Over the next couple weeks you'll get to meet some of the HEA Reviewers. Find out what makes them tick, and what they look for in a good book.
We'll start things off with our Interview Coordinator/Reviewer, Angelique!
Reviewer Interview with Angelique
How did you get started reviewing books? What keeps you going?
It is hard to believe that I had never “officially” reviewed a book before April of this year, but now it seems like reviewing is just part of who I am. My start came from attending a book blogging conference. Not long after, an author friend referred me to Happily Ever After Reviews and now here I am.
What keeps my nose stuck in a book is not only love of the written word, but the opportunity to get lost in the most magnificent and creative of tales. Who the heck needs a TV (except for to watch me some True Blood)? I also enjoy promoting authors, especially ones I like.
What are your favorite romance genres? Favorite authors?
My favorite genres by far are paranormal and fantasy. I started reading the Anne Rice vampire novels at 13 (way to young, btw) and have never looked back. Lately I have found that I do enjoy a good romantic thriller or contemporary romance on occasion.
Well, I just finished reading the entire Anita Blake series from Laurell K. Hamilton (in 3 weeks) and I love her Merry Gentry series, so she is number one on the list at the moment. Others include Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, and Angela Knight. As I review, I’m picking up a ton of new favorites and really get excited at the opportunity to review them.
How important are the book cover and blurb in choosing what you are going to review?
Please don’t hate me, but I do look at covers when I purchase books (not reviewing). It is the title and cover that draws me to the book, beckoning me to flip it over to read the blurb. If the blurb hooks me, I’m a goner.
Come on!! I’m a cover artist and like looking at the pretty pictures!
When I review, I look at the title and genre – sometimes the blurb. I actually prefer to go in with as few pre-conceived notions as I can about what I will be reading. Generally, the first time I see the cover is when I’m opening the PDF file.
Do you have any preferences when it comes to the characters or relationships in the books you review? (ex. Hetero couple, strong heroine, alpha male, ménage, etc.)
As far as sexual orientation of a couple, I am not picky. I do try to nab the f/f books when they are available, since I find they are pretty rare. I also like ménages and the spicier works.
When it comes to characters, I like them strong and willful. Authors who can weave those types of characters realistically and emotionally into a loving relationship have my utmost respect. My father raised me to be independent and maybe a little too stubborn (read difficult) so I like when heroines have backbone because I identify with them. And it takes a certain kind of man to love my type of woman.
What is something that really catches your attention when you are reading, good or bad?
On the good side, I pick up on how a book makes me feel. Blame the Pisces in me, but I don’t just want to read about a bunch of people in 2D. I want to feel what they are feeling – the desperation of not knowing if that other person loves them or the anxiety over the next step. When the characters pull me into the story – I note that and try to make sure it is mentioned in the review.
On the other hand, my perfectionist “inner critic” also picks up on grammar, continuity, and formatting errors in the books I read. They break my stream of consciousness and will have me stumbling on to the next page.
What, in your opinion, makes a book a Recommended Read?
I take the HEA Reviews Recommended Read designation very seriously. To me, a Recommended Read is a story that has not only pulled me in, but won’t let me up for air. If all I can think about on my way home is the story, that is a RR. If I pull out and read the book on my iPhone in the car or at other functions, that too is a RR.
When you are not reviewing romance novels, what else are you up to?
When I am not reading, I am usually doing some sort of artwork (digital or traditional acrylic), designing someone’s website, or pretending to be a writer. If I’m really bored, I might actually get some work done.
You can find all of Angelique's reviews in the Reviewer Search Menu on the sidebar.
Feel free to leave your questions or comments for Angelique.