Debut Author Jennifer Lowery and Hard Core

I’m so pleased today to have Jennifer Lowery with me on The Journal!  Jennifer’s debut novel, Hard Core, released this week from Lyrical press–in both e-book and print!  So she’s here to talk a little bit about her book and about a necessary evil that comes along with a new release:  reviews.  So without further ado Heeeeeeere’s Jennifer!

Hi Jenna and all you fabulous readers out there *waves* Thank you so much for having me today! My debut book, Hard Core, released this week so I’m very excited to be here! Thank you so much for sharing it with me!!

In honor of my release I am offering a copy of my debut romantic suspense, Hard Core, in either e-book format or signed print copy to one lucky commenter so please leave me a comment with your EMAIL and gift choice to be entered to win!!

As I was contemplating what to write for a blog post a question came to mind. One I’d like to ask my readers! Since I have you here today I would love it if you would help me out and let me know how you feel about this: As a reader, do you put much stock in book reviews? Would you pass on a book because of a negative review? Or would you read it for yourself and form your own opinion?

I’m curious because there are so many ways a writer can get a bad review from a reader. Good reviews speak for themselves and don’t we love those! But, there is always a bad one or two to go with the good. We know as writers we can’t please everyone and someone simply isn’t going to like our book or our writing style. But, it makes me curious as to how important these reviews are to readers? And if you read them and base your purchase decision on them at all?

Thanks so much for taking the time to weigh in! I look forward to reading your responses!

Thank you for having me today, Jenna!! I just want to send out a big THANK YOU to all my readers out there! Without you I wouldn’t be here. My wish is to one day meet each and every one of you so I can personally thank you for your generosity and support!

All my best,


Hard Core/Romantic Suspense


Tag: He takes lives. She saves them.

A supposedly hassle-free job for mercenary Cristian Slade becomes a mission of mercy when he saves a life instead of taking one. Slade’s new mission might be his most dangerous yet, because the danger is to his heart.

Tragedy has sent esteemed surgeon Alana O’Grady to a remote a remote Nicaraguan island where she immerses herself in the lives of a native American tribe, using her talents for goodwill instead of wealth and prestige. But life turns upside down when her work requires she protect a rugged mercenary who commands her attention when she’s awake and dominates her dreams while she sleeps.

Doctoring Cristian puts her entire tribe in danger from the man who’s hunting him. Is it her professional oath or her unprofessional attraction to him keeping her from sending him away to heal on his own? Alana’s fire warms Cristian’s heart, but he’s a hardened assassin and has no business falling for someone like her. Can they fight hard enough to keep what they might have together?

Content Warning: Sexual content.


Prepared to start an IV, she picked up a needle. She had it in position when his other arm shot out and he clamped her wrist in a bone-crushing grip. Startled, she met his panicked gaze.

“I said no needles.”

Her heart banged against her ribcage as she let the needle slip out of her hand. It hit the floor with a small ting. Alana opened her hands in surrender, her patient’s fingers digging into her flesh. For a man half-dead, he had amazing strength.

“Okay,” she said to placate him. “Relax, I don’t have it anymore. It’s your choice, but I recommend you let me start an IV for meds.”

“No. Just fix me.”

Alana pinned him with a no nonsense stare. “I’m not impressed with Superman heroics.”

Face pale and drawn, he said gruffly, “I’m not Superman. Learned not to trust people with needles.”

Her fingers were going numb. “If I remove the bullet without pain medication or anesthetic, you’re going to be sorry.”

He studied her. “You’re really a doctor?”

Alana bristled. “Technically, yes.”


She didn’t have time to explain herself with the amount of blood seeping from his gunshot wound. “I went to med school. You can let go of my arm now. I won’t use any needles.”

He looked down and immediately released his grip. She rubbed her wrist to soothe away the ache. “Can I get to work now, or do you want to question me more about my credentials while you bleed to death? I don’t have a blood bank, so you’re screwed if you lose too much.”

Her blunt statement received a curt nod. She normally didn’t talk to her patients like that. Her patients didn’t normally countermand her either.

“Do it,” he said.

“Without anesthetics?”

“I don’t need them. Just get it over with.”

Stubborn, stupid, or both? Insane, yes, but there wasn’t time to argue with him.

“Okay. The offer stands if you change your mind.”

“I won’t.”

She doubted that, but didn’t comment. Instead, wiped her forehead with her forearm, and picked up gauze pads to clean the wound.

“Here goes,” she warned and dabbed his skin.

Her patient didn’t move or even wince as she cleaned the angry wound. Either he had a will of steel or he’d passed out again. Hopefully, the latter. Sweat rolled down her back as she finished cleansing the area around the bullet entry. Red flesh puckered with the first signs of infection. In this environment infection was guaranteed.

With a steady hand that would have made her father proud, she picked up her instruments and took a deep breath.

“You still with me?”

He murmured a response, turning his head slightly so he could see her. The stark beauty of his profile, despite the bruises, struck her again. The lines of his face were chiseled, unforgiving. The kind of man she’d glance at twice if she passed him on the street.

