Last year I decided to make an effort to broaden my range of reading and try books by authors whom friends had said they'd enjoyed.
I start by reading one of the most recent books. If I can't finish the book then it's a bad sign, I won't be reading any more of their books...
One of the books I bought for reading over the Christmas holidays on my e-reader was the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' by Trisha Ashley. And I really enjoyed the tale of a twice bereaved house-sitter who didn't celebrate Christmas, but ended up doing just that and with a happy ending...
Actually I didn't get round to reading it until a couple of weeks ago, as once I'm in historical romance writing mode I will only read contemporary. And likewise if I'm trying to write a modern story, I'll happily immerse myself in an historical.
So my latest purchase is Trisha Ashley's, 'Chocolate Wishes'. I'm looking forward to finding out about Chloe and her former love, Raffy, an ex-rock star who is now a vicar...
But I was surprised to see some strange symbols on the back cover- the paperback is an HarperCollins Avon imprint.
I'd never seen these Content Guide symbols before, so I was intrigued to look closer and see what they meant.
Now 'Chocolate Wishes' has four symbols: linked hands which indicates Friendship; a statuette- think Oscar and you've got a good idea- which means Drama; a heart within a heart which obviously represents Love and a box with a tissue poking out to indicate Tear-jerker.
(It doesn't feature in this book, but the symbol for Sex is what looks like lace-edged knickers... :-))
Unlike age rating on Children's books that some publishers started to use a few years ago, I'm inclined to think this type of Content Guide is quite a good idea.
I know cover design and the blurb will often indicate what sort of book it is, but it can sometimes be a bit difficult to tell when the latest trend in cover design changes to something completely different and slightly...obscure.
I know that many readers of historical romances prefer novels without sex scenes, so I think content symbols would be very useful in this situation.
Have you read any books that use similar content symbols, and what do you think about their use?