»-(¯`·.·´¯)-> FTC DISCLOSURE <-(¯`·.·´¯)-«
Many books reviewed on this blog were received free of charge from the author or the publisher in exchange for an honest review. In most cases, these books are clearly identified in the review in the “My source for this book” section as “Netgalley”, “GalleyGrab”, “Edelweiss” or “Gift from the author/publisher/etc.”.
Unless otherwise stated, please assume that the books reviewed here were given to the Romanceaholic free of charge by the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and are not influenced by any relationship with the author or publisher.
Any post that is “Promotional” will be marked as such. A PROMOTIONAL POST is one that is fully sponsored by someone outside of The Romanceaholic, and should be considered to be akin to a Paid Advertisement. These posts are Advertisements for which The Romanceaholic received either monetary or service-related compensation, including but not limited to money, link-backs, or free inclusion as a giveaway sponsor (which results in the promotion of The Romanceaholic’s Twitter account and/or Facebook Page). Such posts may be marked by terms such as Guest Post or Guest Editorial, as well as Promotional Post.
Books, authors, goods, and services promoted in these posts are not ones with which I have personal experience, and do not necessarily carry my own personal recommendation.
All purchase links are provided as a courtesy only. I do receive a small compensation for purchases made through these links, which helps to offset hosting costs for the website, but always encourage readers to shop around for the best prices when purchasing books. However, please assume that clicking on any image or link on this blog will result in my receiving financial compensation.
Reviews will clearly state the origins of the book being reviewed. “Gift From The Author/Publisher”, “Won In A Contest”, “Netgalley”, “Edelweiss”, and/or “GalleyGrab” all indicate that I received the book free of charge, while “Amazon.com”, “Smashwords”, and/or other publisher sites indicate I purchased the book myself, unless otherwise indicated.
Also, please remember that these are Romance Novels, and as such, often contain explicit sexuality.
Unless otherwise noted, please assume that all works reviewed on this blog are intended for those over the age of majority in their respective localities.
»-(¯`·.·´¯)-> ABOUT ME <-(¯`·.·´¯)-«
I am a 30-something year old mother of two who reads entirely too much (though I tend to think there truly isn’t such a thing).
My favorite genre is romance of course, with an emphasis on paranormal romance, regency romance, and historical romance. I also enjoy reading and reviewing romantic fanatsy and romantic sci-fi stories as well. In short, I am a Romanceaholic, and I have no desire to ever recover.
»-(¯`·.·´¯)-> SOMETHING YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED <-(¯`·.·´¯)-«
Something you may have noticed is that my average rating on this blog is 4 Stars, and that the vast majority of my reviews, even when receiving a lower rating, often have a rather positive spin. Some readers may believe that I’m being too nice, or even that I may be lying about some of the books because I received them at no cost to myself.
However, this is far from the truth. The real reason that most of my reviews are at least mostly positive, and that my star ratings tend to be on the higher side is a simple one: I only choose to read books that I think I would enjoy.
If I read an excerpt and simply cannot stand the writing style, I don’t read the book. If the blurb sounds terrible, and there’s no excerpt available for me to “try it out”, I don’t read the book. If I read a small portion of the book and find that I simply do not care for the writing style, or the characters, or even the plot, I don’t read the book.
I have what I like to call the 100 Page Rule (50 Page Rule in novellas and Category Romances due to their lower word counts). I will give any trade length or higher book 100 pages. If, by the end of the 100 pages I don’t feel like the book is interesting enough for me to finish (or, if I can’t even bring myself to get that far), the book gets put into my Did Not Finish pile and is never reviewed here on my blog.
I realize that my review style will not appeal to everyone. However, I prefer that my readers know to come to me if they want to hear about books that are great, rather than to see various novels ripped apart at the seams. If you would like to know which books made it into my DNF pile, please feel free to visit my DNF BOOKSHELF on Goodreads.com. These are books that I simply could not bring myself to finish, either because of poor grammar, cardboard characters, funky writing style, or just plain boring plots. While I typically do not review these books, as I try to conserve my energy for all the fangirling I tend to do for the many wonderful books out there, there are a few that have received a further explanation on Goodreads.
Chaste – Nothing more than a friendly hug or few mild kisses on the lips. There may be some sexual chemistry and attraction between characters. No consummation of any romantic relationship.
