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REVIEW: American Star by Ryan Field

Dear Readers:

big_field-astarThere is this livejournal community called weepingcock wherein users collect literary outtakes of tragically bad sex scenes. In reading my fourth Ravenous Romance ebook, I’m convinced that there is some conspiracy between WC and RR, or at least some hidden symbiotic relationship because I haven’t read four books in a row from one publisher that so perfectly fit the mission of one livejournal community. I suspect that the WC users will subsidize RR press should it falter in this troublesome economy just to provide the community material.

American Star is thinly veiled fan fiction of the American Idol reality television series featuring aspirant Terre/ance* (tm Divas). Terre/ance is a manager at a tanning salon in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Ostensibly, Terre/ance is dating Kevin, his boyfriend since high school and owner of the tanning salon. Terre/ance sees a notice in a newspaper about auditions for a singing reality show. Terre/ance decides that this is his opportunity to launch his singing career. He does not tell Kevin because Kevin is always looking for an opportunity to be derisive of Terre/ance.

When I say thinly veiled, I mean American Star differs from American Idol only in that the word "Idol" is not used. Terre/ance is selected to go to “Hollywood” from the auditions and undergoes a grueling competition while in Hollywood. After the group of singers culled from the auditions are reduced to twelve, the singers are subject to the votes of the public who can express their opinion as to who stays and who goes by calling special phone numbers. There are three judges: a woman with one hit; a singer turned producer who is quite heavy; and Marcus, the snide, cruel judge who has been outrageously successful in all his endeavors. Oh, and a host, a slim man some apparently think is gay (and in this story he is).

The singing competition is really a vehicle for Terre/ance’s sexual exploits. Terre/ance, to put it kindly, is loose. A young man comes to tan at his salon and Terre/ance is entranced. Fortunately for Terre/ance, Jude is a singer too and when they see each other at the singing auditions, the two sneak away to the bathroom to while away the time. Jude confesses to Terre/ance that he has a “mutant penis.” Apparently it is enormously large. So enormous that it is described thusly:

Then he spread his legs and slowly lowered his zipper. It fell from his jeans like a roll of paper towels unraveling across the kitchen floor; it was already semi-erect and growing longer and thicker by the second.

Terre/ance recovers from his initial shock at Jude’s Bounty and begins to fellate Jude. I didn’t realize it at first, but Terre/ance identifies all his cocks via smell. Jude’s cock “tasted a little salty, but it smelled like clean, fresh soap and water.” Please pay attention, there will be a quiz on this later. While Jude’s monstrous dick physically prevented Terre/ance from engulfing Jude entirely, “he packed as much of Jude’s big dick to the back of his throat as he could.” Jude begins to come and Terre/ance invites him to shoot the sperm all over his face

A second later, the huge monster exploded all over Terrence’s face. It hit his skin hard enough to make his head jerk back. The aroma was intoxicating: sugar and bleach and honey mixed into one. And while he continued to milk Jude’s balls, he blew his own load all over the bathroom floor.

As an FYI Chlorox Honey Bee frangrance is stocked right next to Bounty at your local supermarket next to the burp pads:

he finally opened his eyes again, he reached for a piece of toilet paper and cleaned the last few drops of come from Jude’s dick. He wanted to stay there on his knees and stare at it for the rest of the day; he could have put it over his shoulder and burped it. But all he had time to do was place it in his palm, hoist it up and kiss it good-bye.

When I shared this scene with others, I was confronted with a series of “You are making this up” so I took a screen shot. Jude and Terre/ance both make it to Hollywood and they make promises to meet up with each other before the show starts up.

Terre/ance returns home and tells Kevin of his plans. Instead of angry Kevin, Terre/ance is confronted by tender Kevin and by tender I mean that when Kevin says–”That’s it, bitch…Get naked for me. Wiggle that hot ass. I know how you like it”–it’s in a totally loving manner. Terre/ance revels in the smell of post-gym, pre-shower Kevin:

Terrence licked the rough stubble beneath his chin while Kevin’s two fingers slowly probed his anus. Kevin hadn’t showered that morning after his daily workout at the gym, and his underarms smelled like raw onions and meat. Terrence took a deep breath and smiled.

Again, not lying. So Terre/ance then embarks on his journey toward stardom. On his way there, he stops to fuck the limo driver Joe. For those at home playing the ball/penis/smell bingo game, Joe smells of “inexpensive cologne. It wasn’t strong, but it smelled like musk and spices, like a man should smell if he were to wear cologne of any kind.” Their sex play? Some kind of manic circling:

While they kissed, their tongues went in wet, rapid circles, swallowing each other’s spit and coming back for more….Joe’s tongue continued to go in circles and he moaned inside Terrence’s mouth a few times.

