I decided to look back at my very first review; the one I wrote that prompted the invitation to become a reviewer.
Oh dear. I guess I have learned a few things since then. Can you spot the big boo-boo?
*** My First Review***
I had the honor of reviewing Now That We've Found You by Marianne Arkins
Blurb: For three years, the memory of Sarah Kirkman's dead husband has kept other men at bay. Her heart only has room for her six-year-old daughter, Melinda. On a vacation to the Smithsonian, the Kirkmans run into Doctor Duncan MacPherson, a paleontologist who befriends her dinosaur-obsessed daughter. Sarah's attraction to Duncan is undeniable but pointless-- he must leave for his home in Scotland the very next morning. But Sarah has forgotten one important thing: Christmas really is for miracles.
My very first impression of Now That We've Found You came from the cover art. I started smiling immediately, and my mood lifted with positive anticipation. Sometimes the message from a cover is a good indication of what you are about to experience, sometimes not. I'm thrilled to say that this particular cover delivers the right message to the reader.
In this story there is a delightful child, Melinda, who exhibits the single-minded enthusiasm that six year-olds possess when they latch onto something that excites them; in this case, paleontology. Marianne captures that focus perfectly. I could "see" Melinda's personality, especially when she voiced her understanding of herbivores. That had me cracking a smile.
Melinda's acceptance of Dr. MacPherson flowed naturally and believably. The angst of guilt that the heroine, Sarah, deals with because of her attraction to the handsome Scottish doctor is not burdensome to the story. The conflict is delivered in just the right amount for the reader to understand Sarah as a person. Her dilemmas and choices could be our own. I liked the fact that at all times, Marianne remembers that Sarah is foremost a mother and handles her first kiss with Duncan with that in mind. The restrained passion resonated in that scene. It was quite hot!
The hero, Duncan MacPherson, is a yummy Scottish paleontologist guest speaking at the museum. I enjoyed the fact that he was written as a very male, caring man with a healthy dose of humor and yet acted like a ... quiet alpha. He knew he wanted Sarah, pursued her with classy and determined maneuvers and didn't fight making a commitment or admitting what he felt, as some alphas are wont to do.
The characters were a delight to watch as they fell in love. At no point did I feel this romance needed to be fleshed out more. Marianne tugged and stroked all the major emotional heartstrings that make this a must read for all romance readers who want an HEA that makes them feel good all over. Once you've read the sigh-inducing ending you'll realize Now That We've Found You delivers romance! I can attest to that.
Okay then. What did I do wrong in my first review? I did it more than once too. Ready?
I used the author's FIRST name! I used familiarity! Remember my earlier post, That Familiar Touch? Well, this is the perfect example. Bad, bad Xeranthemum. At least I didn't use synopsis, at least from the get go I talked about how the book affected me, so that was good. Perhaps that is why I was invited?
The other thing I've since learned is: Don't mention the cover art. Why? Because sometimes Ebook sites use the same exact cover over and over to denote a type of series or shorts or something they have in common. Many times the book covers have nothing on them in relation to what's in the actual book. Book says "hero's full mustache tickled her breast" and the book cover has a man totally denuded of body hair glistening with so much baby oil, I need sunglasses to cut the glare. I don't mention book covers any more.
I like to think that my reviews have become a bit more polished over the years but by no means are they perfect. I'm sure there is plenty of room for improvement and I hope doing this blog, and eventually having visiters, will help as we trade ideas, thoughts and formulas.
Have you looked at your own first review lately? How does it compare to how you do it now? I'd love to hear from you. ;-)