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Bekah's Fun House! > Romance Land Don'ts

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message 1: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments What are those lines in Romance land that SHOULD NOT be crossed for you?

Anything that might happen in a romance that sorta takes you out of the romance?


message 2: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments One of mine is calling the heroine a bitch. I know it happens from time to time in real life, I know its justified from time to time in real life. But unless you can really really write it well and unless the heroine is in fact being a real bitch, that's a line that I don't think should be crossed. It tends to take me out of the 'romance haze'


message 3: by Desperado (new)

Desperado (lethallovely) A hero/heroine who cheats on the other person. I can *try* to get over it if they aren't together when the cheating happens but I'd find it very hard to forgive infidelity in a romance novel. There's a book by Shiloh Walker where the "hero" cheats on the heroine & gets some other chick knocked up. I don't understand why people rave about how good the book was when the hero did such a heinous thing. Would you take a guy back who did that to you in RL?


message 4: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 871 comments Yep, agree, cheating is the first thing that popped into my head! I have only read a couple books where that happens...or its insinuated that it happened, and I do not like it!


message 5: by MashJ (new)

MashJ | 733 comments LethalLovely~Maybe We're a Bliss of Another Kind wrote: "A hero/heroine who cheats on the other person. I can *try* to get over it if they aren't together when the cheating happens but I'd find it very hard to forgive infidelity in a romance novel. There..."

I think that it is often a mark of a good writer when they can get you to forgive something like that in one of the central characters.


message 6: by MashJ (last edited Feb 05, 2011 12:06PM) (new)

MashJ | 733 comments I try to have no absolute no-nos like adultery or violence but in reality I find books with fluffy female leads difficult to read. I can change a lightbulb and put oil in a car myself and transport my family around the world if needs be and I prefer heroines who don't flake at the historical equivalent.


message 7: by D.G. (last edited Feb 05, 2011 12:17PM) (new)

D.G. One of the things that pops me out of the romance is cross dating with siblings - meaning when sisters sleep with the same guy or brothers sleep with the same woman. I just get a big Ewww!

Not saying it shouldn't be done - I've read a few good books when that happens - but I still get the Ewww feeling. :)


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

All of the above..... lol


ρυηүα [Punya Reviews...] (sadeyes) | 241 comments Faithmarie wrote: "All of the above..... lol"

Same here. :)


message 10: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments Mshj - I get what you're saying! But I can't change my oil!!! :-) But the other stuff I can do.

D.G. - I agree, it does give one pause. However, in one of my all time fav movies that happend and it hardly registers with me - The Family Stone

I agree with the cheating thing. I'm willing to read a book that has that if its done well.

How do you guys feel about it if its done in a historical? With the whole mistress thing?


message 11: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments I'm sort of the mind that once the hero meets the heroine, discovers/admits to desiring her, wanting her, no other woman should exist...no other sexual relations should happen with others. There are some exceptions to that..i mean if you're going to be separated for years..ok..but not when the book is happening in the same span of time.

Make sense?


message 12: by ρυηүα [Punya Reviews...] (last edited Feb 05, 2011 12:55PM) (new)

ρυηүα [Punya Reviews...] (sadeyes) | 241 comments Bekah, if you read my comments on Teresa Medeiros's Heather and Velvet, you'll know that your words make perfect sense. My comments are just what I felt while reading the book and what I think about heroes who wanna have their cake and eat it too! ;)


message 13: by MashJ (new)

MashJ | 733 comments Bekah wrote: "Mshj - I get what you're saying! But I can't change my oil!!! :-) But the other stuff I can do.

D.G. - I agree, it does give one pause. However, in one of my all time fav movies that happend ..."


Uhoh- I may have overcalled my hand- I can ADD oil, but I cannot remove it!!

Actually I prefer the heroes who are not rakish before or after meeting the heroine. The been there, seen it all jaded soul isn't the most appealing type of character for me. I read books with these types of characters though- and sometimes the author converts me.

The cheating thing is something that a lot of people have to deal with in real life so in that sense it would be bizarre to leave it out of romances. I immensely respect a couple I know who have got over one of the partners having an affair.

