Romance bloggers respond to Richard Armitage in Wanderlust

[these are not necessarily representative of anything; I just got them off the wp.com tag]

Audio Killed the Bookmark: “also want to mention I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the British accent… however Richard Armitage has absolutely changed my mind […] As I mentioned above I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the male English accent, however Richard Armitage really has quite the voice! 💗 he also did a good job with the American female accent…”

The Red Hatter Book Blog: “I don’t have much to say about narration except that it was flawless! Richard Armitage blew me away with the way he fluidly transitions from English to French to American accents! He brought Griffin to life in the best way. Plus, his voice! *Le swoon!* […] Whoever was in charge of casting for this audiobook deserves a raise. 5 Stars.”

Morpheus Reads: “I was able to borrow the audiobook as it is currently part of Audible’s Romance Package. I have to say, however, that I will end up purchasing it because it is now on my favorites list and I’ll enjoy listening to it again in the future. Both narrators were excellent, but there is something truly wonderful about Richard Armitage’s baritone voice. I was impressed by his French and American accents as well as his normal lovely British accent. My two cents? Get the audio!”

~ by Servetus on February 11, 2018.

21 Responses to “Romance bloggers respond to Richard Armitage in Wanderlust”

  1. I will refrain from commenting on anything other than they have good taste in discovering and enjoying Richard’s dulcet tones.

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    • There’s a sort of culture of romance book bloggers and certain rules apply to what they seem to say about the works they mention. That’s why I cut out the quotes about Armitage.

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      • That’ interesting that they have a code or something. Now I wonder what it is.

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        • The blogging platforms are really central to how the indie romance authors spread the news about their work — they are very mutually supportive. One thing that I thought was interesting is that there was pretty clearly a “release day blitz” of blog posts about the book, but so far many fewer reviews of it. (Which may just mean a lot of people haven’t gotten to it yet.)

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          • That’s cool they are supportive of one another. I hope they love Wanderlust and put out more reviews – but I also hope it was a one off for RA.

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          • FYI: The audio version of this book was released on the 6th. The ebook not until sometime in March. That is probably why you are seeing a “blitz” of people promoting the book. If there is some kind of code, I haven’t learned what it is yet. 🙂 I just read books I like and sometimes review them, hoping to share similar interests or start up conversations with people who might come across my reviews. I don’t only read romance, although I do read a lot of it.

            I’m truly curious what you folks are thinking. I’d hate to think I’m doing something for fun that is actually being seen as something to be mocked. Let me know. I assumed when I first saw this blog and the reason the reviews were shared is for similar reasons: people appreciate Richard Armitage. 😉

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            • Richard Armitage’s fans are aware of the release schedule of the book; it was hotly discussed and anticipated for some time. Armitage has a large fandom, and it interacts very regularly and vocally with Audible. When the book dropped a few hours ahead of schedule, many of us downloaded and started listening to it immediately.

              There is a huge overlap between Armitage fans and romance readers, so over time I have had the opportunity to observe the culture of the indie romance blogging world. My main observation is that there is always a large “release blitz” for a new title, and that reviews are usually extremely positive. I also learned in the last month or so that Blakely is well-liked / admired in these circles and is considered herself to be very supportive, such that people are eager to support her work. I personally could not treat media that I consumed in the way that these circles do it, but I also teach social sciences and I understand completely about subcultures and the rules of behavior within them. There are rules like that in the Armitage fandom (although I usually break them).

              In general, when Richard Armitage does a new project that overlaps with a group of media consumers I don’t know, I look for responses to see what people outside the fandom proper are saying. (I.e., when he did The Hobbit, I looked for Tolkien fan responses; when he did Castlevania, I looked for videogamer responses). That was the spirit in which I linked to these reviews. Like me, my readers are interested in how our crush is understood and responded to beyond our own circles.

              As far as mocking goes, I am unaware that I have mocked you.

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  2. I guess I was surprised by the follow-up conversation after you linked my review along with others, i.e. your observation:

    “I will refrain from commenting on anything other than they have good taste in discovering and enjoying Richard’s dulcet tones.”

    Perhaps you were just commenting on the book itself? I see some of the other links you provided are folks who hated the book. Personally, I liked this one better than others in this genre, some of which can be cringeworthy. Part of why I liked this is I thought it did have a good story arc and I liked the characters, etc. Yes, there can be awkward moments if you aren’t used to reading erotica. A lot of the contemporary titles now include descriptive sex scenes so people have to be prepared to let go of their prudishness.

    I think a lot of the contemporary work is now geared toward people in their 20s. Personally, I don’t really like the newer ones where the H/h are arrogant or superficial, constantly referencing the size of their big “hands”, etc. I’ve just lumped that into the New Adult genre and know what I’ll be getting if I read it. This book wasn’t like that at all.

