Thursday, October 4, 2007

Disturb me


Harlot nagged me forever to write this post after we saw it in a romance bulletin board a couple of months ago. I just remembered about it realizing that the idea of a hero having M/M sex in Lover Unbound didn’t disturb me as much as it has in the past. Could it be just this one book or am I forever cured? Because I can tell you this is a big NO NO for me. That’s one of the reasons I loathed Outlander. It has the most disturbing scene I’ve ever read in a romance novel: rape and M/M, really bad combo.

Last year we had a post with our romance no no’s. You know, things that really upset us in books and which we try to stay away from. Now, I want to know which book you’ve read has been the most disturbing to you and why. I want the name of the book and the author because we’re going to trash those books, baby! LOL Well, we don’t have to be that mean, but feel free to trample over any book that caused you to go ICK and kept you from sleeping!

I will not mention Outlander again (but you guys already know how I feel about that aberration called a romance novel!) but will leave you with a review for Stormfire by Christine Monson, which Harlot just luuurves *g*:


Sean Culhane wants to avenge his family and countrymen by kidnapping the daughter of his enemy. Catherine Enderly is kidnapped on her way to school by Liam Culhane. When she arrives at the Culhane’s estate in Ireland, she is immediately beaten (Trollop: brutally) and raped (viciously) by Sean. Soon Catherine is put to work and almost starved to death. Sean soon realizes how beautiful his captive is and decides to make Catherine his mistress (how gallant of him! *snort*). Though at first Sean has to take Catherine by force (rape is what that’s called, btw), he and Catherine soon have an uneasy truce.

Catherine realizes that she can escape by marrying Sean’s brother Liam (what an idiot this woman is). When Sean finds out that Catherine married Liam (who, btw, also rapes her!!!!!), he goes crazy (because he wasn’t before?!?!). Not only does Sean cut off all of Catherines hair (huh?), he rapes her again and gives her to his men (gang bang, anyone?). Eventually, Sean hands over Catherine’s welfare to his mistress who locks Catherine in a cell and starves her. (Huh, again? Or maybe a WTF would be better suited for this part. Oh, and let’s not forget the stillborn fetus she has inside for fucking months!)

When Sean discovers what happened to Catherine he saves her (ohhh, how sweet). Soon, Sean’s hatred for Catherine goads a pregnant Catherine into almost committing suicide (what took her so long? LOL). Realizing what he has done to Catherine, Sean spends years trying to make things up to her. Eventually, they find love but again events come between them. Liam comes back for Catherine and tells her that she and Sean are brother and sister (this is about the part I almost cracked my head open manically hitting myself over and over with the book).

After Liam’s murder, Sean and Catherine sail to France. There, they both must come to terms with their incestuous relationship (UGHH). To save Sean and her baby, Catherine becomes mistress to a French prince and marries a French general in Napoleons’ army (again a mistress?). Sean becomes a solider in the army and after four years returns to Catherine to take their son to America. Fighting their love because they think it is incestuous, they find out that Liam lied about the relationship and live happily ever after.

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33 comment(s):

Blogger Petra said...

OH.MY.GOD.

This has got to be a fuckin joke Trollop!

I don't know if I should laugh or cry or thank heavens that I'm lucky enough not to have read this so called romance! LOL

10/04/2007 02:33:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

Oh yeah, disturbing romance. Let me see... Right now I can only think of Mary Jo Putney's BURNING POINT.

The hero and heroine divorced because the hero was an abusive bastard. Then they got back together after he convinced her that he has changed and will never do it again. Of course he hasn't. Whenever he gets mad he thinks about beating her up! Of course the heroine condones it. :S

10/04/2007 02:40:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I DO NOT NAG. :@

Hallo everyone. :) *wave*

10/04/2007 02:55:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Dunno what aberration can possibly top that Stormfire *shudder* but for my part, as of the moment, here's Awaken, My Love by Robin Schone (copied from a post of mine last year, heh :P).

Elaine, a 39-year-old woman who's been married for 17 years and has NEVER been French kissed (HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?), swaps bodies with a frigid woman (Morrigan) from 18th century (don't ask, never understood how this happened). As a result, she gets Charles, Morrigan's Neanderthal hubby, who's supposed to be an expert on Tantric love, *snort* but he makes sex uncomfortable, painful and degrading (his idea of foreplay is nothing but how many fingers he can fit inside his wife!). Except when he's imposing his conjugal rights, he and Elaine have never had a real conversation, and after she's nearly raped and killed, he ignores her for days while he's torn whether or not to lock her in a loony bin.

Oh, and lest I forget, the over the top villain. If you've actually suspended your disbelief and revulsion that got you to read until the end, you'll see the villain—the "frigid" woman (someone who has the ability to swap bodies with anyone)—decides she wants to know what it's like to have sex with HERSELF with Elaine in her former body! SERIOUSLY!

10/04/2007 03:04:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Gad, that picture!

