The Long Goodbye
Last week, I reviewed Blood Magick by Nora Roberts, a book that really didn’t work all that well for me. Given that Nora Roberts wrote the very first romance I ever read, and has authored probably 20 books that I re-read for comfort; and that the Cousin O’Dwyer series, which features a paranormal element and is set in Ireland, two sure fire winners for me, I was really surprised that the series didn’t work better for me.
Part of it is that I think I’ve read so many Nora’s that they start to feel the same to me. She definitely recycles plots and heck, even names (Tod = odious ex or sassy gay friend in multiple Nora books), but it’s not just that, she, like Linda Howard, seems to be moving away from a focus on romance, and on to something that has a more women’s fiction feel. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, women’s fiction sells well, and if that’s where her muse is taking her, then I begrudge her nothing. But for me, it’s really rare for a Nora book to work for me anymore, when it used to be that I studied her yearly releases noting each release date religiously and awaiting her books desperately and then gobbling them up and re-reading them over and over again.
I chock this up to two things: first, my reading tastes have absolutely changed. These days, I prefer my romances super sexy. I rarely read books that barely touch on love scenes or ones that stop at the bedroom door. And if they do stop at the bedroom door, I’m generally frustrated by the lack of that aspect of the story. Second, I think Nora is, in fact, moving away from a deep focus on romance. Her last couple of books have focused on what Sarah from SmartBitches taught me is called “competence porn.” The stories seem to focus more on some expertise that either the hero or heroine have, rather than on building a relationship. I can’t remember the last time I read a book of Nora’s and really gasped at how romantic it was.
In short, Nora is no longer an autobuy for me.
In that same vein, neither is Linda Howard, or Julie Garwood, or Christine Feehan, or Sherrilyn Kenyon. In the case of Linda Howard, her books no longer feel like romance to me. They are more romantic suspense without the romance. Yet, Shades of Twilight, Dream Man, and Dying to Please remain beloved keepers on my shelves. Julie Garwood moved away from her charming historicals, featuring Caregiving Alphas and perky heroines. Now she also writes something that is more romantic suspense, and again, not really to my taste. I think I outgrew Feehan and Kenyon, with both author’s long running series feeling overindulgent and neverending to me. I want to be clear, I have nothing against romantic suspense. Sometimes it works perfectly well for me. But I remember vividly when Linda Howard published Cover of Night, the first in what I consider to be her long fall into suspense that perhaps features a mild romance. I was pissed. Mainly because I felt duped. Linda Howard was a romance author. The cover screamed romance. And yet, when I opened it, the book barely focused on the romance and even worse (in my opinion) it was all about the suspense plot. I tried another two books by her before I realized, she was no longer writing romances that I wanted to read. What a disappointment for me! She’d be always been a sure thing. Now, I don’t even consider buying her books, and she used to be an author I happily plunked down hard cover pricing for.
Yet, every time I see a new Nora marketed, I read the blurb carefully, I download a sample thinking, “Maybe this will be the one that draws me back”. I’m always in search of the way I felt when I first read their books. Alas, I have yet to experience that same, sharp pang of “OMG, I love this book!” that I felt so many times before. But I keep trying, going back to my formerly favorite authors, hoping that they’ll write something that I adore.
In their place though, are new favorites: Nalini Singh, Lisa Kleypas, Lauren Dane, Julie James, Jaci Burton: authors whose books I look forward to as much as I ever looked forward to a new Nora or Linda Howard book. I’m thrilled when I hear they have a new release coming out, and just as I did back in the day, I count the days until their books release.
Your turn: Have you broken up with beloved authors? Do you continue to re-read old favorites? How do you wean yourself altogether from authors you used to love? Do you still try old favorite author’s new releases? When do you know enough is enough?
I have read and re-read Julie Garwood’s historical romances until the spine on every single book broke. Then I got the ebooks. I adore the stories, and they never get old.
Then she deserted me. I don’t enjoy her mainstream stories at all, so I waited with extreme patience until…at last! A new historical romance from Juile Garwood!