A man associated with a criminal.

“Still here, Doc. What are you waiting for?” Husky with pain, his deep voice brought her out of her thoughts.

She gave herself a mental shake. “Want something to bite down on?”

A small, wry smile touched his lips and his lids closed. “You won’t hear a peep out of me. Just fix me, Doc.”

“I can hit you so you’ll sleep through it,” she muttered.

That drew a low chuckle from him. She didn’t expect him to have a sense of humor. He seemed too…hard. His chuckle turned into a grunt of pain. “You probably hit like a girl.”

Alana grinned. “Yes, I do. Rest assured it won’t feel like it.”

“Appreciate the offer, but, no.” His words slurred together, his muscles tense as he fought his body’s demands.

“You got a name, Superman?”

His head rolled to the side, his chest rose and fell slowly. She thought he was out but he murmured, “Cristian.”

“Nice to meet you, Cristian.”

Then she dug into the wound for the bullet.

Author Bio:

Jennifer Lowery grew up reading romance novels in the back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer.  Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side.

Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers.  She loves everything there is about romance.  Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines.  She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.

Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and three children.  When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Find Jennifer:

Author Website   Facebook   Twitter   Romance Recipes

Buy Hard Core:


Lyrical Press

Barnes & Noble



And don’t forget to post a comment and be entered to win a copy of Hard Core!

This entry was posted in Book Spotlights, Guest Bloggers, Reader's Corner, Release Party and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Debut Author Jennifer Lowery and Hard Core

  1. Congratulations on your release!

    I read reviews. I can’t help it. I always have. Bad reviews do not stop me…well, except when they say poor formatting and grammar. If I’m not sure of a book, I will read the reviews. I usually skim 5star reviews. It’s the 1star reviews that sell me or turns me off.


  2. Cera duBois says:

    I never read the review. I usually pick up a book because I think it looks interesting.

    Good luck, Jennifer!


  3. Jessie L says:

    Interesting question. I have to admit that I do read alot of reviews on alot of blogs. I will say that there are very few bad reviews on the blogs. I feel that the blogs I visit are very trustworthy & I do read alot of books that I feel are of interest to me personally. Books, either paperback, hardcover or even ebooks for my Kindle do cost money & the last thing I want to do is spend money on a book that I just cannot get into. Most of the time I will post a review on a book that I’ve read on GR & then check out some of the reviews made by other readers. I’m surprised when I’ve loved or really liked a certain book & some other readers have not felt the same way.


  4. I am one of those book review readers. But mainly because I like to get a feel of the book, not the teasers, but how the people thought it was written etc. Negative reviews do not discourage me from reading a book though. Everyone has their own opinions. Sometimes I like to go for a negatively reviewed book for the sure sake of just seeing for myself. Nice post, Jennifer. And congrats on the release.


  5. Carin W says:

    I try to look at reviews for what they are one persons opinion. I guess if something got nothing but negative reviews everywhere then I may hesitate to buy it. But I usually base my buying decision more on the blurbs and excerpts from the book


  6. Cait says:

    I generally go by the majority reviews. If a point is made over and over and it’s something that would annoy me, I swerve the book. But it’s a majority rule for me. Good luck Jennifer and I hope you have loads of sales!!!


  7. Karen Wilson says:

    Congrats on the release Jennifer. It was a great read. Now off to catch up on the stuff I need to do instead of curled up on the couch reading. LOL. Can’t wait for the next book.


  8. nikkiprince says:

    What an excellent looking cover and interview! Love this Jennifer.


  9. It depends. If I’m on the fence about the book or if its a new author I’ve never tried before, I read reviews. However, I’ll only not buy a book if there are several reviews with the same theme. For instance if more than two people say its not well written, I won’t buy it. If more than 2 people have the same complaint, I’ll think hard about buying it.

    Mostly I get my books through the library. We have a fabulous library system here and I can usually find any book I want. If I’m not sure I’ll like it, I’ll get it at the library. Normally I only buy books from tried and true (for me) authors.


    • Jennifer Lowery says:

      Thanks, Sharon! You are so lucky to have a good library system! I’m in a small town and ours is great, but very limited!


  10. Joanne B says:

    Congrats on the new release. This book sounds fantastic. I do read reviews of books that I’m interested in. Negative ones do sway me sometimes not to buy the book. If I’m still interested after reading the review though, I will go ahead and buy the book. I figure everyone has their own opinions and maybe mine won’t match the reviewers.


  11. Hi, Jennifer. It’s a pleasure to meet someone with the same last name as my brother. (You’re probably not related, of course.) Do I read reviews? Yes. Always have. But I’m looking for something specific when I do: editing. If I find a lot of reviews complaining about spelling, grammar, homonym abuse, etc., I don’t buy the book. Those things turn me off, so why waste my money? If, however, the reviews are about subjective things, then I don’t let them sway me.

    Good luck with your book and happy sales!


