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REVIEW: Copping to It and Cop Appeal by Ava Meyers

Dear Ms. Meyers:

Your two self published books were recommended to me as examples of how the new romance author is taking advantage of the self publishing system. My understanding is that these two books are selling quite well.   Indeed, Copping to It and Cop Appeal average near 4 stars or more at Amazon. The good thing is that these two books have good length for the price of $.99 and the covers look professional. The bad thing is that the plots were so ridiculous (if you could call them plots) that the sex became uninteresting to the point that I was slogging through each sex scene wondering when, if ever, it was going to end.

Copping to It by Ava MeyerCopping to It features Claire Fullerton a “respected journalist” and undercover cop Ty Williamson.   I put “respected journalist” in scare quotes because there isn’t anything in the story that would give a reader the idea that Claire is a) a journalist or b) respected.     The story opens with Claire spying on a gang known as the Guardians.   She’s been staking out a warehouse for a couple of days attired in “patent leather flats”and slacks.

While she is supposed to be gathering material against this terrible gang that “every other cop in the city were trying to bring down”, Claire begins to get turned on.   She sees no crime except for the exchange of illicit drugs.   Instead, the gang members engage in pleasuring one woman after another.   Despite this place supposedly being a secret gang hideout and this gang being “city's biggest, baddest and most elusive gangs”, the warehouse has more traffic than the office of the bachelor preacher on Sunday afternoon. It’s a gang of pleasure, really, and who doesn’t want to be dragged amongst their midst?   Claire can’t even think of their criminal activities after she’s seen their tight white asses in action.   Every woman would feel this way, thinks Claire:

She told herself her response was to be expected.   That any woman would have trouble remembering a man's criminal history when she'd just observed him, naked ass clenching, pumping into a woman and making her come so hard her legs had buckled.

Oh Claire, have you never heard of the term prostitute? Anyhoo, the Guardians are apparently a gang who like to get together for orgies. Even as she is dragged away, Claire is excited and she becomes even more excited when she is presented with a tableau featuring her crush, Ty, getting a blowjob from one of those women.   This is the initiation for a brother!

As soon as the man spewed his seed into the woman's mouth and she swallowed it, he'd officially be a member of the Demon Guardians.   A brother.   One of them.

This was Ty Williams' initiation into the state's most feared biker gang.

I guess the entire fraternity of Kappa Sigma are part of the “state’s most feared biker gang.” Seriously? Getting a chick to swallow instead of spit is the way to prove yourself to a bunch of violent, drug addled criminals?   Okay, they are drug addled so maybe this does make sense.   Fortunately, Claire knows that when Ty is spilling his seed inside the chick’s mouth, he’s fantazing about Claire.

She knew without a shadow of a doubt that when he’d closed his eyes and made the sound, he’d been feeling the pleasure given to him by another woman, but he’d been thinking of Claire.

All of this is supposed to seem romantic to us because this is what turns Claire on–“Voyeurism. Danger. Kink.”   And by positioning it in this fashion, the reader who disapproves is the “good girl” that Claire pretends to be but really isn’t.   Really what it says to me is that Claire would like to sit outside the prison trailer videotaping the conjugal visits of felons.

The story continues in this incredibly inauthentic fashion with Claire blowing Ty in front of everyone and Claire and Ty engaging in a private tryst in the gangster’s hideout as punishment for Claire and a furtherance of Ty’s initiation.   (cue Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise as the soundtrack to the video (video but no sound) that Claire and Ty make). They even manage to fit in a menage after another undercover cop informs Ty that it is safe for Claire, the superstar journalist, to leave the premises.   I’m not sure what the point of the attempted suspense plot was given that it was so obviously there to string a few sex scenes together. But as much as I thought this was ridiculous, it was no match for Cop Appeal. D.

Book Link | Kindle | nook

Cop Appeal by Ava MeyerCop Appeal doesn’t even have the thin veneer of respectability that Copping to It attempts to maintain.   Sarah Larson has always wanted Luke (the undercover cop in the preceding book who participated in the menage with Ty and Claire.   At the gangster’s hideaway) but she ends up married to his co-worker, Richard.   Richard turned out to be an abusive, violent husband.   Sarah runs from Richard and dreams of a new life with Luke but initially has to satisfy herself with a vibrator until Luke shows up at her apartment one day after the divorce. Despite the horrible things that Sarah said to him when she married Richard, Luke is ready to forgive, forget, and most importantly, fuck.   The two reacquaint themselves and then the detective to whom Sarah reported her ex husband (a co worker of said detective) calls to inform Sarah that the police have confronted the ex husband who denies everything.   Sarah is reassured that everyone believes her and not the co worker/police officer.

