So what are yours? What are the things that show up in books that bring forth expletives from your lips and cause you to hurl it at the wall?
For me? Rape that’s packaged as seduction of any kind. Rape is not sexy. There’s a difference between a rape fantasy and “forced” seduction. I’d also like to point out that I wonder how often women who have rape fantasies have actually been raped. That tends to take the zing right of it.
Also, heroines who are stupid, whiny or otherwise annoying. The heroine and her “best friend” in one of the books in a very popular vampire romance series totally ruined the book (which was already marginal as it was). Gad, the woman was typical of those chicks in scary movies who insist on going around alone in the dark and her friend was an idiot too.
Heroes who are assholes. It’s one thing to be arrogant. I have a soft spot for arrogant men who aren’t dipshits. There are redeeming qualities about men who are arrogant for a reason. On the other hand, men who accuse the heroine of cheating or call her a whore or accuse her of getting pregnant by someone else – instant wallbanger. Elizabeth Lowell is the only writer who did this with a hero that I didn’t toss the book when he did it. I hated him, but whatever magic she has, made it work. No one else I’ve read can do it.
Historical inaccuracies. Okay, this happens most frequently in regency romance. My thing is this: either just use the period as a backdrop and don’t refer to it, or do your fecking homework! Words that wouldn’t have existed in the time period, behavior that would not have been acceptable (like say, young unmarried women going around unescorted) – this is stuff that drives me nuts. It’s also why I don’t write historicals, I’m afraid I’ll screw up, LOL.
General inaccuracies – and really, this is individual for each reader. My personal hot buttons are books with legal themes which are WRONG. Grrr. Don’t have the heroine be a lawyer if you haven’t bothered to even read about what the job is like. And PLEASE, no court room scenes unless you read about procedure. It’s rare to have Perry Mason moments, and even more rare that the other side isn’t going to object to totally leading questions and heresay. I’m sure nurses and teachers have their own peeves too.
Oh and I just have to add that there was one ebook I read that had a combo of the above issues making it into one of the most stupid, misogynistic pieces of drek I’ve ever read. Her facts about the presidency were totally wrong (like big time unconstitutionally wrong and this was a big part of the story). There was marital rape that the “heroine” actually thanked the “hero” for. There was massive infidelity on the part of both people. There was emotional and mental abuse. It was awful and I’ll never pick up another book by this author again, ever. In fact, I try to avoid that epub because I have a hard time understanding how this book got through editing (neither of my editors would have let me get away with all of that)
What about you all?