Warm – Some sensuality including kissing and possible fondling; probably includes “fade-to-black”/implied lovemaking, or one or two minimally explicit love scenes with few explicit details.
Steamy – Contains at least one fairly long scene scene of explicit sexuality and/or lovemaking, and likely includes descriptive kissing, fondling, manual stimulation, and oral sex.
Hot – Contains explicit sexuality, including lovemaking; stories with a “hot” rating almost certainly includes descriptive oral sex, and may include “taboo” sexual acts. May include multiple instances of explicit lovemaking, and contains very strong sexual tension and chemistry between characters.
Scorching – “Erotica” or “Romantica”; has multiple instances of explicit lovemaking and/or oral sex, probably contains multiple uses of crude sexual language (c**t, c**k, p***y, etc.) and almost certainly includes “taboo” sexual acts. Explicit sexuality is the main focus of the story.
»-(¯`·.·´¯)-> RATING SCALE <-(¯`·.·´¯)-«
5/5 Stars: I LOVED IT. This book is not only going on my “keeper” shelf, but I probably ordered copies of it in every format I could get my hands on. I harass friends and sometimes even strangers until they give in and read it. I would never regret the purchase price of a 5-Star book.
4.5/5 Stars: I really, really liked it, but there was something that held me back from fangirling all over it. I definitely felt like I got my money’s worth, even with a high-priced Kindle version or hard-cover copy.
4/5 Stars: I really liked it. I’d probably read it again in the future, and while there are certainly things I would change, it was at least quite entertaining. I definitely felt like I got my money’s worth for a paperback.
3.5/5 Stars: I liked it. I probably won’t re-read it in the future, but I’d recommend it to a friend who enjoyed the genre or specific tropes in the book.
3/5 Stars: I kind of liked it. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really good either. There were likely quite a few things I would have changed, and/or one or two of my “pet-peeves”. I probably felt my money could’ve been spent better elsewhere.
2.5/5 Stars: It was okay. I finished it, but it won’t go on my “keeper” shelf, and will not likely recommend it to others. I felt that my money could’ve been better spent elsewhere.
2/5 Stars: It was barely okay. There was a lot wrong with it, or there was at least one of my “pet peeves” in great abundance. I had trouble finishing it, and will not likely recommend it to others. I’m probably resentful that I paid for it, or glad that it was a free copy.
1.5/5 Stars: I probably had to force myself to finish it. I resent that I paid for it, or am very glad that I received it for free.
1/5 Stars: I didn’t like it. I had to force myself to finish it. I definitely wish I hadn’t paid my hard-earned money for it, or thanked my stars that it was free. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
I couldn’t force myself to finish it. Something about the book was so unappealing that it either couldn’t keep my interest, or I wanted to throw it across the room in disgust.
I’ve been asked what the difference is between “erotica” and “romantica”. The answer, in short, is the presence, or absence, of a Happily Ever After. Both genres would receive a “Scorching” rating on my Steam Level Scale, and feature a large focus on explicit lovemaking. However, erotica tends to focus solely on the lovemaking and either ignores or glosses over any actual emotion, love, or romance. Romantica, on the other hand, has a large focus on emotion during and outside of lovemaking, and all major protagonists find love and happiness in the end.
Another genre distinction that can be confusing is that of Paranormal Romance (PNR) vs Urban Fantasy (UF). The distinction between the two, in my mind, lies in the length of the story arc. “Paranormal Romance” tends to have a focus single protagonist couple, who find either a Happily Ever After or Happy For Now ending, for each installment in the series. “Urban Fantasy” tends to follow a single protagonist (often, but not always, female) over the course of several novels, with that protagonist finding a Happily Ever After somewhere along the way. Urban Fantasy also tends to have multiple love interests over the course of the series.
BTW – By the way
HEA – Happily Ever After
HFN – Happily For Now
ILY/ILYs – I Love You/I Love You’s
PNR – Paranormal Romance
PWP – Plot? What plot? (in reference to stories that contain so many erotic elements that any plot is merely there as “set dressing”)
Squick – Physical revulsion felt when confronted with a concept or situation that a person finds distasteful. For example, if something “squicks” you, it literally makes you shudder or cringe.
TBR – To Be Read
UF – Urban Fantasy
YKINMKBYKIOK – Your Kink Is Not My Kink (But Your Kink Is Okay)