Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Romance novels pet peeves by The Book Bitches

Retro Bitches
Originally published on November 15, 2005

We’re going to be republishing our favorite old posts. We have so many new readers now, and we know a lot of you don’t search through the archives. So, we’ve selected a few articles for your enjoyment.

The martyr heroine.
Sex too soon; kills the tension.
Heroine who is smart through out the whole book then suddenly gets case of stupidity.
I hate that marriage and kids are expected in order to have a HEA (like women who don’t want one or the other are incomplete).

Hero who rapes heroine (or anyone else for that matter!).
Hero who physically abuses heroine. This is as bad as Tart’s evil homosexual villains who are also pedophiles (see below).
Heroine who won’t leave abusive hero because she “luuurves” him. Spineless and stupid.
Character who keeps insisting other is having an affair even when they don’t have any proof. Moronic and insecure.
Heroine who’s a widow but still a virgin. Oh please! Except if the guy was killed just after he said “I do” (like five seconds off the altar), I won’t take it.
Hero who’s much older. Like he’s 40 years old and the heroine is 17. Iiick!
Having TOO many hot scenes, interrupted by REALLY stupid and annoying things. Just shag each other already, for fuck’s sake!

Heroine (though has had sex) has never had an orgasm and/or enjoyed sex before hero comes along. Unless this woman has no hands, and lives in a god forsaken village in the last corner of the world where she can’t buy a vibrator, there is no excuse for this!
Badly dressed characters. I.e. a guy wearing shorts paired with t-shirt and jacket, or shorts with long sleeved shirt. *gag*
The double personality disorder characters. A hunky and masculine hero that, after reaching the middle part of the story, turns into a spineless ninny. Same for heroines.
Rushed endings and/or things left unresolved.
Pointless flashbacks. This really gets on my nerves!
When characters are forced together for a stupid reason, like: heroine’s great grandmother’s cat died, so she HAS to move in with the hot neighbor (who just happens to be a pet psychologist) to get over the loss. Give me a fucking break!
Sissy heroines that spend half the book crying, while mentioning how they NEVER cry. I want to bitch slap them.
Heroines with a bush. This is not only disgusting but unhygienic. Any mention of “the moist triangle that guarded her secret entrance” makes me gag or laugh, depending on how ridiculous the scene is. (Recently read a book in which hero literally curled his finger in girl’s bush!!!)
The heroine that looses her virginity to hero, doesn’t see him for 10 years, never has sex with anyone else, and then when they meet/fuck again confesses it. First thing that comes to my mind is: “This woman must be damn fugly if no one has been willing to stick their wily in her ‘moist delta of love’ in all this time.”
Characters who often mistake pride for stupidity (Clayton Westmoreland comes to mind).
When the hero is an utter asshole, and the heroine, after being humiliated and yelled at, actually begs HIM for forgiveness. These women are stupid enough to have some idiotic reason of why it’s really THEIR fault and how they probably deserved it.
Characters who start making out with morning breath. Ick!

Babies/children. I don’t like cutesy kids. They tend to come off more annoying than cute. I don’t find babies or children remotely romantic, so will avoid any books that mention them, or at least skip the kid bits of the book.
Pregnant heroines. Especially heroines that are pregnant to another man who is not the hero.
Books that end with a wedding and children. Please, let me decide when that happens. I don’t need to be spoon fed everything. I’m in the minority here, but I don’t like epilogues LOL.
Virgin widows. There better be a damn good reason for this! A major pet peeve of mine. I’d much rather read about a widow who had a loving relationship with her first husband.
Hero/heroine that somehow manages to have a few rounds of sex while on the run from evil serial killer or chasing evil murderer. Not sure about you, but I think if I was being chased by some dude like Ted Bundy, the last thing on my mind would be sex.
Vampires/shape-shifters/other blood sucking heroes. Euww. Can you imagine the blood breath? LOL I don’t find vampires cool. Mostly they seem so stupid.
Secret babies. Dumb plot line usually accompanied by a dumb heroine.
Stupid titles i.e. The Fake Sheik’s Virgin Mistress or The Greek Millionaire’s Secret Baby LOL.
Heroes with hairy chests that are described as “thatches, thickets or pelts.” Euw... Are they men or fucking Big Foot? Definitely NOT hot.
Purple prose. No more man roots, manhoods, deltas of love, moist tunnels. If they don’t want the clinical (penis, vagina) or the raunchy (cock, pussy), then use something a bit nicer like, um, erection!
Historicals that are inaccurate. I’m not expecting to read an encyclopedia, but a bit of depth to the background would be appreciated.
No mentions of contraceptives. At least a mention of it, either condoms or the pill, particularly in a contemp. I read Karen Robards’ Paradise County and there was no mention of birth control at all. All I could think was, for some intelligent nice people, they sure are FUCKING insane for having unprotected sex. Dumbasses.
Evil bad homosexuals who are also *gasp* pedophiles. Robin Schone in particular uses this characteristic far too many times. Why does evil bad gay guy also have to be a kiddie perv? Can’t they just be plain old evil gay?

