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REVIEW: Lust in the Library by Amelia Fayer

REVIEW: Lust in the Library by Amelia Fayer

Dear Ms. Fayer:

I am not certain what the intended audience for this two story collection is. I doubt that it is romance readers as there is no romance.  I don’t know that it is for erotica readers because there is nothing in it that involves character development or discovery through the sexual acts.  My categorization would be boring stroke fiction.

Lust in the Library - Amelia Fayer“Necking in Nonfiction” features a pairing between Sara and William Hammond, a visiting scholar from Oxford.

The initial scene has Sara being told to pursue Hammond by her co worker and Hammond internally agonizing how Sara never gives him the time of day. The next scene has Sara hunting Hammond down in the stacks and in the very next moment, without any transition, William is laying a big wet one on her and then the two are going at it with Sara’s hand down his pants and William disrobing her. When Sara uses her nails to clutch William closer, he replies “So you want to play that way.” Right, because using your nails is always a sign of (well, nothing in this case as William simply kisses her and moves the sex scene along in a fairly normal way). Just in case you were wondering, though, Sara acknowledges that the heavy petting in the stacks is “unlibrarian.” You hear that librarians, there are things out there that are unlibrarian and these included everything in the second scene of “Necking in Nonfiction.” Check it out if your library handbook doesn’t have these regulations.

When William asks her out, Sara decides that she doesn’t go out with sexy Englishmen who have been loitering around the library, waiting for the opportunity to get to know her better. Perhaps that was unlibrarian too. In order to convince her, William does the lizard lick, as I like to call it, where he licks her between her fingers. This melts her knees and off they go to do more unlibrarian things in the library. Sara won’t go out to dinner, but she’ll screw him in the library! And when I say she won’t go out to dinner, I mean Sara is really adamant about not leaving the library with William. Maybe Sara is a secret agoraphobic? Maybe if she leaves the library, she loses her life source and the farther away she gets, the weaker she becomes until she turns into a ravening wraith that haunts little kids on the street. WHO KNOWS. But dinner is just not part of the ticket for Sara.

Honestly, though, I’m not sure why she is even a librarian because she says the most stupid things ever like “I do lie him, but if he likes me why has he been, repeatedly, trying to get me naked?” Not to mention those two dinner invitations. What could those possibly mean? My lord, it is so baffling and confusing.

But thankfully William is there to try to get her naked again. Behind the circulation desk. More sexual exploits take place even though Sara believes that William cannot possibly like her. That is the entire plot arc. That Sara’s repeated sexual encounters with William means that he does not like her. And she never leaves the library. Are there librarian vampires fed only by the dust of old books?

“Fornicating in Fiction” tells the sexual hijinks of Veronica and Andrew. The two had a something and then Andrew hooked up with Veronica’s roommate. Veronica appears to be a work study student but she has an office in the library with a window. Everyone, which is comprised of Sara and Andrew, just don’t understand why Veronica is upset with Andrew. “He could not understand why Veronica was being quite so stupid. He was here, not with Angelica, so couldn’t she deduce that he was more interested in her?” Those shitty emotional women, taking every hookup serious. He’s done hooking up with the roommate and he’s back to wanting Veronica. Dear Veronica, get with the program and stop being such an uptight wench. And it was Veronica’s fault anyway. “Besides none of this would have happened if Veronica hadn’t blown him off.” This allowed Andrew to be alone and vulnerable to Ange’s wiles. “Veronica had picked just the right time to show up and behave in typical girl fashion and totally lose her shit.”

Andrew manages to corner Veronica and kiss her but she pushes him away, the stupid git. Thus Andrew is left having to jack off in the stacks looking at La Grade Odalisque. He imagines Veronica the way he liked her “sweet, a little bit shy, and sexy as hell.” And quiet because Andrew was fed up with the angry talking Veronica. “This Veronica, though, would be quiet for now, since Andrew having gotten enough angry talk out of the real one.” (I typed this in exactly so its not only awkward in its syntax but also misogynistic. Totally bonus).

Veronica and Andrew finally make out, resolve a misunderstanding, and live happily ever after. The end.

As with all terribly written books, the best thing about this collection is that it is short, under 100 pages. Huzzah for something. F

Best regards,


PS I guess I exaggerated a little bit about Sara. She actually leaves the library for breakfast. I guess some libraries are open 24 hours. Like a Dennys.


