Rant, Smut Reporting

Unsolicited Advice for Budding Romance Novelists

“…the delve of his tongue into the moist aperture of her mouth.”


Please don’t write sentences like this. 

Let’s break it down, shall we?

  1. Avoid passive construction

“The delve of his tongue” is indirect. We have to keep reading to find out what, exactly is delving.

Also, “delve” is a verb; furthermore, it is a verb that is not particularly conducive to nouning. 

  1. Use fewer words

The key parts of this sentence are tongue – into – mouth. Everything else is window-dressing. Yes, we want evocative adjectives, but overwriting is distracting. 

  1. Beware the thesaurus

At TSR, we are on record with the fact that reading romance novels improved our vocabularies and helped us ace the verbal portion of the SAT. However, just using the thesaurus to find loose synonyms without some thought is not a good plan.

In this case: delve means to “reach inside a receptacle and search for something.” What is his tongue searching for? Her tonsils?

  1. Never, ever, ever use the word moist 

Maybe if you’re talking about fungus. “Moist aperture” is perhaps the least sexy combination of words I have ever read. 

This has been a public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood smut reader.

You’re welcome. 

Rant, Review

Review: Vitality by Crysta Levere (2019)

Heat Factor: A somewhat detached but urgent sexual obsession

Character Chemistry: He wants to exsanguinate her and she has a serious penchant for self-harm

Plot: If you can figure that out, I give you all the props


Continue reading “Review: Vitality by Crysta Levere (2019)”
Rant, Review

Review: Holiday by Candlelight by Laurel Greer (2019)

Sutter Creek, Montana, Book 3

Heat Factor: Let’s tryst on this ski lift! 

Character Chemistry: My PTSD is incompatible with your hobbies!

Plot: They are planning a holiday party together, but really it’s about Caleb dealing with his PTSD in a place that triggers his PTSD

Overall: Diversity tokenism done wrong

Continue reading “Review: Holiday by Candlelight by Laurel Greer (2019)”
Rant, Review

Review: Colton Christmas Protector by Beth Cornelison (2016)

Coltons of Texas, Book 12

Heat Factor: Not even steam

Character Chemistry: It’s fine

Plot: There are a lot of moving parts – they are hiding out and solving crimes and parenting

Overall: Irritating

Continue reading “Review: Colton Christmas Protector by Beth Cornelison (2016)”
Rant, Review

Review: His Contract Christmas Bride by Sharon Kendrick (2019)

Harlequin Presents: Conveniently Wed!

Heat Factor: Their relationship is based on hot sex, so…

Character Chemistry: The victim/a**hole dynamic makes for chemistry challenges

Plot: Greek billionaire needs mother for orphaned nephew

Overall: Thought it would be an absurd bit of fun. Was so disappointed.

Continue reading “Review: His Contract Christmas Bride by Sharon Kendrick (2019)”