As to mistresses- the same applies really- they are part of the overall picture - the tapestry of the time so I can understand. I have actually just completed a book where there is a mistress (the wife is the heroine) for almost the whole of the story and that was quite difficult although the plot device worked.


message 14: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments I'm in the middle of one of LK's earlier books and there is a mistress who gets visited often and is openly talked about..and he even went to her on his wedding night. So, I sort of put the book down saying "hello no!" But I'm waiting to see how this plays out.
He is sort of a different hero.


message 15: by MashJ (last edited Feb 05, 2011 01:51PM) (new)

MashJ | 733 comments Bekah wrote: "I'm in the middle of one of LK's earlier books and there is a mistress who gets visited often and is openly talked about..and he even went to her on his wedding night. So, I sort of put the book d..."

oh- is that one of the Louisiana ones? Max and Lysette Vallerand? When Strangers Marry. Not a fave of mine but not particularly because of the mistress, but because of the age difference. Whilst I don't avoid books with big age differences and I have no problem with age differences in real life I tend not to like the dynamics of the much older man and young bride. I find the way most of these books are written tends to lead to a very unbalanced relationship with the older man with all of the power in the partnership.

LOL- this thread is flushing out some of my likes and dislikes. I really value a proper partnership in a relationship where the couple faces challenegs/adventure/diffculty together not the type where the woman is left at home and told what to do.


ρυηүα [Punya Reviews...] (sadeyes) | 241 comments Think I know which one you're talking about. :)


message 17: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments Yeah, Mshj - that's the one. And I don't have a problem with age differences not even the ones that are as big as this one, but this one is sort of bothering me because his kids are only three years younger than her. Plus, like you said there is the older, smug, indulgent dynamic going on.


message 18: by Lisa Kay (last edited Feb 09, 2011 04:26PM) (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 4782 comments I agree with Bekah about the 'bitch' calling and I am wowed by a hugh age difference. Most of all I am not interested in adultery. In fact, it was one of the reasons I never read The Bridges of Madison County even though it was given to me as a gift. Didn't see the movie, which says a lot since Clint and Meryl were in it. No thanks! If I want adultery in my life I can talk to a neighbor (who’s cheating on her husband) or talk with a friend who is positive her husband is cheating on her (I don’t think he is).

Ditto with the mistress. A few of my favorite authors have handled it well. Tricky subject for me. Two good books that come to mind are The Marriage Bed and The Obedient Bride However, it still makes them a one-time-read-only when I've re-read most of their others. When Strangers Marry is my only 3 star review of LK. (I haven't read her really early ones...or, at least, I don't remember reading them.)

I am pretty squimish about rape too, though I have gotten better over the years. Mostly because I feel too much for the heroine. Notable exceptions areThe English Heiress and Annie's Song which make it necessary to the plot and not just about a female character overcoming this trauma. For awhile there it seemed most of Catherine Anderson's books were all about rape. Depressing.


message 19: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (last edited Feb 09, 2011 04:47PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments My list:

*anal sex (I won't buy or read a book with this in it)
*adultery or cheating (by main characters)
*menage
*main characters sleeping with anyone other than each other during the book
*physical abuse between the H/h
*children being harmed or dying
*main character dying
*prolonged and perpetuated acts of emotional cruelty between the hero and the heroine (either way)

I don't particularly like rape, but I can handle it if it's handled in a non-glorifying of violence against women way

What I shy away from:

*Love triangles
*Mistress storylines
*Stories that span more than a couple of years (don't like saga romances)
*Highly promiscuous hero and esp. heroine


message 20: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Bekah wrote: "I'm sort of the mind that once the hero meets the heroine, discovers/admits to desiring her, wanting her, no other woman should exist...no other sexual relations should happen with others. There a..."

Bekah, I am the same way. I was just talking to Dhestiny about that the other night. Once the H/h meets, I don't want them to want to be with anyone else other than each other.


message 21: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Mshj wrote: "Bekah wrote: "I'm in the middle of one of LK's earlier books and there is a mistress who gets visited often and is openly talked about..and he even went to her on his wedding night. So, I sort of ..."

