Friday Fun Review: “Her Russian Billionaire” by Theodora Taylor

I finished this book a week ago, and up until now, I didn’t realize how I would structure this review for the best impact. But now I think I’ve figured it out. I thought it best to talk about just this book, and then about the author in general. While this is not the best written book (3 stars), the author’s hustle, and dedication to supplying her fanbase with what they want is noteworthy. As an author, I give her 4 stars.

(Added disclaimer:) The trick is to figuring out if you’re in her fanbase. This is probably a good representation of a lot of the erotic romances she writes. Her alphas are aggressive, almost brutal to a point, and as she says…ruthless. The heroines have some issues, but are more unique than any I’ve seen so far in erotic romance novels.

So this will be a way-left different review than what I usually do. Different set up and maybe even different tone/language. You can read the premise, get a feel for the characters, and all that prelim stuff in the sample and book blurb. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

About the book, Her Russian Billionaire:

Heat Level: High. (This is steamy, erotic, and sexy)

Taylor’s motto is that she writes “hot books with heart” and that’s what this is. The heart comes in the form of story. So while there’s a lot of graphic sexy times for you to see, there’s also a story, characters arcs, backstory, something to hold on to. Some of the earlier (and maybe still) self-pubbed romances came off as straight porn because, let’s face it, you could write whatever you wanted (not as much anymore, but you get my drift). This woman is a writer, not a porno creator.

Am I impressed by the writing? Not so much. There are some grammar issues and some craft issues with the POV. The dual POV rehashes some scenes during first transitions. For instance, the first few pages of another POV have the exact same plot points, so it reads as if we are repeating what we just read instead of getting another perspective. And in the middle of the novel, we get a repeat of the prologue. Again, this is from a different POV, and there’s a point to it, but we could use a little less rehash to understand the points to be made.

But does this writing criticism matter? For the most part–NO. Here’s why.

  1. I’m late to the game on Theodora Taylor. This novel was written in 2012 at near the beginning of her career. All of us are still learning with that first or second book. You can already tell from her FIVE-CHAPTER SAMPLE of Her Russian Beast at the end of the Kindle edition of Her Russian Billionaire that she’d already improved on the writing issues I saw. If you’re new to her work like I was, stick with her. It will pay off.
  2. Most people are not writers. I’m a writer and English professor, and I read like one sometimes, even when I just want to be entertained. So most of these “writer things” people do not notice, or if they do, they read over it because the story is good. So instead, review what I have to say about this author.

About the author:

As an indie author, I have so much respect for any indie author that can put 1 book out–let alone over 30, to garner a following in a genre that’s so vast and has so much competition, and gain an expanding following while doing so. Taylor has earned every bit of good for what she’s put out there. And most of her recognition started from garnering a word-of-mouth following. She’s done so well at it, that she got on Harlequin’s radar and she’s penned two books with them.

But her indie books are her crowning glory. They are full of steamy goodness and compelling story. She’s one of the many indie authors dispelling the continual stigma that the indie is somehow a “lower caliber” book than one traditionally published. Taylor delivers an entertaining book and on her motto of providing her audience with “hot books with heart.”

It’s here! The eStory, the Novel Series Wind-down, The Fear

It’s weird: the feeling of fear mixed with excitement and anxiety I felt this morning when I received the following 2 emails:

Dear Y. M.,

Per your request, we’re writing to notify you someone has purchased your book:


Congratulations! Your pre-order book “Twenty-Four Hours of Freedom” is live in the Kindle Store and it is available* for customers to purchase here. Customers who pre-ordered your book have been informed of the delivery of the content.

It’s almost indescribable. Today feels like any other day, except now I’m a published author. Wow.  (I want to jump up and shout, but I think that would be frown up at my day job.)

After the feeling, the questions rush into my consciousness: will people like it? will people want more of my writing? will anyone care? what the heck am I doing? It’s a barrage of doubtful questions that then incites the fear–of acceptance, of under achievement, of recognition  even. Now that I’ve published something, now what?

One moment of glee before the doubt rushes in. This is what a writer feels like. Now, on to my meeting with my novel cover designer.

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“Twenty-Four Hours of Freedom” is available now!

