I was browsing All Romance Ebooks for a couple things on my TBR list and I came across my book Life Lessons. (Okay, so I had my eye out for it; it’s my firstborn and I’m still mother-henning it a bit.) I was surprised as I scrolled the book list to see LL had a two-star rating! Since a couple of weeks ago when I last checked it had 5 stars based on at least sixteen or eighteen ratings, I was puzzled and a little dismayed to think about the level of negative feedback that implied, to bring the average that low. I clicked on the title, and found that on the single-book page it had a 5-star rating on 21 reviews.
I e-mailed ARe about the discrepancy, and learned something I had not been aware of. Apparently, the ratings on their scrolling list represent only the last few (current 1 month) ratings. The one on the book page represents the whole history of the book since release. Now admittedly I have a personal interest here. But it puzzles me why they choose to do it this way. Why not just have the cumulative total on the list as well? It’s not as though the most recent ratings have any reason to be more valid than the earlier ones. And this requires them to keep two different running totals. For an older book the recent month may have only one rating, disregarding all the previous feedback. That’s a bad way to advertise a book in my eyes. Even though I take the number of stars with a grain of salt, a couple of times I’ve skipped a book on their list when I saw what I thought was a really bad total cumulative rating. Now I’ll have to go back and check them out again, knowing that could have been from just one person.
It’s their website and their choice of how to run it, but this strikes me as making little sense. Ah, well. Just be advised that the ratings on the ARe list mean nothing at all. If you think a book looks interesting, or have seen it recommended, ignore the stars and go check it out.
On a happier note, Breaking Cover is now listed on MLR Press’s Upcoming Releases. They have a September release date, but my editor is still telling me we should be out within the month, so hopefully that’s just pessimism on the part of the web master.
So here’s the official blurb:
For homicide detective Mac, it’s been a good year. Having Tony to go home to makes him a better cop and a better person. For Tony, it’s been hard being in love with a man he can’t touch in public. Evasions and outright lying to friends and family take a little of the shine off his relationship with Mac, but Tony is determined to make it work.
As the Minneapolis Police Department moves into a hot, humid summer, Mac is faced with a different challenge. A killer has murdered two blond women, and the police have no real clues. Mac hates to think that another murder may be the only way they’ll make progress with the case. But when that murder happens, it hits close to home for Tony. And suddenly Mac faces an ultimatum: come out into the sunlight and stand beside Tony as his lover, or walk away and live without a piece of his heart.
*** Mac doesn’t make things easy for himself. He’s a bit of a pessimist, always bracing for the worst. So when he gets into a groove that seems to work he tends to cling to it, not wanting to risk a change. But events and Tony are going to shake him out of his rut in this one. Hopefully in a satisfying way for readers.