Talkin’ Books: Unfinished Stories, Sample Fails & Witchy Romance

Fair warning: my reading attitude runs pessimistic this week
(partly why I’m writing this on my lunch break instead of having it done
last night). And while I hate to complain about other author’s books
(because inevitably they think you’re jealous instead of having a valid
opinion as a reader – and sometimes it results in backlash reviews for
my own books), I have a negative comment to get off my chest this week.
And I think it needs to be mentioned so others know what they’re getting
into should they make the same purchase.

So we’ll get that over with first, shall we?

I finished the Play Hard collection a few days ago – well, the two books I was reading from it (I’ve already read Offside,
noted earlier). I enjoyed the V.K Sykes story quite a bit…it was
rather angsty, but the whole thing worked and the end was very
satisfying. Baseball still not really being my “thing”, I probably won’t
go looking for others, but I’d certainly read the author again.

The Proposition, however, made me wish I
was reading a physical book when I got to the “end” of the book, and
found that there was no HEA, no wrap up, no “ending” whatsoever. The
story just simply cut off at the end of a scene with a cheery note from
the author that the story continued in book two. Yes, I wanted to throw
the damn thing against the wall. Why? Because I *loved* the story to
that point. It’s about a fighter and his quest to help a woman who needs
the specific kind of help he can provide her. But the description of
this anthology says very clearly that it contains three full-length
novels…and while this may be a specific length, it’s not a novel if it
doesn’t have an ending. It’s a serial section, and had I known that, I
wouldn’t have even started it – though I might have gone looking for the
final book containing all parts of the serial. And I write serial
installments, so really, I have nothing against that model, but I won’t
pay for them separately (and I don’t charge for them separately either).

If it’s a romance, it *must* end with a happily ever after. There
are no exceptions to that rule for that genre, and Lyons broke that rule
in a rather spectacular way. I won’t be looking for the next books in
the “series” (which is actually not a series at all – a series is a
collection of complete books, not incomplete installments). I’m insanely
disappointed because I feel like I spent all that time with those
characters only to be forced to go buy another book if I want to
continue their story. In fantasy, that’s acceptable (note, I don’t read
much fantasy because I prefer a story be finished at the end of a book,
even if the series continues later on with a new story). In romance,
that’s blackmail. And it will make me avoid the rest of that author’s
work like the plague.

Pity, because as I said, I was really loving that story and the
characters. Otherwise I wouldn’t care that it was so abruptly cut off
without a proper wrap-up.

In any case, now you know, so you can make your own decision on purchasing that particular anthology…

After that, I had a rather hard time deciding what to read next.
I’d sampled a few books and bought based on the sample, only to find
that the prologue or first part was third person, but the bulk of the
book was first person – and I hate reading first person narratives, so
there’s several wasted dollars right there, dang it). Apparently even
the sample won’t save me from that…and it should, don’t you think?
Bait and switch, though I’m quite sure that wasn’t even remotely what
the authors were thinking when they wrote the books. It’s just what it
feels like to me. I just need to do more research on new authors, I
guess. Figure out their writing preference before I buy. Mea culpa.

I’ve finally settled into Free Fall,  a
paranormal romance novella by Carolyn Jewel. It’s Witches & Demons,
so not my fave paranormal trope, but it’s kept my interest for a couple
chapters now, which is more than anything else has done lately. The
characters are interesting, the hero a smouldering demon, so, you know.
It’ll do.

I think all this revising I’m doing on my own work must be messing
with my reading mojo or something. Maybe once I get that done, I’ll
magically find some awesome books again. Although I am still enjoying Rough Country, so there’s that too.

Next week, more positive. Promise!

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One comment on “Talkin’ Books: Unfinished Stories, Sample Fails & Witchy Romance

  1. Ardee Eichelmann

    I am glad you took the plunge and wrote honest reviews about the books you have been reading. If anyone were to think you were just dissing another author’s book then they don’t know you very well. I read you book reviews every time they come out even the comic books and I don’t read comic books. I know that you give honest and fair appraisals. That includes a book that I was surprised about your input on. So, I trust you. If anyone doesn’t then they need to follow all of your reviews before they make any judgements.

    I know that you have recently gotten some inexpensive and maybe even freebie books despite the fact you don’t usually do so. In our household free books are almost always the books read because of financial concerns. We do pay for some books but read a lot of free books. The quality of these books can be quite variable and sometimes make me understand some of the criticisms of self publishing. Others are very good and have led us to pay for other books in the series or books by the same author. (I know that is the idea of offering free books.) I just wanted to say to you that some free books should be just that, free books. Others are true gems even if they may be a little rough around the edges some times.

    Regarding the book that didn’t have an ending but rather a promotion for the next book. We have found that to be the case a few times but not very often. There is one author who is very prolific and highly regarding in the field of self publishing who pulled a similar “stunt” in the first book Steffie read by here and we will not get her books now even if they are free no matter how good the reviews are because that left a very bad taste in her mouth. Stephanie is a voracious fantasy reader and is used to how fantasy books “work” but this was a thriller that basically just stopped with a promo for the author’s next book and no real ending. That is as frustrating as a romance with no HEA.

    I say this because we have seen this done in other self published books. It is very annoying. Oh, and the book referred to above did not have a “sequel” nor was the next book about the same subject in another form but it was a thiller with basically no ending.

    Keep being honest in your reviews. Your readers respect you and as “they” say all over social media, “haters gonna’ hate.” Keep the faith.