*****Thanks to everyone that already purchased “Twenty-Four Hours of Freedom.” Please don’t forget to review the novel on whatever platform you purchased it and/or Goodreads, especially if you liked it! This keeps me writing and my new books coming your way.

Writing Insight- December: Self-Publishing-An Indie Author’s Journey Begins

So I’ve decided – while wading through the overwhelming research and my many rejection letters and emails – to self-publish my first book. Partly, it’s to get the first book out there: it’s the first in an as-of-now trilogy, and the second one is outlined and 1/4 written. Partly, it’s to really see what I can do, even in a “saturated market” like women’s fiction. And of course, part of it is because I’m a writer at heart.

Ironically, the first piece of advice I read after making this decision was about patience:

“I strongly recommend resisting the urge to publish your first work as quickly as possible. Rather, proof it, reread it, get comments, proof it again, and devise a pre- and post-publishing marketing plan.”  (-self-published author Ben Batchelder from Drucilla Shultz’s “Don’t Be Discouraged: Tips from an Indie Author” PW column.)

So I’m going to look at this journey as if I were planning a wedding. I may not get to plan my own wedding (sorry, Mom), so this is the next best thing. Or rather this is the first best thing. I mean anyone can get married; but not just anyone can write a good book and publish it. 🙂

Daily Prompt: Construct

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“Writing Insight” feature posts occur monthly and will focus on some part of writing inspiration, writing technique, or writing process. I welcome any questions you have about the writing process (as I am also a writing professor). Please post your questions in the “Comments” below, and I will answer them in future “Writing Insight” Posts!

In a future “Writing Insight” post, I will talk about some self-published novels that defy the stigma: well done, high caliber, engaging story.  If you have a suggestion (or a review) that you would like mentioned, Fill out the form below to let me know about it!

Writing Insight: August –The Honeymoon Phase

I’m a little late (hey, give me some leeway; I’m a professor at the start of a semester!) on my monthly insight, but you have to understand. . . I’m on my honeymoon.

Of course, I mean my writer’s honeymoon. That period where you’re just starting a novel. Maybe you’ve started writing the first draft, maybe you’re planning and outlining characters, maybe you are doing some research so you can incorporate new character traits, explore professions, or anything else. Your mind is flowing with great ideas and possible crises situations in which to throw your characters. Should I put them in the hospital, impregnate them, cause them emotional turmoil? Ahh, the twisted mind of a writer.

Even though I’m writing the second novel in a trilogy, it is a new story. The characters are like old friends now, and we’re headed on a new adventure with new twists and turns in fun and exciting ways and sometimes heartbreaking and sad ways. But now, everything is fresh and new, and like all honeymoons, it all seems wonderful: the dialogue is quick and zingy, the descriptions are fresh and clear, and the emotion is leaping off the page. It’s a virtual lovefest! I’m perpetually happy and pleased with my writing. It’s even been a great distraction from the incoming rejections of my first novel. (Related posts here.)

This will all change I know, especially when I get to the revising part. I’ve also currently got a lot of gaps in the story and I know it’s always a struggle for me to write when I can’t envision it. Everything I have right now is a scene I see in my head: it’s vivid, it’s dramatic. It’s fun. But it’s not real life. Real life involves some down time, some thinking, some planning. And in order for my characters to live in the real world; I have to write those down times in their story. That’s when the “marriage work” comes into play.

Some days I’m going to hate you, oh, characters. Sometimes I’m going to hate myself for writing you into existence. Sometimes I’m going to hate readers for not getting it. Whatever “it” is. Hopefully, by then my first novel will be published, and can have a “published novelist” honeymoon to get me through the “trials of writing” phase.

Daily Post: Moon

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“Writing Insight” feature posts occur monthly and will focus on some part of writing inspiration, technique and process. I welcome any questions you have about the writing process (as I am also a writing professor). Please post your questions in the comments below, and I will answer them in future “Writing Insight” Posts!

In a future “Writing Insight” post, I will talk about some self-published novels that defy the stigma: well done, high caliber, engaging story.  If you have a suggestion (or a review) that you would like mentioned, Fill out the form below to let me know about them!