Random Thoughts of a Romance Blogger: Turn Offs

Posted January 18, 2017 by Francesca in Random Thoughts, Under the Covers / 16 Comments

Turn-Offs

We all have those pesky things that when we come across them in a book, they can ruin the whole experience.  Sometimes I can look past them, some authors make me even question myself when they don’t bother me.  But I have put together a quick list of the things that turn me off from enjoying a book.  I’d love to know what yours are!

Cheating

This is a big one for all of us here at UTC.  Surprisingly, I have read some books that deal with cheating and I’ve managed to enjoy them.  I’m not quite sure how that has happened.  But in general, cheating involves a lot of angst and drama.  Bad decisions.  Lots of hair pulling and wanting to choke generally the heroine on my part.  It drives me crazy and very few people know how to make it work.  Basically if you want to throw cheating into the story just to spice it up, I think you should go back to the drawing board and come up with a stronger plotline.  I have DNF books before due to cheating.  I have stayed away from reading books due to cheating.

Redeemed “Bad” Guys

Have you noticed how more and more authors think they are testing boundaries and writing love stories for these killers and bad guys that are shooting or stabbing someone one minute, and by the end of the book they want to have a family and can’t wait to see their woman pregnant?  Here’s the thing that gets me stabby.  I do enjoy a story about a bad guy once in a while.  I just want him to stay true to character.  Don’t give me a guy that starts off as this supposedly hard as nails dude that everyone in town fears but turns into a good guy by the time the heroine is through with him.  There is a line that when a hero crosses it, he should not be redeemed.  And you know what, there are plenty of great stories about bad guys.  Just keep them that way.  I can’t buy the transformation you are trying to sell me.

Stupid Nicknames

A big one that gets me rolling my eyes every time is “Little Girl”.  No, I don’t think it’s cool that a big hulking hot alpha man wants to call his woman “Little Girl”.  What kind of depraved issues is he harboring that that even needs to be a thing.  I don’t find it sweet, and I definitely don’t find it sexy.  Ughhh It’s ruined many a hero impression for me over the years and I keep seeing it pop up from time to time.

And while we are on the subject of things heroes say, Angela has one that drives her crazy as well.  The phrase “I aim to please” *insert eye roll here*

Disrespect for Women

This is something that has been creeping up in plots lately, especially when the hero is one of those bad guys I mentioned above.  This is usually justified by the fact that maybe the hero never treats the heroine that way.  But what kind of douche treats women a certain way and you would want to be with him?  A big culprit of this one is the MC trope, and no, I can’t get over it just because he is only good for the heroine.  Once a douche, always a douche.

Drug Use

This isn’t the easiest topic to put in a book.  What gets me is that a lot of people just use it as something that makes their books “cool” or relevant to the times.  Sometimes it’s the occasional pot smoking that’s made to seem it’s just hip that the characters are doing it.  Or maybe they’re pot farmers, so it’s all about their business enterprise.  I hate seeing it talked about lightly.  I also struggle when books delve into the deeper effects of it, but I’ve read lots of really gripping storylines that feature drug addiction as a struggle and something the characters work on overcoming (or succumb to).  I just really dislike it being thrown in as a plot devise and not given the seriousness it deserves.

Rape

This goes right along with the one before.  Sometimes, it’s inevitable that the character has found herself in a position that this happens to her.  Or it’s happened in her past and it’s something she struggles with.  More often than not though, it’s just added to cause tension or drama and it’s not addressed with the seriousness it should.  When it’s easily brushed aside, it just drives me mad because you didn’t need to add it in the first place then!

Bodily Functions

No, I don’t find bathroom humor to be funny.  Is that the only things that make you laugh?  Because, the first time might’ve been funny but having a whole book where all these gross things continue to happen just makes me want to scream “NEXT!”.

Hygiene

This is usually something that can bother me with historical romance, but there have been some contemporary books that make me cringe at times.  I would much rather the author gloss over some details about the person’s body odor or their need for a shower.  Or how about a bathroom scene where the hero goes to the bathroom and doesn’t wash his hands and wants to get frisky with the heroine.  Totally pulls me out of a scene.

Certain words to describe body parts

We’ve all been there.  You are in the middle of a hot scene and the author chooses to use a word that pulls you out of it.  This is different for every person.  For me, it’s the flowery descriptions.  Her “center” and  “petals” or his “velvet covered rod“.  *face palm*  I’m also not a fan of the word “cunt“.  For others might be the use of the word “pussy“.  We all have our word or phrase that makes us cringe, and sadly authors can’t keep us all happy because of that.  So I think I would settle for doing away with flowers and getting more real. 😉  I’m not easily offended, but I am known to roll my eyes more often than not.

