Romance Reviews

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Crimson Romance

Crimson Romance
For the best in romance, from sweet to naughty!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What makes a book good or a great one for that matter?

What makes a story ring true to you? Is it the characters? The genre? The author? I've been wondering about what others see in books and what I may be missing. I read A LOT of reviews and follow A TON of blogs. Why? Partially because I love some of my blogger buddies, but always because I interested in what's going on out there.

My first love is fantasy. What's a better read than a walk through someone's imagination. Science fiction fantasy is a first love because of when I grew up. I was always hoping to see those flying crafts. LOL. What kid doesn't to try a trip through space and time.

I want to know what everyone else feels about what they read. I've heard it said that Urban Fantasy is dead, that it's old, bloated, fat, and unattractive. Why? What makes people feel that way. UF is one of my favorite reads, and when I find a new author, I research, read reviews, see if shorts are available, and try out the book. I'm never afraid to try a new author, what have I got to lose, a few precious hours of my time? I have a few to spare. I really like the heroes and heroines of the genre, always tough, alpha males and kick-ass females. To go along with this, I've started picking up Manga Books or Graphic Novels. I love them, they're like adult comic books, so colorful, graphic, and hot.

Laurell K. Hamilton has some of the best graphic novels with some amazing art work.

I love paranormal romance, there will always be room on my plate for a supernatural love story. Again, I look for new authors in the genre, a new twist on my favorite read. How could that be bad? I love vampires, weres, and supernatural beings (remember, I love fantasy). UF has paranormal romance involvement, so two for the price of one.

And of course, where would all of this be without a good solid romance? Romance is involved in every genre; mysteries, thrillers, horror (sometimes it's a scary romance that you're not sure should work or even if you want it to work. Remember the love between Mina and Dracula). Not very often can an author spin a tale without a romantic involvement of some kind. All heroes and heroines need a little love.

So what does everyone else think? Am I alone in my ponderings? Should I seek help? Just my thoughts thrown out there in the big pond.

(psst...don't forget to check out Lea's kissage contest, since I'm leaving off with kissing....)


Lea said...

LOL Dottie! Thank you for the kissage pimpage!

Great post...

My tastes have changed over the years. Previously I was a historical romance reader. However, for a few years now I've moved to romantic suspense, erotic romance, paranormal and yes UF.

I guess it's my mood you know. I like strong characters and good dialogue that really moves the plot along. And, of course excellent descriptive prose is a must.

Thanks Again Dottie!!


Cecile said...

Oh Dottie, what an awesome, mind pondering post!!!

I started with contemporary romance years ago... and until Twilight, did I go to paranormal. Hell, I did not even know that existed. I knew there was erotic and romance, but did not know about everything else... I was so excited when I started finding out all these other genre! The only thing I have not touched on yet is scifi fantasy. And I am not sure about futurist scifi. I will get there one day....

Now as far as what I will be reading next... it all depends on mood, friends reviews and what everyone is talking about... but I am so behind, that I am reading things you guys have already read and reviewed... but it's all good!! As long as I am reading I am happy!!!

Wonderful post Dottie!!!
Love the ending... Leaving with a kiss!

Chris said...

A good book engages me with characters that I can care about. If I'm 1/4 or so into the book and am not engaged by any of the characters? I'm out of there.

I think that there are a lot of derivative books in the urban fantasy and paranormal romance markets right now. However, I think there's always room for a new take on the paranormal, if it's done well. A few days ago I read Immortality is the Suck by A.M. Riley, which isn't like any other vampire book I've read. It was an engaging and powerful read, even if I did spend a lot of time really pissed off at the antihero main character. :)

Anonymous said...

Dottie, I love this post because I've wondered the same thing.

For me, I love historical romance. It's the clothes, the hint of forbidden because everyone was so uptight back then. The mannerisms and the language...combine the romance...sigh.