    Check out my blog and read some of my other reviews. I’m still waiting for comments on “American Gods”. That’s one I still have questions about. I do want honest feedback. I think some people hit “like” simply to get people to check out and follow their own blogs. I couldn’t care less if people follow me, but I do enjoy conversations with others.

    I’m in my late 40s and really hope that my reviews don’t come across as flighty or stupid, even if my reading preferences may point in that direction to people who don’t read the same types of books. I do want honest feedback.

    I appreciate your time.

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    • Oops, sorry. I guess that was sparkhouse who made that comment.

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    • Maybe I missed something, but all three links above led to blogs that gave the book positive reviews. The Richard Armitage fandom is diverse,getting more so all the time, and fractious on many counts, including his ventures into different genres. But all Armitage fans are in love with his natural voice, as well as his numerous “voices” as narrator, which is what the excerpts highlighted. In the case of Wanderlust, there’s a large segment of fans who don’t read much contemporary romance and were uncomfortable with this project. Just as many, or more, were head over heels with this book. I don’t know what code Servetus refers to, but if she means that indie romance bloggers are so supportive of others that they avoid criticism – well, we’ve got some of this in our fandom also. There’s a contingent of fans who believe that if one is truly a fan, then one never criticizes the object of our affection or his projects. Not this blog and others, and many of the commenters on those blogs or on Twitter. We call it like we see it. I myself panned this book – though I did write about what a wonderful job he did as a narrator – so on that, we agree.
      As to mocking, I didn’t get that from the post or the links – but speaking for myself, a woman of a certain age and profession who spends a good deal of time tracking the travel, clothing choices, hair styles, Tweets, food choices, hobbies, as well as a body of work of an actor I don’t know, I’m in no position to mock anyone else.

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      • I appreciate your reply, Perry. The links to negative reviews I was referring to were two from the next post I saw on this blog, not this particular post.

        I do apologize if I made a bigger deal out of this than was warranted. It made me happy when I saw Servetus had shared part of my review, then when I read the comments, I started to get embarrassed because I thought we (the three of us linked in this particular post) were being mocked for our reading choices or our taste in determining what was a good read or not.

        I am just self-conscious, I guess, because of the nature of the reading material. I am an older reader, so I don’t put stuff in my reviews like “he said/did this and my ovaries exploded”. I like these books because they are hopeful, and honestly, they also remind me of when I was younger, prettier, better, smarter (at least then I thought I was). Not to say my actions were always similar to what happens in these books, but more of my attitude about life. However…I do know these books often get eye-rolls because they are lowbrow.

        I was reacting out of surprise and embarrassment, most likely because I am already self-conscious about even putting out there into the world the fact that I’m in that demographic that is already a meme (a middle-aged woman who reads smut).

        I didn’t know anything about this Armitage fandom before this. My 16yo daughter mentions him occasionally, but we’ve only talked about “North & South”. I’m pretty culturally illiterate other than what my kids expose me to because I don’t enjoy TV and I have no interest in the fluffy life of 18yo girls getting plastic surgery, etc., and being famous for it. My kids and I talk more about politics and anime, D&D and professional wrestling, the joys of the ridiculous soap opera storylines in Lucha Underground, the universal appeal of Jack Black, the story behind one of their favorite video games “The Witcher”, and the genius lyrics–and brilliant engineering behind even the order of how his songs are listed on his albums–of Kendrick Lamar, which I appreciate and enjoy reading as a kind of poetry but still don’t always really like to listen to. I’m an 80s hair band kind of girl.

        I’m curious now if Richard is a big presence at all these nerd conventions I attend with my kids?? Or is his fandom more of an online presence? Do you all get together like the Browncoats–the fans of “Firefly”?

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        • I don’t know where to start. Richard Armitage is not a presence at nerd conventions, but he has appeared at ComicCon on panels (and others) to promote his current work, like The Hobbit. Groups of fans have gotten together when he was performing in a play, and many fans, or whoever can get there, will try and show up at any live appearance, such as panel discussions for his work or red carpets. Since these can occur in cities all over the world – but mainly in UK or US, sometimes only a handful can make it to a particular event- but they share the experience with those of us who can’t.. There’s a group of fans who seem to coordinate meetings when they can, especially in NY or London if there’s an appearance, and other fans stay separate – they may attend, but not reach out to other fans.
          But to answer another part of your comment, there is an overlap with RA fans and romance, and a number of fans write romance fiction (and straight out fan fiction) using him as their inspiration.

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          • Cool. It does sound kind of similar, then, to the different fan-based groups who show up at the conventions around here. If I ever see him at Emerald City ComicCon, I’ll be sure to attend his panel, stalk him if need be, and report back to all of you! 🙂

            Thanks again for your kind reply.

