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REVIEW: Ben’s Wildflower by Carol Lynne

Dear Ms. Lynne:

Fellow blogger Karen Scott emailed me yesterday and said I should go and buy Ben’s Wildflower. I obediently went and bought it. About 10 pages in, I emailed Ms. Scott back and asked her if I had done something to offend her because I thought she and I were pals.

Katie Crawford is a tiny woman who is working her ranch alone after the death of her parents. She’s at the end of her rope but won’t sell. Her neighbor brings by a friend, Ben Thomas, to see the ranch. Kate refuses Thomas’ offer to sell the ranch but easily capitulates when Thomas offers to buy only half. Kate is a shy woman. She had a terrible experience as a teen at the hands of the bank owner’s son and has stayed away from town ever since. Ben falls in love with Kate immediately but believes that his love can only be an emotional connection rather than a physical one because of bad experience in his youth.

Ben’s Wildflower is a bad book. I don’t know that I can say that any nicer. As with so many other bad books, it is just best to let the book do the talking.

Ben’s bad experience dates back to when he took his first girlfriend, Mary Sue. Mary Sue was a tiny woman like Kate and during intercourse he ripped her “tiny pussy”. “Since that horrible day he’d fucked only big, very, very experienced women.” I couldn’t figure out how he knew how big a woman’s vagina was. Can a man tell that by height? weight? length of index finger? Does he carry around stirrups, a speculum and a ruler?

Kate was described in the following manner: “tiny thing”, “tiny woman”, “tiny precious body “, “tiny waist and nice sized ass”, “tiny slip of woman”, “tiny hand”, “tiny spitfire.” I was pretty sure we were dealing with Thumbelina until I read she was 5′ 2″ and 110 lbs. I don’t perceive that to be so tiny as to be unable to have sex with Ben even if he has a 10 inch cock. I don’t know how big Ben was, but it sounds like he rivaled Andre the Giant. “Just one of his fingers had to be at least two or three of hers.”

The story doesn’t have much plot nor is there much consistency in characterization. Even though Kate works all day at the ranch, doesn’t go into town and is a virgn, she still takes time to pierce her navel and her clit along with buying lingerie with cutouts. Apparently she must like looking good for her collection of vibrators.

Ben’s big character arc is based on his Andre the Giant penis getting inside the little teeny tiny vagina of Kate. Lots of time spent on that. There’s a really bad (so bad that it isn’t even comical) legal subplot put in where criminals are tried without a lawyer and Kate represents herself in prosecuting said criminal. Okay, maybe it is comical.

The sex scenes are also quite amusing. “He swallowed as much of her breast as he could and bit down lightly.” That sounds, um, painful and not at all erotic. Also painful were Ben’s constant erections and the sacrifices he had to make because of them. “He’d had to give up wearing underwear. When his cock got hard, as was the daily occurrence lately, underwear was painful. Ben had no choice but to jerk off every morning and night.” Oh, dear Ben. I guess they don’t make boxers for those Gentle Giants.

But he probably didn’t know any better spending all his time having sex with “only big, very, very experienced women” or “Well stretched and experienced.” I couldn’t really tell whether you were trying to tell me something about Ben’s past sexual history. It seems like there was a pattern but I just can’t tell because you weren’t obvious enough about it.

There was also alot of throwaway sex scenes in the book where Ben’s former Navy Seal squadron apparently are all gay or bisexual and like to get it on just at random times in the book with no apparent care who is watching; whether it is out to dinner, at the breakfast table, in a car. In one scene Ben is on the phone to someone and two of the guys are going at it right behind him.

And because all good erotica books have anal sex in it, Ben’s Wildflower ends on that note. I think it’s a bit ironic that the cover model looks like someone from the Miss Bodybuilder pageant. F.

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

90 Comments

  1. Sarah
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 16:37:02

    I have no desire to read this book but thank you for the laugh this review provided!

  2. Cyn
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 16:52:23

    Oh.my.god. Shouldn’t have read this review during my lecture class. I had to duck my head down behind my laptop screen so the professor didn’t see me laughing. Awesome job, Jane!

  3. TeddyPig
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 16:56:01

    OH my my my my my!

    You obviously did not get the page turner Branded By Gold did you?

    Someone I know insists that Ellora’s Cave has fallen almost to the level of Changeling Press.

    I am beginning to agree.

  4. TeddyPig
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 17:00:14

    Although I am waiting patiently for the next Samantha Kane book…

  5. TeddyPig
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 17:03:56

    The book is mis-titled she originally wanted it to be Ben’s Wild Flour.

    Which is how he figured out the size of the ladies vagina in question.

  6. Charlene
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 18:20:46

    *sigh* EC has upcoming releases from Shiloh Walker, Cheyenne McCray, and NJ Walters I’m looking forward to. Think I’ll skip this one, though!

  7. bam
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 18:51:57

    I read this review in class, too. I had to turn my laugh into a cough. At one point, my prof looked at me and said, “Are you okay? Do you need water?”

    I was reminded of a bit from the Sarah Silverman show where she says about her sister, “Do you think he cares that you’re a sex addict with a tiny vagina?” out loud.

  8. Roslyn
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 19:46:16

    Ohmigod, this sounds like the plot from a Diana Palmer book I read years ago. That might explain why your review sounds like Mrs. Giggles reviews of Palmer. Now all we need is a partially intact widow to finish it off.

  9. AnimeJune
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 19:50:53

    Are they – are they nekkid piggybacking on the cover?

    Okay, stay focused – funny, funny review. Did he actually ask any women if they were “well stretched”?

    “What – are you afraid I might pull something?”

    “…In a way.”

    I actually read a book where there was a romance between a tiny, tiny woman and a much larger man: the one between a man-sized fairy and a finger-sized pixie in Tad Williams’ “War of the Flowers.” There was a simple solution really – the dude gets the “shrinking” operation, because “bigging up a girl” was a more complicated process.

