A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Discerning Reader or Jaded Jezebel?

I bought my first Ellora's Cave book back in February 2003. I remember that rush and thrill of buying a naughty book online. With the exception of the guy I live with I didn't tell any one. Of course, I was hooked. It wasn't long before I found other online erotic book stores and tested them all with purchases. I even found independent writers who were selling their books on their individual websites. I was the proverbial kid in a candy store.

In that time I've seen the erotic romance genre grow. There are innumerable sites out there now...lots of books to chose from and the naughty books finally made it into print in a big way. I can even buy them at the local book store.

These edgier romances with more explicit language and sex were thrilling for me and frankly quite liberating. Much like the Whitman's sampler of chocolates there was a wide range of romantic erotic literature out there and I was too curious not to sample all sorts of bits. Like the chocolates, some were devoured and had me wishing for just one more bite. Some were poked or nibbled and put back in the box.

I used to know what day each line released its new books and anxiously looked forward to see what came out. Now, three and a half years later I visited all my favorite online sites this week and pretty much rolled my eyes at the releases.

Is it me or is there just a glut of same old, same old? Beyond that do you find we've moved into the ridiculous with some plots? I often feel this way with print books as well. Every once in a while the publishing world seems to go through a particularly intense period of trying to capitalize on the popularity of one genre. The result being too many books, not very well written, on a worn out theme. Worse when a publisher thinks the readers are too stupid to realize what is happening. There are so many books out there, why do we readers keep buying books we are pretty sure we aren't going to like? I know I do...probably half my book purchases any more are books I'm hoping will be better than I believe they will be. Sad, but true.

Recently my sanity has been saved by an almost exclusive return to print romance. I can't remember when I've had so many good reads in a short period of time as I have the last two months. Very satisfying.

However, after taking a look at the EC releases today I wondered who had changed more? Is it me? Am I a more discerning reader or a more jaded one? Are my favorite online erotic romance bookstores just starved for new writers with many of the most popular authors now writing for print?

What's it been like for you? Oh, and if you have any recs, please don't hesitate to share.

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Blogger Devonna said...

I feel a little "out of the loop" since I haven't read an Ellora's Cave book. The only erotic romance I've ever read was Take Me by Bella Andre (which was excellent, by the way). I keep thinking I should pick one up ~ but I haven't yet.

As a funny aside, at our local Borders, the Ellora's Cave books are mixed right in with the inspirational fiction books. I laugh every time I see it. I often wonder if the people who work there know anything about the books they shelf sometimes.

7:56 AM PDT  
Blogger Tara Marie said...

I think part of the problem with erotic romance is sex drives the story as much as or more than plot. And after a while you reach the been there done. I've been reading Black Lace for years and to be honest there's nothing in an Ellora's Cave that I hadn't already read, so I'm never overly impressed.

8:16 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Devonna, I buy the books online when I'm not interested in any of the many books in the Tower of Pisa that my TBR has become. It's just lately that nothing much appeals to me...or seems same old, same old.

Tara Marie: I've been reading books from EC for over 3 years. I have some Black Lace too. While I get that sex drives the plot in some of the erotica/romantica, recent reads seem like it's just another day at the office. I LOVE spicy stories, but sheesh, sex for sex sake (and often not well written) is like vacuuming the carpet...lots of noise and it sucks.

I've been married and doing the horizontal mambo for 26 years with the same guy and I'm not counting sheep or thinking of England. So does the sex in the books have to be that uninspired and gratuitous?

12:07 AM PDT  

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