By: Claire Pizzurro
The Bookstore has been giving out free books – free copies of the romance novel Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch penned by B.J. Daniels. B.J. may or may not be female, but he/she certainly has the most appropriate name in the business.
Full disclosure – I meant to read this book. I had every intention of reviewing it for my lovely readers and letting all of you know if it was worth the time and energy to make the stop on your way from the D-den over to your mailboxes. But then I had some problems with time management and writing papers for my seminar, so I decided to just go ahead and review the sex scenes instead. After all, that is why people read these things, right? For the hilariously written sex scenes and their fascinating descriptions of carnal activities? Well, they certainly don’t read them to acquaint themselves with literary genius akin to Nabokov or Joyce. So that’s what I did for you.
I have to be frank, as I was flipping through the pages searching for key words and phrases like “fiery passion,” “heaving bosoms,” and “boner,” I was less concerned with the actual plotline, and more concerned with the hot-and-heavy. I was mostly disappointed, too.
B.J. definitely has the ability to write about a plucky, “softly curved” female heroine, desired by her hard-edged, determined “six-six” (six-six, really? Damn that is tall) ex-fiancé, but he/she doesn’t seem to enjoy writing about their hardcore hate sex. Instead, we have to wait for half the book in order to build up the tension between the two before we even get a kiss. It’s a steamy kiss, sure, but that’s it. Just a kiss.
Most romance novels are problematic enough because they include lots of details about kidnapped women finally coming to realize that the men who used to be their rapists are actually their true loves, but the dedication that B.J. has to creating a consensual atmosphere of sexual tension is just annoying. I had to do a lot of page flipping before I came across anything remotely physical, and then when I finally got to the sex-scene, I was sorely disappointed.
It begins on page 194 with another kiss, and it includes descriptions of “exquisite pleasure,” and “the heat shimmering over their naked bodies.” However, it ends a page later with a pan-away – they make passionate love all night but you, the curious reader, don’t get to read about it, you only get to know that it happened. I felt cheated. You read romance novels to giggle at “throbbing members” and “forceful thrusting,” not a single sentence about the girl’s hard nipple. Where’s the fun in that? It’s just so boring – you could go watch Titanic for the same effect.
By the end of my venture into the land of Cardwell Ranch, I wasn’t really sure why the book was being marketed as a romance novel. Perhaps, it was simply because that market is huge and B.J. wanted to get in on the moneymaking action. I feel unfair assessing this book so harshly, but I feel that I am truly qualified to do so, as I have spent time in the past sitting in aisles at Barnes & Noble, reading books with Fabio on the cover out loud to my enraptured friends. Just because we’re immature and do this for a laugh does not take away from the profound ability I now have to review B.J.’s attempts at mastering the romance genre.
And so, with all my expertise placed weightily behind these words, I utter my verdict: Not worth the time, unless you’re actually reading it for the story. I didn’t read it for real, so you’re going to have to figure out just how interesting the murder mystery actually is, all on your own.