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Topic: Disappointment...

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Subject: Disappointment...
Date Posted: 7/21/2008 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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Has anyone else been disappointed by the romance books they've read recently? I just finished two books that left me less than impressed (and sometimes actually angry at the characters).

One book was Janet Dailey's Heart of Stone, which featured a naive girl who fell in love with the bad boy without even knowing him, and still continued to chase him even though he was a complete a**hole to her. He was jealous, cruel, and selfish, and didn't appear to change any throughout the book.

The other book was Jude Deveraux's Holly. What I didn't like about this book was the lead female, who was a complete snob that decided it was okay to have sex with someone "below" her, but not okay to think about marrying him. I wanted to smack her a few times throughout the book for her comments to him about how much it must have sucked to be poor (really, he was a wealthy doctor).  If it was a historical romance, I could understand that behavior, but it seems ridiculous in a contemporary novel.

Is it just me or has anyone else picked up a few books lately that they wanted to throw against a wall?



Last Edited on: 7/21/08 10:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/21/2008 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 1,012
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I've been disappointed in a lot of books lately, but I have so many books I need to read that I just stop reading them and move on.  I would say that I am not finishing about 30-50% of the books I have picked up lately.

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I read one recently where both hero and heroine thought the other was cheating, and if they'd just had a two second conversation about it it would have resolved the whole thing. Instead it went on about 400 pages. The hero's reasoning was that his wife was pretty and pretty women cheat. The heroine thought the hero was going off and cheating on her when he was really working (the hero was a fur-trapper and the heroine didn't realize that ment he had to actually WORK sometimes). She never bothered to ask him what he was doing when he left the house, and he never bothered to say anything like "well, going to cure some hides now" or anything like that. It was 400 pages of stupid.



Last Edited on: 7/21/08 10:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/21/2008 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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I, too, have had quite a few disappointments. Sometimes the book is just bad. Other times the book has been highly recommended here or on LT, so my expectations are too high. That doesn't mean that some of them aren't still a good read, just not as good as I'd like.

Expectations Too High: Chase's Your Scandalous Ways, Gibson's See Jane Score (still enjoyable), Guhrke's The Wicked Ways of a Duke, Jeffries' Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, Jewel's Lord Ruin, Monroe's The Real Deal, Mullins' Two Weeks with a Stranger, Quinn's The Viscount Who Loved Me (I liked it, but it's not as good as I thought it would be, and not as good as The Duke and I, Sands' Love Is Blind.

Not Good: Angell's Squeeze Play, Basso's How to Enjoy a Scandal, Cook's To Love a Scoundrel, Cook's Unveiled, Denison's Too Wilde to Tame, Feather's The Bachelor List, Foster's Murphy's Law, Foster's Too Much Temptation, Hawkins' How to Abduct a Highland Lord, Hawkins' To Scotland, With Love, Hern's Lady Be Bad, Holquist's Sexiest Man Alive (this one was up for a RITA this year, IIRC), Jordan's One Night With You, Maclean's Surrender to a Scoundrel, Thornton's Bluestocking Bride.

Hawkins' series confuses me. The cover art is so good. The books are so bad. I haven't had the courage to read the third. And I've realized that no matter how hard I try, I just can't get into Lori Foster.

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 305
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The last book I read that really irritated me was Showdown by Tilly Bagshaw.  It had a very cute cover and the story line sounded interesting.  First, this was not a romance novel.  This is a trash novel where everyone sleeps with everyone else just for the heck of it.  This wouldn't have bothered me so much if the heroine wasn't 17!!!  After the disgusting scene where she loses her viginity, I just couldn't take it anymore and stopped reading.  It had been a while since a book angered me that much.

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Yep.  Glad I'm getting them for "free" here at PBS.   If it really starts to stink, I post it because there are just too many books out there to read that might be good.

Sherri

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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That's why I always try to post something about it when I run across one that I think really stinks.  So much of what's being ordered from my shelf is going out to the ladies from this forum, and I try to give fair warning if I have something on my shelf that I know is very... um... not good.  I still want to get rid of those, but I hate to pass along lemons pretending they're oranges:P

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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You're too sweet, Kim.

