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Karen Does Ben's Wildflower, By Carol Lynne...

Interesting cover…

Please note, the following review contains spoilers and excerpts.

This review was painful to write, but it had to be done. Carol Lynne, if you happen to come across this review, whilst googling yourself, I’d recommend that you don’t read any further. It’s not a gushing lovey-dovey review, in fact, it may be a tad… harsh? I’m sorry.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the blurb from Elloras Cave.

My Verdict

Jesus. Effing. Christ.

I can honestly say, it’s been a while since I read a book so bad, I had to review it.

I’m almost sorry to do this to Ms Lynne, but I can’t imagine who thought it was a good idea to put this book out for public consumption. Seriously, I don’t even know where to begin.

I should have known things were gonna be bad when the hero insisted on calling the heroine ‘Wildflower’. Could the author be more corny?

The sheer amateurish nature of this book, lead me to conclude that the author was fairly new to publishing, and looking at her website, it seems that I may be right, unless of course she publishes under another guise Please say it aint so!.

For the love of all things Oprah, please let her be a newbie author, because if she aint, then she’s got no fucking excuse for the pile of steaming horse manure that I’ve just subjected myself to.

The characterisation was poor beyond belief, I couldn’t get over the ridiculously stilted dialogue, the slightly bizarre storyline, and the whole host of secondary characters, who all seemed to be either gay, or at least thinking about it.

Ben and Kate (the hero and heroine) have some friends who are involved in a menage relationship. The woman in the menage is pregnant, and the two men are denying her sex because apparently pregnant women can’t indulge in carnal activities.

Now bear in mind that this is a contemp set in a town called Junctionville, but there’s a strange old scene where Ben is lamenting over the issues that Kate has been having, to his friends, when suddenly, the two men, who form part of the menage start tonguing each other in public, and feeling each other’s cocks. Huh?

Not only that, but at one point Ben, who’s obviously a manly heterosexual man, is on the phone to one of his buddies, and he turns round to find that the two men, unable to keep their passions below boiling, start going at each other whilst he’s sat there. And when I say going at each other, what I mean is, one guy sticks his tongue in the other guys arse, and starts licking him out.

What. The. Fuck?

Now I’m not saying that shit like this doesn’t happen, but considering that one of the men was the local sheriff, and the other one had an equally ‘masculine’, public minded job, I just don’t think they would behave like that in a straight bar, in a town called Junctionville, know what I mean?

I’m sorry, I’m usually willing to suspend disbelief when reading erotic romance, but this was just something I couldn’t see happening. This is the equivalent of TTG and I having dinner with friends, then me pulling down my knickers, and letting him feast on my womanly bud. I think not.

I know that these kind of scenes happen a lot in erotic romance, but this was a contemp set in a town called Junctionville for fuck’s sake, if that doesn’t scream redneckville, I don’t know what does.

What I couldn’t understand was that there was this raving lunatic, who was obviously going round causing Katie-Did trouble, and kept trying to kill her at every opportunity, whilst leaving big-assed clues that he was the guilty party, yet for some reason, nothing was ever done about it.

Erm… hold on, on second thoughts, that doesn’t sound so far-fetched. That shit happens in England all the time.

Oh by the way, did I mention that Ben (our hero) had a problem with his overgrown dick? No? Well he did. What clued me in on his little problem, I hear you ask?

Oooh, let me count the ways:

Clue number one: He has a ten inch dick.

Clue number two: He has to stick it to his heroine, itty bitty inches at a time, so that he doesn’t rip her in half.

Clue number thr… fuck that, more to the point, I want to know who the fuck says something as stupid as ‘I can handle your cock’s circumference’? Blech.

Clue number four: Even Ben’s friends have noticed the size of his pecker.

Good fucking lord. *Head-desk*

I get it, Ben has a big dick, and it’s been the bane of his life, now please move on with the fucking story.

*Ahem*, I digress…

Not only were the primary characters totally lacking any kind of depth, the villain, was just sooo over the top evil, I almost found myself sympathising with him. He was a crap baddie, and it didn’t help that he didn’t seem to be the brightest tool in the box either.