Shadow Music. I even ponyed up the dough for the hardback so I didn’t have to wait for the paperback release.
I have never been so disappointed in a book. It begins well, building with her usual, admired tension and then… Boom. A three paragraph consummation scene and the rest of the story ends in only a couple of chapters.
I won’t be fooled again…
I broke up with Garwood when she started writing suspense mysteries. Those books don’t have the same feel as her historical romances that I ate up and still have on my keeper shelf. I broke up with Diana Gabaldon after Echo in the Bone. Too much of an emphasis on war and every other character under the moon other than Claire and Jamie.
I’m also about 8 books behind on Robb’s In Death series. I tried picking up the latest, Festival, and even with my perfect man Roarke, I was bored.
I think it’s natural to move on from authors as your reading tastes develop and change, and an author’s style and genre almost always will develop and change over the course of her career. I’ve been published for 8 years and my books have definitely changed as I’ve grown as a writer and as a person. My reading tastes have changed too. It’s true that some authors might seem to lose that special something that drew you to them in the first place, but I think too it can just be a natural consequence of change and growth in both the reader and the author.
I broke up with contemporary romance subgenre. Between slut-shaming/women-hating heroines and dark issues such as rape, sexual assault, and abuse used as plot twists/devices, there isn’t any good characters to root for. Add in the too many graphic drawn out sex scenes, and I was so turned off that I retreated to historical romances (inspirational and secular). I also turned light women’s fiction and cozy mysteries. It was cozy mysteries that give me the contemporary romance fix.
I don’t do auto-buys, just because I take a book written by any author at face value – blurb, cover, etc. Just like the stock market, past gains does not indicate future performance.
I stopped reading Linda Howard after the 1st Blair book – I couldn’t believe that she had written it – it was that awful to me! Yes I even checked the copyright page! Lol! I still re-read old favourites – the Kell Sabin books.
I had a break form Nora for about 5 years – then I got her single titles and read and enjoyed them. I really loved her In Boonsboro titles as well.
@Willa: Ack! INN Boonsboro
I don’t think I’ve broken up with an author yet. I’ve put my relationship on hold with some (Christine Feehan for instance) but giving up, no. I always have the hope a new book will cheer me up.
I like Nora Roberts too, she is the author that made me devour romances. In a way, I feel she kind of earned my being a fan. I have all her books except the last trilogy which I haven’t bought yet, but I haven’t read them all I want to space them so I always have something by her. Yes, her latest stories aren’t as moving and romantic as some of her older trilogies or Harlequin titles, but I’ve come to accept that.
Usually, I try one book by an author and if I don’t feel that story for some reason I probably won’t read anymore. It makes my eventual giving up list really small, considering the time I put into each author. But with huge TBR lists, it has to be.
I also think it’s only natural everyone’s taste changes. Both the readers and the authors. Sometimes it can be a matter of just being faithful to the books you liked best.
And it’s great to know there are so many books (and authors writing them) out there which might be our new addiction.
I’ve never really gotten extremely hooked into one particular author per say, but I will say that Robert Jordan with his seemingly endless Wheel Of Time series (I think its up to 14 or 15) ultimately soured me on the sci-fi/fantasy genre for close to two decades. It got very tiring reading a volume that was a minimum 700 pages and you had to keep referring to previous volumes because the length of time in between volumes (1 to 1 1/2 years) made it almost impossible to keep track of all the plot lines.
These were several years ago now, but I’ve broken up with Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsey and Julia Quinn. Johanna Lindsey was the hardest. I continued to read her books for a good ten years (a ridiculously long time) after I noticed they weren’t working for me any longer. She was such a favorite that it was hard to let go. I’ve kept only a handful of my favorites from these authors which I occasionally re-read.
These days I try not to have any auto-buy authors. I save money and shelf space this way.
I rarely persevere with an author after I’ve stopped enjoying the books. I might if it was just one book that didn’t hit the right note for me, especially if that was mostly because of the trope or setting or something. But not if their voice or tone stops working for me. Time’s too short even to read all the books I really want to!
