Don’t judge a book by its … author’s surname

I did something very brave the other day. Even foolhardy, you might say. I wanted to google an author’s name. I’d just read a book of hers and wanted to see what else she’d written.

The problem was her name. Nina Bangs.

Exactly. Now that you have finished laughing, you can see why I felt some trepidation.

“Self, this is going to end badly,” I thought. “Your pure white computer will be sullied by the suggestive, nay – blatant – filth that will appear. Hot and torrid things will rear their ugly heads on screen and you will end up being spammed by a million people offering you enlargements for organs you do not possess.”

I almost didn’t do it. But in the end I took my courage in both hands, and was vastly relieved to find that the whole first screen of results were all about the author. Nothing turgid, throbbing or otherwise discombobulating in sight. (But I wasn’t game enough to look beyond the first page of results. There is a limit to my bravery.)

Turns out that Ms Bangs has quite a backlist. The book was called Eternal Pleasure, and the Carnivore bought it as a joke, simply because of her outrageous name. And then it turned out the joke was on us, because he read it and said “this is great, you’ve got to read it!”. So I did.

My first paranormal romance. It felt more like a guilty pleasure than an eternal one, as if I shouldn’t be reading such a book. As if there are book police who disapprove of books by authors with suggestive names. But I did enjoy it, despite yelling “you have GOT to be kidding!” when I first realised the nature of the hook. It was a real page turner, and certainly different to anything I’ve read before.

We bought another of hers today. What’s in a name, indeed? That one certainly did its job. I just have to make sure not to read the book in public places. I wouldn’t want anyone to think I was in the market for an … ahem … organ enlargement.

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