Review: Beauty and the Spy, Julie Ann Long

Cover Comment: You know how every so often that old debate flares up about how unrepresentative and diminishing romance covers are? Well, this should be exhibit A the next time around. Ugh.

Here’s Ms. Long’s balanced take on this issue: “Covers may have a lot to do with [the negative image romances have]; many remain quite beef-cakey and florid. LOL. Some readers and authors like this; others are less thrilled with it, as it frightens off some readers who might otherwise really enjoy very good storytelling. I once had an email from a 65-year-old man who out of desperation for something to read grabbed one of my books in an airport, then wrote to tell me he “actually really loved it.” LOL. “Actually” being the operative word—he never expected to, obviously, because of the cover. (It was BEAUTY AND THE SPY.) Then again, those covers are familiar signals to people looking for passionate stories with happy endings—they know to expect those kinds of stories between those covers. If those covers didn’t help sell books, they wouldn’t exist. But even the nature of covers is in a constant state of evolution and calibration. Publishing is stratified, and in order to sell your book effectively, a publisher needs to be able to position it and market it to its most likely audience.”

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Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 4:52 am  Comments (8)  
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Dueling Books: To Love a Thief and Voices of the Night

I’m not sure how I ended up reading these two within a month of each other, but I couldn’t help but notice their similarities, so I thought I would review them together.

Word on the Web

To Love A Thief (winner of the 2006 Rita for Best Short Historical)

Read an excerpt here.

Mrs. Giggles, Rating: 96

Cheryl, AAR, B

Michelle Buonfiglio, romance Columnist, WNBC NY, 4 stars

Becky, Romance Central, Rating: 5 stars (What? This reads like a 3 star review at best)

Author Eloisa James loved it

Amazon, 4.5 stars after 23 reviews

Voices of the Night (this book is the 4th is Joyce’s 5 book Victoriana series)

Read an excerpt here.

Janine, Dear Author, Grade: A-

Mrs. Giggles, Grade: 86

Lynn, AAR, Grade: B

I Just Finished Reading, Jennifer B, Review: Very Positive

Amazon, 4.5 stars after 3 reviews

SAKURA of Doom, Review: mixed

Renee Reads Romance, Grade: B

AAR Thread, includes posts from Ms. Joyce

Fun Factoid: Ms. Joyce participated in The Great Wallpaper Romance Kerfuffle of 2006. Read about it here and here.

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Published in: on August 29, 2008 at 8:58 pm  Comments (3)  
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