Romance novel blurb rehab 101
First of all, there are just some things that should NEVER be in your romance blurb. No questions asked. But for everything else, there’s the Romance Rehab blurb critique service.
Have questions about how the Romance Rehab blurb critique service works? Check this out. Wondering if we offer other services specially designed for romance authors? (Awesome questions, by the way. You must be really smart.)
Okay, back to the blurb rehab. Ready for some examples? GREAT! Let’s have some fun.
And before you ask, yes, these are actual book blurbs. In some cases, we’ve redacted the author’s name and book title to protect their, um, feelings. Let the rehabbing begin...
Blurb #1 (author name and book title redacted) Romance Rehab critique in red
Ready to indulge her wanderlust, hotel server Louie finds herself stuck in Miami with a broken-down car. Her plans to skip town are foiled until a disheveled, handsome man makes her an offer she can’t refuse—five grand to act as his arm candy for the night. No strings attached. [There’s technically nothing wrong with this. It’s well-written. It’s just a little dry. Having read the book, I can honestly say that it doesn’t reflect the author’s fun writing style. Maybe if it were a little punchier with a little more personality, it’d be better. Maybe starting off with something like: "Hotel server Louie's thinks her plan to skip town is as dead as her Toyota's engine...until a handsome stranger makes her an offer she can't refuse..."]
Desperate to get a promotion to VP, but sabotaged by his bachelor status, Marc panics and asks one of the workers at the company’s banquet to stand in as his date for the evening. Lying isn’t his forte, but with Louie at his side, he hopes he’s leveled the playing field.
[Again, nothing technically wrong here. It’s still just a little dry. Maybe if it started something like: Marc never regretted his bachelor status...until it sabotaged his promotion to VP…]
Louie figures it would just be an adventure to laugh about later. [That’s an unnecessary sentence. And in a blurb, every word counts.] But when his boss also insists she come along on their business cruise, Marc invites her, excited to see her again, [There’s no hint of attraction or sexual tension between Louie and Marc until this statement. In a romance blurb, I like to see the attraction/sexual tension mentioned in each paragraph. Not in great detail, but at least a HINT that attraction was starting to develop between the heroine and hero, which further complicates their “fake dating” status] even though they are only pretending at love. Charmed by his clumsiness and intelligence, she agrees, only to regret her decision when something continues to build between her and Marc. Something neither can consider acting on because…he’s paying her…and neither is willing to mix money with love.
This isn’t a bad blurb. It wouldn’t (and didn’t) put me off reading the book. But it could definitely be punched up a bit with the author’s fun, quirky writing voice. As it stands, it’s just a little vanilla.
Blurb #2 (author name and book title redacted) Romance Rehab critique in red
Shiloh Martin [is?] vacationing in France with her fiancé [when she?] returns to the hotel to find him in bed with the maid.
Enraged, she races in her car up a dangerous road to discover her brakes have failed and out of control, she crashes. [There’s way too much erroneous info in these 2 sentences. Way more details than are needed for a blurb. Maybe something like this would be better: Shiloh Martin is enraged when she finds her fiance in bed with the maid at their French hotel. Thinking only of escape, she races away, only to discover her brakes are out...]
In 1885, Dorian Wolfermont, a duke known as Wolf, walks his estate that night to discover [a?] beautiful woman badly hurt. [I guess I’m supposed to realize that this beautiful badly hurt woman is Shiloh? So, what year was Shiloh in before she crashed into 1885? That’s all a little blurry from what’s written here.]
Shiloh awakens to discover that she’s trapped in the past and falls in loved [love) with a man who not only captures her heart but her spirit.
Sharing months of blissful love and experiences Shiloh awakens one morning to discover that she’s all alone in a ruined mansion. [This is all synopsis, not blurb. You’re giving away WAY too much of the story.]
Confused she discover [discovers] a tombstone with Dorian’s name and that he had been dead for a long time.
Mystified, she collapses in tears and feels herself floating in another dimension [Huh? Now she’s floating? WTF?] and when she opens her eyes she discovers that she had been in a coma. [Again, all synopsis, not a blurb that would make me buy the book]
Determined to find the truth she returns to France and to the mansion to discover that the ruined house is being rebuild [Rebuilt? Remodeled?] by a distant relative of the late duke, a young Dorian Wolfermont, the spitting image of the man she had loved in the past.
[So? There’s no closing on this. Where do they go from there? What’s the conflict? Does she find herself torn between wanting to get back to HER Dorian, and wanting to stay with his distant relative who is from her own time?]
Even if I was able to overlook the fact that this is a synopsis and not a blurb (which I’m not), I wouldn’t read this book. The grammar and punctuation errors are glaring, and this whole thing reads like it was badly translated from its native language, or that it was written by someone who doesn’t speak English as their first language. It’s a mess. I would suggest a complete overhaul.
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