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Guest Blogger: Naima Simone
Monday, August 16th, 2010

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!

Come visit me at my website and check out my current and upcoming releases with Ellora’s Cave Publishing!

8 comments to “Guest Blogger: Naima Simone”

  1. Valerie
    · August 16th, 2010 at 10:20 am · Link

    Cool post and those are some of my pet peeves too.

    Another one is…the hero and heroine are in a very dangerous situation…they are on the run. The enemy is close behind. They manage to duck under a bush, in an old barn, but the suspense is still up high….then they have sex, pages long sex!! WTF?????

    And I hate it when in historicals, the characters act totally out of time. Now, I am no historical buff, but in medieval times, do you really think the surfs could read? And modern day language at that? Yep, I read a book where a modern day lass went back in time and in the end she was writing love stories that the hero and his surfs were enjoying????????

    Ok, that’s my rant for now.

    Again, great post.

    in Germany

  2. Naima Simone
    · August 16th, 2010 at 11:57 am · Link

    Hi Valerie!!! I soooo know what you mean! Or how about those books in said jungle when the killers walk right past their hiding place and they manage to be QUIET right in the throes of hot, spanking, “Me Tarzan, you Jane” sex?!?!?

    I feel you! And it’s a real head scratcher when those Scottish highlanders talk WITHOUT the brogue!

    Thanks for reading Valerie!!!

  3. Estella
    · August 16th, 2010 at 4:32 pm · Link

    A whiny, TSTL heroine will make me put a book down really fast.

  4. Naima Simone
    · August 16th, 2010 at 6:26 pm · Link

    Hi, Estella!
    Okay, yeah! How did that not make my list…? *scratching head* That’s when I start skimming aaallll the way to the end. You wanna see someone finish a book in 5 minutes? That’s a sure-fire way! LOL!

    Thanks for stopping by, Estella!

  5. Brandy W
    · August 16th, 2010 at 10:02 pm · Link

    Great post and I totally agree with what everyone has said. One book that I wished I could throw but didn’t because another sotry was autographed by the author, had a heroine that was supposed to be mid to late 20’s and she acted so childish. The thing that made it worse for me was that it was an anthology about triplets so the women were all the same age.

  6. Naima Simone
    · August 17th, 2010 at 4:24 pm · Link

    Oooh, sorry, Brandy! They say bad things come in threes…hee-hee! In the immortal words of Prince, “Act your age not your shoe size!” Gotta love him! LOL!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Delilah
    · August 17th, 2010 at 9:21 pm · Link

    Naima! Thanks for the post. Loved the pic! DD 😆

  8. sue brandes
    · August 18th, 2010 at 7:03 pm · Link

    I agree with everyone else plus I really hate if I feel lost in a book. One where the author writes like a page or two and then changes to a differant scene and keeps doing this all through the book. I have read two like that from really famous authors. Total turnoff for me. 🙄

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