16 November 2009

Did I just discover a pet peeve?

I have heard the term pet peeve drop a few times around the blogosphere but never consciously thought about it or that I could have one. Shame on me but I thought I was perfect *coughcough* Initially I thought it was just a reader’s twitch, an involuntary reaction on my side but it has happened a few times now and…*eek* it became a reaction I recognized from a few previous books. This wasn’t a good development in my opinion. Let me tell you how things came to be…

On a stormy night about two weeks or so ago I started in an ARC; Clare Willis - ONCE BITTEN for ROOB. For the second time in a short while I noticed I had issues regarding the genre labeling of a book in relation to the story content after I finished it. Now this novel is labeled a paranormal romance and as I read this story my eyebrows started to rise in my increasingly burning question; “where is the romance?” The romance was so paper-thin in my opinion that the only thing I got from it was that there was an attraction going on between the two main characters. What I got were a handful of encounters, one smutty scene, and at the end they unravel the plot together and…that’s it!

I read those final pages and my eyebrows where so far up my skull people might've wondered if I had a facelift gone wrong. I was going WTF? This is it? Really? Grabbed the flatcover that was provided by the author, thinking perhaps I got it wrong and that it was Paranormal Suspense but there on the spine it said: Paranormal Romance. This is what a publishers deems romance? Paranormal; yes. Romance; Since when does a “kind of” happily ever after constitutes as romance? Is that all it took; a sense of an HAE between two people? I was irritated because when other elements so prominently get the attention I wondered what the minimum demands are of romance.

I had a somewhat similar reaction to Ava Gray’s Skin Game, you all know I loved that book but did that one paranormal accent in Kyra’s characterization deserve the labeling Paranormal? Did I just volunteered for a can of whoop-ass here? So you know, I’m a fun submissive so make me laugh about it!! But back to my thoughts; It made me wonder if every publishing house has a different definition of labeling and why the hell it irks me so much. I think what it boils down to is that the lack of attention a certain element is receiving in a book but does get the label slapped on for whatever reason the publisher deems necessary that throws me off. It makes me ponder on if it’s just me and my requirements to fully experience a genre element in a story, is it a bit promo oriented by the publisher or is it their guidelines for publishing a certain book in a particular genre?

If it is me and my requirements I would say: Girl you’ve got yourself a case of pet peeve going on!

If it is the promo mind of the publisher I would say: From an objective side I can understand it, you want to sell your book but from a reader’s side I cry foul! Give it straight to me, that’s what I want and need from you!

If it is within the Publishers guidelines of a genre then I need to suck it up but I will sometimes be surprised, whether good or bad depends on the author then.

Whatever the reason is, all of the above or none, there are books that will provoke this irritation with me. If I buy an Erotica I want bouts of sex in every imaginable variation that sets me on fire, not a kiss, some magic finger action and then read; The next morning…

So did I just discover my very first pet peeve? I think so. Please, tell me about yours so I don’t feel like a weird alien from outer space.

PS: Still interested in reading my review of ONCE BITTEN? ~click here~

post signature


  1. #1 thing I love the pic! Made me laugh the first time!
    I so agree with you. I hate it too when the book is not what the genre says. I had this "the morning after..." one time too and I threw the book against the wall. Talk about sexual frustration!
    Really loved you post!
    And I don't think you are a alien!

  2. Oh hon, I have a peeve petting zoo. Let's stick with my lit pet peeves, shall we?

    I want the genre label on the book to accurately reflect the contents. I would prefer that an aspect be omitted, than the wrong one be slapped on (for example, The Sharing Knife is not labeled as a romance, but there is a distinct HEA, even though it's not fully resolved until the 5th book, to it).

    Stupid historical errors: Duke of Wellington before 1814? Doctor washing his hands (before 1840) without a reasonable explanation.

    personal one that I don't expect other people to understand: using bobbins to tat.

  3. Leontine, you're not alone. I've definitely been misled by the labeling of a book a time or two and it's never a pleasant experience. For example, Jory Strong's GHOSTLAND was labeled Fantasy Romance but I read it more as erotic fantasy with little to no romance. In fact, if the book had been labeled an erotic novel, I think I would have liked it more but like you, I was too busy searching for the romance. I mean where the hell is it??!!