  10. Tate
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 19:58:20

    I read Branded by Gold and it was every bit as awful as Ben’s Wildflower.

  11. Teddy Pig
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 20:53:19

    “Ben's big character arc is based on his Andre the Giant penis”

    Does he call it “biscuit” cause it rises in the oven?

    Hung like a horse and he hangs out with gay and bi-sexual sailors!?!
    Does she realize the marriage is doomed from the beginning?

    Doomed I say!

  12. Keishon
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 21:36:16

    Well, the cover alone would have given me pause. Just sayin…

  13. Robin
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 22:21:18

    Not that I’m suggesting that the author isn’t actually female, but your review makes it sound like the book is written from a male perspective — and I’m not talking about Ben’s POV. In other words, it sounds like bad Victorian erotica, the kind written by men who aren’t even trying to make it seem realistic.

    Aside from that, the “tiny” thing always irks me, because I never like to think of the heroine as childlike or birdlike or anything else where sexual activity with a human male adult would either be illegal or sick or both.

  14. Jane
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 22:26:19

    Robin – I had those same thoughts myself – that the author was writing from a different perspective. A friend of mine has really small hands and Ned says that they look like a child’s and he’s always a bit freaked out when she touches him.

  15. Jane
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 22:27:57

    TP – “Does he call it “biscuitâ€? cause it rises in the oven?”. Nope that wasn’t in the book, but it would have been appropriate.

  16. Jane
    Apr 26, 2007 @ 22:33:48

    The rest of you who are in class – why didn’t I have internet access during class. Maybe I would have stayed awake more.

  17. Kat
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 01:03:26

    This review had me laughing and crossing my legs. Eek! I heard that the man with the longest penis in the world fainted every time he chucked a stag. Did the hero ever get lightheaded?

  18. Marg
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 03:48:26

    “He swallowed as much of her breast as he could and bit down lightly.â€?

    Wouldn’t that make him gag! Ewwww.

  19. Jayne
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 04:12:16

    So why exactly did Karen want you to read this? For the laughs?

  20. May
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 07:58:58

    I await Karen’s response.

    The tiny thing alone would have ticked me off. Tiny in size, so what? (okay, this is personal, because I’m even tinier Kate)

  21. Jane
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 09:18:13

    I think Karen didn’t want to suffer alone. But, I, too, await her response to this book.

  22. Ann(ie)
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 10:23:47

    Fans of Carol Lynne should check out her website. She has a huge number of releases scheduled from EC.

    I am particularly intrigued by the title NECKLACE OF SHAME.

  23. bam
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 11:49:02

    speaking of whom, WHERE IS KAREN?

    *wiping tear from eye* Necklace of Shame. Awesome.

  24. Teddy Pig
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 12:42:32

    Necklace of Shame… *snort* hehehehehehehe

  25. May
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 12:53:41

    So, I’m not the only one who read Necklace of Shame and slid all the way into the gutter, right?

  26. Jane
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 12:58:36

    It’s about . . . .well, yes, I am in the gutter with you.

  27. Devon
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 14:04:39

    I think it's a bit ironic that the cover model looks like someone from the Miss Bodybuilder pageant.

    She also looks pretty bored. I guess she wasn’t that impressed by the ginormous shlong. And why is she on his back? New twist on the standard EC anal sex scene?

    This review made me laugh so hard I nearly cried. I can’t decide which is more fascinating: trying to figure out how he found out which women were all stretched out (women who’d given birth to four or more children only… or had a certain number of sexual partners?) , or picturing some guy on the phone while his buddies go at it behind him. I hope he threw some dirty gym socks at them.

  28. Karen Scott
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 14:13:09

    Not that I'm suggesting that the author isn't actually female, but your review makes it sound like the book is written from a male perspective -’

    Robin, I thought exactly the same thing as I was reading it.

    Jane, I didn’t realise you’d reviewed it, or else I would have piped up sooner. Funny as f*ck.

    My review of it is up now.

    Bam, it is your duty to get it, and review it too. If nothing else, we’re giving her/him/it, free publicity.

  29. Jane
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 14:15:23

    Karen’s review is here. Hilarious as always.

    I wasn’t going to review but I had finished the book and had written all those notes down about how bad the book was and thought, what the hell!

  30. bam
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 16:03:51

    Bam, it is your duty to get it, and review it too. If nothing else, we're giving her/him/it, free publicity.

    I hate you guys.

  31. Chantal
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 12:07:33

    Oh harsh. I liked this one. The first in the series was better though.

  32. Dark
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 14:50:14

    how nice to see how people bash someones hard work and effort. the book may not have been to your liking and thats ok…..
    but to just sit and totally dog out someones hard work and effor and their time is just plain rude and disrespectful. one can only hope that if anyone in this room ever writes a book that the same is not done to them. if nothing esle some thought should have been given to how the author would and does feel looking at what some of you wrote. shame on it all. i must have missed the fact that everyone in here had a contract to write books. one would think that if yall can say all about what you dont like about the book that you can write one better. so come on out and show us your skills. im not saying that i like or dislike the damned book, but i am saying is the woman was able to put the time and effort into her work and came up with a novel who else posting can say the same? and as far as how you feel about some of the sites that write erotic ebooks i got a simple solution for that….. DONT GO THERE AND BUY BOOKS. HOW ABOUT THAT.

  33. Robin
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 18:00:45

    but i am saying is the woman was able to put the time and effort into her work and came up with a novel who else posting can say the same?

    Well, I’ve written a book, albeit not fiction, and I write for a living. Bam is going to be published soon. Charlene Teglia posted in this thread, and she’s written and pubished more than one Romance novel, and IIRC recently sold to St. Martins. Numerous authors post here regularly, published and unpublished alike.

    In what area of literature, art, or work to we praise effort over product? Sure, we tell our children that effort counts, but even there we are now criticizing the parenting style that does not expose children to healthy competition such that they can build confidence by learning to do their best work and take criticism without having it reflect on who they are. Are authors children; should we treat them as such?