As an aside, this author appears to be quite taken with circular imagery. Terre/ance’s ass is described as a beach ball (despite being willowy of frame), and a bubble butt. Terre/ance has a tendency to grind his ass in a circle (which makes some strange sense given his beach ball/bubble butt, I guess). “He didn’t have to buck his hips or move them in circles.” “Kevin moaned and sighed while his hips began to grind in slow, meticulous circles.” “He shoved his tongue into Terrence’s mouth and rolled it around in violent circles.” “Kevin’s dick was still inside him and he was rocking and grinding in circles.” “…pointed the tip directly into Terrance’s pink hole and circled the opening.” “The entire cock seemed to ache with erotic places that could make his eyes spin in circles.” “…causing the entire bed to vibrate while Terrence’s head jerked around in circles.”

Another redundancy is Terre/ance olfactory fetish. At one point, Terre/ance finds himself jerking off while staring at his straight roommate’s sleeping form. Figuring that the roommate is the one person who is not hot for him, Terre/ance picks up the roommate’s sweaty, discarded sock:

Terrence licked his lips and started jerking again. He knew he couldn’t just get out of bed and suck him off, but he needed more. So he reached down to the floor and picked up one of Justin’s sweat socks. He pressed it against his face and sniffed back. ….A moment later, Terrence pressed the dirty sweat sock to his nose, inhaled as deeply as he could and blew his load all over his stomach.

A bellhop Terre/ance screws has balls that taste sweet and “smelled like baby powder.” Another bellhop’s balls “tasted salty and smelled a little like apple vinegar.” The stranger in the sauna’s balls “tasted salty and smelled like onions.”

I would be remiss in this review if I didn’t acknowledge that there was a plot. Terre/ance is a great singer whose talent threatens that of another contestant, Payton. Further Terre/ance has to fight for Jude’s attention. Jude may want to win the competition more than he wants Terre/ance. Because of the plot, I feel like I have to give this one a D.

Best regards,

Jane

*The spelling of the main character’s name changes throughout the book from Terrance to Terrence. At least once, the misspelling occurs in the same paragraph. This is not the only editing issue though. My favorite sentence besides the burping one was “Joe wasn’t into a lot of raunchy dirty talk, but there was something about his strong, viral movements that was just as exciting.”

This book can be purchased at many etailers

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

33 Comments

  1. Keri M
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 14:52:07

    Jane, you just made that all up, didn’t you? A late April’s Fool bad joke? I can’t believe that this kind of junk gets published and is available for purchase…my gosh that is horrible and you deserve some kind of medal for reading the ugly thing. Or perhaps sterling silver eyewash cup or something…lol.

    ReplyReply

  2. Alisha Rai
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 14:52:48

    I read this review, closed the window, and then opened it to read it again. That is how…wow. I don’t know what I’m feeling. I feel stupid asking this, but is there a romance anywhere in this novel? Or rather, does Terre/ance prefer the scent of one man’s balls over another?

    You can get back to me with that answer. I have to go burp a cock right now.

    ReplyReply

  3. Tonya
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 15:05:06

    This review was really hilarious, and I had to add weepingcocks to my flist. Thanks, Jane.

    ReplyReply

  4. bam
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 15:38:35

    I hope these guys stay in business so y’all can keep these reviews coming.

    Thanks for the afternoon perk, Jane! :)

    ReplyReply

  5. bam
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 15:40:15

    btw, from the excerpts you posted, I can honestly say that I’ve come across AI fanfic that read a lot better. And that includes Clay Aiken fanfic.

    Not that I read Clay Aiken fanfic or anything. I, uh—

    ReplyReply

  6. anonysmutter
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 15:41:09

    I’m really torn. I love reading your reviews and your twitters on these things.

    I only glanced at today’s freebie. I read enough to see that it has two typos in the back copy–it’s missing two apostrophes.

    What is it with RR?

    Which brings me to the basic point: do you really want to send readers to these people? I know I wouldn’t have bothered to pick up a book if you hadn’t made it sound so bad it was good. It didn’t turn the corner into giggleworthy trashy fun for me. Just too depressing. Unless things get better soon–like they hire a freaking PROOFREADER–I want that whole RR horse put out of our misery. Don’t keep giving them the promo.

