I have several pet peeves.
Smacking. Grinding of teeth. Slurping. Picking of toenails (no, seriously). Bad ass kids. Oops. Can I say that?
Yeah, there are several habits that are guaranteed to tap my nerves. I almost had to put my son out of the house because he smacked so loud that I could hear him clear across the room! But since he was only five years old at the time my husband frowned on evicting him. Good news is he learned to chew with his lips closed later that year so crisis averted but I didn’t get that home office…
So, as in life, there are several pet peeves I have when reading books. Some that yank me right up out of the story and make me yell, what the fu— Oops. I know I can’t say that. See? Just thinking about them has me lobbing F-bombs!
Here’s one. I love sexual tension as much as any red-blooded woman. The whole will-they-won’t-they- sexual-innuendo-hot-kiss-heavy-petting-but-timely-interruption thing is not only sexy but it draws you into the hero and heroine’s relationship. It has you rooting for them to get together and experience that special moment. It’s the big payoff! Yeah, so you thought. Three hundred pages in the book, the first love scene is on page two hundred and seventy five and its one and a half pages long! Wow. Really? Won’t be sticking around for the Epilogue. I’m too pissed. And unsatisfied.
Another irritation guaranteed to get my Agent Orange acting up? What I like to call the Sybil Syndrome. Case in point. Jane is a straight-laced, sheltered librarian. She doesn’t curse, has never had so much as a whiskey sour and the most dangerous situation she’s faced is a killer hang nail. One night she’s walking to her car after the library closes and a mugger jumps out of the bushes. Suddenly, Jane drops her stack of periodicals to the ground, leaps in the air and whirls around, nailing her would-be attacker in the jaw with a round house kick. How ‘bout that? I thought this book was about the sexy, bad boy hero turning the inexperienced heroine out. Not a woman with multiple personality disorders…Character consistency! Sheesh! Is she the Plain Jane or Jackie Chan?? I’m confused. And I ain’t finishing the book.
And one that I will return a book for? When characters change or compromises their belief system or standards for loooove. I recently read a book where the heroine did not want to become a mistress like her mother and live a kept existence that depended on the whim of her current lover. She fell in love with the hero, who was above her station, and at the end of the book consented to being his mistress because it was the only way they could be together. Okay, I’m still a little p.o.’d. Yes, they ended up together but I lost respect for the heroine in the process. She was willing to throw her beliefs, her standards that defined her on the altar of loooove. For a man. Yes, love conquers all but it shouldn’t ask you to demean yourself in the process. Unhuh. Not buying it. Well, technically, I did buy it but I took it back to the store the next day…
So now that I have vented and you all know the close call my son had with homelessness, what are your pet peeves in a book? What makes you want to drop kick a hero or heroine in a story? C’mon! Share!
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