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Topic: I can't stand it when...

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Subject: I can't stand it when...
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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As a spin-off to the "Worst Romances You Ever Read" thread I'd like to start a discussion about general themes we don't like in a romance book.

For example:

I can't stand a book where the h/h are at eachother's throats until the end. I like a romance where the h/h spend happy time together and work together to overcome conflict rather than the relationship between the two being the sole cause of conflict in the story itself.

Or where there are "misunderstandings" in the relationship that last the whole book but could have been solved with some simple communication? Or when people keep these "BIG" secrets that are not really that big a deal anyways?



Last Edited on: 4/28/08 4:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I agree.  Sometimes those big misunderstandings are really pathetic....especially when time and again the secret has cause to come to light but of course gets passed over because it's too early in the story.

I hate it when the h/h are separated for a loooong time.  That's so annoying and I can't understand a writer wanting to write without the 2 main characters in a scene.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2006
Posts: 623
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With you all the way.  I've been on a roll now where too many books I've read are totally not trusting, not understanding, confrontational, urghhhhhhhhh!  Sometimes I'm good with it, but I would really prefer to read about exploring the relationship.

I can't stand it when either h/h can't get over the past tso much that it limits the interaction to the point where you're mostly reading about what's going on in his/her head.  Then there's this lightening moment at the end when ah ha! all is well and I'm over it.  not. 

Last one -- I'll never pick up a book that involves high fashion or beauty queens.  I'm completely turned off by the whole fashionista thing. 

 

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I don't like the ones where the woman has a baby and doesn't tell the guy.

also don't like it when one or the other is mean to the other the whole book and the one who's on the receiving end puts up with the crap.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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Ugh, one of the stupidest "misunderstandings" I read in a book was where the hero meets the heroine while she's dancing on the bar. The hero is told that the dancers are prostitutes as well, which they normally were. So he then treats the heroine as a prostitute nearly the entire story and because she is so upset by his assumption she doesn't want to tell him she is a virgin and was just filling in for one of the dancers. Come on, a totally understandable mistake that was drawn out through the entire story that could have been solved in the first chapter with the heroine just saying "I'm not a hooker I am just filling in for a sick dancer!" Any normal woman would hardly hold it against a person for being mistaken as a hooker if she was filling in for the prostitute at the bar! Any normal woman would also try to clear up the mistake as soon as possible, you would think.



Last Edited on: 4/28/08 6:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
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I really get turned off by a book where the Hero is still "seeing"  someone else while he's pursuing the Herione. That just bugs me. I also don't like amnesia storylines or like Karen said; anything involving high fashion i guess that is why i don't really get into Chick Lit.

 

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
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Yeah, I hate those 2-paragraph clothing descriptions in any book. I'll pick up a JC Penney catalog if I want to read about clothing.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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The problem I have with fashion is one persons description of fashion is totally not someone elses.  There's a few Rachel Gibson books where she goes into detail about the heroines outfits and I'm like....Huh? I wore that in 1985.  And the book was written in 1998.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2006
Posts: 670
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You all have hit so many of my "hates": the BIG misunderstanding, the secret baby, the mistress, the long separation, amnesia.

I will add the "reunited lovers" theme - I hate the idea of the pair have been together and broken up once already (especially if it's over a BIG misunderstanding) because I miss all the fun tension that comes from new love.

How *do* I find anything to read? :)

Katrina

 

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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We should make a game of finding the book that includes all the themes listed.

 

Anyone know a story that has reunited lovers seperated by some BIG misunderstanding and brought together again (perhaps by the secret baby) while hero suffers amnesia? Meanwhile the jealous and fashion-obsessed mistress schemes to cause the h/h trouble and the whimpy heroine runs away crying rather than standing up to her crap?



Last Edited on: 4/28/08 7:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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ROFL!  I'll start looking!

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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Oh yeah, and the h/h will have to be brought back together ONLY at the very end. The story can't end more than two paragraphs later.  ;)

 

 

I know there's got to be a few of em out there...



Last Edited on: 4/28/08 7:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2008
Posts: 196
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Lol Sarah, nothing comes to mind but I'll wager if there is such a novel, it was written in the '80's. :o)

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 1,012
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My pet peeve is when the hero and/or the heroine seem to fall for one another immediately for no apparent reason. 

This has happened in several books lately and I am usually not convinced through the whole book about their feelings for one another. 

I prefer their to be some kind of interaction where you can see them falling for one another.  It is much more entertaining and exciting.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Yeah - I read one yesterday (thank goodness it was a freebie) where they fell in love in 2 days and pledged their undying love for each other.  Puh leeze!