    I know you dislike it when authors who say that their stuff is way better than THAT and you should read mine instead. But dude. My stuff is way better than any of THAT. If my kid wrote smut (which he doesn’t. Thank the good lord he hasn’t hit puberty yet) it would be way better than THAT. After all, he’s learning basic grammar and story-telling skills in 5th grade.

    ReplyReply

  7. Lusty Reader
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 15:42:13

    how do you find these awesome failures? ok well not an F for fail in this one, but almost.

    the burping part has got the be one of the weirdest things ever written. i pictured a snakelike-baby swaddled in half-unrolled papertowels thrown over his shoulder. You know, smelling of bleach and honey, obvi.

    ReplyReply

  8. joanne
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 16:04:50

    Jane.
    Jaaaaaaane.
    Jaaaaaannnnnnne!

    You are going to need a complete mind and body cleansing if you don’t stop reviewing books from Ravenous Romance.

    Of course a story revolving around colon cleansing is probably their next big romantic release. (pun intended)

    I just wish they would change the name of their Publishing House to Barely Ravenous

    ReplyReply

  9. Jayne
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 16:30:18

    “The entire cock seemed to ache with erotic places that could make his eyes spin in circles.” “…causing the entire bed to vibrate while Terrence's head jerked around in circles.”

    Are we sure Terrence doesn’t need an exorcist? Or exorcism? ::hearing the song “Tubular Bells” in my head::

    ReplyReply

  10. allison
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 17:07:28

    The screencaps totally and completely make this review.

    I lol’d from start to finish of this review. The cock rolling out like a roll of Bounty is an image that will stick with me for a very very long time. In fact, I dread going home and looking in my kitchen at my roll of paper towels and having to explain why I burst out laughing once more.

    ReplyReply

  11. SandyW
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 17:19:08

    I have to say that the excerpts from this one go beyond awkward and into downright nauseating. After clicking through to the first screen shot, I just read the review. I couldn’t bring myself to read any more. Jane, you're a much better woman than I am for reading this crap.

    Top Secret Organizational Meeting
    - I know how to make Big Bucks! We'll start up one of those ebook companies. We know stuff about publishing.
    - What do we name the company?
    - How about Ravenous Romance?
    - Cool. Are we gonna publish romance?
    - No way. We'll publish pr0n. But romance is a big cash cow, and it's all the same, right?

    ReplyReply

  12. Lori
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 17:26:26

    Terre/ance recovers from his initial shock at Jude's Bounty

    I’ll never think of the Quicker Picker Upper the same way again.

    ReplyReply

  13. Popin
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 17:42:50

    He wanted to stay there on his knees and stare at it for the rest of the day; he could have put it over his shoulder and burped it.

    …I don’t even know what to say to that. I’m surprised that you kept reading after that, though I’m glad since this review is hilarious, but still…it’s disturbing that this got published.

    ReplyReply

  14. K. Z. Snow
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 18:06:03

    I think we got us some frat boys who are starting to write bad smut for fun and profit. Can’t say as I blame ‘em, either. If these things are as much of a hoot to write as they are to read, I’m in!

    ReplyReply

  15. Jackie Barbosa
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 18:08:04

    @K.Z. Snow:

    I do not think you could write anything this bad. I am sorry for your loss.

    ReplyReply

  16. Jeanne St. James
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 18:18:18

    I don’t know what to say to this. I’m speechless.

    ReplyReply

  17. K. Z. Snow
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 18:19:22

    @Jackie Barbosa

    Oh, please don’t rain on my parade! With just a bit of attention to my figurative language, and with the inspirational help of common household items as well as a big ol’ bong . . .

    ReplyReply

  18. anonysmutter
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 18:36:40

    @KZ Snow. Don’t forget you have to use words that are juuuuuust a little off. I’m sure that’s the most creative part of the process.

    the hero grimmed at her volcanism. He paid omelet to to her lush figure.

    ReplyReply

  19. Robin
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 18:37:12

    Of course a story revolving around colon cleansing is probably their next big romantic release. (pun intended)

    OMG don’t give ‘em any ideas! ;)

    ReplyReply

  20. Neenut
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 19:13:10

    I went to look up the author and his other work with gay publishers, aside from RR. You spelled his name wrong. It’s not Fields with an s. It’s Field.

    ReplyReply

  21. K. Z. Snow
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 19:21:51

    Y’know, if the pseud is Ryan Field, this could be the work of Northwestern students. Seriously.

    I often go by the name of Camp Randall.

    ;-)

    ReplyReply

  22. Julia Sullivan
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 20:20:38

    Y'know, if the pseud is Ryan Field, this could be the work of Northwestern students. Seriously.

    According to his blog, he’s published with Alyson and elsewhere.