The thing is that reading is soo personal that sometimes you like something and then the next person hates it. For instance, a lot of people loved The Serpent Prince and I really didn't like it (I mean, not at all.) Another book that most people liked and which I thought was OK was Devil in Winter.  That's why I take other's people's recommendations with a grain of salt (unless I find that the person recommending the book has similar taste to mine.) I still add them to my TBR pile but really don't build my hopes up - the only book where I was very dissapointed was Slightly Dangerous (another book a lot of people loved) and that was because I loved the character from the previous books in the series. But I want to try it again to see if I was just too in love with Wulf and that's why I hated Christine, LOL!

 

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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I feel the same way about posting books that I felt were awful! But to each their own.

riahekans, I will have to reread Wulfric's book, too. I remember really enjoying it, but I think Christine could have been better. I love Wulfric. Have you read Devilish by Jo Beverley? Rothgar is a similar character.

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2006
Posts: 623
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I've been on a bad roll for a while.  I've put down three books in a row that just were boring.  I'm reading a Kat Martin I like, but I don't love.  I really want to read something wonderful, dang it.

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I know just what you mean, Diva.  One man's (or woman's:P) junk and all that...  I've not noticed many people enjoying the things I really hated though.  it's usually the lukewarm stuff I see really varied reactions to.  Somebody will either love or be unable to finish something I was only so-so about.  Or something I love gets a somewhat bland reaction.  My sister read Untie My Heart one of my personal favorites, and just thought it was okay.  Personally I think it was the thing with the lamb at the beginning that put her off.  She's a little sensitive about animals.  I didn't much care for that segment either but it wasn't a really huge scene for all that it was a little upsetting. 

 

Oh - And I hope that can't really be considered a spoiler since it's mentioned in the reviews & the synopsis:P

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I'll add Devilish and Untie My Heart to my reminder list (I really can't resist when people recommend me stuff.) BTW...I did a search for Devilish and that great book of unpararel learning and insight, Manaconda, came up, LOL!

I think you're right about the lukewarm stuff, Kim. Maybe because there's something right and wrong about the book and it all depends what part matters the most to the reader. Maybe a great plot didn't live up to its potential but for some people the great plot was enough while for others it wasn't.

Kim - Did your sister return Through a Dark Mist and The Last Arrow? Remember we talked about it in another post. Not that I can order anything at the moment...I'm in a swaping moratorium as you can see from my signature. Oh...and I'm so enjoying Mr. Impossible! As I said in another post, if there ever was a book where the title really fit the book, this is it.



Last Edited on: 7/21/08 8:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/21/2008 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I find that a lot of books depends on my mood..I've put some down as ick then later picked them up and enjoyed them. I've had plenty of duds though that I wondered afterwards why the heck I bothered with the book at all...

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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I definitely agree people have such different tastes in books. My grandmother will give me books that she absolutely loved and I can barely finish reading it. I guess that's why I put stuff I hated on my bookshelf...I'm hoping someone will get enjoyment out of something I hated! It makes it seem worth the money spent on it. :)

Susanna, I agree about being in the mood. Maybe that's part of the problem...I'm not really in a romance kind of mood (which you can't tell from the number of romance novels I read this year haha!). I think I'm also just randomly picking up books in my TBR pile without reading the synopsis to see if I'll like it.

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
Posts: 261
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I did not like both Slightly Dangerous and Devilish. I was so looking forward to their stories and was severely disappointed. The female leads just did not measure up :)

Maybe I was just in love with both men :)

Date Posted: 7/21/2008 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Diva, I haven't forgotten them.  I still haven't seen her - she works all the time (runs a Vitamin World store), but I was thinking last night I need to put together a new bundle of books and run them out to her.  I'll try to get it taken care of asap so you can get those books.  They're really great and I think you'll love them.

Date Posted: 7/22/2008 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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June, I can see that. I am harder to please with heroines, especially when they are paired with heroes I have been waiting for so long for. Sins of a Duke is a classic example of that. I will rant and rave and scream about that book for years to come!

It depends on my mood as well. Sometimes I am just not feeling a book and put it aside for a long while.