I hate to think any author is an auto-buy. As much as I enjoy some series, I really do try to judge each one on its merits. That said, I have enjoyed almost the entire In Death series but see myself coming to the end of reading each new one. I haven’t loved all of the Nora Roberts’ books, especially the trilogies, but I still enjoy her writing much more than lots that is out there.
My big break up so far has been with Suzanne Brockmann. Although I still think she is a smart, talented writer, her most recent output (Do or Die, Night Sky) doesn’t grab me so far. I will just enjoy my happy Troubleshooter memories and move on.
Johanna Lindsey, she was an auto buy and I don’t know if I out grew her but I started finding myself not finishing her newer books. I haven’t read any of Kleypas’s contemporaries in the hopes that she will one day return to historicals. Also Debbie Macomber, I use to hunt down her books published through silhouette but her stuff after that just was not for me.
Our lists are identical, Kati, though I am still buying JD Robb but after reading it in HC from the library I buy the paperback when I find it at a used book sale. I find that the endings of Nora’s books are frustrating, it seems like everything is wrapped up in 3 pages and that just doesn’t work for me. With her trilogies, I rarely like the last book and feel that there’s no payoff when it ends. I do borrow some of the new titles from the library and catch up with a series or author here and there, except for Feehan. I did not like the turn her Carpathian books were taking – it seemed like women were becoming more second class citizens under the guise of needing to be protected to reproduce. Then that last Drake sisters book happened and I was done. Garwood’s contemporary books don’t work for me because I can buy a sheltered, naive heroine in historicals but not in present day.
Other authors I used to enjoy but now don’t because my tastes have changed are Elizabeth Lowell, Suzanne Brockmann, Catherine Coulter, and Iris Johansen. I can re-read old favourites but don’t bother with new ones.
Sad but true, I’ve given up on the author who made me love historical romances: Johanna Lindsey. The last book I remember enjoying by her was Jeremy Malory’s story. And as I can’t even the title of that book, which pretty much says it all.
I can’t say I’ve ever given up entirely on a genre, though. I’ve taken breaks from one–I gave up contemporaries for a while because they all sounded alike, and I’m currently off of historicals for the same reason. Eventually something will catch my eye, and I’ll be back, I’m sure.
Author breakups are so interesting to me. Most of mine have been gradual, growing apart break ups, where I slowly notice that I’ve stopped reading a formerly favorite author or their books have stopped working for me. But a couple have been bad breakups. And it’s interesting about authors changing their styles – sometimes I’ll follow an author to another genre or style and sometimes I won’t. It kind of depends on why I read them.
My most acrimonious author breakup was with Anne McCaffrey. I discovered her young and read all her Pern books and a few of her other books. I kind of drifted away as I got older. And then I read a Pern book when I was 20 and it made me so MAD! I was shocked and outraged by the sexism. Ooh. I felt so betrayed – I’d loved her strong heroines as a girl, but rereading them as a young woman, I realized they weren’t really as strong as I’d thought. A couple years ago, I did a memorial reread of the first 6 Pern books and I’ve mellowed. I think she was ahead of our time but behind ours, and I’ve graciously forgiven her.
I’ve outgrown several romance authors. In several cases, I think it’s a combination of my changing tastes and also having a lot more choices. I started reading romance in the mid 80s. I’ve never liked alphahole heroes, but it was a lot harder for me to find good, non alphahole heroes 20 or 30 years ago. When I discovered Jude Devereaux, her heroes seemed pretty reasonable compared to all the rapey alphaholes running around Romancelandia.
When I discovered JAK in the 90s, I was so, so happy – smart, quirky heroines and good guy heroes. Finally! I’ve mostly stopped reading new JAK because I got tired of some of her writing quirks – the info dumping, the clunky plots, the weird world building the her PNRs – and because I got tired of the Arcane series, which I think took her away from her strengths. And now I have more options when it comes to smart heroines and good guy heroes. I still have a lot of JAK on my keeper shelf and I still read them.
Both SEP and Julia Quinn have stopped being auto buys – for the same reason, I’ve been disappointed in their recent books. I think it’s probably a combination of my changing tastes and their changing styles.
