Thursday, January 16, 2014

Don't Try to Fool Me

How do I decide which books to review and which to pass on?  The Internet has made this process much easier than it once was.  I read the book description which I take with a grain of salt.  If the book sounds much too good to be true, I might add another grain or two.

Then I go to Amazon and read the sample.  When Amazon doesn't have a sample, I go to the publisher's website and hope to find a sample of the book there.  Finally, if all else fails, I search for the author's website online and see if there's a sample there.

Armed with the book description and sample, I'm usually fairly certain that the book is something I want to read.  Of course since I haven't read the entirety, I'm only intrigued, not completely sold on the book.  But I'll read it for review.

But sometimes the book turns out to be something quite a bit different than what I expected.  A case in point is Jack Greene's Whiplash, the review of which is up on The Romance Reviews site.  And this kind of bait-and-switch makes me really, really cranky--cranky enough to tell the world just how disappointed I am.

But wait!  Even though it was entered into the GLBT review queue, shouldn't I review it as erotica which is where it should have been entered?  No, I don't think so.  If you show me a Granny Smith apple and ask me to judge it as an orange, I'm going to give it a bad review.  It's NOT an orange.  The same goes for erotica parading as a gay romance.

It's a new era.  There's more to gay romance than sex.  Erotica should be judged as erotica, and gay romance should be reviewed as romance.

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