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Weekend of Really Bad Luck

Talk about a weekend of bad luck. I just read two books by two different authors whose work I've previously enjoyed and struck out both times.

Up first, Family Unit, or Grizzled Old Balls Knocking Together. Ok, it really wasn't quite that bad, but you'd never know it from the cover. The two main characters here are forty-five and nearly fifty, respectively. We're not talking nursing home romance here, for all that one of the two is raising his grandchild. He got started making babies in high school, his son made the same mistake, and you end up forty-five years old with a nine-year-old grandkid. Shit happens.

The writing itself didn't suck. What put me off, not counting the cover, was the odd age cliches that got comical in that really bad way. In one scene, the characters are going at it and fumble around for some condoms. Both had been in a dry spell for some time, so they're trying to check the expiration date on the condoms to make sure they're still good. Problem is, both of the old bastards are apparently nearly blind with it and cant read the small print. So then they have to fumble about for the reading glasses to go with that condom and lube.

Incidences like that occurred several times, and completely killed a book that I would otherwise have enjoyed. Particularly confusing was that both of the characters in this book were in very good shape with no medical problems, and exercised regularly.

Then I read Wings. I wanted to like this book, particularly since Gaven had me all Wow and Whoa! Owens took a similar theme and what could have been an interesting fantasy story and turned it completely ass-backwards til it was just *wrong*.

Anyar was a young guard who got kidnapped by the prince of a warring faction. Not only does the dude get the feathers plucked out of his wings so he can't fly for at least a year, he gets raped. Repeatedly. Until he falls in love with his captor and all that raping becomes ok because now they're In Love.

Yeah, no.

Stockholm Syndrome is just not sexy or romantic to me, and the clever writing didn't change my mind at all here. Several scenes were just nauseating- like the time Vanyae rubs one out on Anyar's ass, then rubs the sperms all over Anyar's mouth until he swallows it...all while Anyar is unconscious. And when Anyar wakes up long enough to get raped and is screaming in pain, Vanyae rather earnestly tells Anyar "You make it worse" because he's not breathing deep and slow.

What. The. Fuck.

The writing here didn't suck, but I can't deal with non-con at all, and most especially not non-con that gets twisted into "he's hurting me because he loves me', so this book got shit canned. As in deleted from Sony and tossed into Dont Read Again Ever file.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
i saw both of these books. and passed.

because seriously the cover on the first put me off and then... reading a bit from someone else's blog made it sound like they had to take their dentures out before they shagged. one of them is FORTY for god's sake, right?

dear god, do they need a reminder of what FORTY looks like?

wait... let me show you what FORTY-SIX looks like:

ah, here's FORTY

Dec. 6th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
JOHNNY DEPP!!!!♥♥♥ *glomps and noms*

I was thinking through the whole story....they're not THAT old! made them sound like those muppets that sit up on the balcony or something.

Dec. 6th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
Thanks for the rape warning on Wings I was looking at that one. BALH!!!!
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
Some people like non-con/dub con, but I'm not one of them. Gaven sort of skirted around the non-con, but never quite went over that line. Wings jumped clear over the line and kept right the fuck on running.
Dec. 6th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
Not me! And what pisses me right the fuck off is when people forget to use something as simple as a label that says RAPE on their Rape Fic.

"Non-con" can mean lots of things these days people but if you wrote a scene that the attacker does not care if he hurts the other person and the victim is actually hurt then it is RAPE! I mean what is the issue with calling a spade a spade. If you are not proud of what you wrote then do not write it.
Dec. 6th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
LOL! Old men need love too, especially if they look like George Clooney.

