144 Pages | Publisher: Bookshots | Contemporary | Pub. Date: 7/5/16
James Patterson, the name associated with airport bookstores, has created a new reading experience; BookShots. These books are described as “shots” of action-packed entertainment in a “shorter format that fits people’s lives.” I heard about these first on the Book Riot Podcast, so I picked two up while at BEA.
In Learning To Ride Madeline is a young woman climbing the corporate ladder. To earn her next promotion, she temporarily abandons the lights of NYC for the stars of Sunnybell, Texas. When she steps out for a night at the local bar (which was called The Yell, which I totally side-eyed but kept reading) she falls into bed with the town’s most eligible bachelor; former rodeo star, Tanner.
The book was a quick read and it hits a lot of the beats you expect in a contemporary romance. It dives into a few humorous, romantic and cute moments then gets out without going on too long. The novel itself was delightful and sweet. It’s about a 2/5 on the spicy scale, nothing too explicit so I’d rec it if you want to get a younger teen started on the romance
What I appreciated was that the conflict was external and highly believable. The resolution did come pretty fast but it was satisfying. I don’t usually read contemporary romance but when I feel the itch I would pick up another one of these.
I do wonder if all of the books are going to have “reading-is-fun” propaganda. Early on we learn how much Madeline likes to read, the second act of the book takes place at a book club and at the end, Madeline opens a bookstore (I don’t think this is really a spoiler). Like, is including reading propaganda in the story a part of the contract Patterson makes authors sign? Is he trying to sell reading? Is it subliminal messaging?
This book was written by veteran historical romance author Erin Knightly and there are a ton more BookShots Flames coming out in all the genres by both NYT bestselling romance authors and self-published authors.
I do fear that because BookShot Flames are romance they are getting the brush-off, in the way the romance genre often does. I’ve read articles about how the non-romance BookShots have sold a million copies and made The Trial a NYT bestseller. I’ve only spied the regular BookShots in my local Target. Seriously. . .WHERE THE FLAMES AT ?
- Apart from Alex Cross, I do wonder if we will see more diversity in BookShots ?
- James Patterson isn’t the only one getting into this game, Ralph Lauren Polo model Nacho Figureas is also presenting a line of novels written by women so. . .