Hero/heroine having sex with someone else while trying to get the girl/guy

Wow that was a mouthful.  But I hate when I’m halfway through a book and the hero has been trying to date the heroine (or maybe dated her and temporarily broke up) and he has to go and stick it somewhere because you know he has needs and can’t contain himself.  Not cool.  There might be a book I’ve enjoyed where this scenario happened and I’m not sure how the author made that work but in general, this is a no no for me.

 

I think that about sums it up for me today.  What are some of your pet peeves that can be the difference between enjoying a book or getting stabby with it?

 

 

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Francesca

Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m a 30 something sun lover living in the Big Apple (read New York).I’m a book and coffee addict and lover of all things elephants.

I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!

I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.
Francesca
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LisaTina FJoanna MJonetta (Ejaygirl)Mary Recent comment authors
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Amy R
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Amy R

Cheating – I’m not a fan and but I have still read and enjoyed books were this happens. Redeemed “Bad” Guys – This seems far fetched to me as well. Stupid Nicknames – They just make me laugh. Disrespect for Women – Not a big fan of this but I do like MC books and it won’t stop me from reading a book. Drug Use – I agree that if this is going to be featured then it deserves to have it portrayed as serious and true facts, not fluff. Rape – I agree if an author is going to… Read more »

Laura
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Laura

doormat syndrome. not good for a man or a woman. though sometimes interesting in the B story.

Joanna M
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Joanna M

Yes to this! No doormats, please! It’s like are you a masochists or what? Have some dignity for goodness’ sakes! LOL

Kathleen Bylsma
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Kathleen Bylsma

Ha! I so agree…esp the euphemisms and rape/drug scenes…

Sophia Rose
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Sophia Rose

Those are definitely turn-offs I share. I also will avoid ‘secret baby’ plots. I get annoyed by people still holding a grudge ten-twenty years later over a stupid high school mistake. Characters with impulse control issues which leads into those characters that do stupid stuff that gets themselves and others hurt. There are actually a long list of them. 🙂

Lynnette
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Lynnette

Yep completely agree with all of these!

Milena
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Milena

I agree with most of your turn offs! Cheating – depends on the plot and the characters, it’s not a dealbraker for me. I agree about rape, drug use, physical abuse. Often they are added for drama and trivialized. I have stopped reading some authors altogether for doing that in their books. Also I don’t read books about bullies, I can’t stand them. My other pet peeve is when too much time is spent on describing heroine’s physical traits. How many times do I have to read about her boob size, her weight, or her hair? Some authors go everboard… Read more »

Timitra
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Timitra

I agree with you Francesca. I’ve also read stories with cheating that I enjoyed although I don’t generally care for it.

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Yes! All of these! As well as love triangles

Christina
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Christina

When an author confuses independence with stupidity. You can be independent and still recognize limitations or the need for help/advice. Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is ask for help. When an author try’s to portray a heroine as independent by making her demand to do everything herself, to her own detriment and/or others I usually stop reading. How can I enjoy a romance if I think the heroine is an bull-headed idiot?

JenM
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JenM

I absolutely hate when the heroine is written as an otherwise strong, independent woman yet she is secretly harboring a desire to be a submissive! I think everyone can enjoy a little role play in their lives, but it seems like these books are saying that every strong women secretly wants nothing more than a man who will tell her what to do. Luckily, if you read the blurb carefully, you can usually tell when the storyline is going to go down this path and I’ve gotten much better at avoiding these books. Along with this pet peeve, I also… Read more »

Mary
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Mary

100% with you, Francesca! And also you, too, Jen!

Jonetta (Ejaygirl)
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Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

Such a great post, Francesca! You nailed just about all of mine. Cheating tops my list as I never get beyond the act. It completely throws me out of the story.

One I didn’t see was the dreaded love triangle. This only works in the hands of skilled writers and is mostly a miss for me otherwise.

Joanna M
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Joanna M

I don’t mind the description of body parts because like you said each author will have different voices in that sense, specially in historical romance. Just don’t get cheesy on me and I’ll be fine. One thing I cannot stand though is the TSTL heroine. Just NO, one thing is to be innocent or naive and another is to be brainless!

Tina F
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Tina F

Great post. Cheating is a no no for me.

Stepbrother romance. I usually just stay away from this. But there was this book that was free. It wasn’t bad because technically they were not blood related. Yes, definitely questioned myself.

Lisa
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Lisa

Some of mine: Constantly referring to adult characters as “boys or girls”. After their teens I would think that people would want to be considered men & women but maybe that’s just my opinion. Misogyny – I’m seeing a lot of this lately where authors make their male characters think or say they’re acting like teenage girls or old women when they have emotions. Being emotional or a female is not a bad thing & shouldn’t be portrayed as such. This kind of thing only perpetuates misogyny in our culture. Unsafe BDSM practices – things like the dom leaving the… Read more »