As for Wings, rape is so not sexy especially when you kidnap someone and rape them while they can't move or defend themselves. Winge bodice ripper romances? Bah. Pass.
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Sean Connery too! Sexy old bastage.
Dec. 6th, 2009 11:07 am (UTC)
I'm 34... let me get my stroller. *totters off*

(Bad research. BAD research.)
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
You think that's what it was? I wasn't sure if it was meant to be an insouciant look at 'older' couples, since most of what I've read lately has at least one 18-yr-old in the mix. Still, these fairly young men were practically taking out their dentures to give blow jobs. ugh.
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Well, no dangerous teeth in the way, at least.

Dec. 6th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
Did Anne Cain really create that Wings illustration? Based on her other covers, the face seems way too technically advanced for her to achieve.

I must say that some of her illustrations puzzle me, and have been for some time. An illustrator or artist usually has one or two distinctive styles, and hers seems to be inconsistent or all over the place. Sometimes it feels as if she's using or copying other artists or photographers' styles. Or is it just me who noticed this?

She was quite naughty with the Warrior's Cross cover by paint-digitalising a promo James Bond photo, which she passed off as her illustration. I think it's happened with this Wings cover as well.

She certainly has a fantastic eye for cover design, but her lovely illustrations? I'm so not sure because I don't know which are 100% hers. Has she a site or blog where she lists the original sources of some of her works?

Dec. 6th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
She has her deviant art page (http://annecain.deviantart.com).

Anne works in various media, with a combination of using stock photos, doing photo shoots, or drawing. It's quite possible she took a stock photo, drew in the background, and called it a cover, lol.

I've asked her for quite a bit of artwork, many of them fanart, so I know it's not exactly original. Still, the yaoi-ish pieces I've got are fab, and completely her work. My Towel Boy icon here is from the very first set she did for me.

Interesting observation. Will have to ask.
Dec. 10th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
Thanks. I already understood all that, but the James Bond photo isn't a stock photo, which is why I wondered. Your mention of fan art cleared up quite a few questions. Thanks for that one.
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
You do know you do not have to post a stock photo source right?

At least she has more taste than the typical eBook cover wanabee artist who does not seem to understand Photoshop beyond the typical slapping a cut and paste job together and calling it a big old day.

I am so tired of the bottom of the barrel eBook covers that use a single stock photo and then get put in for an award when the cover artist did absolutely nothing but frame the cover and maybe slap a single filter on it.
Dec. 10th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
I already knew that, yes.

I agree with your comments, but it still doesn't address my earlier questions, though. :D I did point out she has a good eye for cover design. My question was because her art style (of her illustrations) is rather inconsistent that I was curious to know why. It's a nosey-parker question, basically!

Other than that - yes, it's quite frustrating to see quite a few bad ebook covers. It's great that there are good designers like Anne Cain. For me, though, it's even more frustrating when some used images that shouldn't be used. For example, one ebook cover "artist" grafted some of old Zebra historical romance covers onto her covers and digitally amended a couple's hair and colourised their clothes to disguise the origins.

It's not just romance ebook covers, it's also some of those from other genres. I mean, some borrowed/nicked images from high-profiled advertisements, non-stock celebrity head shots, and magazine photo spreads. It's an ongoing issue that increasingly concerns some illustrators, photographers, comic artists and artists' organisations. I suspect they will do something about it soon if they hadn't already. I'm digressing, sorry! :D

Dec. 6th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Where's the comments?
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
dunno? which ones you lookin for??
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
Oops need more coffee... nevermind.
Dec. 7th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
Really, I think the age-perception thing among readers stems from our having been inundated with twenty- and thirty-something heroes. So any character over forty automatically seems like a doddering warthog -- unless, of course, the author diligently counters that perception. The choice of cover model(s) can make all the difference too, and the choices for Family Unit were not felicitous. *shudder*

Rape? No.
Dec. 7th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
The models on that cover do NOT look forty-something. More like sixty-something.

No rape. None.

Edited at 2009-12-07 06:47 pm (UTC)
Dec. 7th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
Now that's not true take a look at someone like Tim Kelly...


No svelte waisted kid there. Gray beard, and hairy as all get out.
Sexy to me!
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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