I also love a good paranormal romance because I like it when the hero and heroine have no control over their emotions and attraction to each other. They NEED each other. For instance in JR Ward's books the vampire's give off this mating scent when they found "the one". Ugh, I loved it! Plus, you can do so much more with paranormal romances than with your typical romance. More can happen and be accepted as something that CAN happen, you know?

Really wonderful post!

Teddyree said...

Great post Dottie, I must admit to being a fan of Urban Fantasy so I certainly won't be on the 'fat, old and bloated' bandwagon LOL.

My reading choices have certainly expanded over the years, I've gone from reading horror, suspense, and romance to loving anything & everything historical, paranormal and fantasy in all the subgenres. I guess it just depends on my mood on any given day.

Great characters to either love or hate, a fascinating story line, interesting dialogue, that's what holds my interest. And like you Dottie, I'm always up for trying a new author!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Lea!

I love you kissing contest and my vote has been cast.

I too love strong characters that draw me in, any genre. It's the characters that make me want to continue reading. A nice strong voice, great storyline, and I'm happy.

Thanks for your great input, I love to hear your thoughts.

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Cecile!

At one time, I could look at nothing but romance, any kind of romance. I was in between genres, and fell in love the sexy covers. lol. Dukes, Lords, Ladies, wayward women, and scoundrels. It was all good and I loved it. Still do, but not a steady diet. But tastes change and I grew, so much more out there in the printed world.

Thanks for sharing with me!

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Chris!

I love paranormal romance and I haven't read A.M. Riley yet, so another to add to my list.

I have to engage with the characters, if I don't care about them, then what's the attraction? It could be a love/hate relationship, lol, it's all good to me. I have also found that I'm a mood reader, so I have to take that into account as well.

Thanks for sharing with me Chris!

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Barbara!

I know exactly what you're talking about, historicals bring romance alive, there's just no other way to put it. You know the love is forbidden which makes the attraction so much better. The clothes, language (I love a man in lace, lol), the sly looks, nuances, secret meetings, I love it.

Paranormal and urban fantasy allows the reader to walk on the wilder side. Slip into the character and try on their skin, and it feels wonderful. I love the ride offered by the near impossible, which is why fantasy/scifi are such favorites. I'm an imagination driven person, so if the author stirs my imagination, they have me hook, line, and sinker. I feel the same way about a good whodunit or thriller. I love trying to solve the clues and kicking ass or trying to figuring out how to escape the mess. Too much fun.

Thanks Barbara!

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Teddyree!

What stirred this post is that I received an email saying that UF was exactly as I described, maybe they're reading the wrong UF, LOL. I love it, can't get enough of it. And a little romance into the mix, and I'll all set. I love the fantastical offered in UF/Paranormal, what's not to love?

And I'm always ready to try a new author, how else may I going to know what new and different out there? I must grow, expanding my horizons. As long as the characters becoming important to me and my imagination is amped up, I can go along for the ride. I do find my mood plays in too, lol, have to feed it as well.

Thanks for sharing with me Teddyree!

Dottie :)

Blodeuedd said...

Great post Dottie :D

My first love is fantasy too, I don't get to read much since the library doesn't have much and it's so hard finding new ones I like. The old epic Lotr style (not that it's even one of my favs but the style says it). it's the adventure, well described worlds that draw me in. I like maps, and history.

Now I seem to find many paranormal, urban fantasy and historical romance books and loving it. Who wouldn't. I just read what comes my way, and sometimes I feel more for one style

host said...

First of all - I love reading! I have since I was a child. Second - I just love happy ending and a good love story. Although I have a several favourite books that actually don't have HE. Third - I just adore paranormal and futuristic stuff. I adore exploring what other people/authors think about our future. But also, it's great to imagine what would be like if our world was inhabited with all those fantastic creatures - werewolves, shape shifters, witches, pixies, etc.

Michelle G said...


Wonderful post. :) I think you and I share a brain...LOL.

