Book Review: Celebrity In Death by JD Robb

From GoodReads: Lieutenant Eve Dallas is no party girl, but she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash  celebrating “The Icove Agenda,” a film based on one of her famous cases. It’s a little spooky seeing the actress playing her, who looks almost like her long-lost twin. Not as unsettling, though, as seeing the actress who plays Peabody drowned in the lap pool on the roof of the director’s luxury building. Now she’s at the center of a crime scene-and Eve is more than ready to get out of her high heels and strap on her holster and step into the role she was born to play: cop.

IMO, Celebrity In Death is as enjoyable as all the other In Death books. Slower paced – there is a dearth of stabbings, shootings, chase scenes and other mayhem. There is no drama between Eve and Roark (I do so enjoy the drama.) Still fun to read though. It’s quite a bit funnier than previous books.

The murder victim in not very sympathetic at all. Her death is unsettling, because she’s looks so much like Peabody and it’s like a preview of what Peabody would like in death. Unsettling, but not really sympathetic because the victim is mean and no one likes her. (She basically tells Peabody she is a weak, pathetic cop. Which Peabody isn’t. Very insulting. I am insulted on Peabody’s behalf.)

Still. She is murdered, to celebrate the movie made from a previous case, and Eve investigates. She talks to people, figures out timelines, the placement of everyone who had reason to want the actress dead. Nora Roberts throws out the usual red herrings, nothing major there.

For someone like me, who has read all of the previous books, there are no earth shattering revelations. It’s a good fun read. That’s enough.

General · reading · Writing

Erotica vs Romance

I’ve read a lot of romance and a lot of erotica, but I don’t know where exactly is the line between the two things. I started wondering about it I began the gay modern-day fairy tale.

The easy answer is that romances are about love and erotica is about sex. But all romances have sex and most erotica has romance, too. In erotica (to my mind) the plot revolves around sex. In romance, plot revolves around the romance. But in both the sex has a point. A plot point, character development, something. The sex isn’t gratuitous. If the definition of erotica is any story where sex serves a plot point, than everything would be erotica and this post would be pointless. (Plus, a good chunk of urban fantasy would be called erotica, too.) BTW, that’s how they are organized in my kindle. Romance or erotica, they are all in one folder.

My favorite erotica (Vampire Trinity by Joey W. Hill. But I love anything by her) the sex and romance are equally balanced. It’s hard to imagine one without the other. Of course, Joey W. Hill gets into alternate lifestyle situations that most traditional publishers wouldn’t touch. Alternate situations include not only kinky stuff, but gay romances. Josh Lanyon, whose Adrien English Mysteries is a long, drawn-out romantic suspense series. Oftentimes it has more suspense than romance. I discovered it on an erotica publisher’s website, but it is not erotic in the least. It has equal or less sex scenes than your average romance (i . e. Nora Roberts). So I am thinking that’s one way a story becomes erotica; the sex is out of norms somehow.

But that’s not enough! I mean, plenty of erotica has vanilla, one, guy, one girl kind sex. So I am thinking now one of the differences is language. Erotica has words that you would never find in romances. (i. e. pussy) Sometimes the words seem kind of forced, like they don’t belong, maybe as if the publisher insisted on using those words. But they are there.

The third thing is that if someone is published by an erotica publisher, they will always be erotica writers and everything they produce afterward will be deemed erotica. That isn’t fair and I am not sure how true it is.

What do you guys think? What separates erotica from romance? Does the separation even exist?