Good topic Trollop. It's like warning each other of what horrible books to stay away from. :P

Rosemary Rogers' The Wanton: repeated rape, tortured heroine, brutal hero, bizarre plot... one of the worst and disturbing romance ever.

10/04/2007 04:13:00 PM  

Anonymous karamia said...

Okay, seriously. Who the f--- was that book written for? I want to know who thinks that could possibly be a romance? Because they should be tattooed on their forehead so everyone knows to stay away from them.

10/04/2007 09:15:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Oh, I'm all for hoyay! :D

(And I know Outlander is not loved here for many reasons, but I do think that rape scene in it was supposed to be disturbing and possibly even off-putting; definitely not an easy read or something I'd fantasize about. I don't think a man raping a woman would (or should) have been easier to read either.

It's not the same thing at all, to me, as a sex/love scene between to men (or women).)

My fictional no no's would definitely include taking such acts lightly, not that I particularly want to read about them in the first place. I mean, I don't go looking for rape in romance novels, but if it is included... I'd want it to be written well. "Stormfire" sounds pretty terrible.

I don't have any specific books in mind right now, but I have been sort of "off" romances. Not sure why. I imagine I'll swing back to them again eventually. I seem to be on more of a SF/F kick right now.

10/04/2007 10:03:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

I agree with Dance about the scene in Outlander. It was pretty disturbing for me but I thought it was supposed to be like that. I understand why anyone would not like it.

I can't think of a specific romance right now but a big no no for me is the [gang] rape thing. I think many old romances have it which is disturbing on its own if you ask me. How could rape ever be romantic?

10/05/2007 12:29:00 AM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

The Outlander series has some very disturbing stuff in there but I love Jamie and Claire.

What about Catherine Coulter? She has written some disturbing books. There are rape, kissing cousins (or should I say fucking cousins) and very unpleasant heroes! I can't remember the title but there is one where the hero rapes his wife and when he finds out she isn't a virgin goes into a rage. Turns out the wife lost her virginity because she was raped.

10/05/2007 01:04:00 AM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

Dance, this might be a stupid question but what is SF/F? M - male, F - female, SF - science fiction? LOL

10/05/2007 01:06:00 AM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Oh, sorry. SF/F = Science Fiction/Fantasy. :D

10/05/2007 01:22:00 AM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

So I was right about SF? LOL! I thought my science fiction guess was the wrong one. :)

By the way, I agree with Isabella on The Wanton, totally disturbing. Sweet Savage Love as well, also by Rosemary Rogers.

10/05/2007 01:33:00 AM  

Anonymous Shyloh said...

I just recently read a Lisa Jackson book, that nearly made me hurl.

In the book, See How She Dies, the heroine may possibly be a missing hotel heiress. The hero is her possible half brother. The two have sex numerous times while knowing there is a chance they are brother and sister. At one point the heroine says something to the effect of, "I know it's wrong, but I can't help it." I'm forever turned off Lisa Jackson books, and I'm scarred for life.

10/05/2007 02:07:00 AM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Syhloh, ewww! Thanks for the heads up. Incest is a big no-no.

Trollop, I'm loving this thread. I agree with Jordis on Catherine Coulter. One of the first romance books I read was Midsummer Magic. The hero repeatedly rapes his wife (the heroine) and has not shown any remorse about it. Very repulsive! I don't think there is forgiveness or excuse in rape but the hero could have at least say he's sorry or I don't know, show some sign he has realized that what he's been doing is wrong.

10/05/2007 02:52:00 AM  

Blogger Midas said...

At the first rape, that book is toast. I used to take abuse from authors I don't like, but only because I didn't have much choice in reading materials. Once I have, no sense in wasting my life over one such book.

Seriously, they can't have called that book romance. It's travesty! It's anything but.

10/05/2007 01:04:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/05/2007 03:10:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

Unconquered by Bertrice Small. Oh my goodness. Lots of nasty things have happened in that book.

*SPOILERS*
.
.
.
.
Rape, adultery, cruelty, it's all in here. The heroine was kept as a brooding mare in a slavery factory. While pregnant, someone kicked her in the stomach so her baby was born disfigured.

The sex scenes are not even sexy! The hero and heroine are apart more than they are together that she has slept with her brother in law while her hubby/hero is away.

10/05/2007 03:12:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not disturbing like rape, gang bang, and the likes but disturbing nonetheless for me when I loved the first book and the H/H found happily ever after and then I read the second book in the series and for some stupid reason, the hero from the first book cheats on the heroine or he or she dies!!!!!!

10/05/2007 04:32:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of Bertrice Small's books I found very disturbing.

10/05/2007 04:34:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Ditto on the rape and incest. Trollop, this is a great post. List of books that I'm going to avoid, on the top of that is Stormfire, LOL.

I think one of the most disturbing books for me is Thomas Harris' Hannibal.

Some of Lora Leigh's books are pretty disturbing.

