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Highly praised your mediocre
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bijoux



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 398

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MissRubyJones wrote:


Another book that gets a lot of love that fell flat for me was Loretta Chase's "Lord of Scandal." It wasn't an unpleasant read for me, but it was nowhere near what I expected, considering all the raves I'd read about it. I didn't like it nearly as well as I thought I would.

Ditto. It was fine but not nearly what I expected it to be either.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me that was Jennie Cruise, tried Welcome to Temptation but couldn't even finish it. I know humor is subjective, I was wasn't connecting with it at all. Had no desire to try any more of her books after that.

Linda
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Eggletina



Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 429

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I felt the same about Chase's Lord of Scoundrels -- fine, but it did not wow me. I would not consider it one of the best romances ever written. In fact, there is something very fan fictiony about the writing of that one. I liked her Carsington series much better (Lord Perfect being my favorite by her so far).

I've tried two or three books by Lisa Kleypas, and they were just okay for me. I know many romance readers love her. However, what I tried were historicals. I have wondered whether I'd be more receptive to her contemporaries.

Even with authors I love, I've found my favorites differ widely than others. For example, I love Judith Ivory's books, but The Proposition , which is often a favorite for other fans is near the bottom of my list for her.
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Salaisuus



Joined: 30 Jul 2010
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read several historicals by Lisa Kleypas and enjoyed them. When I tried her contemporaries, they were all flops for me for various reasons, but especially whatever recent one took place near Seattle or in Seattle or something and she kept calling our highways weird things. "The 5" instead of I-5 and so on. It was so obnoxious and annoying that I stopped reading after it was mentioned a third time. I thought, what kind of author doesn't even read the local news web sites to see what locals call the highways??? And I love how people in books get right onto a ferry and go across. That does not happen in real life, let me tell you...
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1160

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting how this thread has developed and how I find my tastes are a mixture of others. (duh?) Always a good thing to remember, right? To show the mix, I happened to have really liked Lord of Scoundrels, Welcome to Temptation, The Proposition, and Devil in Winter.

Of the authors mentioned, I still enjoy Loretta Chase, Judith Ivory (all of her books as re-reads), Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney, and Lisa Kleypas until her most recent series which I haven't read and don't plan to.

OTOH, I stopped reading SEP, Crusie and Howard a while back; Crusie and Howard changed in directions not for me, and I thought SEP overused the same motifs that stopped working for me.

It also seems that some of the newer historical writers coming out now aren't for me. They're cited as being terrific writers, and while they are indeed good with language, their stories and/or styles haven't appealed to me, for example, Proof by Seduction (Milan), and At Your Pleasure (Duran). They seem to be very, very popular with others on this board, though.
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brwneyedbeauty



Joined: 23 Feb 2012
Posts: 53
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with others about Lord Of Scoundrels. It did absolutely nothing for me. I didn't really like the hero very much. I'm not sure why it's considered the #1 romance on the AAR top 100. I think Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas is better and should be #1 instead of #2. I'm sure the people who don't like LK disagree with me on this Wink

In fact, it was a LK book, Suddenly You, that got me hooked onto romance novels. She's one of my favorite authors. But I only like her Historical romances. Her contemporaries are just ok for me.

It's just funny how one persons favorite author is another's least favorite
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Eggletina



Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 429

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm probably a bit old-fashioned in my tastes. I would still rate Pride and Prejudice as my #1 from the AAR Top 100, for example.

I know I've said this before, but I read a lot of romance in my youth but stopped reading them for many years. When I started up again, just a few years ago, I had to dip my toes in slowly. I can see where I've developed a gradual rather than sudden appreciation for certain elements of romance only after I really started consistently reading the genre. I do quite frequently change up my reading and can easily switch from new to old, appreciating them for different reasons. I've noticed for authors like Balogh, I developed a slow and steady appreciation, realizing they stayed with me more than I originally gave them credit for. Authors like Julia Quinn are fun, in-the-moment romances, but they haven't held their appeal over time. My mood, too, influences how I've reacted to certain books and authors, and I'm sure if I re-read some books now that I tried when first getting back into romance, I'd find my reactions to some of them to be different from my initial reading.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1160

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My situation is the reverse of yours, Eggletina. I started reading romance only about a dozen years ago with Outlander (which I of course would make my number 1 Wink ). So, a lot of what is old for many romance readers is still new for me, like Putney's backlist for instance.

Quote:
... I've noticed for authors like Balogh, I developed a slow and steady appreciation, realizing they stayed with me more than I originally gave them credit for. Authors like Julia Quinn are fun, in-the-moment romances, but they haven't held their appeal over time. My mood, too, influences how I've reacted to certain books and authors...