I remember when it seemed all the romance writers started writing suspense stories. Sandra Brown in particular was the straw that broke the camels back.
I cannot stand romantic suspense and I also can no longer read any romance without sex.
I broke up with Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie when the stories stopped being about the animals and became class warfare.
My only auto buy is Stephen King which is great as Revival was on my kindle when I woke up this morning.
Christine Feehan, Laurell K Hamilton. Both authors I read long past the point when I should have stopped because I wanted to recapture what I felt for those first books.
Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick is my big break-up (not into PNR so didn’t read her Jayne Castle books). JAK was one of my early romance authors – I loved her books. But it seemed to me she just started recycling plots, perhaps doing a search/replace with names and locations. Yet ‘White Lies’ is one of my all-time favorite books; I thought the use of the Arcane skills in the H/h was magnificent and the story was really compelling.
Same reason I stopped reading Stephen King back in the 80’s. I understand he’s changed since then, but ‘It’ (don’t know how to do italics – sorry) scared the absolute crap out of me and I’m not willing to go back.
@cleo: I agree with you on SEP and Julia Quinn. Mary Balogh is another whose new books I won’t read anymore.
I broke up with Karen Marie Moning when she wrote her Fever series. Absolutely adore her Highlanders though. I broke up with Ward after the debacle that was Phurry’s book, but ended up getting back with her sort of with Payne’s book because she fixed what she broke with V’s book, sort of. I didn’t fully get back on her band wagon until Lover at Last.
I have lots of authors however who I know longer buy everything, instead only reading one of their series. Feehan is one of them, I was so excited to discover we were going to get to meet Ilya’s brothers and yet we are on book 4 and he hasn’t been seen in Sea Haven, that just pisses me off. Now I read her Ghost Walkers and Leopard’s only. Though with her latest Ghost Walker she merges the two worlds.
I absolutely agree with you on the fact our reading tastes changing. I know mine has.
I thought it was just me with Nora. I DNF the second Boonsboro Inn book and never bought the 3rd. I was so excited about the newest trilogy, read the first and then never felt compelled to buy the last 2. I’m not a fan of her single title suspensy/women’s fiction titles either.
I’ve always been a huge category reader, but honestly, some of the series have drug on for so long that they are ridiculous. Judy Christenberry had a family series that had basically turned into books full of characters popping in for catch up–I think I stopped reading those 5 years ago, Christine Rimmer has another Bravo book out (I need to look in my paperback stash to see how long ago that one started) and I had to make a list of Kate Hoffman’s Mighty Quinns to figure out which ones I hadn’t read because I can no longer tell them apart. I wonder if I will start to feel this way about Bella Andre’s Sullivans. I read a funny quote on a writing blog a couple of weeks ago along the lines of “all books must end, otherwise they’re called Days of Our Lives”.
My first big breakup was with Jude Deveraux. I adored that woman’s books, still do – the early ones. She was my favourite of most favourites. Then she wrote “Knight in Shining Armor” and oh, I disliked it. A lot. I tried a couple more of her following books but the charm was gone. The fun was gone. So I stopped reading her new stuff for many years. Then, on a remembrance whim a few years ago, I picked up the “Forever and Always” trilogy… and oh, I was disappointed.
Other authors have fallen from the auto-buy list over the years, but Jude D was the one that really hurt, the one that truly felt like a break-up.
I can’t say whether there are any authors that are auto-buy for me as I will always read the plot synopsis before buying a book. This is particularly true if they switch genres. There are authors I read in my early twenties mentioned by others above, such as Jayne Ann Krentz and Johanna Lindsay that I haven’t bought in years. My tastes have definitely changed like Kati to more open door bedroom scenes as I’ve gotten older (and with the convenience and anonymity of the e-reader).
Thank goodness for a fabulous library system. Alot of used to be autobuys are now borrowed from the library and so, if I end up skimming I don’t feel bad about money wasted. Some, like Nora (as Nora…still autobuy the In Death series), have gone from OMG! gotta have you now passion to How lovely to see you, look forward to visiting kind of reads. The storylines may be familiar and not grab me like they used to, but I know I will still enjoy the time spent reading.
