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Discussions and Questions > Biggest disappointment/Greatest surprise?

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message 1: by Karla (last edited Jun 27, 2011 12:06PM) (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Now that I've been back in the romance genre the past couple years after such a lonnnnnnnnng stay away from it, I've got a somewhat medium pool of experience to consider questions like this.

Biggest disappointment in this Romance Reading, Round 2 of mine:

Johanna Lindsey! I was pretty disappointed that I didn't like her nearly as much (like, at all) as I did when I was in high school. Makes me sad, but oh well...there's plenty of other oldies out there to read and discover.

Greatest surprise would probably have to be the sheer scope of BRs. It's like there's no taboo off-limits, no craziness too WTFish, and no depths of quality that can't be plumbed to the very nadir of crapitude (looking at you, Barbary Bride). There's been awesomeness to blow up an Awesome Meter, of course, but the OTT crazy-ass stuff is what's blown my mind this time around. I guess my high school brain accepted stuff like this as normal, so when I re-read it as an adult, I've got a different mindset going on. Sort of like, "Wait, WHAT? This got published? Yay, but it's keeraaazy!"

What's been the heights and depths of your romance reading experience? Anything that crushed your soul or made you soar among cotton candy clouds? :D

message 2: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
LOL Great lists there!

Yes, the "author's really a dude" has been a huge source of awesomeness. And ditto with Simon Finch. I really do think he wrote a male-as-heroine bodice ripper with The Pagan.

Wendy,  Lady Evelyn Quince (ladyevelynquince) | 240 comments Those two gentlemen Janette Seymour and Melissa Hepburne certainly came up with some raunchy stuff. And yippee, I got The Pagan a few days ago! I was surprised it was such a short book. As soon as I finish the crap book I'm on now, The Pagan is next.

message 4: by Wendy, Lady Evelyn Quince (last edited Jun 30, 2011 02:00AM) (new)

Wendy,  Lady Evelyn Quince (ladyevelynquince) | 240 comments I, too, got back into romance-world after a long absence and have more than few disappointments. Maybe I was more patient in the past, but for every 1 book I love, there are two books I really like, 5 books that are ok, and too many that suck.

I liked bodice rippers in the past, but I love them today. Why? The heroes in the older books were hairy-chested brutes who never said I'm sorry until the very end (and sometimes not at all). Me, Tarzan, you Jane, kind of thing. Today's historicals have gelded heroes. When they say "I love you" half way though the book, what's left? If you're lucky, some stupid murder mystery or spy drama. If not, some cheesy family shenanigans involving the former protagonists of the previous books. Did I mention how I hate long family series?

Johanna Lindsey is also a disappointment, but that's because she was one of the first romance writers I read and I loved her books.
Fires of Winter, Heart of Thunder, Secret Fire and Gentle Rogue are all in my top-twenty. But since the late 90's her books have been HORRIBLE!

Why are historicals limited to mostly Regency England? What happened to the Elizabethan era, medievals or westerns or even non-English/American settings?

I love sci-fi and horror, but not in romance. I don't like paranormal romance and the less said about vampires...

I like reading about human heroes. Make that a single human hero. I'm not a fan of menages. Been there done that, got the t-shirt, the tote bag and the coffee mug, and AFAIC romance it ain't. Erotica yes, romance no.

As for the bests:

I really love the 18th century Georgian Era. Despite my appreciation for uber-manly men, there's just something about an elegant man in wig and hose, with a rapier at his side, like the heroes in The Serpent Prince or Lynne Connolly's Richard and Rose series that I adore. Glad Georgians are popular, at least.

Gotta agree, Harleys are addictive. I loved them in the past, and still love them today. Even though the modern ones don't have the same bite they used to, they are like truffled chocolates to me.

There are many undiscovered gems that only a few have read, so finding a good book nobody's heard of is like a being on a scavenger hunt. I love coming across great reads that nobody else knows about.

message 5: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Wendy, Lady Evelyn Quince wrote: "When they say "I love you" half way though the book, what's left? If you're lucky, some stupid murder mystery or spy drama. If not, some cheesy family shenanigans involving the former protagonists of the previous books. Did I mention how I hate long family series?"

Word. Word. Word.

I also like reading the dusty and musty forgotten ones. There's so much emphasis on what's new and forthcoming. I'd rather straggle or wander off in the opposite direction. :P

message 6: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant (tamgrant) | 214 comments @ Wendy and Karla: AMEN!!!!

While I enjoy what I call the "intimacy" of new historical romances (and by that I mean that we know what motivates the H/h, know how they feel, etc.) I miss the "epicness" of the old BRs. Not to mention the alpha heroes. ;P. I loved the sweeping scale, the travelling all over, the span of years rather than a few months, and most of all, the historical detail. All that small print, and most of them were 600 pages long.

If there was an author somewhere that wrote old 70s style stories, with the "intimacy" I referred to and the way more explicit love scenes from today's historicals ('cause I'm a dirty girl at heart), I'd be singing their praises from the rooftop.

message 7: by Jen (new)

Jen KEW personally is a huge snoozefest. I can't get into a Lindsey book anymore… and I'm with ya on the whole dumb family saga thing & vampires or werewolves or half-animal thingies. But Connie Brockway is trying to break from the traditions/edicts of the editors &/or powers-that-be and at least set her new book somewhere other than England or Scotland… so that's nice, eh? She was gonna do it all commando-style (not nudist, but screw you, publishing companies! I'll do this independently!) but then Amazon decided to launch her new endeavor under their new romance book thingamajig. To me, this is exciting news. I get the sense that there will be some NEW aspects of the stories she'll be writing… can't wait :D

message 8: by Jen (new)

Jen Oh, forgot to mention that Sabrina Jeffries' books got to be a humongous disappointment. Went off on a Connie Brockway tangent, I guess heh.

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