    When your tire blows on the freeway, do you praise Firestone or whoever for their fine effort? The beautiful rim of the whitewall? Publishers certainly aren’t paying authors for their effort, even if it’s not always evident that talent is being published with every book. Certainly a publisher won’t keep on an author who is not selling but who tries hard with every book.

    So why should readers? As far as anyone here knows, this book could have taken hours to write or months, but what matters is not the time in production but *what* that effort yielded. If someone writes a great book in a week, should they be docked because they didn’t take long enough to write it?

    as far as how you feel about some of the sites that write erotic ebooks i got a simple solution for that….. DONT GO THERE AND BUY BOOKS. HOW ABOUT THAT.

    This is a site that offers reviews for books, among other things. It is written by readers, for readers, by people who don’t get paid to review and who often pay for the books themselves. Threads are not moderated and anyone can write an dissenting opinion, no matter how rude or harsh. Readers read, and they read what is published. Sometimes they love a book, sometimes they don’t, and in both cases they are equally validated to write their review/commentary/opinion, just as you are.

    It seems to me that the reverse of your opinion here is the more logical: if a writer doesn’t want to brave the possibility of a bad opinion, she/he shouldn’t seek publication, which, by its very nature, is a process that relies on and solicits public consumption and response. And by extension, if an author or reader does not want to potentially read negative reviews, then he/she should avoid sites that do not give every book a gold star simply because someone took the time to write it. Why is that time any more valuable than what it takes any given reader to read said book?

  34. Sarah McCarty
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 20:55:05

    “When your tire blows on the freeway, do you praise Firestone or whoever for their fine effort? The beautiful rim of the whitewall?”

    This is a great analogy, Robin. I’m hauling it out next time my kids try to convince me that only the effort matters and not the end result.

  35. Charlene
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 21:33:59

    Well said, Robin. And it’s very true, my publishers would not keep publishing me, no matter how hard I worked, if the end result wasn’t a good book. (Although good can be very subjective.) And the Ja(y)nes are free to give their opinion on anything I write. They already have twice.

    What I appreciate about this site, aside for the wealth of information on ebooks, ebook sites, and all manner of useful author, editor and publisher features, is that whether they like it or not, their reviews say why. I can tell from reading this review that Ben’s Wildflower is not to my taste, though not necessarily for the same reasons Jane didn’t like it, and there may be other readers who see the review and think, “wow, hot SEAL on SEAL action, I gotta have this.”

    It’s informative, in other words. She didn’t just say “This is a bad book”.

  36. Jane
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 21:37:33

    Hey, I am not against hot SEAL on SEAL action.

  37. Robin
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 22:14:58

    This is a great analogy, Robin. I'm hauling it out next time my kids try to convince me that only the effort matters and not the end result.

    Smart Bitch Candy wrote a great analogy involving automobile defects somewhere on the web last year, which is where I lifted the tire analogy. Pretty much any dangerous situation will work, because it seems much easier to give points for effort when the idea of harm is minimal. Although, really, how many times can you scrub your eyes with bleach before you lose your vision? Sure effort counts in, say, learning situations, where we want to encourage people to work hard. But counting effort in a book review seems an incredible insult to wonderful, well-crafted writing and storytelling.

  38. Soul
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 22:34:39

    I’m really happy to know what authors to no longer support.

    To come to a website and see authors and readers maliciously attack another author's work is rather sickening. To say you dislike a book is fine, to say there was too much of emphasis on homoerotic acts, or the focus on the man's package was overdone is acceptable. But to tear apart a person's dreams because you don't like his or her work shows your opinions are worthless. I wonder how many of the authors taking part in this discussion would be so free and flighty if it was their work being torn to shreds.

    The lack of loyalty shown to the publishing house where some of you earn your royalties is amazing. I also wonder how many of the people on this site and the other blog are people EC probably sent rejection letters and now this is your opportunity to hit back.

    I hope the rumor about the 12 book contract is true….the best revenge will be her or his success.

    Soulfuldreamer

  39. Jane
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 22:49:22

    I can safely say that I have never received a rejection letter from EC nor do I believe that I will receive one in the future.

  40. Robin
    Apr 28, 2007 @ 23:09:17

    The lack of loyalty shown to the publishing house where some of you earn your royalties is amazing.

    Even if someone in this thread did have EC as a publisher, why is it disloyal to find another author’s book insultingly bad? If I were an EC author (I don’t even write Romance so it’s a stretch to begin with), I’d be pissed to think that my publishing house was putting out books that I felt drew down their reputation. Furthermore, publishers do not employ authors; they make money off of them, plain and simple. IMO the highest loyalty an author owes to a publisher is to write work that sells. Beyond that, I find it frightening that authors are perceived to be enslaved by some unspoken taboo against saying anything that might be construed as negative about a publisher or book. That, it seems to me, is profoundly disloyal to the integrity of the creative endeavor.

  41. Sarah McCarty
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 05:11:53

    Robin,

    I’m going to have to look up Candy’s blog post. Souds like a good one.

    I’m all poised to use this line now, and wouldn’t you know the teens are in one of thier angelic periods? *sigh* I may have to wait weeks for my chance to whip it out!

  42. Karen Scott
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 07:25:39

    but to just sit and totally dog out someones hard work and effor and their time is just plain rude and disrespectful. one

    Pollyanna, you’re kidding right?

    To come to a website and see authors and readers maliciously attack another author's work is rather sickening.

    Actually, personally, I feel just fine, not feeling nauseous whatsoever.

    The lack of loyalty shown to the publishing house where some of you earn your royalties is amazing. I also wonder how many of the people on this site and the other blog are people EC probably sent rejection letters and now this is your opportunity to hit back.