Then others, like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Sandra Brown and Julie Garwood,who I have read since the beginning of their careers, have to my regret gone to “I am 70th on the wait list? No biggie”. They have really lost whatever first drew me to them. And for Kenyon, it seems to me that her books spend more time showing me how tortured the hero’s life has been and hardly any on building any sort of believable relationship with the heroine. Makes me want to go back and reread Zarek’s story.
I’ve been struggling with my category romance relationship. The first sign was when I couldn’t read Lynne Graham who had been a favourite. Virgins and alphajerks. But when I came across three in a row with cheating alphajerks I couldn’t cope. I can tolerate a lot from a hero but cheating is not in my mind heroic. In fact heroes in contemporary romance are becoming so “flawed” and unheroic that I really might as well create my own fantasy about Bill Blogs the baker down the road who shags anything in sight and doesn’t pay child maintenance when he can get out of it.
The only authors I can remember consciously deciding to quit (as opposed to falling behind because I just forgot about them somehow) are Laurell K. Hamilton and Mercedes Lackey. LKH’s books seemed to lose sight of the story and characters in favor of graphic and boring sex. With Lackey, the point when I said “No more!” was when she wrote herself into her Valdemar series.
The only author I recall breaking up with is Johanna Lindsey. She was my first romance author and I bought her stuff for a long time. Then I slowly started just reading her stuff. Then occassionally reading it. Then I hit two in row I thought were awful and haven’t picked up a new book by her since. I still enjoy rereading some of her older books, I even bought some for my kindle not too long ago, but I don’t even look to see if she’s still publishing new stuff anymore.
I’d probably have more, but while I’ll go through reading or buying binges of some authors periodically, I’ve really never had more than one autobuy author, and she’s 1)so far not given me too many disappointing books in a row*, 2)is really more autobuy due to having seen two hardcovers by her I didn’t have, then having to wait three years for the paperbacks to come out. (Never saw the hardcovers again and this was the early to mid-ninties.) And 3)it took me forever to get hold of my own copy of one of her early books, because her stuff doesn’t seem to stay consistently in print. (Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Just realized I hadn’t mentioned her name. Not really romance though.)
*Actually, she might have. I just managed to read them out of order enough not to notice.
Many of my ex-autobuys are mystery/thriller authors – Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Rita Mae Brown. In most cases I find the quality of writing has declined, or the characters haven’t evolved to my tastes.
My break-ups with with Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey & Julia Quinn & a bunch of other Hist Rom authors have been a gradual falling aways. And it was a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” My tastes have changed a lot over the years.
My break ups with Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Robyn Carr, Suzanne Brockmann & a few others have also been gradual. But in these cases it was definitely “it’s not me, it’s you.”
My break ups with Jayne Anne Krentz, Jr Ward, Sherilyn Kenyon, Stephanie Laurens & Maya Banks have been swift and brutal. Done. Over. Kaput. Finito.
Right now I am in what is feeling like the beginning of a break-up with Kristan Higgins. But I am hoping to be wooed again.
I am on a break with Kristen Ashley. We are keeping communication lines open, but our relationship needs to be re-evaluated right now.
Judith McNaught seems to have gone out for milk and never returned. I think she’s left me, guys.
I have a weird relationship with Nora Roberts. Her romances and trilogies we are definitely done. Her single titles we are taking one day at a time. I am still fiercely wedded to JD Robb though.
I stopped reading Janet Evanovich regularly. I still enjoy her, but she’s no longer an auto-buy for me because the books seemed too predictable.
Funny that you turned from Nora when she didn’t do super-sexy scenes. I’m the opposite. I now prefer the books where the bedroom door closes, and the romance is conveyed through the ramp-up and aftermath. Different paths….
Nora still works for me most of the time. I’ve only read Feehan’s non-Carpathian series, so she’s still an autobuy as well. And Krentz in her many guises is still such a comfort read for me. But there are authors I have broken up with.