Mshj, you hit on a huge pet peeve of mine--power imbalance between H/h, esp. emotional.

I realize that cheating is realistic, but I prefer not to read about it in romances. I have some personal issues that make it a difficult subject for me.


message 22: by Lisa Kay (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 4782 comments Lady D, do you have a source for a definition on erotica? I have always thought this included anal sex or ménage but after reading some reviews and books placed on people's bookshelves, I wonder.


message 23: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Lisa, it's hard to predict. Some erotica does, some doesn't. I've gotten burned, which is why I avoid erotica largely. Sadly (at least for readers who want to avoid it), this crops up in non-erotic books now.

Case in point, the Sarah McCarty historical western series Hell's Eight includes anal sex acts, and it is labeled and sold as historical romance.


message 24: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Here is the definition on Wikipedia.org:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotic_l...


message 25: by Pamela(AllHoney) (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 469 comments I think the adultery issue is the biggest no-no for me. Not a fan of menage and bdsm and other "kinky" stuff but I have read some to satisfy my curiousity. I find if the plot itself is good enough I can skim over the "erotica" parts and go on. I highly dislike overly cruel heroes and doormatty heroines who take it. Also not fond of the courtesan/prostitute heroine. And I don't care for the H/h to be involved in criminal activities(they are thieves or assassins or other).


message 26: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Pamela, that's why I don't like for the books to have kinky stuff. I don't like skipping parts when I read a book.


message 27: by Lisa Kay (last edited Feb 09, 2011 05:11PM) (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 4782 comments Thanks, Lady D, that helps some. I do wish that books would clarify. I like most all types of books (from erotic - rarely - to Harlequin’s ‘Love Inspired’). Nevertheless, I do like to know what I am getting into. I have read 'Hell's Eight' and really, only the first one is really good. Then, when I read it a second time, really thought about it, and I realized that what the author was trying to same is that anal sex was the only way the heroine could have a good climax...then I didn't like it so much.

I just read a book where I thought the author was brave to broach the subject of ‘no bleeding wound’ whipping as a reason for wanting a divorce from her husband. I mean, seriously, if someone came at me with a riding crop you would see a large hole in the door resembling my body outline.


message 28: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Lisa, I totally feel like it's on me if I know what kind of book I'm reading, and I don't like it. I hate when the publisher does a 'bait and switch.'


message 29: by Lisa Kay (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 4782 comments Pamela, ditto-ditto-ditto with the courtesan/prostitute heroine... That and rape were why notable The Duke didn't get five stars from me. Notable exception: A Precious Jewel


message 30: by Lisa Kay (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 4782 comments Lady D, so true. I guess I read a lot to my mood. Has anyone ever discussed doing a rating system with letters indicating why?


message 31: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (last edited Feb 09, 2011 05:39PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments I don't think the mass market publishers will not do it for two reasons:

1)A lot of readers like it or don't mind it (and still buy the books).
2)They will sell less books if they do that.

Some of the online ebook publishers do have rating systems. They aren't always consistent though. I try to rely on ratings on here, and I have a list of authors to avoid.


message 32: by Lisa Kay (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 4782 comments Do you have that as a bookshelf? My gracious! I just looked at your bookshelves!


message 33: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments I've only recently started making strict rules about my reading and menage was the first I think. I just...can't. It doesn't spell romance to me.


message 34: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Sorry I meant will not do it in post 31!

Bekah, I read romance and I don't like reading emotionless sex or pure erotica, and menage is not a romantic situation for me. I believe in a couple that is faithful to one another. Three or more is a crowd.


message 35: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Lisa wrote: "Do you have that as a bookshelf? My gracious! I just looked at your bookshelves!"

That's why I called myself The Book Huntress. No resistance!


message 36: by Lisa Kay (last edited Feb 10, 2011 12:18PM) (new)

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 4782 comments Lady D, I have been trying to tag my books on my bookshelves...it takes a lot of time an effort. I appreciate your diligence. May I borrow some of your titles? They're great! LOL


message 37: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Sure thing, Lisa! And thanks!


message 38: by MashJ (new)

MashJ | 733 comments Lisa wrote: "Pamela, ditto-ditto-ditto with the courtesan/prostitute heroine... That and rape were why notable The Duke didn't get five stars from me. Notable exception: [book:A Precious Jewel|..."

