So what do you do when you get a review that is, shall we say, ambivalent?
Well, when it’s your first review, ever, written by one of the handful of people who has actually read your book, you have yourself a little pity-party. Then you crack open a beer. Or two. Or more. And then you try to put a positive spin on it, and see what, if anything, you can learn. The review below is by Lorraine at Raw Books. Or you can click on this link Please Review to read it in situ.
3 out of 5
I debated my rating on this for quite awhile. There were some aspects to Please that I enjoyed, and that were some aspects that I really didn’t.
I think that Hazel Hughes is a highly talented author. Please had a great flow to the story, making it easy to read. Characters were not only relatable but realistic. I wanted to smack Elizabeth on numerous occasions. I cringed at her naïveté but I could easily see someone getting caught in this whirlwind.
If I’m being completely honest, I was very disappointed in the ending. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll be vague and brief. It’s missing consequences. All of the main characters got off too easy. Though it is difficult to criticize because it is highly likely that this ending is what would happen in real life. But I don’t want to read reality.
Overall, I’m still torn about this book. I would love to talk to others who read this and get their perspective. FYI, this one has cheating. While it’s not a deciding factor for me, I know it is for some. I am looking forward to checking out others by Hazel Hughes in the future.
The Good Stuff
Hazel Hughes is a highly talented author. Well, awright. This, right here, tells me that while Lorraine may not have been head-over-heels for Please, it was because of what happened in the story rather than how the story itself was told. And that’s good. That means other people might very well love it.
Please had a great flow to the story, making it easy to read. This is major. Flow is what makes you want to keep reading. You want to find out what happens next.
Characters were not only relatable but realistic. I like to think of my writing as character-driven. But in the romance genre, you see so many cookie-cutter characters. I work hard on this. I also like that Lorraine could relate to the characters, because, let’s face it, the two protagonists are not exactly lovable.
I’m still torn about this book. I would love to talk to others who read this and get their perspective. Yes! A romance book that generates debate, and not over the quality of the writing or lack thereof? Unheard of. When I wrote Please, I wanted it to be unsettling. I wanted it to provoke questions, not just scratch an itch. I debated about whether or not I should even market it as a romance because it’s not exactly about love. It’s about control, desire and need. But it’s also about two people who think they are in love. Plus there’s so much damn sex, what else could I do?
The Not-So-Good Stuff
I was very disappointed in the ending. Ouch. That’s why we read, isn’t it? To get to the end? And if the ending doesn’t satisfy our expectations, well, the whole book, regardless of how well-written and engaging it is, is called into question. I thought about different endings. But they didn’t feel authentic. Besides, this is not the end. There are two more books to come (Tease and Release).
I don’t want to read reality. Again, I’m butting up against that romance genre. Does anyone who reads romance want to read reality? Because that’s what I strive to write. Food for thought.
And The Omission
Lorraine didn’t mention Sebastian, the bad-boy actor who maliciously seduces married Elizabeth. While Elizabeth was the character I could most relate to, Sebastian was the one who compelled me to continue with the story. Who was he? Why did he do the destructive things that he did? What was he going to do next? That he wasn’t mentioned raises a big question mark in my mind. Did I fail in bringing the character in my mind to the page? Or was there another reason? He’s the narrator of the second book in the series, Tease, so this is important.
One: I’m a good writer. Two: Maybe the romance genre is not my niche? Something to think about while I’m writing Tease and Release…
Want to join the debate? Please is available in the Amazon Kindle Store for just $0.99 for the month of April.