When the detective shows up on her doorstep the next morning, Luke greets him with a friendly acknowledgment and then the three engage in a menage.   Because she needs them both. Because Luke could tell by how Sarah talked on the phone with the detective that she wanted the detective.   So Luke is going to make sure that Sarah is protected from both sides (innuendo intended by me).   At this point, why not just admit that you are writing dirty menage in hopes to make the filthy lucre instead of trying to sell us readers on this idea that there really is an emotional reason for the menage?   Lord, I hope Sarah doesn’t make eyes with the butcher at the grocery store or maybe smile at the local barista.   Who knows who might await her when she comes home.   She’ll have to keep her smiles to herself and her eyes downcast lest these friendly overtures be viewed by Luke as a request for more menage.   F

Book Link | Kindle | nook

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Mikou
    Apr 09, 2011 @ 12:06:20

    I’m not seeing the actual review. All I see is a link to a related post.

  2. Janine
    Apr 09, 2011 @ 12:45:28

    @Mikou: Whoops! The review is Jane’s and she is currently at RT. I don’t know how to take down a post after it has been published. I’ll see if I can get a hold of Jane or someone else who will know how to fix this.

  3. SN
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 06:07:51

    Oh Lordy!

    Ménage does nothing for me at the best of times, but if it’s going to be in a book there has to be a decent reason for it!

  4. Jayne
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 06:41:33

    When the detective shows up on her doorstep the next morning, Luke greets him with a friendly acknowledgment and then the three engage in a menage. Because she needs them both. Because Luke could tell by how Sarah talked on the phone with the detective that she wanted the detective.

    Que the Bow Chika Bow Bow music for this scene straight from a bad porn movie…

  5. coribo25
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 06:42:09

    It’s hard to take five star amazon reviews of indie books seriously these days. I dismiss reviews that use too many block caps, too many !! and have too many references to the brilliance of the writing and the amazingness of the author.

  6. Pat
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 06:52:28

    One more reason to pay no attention to Amazon reviews.

  7. Michelle W.
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 07:18:48

    I agree with you 100%. I got thru Copping To It barely but couldn’t read anymore of Cop Appeal when the 2nd detective showed up at her door. I WANT/NEED a STORY not just sex scenes one after another. I was totally disappointed & wish I had my $1.98 back!

  8. Jane
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 08:54:55

    @Michelle W. Yes, the 2nd detective showing up was where I fell off the wagon too.

  9. Nightwriter
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 10:51:08

    Since self-publishing has broken wide open and everyone is doing it, the issue of quality control has become a concern. Are review sites the answer to the problem? Will they serve as filters for the reading public? Jane, will you post your reviews to Amazon?

    I realize my comment is nothing but twenty questions, but the concern over quality control and how readers are supposed to wade through the crap has been on my mind a lot since I’m thinking of diving into the self publishing waters soon myself.

    Thanks for the reviews. I wish more reviewers would consider looking at self published books.

  10. Jane
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 10:56:50

    @Nightwriter: I usually don’t post over at Amazon because of pure laziness. I use goodreads quite a bit and probably will repost my reviews there. I should post at Amazon because I look at reviews there and would appreciate more feedback from other readers.

    We have another review of a self published book “Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold” this week by Robin and it is a positive review. I support self publishing and I’m not going to view this set of books as being exemplars of the entirety of self publishing. In fact, it might just be that Ava Meyers, in her erotic form, is not an author that is well suited to my taste.

  11. Nightwriter
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 12:03:42

    Thanks, Jane. I think if more reputable sites like DA would review some of these self published books, the general reading public might not turn up their noses so quickly at the very mention of self published.

    I look forward to the review of Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold. That book has stirred up no end of controversy over on Amazon during the past year. It’s a good example of what I was referring to–self published author getting glowing reviews on Amazon and the general romance reading public on the Amazon forum crying foul, go home with your shills, and we wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. Maybe a favorable review here on DA will finally give Ms. O’Connell and her remarkable sales rankings some legitimacy.

