Monday, July 2

Not what I expected...

Can a whole subgenre fall under the INYIM (It's Not You, It's Me) category?

I think Erotic Romance isn't my genre. When I look back at my stats for the last couple of years only about 10%-15% of what I read even falls under this category, and ultimately I feel let down by what I've read. Part of the problem I'm sure I what I'm choosing--I've yet to find anyone who has similar taste to mine when it comes to ER recommendations. Don't get me wrong there are a handful of authors I've read, liked and will continue to read... Emma Holly, Lisa Marie Rice, Sarah McCarty and a couple more that aren't coming to me right now, but most of what I've read has left me disappointed, sometimes it's the story itself, sometimes it's the voice and writing style.

Add all this to the cost issue, new books are ridiculously priced. Maybe I'm cheap, but they're not worth the trade paperback price. I know, I know, I should be getting them as downloads, they're cheaper that way, but I really don't like using a hand-held device, I still prefer books. I've been watching the UBS for 2 of the Sarah McCarty's Promise series, new these things are $18.00 each. They maybe worth the cost, but it's not a price I'm willing to pay to find out.

Book CoverI started Jina Bacarr's Naughty Paris, liked the synopsis in RT and the blurb sounded interesting...

After being jilted by her fiancĂ©, Autumn Maguire uses her non refundable honeymoon tickets to explore Paris on her own. Eager to experience the true bohemian lifestyle, she answers an ad for an artist's model. When she exchanges her clothes for the artist's lush red cloak, something strange happens—a feeling of intense sensual reawakening overcomes her. Suddenly lightning strikes and through the power of black magic she's thrust back into...

...the nineteenth century where the scandalous painter Paul Borquet is insisting she become his Titian-haired muse. Between everyone's strange clothing, the claustrophobic Parisian streets and the overpowering pull of sexual desire, Autumn can't process—just where the heck is she and how did she get here? And frankly, with Paul's expert caresses imprinted on her body, does she really care about going back to present day?

After 20 pages I thought "I'm not liking this." And it went down hill from there, finally giving up around page 70. Alternating between 1st and 3rd POVs, and I didn't like the author's 1st person's voice and style--that's a problem.

I don't know what I expect from ER as genre, but whatever it is I'm not finding it. Considering how popular it is, I have to think it really is a matter of "INYIM".


Wendy said...

I tend to gravitate more towards erotica w/romantic overtones myself. I'd lump Emma Holly and Megan Hart in this category.

I think the problem with ER is that some authors think cramming in "more sex" into a contrived plot is going to work. Um, no. Just because there's more sex doesn't mean I won't notice the plot holes, absurd conflict or idiot heroine any less. If anything it will annoy me more.

Jina Bacarr's debut was my worst read of 2006 - so I have to ask - how was the "purple prose" in Naughty Paris? It was unbearably awful in her debut....

Tara Marie said...

Wendy, I prefer the erotic w/romantic overtones too, actually I think you're probably the only blogger I'd trust when it comes to the genre.

...problem with ER is that some authors think cramming in "more sex" into a contrived plot is going to work.

Exactly, contrived plots and weak story lines. Pull the sex and you've got nothing. And if sex is the story at least make it interesting.

If I'd realized she wrote The Blonde Geisha I wouldn't have ordered this one, I remember the bad reviews. It starts out sounding like bad Chick Lit, not real purple, the bulk of what I read was in the first person (which I normally like).

Zeek said...

I lean more toward romantica over erotica myself.

I didn't find SM's promises series to my liking but plenty of people love her!

Tara Marie said...

Zeek, see everyone has different taste. I liked the first in the Promise series as it read more like a very HOT western, plot driven, not sex driven.

Kristie (J) said...

I started one just recently and the book is illogical IMO - I may mention it later. Now I'm trying to decide to keep reading for titalation alone 'cause the story isn't just working, or whether to throw in the towell. In the meantime - I have moved on to another straight romance book. So I don't think you're alone.

CindyS said...

I blogged about something like this. It was the motivation behind the character's actions that I didn't comprehend. Meanwhile, I'm not 8 pages in and I'm wondering if I'm the only one noticing the problem.


Tara Marie said...

Kristie--I hate thinking the whole subgenre isn't my thing. Realistically it's a microcosm of the overall romance genre and yet, there seems to be something consistantly missing.

Cindy--I read your blog post and commented. Logic--what logic?? :)

Jaye said...

It's a voice thing with me, and also, character. Primarily I want a super-hot romance, with the emphasis on the romance. And super hot runs the range of 'awareness' or sexual tension, to the actual act itself.

But like you I've found very few ERs that are keepers or writers I want to follow. I really like Emma Holly and Lisa Marie Rice. The one Sarah McCarty I tried was a Promise book and a dnf. Not sure why. ::shrug:: That book just didn't click with me, but I'd probably try her again.

Authors like Elizabeth Hoyt, or Lisa Klepas, etc are writing at a sensuality level that I enjoy. I get story, character and teh hawtness! *g* I also liked the one Shannon McKenna book I read -Behind Closed Doors--and some of Lora Leigh's stuff. So I keep an eye out for these last 2 authors, but don't jump on all their releases.

Tara Marie said...

Jaye, Primarily I want a super-hot romance, with the emphasis on the romance.

You make a good point with this. It's about the romance and sex doesn't always equate to romance. I think that's the main problem I have with Naughty Paris, most of the sexual overtones of the story felt dirty not romantic.

I think there are romance authors that create a better sensual environment for their stories and I prefer these to books to those with an overly sexual theme.

Maybe ER really isn't for me :)

Devonna said...

I'm not sure ER is for me either ~ I have some I've thought of picking up, but I haven't. I think I've maybe only ever read one and that was a few years ago ~ but I'd say it leaned more towards romantica than erotica.

Jenster said...

You can add me to that list. I've only ever read a couple erotic romances and I just don't enjoy them. There are too many books for me to waste my time on a genre I don't enjoy. So I don't read them at all anymore.

By the same token there are a lot of inspirational romances I do like and I know that's not everyone's cuppa, either. Maybe the two are too far apart. lol

Like they say - it takes all kinds. :o)

Happy fourth!

Rosie said...

I read everything from sweet to erotic romance. You know how it gets so repetitive to hear people at awards show talk about the writing. It's just the writing. Any story or sub genre can be compelling in the right hands.

Having said that even though I have a generous book budget, I'm careful where I spend those dollars. I won't spend for a trade sized book if I'm not absolutely certain I'm going to like the book. I can buy sometimes three other books for the same amount of money and it just isn't worth it.

Tara Marie said...

Devonna--it's not for everyone, but I know there are enough readers that really enjoy it.

Kristie--the book is illogical How do these type of books make it through the editing process? Doesn't someone along the way say "Hey this doesn't make any sense."

Jen--I've done some of the inspirational inputing for Romantic Advances and I have to say some of the synopses sound very interesting and I've been tempted to order a few.

Rosie--I often read for voice and style over story so maybe that's my problem I really haven't found a voice that screams read me (I do like Lisa Marie Rice, but she doesn't have a huge backlist--I think I've read all but one.)

Cost is a real issue, I agree when I can get two or three mmpb why waste money on a book that isn't worth a tpb price.