Karma♥Bites’s Mercurial Reads

Eclectic, cross-genre mood reader (but of late, mostly erotica, romance & para/UF—including m/m & ménage).  At times, the realities of life & work tend to dictate how UNreal a world I choose for an escape.

Fair warning:  I may walk like a lady but I cuss like a salty sailor. ^.~


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How to Howl at the Moon
Eli Easton
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Lisa Henry, M. Caspian

Joey W. Hill

Amelia C. Gormley
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The 7th Woman (Nico Sirsky, Chief of Police)
Frédérique Molay

REVIEW: “Second Chance Romance” by Sophie Monroe

Second Chance Romance - Sophie Monroe

Note:  My original review was posted on both Amazon & GR on 5-Jan-2013.  Some additional text was added as and when yet another round of BS started (FYI, this one lasted for months).  Upon import to BL, minor edits were made and text moved into chrono order.


Unlike most of my reviews, the full text of this one will remain on both Amazon & GR as a cautionary note to future readers.  This wannabe “author” and her F&Fs, as well as the months of nonsense surrounding my review of this book, were a fecking joke and did nothing to offset the growing reluctance to try works by SPAs.  But more critical is that the half-assed upload of this book and Monroe’s rude & childish behaviour were a slap in the face of other authors―whether trad, indie or SPA―who do their damnedest to put out their best work.


(Oh and the sexy cover?  Total false advertisement as the few uninspired sex scenes didn’t even compare with today’s HP/category romances.  But then again, I’ve probably read & experienced a lot more than Monroe.  *shrug*)




*** ORIGINAL 5-Jan-2013 REVIEW ***


ETA: Due to comment posted Jan 5th (and deleted Jan 6th), this author just made my "never, ever in a million years" list. Most insulting was this:

"...I never claimed to be a professional writer,... As for wasting peoples [sic] hard earned money it's $3... so I'm not breaking bank accounts..."

SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE by Sophie Monroe had a promising start.  The prologue set the stage very nicely by providing a back history to the relationship between Jules and Noah before transitioning to the present time, story-wise.  Admittedly, the writing style seemed a bit simplistic and unpolished, and for me, repeated descriptions of what the heroine did with her hair, make-up and clothes became tiresome rather quickly.  But I tried to ignore all that to concentrate on the story itself.


Unfortunately, this book became a DNF for me at 17%.  Note that I review DNFs on a case-by-case basis (meaning, I usually don't).  But this book had such serious flaws that I felt compelled to warn future readers/buyers of what to expect.  That way, they can at least make an informed decision as to whether or not to proceed with this book.


Forgive me if this seems preachy or harsh, or some of it turns into remedial English Composition by using "technical" terms.  But simply saying that this book was "poorly written" wouldn't be enough.  Some examples, in no particular order:



  1.  Telling, and not showing
  2.  Clichéd plot devices
  3.  Nonsensical moments (e.g., how does a stripper write a note in the middle of a performance?)



  1.  No indents to paragraphs (and no spacing in between either)
  2.  Paging-wise, end of one chapter runs into new chapter
  3.  Inconsistent scene breaks
  4.  Completely different font for several pages before switching back



  1.  Wrong tense usage
  2.  Run-on/incorrect paragraph structures, organization and/or transitions. E.g., one character's dialogue shouldn't be in the same paragraph as general narrative or another character's thoughts.
  3.  Incorrect use of "that" when modifying a person (should be "who")
  4.  Errors in punctuating dialogue (there are basic, mandatory rules for fiction writing)
  5.  Errors in distinguishing between dependent and independent clauses
  6.  "wits", NOT "whit's"


Lastly, the DNF point: copy/paste repetition of a past scene following POV switch. WTF? At first, I thought I had accidentally backpaged on the Kindle but no, it was the same scene with little to no changes.


Downvote this review or not, I don't care.  As someone who learned as much from reading books growing up as from formal education, I consider most books to be continuing education in some form and hate feeling dumbed down.  As with any job performance, it's not too much to expect a writer, aspiring or otherwise, to know the basic tools of his/her profession.


I don't expect the next Pulitzer Prize winner for every book that I read.  But this version of SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE is a shoddy product.  And it's particularly offensive that people would unknowingly pay for it, valuable time- or money-wise.


Added: I completely forgot... my thanks to Secret Book Claus(e).  It was a perfect pick, even if the execution wasn't.


Edited: To separate "TECHNICAL" into "FORMATTING" and "WRITING".


*** UPDATE 30-Jan-2013 ***

I had hoped that something good would come out of my original review after this book was de-listed on Jan 6th, despite the BS which followed.  So I skimmed through the new version re-listed on Jan 27th. Alas, ’twas not to be...


Still formatting errors in new version (e.g., now have intermittent indents, sometimes every other paragraph—quick skim via Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature will confirm this).  Stripper still somehow writes a note while performing on stage so that another performer could read it (true talent, that). And people are still heading to the “alter” to get married.


And contrary to repeated claims, this “author” apparently didn’t bother to have “the good friend” who’s “an English teacher with a fancy masters [sic] degree” do an edit/proof, despite all the reviews pointing out poor writing since her very first book.  (At least, I hope not. Because if said friend did in fact edit this version, then that only confirms my fears re: distressing decline in today’s education.)  So definitely not recommended for anyone who wants proper grammar, word usage and sentence structure, as well as correct dialogue punctuation, in their books.


Also, NOT recommended for anyone who cares about copyright protection.  Copyright to this book is expressly noted/protected but portions of its content may violate the copyright of others.



Someone asked me what was so unbelievable, resorting to the lame "this is fiction" argument.  Fiction it may be but IMO, a writer is not as free to do as s/he pleases for a contemporary romance as for a different genre.  For example:

    • No third-year litigation associate (assuming standard age for schooling/graduation) would EVER make partner at a large Manhattan law firm without *at least* a hefty client list—with or without nepotism.


    • No reputable doctor would so easily risk medical license for a friendly/business acquaintance by disclosing private medical info, much less trek to weekend estate when proper follow-up in office still would be required.  (Anyone else see the nonsense waste of time here?)


    • A major university such as Columbia would NEVER hire a newly-graduated and inexperienced person to be a professor at its graduate school (Einstein and his equivalent excepted, of course).


  • There is NO BRIDGE between Manhattan and Hoboken. (Really, how hard to check this?)

Others may see the above as creative storytelling but I see it as an EPIC FAIL.  Also seems as if the writer expected readers to be just as ignorant as she.  Being clueless (or lazy) about such basic/logical things not only adds to the amateurism in the writing but bypasses the normal suspension of disbelief for a contemporary romance and throws it into fantasy or fairy tale land.


Sad, really, given that the potential was there.

Source: http://karmabites.booklikes.com/post/442187/second-chance-romance-by-sophie-monroe