Sherri

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I hate endless lusting internal monologues. Or even short ones. They seem endless.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 217
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One of my biggest hang ups is undefined characters. I hate it when they don't give you enough detail on the characters thoughts/feelings. Of course I also hate it when you are overloaded with too much info.....

 

Jess

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I just finished Nauti Boy, and this epitomizes what I hate about some books- the hero is an arrogant jerk, and the heroine melts like butter every time she touches him.  Doesn't matter how mad she gets at him- the second he touches her, she's hot and wet and ready to take him.  Ummm..no.  Real life doesn't work that way- I'm not buying it here either.  I'd rather see a heroine with a freakin' backbone.  Not to mention a hero with a shred of humility.  I know some people are all over those alpha males, but there's a fine line between that and a Neanderthal, which I do NOT find at all redeeming or attractive.  I hope the next book is better..although maybe I should just stay away from books about men who are ex-military, lol.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 12:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Oh, that bugs me too, Lesley. I guess writers/publishers think that's a big fantasy for women - the guy so incredibly hot, you just can't resist him no matter WHAT - because I run into it all the time.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 2:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Here's one I'm always finding in Presents - the heroine has some minor scar or injury from an accident and every guy she's ever known has been horrified and disgusted by it, until she meets the hero.

Geez, I can't think of anyone I've ever known who was so bloody perfect, a minor scar would disgust them.

I'm also getting very tired of Presents in which the main characters just bicker and bicker and never stop...

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 4:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2008
Posts: 196
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Only a minor scar or injury?  Damn, I feel like Quasimodo now...   Okay Willa, now that's a storyline that truly would disgust me for more personal reasons other than being so over-the-top superficial.

Another one I can't stand is the either the hero or heroine being overly manipulative in a hurtful way.  Disguising oneself as someone else is one thing, but to hurt someone else just to get the guy/girl you want or to get even does not earn big points in my book.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 4:57 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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I'm sorry if these have been covered a lot already- but I guess if they're really annoying that'll happen!

- The Big Misunderstanding. Argh! It's frustrating, but not in a "ooo, what great tension" kind of way. It's a cheap and lazy device to create some kind of shallow conflict for the H&H to keep bickering about until the last chapters when they can finally succumb to The Power of Luuurve(C).

- Heroines who are stupid as all get out, but refuse to admit it. I love flawed heroines, even when they act completely against common sense or the way I would do it- the book isn't about me, and I love getting into the heads of characters. However, the ones that are written just plain dumb and stubborn so they get in a lot of trouble- and a lot of "sassy" arguments with the hero- just angers me and makes me chuck the book at the wall.

- The Virginal Orgasm- Ok, I know EVERY romance has this- a virgin loses It and has fireworks-in-her-eyes orgasm the first time. I get that we read these because they're idealized (for the most part) romances, but this one actually depresses me more than it makes me swoon. If I ever read a book where the losing of one of the characters virginity is akward but sweet, it would be an immediate keeper just because it'd be so refreshing.

- The Absurdly, Overly Suspicious Brother/Best Friend- When a brother or a best friend of the hero (same goes for the heroine) is suspicious and mean towards the protagonists love interest FOR NO REASON, I just get annoyed. Again, it's a lazy way to set up some "tension", have a "satisfying" redemption scene at the end (usually at a wedding) and possibly set up a sequel where our previously cold-hearted characters learn to love (aww!)



Last Edited on: 5/2/08 8:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/29/2008 8:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 1,012
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I have read quite a few that have awkward first love scenes, but I am terrible at remembering the names of the books.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2008
Posts: 271
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I looove the Big Missunderstandings I don't know  why because they are so frustrating to read but to me they are like the story of my life. Judith Mcnaught all the way lol

 

I do hate the virgin orgasm and  when the Hero only has to touch heronce and she has this mind shattering one. Not realistic --to me anyway I envy anyone who has had that my hubby has to work for it  lol

I also hate the sickening sweet romance that nothing goes wrong and the h/h are perfect. I guess I like drama.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Adultery is usually my biggest turn off.  There are some instances where it works ok with the story, and I know it's actually more realistic, because it happens a lot when couples are having other problems, but I do tend to set a higher standard for my H&H and their behavior.  If they're separated for a period of years - and that's necessary to the storyline as well, because it's another one of my usual turn offs - then it pretty much defies belief that somebody won't cheat.  It actually surprised me that I like Private Arrangements so much, since it has both of my usual pet peeves.  But, as much as I hate to, when it comes to romances I have to allow for at least some realism.  I know I wouldn't go through ten years of estrangement from my hubby without having sex with some darned body, I can tell you that.  I'm faithful, but I'm not dead:P



Last Edited on: 4/29/08 10:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
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