Friday, September 16, 2011

A Sad Book Review: CL Parks, A Repeating Life

a repeating life

Genre: Paranormal/Romance/Erotica

Book description:

Juliana Benson thought she'd finally get a little excitement in her life when her incredibly good-looking boss, Michael Mason, offers her a job as his personal assistant. She had no idea she'd be depending on him for her life; and finding the soul mate she lost in 1846. Set in today's world, Juliana begins to realize there are some things not quite human about her boss. When she wakes up in his home after a brutal attack, she realizes there's more to Michael than she ever thougth possible. The true test will be when she realizes her dreams were trying to tell her the truth about Michael...and herself.

My thoughts:

What I liked about this book? Ummmm…the cover and the title. Both left my mouth watering. Paranormal. Romance. Well, the erotica part…eh, not so much but I was sold to buy it. I paid .99 cents for a copy to be delivered to my Kindle.

Now for the hard part. I’m trying to figure out how to be nice when giving a book review of this kind. Let’s just say, I didn’t sleep well last night. Actually, I feel pretty bad for this Indie author and wonder who the hell edited this piece for her. Where were her critter friends? And, if she had any did they give her descent suggestions? If so, why didn’t she take it to heart?

Let me begin my trip. The first sentence….well, read it for yourselves. When you do, hold your tongue and say it out loud three times. Oh and, be prepared. There’s a spelling error, too.

“Ana?” Ms.Sams’ voice screeching through the opening of my cubicle startled me, breaking my concentration.

Talk about hooking my ‘critical-editor-eyes’. They automatically went on. Yeah. It violently shook me up, hooking me in the wrong way. But hey, I kept reading. Why? I was waiting for her to redeem herself. That’s fair. Right? Well, redemption never came. Let me tell you why.

Product description says: Juliana Benson thought she'd finally get a little excitement in her life when her incredibly good-looking boss, Michael Mason, offers her a job as his personal assistant.

For one, it was never clear to me the main character was bored. If anything, the first chapter showed her to be a mean spirited person who worked under Mr. Mason for a while without being given the time of day. I mean, it was totally out-of-the-blue for her to be offered such a position. She was one of those office-whiners. Nothing backed up her ability to get a better position. And, I hate office-whiners and wanted to slap her from the beginning.

Product description says: She had no idea she'd be depending on him for her life; and finding the soul mate she lost in 1846. Set in today's world, Juliana begins to realize there are some things not quite human about her boss.

To be honest, it was never made clear that she depended on him to save her life. ***me eye-brains crossed a lot*** He stepped in after she was brutally attacked by her psyco x and hid her at his secluded home in the woods. To me, I felt he caged her there. It didn’t make sense. Michael made up lies to her mother and friend to keep her in his pumpkin shell. People in love don’t imprison their sweeties.

A mean-spirited person would’ve eventually told him to go F themselves and would’ve left. Really. And, a real meanie would’ve knocked the abusive psycho back. They don’t let anyone abuse them. It’s the other way around.

Confused yet?

Let me add to the toxic stew.

As for the soul mate she lost in 1846…that would be Michael Mason. ***scratching my head*** Um….she has past life dreams once she’s in her bosses care but doesn’t accept them as such. And when Michael tries to explain to her who and what he is, well….she believes he’s crazy. She certainly doesn’t accept him as her soul mate. These two characters left me confused, questioning their every action.

Case in point, psycho x finds Ana at the bosses secluded house. Violently rapes her. Michael finds him. His eyes glow and snarls(this was supposed to get me thinking WEREWOLF- didn’t work). Kills psycho x right in the middle of the novel. The spiral downward takes off from this point and FAST.

On the same day, Michael and Ana do the chitty-chitty-bang-bang. OMG. Really? Why? And, what’s so romantic about that? It’s quite degrading, if you ask me and it’s not realistic.

Let me tell you what was clear in this novel. Hardcore sex. Lots of erotica. The writer showed us very well what Ana liked and where she wanted the 'willy'. 

Product description should’ve read: This is a tale about two horny people who will confuse the hell out of you. It’s possible one of them is psychic and the other is a werewolf. Maybe their soul mates from another place and time.

This tale will leave you scratching your head and you’ll be asking yourself “WTF?” Why did she bother to write this? Where was her empathy for victims of domestic violence and rape?

These are only a few of the problems with this novel. As for the rollercoaster ride, it was more like Shiekra at Bush Gardens. It spiraled down and crashed. That's what happens when a writer doesn't fasten their seat belt properly.


No shiny stars for these casualties.


  1. Thank you for being so honest in your review! This probably wouldn't have been something I would have picked up anyway, but it's good to hear a thorough evaluation of why it didn't work for you.

  2. OUCH! That must've hurt. But it sounds quite deserved. Sex on the same day as a rape??? That in itself destroys the characters credibility. Sounds like you spent a lot of time asking your self "why", which is what a writer should constantly be asking themselves. Why did she get the promotion? How did she depend on him? What supernatural being was he exactly? If you can't answer these questions as you're writing, the reader won't be able to either, and they'll end up confused.

  3. Double ouch!

    I'd read a review of it before, and it was more then enough for me to pass. It feels confusing, disjointed, and with multiple wrong turns.

    If you're going to use rape as a plot element, it is your responsibility to respond to that throughout the rest of the narrative by keeping it in mind, showing the consequences of that horrific act. A rape victim throwing herself at another guy as if it never happened isn't showing the consequences.

