Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Romance Fan Fail

I was chatting with Sybil last week and, having Internet connectivity issues, she asked if there was a lot of chatter online about Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward. You know, the hard cover coming out on April 28. I said not really. There has been some (that I've seen) but nothing compared to what the buzz was like when the first few books in the series came out. Looking at library stats, I will say that while I do have a waiting list for Lover Avenged, it's not as obscene as I thought it was going to be. Actually I had more demand for Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs (also the first hard cover in that series) than I'm currently experiencing for Lover Avenged. Hmmmm

I have a theory on why this is (I'll give you a hint - it involves shark jumping), but since I don't read either series, it's all wild speculation on my part. Hell it could just be that Ward's fans are already planning on buying their copy on April 28. Forget the library.

So while I'm not counting down the hours until Lover Avenged appears, I am excited about another book with a April 28 laydown date.

Squeee! Yes, it's Killer Cruise by Laura Levine! My favorite fluffy, brain candy, cozy mystery series featuring unlucky-in-love Jaine Austen (no relation) and her demanding kitty, Prozac.

Description:
Wordsmith Jaine Austen’s ship has finally come in. Her new teaching gig on a fancy cruise line nabs her a free vacation—and access to a 24-hour buffet! But sooner than you can say “bon voyage,” Jaine’s all-expenses-paid trip to the Mexican Riviera seems destined to be a wreck…

Things are already off to a rocky start when Jaine discovers a stowaway amidst her luggage—her persnickety cat Prozac. To make matters worse, Prozac is also spotted by the ship’s steward, an aspiring writer who quickly uses his advantage to blackmail Jaine into editing his massive handwritten manuscript. So much for seven days of sun, fun, and relaxation…

Jaine’s sinking sensation grows stronger at dinner, where she meets chatty Emily Pritchard, a wealthy seventy-year-old who’s traveling with her bossy personal secretary, Ms. Nesbitt, and her nephews, arrogant investment banker Kyle, and his ruggedly handsome brother Robbie. Jaine can’t help noticing the tension among them, especially when the cruise’s charming—and sleazy—British dancer, Graham, whisks Emily out onto the dance floor and keeps her there for the rest of the evening.

Soon Emily is accepting Graham’s invitations to every social event on the ship even though her nephews and Ms. Nesbitt clearly don’t approve. And when the bubbly couple announces their engagement just two nights later, no one is more surprised than Graham’s longtime girlfriend Cookie. But the news is quickly overshadowed the next morning by the discovery of Graham’s body with an ice pick protruding from his chest…

The captain is quick to accuse Cookie, but Jaine suspects there are more sharks in the water. Was money-hungry Kyle protecting his inheritance? Perhaps Ms. Nesbitt was attempting to regain control over Emily’s life? Or could the notorious lothario have fallen to one of his many paramours? And what about Robbie? Although Jaine finds herself falling for him, she can’t help but wonder if he’s been completely honest with her. Between hiding a furry fugitive, flirting with Robbie, and baiting the hook for a clever murderer, Jaine is about to dive into her most dangerous case yet…
Bubbly, feel-good fun (along with a dead body - you just can't beat that!) all wrapped up in less than 300 pages. They're always fast, fun reads and I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

And seriously, I want to eat that book cover up with a spoon.

18 comments:

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Perhaps the reason with Lover Avenged fail was that fans were so disappointed in Lover Enshrined, which they felt jumped the shark?
I for one have been drooling, waiting for Lover Avenged. But from what I have heard, Lover Avenged may be another fail. Only big on-line review sites have access to advanced review copies, so regular bloggers, even those with a big following have been denied it.

C2 said...

I've never read Laura Levine but it sounds so cute - love that cover! - do we get to read Prozac's thoughts? A bit of feline snarkiness is always entertaining.

Wendy said...

Kate: After the whole Casper Episode I noticed chatter online for the series started to dip. Up until then it seemed like every blog (well, except for mine, Ha!) was talking about the latest book non-stop for about a month prior to release date.

I don't read the series, but that doesn't mean I don't read spoilers galore online. How sick am I?

C2: No, we stay out of Prozac's head - which is just the way I like it. I don't "do" talking animals. Another plus of this series? You can easily read out of order, since they tend to be more a "day in the life" than a series where each book builds on each other. They're very fast, fun, and fluffy. Perfect summertime beach reads.

Jessica said...

I read the first 4 Black Dagger Brother hood books, but by the 5th one I definitely had series fatigue, which was compounded by the shift into multiple storylines and urban fantasy. I skimmed the disappointing 5th one, and didn't bother with the 6th. I won't be reading another one unless the people who read the first 4 say it's as good -- and romantic -- as those.

Nicole said...

*ahem* I've already read most of the Laura Levine. Some reviewer sold it to the store, so I got to read it early.

Sadly, I wasn't in the mood to finish it, so to the shelf it went. But I bet I made someone happy when they saw it.

Wendy said...

Jessica: I know Kati over at Katidom was also unhappy by the shift away from romance to more urban fantasy. That's actually why I thought library demand for the hard cover would be up. That fans would still be curious to read it - but not curious enough to plunk down money for a hard cover if it continues the "urban fantasy" trend.