    • Jennifer Lowery says:

      Really? Same last name? That’s awesome, Patricia!! Good answer! I never thought of looking in reviews for something specific! I agree with you about the grammar! Thanks so much!!


  12. I rarely look at reviews. If I’m in a bookstore, I’ll read the blurb, and flip through a few pages. If buying on Amazon, I’ll read a sample chapter. You’re book is amazing, Jennifer.


  13. Brenda says:

    Jennifer, I loved your excerpt so much. Amazing.

    As a reader do I listen to reviews. Well, before I became a writer I never NEVER checked reviews. I picked up whatever book I liked, be it the cover grabbed me, or the blurb, or both together, but never reviews. Now that I’m also an author I have to say I do look at reviews, BUT that doesn’t mean I listen to them. I have read books with tons of 5 star reviews and I thought: how in the heck did this book get so many 5 star reviews?
    So, I may look at reviews, but I rarely listen to them–unless the majority of the reviews are saying the editing and writing are terrible, then I listen and pass on that book.


  14. D'Ann Lindun says:

    Love this book! So happy and excited to see it out for the masses!!!


  15. pc says:

    Congrats on this debut! And thanks for the interview and excerpt…this sounds like a great read! I read reviews/critics with a grain of salt. Different people like and/or have different expectations and then there’s just simple jealousy—I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I thought about writing a book.”


  16. Sheri Fredricks says:

    First off, Congratulations on Hard Core! You have a gorgeous cover and that excerpt makes me want to read more. So:
    As far as reviews go, I don’t go out of my way to read them. Especially if they’re for my book. If it’s a good review, I won’t believe them. If it’s a bad review, I might believe them. I know I put the best product I could out there. Not everyone will like what we write – and that’s okay. Maybe they’ll like what I write next time.


  17. Maria D. says:

    Congratulations to Jennifer on her new release! I really love the sound of Hard Core – sounds like a yummy book. I do like to look at reviews but it really depends on what the reviewer actually says about the writing and plot development that can influence me – usually a couple of bad reviews are to be expected because you just can’t please all of the people all of the time but if there are tons of bad reviews – it does make me think about it more and I tend to sample the book if it’s on Amazon before I purchase it:)


  18. Congrats on your release Jennifer!!!

    I might read the reviews…the good, the bad and the ugly, but that won’t stop me from picking up a book and reading it if I’m interested enough. Reviews are just one persons opinion and I like to form my own. If the blurb and excerpt interest me and it sounds like my kind of book, I’ll read it no matter if there are bad reviews or not.


    • Jennifer Lowery says:

      Thanks, Christine!! I’m so glad to hear this! And I’m the same way! I’ll read a book no matter what the reviews say 🙂


  19. great interview, Jenna and Jennifer! Critics and I have never agreed. I figure it’s because they have to play devil’s advocate…plus, they’re looking for controversy.

    Hard Core sounds marv, Jennifer, good luck!!!


  20. Daryl Devore says:

    You – We know as writers we can’t please everyone and someone simply isn’t going to like our book or our writing style. So true.

    Love the excerpt Jennifer!


  21. As a reader I do look at reviews to get the overall feel of a book, or if the blurb didn’t give me enough information (like if the story has hard limits that I’d rather avoid). Generally, one or two bad reviews won’t turn me off. If the blurb caught my attention, I’ll read the book. I have read books with nothing but positive reviews and ended up not liking the book as much as others, and the opposite has also come to pass. As a reviewer, I think I’m fair. I’ll say what I didn’t like, but I also try to find the good parts and mention those as well. It’s one thing to not like a story, but being belligerent to authors or retaliating against reviewers for nasty reviews tends to taint the whole experience.
    Thank you for the interesting question, author interview and giveaway. I’d love to win a signed copy of Jennifer’s book 🙂


    • Jennifer Lowery says:

      Thanks so much for giving us a reviewers perspective, Michelle!! So nice to hear and I hope all reviewers are as kind and fair as you 🙂 We, as authors, appreciate it!!!! And thank you 🙂


  22. caseamajor says:

    One bad reveiw doesn’t make or break a book for me — unless it’s from someone I know and trust whose tastes run similar to mine (this is a very rare occasion). I do look at the overall rating — the average.


  23. Pingback: Hard Core Giveaway!! « Jennifer Lowery~Author

  24. Sue says:

    I don’t put much stock in reviews of any kind, book, eatery, hotel. If all the reviews are bad, well yes that says something. but as you said, everything gets a poor review. I recently read Discovery of Witches, then looked at the reviews. the people who did not care for it were idiots. All books get some one star ratings, to judge a book by its few low ratings is foolish


    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Thanks, Sue! I tend to agree with you, even before I became an author. My opinion rarely matched that of critics, so I always had to see the movie, read the book, watch the play for myself. One bad review does not break a career, and shouldn’t be a major factor in a book’s overall appeal. Appreciate your stopping by!


    • Jennifer Lowery says:

      Thank you, Sue!! Not only should people look at reviews they should look at the reviewers too! Good point! Didn’t think of that either 🙂


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