Top 5 Romance Novel Pet Peeves

heart-1610858_1920I’m addicted to romance novels. I can’t get enough of them. A well-written romance novel with a good plot and love story is enough for me to daydream about, giggle over, and read for the seventh time when I really need to get back to work.

But there are more than a few things that keep turning up in romance novels that I absolutely hate.

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1) Insta-Love

This is so common in romance novels but as far as I can tell, nobody likes it. Why? Because it’s a cheat and ruins otherwise good books.

I want to see how the characters fall in love. I need to be emotionally invested in the characters before the moment of love for me to give a damn about them.

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2) Awkwardly Weird Sex Scenes

I must admit, I do enjoy snickering at watching the man go apeshit and penetrate the woman’s sex essence with his rod. But it’s a huge mood killer for me. Not just for that scene, but for the rest of the book. How am I supposed to take the guy seriously as he declares his eternal love when I’m still snickering about his essence-penetrating rod?

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3) Unlikeable Main Characters

This is a no-brainer, but unfortunately, happens way too often, especially when the characters to hate each other at first and then fall in love. The characters are so busy battling each other, they lose all redeemable qualities.

I’ve read books where the main couple pulls malicious pranks on each other, publically shames each other, and even hurts each other physically before falling in love. Call me crazy, but I cannot picture a stable relationship blossoming out of violent destruction like that.

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4) No Plot

There is no love story without at least some sort of plot. After all, the characters end up falling in love through events that happen, whether that is stopping a serial killer or running away from a smothering family. Without a plot, everything is boring, including the love story.

Sometimes romance novels fall really flat because not enough is happening and there is a string of conflict-free events with a dash of sweet nothings thrown in for good measure. Then I start hoping one of the main characters is used in a ritual sacrifice because then at least something is happening.

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5) Too Much Sap

Don’t get me wrong; passion, intense gazes, and declarations of love are my jam. But when the characters are constantly calling each other soulmates and moving each other to tears with purple prose every other paragraph, then I start throwing up a little. Romance novels are a type of fantasy for sure, but let’s not overdo it with the fairy dust.

What romance novel pet peeves do you have? Leave in the comments below.

Looking for free romance novels that rock? Get The Ultimate Lover’s Quarrel Reading List when you sign up for my newsletterThis reading list has only free full-length romance novels I’ve rated 4 stars or higher. It includes review highlights and links to my full reviews so you will know for sure if these books are for you.

Book Review: Of Mice Not Men by Donald L. Canterbury

33386633Genre: Science Fiction, Non-Romance

Page Count: 350 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

After manmade natural disasters wiped out most humans and life around the world, war breaks out among the remaining humans. The faction called the Developers want to take the resources from Earth and leave the dying planet behind to join the stars. The Harmonizers want to stay and restore Earth’s resources. Both factions race to stop the other, using deadly, even sadistic measures. After all, the fate of the planet and the human race lies in the balance.

I had my ups and downs with this book to be sure. Aside from the book badly needing a proofreader, the writing itself is well done, only dipping into preachiness about human’s greed a couple of times. The brain curdling torture scenes were deliciously awful and made me stop reading a couple times to look up pictures of pet pigs until I calmed down enough to continue.

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Look at that face. It makes everything seem better.

I thought I had a stomach for violence. I read Stephen King books and have watched plenty of horror movies. In middle school I reveled in shocking my classmates with presentations of General Sherman’s March to the Sea and torture practices from the Spanish Inquisition. In high school I was the only one who could watch the video of a shark eating a turtle without looking away ( but I ended up crying about shark fin soup later that year).

The point is, violence in books usually doesn’t bother me. But Canterbury takes it to a whole new level in a few of the torture scenes. It wasn’t just the twisted sadism in the scenes that bothered me, however. It was the fact that both sides are tooth achingly aware of the finite resources left and yet they both spend resources making inefficient weapons. The Developers do it in the name of sadism and the Harmonizers end up with weapons that are less effective than gun powder guns. I guess it shows that humans don’t make sense.

There are a lot of characters in this book, but Jasmine is the main character. I didn’t like her at first. I found her too cold-hearted and hot-headed. Granted, she’s in deeper and darker shit than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, but despite her parents dying, she isn’t a sympathetic character for most of the book. Her relationship with Thomas feels as forced as a cheap jigsaw puzzle. Mostly she is indifferent to him or pushing him away. For awhile the only reason she was still with him was out of fear of being alone. And then suddenly she loves him? I never really bought it. Cynthia’s relationship with an alien artificial intelligence robot feels more real and she thought she was hallucinating it.

But I ended up really liking Jasmine in the end, and even Thomas.  The plot was fascinating, even a couple of parts I was skeptical about at first and this book turned out to be entertaining, even though I guessed two of the biggest plot “twists” (if you can even call them that) as soon as the foreshadowing again. But one plot twist I didn’t see coming at all, which was great.

I do wish the sides were not so black and white. The Developers were clearly evil with practically no human sides in any main characters while the Harmonizers were clearly peaceful with no dark streaks to be found. It ended up making what could have been a great story about needless conflict and saving the world sound a little like anti space exploration propaganda. That being said, it is still entertaining.

While Canterbury’s writing skills are rough, he has the potential to be a great science fiction/horror writer.

You can get Of Mice Not Men on Amazon today.

