So, I just bought the book, “Beautiful Bastard.” I bought it for two reasons: 1) it’s a similar premise to the book I just wrote about an office romance between boss and assistant and 2) I was intrigued by the cover (I tried to emulate it, but my cover took a different turn, LOL) and the storyline.
I’m on Chapter 2 and already I’m turned off. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great writing, entertaining, captivating, etc., but it’s the storyline I’m having a problem with. First of all, there’s no foreplay! Basically there are a few pages about her hatred of him despite him being gorgeous, blah, blah, blah and then he attacks her in the conference room. Whoa! I need a little more, well, foreplay before I can get into such an explicit sex scene. Again, it was well written, but I feel nothing for these characters yet so I really don’t care if they get off or not. I need to be romanced in a romance novel–don’t we all? Yes, this is a best seller and lots of people love it and yes, I’m only part way through the second chapter and I will continue to read it and I’m not really knocking this book, I just needed to vent.
Okay, so I’m not the perfect writer. I’m sure someone could pick apart any of my books. I’m not saying my romance novel is better, I’m just saying at least there’s foreplay. What I mean by that is the building between the two characters. I introduce the female lead and then the male lead and then develop the chemistry between them. So much so that they don’t have sex until Chapter 8. By then it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion, but at least I built the sexual tension.
This is just my opinion, my two cents and take it for what it’s worth, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Even while reading an erotic romance novel, I need to be, well, romanced. Now straight erotica may be different. I never really read any of those books, but maybe the characters start having sex right away and it’s okay because you expect it, I’m not sure.
I don’t even have a problem with explicit sex scenes. Call the sexual parts what they are–in fact, I prefer that. Don’t pussy foot (ha ha–pun intended) around and call the woman’s vagina her “sex” or the man’s penis his whatever. Call a spade a spade. I do admit that when it comes to the sex scenes in my latest book series, they are pretty tame compared to some erotic romance novels, but there’s a reason for that. I modeled my book after my so far favorite book, Fifty Shades of Grey–I know typical! LOL, and she didn’t get too explicit with her names of body parts. My sex scenes are pretty quick, too which is pretty realistic. Let’s be honest…are there that many people out there that have 30-45 minute sexual marathons? There’s always the exceptions, but I’ve read books where the sex scenes are five pages long. Don’t get me wrong, that can be kind of sexy–you know, the build up, but it just depends. Maybe not every sex scene should be that long. As much as there’s the fantasy aspect in romance novels that I can get lost in, I need some sort of realism, too or I just scoff and say to myself, That doesn’t happen!
For instance, in Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian can go at it multiple times and for long lengths of time. Yes, it is a fantasy, but come on… lol. That being said, I still enjoyed EJ James’ writing very much and don’t have many negative things to say about those books…well, a few…lol, but I won’t go into that. Basically, I respect her as a writer. She thinks and writes similar to me and that’s a big part of why I respect her and enjoy her writing so much.
I read Sylvia Day’s book series, “Bared To You”, “Reflected In You” and “Entwined With You” and enjoyed them very much. She is an excellent writer and she is also excellent at foreplay. I can’t say I enjoyed the books as much as EL James’, but I will say that I’m looking forward to the fourth installment when it comes out and will read it. The relationship between Eva and Gideon is well defined, sexual and well, addicting.
Anyway, that’s all my opinion. I’m not dissing Christina Lauren (the writers of “Beautiful Bastard”), just sharing a thought I had while reading it. Obviously lots of people love the book and that’s great. I’m thrilled for their success. I wish I had it. I tried the query letter route with no success so I decided to self publish. I’m waiting for the publisher to finish approving my final draft (they will by tomorrow morning) and I’ll give them my final approval to publish. It’s been a year in the making. I began writing “The Eyes of Alexander” last August. After many, many drafts, edits and re-reads, I think it’s finally ready for the romance readers of the world. I hope they like it. I hope they enjoy the chemistry between Aubrey and Xander…
Anyway, I’m sharing my final cover below. I’ll let you know when it’s available for sale on Amazon. It was also be available in ebook form on Smashwords and Amazon. Now, I have to keep editing on “The Eyes of Aubriana”, the second novel in the series…