Jenna Black's Blog Experiment

Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Reading Frenzy

Having gotten back from the RWA National conference two weeks ago with a ton of new books, and having actually met my August 1st deadline, I've been going on quite a reading binge lately. I love it! Love of reading is what got me into writing in the first place, naturally, so I was somewhat bummed out to have to set it aside for a while as I scrambled to meet my deadline.

The first book I read when I got back was Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder. It was a finalist for the Rita award (the top award given out by RWA) in the best first book category, and it has an absolutely gorgeous cover that caught my eye from across the room. The book was more of a fantasy than a romance, though there was a lovely romantic element running through it. I absolutely loved it. I almost read it through in one sitting, but at one AM I decided I had to go to bed. The premise is that a young woman scheduled to be executed for murder is given a chance to escape the gallows--if she agrees to become the food taster for the ruler of her country. To ensure that she won't run away, she's given a lethal poison during her training, and must report in daily to get her antidote. I highly recommend it--go out and buy it!

In the last couple of days, I've read Thrill me to Death, a romantic suspense by Roxanne St. Claire, and Entertaining Mr. Stone, an erotic romance by Portia Da Costa. Thrill me to Death is the second book in Roxanne's Bullet Catchers series and is indeed a thrilling, fun, fast read. She's one of my auto-buy authors, so it was no surprise that I picked this one up and devoured it.

Entertaining Mr. Stone was a little more surprising to me. The publisher, Black Lace, gave out free books in the goodie room at the RWA conference, so I picked them up. I've enjoyed erotic romances before, but with the exception of Emma Holly, who is possibly one of my favorite authors of all time, I usually don't find them terribly compelling. This one, though, I did find compelling. Something about the voice drew me in and made me keep reading. For one thing, I didn't have a real feeling like I knew where it was going to end up. There's a predictability in many of the erotic romances I've read (not that I've read all that many, so this is a terrible generalization) that I didn't find in this one.

I especially expected to be put off when I found out it was told in first person present tense, and when I realized how many Britishisms were in there. But I easily forgot about the unusual tense and voice choices, and I skimmed over the Britishisms I didn't understand easily. It's definitely not the right book for the conservative reader--it has some of the most kinky sex I've ever read--but if you like erotic romance you might want to check it out.


At 1:41 PM, Blogger Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Black Lace is trying to up its standards and quality, and move more towards erotic romance than straight erotica. They're even marketing our book (Cat Scratch Fever by Sophie Mouette, due out in the US at the end of this month) as an erotic romance even though we wrote it as an erotica. (Although there is romance in it.) :-)

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Mary Beth said...

Oh wow what great sounding books. I'm jotting these down on my TBB list.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Shari C said...

Thank you for your comments on the books you have read. Some of them definitely sound like they need to be on my "to buy" list.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger Roxanne St. Claire said...

Thank you, Jenna! So glad you liked THRILL ME TO DEATH! I am honored to be an "autobuy" and hope I can add to your keeper shelf!


At 1:05 PM, Anonymous wendywoo said...

Hi Jenna

I'm Wendy Wootton aka Portia Da Costa. How lovely to read that you enjoyed my book Entertaining Mr Stone! This book was huge fun to write, and a real labour of love too. I'm also thrilled that you found it romantic... I've been writing erotic novels for around fifteen years now, but I've always believed them to be romantic too. :)

Thanks for you lovely comments.



At 1:19 PM, Blogger Kate Pearce said...

Both Portia and Sophie's books are amazing. Virgin Black Lace/Cheek are simply re-aligning their books due to the sudden interest and inclusion of the more erotic titles within the romance section.
My Virgin Cheek book which comes out next year actually says 'an erotic romance' on the front cover and that's what they want me to write for them in the future.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Jenna Black said...

Looks like there will be more Black Lace books in my future. (Besides, I still have three more of them I picked up at the conference. Of course, I've got a lot of other books I picked up too. And my local RWA chapter just had a signing, where I picked up too many books. I need to quit my day job so I have enough time to read them all!


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