Anytime he did something evil to Kate, he left great big fucking clues that anybody with half a brain cell would have been able to figure out. He might as well have taken out an ad in the local rag, telling everybody that he did it. Sigh.

I just remembered that there was a sub-plot involving a couple of Ben’s friends, that seemed to have just been dumped in the middle of the book. There was simply no rhyme or reason for it, so my best guess was that the author was doing her utmost to meet her minimum word count. Oh the pain.

Another thing that bemused me was Ms Lynne’s apparent love for the phrase, ‘Little Fucker’. I wonder if she realised just how often she used said phrase, when referring to the villain of the book? I was tempted to count, but I couldn’t be arsed. Anybody who buys Ben’s Wildflower will quickly see what I mean.

I briefly mentioned the stilted dialogue before, but it was gems like the following that had me nearly peeing my panties. I’m not sure that was the intended reaction though:

“Speaking of fucking. I’ve been giving it some thought and if you’re still interested I think I’d like you to fuck me in the ass.”

I loved how the author wrote the above in such a way that Kate could have been easily asking for more sugar in her coffee. Did I mention that the heroine was nervous about sex when she met the hero? And that for some reason she had bras with the nipples cut out, even though she was scared of S.E.X?

This book was so badly written, that it made Thea Devine’s Sensation seem positively wonderful. My regular readers will know that this is not a good thing. Seriously.

There were so many things wrong with Ben’s Wildflower that the problem would be knowing when to stop listing my issues with the book. It was craptastic in way that I haven’t experienced in a long while.

I have to say, it isn’t often that I come across a book so bad, that I have to question what the editor was smoking when she agreed to publish it. I’m sorry Ms Lynne, I pray that you aren’t somebody I actually like. but this book was so technically inept that it leads me to indeed wonder what the fuck your editor was shooting up, when she offered you a contract for it.

It really was that crap.

You can visit Carol Lynne’s very interesting website here, and buy Ben’s Wildflower in e-book format, here.

Ok, that’s enough from me, I’m just going to gargle with mouthwash to take the nasty taste of this book out of my mouth. I feel so dirty, I think that a bath is also in order.


  • Anonymous
    May 2
    5:00 pm

    OKAY. I fess up. I wrote the blog in Kathryn Falk’s name because I knew it was the only way to get anyone’s attention. She’s on the sosamericainc.org link and her barrow email is easy to tap into…..

    I consider myself a terrorist, stirring up all the sicksos. I’m formerly with the Baltimore Romnance writers group, and I notice that ellie the eavesdropper aka nora roberts is at it again.

    Good thing she has such fantastic software that enables her computer to write the same books all the time. How does she find time to snoop and descend to the depths we bloggers like to operate on. We are sickos, to go on and on about people, out to destroy that’s us ….I know it, that’s why I do it. And the more “nice” people I implicate, the better. And it’s true about the suicidal woman, she wrote to me and cried. Who cares!!!

    Betty the Boozer


  • Anonymous
    May 2
    5:25 pm

    I should have known it was you Betty. The book terrorist strikes again. How many dead author bodies can we accumulate — that’s the trick!

    Let’s destroy the genre, make people take up horror as you have suggested in the past!

    Blood on the trail….I’m from Essex. Can we crash the concert in Barrow? We’ll wear goth!!

    Vileness is IN


  • Anonymous
    May 2
    5:38 pm

    Betty you are a trouble maker for sure. Next time you’ll have laura bush writing in….

    Get Real!

    Only young people and old lurkers do blogs.

    Buit I did like those four statements: Not taking things personally isn’t a bad thought as I’m sure you’ll slug me in the next posting!

    Rife the Knife


  • Nora Roberts
    May 2
    5:53 pm

    ~I’m formerly with the Baltimore Romnance writers group, and I notice that ellie the eavesdropper aka nora roberts is at it again.

    Good thing she has such fantastic software that enables her computer to write the same books all the time. How does she find time to snoop and descend to the depths we bloggers like to operate on.~



  • Nicole
    May 2
    7:23 pm

    All I have to say is this has got to be one of the worst covers I’ve ever seen. Ick!


  • Erastes
    May 2
    10:15 pm

    Ms Falk you are talking out of your arse.

