During our 9th anniversary giveaway, Kitty commented:
Is it too premature to suggest a monthly nod/countdown toward the tenth anniversary? Not suggesting a year of giveaways, but perhaps a retrospective? Once a month look at highlights from a specific year? Just a thought.
Each month on the 30th, I'll be highlighting some of the most popular content, including reviews, commentary, rants, kerfuffles, and desperate moments involving o-face and waxed manchest. Thanks to Morgan Doremus from Miss Media for digging through the statistics and coming up with all the cool stuff from the way, way back.
In April, we looked at the most popular reviews for contemporary romance - which were many of those with low grades – D-, F+ or F. In May, we looked at the most popular historical reviews, all of which were given very high grades.
This month, we're looking at four reviews that all attracted the same amount of link traffic and attention. Two books were given high grades, and two others were … not.
I hope you're enjoying the journey down Bitchery Memory Lane as much as I am!
First up in this month's set of four: An Innocent in Paradise by Kate Carlisle.
An Innocent in Paradise by Kate Carlisle
Reviewed by: Sarah
First, the kneeling in wet sand cover is goofy. How do you end up in that position? And why are so many cover models wearing khaki pants? Anyway.
This is a review for a book that Really Made Me Mad. The heroine is a scientist, masquerading as a cocktail waitress on a tropical island that has plenty of some spores she needs to acquire. The hero is a giant assbag. The cliche total is not measureable according to current mathematics. We need to invent new math to count up all the cliches in this story.
And I am not kidding when I tell you that the heroine's relationship with the spores is 1000 times more appealing than her “relationship” with the hero.
Favorite quote from the review:
It's like a bad 80's music video script: Neanderthal Calls Mate! Bartender friend is generous! WTF people? Are the prostitutes dressed in Charmin going to start dancing angrily at the pimp?
Next in the lineup on this trip down Bitchery Memory Lane:
Butterfly Tattoo by Deirdre Knight
Reviewed by Sarah
I still remember the experience of reading this book. It stole my breath sometimes; I'd be on the bus, gasping, and hoping no one heard me. This book was published in 2009, and at the time of the review, I had a bit to rant about in terms of how sexuality in romance was recognized (or not being recognized), and looking back on how extraordinary this book was at the time for me, I realize how much as changed since then.
This is a romance between a man whose husband died in a car accident that scarred their daughter. The heroine is a former actress who was attacked by an obsessed fan and left with career-ending scars, and who now works behind the scenes in Hollywood as a writer and producer. There are plenty of obstacles between them, including his questioning his sexuality because he's attracted to a woman.
From the review:
Yet Michael is drawn to Rebecca, as is Andrea, and the three of them form fast and deep connections across lines that aren’t normally crossed in a romance. Not only is Michael conflicted about getting over the memory of his first love, but he’s conflicted about being attracted to a woman, about bringing her into his life, about whether he’s gay, or bi, or straight, or just broken.
Private Sessions by Tori Carrington
Reviewed by Sarah
Ah, yes. The Anal book. As I wrote in the opening to the review:
I will state upfront that I had an ulterior motive for reading this book. I read it for the anal.
Yup, you read that right. Blazing anal. Blazing the Hershey highway. Firing up the backdoor action. Hot poop chute lovin’. Avast me hearties, there be anal in this novel.
While at RT, I heard about this book from Andrew Schaffer, who reviews the Blaze line for RT Book Reviews. You should have seen my face. I absolutely did not believe him. But no, there is anal.
Perhaps I could have included more innuendos in the review itself, but probably not. This is probably the worst anal scene I've ever read, and I've read some very strange books that involve the trapdoor out back. And not only is it cringeworthy, but it's otherwise boring. Sexist and boring in the plot department, and outlandishly revolting in the sexxytimes. Of course, you should read it for yourself. Right? Right.
And the fourth review in today's 10th Anniversary round up: a guest review from SB Nonnie, who also reviewed Pregnesia for us:
Iron Cowboy by Diana Palmer
Reviewed by SB Nonnie
SB Nonnie is back, this time with a review of a Diana Palmer, which I am given to understand is one of Nonnie's most favorite forms of romance reading. Re-reading this review made me wheeze laugh so hard, the dogs and Hubby came running to find out what was wrong with me. This book is magic, and the review is even more magical.
There are a few things you need to know before you start reading a Diana Palmer novel:
There is a 95% chance biscuits will be involved.
Women’s rights are a nebulous, easily dismissed issue.
Any slang in the book will come straight out of the 70s, along with most clothing styles, despite the fact that the books are meant to be contemporary romances.
The hero will be at least 12 years older than the heroine, who is more often than not between 18 and 23 years old.
The heroine has an 85% chance of getting pregnant the first time they do it, and will know she is pregnant in minutes (due to an aversion to the smell of bacon).
We'll be back at the end of July with another collection of your most favorite entries in the mega-whopping database that is the Smart Bitches content repository. Thanks for taking this trip back in time with me – we'll keep going until it's time to celebrate our 10th Anniversary in January 2015!