    I wasn’t so kind about what has to be the most inept, amateur, ridiculous, and absurd steaming pile of horse manure, that I've come across in a very, very long time, and to my knowledge I’ve never submitted work to EC, thus no rejections from them.

    I read this book, and I was amazed that the editor had ok’ed it, so to me, she has to share the greater portion of the blame for the end result.

    The book sucked in the worse way, the only remotely good thing about it was the possibility that some readers might have been turned on by the man-on-man love.

    By the way Soul, seeing as you were too chickenshit to post under your own name, most people on here will just assume that you are Carol Lynne. Terribly unfair, I know.

  43. Soul
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 08:09:06

    If I said my name you wouldn’t know who I was so it doesn’t really matter. I left my email address as required and the id name I use online which is what people know me by.

    Now back to the stink spewing from your fingers, I am not Carol Lynne but for you to assume I am just adds credence to my statement your views are insignificant. As if there aren't other people disgusted with the type of behavior exhibited on this thread and the personal attacks being made against an unknown author.

    As I mentioned and it seems all of you wish to ignore is there is a way to review a book you deemed lacking without ripping the author in a manner that is cruel.

    From your last post it looks like I hit a nerve, maybe because you know your actions and behavior here is deplorable?

    Now I will move on and not waste more of my time here or with readers and authors who condone this behavior. Guess I have a few books to throw in the fire pit and a few others to delete.

  44. Karen Scott
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 08:31:40

    I am not Carol Lynne but for you to assume I am just adds credence to my statement your views are insignificant.

    Ooh, methinks the lady (or man of course) doth protest too much.

    As if there aren't other people disgusted with the type of behavior exhibited on this thread and the personal attacks being made against an unknown author.

    Personal attacks? Where? The book sucked, this review was all about the book darling. You need to point out the personal attacks, because I quite clearly missed them.

    As I mentioned and it seems all of you wish to ignore is there is a way to review a book you deemed lacking without ripping the author in a manner that is cruel.

    Again, please tell me where Jane made personal remarks about the author?

    From your last post it looks like I hit a nerve, maybe because you know your actions and behavior here is deplorable

    Really? Well I just re-read my post, and I’ve come to the conclusion, that your eyesight isn’t that great lovey. Either that, or the tears of frustration that somebody dare criticise your book, are keeping you from seeing the wood for the trees. *g*

    Now I will move on and not waste more of my time here or with readers and authors who condone this behavior.

    As if you haven’t been desperately awaiting my reply.

    Seeing as you aren’t here, I can finally call you a fucktard, because that’s quite clearly what you are.

  45. Lacey T.
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 08:35:20

    Wow! I’m blown away. I had no idea that you guys did this. I am a very good friend of Carol Lynne’s, so I’ll start by saying that. I see a lot of EC names linked here and it does give me pause. I also write for EC but please don’t take that as a reason to shredd my book. Like a lot of authors I write as a way to stay home with my kids and still bring in the income. Times are tough all over and we do what we must to get through. Carol is a wonderful person and I’ve enjoyed all of her books that I have read, and I’ve read several that haven’t been released yet. Of course, I read for the entertainment value. I liked Ben’s Wildflower and I’m okay with the fact that you didn’t. This is a forum to express your opinions and that is what we need. But the tactful thing to do is to stick to critiqueing the book and not attack the author personally. I am a big Sarah McCarthy fan and Charlene Teglia as well. But I’m also a Carol Lynne fan.
    Having said that I love the dynamics and basic concept of this group. I will continue to stop in and check what you guys are reading that you really like. I’ll pick out the constructive criticism that is tossed in and apply it to my own work and hopefully come up with something more pleasing to the masses. Thanks for giving me a moment of your time!

    Lacey Thorn

  46. Jane
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 08:48:00

    I never understand why negative reviews get so much more press than the positive ones. Lacey, welcome to dear author. We try very hard to remove any criticism of an author for our reviews. You need to quote a section in the review where it speaks to the author herself or himself or itself rather than a book. Otherwise, the claim sounds specious.

  47. Charlene
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 09:08:02

    Jane, it was the SEAL on SEAL that stuck out at me. *g* And there are a LOT of M/M fans, so that’s a big selling point which the excerpt and blurb totally didn’t mention. Get your hot SEALs here! (Yes, I read the blurb and excerpt. I’m always looking at what’s new and upcoming at EC.)

    I’m sad to hear some might interpret not loving every book by any publisher as disloyal. I love EC. I love writing for EC. I will keep happily writing for EC into the forseeable future. (I might run out of ideas someday, or they might quit buying my stuff, or I might be abducted by aliens. You never can predict the future.) But here’s the thing, EC puts out more than 20 titles a month. I can’t possibly read them all, let alone love them all. That’s not disloyal, that’s just reality. I’m sure no author reads and loves every single title their publishers put out, although there are too many authors at EC whose books I love to count. (I did mention 3 in my first comment.)

    I can’t defend Ben’s Wildflower because I haven’t read it. That’s not disloyalty, that’s honesty. I can’t say if it’s good or bad without reading it, and since it doesn’t have themes or hooks that say “buy me, read me, I’m your kind of book”, I’m not likely to read it. But nowhere did I say anything negative about the book, the author, or the publisher. I did say I can see it’s not my kind of book, but I’d mention it to anybody I know who would love to read SEAL on SEAL.

    *waves at Lacy* Thanks for your kind comment, Lacy, I’m delighted that you read my stuff. There is always food for thought here at Dear Author. I don’t always agree with the reviews, there’ve been books I liked the Ja(y)nes didn’t, but there is always passionate discussion here about books, all kinds of books, and their reviews often bring books to my attention I would otherwise never have noticed. Like the one in Ancient Greece, which I’m all over because I love stories set in Ancient Greece and Rome.

    And, you know, now I know where to find SEAL on SEAL action. *g*

  48. Robin
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 09:32:51

    I'm going to have to look up Candy's blog post. Souds like a good one.

