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What is the worse romance you ever read?
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WandaSue



Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in 1984, I read a historical "romance" that had the "hero" rape the virginal young heroine, then if that wasn't bad enough, when she went to wash herself off, the "hero" took the ceramic basin of water, drenched her, and conked the heroine on the head with it, knocking her cold.

I guess they ended up together.

I'll never know. I never got past the mess I described above.
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Kerstin



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1124
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And the winner is....

"Whitney, my love" by Judith McNaught: Absolutely, unputdownably, trainwreckishly bad.

Masochistic, doormattish, twittish heroine whose jellyfish spine turns more and more to water in the course of the book, seriously psychotic hero who could win the "abuser-of-the month and wife-killer in the making" award and whom I honestly thought capable of murdering the heroine in a fit of (of course as always completely unfounded) jealous rage. But our wonderful, lovely hero would shed crocodile tears after he killed Whitney and lay flowers on her grave, saying to each of his many mistresses that he never loved another woman more than his late wife. True love indeed. Rolling Eyes

Kerstin


Last edited by Kerstin on Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kerstin



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:
All That Glitters by Linda Howard - the hero was the biggest jerk hero I've ever read and it still makes me mad when I think of him telling her she can't wear that wedding dress!

Everyday Average Jones by Suzanne Brockmann - I hated the heroine so much in this story that it turned me off to SB altogether.

Linda



Linda, I read so many posts of you referring to "All that glitters" in disgust that you make me positively curious: Please enlighten me, what was that business with the wedding dress? And why was it so awful for you? I mean, it seems kind of harmless to me, considering the run-of-the-mill atrocious and violent deeds of typical abusive heroes in the eighties (including even hitting pregnant women...) that a man might ruin a woman's wedding dress...or was there more to it than I saw readers mention so far?

Kerstin
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Kerstin



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1124
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WandaSue wrote:
Back in 1984, I read a historical "romance" that had the "hero" rape the virginal young heroine, then if that wasn't bad enough, when she went to wash herself off, the "hero" took the ceramic basin of water, drenched her, and conked the heroine on the head with it, knocking her cold.

I guess they ended up together.

I'll never know. I never got past the mess I described above.


Oh boy, I love this thread *still laughing*

Kerstin
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LizJ



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WandaSue wrote:
Back in 1984, I read a historical "romance" that ...


I think that was about the time I took a 10 year break from romance novels.
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JJ



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Linda, I read so many posts of you referring to "All that glitters" in disgust that you make me positively curious: Please enlighten me, what was that business with the wedding dress? And why was it so awful for you? I mean, it seems kind of harmless to me, considering the run-of-the-mill atrocious and violent deeds of typical abusive heroes in the eighties (including even hitting pregnant women...) that a man might ruin a woman's wedding dress...or was there more to it than I saw readers mention so far?


Well, I'm not Linda, but if I recall correctly basically the "hero" refuses to believe that the heroine is a virgin so he refuses to let her get a white wedding dress (even though she really wants one) and after she orders it, he secretly has it changed to another color and she's very upset when she finds it on the day or so before the wedding. In any case, it's hardly the only bad part of that book. I have to agree that is truly one of the worst romances I have ever read, and I absolutely love Linda Howard. I think what makes it so bad is that Linda Howard is a very talented author, so I always find myself very involved in her books which makes it even worse when the heroes are complete jerks. I have to say that I also absolute hate "An Independent Wife" and "Against the Rules" of hers, even though I love practically any of her other books.

"Writ on Water" by Melanie Jackson is another of my least favorite romances ever. And it wasn't even that the hero was a jerk it was just terrible. Boring, difficult to follow, completely illogical. I felt so vindicated when I read the D- review that it got here.

I just recently read the Brenda Joyce book "The Prize" and I pretty much hated that because the guy was kind of a jerk and they kept presenting it like the heroine deserved it. For example, he kidnapped her and so she uses one of the hero's crew (he's a pirate) against him to try to escape and when he catches her, he blames her for the end of his friendship with this crewmember because he can't trust him anymore. In any case, the worst part for me is when the heroine starts apologizing for trying to escape and to punish her and not the crewmember, blah blah blah. I was pretty much shouting at the book going, "He kidnapped you!! You're allowed to attempt escape!" Sadly, the book didn't really get better from there.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 722
Location: under a cockatiel

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale. Stilted, awful writing and shameful sexual abuse by both hero and heroine are disgusting. I don't get why people like her.

A Well-Pleasured Lady by Christina Dodd. Yet another round of Let's Rape the Heroine. No, thanks. In fact, let's nominate everything by her. I haven't read anything she's written that's worth spending time reading.

Just about everything by Judith Ivory, but especially Black Silk and Beast. Unromantic, stupid books.

Second for Enchanting the Lady by Kennedy. What a waste of dead trees that one is.

Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper for general confusion and lack of romance.

Please Remember This by Kathleen Gilles Seidel for most boring romance ever.

Servant: The Awakening by Lori Foster for its sexually and physically abusive "hero."

Twice Kissed by Lisa Jackson for TSTL stupidity on the part of the heroine.

The Black Jewels trilogy by Bishop for dwelling on disgusting incest and abuse, cutesy renamings of Christian theological figures, and characters with all the depth of tissue paper.

Dorothy Dunnett's Game of Kings for the "hero," a morally bankrupt figure if I've ever seen one and extraordinarily annoying writing style.

