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~