    Sarah, I looked for the post myself this morning, and I think it was part of a long-deleted thread at AAR last year addressing editing/proofreading/writing clarity issues in a (then) recently released historical Romance. I can’t remember Candy’s analogy exactly, but there are references to it at Smart Bitches here . Funny how I was in finals last year when all that happened, too. The mind is a mysterious thing.

    You need to quote a section in the review where it speaks to the author herself or himself or itself rather than a book.

    I went back through and re-read the review and all the comments, and IMO there is barely a reference to Lynne, let alone any personal attack. It’s not like you said she’s condoning rape or anything (sorry, couldn’t resist). Now I guess my comment about the book’s POV could be deemed “personal” since I was referring to the narrative voice, but perhaps I need to repeat that I’m not suggesting that Lynne is not a woman (anyone remember the Lisa Valdez incident on AAR a couple of years ago?). The review itself doesn’t even reference Lynne except in the salutation (i.e. “the shtick”), so I’m guessing we’re back to the idea that if you find a book truly deplorable that you must be attacking the author. Ah, just one more reason I think the Romance community needs *more* open critique, not less. Otherwise the bar is going to drop lower and lower in regard to authors feeling offended, and those feelings will drive reviewing, not the rights of the reader and the task of the reviewer. And beyond that, what about the rights of books people find truly exemplary to be set apart from those readers find truly lacking? Why isn’t anyone clamoring to the defense of those books and authors? Great books need love too, don’t they?

  49. Robin
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 09:33:57

    Obviously I’m a complete dork when it comes to using the link tag, Sarah, but you can click anywhere on that long ass sentence to get to the SB discussion.

  50. Lacey T.
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 09:43:00

    Jane I was referring to the comments and not the review which was all about the book. I know that you can’t control what other people say. LOL That is one thing that is so great about freedom of speech. That’s why I said that I would pull the bits and pieces of constructive criticism out and pay special attention to them. I don’t write M/M. I write romantic suspense, contemporary and have my first fantasy book coming out this summer. I love EC but I agree with Charlene. They publish way too many books for me to read them all. I have my favorites that I buy faithfully and unfortunately some that I’ve never read. That’s life on a budget. LOL
    I love anything that sparks conversation and gets people talking and you seem to have created that here. I just was sad when there were comments questioning Carol Lynne:
    Not that I'm suggesting that the author isn't actually female, but your review makes it sound like the book is written from a male perspective -’
    Carol is new as I am and we both need to grow that thick coat of skin that sheilds us like armor. I was apalled that someone went out of their way to bring this to her attention. But then like I said, I know her. She did recieve an awesome review for this book by the way.
    Thanks for the warm welcome! I can be as snarky as the next person when I don’t like a book, especially when I could have used the money to buy something better. LOL I’ll enjoy this forum very much!

    Lacey Thorn

  51. Sarah McCarty
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 10:06:52

    Thanks for providing the link, Robin.

    I shall click away.

    And Lacey, thanks for the compliment. I’m just an OT poster today, but I appreciate it.

    Sarah

  52. Robin
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 10:45:37

    Not that I'm suggesting that the author isn't actually female, but your review makes it sound like the book is written from a male perspective -’
    Carol is new as I am and we both need to grow that thick coat of skin that sheilds us like armor. I was apalled that someone went out of their way to bring this to her attention.

    Why is this appalling? First of all, the review and comments are NOT MEANT FOR THE AUTHOR. But should the author go out of her way to read the comments, let alone a negative review, what’s the difference between saying that a book sounds as if it’s written from a male POV and saying that the narrative voice is characteristic in any other way? I didn’t even say whether I disliked that particular type of narrative perspective (some bad Victorian erotica is very entertaining in its own way, IMO).

    Seriously, I don’t understand this, especially as women narrate from a male POV EVERY TIME THEY REPRESENT A MALE CHARACTER’S VOICE. Even if I said it sounded like the author is a man, how is that bad (some of them are, you know)? It’s the POV of a book, not the author’s person I’m commenting on, and furthermore, I’m actually commenting on the review itself, and the way it sounded as if the book was written from a male POV. A very specific POV, in fact, one that sounds very reminiscent of a tradition of male-written erotica (or written from a certain male POV). I’m still not sure how any of that is “appalling,” but if it is, it’s a judgment that I would suggest you are making far more than I. It’s simply something that struck me reading Jane’s review — I certainly didn’t make any kind of moral or personal judgment about the author OR the book.

  53. Lacey T.
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 12:27:03

    Wow Robin! Take a look at my comment again please and take a deep breath. What I said was that I was appalled that someone went out of their way to bring this discussion to her. As in someone emailed her the link and told her what was being said. That was what I said. I had to go back and double read it just to make sure that I didn’t say something else. I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone. I thought maybe I was free to express my opinion as well. Like I also stated, I can get just as snarky as the next person about a book that I didn’t like.
    Keep up the lively conversation ladies. But maybe I better refrain.

    Lacey Thorn

  54. Robin
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 12:43:40

    I’m sorry, Lacey, that wasn’t clear to me at all. Since you quoted my comment, I assumed the “this” you were referring to was my comment (as in me bringing it to her attention by saying it), not the thread itself being brought by someone else to Lynne’s attention (esp. with no paragraph change). This topic of the male/female thing has come up often enough that I responded with more than one comment’s worth of frustration, for which I apologize. I really don’t think I questioned your right to state your opinion though, even if I disagreed with what I thought your opinion was.

  55. Amarinda
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 15:09:44

    I cannot take your comments seriously. Are you reviewing the book or looking for someone to crucify? Readers look to reviews for a professional comment – the good and the bad. I have no doubt you consider yourself terribly witty and smart but after reading such destrictive comments I have to wonder about you. I cannot take this review as serious or professional and I would not be turned off from reading Ben’s Wildflower – I intend to buy it as I enjoyed Branded by Gold and I am sure Carol Lynne’s fans will not be turned off by such childish ill thought out high school comments.

