Reviewing books can be a tricky and difficult thing sometimes. The way that I choose what books to read is very arbitrary and I only end up writing reviews for some of those (for a variety of reasons that generally ends up being as simple as not having enough hours in the day). Sometimes, I am motivated to write a review by online conversations about a book that happen with other reviewers. This is the case for Parker Swift’s Royal Affair (mostly prompted by discussions around this review of the story at TBQ’s Book Palace).
I read Royal Affair back in January after a couple of starts and stops. I distinctly remember opening the egalley of this romance and seeing this sentence at the end of the table of contents: “Don’t miss the thrilling next installment of Dylan and Lydia’s story.” I was rather ticked, to be honest, because nowhere in the summary (that you can see above) was there any mention of a cliffhanger ending, of this book not having an HEA, or of the fact that this book is the first of three books for Dylan and Lydia’s story. I would not have requested a review copy via NetGalley had I known that this wasn’t a complete HEA. Lesson learned (for like the 80th time now - maybe it will stick this time).
To be clear, I don’t have a problem with duets, trilogies, hundredologies, etc over which one romance is told. However, I do not want to review them until the romance is complete. I can’t appropriately judge a romance without the HEA - and frankly do not want to. And I don’t want to buy them UNLESS THIS INFORMATION IS GIVEN UP FRONT. I want to know BEFORE I decide to buy, and chances are I will want to wait until the romance is complete until I read it.
I do want to note that this information is clear on the Royal Affair book description page at etailer sites. Unfortunately, I do not generally look at etailer sites when choosing which review books to read - so I will take some of the blame upon myself. But ultimately, I think there is room for improvement in the way that publishers and authors make this information known IN ADVANCE.
Ultimately, I did read Royal Affair, and my overall reaction was not bad (unlike that of the reviewer in the above link). I did connect to both Lydia and Dylan. I agree that he is a total alphahole, but assume he has some deep, dark tortured secret that makes him a douche which may make him more sympathetic. We just don’t find out what that secret is in the first book in this trilogy. But it was my conversations with the author of said review (and others) that prompted me to vent my frustrations with reviewing multi-book HEAs. I do not feel as if I can fairly review part of a romance (and if I were going to review part of a romance it would always be the part with the HEA). With this series, I actually do want to see what happens next and plan to read the next two installments - just not until the third book is out (hence I will not request review copies of them).
So in case it isn’t clear, I don’t really know what to say about Royal Affair. It started out decently for me, but I don’t know where it is going, whether or not Dylan will be redeemed enough to be worthy of an HEA or how the HEA will unfold. Maybe ask me in mid June after the third book is out and I will be able to let you know.
Parker Swift: http://www.parkerswiftbooks.com/
Book Disclosure: An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.