What about those romances with heroines who were raped by the hero YET THEY END UP FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE GUY? WTF?

10/06/2007 04:44:00 AM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Speaking of Robin Schone, she has a a series where the hero of the other book is the villain in the other. I can't remember the titles but really WHY do authors do that?! I hate it when that happens.

10/06/2007 04:48:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In series, the hero from the previous book dies on the second one!! Big no no!

Ally

10/06/2007 05:13:00 AM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

I haven't read the whole thread yet but I have to mention Lolah Burford. OMG. I'm not sure if her books are categorized under the romance genre but they are very disturbing.

Olly

10/06/2007 08:05:00 AM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Ok, here is one of the books I mentioned by Lolah Burford - Vice Avenged: A Moral Tale.

(from Amazon)
FROM BACK COVER:

In 18th century England young men gathered in private clubs to devise mischievous and exciting schemes to while away their idle hours.
So it was with Bysshe, the young Marquis of Gore and his friends.

They were bored, very bored. What they wanted was a delicious new game--a shocking, sensational, dangerously different way to spice up their long days. And together they thought up an ingenious idea.
One of them would ravish a virgin of good family, an innocent maiden to be chosen by lot.

Only a game they said.
And so it was until the plan backfired.
Suddenly the game had become a sadistic round of violence and vengeance.

10/06/2007 08:17:00 AM  

Anonymous Andy said...

The Wanton. I read it when I was 12. You can imagine how shocked I was. And then my mom found out I read one of her books and she almost blistered my butt.

10/06/2007 07:01:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

Eww to them all. Anything with rape or abusive heros ... mental or physical is a huge turn off for me. I don't bother reading them any further.

10/07/2007 02:10:00 AM  

Blogger Jolie said...

A moral tale? Sure... while "ravish a virgin of good family"! Sadistic game of violence?

Olly, what the hell is that? LOL

10/07/2007 04:20:00 PM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Jolie, I kid you not. It was a very disturbing book, dark and twisted. Although, if I recall it correctly I ended up liking one of her books. lol

Olly

10/07/2007 07:56:00 PM  

Anonymous ourtrumpcard said...

Re: "Outlander", in all interviews w/ author Diana Gabaldon, she always says, "I am NOT a romance author!!!" so she apparantly agrees with all of us that rape is NOT sexy (but I loved her series anyway). I noticed that her last 2 books are centered on Lord John, though, the evil b*** rapor (?) from Outlander. How weird is that? And while "they" keep printing that women have "rape fantasies", I've never met one, have you?

1/28/2008 07:46:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot and Trollop said...

Ourtrumpcard, welcome. Hope you join us often. :)

Now, OUTLANDER. I have to admit i love admitting i loathe Fraser heh. :P Too many complains but mostly these: it really bothered and disgusted me that beating the crap out of Claire turned him on.
Then his "chaste" infidelity when he was imprisoned and abused over and over and oooooovvver again by a MAN. Any thought of Fraser as a man at that point went right out the window. :P

I have to admit that one of the things that put me off OUTLANDER was Gabaldon's "i do not write romance" attitude. I do think her books are not romance. Historical fiction with erm, sci-fi, but her first books were marketed as romance. They're spoken of, constantly, in the context of romance (they even gave out copies at the RWA conference). But really, who freaking cares where your books are shelved? She refused to sign books in some bookstore until they had removed her books under romance and shelved it somewhere else. I understand her point actually. Who wants to be mislabeled? But COME ON. Her publishers clearly made the right decision to put her first under romance as she's famous now not to mention a bestselling gazillionaire.

I'm not saying she is a bad writer because she's not (i actually like the way she strings her words together) though i'm not saying i like her writing either LOL. I *DESPISE* the continuous rape in her books. RAPE. RAPE. RAPE. WE GET IT WOMAN! Rape was rampant in that freaking time of history! But do you always have to include rape?!? Gah. I heard the latest book has Claire repeatedly rape. Is that true? That poor idiotic adulteress. I don't want to think she enjoys it... :P

As for that rape fantasy, one of this days i have to write about that.

Harlot

1/29/2008 10:09:00 AM  

Anonymous Brigade said...

I absolutely *love* STORMFIRE and own two copies. See my 'review' for it on the Romantic Times 'spoiler zone' forum. In September 2003 she committed suicide in Colorado.

Also, I like Lolah Burford to and *adore* her book ALYX, which shall always remain a favorite of mine. See my 'review' for that one too on the 'spoiler zone'.


Have a great day ladies! :-)

6/14/2008 10:18:00 PM  

Blogger L-Silverio said...

New comer here.
Great post, great comments. Thanks for the disturbingly, entertaining morning =D seriously. *checks out the rest of the blog*

8/25/2010 10:07:00 AM  

Anonymous snorbi-lici0us said...

i missed the chapter involving alfred e neuman. anyone got the cliffs notes?

12/03/2010 12:40:00 AM