Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Contemporary Review: A Novel Seduction by Gwyn Cready

FORMAT: Paperback
GENRE: Contemporary
PUBLISHER: Pocket Star (October 25,2011)
ISBN: 9781451612646
When snobbish book critic Ellery Sharpe screws up at Vanity Place magazine, her boss assigns her the ultimate punishment: write an ode to romance novels, a genre she considers the literary equivalent of word-search puzzles. To make matters worse, he hires her sexy former party boy ex, Axel Mackenzie, to shoot the photos. Axel really want the project to succeed. For one, the magazine will double his fee if he convinces strong-willed Ellery to write a story no woman can resist. Besides, getting Ellery to fall for romance novels might be just the push she needs to believe people can change...even him. At his sister's advice, Axel gives Ellery a copy of Kiltlander, a much-adored romance whose warrior hero is utterly irresistable. To her dismay, Ellery finds herself falling in love with the story---and with Axel, who's drawing his own lessons from the book's compelling hero. With her carefully crafted image of herself crumbling and her dream job on the line, will Ellery risk it all to make the leap from tight-lipped literati to happily-ever-after heroine? (source: back cover)
Where to Find Gwyn: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter
Where to Buy: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Nook | Book Depository
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt
Go and Buy it NOW!
From the moment I read this: "Romance Novels: Publishing's Answer to Farmville", I fell in love with this book. Ellery Sharpe is a bookish snob. She thinks romance books are utter drivel and trash but after ripping the head of the most successful romance publishing company Bettina Moore a new one, her editor isn't too happy (as in he's sleeping with her. Men!).

This book is not only an ode to Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER but to the romance genre in general.

Top 10 Reasons to Read This Book:
  1. Ellery Sharpe- Literary critic, thinks romance books are a waste of time, has a baby sister who she practically raised, Axel's ex, very driven. Ellery's revelations about the romance genre and the books she's reading had me laughing and muttering to myself--'See? You can't just write off romance.' 
  2. Axel Mackenzie- Freelance photographer, beer drinker, half Scottish, looks delicious in a kilt, Ellery's ex and did I mention he's Canadian? He wants to buy a brewery and the only way he can get the money is to partner up with Ellery and push her towards writing the article with the same passion when she writes literary pieces.
  3. Monkey Bar- Supposedly the entrance to the underworld of Vamp so it's a total tourist spot. Ellery wants to prove her sister and best friend wrong, she can have fun. She gets drunk, crosses the monkey bars, takes her shirt and bra off, makes out with a random guy, makes out with Axel, all the while thinking she's taken a pill (courtesy of Axel) that's put her on this bender.
  4. Lessons learned from romance books according to Kate (Ellery's bff): 1)Forget money and looks. Without honor, you've got nothing. 2)The only heroine of any worth is one who makes things happen for herself. 3)There's nothing more fun than an unruly hard-on.
  5. Kiltlander- It's OUTLANDER but Jamie is Jemmie and Claire is Cara. This makes me want to finally read my copy. 
  6. Vamp- Ah yes. The latest book by Bettina Moore in which empowered vampire women kick ass and take names. Readers of the book are divided into Teams. Sound familiar? This book has your typical paranormal elements: human turned vampire hero, kick ass heroine, a journey into hell (both figuratively and literally), an evil villain and a secret that must be kept from humans.
  7. Kilts- I mean, what is a book without a Highlander in a kilt? Axel and Ellery's travels take them to the site mentioned in KILTLANDER and Axel is talked into wearing a kilt. 
  8. Sex positions in romance books: Seriously, this part is pee in your pants hilarious. After Ellery reads a sex scene in one of the books, she starts to wonder how limber the characters must be or if the position is even feasible. Haven't you always wondered how a 5'2 woman gets it on with a 6'2 man? (What is it with historicals putting the man a foot taller than the woman anyway?) Does it really work? What about standing on one leg and hiking up the other, wrapping it around his waist? 
  9. Buhl Martin Black- Ellery's boss at Vanity Place who is diddling Bettina Moore and makes Ellery write a three thousand word essay about the positive side of romance. Plus, he's married. And not to Bettina.
  10. Lessons learned from romance books, according to Axel: 1)Women love them. 2)If a woman doesn't love romance novels, she still loves romance. 3)Just talking about romance with the cashier at the bookstore earned him a phone number. 4)Kiltlander helped him score with a girl back in college.
It is like the kitchen sink of romance books. Almost everything you find in your categorized romance books, you'll find it in this one. This book has everything: opposite personalities, the bff there for the comic relief, the sister who helps and doesn't hinder the story, the slimy asshat of a guy bent on winning no matter the cost, the whiny mean girl, a road trip (okay, country hopping), a hero who has a secret which the heroine assumes the worst, a heroine who has a secret which cost her the man she loved, a story of second chances, a secret baby, men in kilts, a rowdy bar, readers split into Team [insert character name here] or Team [insert opposing character name here] (you know which books I'm talking about), hilarious secondary characters and the list goes on and on.

"'Would you be flattered or offended if someone described your nipples as 'musket balls'?'
The unpacking stopped. She gave his a curious look.'I'm going to have to say no one's ever asked me that before.'
OVERALL: Now I finally want to crack the spine on OUTLANDER er, at least pull it up on the Kindle, to see what I'm missing. Yes, Gwyn Cready has made me see the light. Gwyn Cready's writing is sharp, witty, entertaining, laugh-out-loud until you cry and slightly pee in your pants funny (not that I'm admitting to the last part), very refreshing and pegs the thoughts of non-romance book readers that I know. The interaction between Ellery and Axel is explosive yet sweet and fun. The banter between the two had me snorting and getting weird looks from strangers. (I swear I have got to stop reading romance books in public.) It was quite the journey watching Ellery go from romance book skeptic to slightly confused as to why she's got feelings about Jemmie and Cara to fully embracing the genre. Would it be blasphemous to say that this book is my KILTLANDER?

***book provided by publisher***

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