's well. Sometimes the children can come across too sweet or too obnoxious in romances, but I really loved Finn's kids. It would be easy to fall in love with them.

The relationship isn't without problems and issues and drama, but that's what life's all about. It also has a happy ending and that's what romance is all about!

Just a wonderful story, by a wonderful author! I can't wait for book 4!

Rating: 5 flowers

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rosalindi said...

Thank you, Andrea! I'm so pleased you liked it. (Love your flower ratings too.) This was my easiest book to write, just gave me warm fuzzies the whole time. I'm glad it did that for you too. :) Best, Rosalind James

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