  56. Karen Scott
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 15:21:45

    I enjoyed Branded by Gold and I am sure Carol Lynne's fans will not be turned off by such childish ill thought out high school comments.

    Amarinda, what was it about Ms Lynne’s book that you specifically enjoyed?

  57. Amarinda
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 15:45:04

    Well Karen, the storyline, the characters, the plot…you know the usual stuff a reader looks for in a book. What do you look for in a book?

  58. Jane
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 16:20:35

    If you are looking for professional review (whatever that is), it is not to be found here as this is a site run by readers for readers. So you are getting the unvarnished opinion of one reader. Feel free to articulate with some detail about how it worked for you. You might convince someone to buy it.

    I am amazed at the fervent supporters of Ms. Lynne on this, her second book. Is there something about ebook authors that gives rise to the RBF?

  59. Amarinda
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 16:39:10

    Why are you amazed at the support Jane? Just because one person’s opinion is negative doesn’t mean everyone else’s is going to be.

  60. Lacey T.
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 16:42:29

    I love this group! How wonderful to have a forum for the readers to come and state their opinions. I tend to ramble in my posts Robin so no need to apologize to me. I think we all have the right to express our views. We are all different and we all tend to see things just a little differently which is what is so fantastic! One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, I think the saying goes.
    I do want to say that this is the best discussion/debate that I have watched and maybe even participated in a little bit in a good long while. Thanks for letting me join in! Dear Author will become a daily place to visit for me!

    Lacey Thorn

  61. Darlene Marshall
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 17:40:02

    I depend on review sites I respect to save me from wasting my money on books I really, really don’t want to read. No way, no how.

    Thanks, ladies, for a funny review, and more importantly, you highlighted specific issues you had with this novel rather than just do a drive by “This sux!”

  62. Nicolette Rivers
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 17:44:37

    Readers have a right to their opinions. They also have a right to warn other readers. What is it to them the effort put into the story? Unless they’re related to the writer there is no reason to support a book that doesn’t work for them.

    I’m more writer than reader, but I do buy books based on online reviews. I’ve purchased a lot of books based on reviews by Bam at Dionnegalace.com. Sometimes their even books she’s not liked.

    Any smart writer will take the bad review, especially if it’s a detailed review, because it’s free publicity. Ms.Lynn without any additional work has people talking about her. I’m pretty tempted to but the thing, and I know I’m not alone. Why? Because the reviewers have told details about the book that allows the reader to know if it’s the type of tale they’d enjoy. Some people want to read about hot guys fucking and might like it more that they do it in public. Some women like to read about men laying down some serious pipe.

    I’ve been published for $$$, but the majority of my work is for various online sites, and catering to various fetishes. Trust me that I’ve had my share of bad reviews among these communities. The worst review hasn’t even made a dent in the value of being reviewed. Please, in a sea of stories, discuss mine! And if they post a link? Oh Happy Day!

    We’re all adults here. Any writer who thinks she’ll never have to take any lumps doesn’t need protection from nasty reviews, but from herself. The reader is under no obligation to be kind, especially if their comments are for other readers. In this role, the reviewer is an advocate not for the author of a piece, but for other readers. The greater sin would be for them to pull their punches, because they’re then lying to the people they’re supposed to represent.

    I don’t think readers always understand the love and effort that goes into writing. The maddening dead ends, the self-doubt, and sacrifices of time with loved ones are not to be taken lightly, and readers don’t always see that. But a writer’s sob story is not a reader’s problem.

    Bad reviews sting. Sting like a mo’ fo’! And? Writers who want to grow accept them. They know what’s true, they know what they need to take away, they ignore the things they don’t want to change, and they become better for all of it.

    I’m not the writer, but in her place I’d tell people to can the chorus of Poor Pitiful Carol Lynne and thank Jane, Karen, and-hopefully Bam for every bitchy word of free publicity. I’d use the opportunity to keep my name fresh in the minds of readers, not only for being a good sport, but also for the showing I’m actually listening to what people are saying.

    I once read another review Karen did of a book by Daisy Dexter Dobbs. More than the review, I recall the response from the writer. It wasn’t poor pitiful me, or You Bitch, but humorous and gracious. My thought was that DDD won that round pretty handily. Of course she could have just told us all the effort that went into her work. Yep, that’ll work.

    Here is the thread in question:
    http://karenknowsbest.blogspot.com/2006/05/karen-does-daisy-dexter-dobbs.html

    Expecting this blogs to support the writer is like expecting the Better Business Bureau to take the side of the poor beleaguered business owner who really means to do better. I mean Mr. Business Owner works hard!

  63. DS
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 18:11:14

    [quote]I don't think readers always understand the love and effort that goes into writing. The maddening dead ends, the self-doubt, and sacrifices of time with loved ones are not to be taken lightly, and readers don't always see that. But a writer's sob story is not a reader's problem.[/quote]

    Good point about sob stories. You can say that about any professional. Do you really care how much time with her loved ones that your plumber or lawyer has sacrificed? Or about their self doubt or dead ends. All jobs have them. No, you want what you paid for to be done competently. In fact I am far more likely to find an author appealing if they don’t whine in public about their private life.

  64. December Quinn
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 18:24:36

    Can’t say it much better than Nicolette did.

    For every reader or writer-in-disguise who feels the need to leave nasty comments on reader blogs, demanding that said blogs conform to their own personal standards of what does and does not constitute a review, there are dozens of writers and readers who find such reviews helpful.

    I am a writer, and I have been reviewed by this site and others. Sometimes my work gets good reviews and sometimes it doesn’t. But you know what?Not only do I still find the bad reviews entertaining and helpful–I’ll get to that in a minute–I would be absolutely horrified if someone started getting nasty with reviewers because of their opinion of my book.

    Writing is solitary work, and it’s work done in a vacuum. The only way to know if you’re any good is to get feedback. The only way you can improve is to get feedback.