Tuesday Midday Links: Sunshine Deals Making a Big Impact

Tuesday Midday Links: Sunshine Deals Making a Big Impact

I believe it was June 1 when Amazon launched its Sunshine Deals.  Sunshine Deals highlighted over 600 books that were all promotionally priced at $2.99 and under. (U.S. Residents only).  I’ve been watching these deals and the books since Sunday as well as the news articles surrounding the deals.

Dan Lubart from eBook Market Views is, among many other things, tracking the pricing of bestsellers at Amazon.  This makes sense because ordinarily bestseller lists are dominated by Agency priced books.  Tracking the pricing at Amazon probably gives a pretty good snapshot of what the market looks like in terms of pricing.  In June, Dan noticed that the Sunshine Deals have driven the average price of a bestseller down from above $8 to slightly above $6.

By promoting discoverability of cheaper titles, they have likely created a surge in sales in that price band, driving many of these titles onto the bestseller list for the first time.  Ranking doesn’t tell the whole story, but we have to wonder if this program has had a significant downward effect on sales volume of higher priced titles.  It certainly speaks to the tremendous promotional power Amazon has to influence what people are buying.

Paid Content noticed that of the Kindle bestsellers, a quarter of them were books in the Sunshine Deal promotion.  Over half are books that are $.99.  Sourcebooks is one of the publishers that is experiencing the most success from the Sunshine Deal promotion.  Remember that none of the publishers are Agency.

So what happens?  HarperCollins launches its own ebook sale.  Several Avon romances are promotionally priced between $1.99 and $4.99.  Yet, and more importantly, none of these non Sunshine Deal promotionally priced books seem to have made it onto the Kindle top 100.  For example, Hachette has Laird of the Mist priced at $.99 but it’s Kindle ranking is 764. This may change but as of noon on Tuesday it had not.

Here’s what we can draw from this:

  1. Amazon has immense power in directing attention of its Kindle readers to the books it wants to highlight.
  2. Pricing alone isn’t driving success and discoverability, it’s placement on the Amazon site.
  3. Readers are really attracted to low priced books.
  4. Amazon can affect the price of even agency books, albeit indirectly.

Dan was also the one who noted that even Harlequin, a non agency priced publisher, was slowly losing market share for its higher priced books.

But the story is much different on the Romance genre bestseller lists. Since March 1, 2011, there has been a pronounced shift on both retailers’ Romance lists away from agency titles. Looking at the second chart, you can see that the average combined share of both lists for all agency publishers is halved, from roughly 30 to 15 titles in this period.

This drop may be mostly explained by the rise in the average price of agency titles on this list, including but not limited to Random House’s changes after March 1. One item of note is that Harlequin (not an agency-model publisher) has also slowly lost share of the list as its average price climbed over the past few weeks.

Read more at Ebook MarketView: Examining Agency-Model Publishers’ Share of Bestseller Lists | Digital Book World

PW has some answers about Amazon Montlake. Harlequin has sponsored free access for the month of June so hit the login button and hit the Free Access button in the new screen to read. The most interesting item was that it appeared Amazon is accepting agented submissions only. My sources say that Amazon is trying to steal away some big time authors to provide some instant credibility to its line.


Publishers might not only have Amazon Montlake to contend with. Over at the Kindle Boards, self published phenom, Selena Kitt, recounted the following exchange with an unknown BN rep:

4) Do they have plans to start up an ‘exclusive’ line like Amazon (with Montlake)?

They can’t say right now.

If BN does start up a digital publishing line, it has an experienced fiction editor working for it. Liz Scheier is the editorial director at Barnes and Noble. More importantly Scheier was a former senior editor at Random House/Ballantine and an editor at Penguin Group.


RWA is at the end of this month and as an organization they may have to face some huge changes. Mystery Writers have decided to loosen its guidelines and allow some ebook publishers and POD publishers on to the approved membership list.

New MWA e-Book Publisher Guidelines

During the preceding year, the publisher must have paid a minimum of $500 in advances and/or royalties to at least five authors with no financial or ownership interest in the company.
a) The publisher must have paid a minimum royalty of least 25% of net revenue to authors.
b) The royalties must have been paid at least quarterly, with a detailed statement, breaking out books sold through affiliate sites, through the publisher’s own site, as well as print books if applicable.

No self published authors are permitted.


Last week, amongst all the romance reader bashing (and this week it is YA bashing) author and misogynist VS Naipaul decided to foment debate by deriding female writers. He claimed to be able to tell a female from a male writer in one paragraph. So the Guardian set up a test. Have you taken it yet?