Tag: Authors that Screw Over Their Readers

Throwback Thursday Review/Rant: Shattered by Joan Johnston

Posted October 22, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 15 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review/Rant: Shattered by Joan JohnstonReviewer: Casee
Shattered by Joan Johnston
Series: Bitter Creek #8
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: December 29, 2009
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 423
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Series Rating: one-star

Nine years ago Kate Grayhawk Pendelton walked into Wyatt Shaw's life--and out of it the next morning. Now Wyatt's back--and has the power to shatter Kate's future with the man she loves.

By reputation, Wyatt Shaw is a brutal killer who always gets what he wants. And he wants Kate and her twin eight-year-old sons.

Texas Ranger Jack McKinley is hot on Wyatt Shaw's trail. The presumed heir to the D'Amato crime syndicate is threatening to steal the woman he loves.

Holly McKinley is fighting to keep Jack from leaving her for another woman. Now the secret she's kept for over twenty years may save their son's life, and cost her the only man she's ever loved.

This review was originally published December 30, 2009

Warning! Spoilers Ahead!


I can’t tell you exactly what I was saying as I was reading this book. What I can say is that Joan Johnston really screwed her readers on this one. Shattered is the newest book in Johnston’s Bitter Creek series. I have doggedly stuck with it (waiting for Jack and Kate to FINALLY get together) only to end up feeling completely screwed over at the end. I felt like Johnston was giving the proverbial finger to her readers while writing this book.

The Bitter Creek series started way back in 2000. In 2005, The Next Mrs. Blackthorne was released. It was supposed to be the story of Clay Blackthorne and Libby Grayhawk (which it was to a certain extent). It was either in this book or the one before it (The Rivals) that Kate and Jack first meet. Kate is nineteen and instantly falls for Jack. Sparks fly, etc. Jack is older and more jaded. He rejects Kate, which sends her into the arms of another man. Nine years later, they meet again. Kate is widowed (or so she thinks) with twin boys. Jack is going through a divorce. It’s finally their time. At the end of A Stranger’s Game (2009), Kate and Jack are as good as together. Then Kate’s husband comes back from the dead. Obviously you think that is the obstacle that will come between Kate and Jack. Nope.

The bottom line is that Kate and Jack DON’T END UP TOGETHER. OMGWTFBBQ. It’s bull shit. The story would have been good if JACK AND KATE WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO END UP TOGETHER. There is no sense to be made from the fact that Kate and Jack END UP WITH OTHER PEOPLE. And who they end up with is so fucking cliched. Jack ends up with the wife he was going to divorce. Kate ends up with the man she had a one night stand with, resulting in the birth of her twins.

In the midst of all that, Kate’s husband decides that he wants revenge on his bitch of a wife and her lover. Then he decides to blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blabety blah.

The end.

1 out of 5.

The series:

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Sour Grapes?

Posted March 21, 2011 by Holly in Discussions | 33 Comments

Here’s the scenario:

Last year an author released a book that was labeled as contemporary romance. It was part of a long running series and this character’s book was much anticipated. Only…it wasn’t a contemporary. The author decided to make it a time-travel/futuristic/sci-fi blend. Readers were pretty upset about it – rightly so, IMO. The author’s response was 1) I have to do what my muse tells me to and 2) it’s really my publisher’s fault for labeling this wrong. She took a lot of heat for both her response and for the book itself. Eventually the dust settled and most people – myself included – forgot all about it.

Now the author has a new book coming out. The heroine is an author. And it just so happens her last book garnered a lot of controversy for an unexpected plot twist. The heroine’s reaction to the controversy was exactly what our author’s reaction was. It was pretty much right down the line the same. The author didn’t deviate even a little between her heroine’s situation and her real life one.

I have to be honest, the whole thing highly offended me. It felt like the author just had to get the last word in, and since she couldn’t do it in real life she did it for pretend, in her book. Now, I know it’s possible that it’s all just a big fat coincidence, but it feels like sour grapes. Why write a book with an author character who writes the same genre as you and dealt with the same bad reviews for the same plot twist, if it’s not sour grapes?

What say you? Should the author have brought it to her book? Coincidence or Sour Grapes?