    I got a review of one of my books which took me to task for the lack of cohesive worldbuilding. Did it hurt a little? I guess so, but I don’t really get hurt by reviews. I’ll tell you what it did do, though–it forced me to look at my future work more critically, and to make damn sure my world-building is as solid as I can make it.

    In other words, it made me a better writer. Which hopefully means people will enjoy my work more. Which is a win-win situation, IMO.

    If the idea of people getting snarky or hating your work is so upsetting to you, this is the wrong business for you. Bottom line.

    Maybe if we all stopped acting like junior high school girls getting upset over stuff like this, romance wouldn’t have the image it does, hmmm?

  65. Lacey T.
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 18:53:55

    Brilliant comment December Quinn! You said it all just then! I couldn’t agree more with you.
    Like I said, I love this site! It is now permanently on my favorites! Thanks ladies and any time you want to review one of my books just say the word!

    Lacey Thorn

  66. Jackie
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 21:40:49

    Five foot two and 110 pounds? Heck, she’s taller than me. But I’ve got (cough) ten pounds on her…

  67. Shelly @ Bewitched
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 21:43:55

    I just wanted to say that between you and Karen, I have spit out out one coffee and one cherry coke onto my keyboard. I don’t buy many EC books anymore but I certainly will steer clear of this one. Thank you for the much needed laugh today, Jane!

  68. Jackie
    Apr 29, 2007 @ 21:44:56

    Just read through the comments. Oy.

    Writing is solitary work, and it's work done in a vacuum. The only way to know if you're any good is to get feedback. The only way you can improve is to get feedback.

    Yes, yes, and yes.

  69. Karen Scott
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 00:37:53

    Well Karen, the storyline, the characters, the plot…you know the usual stuff a reader looks for in a book. What do you look for in a book?

    Oh Amarinda, I like those things in books too, as long as they are done well.

    I assume you didn’t think there were any editorial problems whatsoever with the book then? I assume you thought the execution of the book was on the money?

    By the way, you may think that you’re supporting the author, but actually, you’re probably making her look a lot worse than the actual review itself. There’s nothing more off-putting than Rabid Fangirls who show up to ‘defend’ the author. This is a review by one reader, it really doesn’t mark the end of the author’s career. Well… not yet anyway.

    What you need to understand is that whilst you think that Ms Lynne’s book is the best thing since nipple clamps, others are bound to have differing opinions, and you know what, that’s ok. That’s generally how the world works is it not?

  70. Chantal
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 08:00:32

    Amarinda, I really enjoyed Branded by gold as well. Bens wildflower was OK. I mean, it wasn’t pile of crap that some people think it was, and thats alright. It’s just an opinion, and not everyone is going to like the same thing. Look at Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase-everyone loved it. I *hated* it. I thought it was a pathetic peice of crap.
    BTW, I still plan to buy the rest of Carol Lynne’s Men in love series.

  71. bam
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 08:40:26

    Forget about you guys, what does Nora roberts have to say about all this?

  72. Jane
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 08:54:28

    She’d say, If you slap me, I’ll slap you back. And then she’d be off to instruct the Oopma Loompas on how to make dinner whilst she’s drinking a dirty martini. (because she’s always ending her convos with an excuse of food preparation followed shortly by liquor).

  73. Nora Roberts
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 09:39:29

    (because she's always ending her convos with an excuse of food preparation followed shortly by liquor).

    Food prep should always be followed by liquor. In fact, liquor should be included in the prep.

    About this, I’d say that Jane’s and Karen’s reviews make their opinions clear on the book, with very specific points addressed. Are the reviews harsh? Certainly. This tells me their opinion of the book is also harsh. They hated it. They said why, in detail.

    That’s what reviews are mean to do. Give the reviewer’s opinion on the book, and address the reasons why that opinion was formed. A review isn’t meant to take the author’s time and effort into account, but to review the finished product.

  74. Jackie
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 10:08:18

    A review isn't meant to take the author's time and effort into account, but to review the finished product.

    Exactly. I know that an artist spent a lot of time and effort on a painting, but that doesn’t change my reaction to the painting. Ditto with novels. Major kudos to authors for writing and finishing their books; that deserves a clap on the back (and major chocolate). But that doesn’t mean the book deserves an award or an “A” rating. It’s all subjective. What works for some may not work for others. YMMV, and all of that.

  75. Candice Stone
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 16:11:52

    People who write these bad reviews have nothing better to do with their lives, so they spend their time trying to raise themselves up by tearing authors down. This is the most dispicable kind of crap I have ever seen. Mrs. Carol has a heart of gold and a talent that makes many kinds of people sit up and take notice of the positive things in life.
    The people who write hateful things probably did not even read the entire book and see that the whole story… series I mean is a treasure that needs to be cherished and inspired.
    I am glad that Carol wrote what she knew and was confident that what she wrote touched peoples lives in a postive way. My advice for Mrs. Carol is that… Not everyone is going to like your work, if that is the case… screw them.

  76. Jayne
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 17:23:07

    Jane, we’re screwed! Thank you Candice for those words of inspiration. I’ll cherish them always.

  77. bam
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 17:48:36

    I knew it! I knew these dirtbags were only dishing out bad reviews because they have no lives. Assholes.

    *shaking head in disgust*

  78. Jane
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 18:45:23

    Hey, at least no one has pulled the mom card.

  79. bam
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 18:47:50

    Yeah, whatever. Your mom!

  80. Jackie
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 21:19:43

    The mom card? What’s that? Where do I get one?

    Shit. Note to self: Buy Mom a mother’s day card…

  81. Ann Bruce
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 22:15:03

    I must admit that I had a riot reading the review. Yes, it’s cringe-inducing, but, as an author, I have to say that it’s free publicity and I know there are people out there who are going to buy the book just to see why it evoked such a strong response.