Me too.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2505

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never understood the hoopla over G. Heyer. In my book, she couldn't write worth diddly squat; she never encountered a comma she didn't use and thought the greater the number of subordinate clauses the better.
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1480
Location: America

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually get upset over the fact that I've never been able to get into Lisa Kleypas. She's practically one of the most beloved historical romance authors out there, and is always recommended for people seeking angst, passion, and light humor, but I've tried three of her books (Again the Magic, Suddenly You, and Lady Sophia's Lover), and all were DNFs. The saddest part is that her plots are right up my alley, but the writing is too cutesy for me--like the deep emotions are covered by a layer of hearts and flowers and frilly cushions.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Islandgirl, you started a topic that has always fascinated me.

Here are the authors that I have tried once, actively disliked their writing and will not try them again: Eva Ibbotson, Karina Bliss (in her case it was the story not the writing, I was ready to go into therapy after Here Comes the Groom), Courtney Milan (tried Unveiled and Unlocked), Lynne Connolly (1st book of Richard and Rose - some situations were ridiculously time-inappropriate though I know this author is very interested and well-read in history but the main thing was that h and H had zero chemistry, their story left me totally cold).

Here are the authors whose works I tried once, was not impressed but will try once more:

J. Crusie (Bet Me - the humor was there but did not like Min who was mean IMO, the hero who was determined in driving Min into obesity and the story)
Julie James (Practice Makes Perfect - oh, how I wanted to love that book but it was just average for me, her humor did not work for me)
Sarah Mayberry (not bad but forgettable)
Cherise Sinclair and Joey Hill (writers of erotic romance whose names are cited by FIfty Shades critics as writers of stellar BDSM erotic romance)
Lisa Kleypas (but loved Blue-Eyed Devil)

I noticed that I am harder to please in historical romance, I think I like only Mary Balogh, Sherry Thomas and Joanna Bourne. Also I've read quite a lot of trad Regencies and so far did not like only one. I found that writing in them is much better than in today's historicals which read as contemporary romance with contemporary characters dressed in historical costumes.

Judith James (nothing wrong but will not try her again)
Elizabeth Hoyt
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D Rogers



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:44 am    Post subject: The Mediocre Reply with quote

I've never been able to get into the Christina Dodd books, though the blurbs always sound like the kind of book I would like.

I don't think I've finished a Brenda Joyce book yet. They just don't grab me and hold me the way a Carla Kelly book will.

I did like Lord of Scandals, though it wasn't until the end that I was won over.

My favorite romances are Persuasion by Austen and These Old Shades by Heyer. I also liked several of the old Veryan books (The Riddle of Alabaster Royal and its sequels). I have also enjoyed all of Nancy Butler's traditional Regencies. I generally like a meaty book--but I teach literature at the college level, so that might be part of it, though I read Jane Eyre about four times when I was 12 or 13 just because I loved it so much. (These were the days before VCRs, and I think I had seen the old Orson Welles version on TV and fallen in love with the story, so I couldn't see it any time I wanted and thus turned to the book.)

I don't like Anna Campbell's books, though again, I've bought a couple of them after reading a review and thinking "oh, I'd like this one, I'm sure."

I did like the Hathaway series by Kleypas, but I don't read her contemporaries.

I tried Lynn Kurland, but I didn't believe the characters. That is, her medieval characters don't seem medieval. They seem like contemporary people with contemporary values, attitudes, and behaviors. Books like this just jump the shark as far as I'm concerned.
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PamelaM



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I really wanted to like Jennifer Crusie, I found Bet Me a good read but not memorable. I had a harder time becoming engaged with both the story and characters of Welcome To Temptation. It was a DNF for me and I havenít read any of her other books.

Although I still read Loretta Chase, I recently re-read Lord of Scroundrels and found I still loved the first half, but the second half just lacked the crisp writing and pacing of the beginning. I found myself skimming to get to the end. After years of reading romance, I think it is just a natural progression of changes in my personal tastes and writing styles.
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LordRose



Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant is one book that's been highly praised, but I really didn't get into. I'm currently reading A Gentleman Undone, her second book, but I'm having a hard time getting through it- it's just too dark for me, I guess.

As for Lisa Kleypas, she has some books I love, and some I rather dislike. It Happened One Autumn was a DNF for me, but I adore Devil in Winter. Only With Your Love and Prince of Dreams, for example, both had plot devices I actively dislike. ("Forced seduction" and reincarnation, respectively.) I don't particularly like her Texas books, either, but part of that may be that I just couldn't get into them, since they were in first person.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add to my post upthread:

Carla Kelly did not impress me at all (Marrying the Royal Marine) but will try one of her earlier book at some point.

Although I love, love, love Silver Linings by JA Krentz, the only historical romance by her (as Amanda Quick) - Ravished - that I read was a bad read for me on so many levels that I decided not to read any more historicals by her.

It's interesting that sometimes my impression of a book changes over time, even without rereading it. Then I go to my reading log and change the grade. I upgraded several Linda Howards, Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas and Lord of Scoundrels (and even reread it and enjoyed it as much as the first time) but downgraded the said Carla Kelly's book, Libertine's Kiss by Judith James.

Some of the authors mentioned on this thread as the ones posters do not like/enjoy but I do are SEP, Linda Howard, Judith Ivory, Heyer and Mary Balogh.
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