    I think the joke pseudonym is his best feature so far. Of course, I don’t know what his balls smell like.

    ReplyReply

  23. Greer
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 20:26:15

    Wow. Just wow. *shakes head slowly* I’m curious as to what could possibly save this from F territory besides the plot. Cookies, big chocolatey ones, for reviewing this, Jane.

    I like how in the first screen shot it says Terre-bear’s always been responsible about safe sex… and yet? The previous paragraph? Oi. The logic, it hurtsssss. I couldn’t even bring myself to open up the other screen shot.

    Edited bc I can’t read.

    ReplyReply

  24. Cherrie Lynn
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 22:10:36

    the burping part has got the be one of the weirdest things ever written.

    Funnily enough, it’s been written more than once. There’s a scene in the movie .45–in fact it’s the opening scene–wherein Milla Jovovich muses that her boyfriend’s cock is so huge she wants to put it over her shoulder and burp it. Is it really possible that more than one person in the world came up with this description on their own?? lol. Makes ya say hmmm, anyway….

    It’s pretty funny in the movie, though.

    ReplyReply

  25. LauraB
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 23:48:22

    Oh…. this put me in mind of the SNL sketch w/ Alec Baldwin hawking his Schweaty balls on NPR.

    Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9BqNOjPJxw

    I’ll be looking for the Clorox Honey Bee on my next trip to the store. ROTFLMAO

    ReplyReply

  26. Anne Davisson
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 08:09:04

    I have only read two Ravenous Romance novels. I found “Haunted Seduction” by Morgan James to be a very good read. No burping cocks or stinky socks. It’s got a solid plot, two characters that I could believe and that I liked (I’m a sucker for guys “out of time”, guys who are strong and really handsome but find themselves unexpectedly vulnerable in some fashion) and the whole setting (an old abandoned amusement park) gave me the genuine creeps. Lots of graphic sex that I, personally, found hot. Anyway, just my two cents here. I’m gonna pass on American Star.

    ReplyReply

  27. Fae
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 08:38:26

    I read a bit of this before deleting it from my computer and going in search of brain bleach for PC’s. What stuck out, oddly because there was so much bad, was T had at one point early on insisted he trusted K to never cheat on him, I think that was the explanation for why no condoms in that first, almost non-con sex scene in the tanning salon. Then, not a page or two later, T says how he knows K cheats on him all the time.

    Wut? I know, of all the stupidity in this book to stick out, that was it. I don’t even know why but it made my teeth grind and I immediately shut the thing and deleted it.

    ReplyReply

  28. Cat Grant
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 11:52:08

    It fell from his jeans like a roll of paper towels unraveling across the kitchen floor; it was already semi-erect and growing longer and thicker by the second.

    Well, at least he didn’t compare it to a Sham-Wow.

    ReplyReply

  29. Eirin
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 15:13:13

    Lust Reader:

    the burping part has got the be one of the weirdest things ever written. i pictured a snakelike-baby swaddled in half-unrolled papertowels thrown over his shoulder. You know, smelling of bleach and honey, obvi.

    Yes. That.

    I read Jane’s review. Went into my kitchen, looked at the roll of papertowels. Gave it a twirl. Then I imagined a zipper opening, revealing a guy’s cock.
    The images – they do not mesh.

    The sock bit may have given me braindamage.

    ReplyReply

  30. nolagal
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 15:57:55

    I downloaded the book and managed to get about 20 pages in so I missed so much of the good stuff. I would’ve given up on page 1 but I was stuck without internet.

    ReplyReply

  31. Irene Chandler
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 22:07:13

    Does anyone else have the evil, evil urge to try an Atlanta Nights style scam on Ravenous? I know the purpose of Atlanta Nights was to expose real fraud, while submitting something like that to Ravenous would be closer to morbid curiosity, but still. Soooo tempted.

    Irene

    ReplyReply

  32. Joy
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 23:21:08

    I have to agree with Anne. I have read a couple of Ravenous’ offers. Some I enjoyed, others I didn’t. This happens when I read things from Zebra, Lovespell, and NAL.
    If I may make a suggestion, I read The Hot Streak and found it really enjoyable. Also The Glass Stiletto by Rachel Kenley is enjoyable as well.
    I too shall pass on American Star, but frankly I would have done that without your review.

    ReplyReply

  33. Himani
    Aug 13, 2009 @ 01:58:29

    Putting aside all the wrong…that’s just not sexy. Balls that smell like onions? Swallowing spit? *shudder* Who wants their sex scenes described like that? Ugh.

    ReplyReply

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