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21 comment(s):

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...


What is Secret babies? Never read a book about this (thank god). I don't usually buy books that involve babies/kids secret or otherwise.

11/16/2005 01:01:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/16/2005 01:57:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Big cocks? Bawdy, WHY THE HELL NOT?!?!!

Unless you turned into a virgin overnight with the "tightest, sweetest sheath" and will literally die if the biggest, baddest man root pokes your moist tunnel (as Tart woud say), there better be a good explanation for this!

11/16/2005 02:02:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tart you are SUCH a HOOT!lol big time


From what I see here, you don't like much about romance novels ;) lol
Now, name a book or author that doesn't have one or more of these peeves in it. they all have at least one. Its the nature of the beast.
About the bush thang...if its historical they have to say that. and if its contemp, a lot of people (authors) haven't caught on to the Brazilian wax yet. I'm waiting to read that they have ;)lol
Another G B!


2/21/2006 06:35:00 PM  

Blogger A Knight of Swords said...

Just one of those less in touch men that u talk of ealier in your blog, trying to figure out why, with such a complete list of gripes concerning romance novels, that u are still reading them? I mean, I get it. You're bitches and you're bitching, and I dig that. But are you reading another romance novel right now? Why? Are u just feeding the beast? Help this insensative, disconnected bastard of a man understand. By the by, I do agree with all of your points. I have since STOPPED READING ROMANCE NOVELS

2/21/2006 08:29:00 PM  

Anonymous Tanya said...

OMG! belly ache laughter! LOL

Thanks, I agree on most points. I am SO with you on the whole contraceptive issue. I know some authors don't want to meantion controceptives but I always think, "hey he could have Herpes, warts or various "other" STDS! LOL How romantic is THAT notion? I would just LOVE to see a book were she gets something like... "vaginal itching that just borders on fire!" Sorry, that is not romantic either is it? LOL

2/21/2006 10:41:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

This is one of my fave articles :D I think a lot romance readers will agree with some of these points. Love Tart's "evil gay pedophiles" LOL so true.

What you don't see now, is that one of Bawdy's pet peeves was "big cocks" in books. LOL She was so outraged that I posted that. But I swear it was an honest mistake! Apparently, I misunderstood something she said... oh well, laughed myself silly with her reaction to that.

Hi joe *waving* Love male point of views regarding the romance genre.

You know, even with all those quirks romance novels are still fun reads. Also, tk god, most romance novels will only have one or two of these peeves, so it's not as annoying.

Now, there are writers that have a LOT them. Those books are so bad, I'm sure many women consider beating themselves unconscious with a wooden spoon, more fun than continue reading the book.

BTW, Joe, curious. How did you start reading romance? Would love to have a male perspective of what men think of romance books (they've read) in general.

Also, what do you think is the difference between romance books written by men and the ones written by women, and which do you prefer? :D Welcome aboard!

I, at the moment, am taking a "break" from romance novels. Will post blog about it later. But in general am very disappointed that have not read one single good romance in the last months. Very depressing. How does some of this crap get published in the first place?

So any recs in historical fiction are welcomed. At the moment very interested in Biblical fiction and Egyptology too. So let me know guys if you think of a book I will love :D

2/21/2006 10:43:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just realized that all the Bitches contributed to this :) Not just one...cuz all romance has some of these! Still big lol


Loved my 2nd JM! Oh baby does she know how to create a heartthrob hero..mmm mmm Jordan!
The way the title was woven thru the story was such a clever sweet surprise.
I do wish there had been more of a confession of feeling at the plaque in her meadow. I really expected something deeper to take place there. It was such a special place to her.



2/21/2006 11:26:00 PM  

Blogger Marg said...

VT...have you read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant!! Great historical fiction..then again there is lots out there!

Worst huge cock storyline was in Celeste Bradley's last one. Her novels are usually pretty fun but that one was just annoying!

2/22/2006 07:42:00 AM  

Blogger Currin Girl said...

Also laughed my head off silly here - fabulous post! If you haven't already, would love to see your take on the whole V.C. Andrews series - although some of your gripes here already apply there!

2/22/2006 10:47:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so american here. It means it is so stupid!

2/22/2006 05:09:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Hey last anon, no name calling! I don't mind people expressing their opinions in a NICE way. But please refrain from being offensive. k?

With that said, Welcome :D

2/22/2006 08:23:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ran across a mention of the Brazilian wax, finally. In RETURN TO ME, Shannon McKenna. Nice surprise, and nice scene ;)


2/22/2006 09:05:00 PM  

Blogger Bawdy Babe said...

hey anon, not one of us bitches live in the United States. but we have american friends that we love dearly. so play nice or get lost.

