Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review policy reviewed

Now that I'm back, hopefully for the duration, here's how it works if you want my opinion.

Email me at Cryselle C AT gmail DOT com with a MOBI file, a cover art pic, the blurb, and a buy link or two, and let me know anything special about the book, like if it's your first or it's up for an award, stuff like that. I'm willing to look at m/m, m/m/m, and m/m/f.

Now that I'm not reviewing at Jessewave's, I can go back to my previous policy of the occasional ladybits among all the guybits. Anyone who doesn't like ladybits can hold their noses if they like. My blog, my rules. I'm still not reviewing het, but half the world's people are women, I'm a woman, and I refuse to act like women have cooties. A huge number of gay men have had relationships with women, been married, fathered children, might even still be friends with the ex, and all that might be in the story. I want to read that story. Women are part of gay men's lives as something besides Obligatory Pushy Best Friend. Get over it.

Because I think it takes a certain amount of courage to send me a review request, I've gone back to my previous policy. When I was at Dark Divas and Jessewave's, if I touched it, I had to complete it, no matter what. Given my druthers, I won't reward an author's risk taking with a low mark that they don't see coming. I will give an author the option to post or not if I can't give the book at least a 3. I did this before, and some folks have taken me up on that, and others have said post. If I can't honestly say 3 or better, and 3 is "I liked it", I will contact you first.

I could review on a publisher's request, in which case it's buffet rules. I touched it, I take it. They pubbed it, they can stand behind it. The rating, whatever it may be, gets posted.  No confidence? Don't ask me, cause I calls 'em like I sees 'em. I have given out ones. I have a symbol for ACK!

I also give 5s and everything in between.

A story that pleases me will have a couple of well developed characters, a relationship, and something plotwise outside the relationship. I like plot, that's the point of a book. I like sex, too, but sex has to drive the plot. The daily drivel of the character's lives in between sex scenes is not plot -- plot has conflict and resolution, and it needs to make sense. Logic fail will get noticed out loud and if I can't find the plot beyond "hawt guys fuck" you can call me Cryssy Crankypants.

Things that stop me in my tracks:
  •  Rape, unless it's a past trauma and offstage
  •  Incest, especially twincest. A survivor is fine, but current relationship -- NO
  •  Non-con -- don't kid yourself, the right name is rape. 
  •  All the squicky stuff that epublishers put in their 'don't submit to us' list
  •  Most BDSM. Personal preference, no apologies. Please don't offer it. Absolutely no pain play, blood play, flogging, bondage, humiliation, gagging, CBT. If it requires implements, I don't want to read it, I don't have to explain why, and I don't want to be wheedled for exceptions. Wheedle or push, and I will review, using boilerplate. "Book, DNF, author, TSTL."*
  • Het. Really, people. I'm not the right reviewer for that.*

Iffy stuff:
  • Dub-con. We might not agree about where the line is. I'm likely to be more restrictive in my definition than you are.
  • If it turns out to be "rape him til he likes it" you will suffer the consequences.I don't read het romance for a reason and I utterly rejected the genre for the prevalence of this trope.
  • Soul mates -- this one hits the gag reflex, no matter what the writing looks like, 99 times out of a hundred, and the hundredth one is probably involving a non-human. A deep bonding after personalities get explored is fine, just no "only one personnnnnn in the universssssse for meeeeeeeee!" 
  • BDSM of the non-implement variety. Psychological aspects might be okay, but know you're taking a risk.
 I'm good with most genres, you've already seen the exclusions. Contemporary, paranormal, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, whatever, bring it on.

My qualifications as a reviewer, well nothing academic, but would you really want someone doing lit-crit on your romance? I offer a habit of devouring words and some critical thinking skills**. My page at Goodreads should tell you something, that's maybe half of what I've read in my life.

I really do open every file hoping to love what I'm reading. 

*Yes, someone tried. Learn from their error.
**If you have plot holes and know it, you might not like that about me. 


  1. Welcome back! So happy to see you again!

    Will you be reviewing for another site now that JW has gone bye-bye? JoyfullyJay or whatever? Or will you just be reviewing here?

    1. Thanks, and for right now I"m just reviewing here, but I would love to have some more reviewers and maybe grow the place. There's so much material to read.


Tell us what you really think.