  12. JenM
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 12:36:25

    As an avid Kindle reader who tries hard to keep my book budget under control, I’ve read a fair number of self-pubbed books in the last year or two. Initially, 90% were pretty bad. Lately, I find that many of the ones I’ve been reading are at least mediocre. However, mediocre is still not that great. They are usually decent entertainment, especially at the price (my limit is $2.99), but most don’t begin to compare to a good book issued by a traditional publisher.

    In order to screen better, I always download a sample first and if it doesn’t grab me, or I don’t like the writing style, I don’t buy it.
    I have found a few that are really good, but the problem is that you’ve got to wade through quite a bit of dross to find the gems. I won’t touch a self-published book above $2.99 unless it is a backlist work being re-released by the author because the quality is such a crapshoot.

    As always, the issue comes down to gatekeepers. Reviews on Amazon are not a good substitute for the screening done by the traditional publishers and agents. It should be interesting to see whether a system does develop to screen and rate these books better.

  13. Jane
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 13:14:56

    @JenM The .99 c price point is pretty attractive and even if I don’t like the book, if it is long enough, I don’t feel cheated. But at 2.99, if I don’t like it, then I regret having spent the money.

  14. Mikou
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 15:40:37

    @Janine: Just trying to help!

  15. Bonnie H
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 13:34:50

    I like that you took the time to read the books in their entirety, and you gave specific reasons for why you didn’t like them. The tone seemed a little contemptuous at times, but I imagine that just reflects how strong your feelings are re: these two books.
    I personally enjoyed them. I think there are some stories you go into expecting light entertainment and these were exactly that – light entertainment.
    I agree that there are some really low-quality self-published books on the market, but there are also some pretty lousy books that come out of the New York publishing scene, as well. The author of these two books has two books coming out from Berkley (written under a different name) – 1 in May, the next in the series releases in October.
    Anyway, I guess my point being that “variety is the spice of life” and what one person hates, another might love. I think when reading reviews, it’s best to read a few from different sites and that way sometimes you can get an overall “feel” as to whether it’s something you would like or not.
    Thanks again for taking the time to give reasons and not just leave it at “I thought these books were lame” LOL

  16. Jane
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 13:44:08

    @Bonnie H: Yep, I’ve read the Virna DePaul book & I have her name in the tag section. I thought the Virna DePaul story was fairly ordinary.

  17. jayhjay
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 15:38:47

    Oh yes, all the scariest gangs require receiving a blow job for membership. Sounds quite realistic!

  18. Ridley
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 18:34:45

    You’re posting a positive review of Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold?

    That breaks my heart. The shills will just be insufferable now. We’ll never hear the end of it in the Amazon forum.

  19. Jane
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 19:19:02

    The shills? I know nothing about it. Robin read it at recommendation of Kristie J I think.

  20. Ridley
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 19:50:22

    It’s a hot-button item in the Amazon forums. Too often for coincidence, brand-new posters create threads specifically to sing the book’s praises, using their best marketing-speak in the process. It’s exceedingly fishy and merely mentioning the book there now gets a poster downvoted.

    I read it a few months ago. While I didn’t hate it and have read worse books, it was still pretty badly written. It was bad enough that I leveled my fishing in WoW from 1-525 rather than get back to reading it. I’m surprised Robin liked it.

  21. Nightwriter
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 10:59:20

    I don’t know about you but I would be more interested in looking at E. O’Connell’s marketing strategy than reading yet another review of her book. In spite of all the hate and controversy her promoters have stirred up on the Amazon forum, it worked. She’s sold a ton of books. But I also think she’s done a disservice to all the other Indies who would promote on the forum and do it in an acceptable manner. The regulars are absolutely closed to any kind of promo from the self published now, thanks to EOSEOG and a couple of others.

  22. Suzanne
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 11:33:27

    Did you read the review and subsequent author meltdown over at Books and Pals blog about a month ago? Whew! As one responder said, “The good thing about self-publishng is anyone can do it. The bad thing about self-publishing is anyone can do it.”

    As for Amazon reviews, how many relatives and close friends does it take to post a 5 star thumbs up?

  23. whome
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 15:18:40

  24. whome
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 16:08:31

  25. Jane
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 16:18:23

    @whome How strange that this is a post that they are scraping.

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