    “f you can’t say “nice” — say nothing”

    What a ridiculous statement.

    “I’m the only woman to own a magazine”

    What Hubris!!! No, you aren’t.

    What “personal vendetta” has this reader got by giving this dreadful book (and yes it is – I’ve read it) a bad review? Since when did personal opinions have hidden undermeaning?

    Perhaps, as you are going to be in England soon, you would like to ring me, and we can discuss your antipathy to m/m? You say that “anyone int he romance world is invited”

    Would Ms Baumbach? With promo material? Would I, with my homosexual historical romance?

    You aren’t Everywoman, I’m afraid. You are only prepared to represent people who want to have books that don’t make them feel uncomfortable. I understand you are after the great yankee dollar and that you would lose readers if you embraced that – yes – gay people want romance too – but at least you could say the things you said in this blog without looking the hypocrite you do now.


  • Anonymous
    May 3
    1:42 am

    Ms. Falk Said:
    “E-publishers had little support in the beginning. I made certain my magazine promoted them to the best of our ability.”

    Excuse me? Who is she trying to kid? I remember when they used to tell epublishers they wouldn’t take their ads. Yes I’ve been around in the industry long enough to remember a publisher being refused ad placement.

    It was only after EC got the nod from RWA that they got so pro-epublisher.

    But that’s no shock really. It’s much the same way you now take money from authors of m/m romance in order to ‘get a review’ then don’t review them because that’s your new thing not to support. It’s all about the money isn’t it?

    And for the record, it’s women reading those ‘gay romance’ books, your stated target market.

    Even EC saw the light on the m/m score, but then again they noticed they were loosing customers to pubs that HAD actual m/m titles.

    Too bad EC has slid down into a morass of mediocrity and porn without plot, which can be gotten for free at any fanfiction or other free to read site like Literotica. Sadly much of the fanfiction out there is better written than the titles I’ve seen coming out from EC.

    From a former Small Press Publisher and Editor.


  • Emily Veinglory
    May 3
    2:26 am

    A reader blogging their personal opinion has nothing to do with anyone but other readers who value her opinion. I am seriously astonished at Ms Falk statements which seem based on a very perculiar world view and the assumption that everyone’s motive are complex, emotional, personal and althogether sinister.

    Try this: maybe Karen said she didn’t like the book because, um, she didn’t like the book–and that is all.


  • Anonymous
    May 3
    4:47 am

    Okay, just a thought. Maybe Kathryn Falk wrote the book? And have a 12-book contract with EC?

    Just sayin’.


  • Amelia Elias
    May 3
    7:53 am

    No, I don’t buy it–no way that’s Kathryn Falk. That long, rambling, mostly unintelligable post can’t be from a serious businesswoman. I refuse to believe it.

    And now I’m wanting to buy this book to see what the horror’s about, too. Perhaps I’ll get a friend to do the same, and we can read and mock it together. Sort of a MST3K thing for books.

    Honestly, bad reviews aren’t the end of the world. I’ve had my share–who hasn’t?–and if someone reads a horrible review and then picks up one of my books to mock the crap out of it? Go for it, hon. That royalty money spends just the same as a rabid fan’s does.


  • Amelia Elias
    May 3
    7:54 am

    Btw, Nora, where can I get some of that software? I’m totally jealous now. Instant Best-Seller, just add chocolate! It’s the romance author’s best friend! C’mon, you gotta tell me where to get it, pleeeeeeeeeeze???


  • Anonymous
    May 3
    10:31 pm

    I’ve also noticed a rise in the publication of amaturish books, Makes me bugnuts…and at the price of books, very cranky.

    Although EC is releasing about twice as many new titles as before, I find myself purchasing less. A noticable drop in quality.



  • Kat O+
    May 4
    2:35 am

    I’d love to know how many people bought this book as a result of this and DA’s reviews. Because if it’s substantial, that would be a great counter-argument to the mean-bloggers-ruin-livelihoods whinge…er, complaint, supported by actual numbers.

    I notice Mrs G gave this book a score of 80. Maybe you have to be in a certain frame of mind to appreciate it–the difference between a total flop and a cult classic.