When I first started reading it was Cassie Edwards all the time. I was hooked on those hot book covers with the American Indians. :)

Then I moved on to the Historical Romances and all the Knights and Ladies. *sigh* I was a sad critter waiting for my Knight in Shining Armour!!

At this time the paranormal genre was not anything like it is now - practically non-existent. If I wanted vampires it was Anne Rice - great reads, but something was missing.

When I first discovered PNR and UF I was a changed woman. No longer was I interested in the damsel in distress waiting for the hunky guy to save ma'am. Now the women were working side by side with the fella's - kicking butt and taking names. Woo-hoo!!

That is what keeps me interested. I need that element of action - that strong female lead that is equal to the male lead - both in and out of bed. :)

I like fast paced stories that engage my interest and characters I want to invest my time in. :) I love finding new authors and I will try anything that looks good.

Have a wonderful day.


Amanda McIntyre said...

What a wonderful post, Dottie! And glad to hear there is still a fan base out there for UF! I know soem authors who 'd be very hapy to hear that! LOL

It is so encouraging as an author to read these comments! You guys are an author's fantasy!! LOL

As a reader, I love just about anything that catches my eye. Fiction or non-fiction. HIstorical research about real people and events fasinates me and they usually wind up in a book;)

Im an eclectic reader as well,from the family saga(yay John Jakes!) to the dark side (Robin T Popp's Night Slayer series) with mainstream tossed in (Anne River Siddons and Fern Michaels)

great post!

Amanda M.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi B!

I've read LOTR, and it's great as were the movies, I loved how involved the character grew to be, but it felt like the author was distanced from them. Beowulf is also a favorite, I just like the whole idea. Fantasy in the purest sense. Who knew?

I do love paranormal and UF which I only discovered about three years ago, and I've rapidly run through what our library has and have made them search and ordered books from the surrounding areas. I buy what I a lot too, more than I can read it could seem.

I'm not afraid to try new authors, so I'm always finding something different to keep my imagination stirred. I guess it basically comes down to the love of reading.

Thanks B!

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Host!

I agree with you, it just comes down to the love of reading. I love seeing what another's imagination brings to life. And I do love the HE, but I'll settle for the happy for now. I do love paranormal, UF, scifi,'s all good for me. I'm with you on the fantastical creatures, incredible ride.

Thanks for sharing!!

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Michelle!

We might share a brain, lol, I started out the same way. Anything that stirred my imagination. I could slip right into those ladies waiting for the white knights, I could swear one was going to ride up to my house one day and take me away, sweep me off my feet.

Anne Rice was a favorite, at least she was writing about my love of vampires. Fantasy of any type was my cup of tea, I'm definitely not a purist. Scifi and paranormal/UF is a fantastic read for me. I love kick ass heroines that give as good as they get, and like you, in or out of bed. But I still love a little romance, historical or contemporary, just once in a while. I love period reads. I love a tortured hero and the heroines that love them, I guess it all goes back to the fantasy. Maybe I'm still looking for that fantastical white knight??

Thanks Michelle!! Very thought provoking!

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Ms. Amanda!

As long as I'm still reading, I will still be looking for wonderful UF and paranormal romances to read. New author are welcome. And actually, it's the authors that are the readers fantasy, lol! We love you **bowing down**

I read what catches my eye too, it may be the great cover art or the blurb on the cover. I'm an eclectic reader and can't settle on a genre. Wide range of books can be found here. lol. I also love to hear about how an author comes up with the story that's delivered to the reader. Sooo interesting to find what an author's muse is....if it could only be bottled, lol.

Thanks for sharing with us! Greatly appreciated!!

Dottie :)

Teddyree said...

Totally agree Dottie, they obviously need to try some Bones and Cat action lol

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Teddyree!

Couldn't agree with you more! I got this email from one of the blogs I subscribe to and it was about how UF should die, what the....?

That email urged me to post my feelings.

Dottie :)

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