Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review: Secret Santo

By Jami Deise

As a writer myself, I am particularly careful in crafting reviews. A good review can be the best thing to happen to a writer all day. A bad review can drive her to pulling out her hair. One famous author (who shall remain nameless) has a husband who was so upset by a negative review on his wife’s latest book that he wrote a scathing reply, breaking the internet before Kim Kardashian got her hands (and other parts) onto it. And here’s this famous story (not the original article, but it includes reactions) about author Kathleen Hale, who was so upset about a one-star review that she stalked the reviewer right up to her front doorstep before coming to her senses. Clearly, reviewing can be dangerous business.

At Chick Lit Central, we’re sidestepped the problem by not running negative reviews. If we don’t like the book, we take that old advice about not saying anything. We’re here to introduce good books to good friends, not tear anyone down.

Others, like Holly Plume, heroine of Carla Caruso’s Christmas novella Secret Santo, take a different tack: reviewing anonymously. As Sultry Scarlet, she blogs about romance novels, and she’s particularly steamed about the last one she’s read. Whomever CE Felix is, he – and Holly is convinced he’s a man – knows nothing about women or romance either. She crafts a scathing review, even though she’s set to attend the book’s publisher’s Christmas Eve party that night. Holly has her eye on another writer – thriller writer AJ Ruffo, whomever he really is. She’s convinced the mysterious author is handsome, charming, adventurous, and witty. And when she meets Santo Randolfi by literally falling into his arms, she knows that he’s really AJ. But when Santo confides that he writes romance, Holly realizes that the man she’s quickly falling for might be the same one she just eviscerated on her blog! Can love bloom when everyone’s under cover?

Secret Santo is a quick, fun, romance – a perfect read for standing in line at the post office or the mall. It’s soaked in the Christmas spirit, with lots of friends, a frenemy or two, many references to Love, Actually, and fireworks. It delivers everything a romance reader would expect from a Christmas novella. And it also serves as a subtle warning – those mean-spirited reviews can come back to haunt you.

Want to spread the holiday spirit? Take a minute to post a complimentary review on Amazon and other book-buying sites of your favorite books this year. You will make the author’s day – guaranteed!

Thanks to Penguin Random House Australia for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Carla Caruso:


Janine said...

This sounds like a cute book. I agree about writing reviews. If I can't write something good, I would rather not write anything at all.

Geralyn Corcillo said...

Here, here, Melissa! I love your take on reviews! Because for me, writing a review within the chick lit community, when one is a "chick" oneself, is quite different from writing just any review. Within the chick lit community, I want to spread the love! Just as you do, oh wise one :) And Jami, what a Christmas treat! Sounds like charming holiday fun!

Geralyn Corcillo said...

You know, in my last comment, I neglected to give any kudos to Carla, who makes the whole post possible! I wish you a stocking full of sales and great reviews, Carla! Looks like a winner!