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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'll Tell You Mine If You'll Tell Me Yours...

- and by that I mean, scenarios/themes I don't want to read in romance books!

Okay. I'll admit that there are some book scenarios/themes that are beginning to irritate me. So, I'll name the three top ones on my list of "Please don't use these in your romance stories" list.

1. Secret baby. At one time I only read romance books that had children in them...did this for about two years. Then, I got tired of that. And, I'm really tired of the "I-had-his-baby-but-won't/can't-tell-him-for-whatever-reason" books. IF the secret baby theme/scenario only played a small part in the story, I would read it. But if the major idea of the story revolves around a secret baby, I'll pass on reading it.

2. Amnesia. You'd think half the people in the world lost their memories at one time or another...and I don't mean "selective memory loss". I'm tired of the scenario/theme of "I-don't-know-who-I-am-but-I'm-in-trouble". Again, a dose of amnesia in a story but not having a story revolve around this theme/scenario is fine. But, give me more than feeling sorry for the poor memory-loss hero/heroine.

3. POV from a Child. I want to read a hero/heroine's POV. Maybe even a secondary character. But please...not one from a child. That takes me out of the adult world and removed from the story. I once read a book (first chapter only) where the entire first chapter was from the POV of a four-year-old.

And, don't get me started on the POV from a cat...I didn't even finish the first chapter of this book...and it wasn't a shape shifter book (that I could handle).

So, those are my three scenarios/themes that make me think twice about buying a book. Secret baby and amnesia...make the story more than just revolve around those themes/scenarios and I will check it out. POV of a child...I won't read it.

What are the scenarios/themes you find irritating?
Photos: Flickr: b. frahm's photostream


Harlie Reader said...

OMG! You are so funny Marianne. For me its the amnesia story line. I get bored to tears. I don't mind the secret baby. I guess that comes with reading way too many Harlequins. :)


Missy Jane said...

Hmm, I've never seen an adult book with any part in a child's POV. I wouldn't read that either. I'd have to say my list pretty much mimics yours. I'm also kinda getting sick of the kick-ass heroine. I don't mean women who learn to be stronger or kick-ass out of necessity. But I'm sick of the over the top ones that are just belligerent and seem to hate men.

Tina Donahue said...

I'm not crazy about stories where the hero really likes the heroine but acts as though he hates her, is irritated with her, to push her away for whatever reason. That to me is so overwritten/overdone. Simply have him be cool and act indifferent. She'll get the drift. Manufactured anger is really boring to read.

Adele Dubois said...

Great post, Marianne! I totally agree with you. These plot devices have been overused for decades. When will publishers stop publishing and readers stop buying these hackneyed storylines?

I just finished a romance novel by a big name author that had chapters in a child's POV. The voice also sounded like a child and it got on my nerves by the first page of each chapter. I started skipping the chapters told in the child's POV and moved forward to the hero and heroine's POVs.

The plot device that irritates me most is the "wrongfully accused". I get so frustrated by these stories I no longer read or watch movies about falsely accused protagonists trying to prove their innocence. Grrr!


Karen H in NC said...

All of the above are tiresome IMO. I don't read those books anymore and haven't for at least 30 years.

The only child's POV I ever read was a 2nd epilogue to 'It's In His Kiss', one of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books. It was a hoot! And I think it even left room for another book down the road when the child, Isabelle, grows up. Maybe I should suggest that to her...hmmm...

jean hart stewart said...

Good points, all of them. The secret baby one is it for me, to me that's so implausible. Depends on what I've just read. If the next book is similar I get bored.

Anonymous said...

Manufactured anger and the over-the-top kick butt heroine will have me closing a book before its end. And what about the fragile heroine who fights on a par with the highland warrior she's in love with? Read one yesterday where the "delicate lass", despite the dagger plunged between her shoulder blades, was able to dash across the keep, sword in hand, and run it through a man's chest. I had to read that scene a couple times to make sure I was envisioning it correctly. I laughed every time. Probably not what the author was going for!

Janice Seagraves said...

That's odd, your reading a romance not a YA, so why is it in a child POV?

I don't think I'd like that either.


Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Those are all good ones, Marianne, and I am with you on the "wrongly accused" plot lines, Adele. Those are so boring.

My pet peeves with overused plot themes would have to be the "I hate the man/woman I am forced to marry but can't help but fall in love anyway."

I don't mind the forced marriage plot, as that happened a lot in historical times. But don't try to make me think she could ever get in bed with a man she truly despises. The heroine can be wary of the union, or even irritated with it. But to loathe the husband in one chapter and let him bring her to orgasm the next, NOPE.

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