Book Review: The Conference by JC Loreaux
I purchased this book from Amazon as part of an author exchange group - we each agreed to purchase the other's similarly-priced books in the erotica genre, and then review. I got this book and one other I'll review in a day or so, when I've gathered the mental fortitude to do so.
I agonized for quite a while over whether I should just not do the review at all, because I've always been raised by the adage "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything."
But then... I see so many hardworking and talented erotica authors out there trying to make a name for themselves, authors like Leah Pink and Audrey Noire, not to mention myself... and our work gets lost, or 'lumped in with' a sea of... I can only call it tripe.
Therefore, I'm going to be brutally honest and tell it like it is.
The Conference does have some things going for it. First and foremost, it has a believable plot, a bored and neglected wife hooking up with a hot co-worker at a conference away from home. I found myself sympathizing with Linda, the protagonist, understanding her motivations somewhat, even though 'cheating' fics aren't really my thing.
However, the rest of the story was utterly wrecked for me by the constant, and I do mean constant, grammatical errors and muddled tenses.
On the very first page (this is no secret, you can preview it on Kindle) the following two paragraphs appear.
"She and Dan have been married for almost ten years now, and it has been an overall good marriage. They have two children, Angie, and Mark, and her daily routine mostly consists of getting back from work, handling the house chores, and then wrapping up whatever loose ends she brings home from the office. Like her, Dan also works long hours, so they hardly have enough time for each other.
Linda loves her husband, and she knows Dan loves her just the same, but they are both so preoccupied with their careers and trying to make sure their kids have everything they need. As it happens so often, the passion has slowly died away and these days they were more like good friends more than anything else."
What? I mean, what? The whole thing is just a muddled mess, especially that disastrous last sentence, with the word 'more' used twice in five words.
Page 2: "Linda was 36 but had a body of 25-year- old." ALWAYS spell out numbers in full. Anything else looks amateurish. That's not even the only error in that sentence. I'd write it "Linda was thirty-six, but had the body of a twenty-five-year-old."
By the time I got to page 4 and found the typo "shouldN't" the only thing that was running through my head was 'Hire a proof-reader, stat!'
It may be a matter of personal taste, but my inner editor couldn't escape critically noting all the issues - and there were basic issues like these on pretty much every page - enough to actually 'get into' the story. The only reason I managed to skim it through to the end was because I'd already agreed to review it.
I'm sorry, JC Loreaux, but in my opinion you need either a heck of a lot more writing experience or a ruthless editor to proof your work before you publish. Otherwise, it's just too hard to read. The only reason you're getting two stars instead of one is that your plot was believable and didn't have me rolling my eyes to the ceiling, and I did like your protagonist.