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.

Romance Mad Lib: Flirtatious Encounter

 

(Female name) wandered halfway down the hall then turned back again. How hard was it to find the right (type of room)? How many (type of room) did a building even need? At this rate she would never be on time for the interview.

She looked down at the piece of paper with the (adjective) map the receptionist had drawn her, turned the corner and ran into something very solid and warm.

She gasped and looked up at the (adjective) man she had just run into. “I’m so (adjective)!” She blushed. “I-I really should have looked at where I was (verb ending in  -ing).”

He grinned at her. “It’s all right,” he said. “There are worse people to fall into my (body part).” He gave her an (adjective) once-over and Charlotte blushed (color).

“I-I I’m (adjective),” she stuttered. “I don’t suppose you could (verb)? I have an interview to get to. ”

“I’m happy to (verb). My name is (male name), by the way.”

(Female name). Nice to meet you.” she said, smiling (adverb). If only her (body part) would stop (verb ending in -ing) so fast she would be able to (verb) clearly!

“I’ll show you where to go. After all,” he (flirtatious gesture), “I would hate it if you didn’t get the job. Then you couldn’t (verb) into me here anymore.”

How did you like the Mad-Lib? Post your result in the comment below. Or you can create and submit your own mad-lib. 

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 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”

Book Review: Eternity by Maggie Shayne

6baad4c8166fb3b89d4ff0a592bfab85300 years ago, Raven St. James was hanged for witchcraft. But she revives among the dead to find herself alive. She is an Immortal High Witch, one of the light. A note from her mother warns that there are others, those of the Dark, who preserve their own lives by taking the hearts of those like her.

Duncan Wallace’s forbidden love for the secretive lass costs him his life.

300 years later, he loves her again, tormented by hazy memories of a past that can’t be real. She tells him of another lifetime, claims to be immortal. Though he knows she’s deluded, he can’t stay away. And the Dark Witch after her heart is far closer than either of them know.

Continue reading “Book Review: Eternity by Maggie Shayne”

Inteview with Lana Campbell

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Lana Campbell is the author of Forever and a Night vampire romance series. I’m pleased to have her on Lover’s Quarrel today. Thanks, Lana!

 

