I should start this review with the disclaimer that I'm not a usual reader of romances—pretty much for the reason that romance novels drive me crazy.I should start this review with the disclaimer that I'm not a usual reader of romances—pretty much for the reason that romance novels drive me crazy. There's little to no substance in a way of plot, with medicore writing—the sentimental crap that seems to be reserved for people that aren't readers of serious literature or any kind of serious fiction or nonfiction, readers who only want to barely pay attention to what they're actually reading because all they really want to get to is the sex scenes.
If I sound judgy, it's because I am. I am a serious reader of all kinds of serious readings, but every now and then, I think it might be okay to give another romance—usually a holiday romance (again, due to the super sappy but still adorably sweet Hallmark Channel Christmas movies this time of year, I let myself think that a romance will be "okay")—but it's never okay and ususally, I'm extremely disappointed I wasted any time "giving another one a try".
Well, this one was no exception. I gave up after about 30 pages because I could not take another second of Kelli's relentless pining over Cole, even while she's on a date with a guy named Brad, her thoughts keep turning to Cole, of how she wants to lick his face and how much she wants him to see that she's "been here all along", like that annoyingly overplayed Taylor Swift song. Meanwhile, Cole was having thoughts that seemed like they were of course written by a female author.
After that first horrible trainwreck, I attempted to give the others a try—but I absolutely hated the characterization and dialogue and awful images of middle-aged, lifelong smokers wearing nothing but seashells and latex mermaid tails and cursing like sailors of the next story, so after that, I threw in the towel. It's my own fault, I should know better than to pick up this crap, even for the cheap 50 cents at the library book sales. I'm always disappointed. ...more
**spoiler alert** Gave up on this one. Romance is really just not a genre for me, I guess, at least for reading. Every holiday season, I get sucked in**spoiler alert** Gave up on this one. Romance is really just not a genre for me, I guess, at least for reading. Every holiday season, I get sucked into the somewhat sappy Christmas romance movies that Hallmark Channel comes up with every year, and so that, for some inexplicable reason, makes me think that giving the holiday romance genre another try is a good idea. It's never a good idea. Never.
These stories were okay. I really only read the first one all the way through—it was kind of sweet and luckily not smutty or overly graphic like so many romances are, and there was even a hint of a plot line other than just straight up romance: two characters getting together just to have copious amounts of graphically detailed sex. I gave up reading the second one after the female character of the story, a woman named Anna who seemed pretty tough and not the swooning-over-a-man type, literally lets go of the reins of her oxen during the middle of nasty blizzard so she can start making out with a guy she just met. I started the third one and probably read half but then just put the book down totally, deciding not to continue.
Another problem I have with romances—besides the aforementioned reasons—is the repetitive phrasing, circuitous plotting, and/or lack of editing. The author repeats the same thing that was just said not one sentence ago, but just in slightly different way. Or, pages later, you the reader are being reminded of something that was already stated but that you have apparently forgotten because you the reader are so dumb you can't possibly remember something that was mentioned two or three pages ago. This was a big hang up about the first story in the book for me. Maybe it's not that the readers are that dumb but perhaps the characters are that thus, such ridiculous repetition is warranted. For example, in the first story, it's mentioned that the cowboy's first wife, who was really too young to be a good companion for the cowboy, passed during childbirth two years ago (I forgot the name of the cowboy already). Later on, perhaps a few short chapters on, Maggie, the female character/love interest in the story is wondering why there aren't any feminine touches in the cowboy's house, so later, she asks the cowboy about it, and he replies that it was because his wife was so young and because she died two years ago. Basically, the whole thing is repeated—why? Because Maggie is moron, because the author thinks her readers are morons, or because there was lack of a good editor or just a good storyteller?
Anyway, this was, as they say, not my cup of tea. I think that one of the reasons I'm enticed by these stupid romance books time and time again is because I keep thinking there will be an actual plot. In the sappy but lovable (at least to me) Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, there's actual plot and conflict that goes along with the romance or really more the "G rated" two characters falling in love scenario. If you like the plot and the characters, then of course you don't mind having some romance mixed in. At least I don't. I've been surprised by books that I had no idea were romances or had sex in them but ended up loving them in spite of, or sometimes, because of that angle. (I think of "Ghost Planet" as a good example.) I suppose that's another reason I try out these romances every now and then, but I know I should probably stop. (Especially since, while I do love the Hallmark movies at Christmastime, the rest of the year I could do without them.) ...more