In the world of reviews, which is more important, the words or the numbers? At the beginning of my career, the number was what I wanted. To be able to post a 4, 4.5 or the coveted 5 on my website was all that mattered.
Then I started investigating the online sites that post reviews. They range from well respected, long standing e-publishing sites, to blogs dedicated to the craft, to ‘trashing the genre’ hate sites. Each one has its own rating scale and they differ widely in their criteria.
From Whipped Cream’s website:
3 Cherries -- Good. Mostly enjoyable. You made it through and didn't consider it a waste of time or money. The story was strong enough or the conflict tight enough, so even when the book faltered, it was able to draw you back in and keep you. There's a chance you'll recommend it to a friend, but it wouldn't go on your keeper shelf.
I am a very tough critic. Few books end up on my keeper shelf. I’ve read a great many that I considered a waste of money or time. A story has to really stand out for me to take the time to recommend it to someone. “Good, mostly enjoyable” is something to be proud of.
From the review:
“I like stories where the hero and heroine aren’t twenty-two, slim, and vivacious. Don’t get me wrong, the characters in this story are great, they just aren’t run-of-the-mill. Evie and Matt have lives, they’ve been there, done that and are now having a chance to find out what they want out of what’s left. That sounds odd, but it’s true. People in the middle part of their lives fall in love and in the case of this book, it’s steamy hot…
If you want a hot story with a little voyeurism and a lot of sex, then you need to read Treasuring Evie. I give it 3 cherries.”
A successful review in my eyes is one where the reviewer “gets” what I was trying to convey and takes the time to elaborate.
P.S. I'm actually out of town on a short business trip right now. I look forward to reading and commenting on comments when I get back!