Nicole: Not in the mood to read Levine?! Be still my heart! LOL

Barbara said...

I agree with Katie. So many were disappointed with Lover Enshrined that may in fact be the reason the anticipation isn't so high for Lover Avenged. Personally, I can't wait to get my hands on Rehv's story.

she reads said...

Never read Laura Levine, but I'm off to check her out!

(and add me to the 'don't read, don't really care JR Ward list...)

Samanthadelayed said...

Oooh! I love the Laura Levine series..that reminds me, I still have a couple on my TBR pile!

Kati said...

Oh, I've been busy trying to figure out how to get some unsuspecting someone to shell out HC prices for Lover Avenged just so I can read it. I refuse to dole out money for a book that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt will piss me off. And yet, I want to read it. Not at all because I care about Rehv -- I totally don't. I'm a whole lot more interested in Tohrment and his story.

So, I'll continue to connive and scheme and see if I can't find a way for someone else to pad Ward's empire.

lesleen said...

Hi Wendy, love your blog!!!!
I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Lover Avenged. I really enjoyed it. It was quite the page turner. I was a big fan when I first discovered the series and was a little disappointed in the last two but not to a large degree. I sort of go by the philosophy of just going where the author takes it (like Laurell K Hamilton). I think she has definately moved into the catagory of urban fantasy rather than romance but the romance in this one was very moving and progressed at a good pace. I will be posting a review soon at Night Owl Romance. I would advise anyone who has liked the books in the past to try it. I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. The writing was smooth and cohesive. The buzz on the Black Dagger Brotherhood Yahoo group is that a lot of them are just going to go buy a copy on release day.

Barbara said...

You have an award waiting for you at my blog, dear.

Wendy said...

Barbara: Saw the award, and left a comment on your blog. Thanks m'dear! There seems to be two camps of Ward readers. Those dying for Rehv's story and those who are kinda meh. At least from what I've seen.

She Reads: They're fluffy, light mysteries. Kinda like Janet Evanovich without the blowing up cars and love triangle.

Samantha: Levine is one of the few authors I'm greedy with. I want MORE of her books because they're so fun and fast. Although it's probably a smart move on her part that she's not saturating her market ;)

Kati: I'm really surprised more readers don't do this. You know, take turns buying the hard cover release then sharing it amongst the whole group. Maybe because they don't know enough "readers" in their area? I'd say try the library, but last I heard the D.C. library was criminally underfunded. Not sure if that has changed or not....

Lesleen: That's what I think. That Ward's core group of fans are soooo loyal, that they have been saving their pennies for MONTHS to buy this book on the release date. The library as an option for this book hasn't (and won't!) enter their minds.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Barbara, come Tuesday you and I will be total screaming fangirls. "GO REHV*

Amanda said...

I think the same as the other posters about Lover Ahvenged, personally I wasn't crazy about LE, so I have decided to go ahead and get the next one purely to see if LE was just a bad egg, but judging by the few comments I've seen of those that got it early it seems to be shaping up for another let down..... Loved the first 4 though!

I've never read anything by Laura Levine but I've just ordered the first to give it a try!

Wendy said...

Amanda: This is how sick I am. I don't read Ward. I read one book, decided the dialogue made my head hurt too much, and declared her "not for me." However, that doesn't keep me from reading spoilers on blogs every time a new book comes out. I'm not sure why this is. Maybe it's as simple as me not having a life? Or it could just be I love to observe fangirls in the wild. Heh.

Hope you like the Levine! She won't change your life, but I think her books are great fun.

Mary M. said...

I think the lack of buzz is part because of the general disappointment with the last two books in the series (let's face it, they were nowhere near on par with the first 4) and part because of the lack of ARCs to generate buzz. There used to be ARCs of this book around something like two months before, but this time there were fewer and they were sent much later than usual, as in the last few weeks. I've heard someone say JR made last minute changes. Who knows?

Anyway, I'm still buying the book, because no buying means no reading since libraries here don't have that kind of books in English. I'm still emotionally invested enough in the cast of characters to want to know what happens to them - mostly the old crew, because I never warmed up as much to any of the new characters, Rehv included - and I'm curious about what happens with the world. But I am majorly peeved that JR decided to forgo the romance in her books, because that's what made the first 4 books outstanding. Now her romances are a mere sub-plot, underdevelopped and increasingly formulaic, and consequently they've become as forgettable as all the contemporary romance she's written as Jessica Bird.

Sigh. Lesleen, thanks for your comment. It's still encouraging to hear that :). I'm an hopelessly hopeful person.

Thanks for the Levine rec, Wendy!

Wendy said...

Mary M.: Yeah, I definitely noticed the lack of ARCs, and heck, I'm not even a Ward reader. I have theories on why they've gotten tight-fisted with them (pirating, ARC-selling on eBay etc.) and while I *get* that, it also cuts down on buzz. A lot.

I'm expecting lots of good blog posts chock full of spoilers next week people! LOL