2/22/2006 09:50:00 PM  

Blogger Gina M. said...

Bravo ladies, but I have to ask... which books have virgin widows??? This I have to see with my own eyes. This list is also a list of why I can't read romance books. Let me rephrase that... I can't read most romance books. At this point I find that I can only read Judith McNaught. It is because the books I pick up have these corny characteristics that I've given up on other romance books.

I'm still working on giving SEP a try. As soon as I finish 3 Janet Evanovich books my friend has lent me, I will tackle her.

I'd like to see a list of the top 10 books to beware of, lol. Which 10 are the most guilty of commiting these sins.

Thanks gals. This is a hoot.

2/24/2006 03:00:00 AM  

Blogger Malicious Strumpet said...

Gina - I'm sure you'll love SEP. She's phenomenal. I hope you tell us what you think about her after you get through those JE books!

2/24/2006 12:49:00 PM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

I'm new to the romance scene but of the few I read I did find a couple things I didn't like.

Weak girls suck.

1. If you faint/cry when you are kidnapped/raped, instead of fighting your ass off, you don't deserve to be rescued!
2. If you say no, no, no to sex and the "hero" ignores that and continues to "hold your mouth captive with his" and is trying to “bed you” well, your mouth is captive, not your knee. Kick him in the nuts! If the "hero" actually gets past the knee in the nuts and rapes you, wait till he is sleeping and cut the bitches off! That will teach him a lesson, huh?
4. Kids are not sexy.
3. Virgins that miraculously are amazing in bed. Bullshit. Who is ever that good their first time? Well, besides me *wink wink*

4/05/2006 09:33:00 AM  

Blogger Weasel said...

The whole rape thing in "romance" novels...

It just plain pisses me off. There's no other words to describe it.

My SigOther's grandmother gave us a few books; a couple of Rosemary Rogers' works were among them. Started paging through The Insiders and wanted to projectile puke. Hero invites heroine to party, slips drug in her drink, she collapses, there is a gang rape of massive proportions.

As if that isn't bad enough, several chapters later hero and heroine marry! Eve (heroine) is now carrying Brant's (hero's) child! How the hell is that even considered romantic at all? This jerk sets you up for a gang rape, violates you himself and you're going to fall in love and marry the s.o.b.?

Screw that noise. Give me real loving sex or give me nada.

6/25/2006 04:45:00 PM  

Anonymous Amanda said...

Been reading through the archives. You bitches are fabulous! I don't always agree with you, but you seem genuine, friendly, and classy - even with your potty-mouths. So fun, so fun....

Anyway, I am a Harlequin addict. Those things are so friggin' cheap on eBay. I buy boxes and put the books in categories then in order of interest. I read them all even if they sound dumb.

Secret Babies - these get read last. "Oh by the way, while you were falling in love with me, I was hiding the fact that you are the father of my child." Gag.

I Secretly Want You Back - The return of the ex. It always seems like the split involves the girl being too young and immature and the guy not putting up with it. Then they get back together and are happy only when she realizes that she can only be happy living the way he thinks she should. Especially true in vintage books. I guess the feminist movement didn't hit romance novels until the 80s.

Old Fart Helps Barely Legal Grow Up (Yes, Harlot, I have a whole category for this) - ick. I don't want to read about some grown man "falling in love" with a teenager. Reeks of pedophilia.

Sugar Daddy - Destitute, but proud woman somehow wins over the millionaire and fits in perfectly with his very upper class family and friends. Once in a while this isn't bad, but it's been done soooo much.

Read First - normal single girl meets normal single guy, sparks fly, some funny moments, some sweets moments, they muddle through and decide to stick together

My peeves pretty much match Tart's - kids, secret or cute or unborn, those dumb titles (Argh!), did anyone mention "her most secret center"?, and please, it's the 21st century - use protection!

and VT - I'm amazed that any modern heroine could get to her mid-20s and not have an orgasm! I too find these incredibly unbelievable.

Sorry for the extra long comment. I'm excited at finding people who share these peeves and say so.

6/30/2006 04:08:00 PM  

Blogger loveu2 said...

who are you?
people will not know you
f _ _ _

7/19/2007 03:38:00 AM  

Anonymous Kris Elliott said...

LOL at all the peeves.

My biggest is the contemporary novel where the H/H don't use a condom. I was so annoyed and distracted at Judith McNaught's last book "Every Breath You Take". The heroine was TSTL is she didn't even fucking consider using one before falling into bed with a man she'd met only 24 hours ago! And the hero was a sophisticated European businessman. You would THINK he knew about rubbers as well! GMAFB!! I love JM, but she's but her dislike about writing about the use of condoms insults her readers intelligence.

9/08/2007 11:29:00 AM