How many feisty heroines does it take to change a lightbulb?

How many feisty heroines does it take to change a lightbulb?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Drive Me Crazy... With Repetition! The Great Cut-and-Paste Disappointment

Book Links

Crash Into Me (Shaken Dirty 1), by Tracy Wolff

Drive Me Crazy (Shaken Dirty 2), by Tracy Wolff

Tease Me, by Tracy Wolff


I’ve been on a contemporary romance binge for the past few weeks (see my earlier post on Tessa Bailey for the extent of my obsession). Specifically, I’ve been reading through several titles in Entangled’s Brazen line. These are along the lines of Harlequin Blaze titles, for those more familiar with Harlequin; the only difference is that the Brazen titles are more explicit, with more emphasis on the alpha-ness of the heroes.

One of the latest titles I’ve enjoyed is Drive Me Crazy by Tracy Wolff. It’s the second in an ongoing series about a rock band called Shaken Dirty (the first book in the series is Crash Into Me), and I found the writing and characters very engaging. The third book seems to be slated for this year, with a fourth and fifth also in the works. I’ve tried preordering, since the titles of all five are on Goodreads, but can’t find them on Amazon or Kobo yet.

So I decided to check out more titles by Wolff, and went with Tease Me, a 2010 novel published by HEAT. The story concerns a true-crime author who also writes an anonymous erotic blog to give free rein to her fantasies, and a stockbroker-turned-carpenter who is the author’s neighbour and discovers her identity. Lacey has escaped an abusive relationship, and her current research is leading her to believe that the prostitution ring she had been writing about is actually a sex trafficking operation. I found this mix (her conflicted past, the subject matter of her research, and the way she handles her pent-up desires after a period of enforced celibacy) interesting because it added depth to Lacey’s character. Her chemistry with Byron was also well played.

But I started getting a sense of deja vu about the love scenes... So I checked, and sure enough, there are at least two sex scenes in Drive Me Crazy that are word-for-word the same (minus the names, obviously) as in Tease Me. I say "at least" because I'm only 1/4 of the way into Tease Me, so there may be more. But the actions, the dialogue, the exact freaking words were copied from one to the other.

Now this is an author repeating herself, which I guess isn't strictly plagiarism. Still, it's a lazy tactic, and really disappointing for this reader. The books may be four years apart, but for those reading them back-to-back, it's glaringly obvious and frustrating to see cut-and-paste writing like this.

I hope I don't run into any more examples like these in Tease Me/Drive Me Crazy. I also do plan to read more of the Shaken Dirty series, because I find the characters to be very engaging (if a wee bit angsty for my taste). I just hope I don't have more deja-vu moments like the one I just encountered. Because, as much as I’m also liking Tease Me, I’m wary of reading on and finding out that more scenes have been poached for later titles.


  1. Ah, it's been a long day and I only got to read your post now. I'm disappointed to because I've read a Tracy Wolff that I liked very much (and one I didn't). That one I liked is UNGUARDED, a category romance about an older woman/younger man romance, and the heroine has survived a sexual assault. I thought the whole thing was handled rather well, though melodramatically. Melodrama is the one thing that romance is guilty of and the one thing we need be most forgiving of. What you describe here, however, is wrong. If a student resubmits a paper, a college considers that plagiarism. Even if it's not, reader have paid to read a new book by an author they've favoured and that is just bad faith on the author's part.

    1. The worst part is that I really do want to read the rest of the Shaken Dirty series, to find out what happens to the remaining band members. But I'm torn, because this experience left a bad taste in my mouth. I just don't get why an author would do that.