Book Spotlight: Of Mice Not Men by Donald Canterbury

33386633
Amazon

Genre: Science Fiction, Non-Romance

Page Count: 350 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

In the near future, mankind has exhausted the last of their fossil fuels and a new energy crisis holds the world in its terrifying grip. In a desperate gamble, it turns to geothermal energy and taps the Yellowstone caldera. It’s a success and the entirety of humanity benefits…for a time. Following the devastating eruption that ensues, mankind is forced to pick up the pieces of their shattered world and forms two factions.
The Developers, those of humanity set on stripping the Earth of it’s remaining resources and leaving it behind to colonize first the moon, then the stars beyond.
The Harmonizers, stalwart defenders of what they believe to be humanity’s one true home, dedicated to being more self-sufficient and eco-minded.
As it’s been from the dawn of time when two groups can’t agree, there is strife, chaos, and eventually war. From the ashes of the conflict later to be known as the Great Division, a new species shall rise to see the world that was not of their making.
It all begins here, in the first installment of the Of Mice Not Men universe

 

Of Mice not Men got a spotlight because Donald L. Canterbury was generous enough to donate to the Borgen Project, a nonprofit fighting global poverty. Look out for my book review and author interview with Donald L. Canterbury in the coming weeks.

Tired of Book Burnout? This Free Resource will Help

karaskinner_AC18_R0AOne day I found myself in a library with some time to kill. It sounds like heaven, right? Except it wasn’t. I found myself staring blankly at rows and rows of books with nothing but indifference.

I used to love starting new books. It was exciting to go into a store or library and hunt for a hidden gem to curl up in a nearby armchair with. Or to finally start that book I got three years ago that I’ve been dying to cross off my TBR list.

But after reading mediocre book after bad book after slightly-good book, I approached new books with indifference and sometimes dread. I had a horrible case of book burnout. It took a lot of time reading some old favorites (hello, Harry Potter) to get over it.

But there’s another way to stop falling into a book slump and that’s to read books you know are good. Which is why I’m pleased to introduce the Lover’s Quarrel Ultimate Reading List. 

This free PDF book is a list of romance novels that are free, over 50,000 words, and rated 4 stars or higher by me. This list will get updated all the time as I read more books that fit the criteria.

Get Lover’s Quarrel Ultimate Reading List today when you subscribe to my mailing list. You’ll get free books sorted by genre and you’ll see highlights from my reviews so you know which ones you’ll like the best. It’s a short list now, but it will get updated as I find more books to add.

5 Classic Romances to Read This Week

Sometimes you need to go and revisit the classics or discover some new classics. These are five books that are in the public domain, so you can find them for free. They are perfect when you need some old-fashioned romance.

pride-and-prejudice-book-cover1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

This classic is one of Austen’s best-known works. It has humor, romance, and a healthy dose of reality. Headstrong Elizabeth Bennet wants happiness for herself and her sisters. And that does not include marrying Mr. Collins, no matter how much he courts her. She enjoys the company of a handsome soldier named Mr. Wickham and tries to avoid the handsome, rich, and completely intolerable Mr. Darcy.  But when she learns the truth of Darcy’s past and his intentions, she finds him not as intolerable as she thought.

Continue reading “5 Classic Romances to Read This Week”

5 African American Romances You Need to Read Right Now

32a4b0bc8611f8e4894dd05462c6adce1) Commitment by Nia Forrester

Genre: Contemporary

Page Count: 522 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.42/5 stars

It was obvious to everyone but them they were all wrong for each other. Riley is a free-spirited boho writer and Shawn is a magnetic and charismatic rapper, riding the highest crest of his career. She doesn’t understand his world and he sure as hell doesn’t understand hers. And what’s worse, while he’s never committed to any woman before, she’s committed to someone else. Still, they can’t stay away from each other. Along with frequent clashes of their equally strong wills, Shawn and Riley will have to face down opposition from friends, family and one extremely motivated groupie, if they want to forge a commitment that will last the test of time.

Get Commitment at your local bookstore now.  Continue reading “5 African American Romances You Need to Read Right Now”

5 Romance Novels for Foodies

One of the best things that go together is food and romance. After all, what’s more sexy than having your partner cook (or buy, for those of us who are challenged in the kitchen) our favorite meal for us? So here are 10 romance novels for foodies.

1) New Free Chocolate Sex by Keith Lowe

cvr9780743482103_9780743482103_hrGenre: Contemporary

Page Count: 336 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.14/5 stars

Can your sworn enemy become your romantic obsession? What lies between sugar and spice? Do personal tastes ever change? And when should we try something new? As this irresistible novel reminds us, sometimes love is the least predictable flavor in life’s box of chocolates.

Matt, the brilliant young marketing director of the confectionery Trundel & Barr, loves chocolate. To him it represents sensuousness and innocent joy; it is to be adored, worshipped — and exploited — at every opportunity. For Samantha, however, chocolate represents something more sinister: While researching for a television documentary she learns that there is a darker side to Trundel & Barr, in the horrendous conditions of its African cocoa plantations. So Sam sets out to expose Matt — until she finds herself locked up with him in his own chocolate factory. Stuck together, they are at risk of having a complete meltdown. But if Sam and Matt can find a way to confront their differences and learn to accept each other’s passion for chocolate, their bitter situation stands a chance of turning out sweet….

Buy this at your local bookstore now.

Continue reading “5 Romance Novels for Foodies”