When I need something good I will go to a Canham or Kinsale, but sometimes I'm not in the mood for a big, heavy piece. I wish I had more contemporary "friends" I could consistently go to. SEP doesn't write fast enough!

Date Posted: 7/22/2008 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2006
Posts: 56
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Does this have to refer to romances only?  Because three books I've read (or started to read...) lately have just BLOWN  the big one... James Patterson's "Maximum Ride #4: The Final Warning," which I finished in about 2 hrs.--hello, author on board(tm) WAY to bring in personal politics, JP...And I *started* both Queen and Country
novels by Greg Rucka, whom I do like as a writer (mostly of comics), but the plot of one of the books p!ssed me
off royally and the other was...not as good as I thought.  I had high expectations because of the Q&C graphic novels, BUT the books were just...NOT...At any rate, the latest Mrs. Murphy mystery by Rita Mae Brown was just okay, and for her, relatively mediocre as well as politically-intentioned, but I enjoyed it simply as a fan of hers.

Date Posted: 7/22/2008 7:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
Posts: 261
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Grace,

How could I forget Sins of a Duke? OMG, I just wanted to smack Josefina during the book and Sebastian, too for falling for her. :)

Date Posted: 7/22/2008 7:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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Good topic!  I'll have to agree with Grace on a couple of her "Expectations Too High" books---Your Scandalous Ways, Wicked Ways of a Duke, though I did like a lot of the others she mentioned.  Some other books I can remember being underwhelmed by recently (not limited to strictly romance genre) include:

*Hotter than Hell--edited by Kim Harrison

*The Knight Before Christmas--Jackie Ivy

*Dark Needs at NIght's Edge--Kresley Cole (though still a keeper)

I'm looking forward to getting and reading Julia London's new release "The Book of Scandal".  I really like her historicals.

 

Date Posted: 7/22/2008 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Grace and June - Now that I hear your thoughts (which are so similar to mine in that respect)...maybe there's no way for the writer to fulfill all those expectations she created. Maybe it's "easier" to get the perfect book when you just come up with it, instead of creating that awesome hero that reader uncover through several books and THEN come up with the perfect heroine.



Last Edited on: 7/22/08 11:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/22/2008 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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ria, that may be true! I'm not an author, so I don't know the author's process. I think one thing that bothers me is that with all the trends towards at least 3-book series, if not 4 or more in some cases, we do get a lot of build-up with characters whose stories we anticipate. So then when the author doesn't necessarily have a heroine in the mix from the beginning that also has a story or is at least as marginally compelling as the hero, it doesn't jive with me. I DO NOT like it when a heroine is randomly introduced for a hero whose story we know has been coming since the beginning of the series. But I do understand the possibility that maybe the story "hasn't come" to the author yet.

Date Posted: 7/22/2008 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2006
Posts: 4,938
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You know, it is so tough to pick books based on reviews.  I can remember one book I absolutely despised and complained about it in one of the games.  I went and revealed it as a choice in another swap, and somone piped in that was one of her favorite books.  So, I guess you have to dive in and make the choice for yourself.

I have found that if I read a book that absolutely kicks butt, just about anything I read after that will be disappointing.  On the other hand, I've also put books on my keeper shelf that I come back to later and wonder what malady I was suffering at the time because the book is horrible LOL.

Date Posted: 7/22/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I'm getting tired of the series business...I think I'm OK up to 3 books...after that it gets hairy for me. And I hate the series that it's a continuation of another series like how the "Simply" series  was basically a continuation of the Slightly series!



Last Edited on: 7/22/08 4:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/22/2008 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'm really fed up with the overdone series thing too.  One thing I wish I'd known when I started reading romance again was just how many books were part of a series.  It almost seems sometimes that it's the majority of historicals.  I know I ran into so many just collecting books to read that got good reviews.  I'd get a bunch from the UBS or wherever, and then find out I needed a dozen more to get caught up on secondary characters mentioned in one of them, or I'd really need to go back and get previous books just to get the backgrounding.  I did this a lot until I figured out to check & see if something was series before I put it on my list.  Stephanie Laurens, Mary Jo Putney, and Jo Beverley drove me purely nuts, but there have been lots of others since then:P



Last Edited on: 7/22/08 5:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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