  4. @ Lydia: It was hard to deliver the news but it needed to be done. Soon I'll be publishing my first novel but I've been working on it since 2008. I've ran it through the mill. And, I've rewritten the whole thing three times. The first two times I couldn't stand my main character. After the third, she became more palatable. The polishing I've done via others' suggestions have been a great help.

    @Christina: I literally had to force myself to finish it. I made a promise to do a book review. I'm big on keeping my word but it really was a bad work of art. I couldn't even feel the writer's passion.

  5. @William: Yup. Like I stated to Christine, I had to force myself to finish.

  6. @Norma: Have you ever seen the Shrieka in person? It's as tall as a skyscraper and the first drop stands at 180 degree angle. Imagine if the seatbelts were never fastened correctly.

  7. Ouch, in deed. But that's what crit partners are for.

    But really, didn't anyone mention to Stephenie Meyer that she'd done such a great case about not being able to have a vampire baby that when Bella gets preggers it jerks the reader right out of the Twilight world? It happens even in traditional publishing.


  8. I guess I won't be reading it any time soon. I think after reading the blurb I would have been highly disappointed in the book. There is such a thing as too much erotica in a book...tends to ruin the story line for me. And if he is a werewolf, the writer should have shown that. Thanks for the heads up. :)

  9. @Donna: Stephanie Myers cultivated characters you could care about way b/f she bafooned that one. Her ability to write the story enraptured me even though she did way too much tell and the books were littered with habit words and redundancy. If someone can present a story well, the mistakes are usually over-looked.

    I'm one to forgive a bad sentence here and there, even mispellings. We're all subject to error. But we must as writers be able to tell a story that connects from one chapter to the next. We must understand the ABC's of great storytelling. If we can do that, everything else will come.

  10. @Laila: My suggestion is, don't waist your .99 cents or time. It's really bad. In fact, to some extent it pisses me off. All it takes is one bad apple to spoil the barrel for other Indie writers. And, I'm considering being one.

  11. Shelly, there are markets where this will actually sell real well--like that Adult Bookstore next to the train tracks! LOL.

  12. Dear Eve: Maybe a crack-addicted-hooker would buy it. Substance doesn't matter after years of sucking on a crack pipe.

  13. Shelly--for one thing, I welcome my blog bud back, hoping you had a nice vacation (can't wait to hear the boy's reaction).

    I'm so afraid that because of the ease in which anyone can just go a put a "novel" out there, there are a lot of these very badly written pieces out there--so how does anyone know NOT TO BUY IT, if someone doesn't tell you, right? You've done a public service--someone had to!

    I've seen the beginnings of a few new offerings from new writers and really, I have to say they needed an editor to eyeball them, or someone to say, "You really need to do a little more work on this" --and the #1 thing that was pounded into me as a writer was to READ, READ, READ!!!! This is so that you understand how it is done by those who are good at it. (Learning how to plot and so forth)

    I've heard about people writing crap and pretending it is something we all have to buy. And the other thing, erotica has, I'm afraid, become like a bad porno flick. I don't write it, I'd rather have a romantic romp, with some erotic overtones (well, you know what I mean, I guess)

    Okay. I've vented and feel about 50% better. I'll drink my wine and smile :) Oh...70% better!

  14. I didn't particularly care for the "erotic" parts of this novel and I've got some other things that are wrong with this novel, too...many of them exactly what you said.

    I'm with Lorelei...I'd rather write sexy or steamy rather than gross sex...and, definitely, I would not let my character have sex after being brutally raped and abused. There is no way that that is even remotely possible psychologically.

    For a bad review, you did well.

  15. @Lorelei:
    Thanks for the moral support on this. And yes, I know what you mean about steamy romance like what you write. It's great and not NASTY.

    @Beth: Thank you for your moral support. I've always been direct and there was no way I could post something untrue. Did you read the first review posted to Amazon? It was deceitful and it pissed me off. So Shelly posted her own review there. Anyway, I'd want someone to tell me if my stuff was shit. Then I'd remove it and fix it. And try again.

  16. @ Lorelei: If you asked me if I thought your butt looked too big in a certain pair of pants, I'd tell you the truth.

    I'm not giving you flattery. I'm being honest. You've got it down on steamy romance scenes. I loved the one between Sabrnia and Treymane where he went poof.

  17. Hi Michele,
    Just dropping in to say hi and find out what all the kervuffle was about a bad review.
    EEK! You're very brave and honest publishing this review.
    I don't know what I'd do if someone asked me to review their book and I didn't like it.

  18. I thought you did a great job on this review. It's important to have good editing and this proves it.

  19. It sucks to be let down by a book, but I appreciate your honest review! The consensual sex after a rape thing is enough for me to know how unrealistic it is.

  20. @Karen: Like I first stated, where were her critter friends. Also, the nice thing about being Indie is you've got the option to pull it off the market and fix it.

    Also, I'm the kind of person that if you were to ask me a question, I'll give you a direct and honest answer.

    @Donna: Thank you. And yes, good editing is a must. Especially if you're hanging ten on your own in publishing.

    Shannon: After I read that part, I was in shock. What was the writer thinking?

  21. Wow, that sounds really bad. I hope the author get the chance to improve...

  22. Scratch that one off the TBR list! Just kidding. This is the first I've heard of this book. I'm guessing this lady had no critique partners.

    And I know how hard it is to review bad books. Good for you for sticking it out with the whole book. You really did give her opportunites to redeem herself.

  23. @MISH: Me, too.

    @Allison: Yeah. I don't think she had critters to help her either. And, I'm not so sure she picked any 'how to' books on the subject of writing. It takes patience and time.


Let me know what you think.