    So, how do I get publicity like this? ;)

  82. Nicolette Rivers
    Apr 30, 2007 @ 22:54:18

    I bought the book. It badly needs an edit, imo. I don’t hate it, and rather like the characters. I probably would not have bought it had it not been for the bad reviews.

    **People who write these bad reviews have nothing better to do with their lives, so they spend their time trying to raise themselves up by tearing authors down. This is the most dispicable kind of crap I have ever seen. Mrs. Carol has a heart of gold and a talent that makes many kinds of people sit up and take notice of the positive things in life.
    The people who write hateful things probably did not even read the entire book and see that the whole story… series I mean is a treasure that needs to be cherished and inspired.
    I am glad that Carol wrote what she knew and was confident that what she wrote touched peoples lives in a postive way. My advice for Mrs. Carol is that… Not everyone is going to like your work, if that is the case… screw them.**

    Do you think you’re doing the writer any favors by saying people who gave her free publicity are losers?

    My dog has a heart of gold — it has his name, address, and telephone number in case he gets lost. Because he’s neutered, his prose leaved a little to be desired; all his love scenes end with the hero getting a belly rub.

    She wrote what she knew? She knows men with ten inch dicks that’ll tear a woman open? And she has time to write? Is there a special cushion involved?

    Anyhow, criticism is part and parcel of the job. Some of it is helpful, and some useless, but in no way is the proper public response to a reviewer, “Screw you!”

  83. Lily
    May 01, 2007 @ 18:45:01

    I’ve stopped buying EC and after reading this review, I need not wonder if I should give them a try again. I still buy my old EC authors but these new books and newbie authors suck! I don’t want to hurt anyone feelings, but books are expensive. We spend money on them, and they are worthless. And that’s not cool. So now they release more books with writers (they are not authors, thus the distinction) who can’t write and can’t even manage to give us a basic plot. These stories are ridiculous porn and it’s not even good porn, dammit.

  84. I have to agree
    May 02, 2007 @ 13:23:46

    That this was the biggest crap I’ve ever read. It’s the honest to god truth. There is no plot in this story whatsoever. And the repetitious lines that Andre the giant has a huge hot dog that could end up hurting her- was actually sickening. I couldn’t continue to read the book and I do hope that someone hits Carol Lynne’s editor on the head-that’s the real culprit in this.

  85. Emily
    May 13, 2007 @ 11:32:12

    I can’t help put wonder how a penis would tear a vagina unless it wasn’t a very sensitive penis or it was a rather delicate vagina…

  86. Evette
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 09:44:37

    I like Carol Lynne books. I have not however read Ben’s Wildflower. Not because I dont think that it will be good but because I knew that it wasn’t a story I would be interested in. I can’t believe a group of reading women could really attack an author like this but I guess not everyone takes others feelings into thought or the work involved with creating a story. But since we are all family honesty is the best policy I don’t know how dumb all of you are but I try to look the except and promo over before I buy anything. Also I do not expect every book I read to be a hit.( I want it to be but just like music not everything on the cd will be a hit) If you can name one author with over 5 books that you can state say that every last one is a hit I will know that you are all liars also. (Hell even Sean Micheals has a dud in my book or are you against men too – since “it seems to be written from a male perspective.” I don’t know how many of you have a story or novel published to talk as much junk (thats not the word I wanted to use) that you do. But hey you are entitled to your opinions as asinine as it is.

  87. Ima J
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 13:43:53

    I guess I don’t get how saying a book is garbage equates to the author is garbage. Oh, wait, that’s right, it doesn’t. (equate!) @@

    I have read books by authors, that usually I adore, that I have hated. Yet I still continue to read said authors. Just because one book didn’t do it for me doesn’t make them a lousy writer. @@

  88. Bibliomrs
    Oct 16, 2008 @ 02:31:46

    I know this thread is old, but I have to say my piece….

    Like Soul, I used the name people in my cyber life know, but for those interested, in real life my name is Tiffany. I am an avid reader (hense the name), but sadly I was not blessed with the ability to create wonderful literary escapes for other people. I have a HUGE respect for any author, good or bad, that has that ability. I have a closet full of notebooks filled with ideas, but I am too chickenshit to face negitive reviews if everyone hates them, therefore, I don’t put myself in that position. If a person can truely not stand a negitive reaction to their efforts, whatever they may be, then they shouldn’t release them for public consumption.

    When I first started reading this thread I was highly offended by what I took as unnecessarily malicious comments about the book, which I thought was merely ok, but then I got to the truely unnecessarily malicious comments about other comments. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has a right to express that opinion as they see fit, but come on guys! If you notice, about halfway thru the thread it stopped being about the book at all and became personal; not about the author, but about the other bloggers. I enjoyed some of the generalized snarky comments throughout this thread, the pointed personalized ones were not needed, it just made the authors of the comments sound immature or bad tempered.

    Reading the whole thread was kind of like a train wreck, grusome, uncomfortable, but too fasinating to turn away from. I hope that ALL authors, including Carol Lynne, get something constructive out of this thread. I also hope that other bloggers will actually look at their post in context and realize that whether you agree or disagree with a review or comment you can and should phrase your comment or rebuttal respectfully.

    I look forward to many thought provoking reviews in the future.

  89. Jessika
    Jan 15, 2009 @ 01:11:41

    I didnt mind the book, in no way her best, poorly edited etc

    I dont know if i would of gave it an F though, maybe a D LOLOLOL

    ive read worse of Carol Lynne’s BUT ive read some absolute gems as well

  90. Mrs. Joe
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 17:23:29

    Guys, I have no intention to fight here. but the author was really good. I mean forget the homo part, I wish it was not there. but the way they made love, (i dint want to mention sex, cuz i dint feel that its just sex)is anot painful. People who make love knows what that means. And you guys just wasting time abusing the author and their supporter. Lemme tell you the truth. Almost everyone here who read the book completly would have got tempted or masturbated. then would have come to abuse this book.. LOLZ

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