A precious Jewel is good- that's why you have to read books you aren't sure about sometimes!


message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan Mallery (susanmallery) | 7 comments Lisa wrote: "Most of all I am not interested in adultery..."

Lisa, I read The Bridges of Madison County and saw the movie, but I was never able to get past the adultery. I simply couldn't see either as romantic and wonderful, knowing that her husband was a good man who treated her well. I would have found it much more romantic and poignant if the characters had fallen in love but resisted the urge to consummate their relationship.


message 40: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments I was in no way intersted in that film but only because at the time I detested Meryl Streep, and wasn't really that fond of Clint Eastwood. But after The Devil Wears Prada, I love her!

I did watch some moments of it and didn't like it.


message 41: by Susan (new)

Susan Mallery (susanmallery) | 7 comments Bekah wrote: "I've only recently started making strict rules about my reading and menage was the first I think. I just...can't. It doesn't spell romance to me."

Me either!!! I just can't see it working long-term.


message 42: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments I know. What's intimate about three people???


message 43: by D.G. (new)

D.G. I actually have an online friend who's in a polyamorous relationship (two guys with one woman.) So a menage is actually the definition of romance for some people. :)

That said when I read menage, I prefer it if there's a main couple and one of the guys goes into the sunset by the end, leaving the couple to their HEA. For the rest, I just don't think of it as romance, more of people that are into kinky stuff.

Anal sex is making it into mainstream romance - the other day I read a book and was really surprised to find that in there. Most erotica have warnings in the label (and most of the time they are very humorous) so people know what kind of stuff it's in there but I don't see romance publishers doing that. I remember there was a big to-do when 'Passion' was released because the book is really steamy (almost erotica) and it was marketed as 'historical romance' but that was more than 5 years ago and I think readers are more used to the kinkier stuff.

Re: adultery. As was already mentioned, I prefer if the hero forgets about every woman as soon as he sets his sights in the heroine but I don't mind if he fools around as long as he's not emotionally committed to the heroine or another woman. If he cheats while professing to love either the heroine or somebody else, then we're in trouble. If he's just getting to know the heroine or he's in a marriage of convenience (either with the heroine or another woman), then I don't mind if he's getting it on with somebody else.


message 44: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments No value judgments here to people's lifestyles, but anal sex will never be mainstream for me. I will continue to boycott books with it, even if it makes no difference overall in the longterm to the romance market. I believe in voting with my pocketbook.


message 45: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments different strokes for different folks. It's nice to have options! Opt in if you want, opt out if you dont!


message 46: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments that's really interesting D.G. about your friend. I've always been interested in people who share their different lifestyles with me. I've not yet seen a polyamorous relationship thats lasted long-term, or celebrating their golden anniversary, you know? It would be interesting to meet them if they are out there. I'm always curious to better understand that which I don't understand.


message 47: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Certifiable St. Vinnie's Ninny (last edited Feb 10, 2011 06:19PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 3737 comments Bekah wrote: "different strokes for different folks. It's nice to have options! Opt in if you want, opt out if you dont!"

That's totally cool. I just don't like having content forced on me, because I can't avoid it.


message 48: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments feeling forced is never good....


message 49: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Bekah wrote: "that's really interesting D.G. about your friend. I've always been interested in people who share their different lifestyles with me. I've not yet seen a polyamorous relationship thats lasted long-..."

To tell you the truth, before I knew her, it didn't even occur to me that kind of relationships existed. I mean, I got orgies and menages for sex but actually living with two men as your partners? When I think of her, I always wonder how she can handle it. I mean, dealing with one man is enough for me!

I know they have children so the relationship must been going on a while but I don't know for how long. I'll ask her!


message 50: by Bekah, Fellow Kleypasaholic (new)

Bekah (bekah317) | 2750 comments lol, good point. One is enough! On the other hand, men do it all the time! Why not a woman??


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