    I get even more irritated when they don't label a book at all. I just finished reading SOME GIRLS BITE by Chloe Neill and really, REALLY liked it but there is no label ANYWHERE!. My guess is Urban Fantasy and I'm pretty confidant in my guess but it would be nice to have that label.

    Ahh well, that's the joy of pet peeves, there's nothing we can really do about 'em but growl and shake our head at the absurdity of it all.

    Hugs, VFG

  4. I am dying first from the picture, secondly from your discovering your first pet peeve and lastly... Sewicked.... peeve petting zoo!! Her and I must share!!! Because I have the damn zoo too!!! But I just give you one.. My main one... And believe it or not.. It has nothing to do with books... People who chew gum, you know who you are... Chew with your mouth close and stop popping your gum. No one wants to hear you smacking your gum!!! UGH!!!! Okay...
    You are not alone... and you are in great company!! Welcome to the club!! Love ya honey!! Did you get my email???? Wondering if things are okay??

  5. I have to agree - that picture is something else..

    Onto your dilemma..

    I personally think its the money hungry, no caring about readers - publishers fault..

    Romance, Paranormal - don't even get me started on Urban fantasy, half the books produced the later part of this year are labelled dishonestly...

    I love a romance, even if it's generic or just template - I love the emotion , the tug and push of two people trying to find their groove...

    This is one of the main reason I read so much Mill's and Boons - I know what I am getting and it HEA, not until the next mystery come along or the next event spark their interest...

    I am so with you on this band wagon my dear - this is how some authors will lose their following and potential followers.


  6. You are totally entitled to that pet peeve! I really hate seeing a movie preview that looks funny and cute, and then I go to see the movie and it's super depressing. Piss me off.

    If you only have one pet peeve, you're ahead of the game!

  7. Leontine you're on to something! I had the same reactions with the labeling of PNR for Skin Game..if you ask me it was romantic suspense. Luckily I had read that Skin Game was an awesome book & didn't glance at the genre until after I had read it. Mislabeling a book is a huge pet peeve not to mention a kind of bait an switch IMO.

  8. I am so with you on this Leontine. I see this more with Paranormal romance than any other genre. I thought that Annette Cleve's book was really good, but it barely qualified as a romance. And then the same with Kate Brody's Romantic Suspence. Again great book, but a romance in the loosest of terms.

    I think publishers know that romance sells better than most other genres right now and despite people looking down at romance as "less than" they are quick to label books this way.


  9. Have to agree - I think it is the pubs fault. I just read Sins of the Flesh and it was labeled PNR and it was totally suspense. Same thing when bookstores put books in the wrong section..annoying!

  10. Aww, you are so justified in your pet peeve. I just recently read an erotic romance that had almost zero smexing and the heroine spent more time with the townspeople than with the hero. It was a great book so I don't really mind that it was more urban fantasy than erotic romance but I think I would have liked a heads up at least. The only time I dislike false labeling is when the genre of a series changes after establishing itself as a certain genre, and still continues being published under the old genre label. It caused some head-scratching moments.

  11. I agree, I don't like to be mislead. Good thing Skin Game was so damn good or I'd be peeved right now! :)

  12. Oh I know about it. I hate books that are labelled paranormal romance, when they so clearly are fantasy romance. They are telling the sell it cos paranormal is big. Sighs, I hate genres

  13. Girl I so here you and no way you are not weird! We all have pet peevies I have quite a few lol. And one of them is exactly what you described I HATE when I start in a book and find it was not what it was let on to be. That's a big let down because you already have the idea formed in your head that it's gonna have romance and then ah well just like you said nada. It's very aggravating. And I love that pic of that cat that's too funny I've felt a lot like him the last few days LOL!

  14. It's so good to know I'm not the only one out there, I knew pet peeves and reader's were acquainted but I didn;t really think it through if I had any...until lightning struck...more than once LOL

    And the pic...I actually found it via google under the term pet peeve. I'm a bit pressed for time so can't react to everyone personally but thanks for the supports you guys. Glad to know I'm in good company ;)


I love to hear all your voices and opinions so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.