I always thought I wrote romantic suspense. However, after a few reviews for BURIED TRUTH from NetGalley and Amazon Vine Customers (both groups get a free ARC in exchange for a review of the book), I'm beginning to wonder what exactly I do write. First of all, I fully believe most people who get a book for free will find something wrong with it. Sad but true. Readers seem to put less value on a product they didn't have to pay for. But, there were a few comments that made me think about the importance of portraying the genre or sub-genre of our books accurately and to the expectations of our readers.
Romantic Suspense. To me, that says the book should have both romance and suspense. I think mine do. But I'm beginning to believe others don't see the genre in the same light. I had several reviewers complain there wasn't enough suspense, that the romance dominated the book. They thought (based on the blurb) that the book would be more of a straight up thriller. Interesting. I don't get much say in my final blurb, and my publisher is pushing me in the suspense direction with my covers. Maybe they want something I'm not delivering.
So, let's talk about the romance part of the equation. I had several comments that the hero and heroine hooked up too soon. My brain nearly exploded at that one. Do you remember when publishers had a breakdown if there was no sex by chapter four? I think my first love scene was in chapter seven, and my characters had a history together. It wasn't like they'd just met. So, I ask you--is sex no longer in vogue? Or is this just a new romantic suspense thing? Used to be I focused so strongly on the suspense plot, I didn't put enough twists and turns into the romance arc and was chastised for it. I've really tried to give my characters more emotional relationship angst as they battle the villains. Maybe I've gone too far in the opposite direction. I thought I'd finally struck a nice balance. Shows what I know...
Okay, how about the suspense angle? Does romantic suspense now mean non-stop action with the bad guys shooting at the good guys? I took my time in this series, building the suspense before any real danger enters the picture. Little things happen to put the heroine on edge, the sort of things that make her look over her shoulder and wonder what's next. I think it builds at a steady pace toward a pretty suspenseful conclusion. But maybe suspense books need less subtlety and more in your face danger. Am I writing for the wrong sub-genre?
In short, I'm not too sure I know what readers want when they're promised romantic suspense. How about you? If you read romantic suspense, what do you expect? If you'd like to jump on the bandwagon and critique my interpretation of the genre, please pick up a copy of BURIED TRUTH. I welcome your input and would love to receive your review!
As for my next series, I may have a little more in your face danger coming your way... For information on my other books, please visit my WEBSITE. Happy reading!