Improper English by Katie McAllister. There are no words. Just bad.

You Only Love Twice by Elizabeth Thornton. Snorefest, not romantic.

Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands. Substitutes stupid embarrassing actions for comedy.

I could go on.
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Danielle D



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 513
Location: Wheaton, IL

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynda X wrote:
I challenge ANYONE to come up with a worst book than this one. Unfortunately, I can't remember its name or author (maybe someone could supply it?), probably because our brain protects itself against such things. I DO remember, tho, that it was written in the '80s and by a known author.

Plot: Virginal young thing marries a man who callously and coldly has sex with her. He's enamored with his jaded mistress who does her best to make man hate wife. Both of them plot against her. I kept reading, waiting for the protagonist (can't call him a hero) to wake up to the evil manipulations of the evil mistress as she plotted evil acts. But he never did, EVEN WHEN MISTRESS POISONS the heroine and she dies! I looked for an epilogue, telling us the unending grief of the protagonist when he discovered the truth, but no, nothing. Stupid me, I even read it twice because I thought I had remembered it wrongly. It has been the only romance I have ever read that ends unhappily.



Oh my stars, someone please come up with the name so I will make sure I never buy this book.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kerstin wrote:
Linda in sw va wrote:
All That Glitters by Linda Howard - the hero was the biggest jerk hero I've ever read and it still makes me mad when I think of him telling her she can't wear that wedding dress!

Everyday Average Jones by Suzanne Brockmann - I hated the heroine so much in this story that it turned me off to SB altogether.

Linda



Linda, I read so many posts of you referring to "All that glitters" in disgust that you make me positively curious: Please enlighten me, what was that business with the wedding dress? And why was it so awful for you? I mean, it seems kind of harmless to me, considering the run-of-the-mill atrocious and violent deeds of typical abusive heroes in the eighties (including even hitting pregnant women...) that a man might ruin a woman's wedding dress...or was there more to it than I saw readers mention so far?

Kerstin


Kerstin, I see that your question was answered below! Smile Of course he was a big fat jerk through the whole book but for some reason the fact that he wouldn't let her wear a white wedding dress, refusing to believe she was a virgin just stuck in my craw. *G* Your right about hitting a pregnant woman, in A Lady of the West the hero does just that and if I had been thinking of that one in the moment I would have listed it as well! Maybe they stand out more so for me than the 80's bodice rippers because well..it's Linda Howard and aside from her recent offerings I usually love her books and her heroes. In fact I have nearly her entire backlist of oldies but goodies- minus ALG and ALOTW which I just couldn't stand to keep on my shelf.

Linda
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dorothy Dunnett's Game of Kings for the "hero," a morally bankrupt figure if I've ever seen one and extraordinarily annoying writing style.


I hear you...but sorry, not a romance novel, historical fiction straight up...with a romantic element...at times. While I appreciate Dunnett's unique storytelling and writing style I sometimes found Game Of Kings harder to understand than a William Faulkner novel, and I like Faulkner. She's not for every reader...that's true, but I think I will try again someday. She's a challenge. That's how I see her books.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah and I found Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond one of the best heroes ever written, next to Jamie! The writing style was a challange at first but well worth sticking with it.

I also very much enjoyed The Black Jewels series, though I could have done without much of the abuse but they are still above par on so many levels. And Lucivar and Daemon....YUM!

To each their own. :)

Linda
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Jane A



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Years and years ago I had the misfortune to pick up a book by Constance Gluyas entitled "Woman of Fury". Oh. My. God. The worst POS book I have ever looked at in my entire life. Horrible writing, terribly anachronistic and a heroine who needed to die. And I didn't even read far enough to learn about the hero, who no doubt was her equal in stupidity and violence. The book made my eyes bleed. I'm so sorry that I can remember this book, I'm sure it has damaged my brain in some way.
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1662

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:20 pm    Post subject: Worst Romances Reply with quote

An Independent Wife by Linda Howard. It was the first Linda Howard I read, and I chose it in part because the title led me to believe it would be about an independent wife (duh). However, the heroine was a spineless doormat and the so-called hero a controlling jerk. Luckily when I posted on AAR and asked if this were a typical LH book, people steered me to Son of the Morning, still one of my favorite books ever. Hard to believe the same person wrote both.

An Angel for Emily by Sandra Heath. I've posted about this one before. Any book where a child dies in order to become a guardian angel for the heroine is an ANTI-romance, as far as I'm concerned.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:

I also very much enjoyed The Black Jewels series, though I could have done without much of the abuse but they are still above par on so many levels. And Lucivar and Daemon....YUM!

To each their own. :)

Linda


Count me in the Lucivar and Daemon fan club Laughing
This not a romance and has never been marketed as such. It's a dark fantasy that deals with a dark side of human nature, including lust, avarice, power hunger, abuse, incest, violence. Notice though that "good guys" in Dark Jewels don't condone such things )unlike some heroes in romance Rolling Eyes ) I could see how these books might not be for everyone... but they're hardly the worst fantasy ever written Confused
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the worst romance, I'd say anything by Rosemary Rogers, historical or contemporary. Submissive masochist heroines, rapist jerks for heroes, stupid plots, you name.

Come to think about it, almost any modern romance written before 1990 is pretty bad by today's standards (and yes, that includes Whitney, My Love).
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