More On Romance Don’ts For Readers
Welcome to July! The month that means the halfway point of summer, the week of the beginnings of many celebrations for Americans in the States and abroad as we celebrate our Independence Day on the 4th with fireworks and parades. and just a flood of people heading out for summer vacations (beach, mountains, tourist destinations) or good old staycations.
It’s also a time for tons of summer reading which is why I’m still talking about those Romance Don’ts or at least one of the reasons. I don’t know if you all caught Kate Sherwood’s blog last week here but she was talking about an early story of her’s where she had her mc’s cheat and the readers wrote in disgusted with her. And she felt she had broken an unwritten bond with them. The title of her guest blog? The Romance Taboo by Kate Sherwood. You can find it here. I was totally intrigued although not surprised. Its something I’ve heard over and over myself.
Another reason I’m still inquiring? That would be the Boystown series written by Marshall Thornton. Several novels in this series have either won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Mystery or been a finalist. And deservedly so. But I wonder how many have started these stories and ended up with a DNF. And the reason being that the main character, PI Nick Nowak, rarely turns away from a hookup (underage the only exception), despite being in a relationship. Yes, its the 80’s and gay sex/monogamy was admittedly looked at differently then. But, and let me know if I’m wrong here, I get the feeling that context doesn’t come much into play when the element is cheating with regards to the main character or couple. it’s simply “no, not in my story”.
Which is a damn shame because these books and this series is simply brilliant. I’ll be reviewing more of them this week. And I’d like to know what I can possibly say to change readers minds. For me this subject hasn’t been an issue. Life is messy and its always been about how the author has handled the subject (as with any other element in their story). But this is an emotional issue in RL and it carries over into our reading. Can it ever be separated? Not sure. I hope you all will continue to chime in here. I will be handing out gift certificates next week.
And yes, I’ve been reading and loving everyone’s comments. Here is what some of you have had to say on the subject:
On Readers Romance Don’ts:
I think it depends on how the characters are portrayed. I can sometimes stand cheating characters but it has to be under certain circumstances (abuse, loveless marriage where spouse is cheating already, open relationship where both characters know and is okay with it). I really don’t like politically or religiously driven stories. Regarding sex scenes I like them enough just to spice up the read but not overtake the entire book. One every chapter is too excessive in my opinion I think maybe for a full length story I would like just maybe 2 to 4 sex scenes. Of course no sex scenes and more intimacy scenes are okay too. I think the one thing a book can’t come back from is if it kills off an important character (I’m going to exclude Andrea Speed’s Infected series from this even tho I didn’t complete the series I have plans to go back and read it after I heal from the lost of Paris). I once read a book where a main character in the earlier series was killed off in the sequel that featured new main characters. Luckily the series only had two books and there were no plans for more because I was completely turned off from it and resented that I had wasted time reading it.
I can tolerate cheating if it advances the storyline while leading to the MCs having an HEA. Regarding sex scenes, I don’t need one every chapter. The first sex scene is the most important, because that sets the foundation for future exploration, especially if one character is primarily a top or bottom. The only things that turn me off in a book are domestic abuse, child abuse, rape, and mpreg storylines.
I agree. I hate it when they kill off the pets! [my pet peeve] I just finished reading a short story this morning where a cat got thrown of a building. I was so mad!
As for romance, I’m not sure. I do a lot of ghostwriting, and my clients are often very specific that they don’t want the main characters to have sexual involvement with anyone else. Must be a big rule!
In terms of cheating. it depends on my mood — I mean, I’ve read when cheating happened, and I was okay with it as long as there’s SIGNIFICANT GROVELING happened in the book.
My romance No No are mostly about tropes… I don’t read Mpreg, I don’t read M/F/M or F/F/M. for example, rather than something in the plot.
I will have to tell you all I didn’t even mention last week one of my biggest bugaboos. A romance book where one of the MC was intensely involved with his own excrement. I believe that was my very first DNF story and it was years ago. And yes, I found my limit on kink in that novel as well. Another romance don’t for me. So let’s hear from you all. More on this cheating element and any other Romance Don’ts!
Lucky readers will be chosen next week to receive gift cards. Now on this our week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.
This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, July 1:
- RELEASE BLITZ – Leaning into Forever by Lane Hayes
- Hello July. More On Romance Don’ts For You.
- This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Monday, July 2:
- Release Blitz for Nobody Else’s by Nell Iris
- Release Blitz Badlands by Morgan Brice
- Release Day Blitz Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson
- A Lucy Review: Nobody Else’s by Nell Iris
- An Alisa Review: Challenge (Kinky in the City #2) by Quinn Ward
- A Jeri Review: Wash Out (Anchor Point #7) by LA Witt
- A MelanieM Review: A Time For Secrets (Boystown #4) by Marshall Thornton
Tuesday. July 3:
- BLOG TOUR TIGHT QUARTERS by Annabeth Albert
- DSP Promo Rhett Heath
- Release Blitz Play it by Ear by KM Neuhold
- A VVivacious Release Day Review: Stranger in a Foreign Land by Michael Murphy
- A MelanieM Review: Tight Quarters (Out of Uniform #6) by Annabeth Albert
- A MelanieM Release Day Review: From a Jack to a King by Scotty Cade
- A Caryn Review: Finn (Endangered Fae #1) by Angel Martinez
Wednesday, July 4 (Happy Independence Day!) 🇺🇸
- AUDIOBOOK TOUR – WITH A KICK Collection #1 by CLARE LONDON
- Review Tour for Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote
- REVIEW TOUR for Daniel (The Third Legacy) by RJ Scott
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Daniel (The Third Legacy) by RJ Scott
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote
- An Alisa Audiobook Review: Treasure for Treasure (Being(s) in Love #7) by R. Cooper and Dominic Carlos (Narrator)
- A Lucy Review: Play It By Ear by KM Neuhold
Thursday, July 5:
- In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister
- BLOG TOUR fo My Crunchy Life by Mia Kerick
- DSP Dreamspun Promo Michael Murphy on Stranger in a Foreign Land
- A Free Dreamer Review: Armistice (The Amberlough Dossier #2) by Lara Elena Donnelly
- A Lucy Audiobook Review: Bromantically Yours by K.C. Wells and Narrator: Daniel Henning
- An Alisa Review: That’s My Ethan by Tarian PS
- A MelanieM Review: Murder Book (Boystown 5) by Marshall Thornton
Friday, July 6:
- Cover Reveal for Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine l
- Review Tour and Giveaway for Stag and the Ash (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #5) by Sam Burns
- Review Tour for Spark (North Star #1) by Posy Roberts
- Blog Tour for Magic or Die (Inner Demons, Book One) by JP Jackson
- A Free Dreamer Review: Stag and The Ash (Rowan Harbor Cycle #5) by Sam Burns
- A MelanieM Release Day Review: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay
- A Stella Review: Spark (North Star #1) by Posy Roberts
Saturday, July 7:
- BLITZ – Leaning Into the Look by Lane Hayes
- Release Blitz for Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay
- A MelanieM Review: From the Ashes (Boystown #6) by Marshall Thornton