This is going to be a quicky Book Report, because this was a quicky book. In more ways than one. So here goes….
I stumbled across Pleasures of Somerville Park, by Ava March as I was peeking through the free Historical Romance books on Amazon. It’s actually a short story. Only 5000 words (maybe less). I was intrigued not by the description, but by the reviews.
Well, Pleasures of Somerville Park is an M/M romance. I’ll be writing an M/M romance before too long here to finish off my Montana Romance series (Phin’s story, Somebody to Love). One of the concerns I’ve had is that people will automatically give Somebody to Love horrible reviews because it is an M/M. So I when I saw that Pleasures of Somerville Park ranked pretty high in free Historical Romance, I clicked to find out more.
Yep. Someone gave it a bad review for no reason other than that it was M/M. But there were also many comments replying to that review—not too nicely, I might add—calling that reviewer a bigot. What struck me in particular about these rebuttals (no pun intended) was that they said that Ava March is actually a very good writer and that the reviewer should be reviewing based on that, not the fact that it’s an M/M.
Quick side note: These rebutters also pointed out that the cover clearly shows two half-naked men, the description clearly states that the two romantic protagonists are men, and the author posted a disclaimer in the book description. All things I need to keep in mind for Somebody to Love. Somehow the reviewer “missed it”.
I was sold. It was free and only 5000 words, so if it sucked (again, no pun intended) I wasn’t losing anything.
Guess what? It was damned good! Like, actually entertaining, intriguing, and *gasp* well-written! Let’s hear it for free books being genuinely good! It was also, however, something along the lines of an afterward to an entire other novel. Meaning the two heroes had already gotten together and had their happy ending and the plot of this short story was just a hiccup to that HEA … with sex.
I’ve never seen an author offer a short that takes place after the main novel for free. I think I would prefer to have those freebie shorts be stories that take place before the main novel. However, I tip my hat to Ava March. She succeeded in doing what all free promos are designed to do. I am going to buy the full-length novel. I’ll consider it research.
I’ve got a couple of other books on my TBR pile first though. Who am I kidding, I’ve got TONS of novels on my TBR pile! And I’m actually halfway through another one right now. And watching The Hunger Games movie the other day has filled me with an irresistible urge to reread those books, so Ava March’s full-length novel, Object of His Desire, will have to wait a wee bit.