Next to each icon is an explanation what each icon represents for our reviews. It is up to each reviewer to offer reasons why they give a book a specific rating in each category. Because a book or story isn't just one element, but a compilation of many different elements, our reviews will also cover each element we feel is represented in each story.
- This represents fantasy element. Why rate this element? Well, there are varying degrees to which a story can be fantasy - light, medium, heavy and downright nonexistent, lol!
- This represents the amount of action a story may contain. This element is designed to help those looking for a good adventure choose the right book. To give you an idea, most romances will have light adventure, but there are some swashbuckling romances that will have much more adventure and there are some that may fall in between.
- This represents the crime element. This is another element that may be stronger in some than in others. For example, a murder-mystery romance would probably have the highest rating for this element while a simple historical romance might have the lowest.
- This represents the amount of mystery in a story. Mystery can entail anything from questions that keep us turning the pages looking for the answers to a flat out "who-done-it" search for clues. Remember, a mystery doesn't have to involve murder, but can be a theft or even the quest to find a "secret admirer". The rating for this element should reflect as to how strongly it is represented within the story. For example, Agatha Christie would get the highest rating for this category - she is one of the best mystery writers after all, lol!
- This represents the suspense element. This element will come more into play for romantic suspense as they may have more suspense than other romances, but there are varying degrees of suspense and not every author uses suspense. A "what's going to happen next?" type of story is lighter on the scale than a "fight-to-stay-alive scenario might be. These stories are all about cliffhangers, danger and fear - something that keeps you on your guard.
- This represents the intricacies of the intrigue element. This element goes beyond the simple "what's going to happen next?", to deal with a web of lies and betrayal. This is more of a "who can you trust?" kind of situation. Is the character trustworthy or a turncoat? Who should the hero/heroine believe?
- This represents the amount of "love" represented in the story. This element comes into play because there are some "romances" out there that are more about "sex" than actual "love", and the purpose of this is to help distinguish between the two.
- Represents the "sexiness" of the story. In other words, just how hot is the sex in this story?
While a romance novel can be both romantic and sexy, not all stories are high on the romance part of it because their main focus is "sex". The real question is how well do they convey the romance? Sometimes, what they try to convey as love is more lust than anything, so these last two categories are to help readers know what to expect from the racier stories we review.
Of course, we don't rate a view on just one element, but how all of them combine to give us a reading experience. So for that, we have this last icon:
- Represents the reviewer's overall opinion of the book as a whole.