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        • I apologize if my comments come across as mocking those who enjoy Romance – my feelings about Richard Armitage reading Wanderlust is more dismay than mocking. Dismay in that I admire his acting but am dismayed at this particular choice of work he has attached himself to. There is nothing at all wrong with the Romance genre or erotica – I am only dismayed in that I feel the quality of this author is not that good and I just can’t seem to get over him narrating, with the words in this work (although I have only heard what they are second hand) the ‘sex’ scenes (that really don’t sound like they are all that sexy – just graphic). I guess for me it’s like seeing someone who used to be held in such high esteem for their work such as a Robert De Niro doing ‘Meet the Parents’. It also seems like maybe your idea of the person you admire has inextricably made a poor choice and you can’t figure out why and are really really hoping they didn’t pick it just for the money (although if he did it to get the missing financing for My Zoe then I guess he can be forgiven). So, I am saying that I don’t think RA fans are necessarily mocking those who enjoy his work in Wanderlust – I think many of his fans also like it. I think we are just trying to figure out why he chose this work as it doesn’t seem like something he would normally do. Although, he does seem to be all over the map in what he does do….so, maybe this isn’t so strange after all. I have no problem with erotica or Romance and read some myself (there are some really good fanfiction of our guy embodying various characters out there of both) – I think you said it yourself – this work seems ‘low-brow’ – it’s just that there is much better out there and who doesn’t want the ‘best’ for the person we admire? Again, I just want to say that I am sorry if you felt mocked by my comment – I expressed how I felt about this particular choice RA made but I do not like to hurt anyone’s feelings and I certainly don’t think anyone’s taste in literature is better or worse than mine – just different.

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          • Your comments were clearly not mocking.

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            • Yeah, I get that now, Servetus. Sorry for taking up so much space on your blog regarding this discussion. I appreciate your followers for being willing to clarify and help me understand the thinking of RA’s fan club.

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          • Thanks for your gracious reply, sparkhouse. I apologize for being reactionary and responding so quickly before letting my personal feelings settle down a bit. That is one of the downfalls of social media–the fact we can immediately respond to something without taking time to think it through.

            I was actually being immature by even caring what other people think, really. Like I said above, I’m self-conscious about it because I know what other people think about the romance genre in general and erotica goes even beyond that.

            I appreciate those of you who have been willing to have a reasonable discussion about this to help clarify an obvious misunderstanding.

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            • I don’t think it immature to care about what others think – it’s just human nature. I love readubg this blog in particular and a few others for many reasons – one of which is it exposes me to other people’s thinking and rationale – some of which reinforces what I already believe and some of which makes me question what I thought I knew and a lot which makes me stop and consider and really think about things and often it changes my opinion or inspires further research for me. It has been a door to so much in art and literature and history and human nature, the list goes on. I guess I am trying to say that I think I would feel really vulnerable if I was to write a blog and am beginning to understand the fortitude (?) one might have to have to deal with the comments section to their blog!

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      • just a note: last night, of the sample I looked at, there were no negative reviews at all. Had there been, I would have included them. That said, given the rules in that particular blogosphere segment, it seems entirely possible to me that people who didn’t like it would simply not review it. (Goodreads, in comparison, typically has a greater assortment of views on any given title.) However, if that sample were representative it would suggest that Armitage has a new potential audience segment (at least for romance readers who were unaware of him).

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    • Thanks, Perry, for all the explanations and info fill-ins (which I wouldn’t have the nerves to provide right now anyway). My blog anyway is oriented toward responses as they are, i.e., I’m an Armitage superfan, but I don’t love or respect every project he does, I don’t pretend to feel differently than I actually feel, and I don’t expect that of commentators, either. If you look further down the blog I did link to a review by an Armitage fan who loved the book and there are a few others, e.g., I just saw this one: https://luscinnia.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/094-richard-reads/ I still think there are a handful of Armitage bloggers out there who might weigh in and one is likely to be very positive. For me, all informed reactions (i.e., I don’t take seriously people’s responses who haven’t listened to the book) are legitimate.

      I myself can’t really write a review of this title (and I haven’t seen American Gods, so I don’t really have a position on that, although I did really enjoy the book). I only listened to about four chapters of the book before stopping; it’s not to my taste. However, I don’t think anything I’ve written about Blakely, the book, or positive or negative reviews of the book has indicated my attitude toward the reviewers, which is mostly neutral to friendly (I am friends with some of the Armitage bloggers, although not with others). I am simply logging the information and sharing it here for those who are interested and perhaps might not see it or search for it otherwise. I don’t see any reason to be embarrassed about reading smut or mock those who do; this blog also frequently mentions, links to, or includes smut, and I am also middle-aged.

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      • I’ve only read the book “American Gods” as well. I was curious what others thought if they read it. I was left a bit confused about some things and wanted to know what others think. It was my first time reading Neil Gaiman. If you get a chance, read my review of it and share your wisdom if you will. I appreciate it. Thanks.

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