Date Published: 10/18/2013
The Kincaids Book #2
By the author of the bestselling Escape to New Zealand series–
When you wish upon a star . . .
Alec Kincaid has never met the obstacle he couldn’t overcome—or the woman who could resist him. And it’s not going to happen now, not with his star shining more brightly than ever in the high-stakes arena of San Francisco’s software industry.
Desiree Harlin doesn’t believe in fairy tales, and she doesn’t waste time wishing. She’s learned the hard way that dreams don’t come true. And with her reputation and hard-won security on the line, succumbing to temptation isn’t an option.
But things aren’t always what they seem. And even stars sometimes fall.
I Hated This Book! Or, Coping With Negative Reviews
by Rosalind James
To be honest, I thought this one would be easier. I should be able to dismiss the few I’ve received as outliers, or shrug and say, “can’t please everyone,” right? Alas, it’s not so easy. It’s like somebody telling you your baby is ugly. It still hurts. Here’s what I’ve found:
People love it or hate it for the same reasons. For example, “Just for Now” is a tender, funny story about family, without a lot of external drama. It is many readers’ favorite of my books. But other readers haven’t been crazy about it, for the same reason. Too much family, too much about the kids, not enough excitement. It’s personal taste.
An apropos quote. Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” It’s one thing to examine your negative reviews, or negative comments within positive reviews, for anything that is truly HELPFUL. Was the ending rushed? Do you have grammatical errors that need to be fixed? That’s helpful. That your book didn’t appeal to someone’s personal taste—not helpful.
Your mileage may vary. I’ve written seven books, and just in my little critique circle, everyone has a different favorite! My readers share the same diversity of opinion. When I think about my own favorite authors, I don’t love all their books equally. Some of them I don’t even care for very much. I’ve never been a huge fan of “Mansfield Park,” because Fanny Price is kind of a drip, isn’t she? And she and Edmund seem set to have a mighty virtuous and boring life. And yet I’ve read it at least three times, because Jane Austen writes so well.
It goes double for sex. Think people’s opinions differ about your heroine? Get reviewers going about the sex in your book! I’ve had people say, about the SAME BOOK:
“I loved . . . that the sex scenes weren’t so intense.”
“I found the sex scenes to be a little kinky for my taste.”
“Too much explicit sex.”
“Plenty of hot steamy sex.”
One reviewer thought that the hero putting his hand over the heroine’s mouth was BDSM (that would be the “hated it” category). Bottom line (so to speak), there is a huge variation in steam levels in contemporary romance. When your books are just getting known, people are finding out if they like the way you write, and in particular, the way you write sex. You are finding your audience. And that ain’t everybody.
The acid test. I realized, after wrestling with the “ping-pong ball” effect, where I’d think: “It’s good!” “No, wait, it’s bad!” “No, it’s good!” after every review, that the REAL question was, “Did I write the book I wanted to write?” And in all seven cases, I answered, “Yes, I did.” That is all I can do. And it’s all that matters. On to Book Eight.
Alison here – thanks to Rosalind for sharing today! I REALLY enjoyed this guest post, because it shares so much of what I try to convey in my reviews. First, I always try to be absolutely polite in my reviews. I know someone poured a lot of themselves into it! Second, I try to politely point out any shortcomings: editing, no apparent conflict, undeveloped characters, etc. Then, of course, readers want my opinion, so I share what I liked and didn’t but always make sure to point out where it’s just my personal preference. That way, if one of my readers likes to read something that I’m not particularly into, they can see that. Also, I want to make sure that the author knows that it was no shortcoming on their behalf. It was still well-written – just not my thing. And that’s ok!! ~
Thanks again, Rosalind!!
She’d spooned up every bit of the rich broth, the chunks of beef and vegetables, had dipped a second and then a third piece of bread in olive oil. Alec had watched it all without comment, while dispatching his own dinner with an alacrity that confirmed to Desiree that he really hadn’t had dinner yet tonight.
And when they’d finished, he’d insisted, together with Giuseppe—of course the waiter’s name was Giuseppe, because this wasn’t romantic enough, the white tablecloth and the single red rose and the candle and the worn brick against her shoulder—he’d insisted that she order cannoli for dessert.
“Just one,” he coaxed. “If you don’t want it, you don’t have to eat a single bite. But I think you need to taste whipped cream tonight.”
“Don’t you think she needs some whipped cream?” he demanded of the waiter, who smiled back at him, sensing, Desiree thought through a satisfied haze of red wine, succulent beef, and way too much potent testosterone, a truly magnificent tip.
“Definitely, the signorina needs whipped cream,” Giuseppe agreed. “And we have the best.”
She wasn’t sure how you had better whipped cream than anyone else, but when the dessert arrived, she had to concede that this was the best.
Amaretto, one still-sane corner of her practical brain suggested, but that sensible voice was drowned out, oh so rapidly, by the sensation on her tongue, the silky smoothness of cream, the almond sweetness of the liqueur, the delicate drift of pastry and the deep dark pleasure of chocolate. And Alec, watching her as she allowed the rich concoction to drift between her lips, over her tongue, down her throat. Watching her, enjoying the sight of her enjoying herself, as if it were his tongue. His throat.
By the time he’d slapped a hand against the door of the cab that had again been waiting when they’d stepped out of the restaurant’s front door, leaped back onto the sidewalk and raised that same hand in farewell, she’d been so lost in fatigue, wine, and lust that she could only sit back against the scarred leather and thank heaven that she hadn’t actually kissed him. Or begged him.
About the Author ~ Rosalind James
Rosalind James is the author of the Kindle-bestselling “Escape to New Zealand” series (currently five titles strong), as well as the new U.S.-based “Kincaids” series. Her first book,”Just This Once,” has sold tens of thousands of copies in the year since it was published, eventually reaching #85 in the Amazon store. A marketing professional and publishing industry veteran, Rosalind has lived all over the United States and in a number of other countries, traveling with her civil engineer husband. Most recently, she spent several years in Australia and New Zealand, where she fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the culture of both countries. She loves trying new things in her writing, most recently the mystery and suspense in “Nothing Personal.”
Rosalind credits her rapid success to the fact that “lots of people would like to escape to New Zealand! I know I did!”