1) Introduce yourself.
I’m Lana Campbell, author of the Forever and a Night vampire series. I preface telling you about myself by talking about my writing because I absolutely love to write and use all my spare time doing so. Still I have to make a living so I work part time in a local restaurant. I enjoy reading paranormal romance as well as writing it. I live in Rogers AR with my husband and cat named Felix.
2) When did you start writing and why?
I started writing romance in 1994 because I’ve been an avid fan of romance since my teens. I thought to myself, I can write a romance. Well, I sucked at it at first and never even tried to publish anything in my early years. Eventually, I got serious about writing shortly after my restaurant closed in 2014. A year later I published Forever and a Night the first book in my Forever and a Night series. From there I started looking at writing as a business and I’ve been busy ever since.
3) Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
My favorite book is Forever and a Night Dark Experiments. It’s about a vampire OB/GYN, Dr. Christian La Mond who falls in love with a human, Tiffany Peebles who wants nothing to do with romance. Especially with a vampire. The external conflict is about an angel of death poisoning Christian’s pregnant vampire patients and he’s losing his mind trying to nail down the culprit. Throughout the chaos the couple fall in love, but Tiffany gets poisoned and nearly dies. Christian can only save her by turning her vampire. The reason I loved this story so much was Tiffany’s character. She’s funny, spunky, impulsive and unable to filter her tongue. There’s a lot of drama in this story, but humor too and I had a ball writing the story even though it took nearly a year.
4) How did you come up with the title for your book?
Every romance must have a happily ever after, thus the word Forever. The night part came from my vampire fetish. They’re night creatures of course and when they find love they hang onto it tightly, forever and a night.
5) Who helped you with the cover?
For my first book, Forever and a Night, the cover designer was Tate Publishing, my publisher for this book. They did an excellent job in my opinion. I love the cover and the male on the front looks just like I envisioned Nathan Davenport to look. My second book Forever and a Night Dark Experiments cover was designed by me. Right now it’s on Amazon Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited. However, I have sold the book to a publisher, Bella Tulip and once it comes out I’ll have a new cover design.
6) What are some of the themes of your stories?
I’ve already described Forever and a Night Dark Experiments. In book one, Forever and a Night, the premise is billionaire Nathan Davenport is trying to hide from his evil sire vampire, Isabella and chooses New Orleans to lay low. There he meets a human, Mia Peebles, a sous chef and quickly falls for her because of course she’s beautiful, but she has such a pure spirit. Mia is a Christian and her spiritual beliefs are filtered throughout the story. It’s also the heart of the conflict she endures when she finds out Nathan is a vampire. At this point she is in love with him, but raging mad that he’s lied to her about what he is. She refuses to believe he’s a real vampire. She thinks he’s part of a sick cult.
Right now I’m writing book five in my series, which I haven’t named yet, but it will be a fun one. It’s about Nathan Davenport’s son Nate Davenport (Yes, he and Mia get together.) and a beautiful female vampire who is the daughter of an evil vampire drug lord. She steals drugs from rival drug lords for her father and in one of her stings meets Nate Davenport. They are a most unlikely pair and I’m having a lot of fun writing this one.
7) What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book?
Since I’m writing a series, I already know the characters I’m going to write about in my next book. All of the subsequent stories of book one, Forever and a Night are about Mia’s children. In book one she has three grown girls from her first marriage, Tiffany, Chelsie and Dannie. With Nathan she has two more vampire children, Nate and Beth. Each story is about one of her kids. I have no formula for how I come up with the plot lines, I just know my characters so well, I already know what they’re going to do before I ever start writing about them. And I write by the seat of my pants. I’m not an organized writer.
8) Who are some of your favorite characters and why?

Mia, the matriarch of the family, is my favorite heroine from a spiritual aspect. She is a devoted
Christian with a big heart and lots of love to give. She’s in each consecutive story as Momma with all the right advice to give her children as they’re going through their own internal and external conflicts.
Tiffany is my favorite gutsy girl character. She cusses a lot and has a sarcastic sense of humor.
Christian is by far my favorite male character. He has long blonde hair and honey gold eyes. He’s so dreamy and he possesses the patience of Job. He has to in order to love Tiffany.
Chelsie Peebles is in book three which isn’t published yet. I had fun writing her character because she is a human OB/GYN for vampires that moonlights as a country western singer. Chelsie is very intelligent and practical and a good match for her love interest Asa Bradley who has a bit of a temper.
9) Who are some of your favorite authors?
Christine Feehan who writes vampire stories and Nora Roberts.
10) Are you currently working on anything?
I’m currently working on book five in my series which I haven’t named yet. My heroine is Alabama Rain Holden a vampire who is a drug thief for her evil father drug lord. Her love interest is Nate Davenport who is a billionaire real estate mogul. Nate discovers her stinging a rival drug lord one night and begins to have her followed because he wants to get her in trouble for her drug dealings. But he soon finds out Rain is not a ruthless drug dealer, but a poor, abused girl who can’t get free of her father. He’s determined to help her, but Rain doesn’t want his help as much as she wants free of her father. But circumstances push them together and the sparks of passion begin to fly.
11) If you could have any super powers what would they be?rozpvtnx
In my stories my vampires can enchant humans into doing their bidding. I wish I could enchant a big time editor to buy my entire series.
12) If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
I love New Orleans which is where several of my stories are located. I wouldn’t mind living there.
13) Where do you hope to be in five years?
A writer who can actually make a living doing what I love most in the world–writing.

 

You can find Lana on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. Also, please visit her website at http://foreverandanightla.wixsite.com/website.