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The waiting of Acheron and the trend that followed

Posted February 23, 2010 by Casee in Discussions | 17 Comments


Back in 2006 when I would read things like “OMGawd, I just started the DH series. It’s soooo good. I can’t wait for Acheron‘s book! I can’t believe I have to wait for two whole years” I wanted to cyberslap them and say bitch, please I got really annoyed. I’ve been waiting for Acheron’s book since 2000. That’s the year two thousand. I still remember talking to this friend I had that loved the series as much as I did at the time and just bemoaning over the fact that it was going to be YEARS before Acheron’s book would come out. How were we going to wait that long? We would surely die if forced to wait that long. Back then, five to seven years seemed like an impossibly long time. Holding my baby and thinking that he was going to be at least five years old when Acheron’s book finally came out was just unfathomable to me.

Not only was the publishing date sketchy (for years) but when it came to Ash’s heroine, Sherrilyn Kenyon refused to give it up. In my post about forgiving her for anything, I don’t think I would have forgiven her for an Ash/Artemis pairing. I used to make myself sick thinking about the possibility that Artemis would be Ash’s heroine. The sole voice of reason was Holly. She would tell me over and over again that there is no way it could be Artemis. Even though she was WRONG about who the heroine was, at least she was right about Artemis.

When Acheron came out, I was at the book store first thing in the morning. I took it home, started it at 10am and finished it at 5pm. There was not the sense of disappointment that I was expecting when I finished it. I was just happy that Ash finally got what he deserved. My review of it is completely biased. There is no way I could have given that book anything less than a five.

Which brings me to this new fad that authors seem to be going through.

They introduce this extremely amazing alpha hero that makes a statement from the time he makes his first appearance to when said hero gets his book. Only HE’S NOT GETTING HIS BOOK.

  1. Tohr from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. It started with Wrath and Dark Lover. It was going to end with Tohr. Then the series got popular and all of a sudden Ward pulled back and said “Tohr isn’t ready”. I have to write a gajillion books before Tohr will be ready. Look, I get that it’s an author’s creation that is bringing me reading pleasure, but I don’t care if Tohr is ready. I’m freaking ready. Tohr is the new Acheron. The only thing is that I don’t care. With Acheron, I would have waited until 2015 and still read the book when it comes out. My prediction is that Tohr’s book won’t come out until 2018. It will be the 52nd book in the series and by then the rfg’s will have turned on Ward.

  2. Hawke from Nalini Singh‘s Psy/Changeling series. Hawke was introduced in Slave to Sensation and I don’t think there is a reader among us who didn’t want his story, like, now. He was intriguing and cold, alpha yet so different than Lucas. He had a shadowy back story that only in the last few books started to reveal itself. Hawke and Sienna have the chemistry that explodes off the pages. Like Sherrilyn Kenyon and J.R. Ward, Singh has kept quiet on whether Sienna is really Hawke’s heroine. I’ve begged her (no really, I have) and she just tells me “you don’t want me to ruin it for you!”. Yes I would, but that’s beside the point. The point is that Singh has addressed Hawke’s book very openly and said it will be within the next two years. I take that to mean that Sienna has to grow up and Hawke has to miss her. So why am I not annoyed with Singh like I am with Ward? Because I like the books that are coming out before Hawke’s. I like the characters. I didn’t care about freaking Rhevenge.

  3. Alaric from Alyssa Day‘s Atlantis series. Alaric is a high priest aka celibate. In the first book, he meets Quinn and there is an instant attraction between the two. Alaric wants Quinn, but he believes in his duty as a high priest. If he isn’t a high priest, he can’t serve Conlan or Poisedon and Atlantis means a great deal to Alaric. Back when I actually checked the Yahoo Groups, Alyssa Day said that we wouldn’t have to wait years for Alaric. I believe he was actually compared to Acheron and Day shot that down. Since then, I believe she went on a hiatus for personal reasons but has since returned to the writing world. Now that Alaric has found out that high priests haven’t always been, in fact, celibate, can he be with Quinn? Day (it must be obvious by now) will not say whether Quinn is Alaric’s heroine though she does say that she’s rooting for them.

Getting so invested in one character just hasn’t turned out well for me. The only characters that I will stay invested in are Hawke and Alaric.

Which characters are you invested in? What book have you waited for the longest? Who is your “Acheron”?

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