Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We all have our go-to authors, our comfort reads, and our favorite tropes.  You know, those people and things that make you snatch a book off the shelf and fork over your hard earned money.  Maybe you are a sucker for the "friends to lovers" plot line.  Perhaps you squeal in delight on Julia Quinn's release date.  These books give us the warm fuzzies.  They help us to forget a terrible day at work.  They make a good day even better.

But what about those others?  The doozies. After reading romances for years, you learn what makes you tick, and what makes you sick.  You are walking through the book store.  A cover jumps out at you from the shelf to your left.  Mantitty, low riding pants, some mysterious landscape in the distance.  It lures you over with visual promises of smexin goodness.  Picking up the novel, you turn it over to peruse the back blurb.  What you see there send chils down your spine.  With shaking hands you replace the book on the shelf and slowly back away. It was a close call.  You avoided disaster by a hair's breath.  You almost bought a book containing an element so horrifying it would throw you off your readin game for weeks.  Oh, I don't mean a TSTL heroine or some other element that you wouldn't know about before reading.  I mean the big canon ball that will sink you pleasure cruise of reading.  It's the opposite of auto-buy material.  It is the Dealbreaker.

For me it's cheating.  A book where the heroine is engaged and meets another man who makes the earth shift beneath her (and her naughty bits quake)... Oh. Hell. No.  I know for some people this isn't a problem.  For me it is a dealbreaker. Doesn't matter who wrote it, I just can't read the book.

So what kills it for you?  What element will make you back away and run in the opposite direction?


Katie Reus said...

Cheating is a deal breaker for me too. If the h/h breaks up w/ someone for someone else and then gets down to business that's fine. BUT, if they're cheating on their current significant other, that's just wrong. One of my all time favorite authors did that last year and I just can't read her anymore. Seriously, the hero and heroine were cheating on their SO's w/ each other and I found myself hoping they'd both end up w/ an STD at the end.

Oh, and rape is also a deal breaker. If the hero is involved in any sort of rape, it's over for me. There are a couple historicals where I've let it go b/c of the writing and b/c it was a 'grayish' type situation, but in a contemporary, I'm throwing the book against the wall and it's a DNF for me.

Anonymous said...

If the back blurb mentions *shudder* selkies...I just can NOT see a sexy hero who turns into a seal. Seals SMELL like dead fish and are cold and wet. There is NOTHING appealing or even remotely sexy about selkie stories- I just can't stand them and avoid them at all costs. *shudders some more*

Chris said...

Cheating's a deal breaker for me as well. So is menage. Twincest. Torture. Most historicals. Most fantasy, other than urban.

Ye gads, it's a wonder I can find anything to read! ;)

Kati said...

Love by Deceit is a deal breaker for me. Any love story where the hero (in particular) is masquerading as someone else and doesn't cop to it pretty darn quickly. I hate, loathe, despise stories where one or the other of the characters falls in love with who they think someone is, only to find out they're something else. Eloisa James' "The Taming of the Duke" springs immediately to mind as an example. Hated that book.

Tracy said...

Mostly it's cheating but I have read books where it didn't bother me so it's apparently not a deal breaker. lol

Deb said...

I agree with everyone on the cheating and the hero raping the heroine or a previous woman. They are both big SHUDDERS for me. I mean, really. I wouldn't put up with that in my life, why would I want to read about it in a story?

Anonymous said...

When I think about rape in a book of course my first instinct is 'TOSS THE BOOK'--- BUTTTTTTTT the truth is one of my all time favorite historical romances starts off with the drunken hero raping the virgin heroine whom he THINKS is a street walker.
The book is "The Flame and the Flower" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and its really a beautiful romance story.
The hero had no idea she wasn't willing, he was that foxed and it wasn't until he saw the blood and was horrified at what he had done. He marries her to make things right (he knocked her up) and then slowly they become friends and fall in love.
I love the book, so I guess rape can work for me in romance books.

Bev(QB) said...

Demons and/or witches. Which might explain why I buy so few books anymore. One or both seem to be featured in nearly every PNR or UF released. Yeah, I've read a few, but they've proved to me that they're really just not my cuppa.

SiNn said...

i have to say nothing really is a deal breaker for me when it comes to books only thing i wouldnt read would be something that would be illegal so im not picky if the stories good ill read it often

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