  • Anonymous
    May 4
    5:26 am

    The alleged Falk wrote: “Romance is the most successful genre of all time because people have banded together with a collective consciousness to do good not evil.”

    So…do I have to start wearing Spandex again?

    :confused romance editor and writer who HAS cleaned her closets out since the 80s and doesn’t know where to find Spandex hero-suits to fit her double XL arse and is thinking wobbling around in Spandex would be a really bad idea anyway and if Falk really wrote that–WTF????–and where can she sign up for this doing-good thing ’cause it sounds really keen, but do you have to pay dues and is it deductable as a business expense or do we have to keep it secret ’cause I’m really terrible at that and might blab it to Miss Snark or someone without meaning to … :

    — an excerpt from that collective consciousness.


  • Jenyfer Matthews
    May 4
    5:43 am

    Geez…I’m thinking of sending my book to you, Karen, and to Ms. Giggles. This much attention – even negative – can’t be a bad thing!!! LOL


  • Nora Roberts
    May 4
    11:42 am

    Sorry, AE, one of the many ghost writers I have chained in my basement invented the magic software in order to earn more cookies. And only I can use it.

    Heh, heh, heh.


  • Anonymous
    May 4
    1:45 pm

    (Editor’s hat on.)

    I am not buying the book based on a negative review, but on the excerpt posted at the EC site. I got three paragraphs in and had to stop. It was just too bloody awful.

    Had I been checking through the slush pile that day the writer would have gotten a “thank you and good luck elsewhere” type of rejection.

    Poor sentence structure and word reps that a 5th grade English teacher would catch somehow got past EC’s editorial staff.

    If EC is “hard up” for good editors I *am* available.

    This is the level of writing they are accepting?


    They are in BIG trouble.


  • Anonymous
    May 4
    2:34 pm

    I’m one of the authors EC turned down because the book didn’t have enough sex in it, and the characters weren’t having sex by Chapter 3.

    My co-author and I weren’t interested in adding more sex.

    On the flip side, we sent them another work in which the first three chapters were the chars first night together. Last time I write anything like that. But we figured if they want more sex…. well, it fit. *L*

    They liked it and wanted to read the rest, but told us it might be another year before they made a decision on it. So we said no, thanks.

    Rather glad we did after everything I’ve been hearing.



  • Leigh Ellwood
    May 4
    3:34 pm

    I’m intrigued. Giggles gave this book an 80. She’s ranked mine lower. I shudder to think what Karen would make of my work.



  • Karen Scott
    May 4
    4:54 pm

    Yeah, but Giggles enjoyed the sheer badness of it. I have books that I knew were really terrible, but enjoyed them all the same, lol.


  • Kate Willoughby
    May 7
    6:47 pm

    I am a new EC author and I have been asked to make some of my scenes sexier, or to add a sex scene. I completely understand that this is because of reader expectation.

    I, myself, once read an e-book that was advertised as super hot and it was only lukewarm. This did make me mad, so I understand where the EC editors that I have worked with might want to increase the sexy factor. I assume that they know their readers better than I do.

    HOWEVER, as the Writer of The Book, I feel completely comfortable arguing against any changes that would jeopardize the integrity of the book/characters. The editor that I am currently working with is level-headed and skilled, so I can’t speak about the general ability of the rest of the editing staff.

    I find it very telling that the person who keeps trash-talking EC is anonymous.

    And if any of you Nora ghostwriters are out there, I bake a mean snickerdoodle, and I’d give you your own bedroom!


  • Darragha!
    June 19
    11:51 pm

    Even Ben’s friends have noticed the size of his pecker.

    Ummmm…my cousin is nicknamed Pony for a reason–and I’ve never seen *it* in the flesh–but jeez…the man should never walk around in his boxers. His former wife (that’s right ladies…he’s single) used to call him Pony all the time. His lesbian mothers-in-law (yes, lesbian mothers in law) once poked him through his sweats and said, “Lookie…I touched it!” And she was a 72 year old never-had-sex-with-a-man lesbian. Okay…TMI….at any rate…sometimes folks do know how big a guy’s schlong is.


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