Saturday, February 18, 2017
Fluff vs. Substance? by Jannine Gallant
So, I may have mentioned a time or two that I have a new release coming out at the end of the month. WILDE THING is book three in my BORN TO BE WILDE series. This series is fun, romantic, and adventure packed with a side of suspense. My readers seem to like all these qualities. However, I did something a little different with this book. Sure, it has all of the above, but I also introduced the controversial topic of child abuse. Not in a huge, take-over-the-story sort of way. But the more I asked myself why my heroine had certain problems, the more I knew I needed to give her a backstory with a darker underbelly. Reviews on Goodreads have been trickling in from ARCs received through NetGalley, and the results are mixed.
Don't get me wrong. In general, I've had a lot of "another great book in this series" reviews. But I've noticed a scattering of three and four stars mixed with the fives, and the complaints seem to have a common theme. I made readers uncomfortable. They said I could have wrapped up the book without introducing that particular topic. One went so far as to mention she understood why I did it, but she still wished it hadn't been included. I've got to tell you, I like reviewers who are so honest and detailed about their problems with a book. This particular reviewer had given WILDE ONE and WILDE SIDE both five star reviews. She gave WILDE THING four stars and said she couldn't wait for WILDE HORSES to release. So, I learned something.
Uncomfortable topics may turn off some readers. Is this just because they didn't expect it after reading the first two books in the series? Or, do some readers just want a world where ugliness doesn't exist and where the hero and heroine are perfect. I also got a few complaints that my hero was a player (even though he redeems himself in the end), and they didn't like that. That particular criticism also leads me to believe flawed characters aren't always appreciated. Based on the reviewer who is eagerly anticipating WILDE HORSES, my transgressions aren't going to alienate devoted followers. But, I am wondering about my next series which delves into some pretty dark suspense. I guess we'll wait and see.
So, my question to you: As a reader, do you prefer to enjoy light romance untarnished by uncomfortable reality? Honestly, there's not a thing wrong with that. I'll admit I won't read a book where I know someone I've invested hours of my time getting to know is going to die. So, yeah, I fall in the don't-disturb-me-with-reality camp on that topic. In addition, do you appreciate characters who have flaws, or do you love perfect heroes? Inquiring minds want to know!
If I've tweaked your curiosity and you can't wait to see what WILDE THING is all about, pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, or KOBO. It releases on February 28th. Thanks for stopping by!