It took me nearly a decade to break up with Linda Howard. She used to be an autobuy and I remember in the mid-90s paying way too much for a copy of Come Lie With Me from a used book store because it was the only title I didn’t have (if I’d known ebooks would eventually arrive I would have saved my money). I enjoyed Cover of Night but that was the last book of hers I really did. I knew things were bad when I started referring to her books as the what-to-do-when-you-survive-an-airplane-crash book, how-to-launder-money book, and the-what-not-to-do-when-you-win-the-lottery book. Ice was really the book that broke me though. She spent over a page describing the nitty gritty details of a deteriorated ladder. Plus the hero was a complete jerk and the heroine TSTL.I didn’t believe they had a HFN much less a HEA. I did check Veil of Night out of the library multiple times, but never read it. I still have over two dozen of her books on my keeper shelf though and really hope she releases the Kell Sabin series digitally. (But I will only buy them if they are released as written. I don’t want ”updated” versions). I consider that a healthy breakup since I able to still reread and enjoy her earlier titles.
Sadly, I think I am almost done with Julia Quinn. Her last two Smythe-Smith books are still in my TBR. I will no doubt buy the last one next year and then we’ll see.
I broke up with Sandra Brown years after she went complete mystery. I still have all of her books in print from 2009 and prior as it took me years to track them all down in the pre-internet days when I would snail-mail used bookstores all across the country. I can reread her as well and will still get her newer books from the library when I’m in the mood for a straight suspense/mystery.
I broke up with Brockmann after the whole Dark of Night fiasco and her author-behaving-badly antics. I gave away all my books of after the breakup. I cannot reread anything by her. I donated almost all of my Janet Dailey books after her plagiarism. The two I kept in paperback I have never reread, but they’re still in one of the tubs with the other print books I’ve kept but have no shelf space for.
I broke up with Julie Garwood many years ago. We basically grew apart. I broke up with Teresa Medeiros and Gaelan Foley more recently, after reading a book by each (The Pleasure of Your Kiss and My Ruthless Prince) in which the “hero” ran roughshod over the heroine and had coercive sex with her. I can calibrate for outdated attitudes in a decades-old romance novel, but not in one written in the 21st century.
I broke up with Johanna Lindsay when I was so uninterested in the plot that I started counting how often she used the word “actually” (about once per page and it ended up inducing some rage by the latter part of the book). I broke up with Julia Quinn toward the end of the Bridgerton series. And Lisa Kleypas broke up with me, dammit, when she stopped writing historicals! In another genre I also broke up with Rita Mae Brown and Patricia Cornwell. Their books just seemed to be more about issues than entertainment. I don’t generally have “autobuys” but “autoreads” and I’ve got some authors who are on shaky ground with me right now. Maybe authors really only have a certain lifespan? We always crave more of those earlier works though.
I broke up with Sandra Brown when she killed off the hero of the first book, in the second book of a Western historical – sorry, blanking on the name.
Judith McNaught seems to have gone out for milk and never returned. I think she’s left me, guys.
This made me snort out loud.
@tina: This made me laugh. SEP was definitely a case of “it’s not me, it’s you” for me too. And I’m still kind of angry at her for changing on me and *making* me drop her. I think I have to stop reading reviews of her new books (at least for awhile) because it’s like hearing about an ex – I just can’t stop myself from bad mouthing her or explaining to everyone why I had to break up with her, and really, no one else cares.
The list of m/m romance authors I broke up with is long. And they did not do anything wrong, their books just started to bore me or the angst level was something I could no longer tolerate. I guess m/m author whose books I have read for quite a while and broke up with slower than others would be Amy Lane. At first I just could not read her angstier books, now even so called ligter ones are usually an issue for me. I do still occasionally reread some of the lighter older ones, so I guess break up is not 100 percent complete?
Patricia Cornwell was my biggie. I think the last book I bought was Trace (#13) and even then I chugged along with getting a copy from work (damn being a librarian!) until The Scarpetta Factor (#17) was the straw that broke this camel’s back. Besides morphing her characters into pod people, that final book I read came off like a scattered outline. And bloated? Oh man, it was bloated. Pod people, incoherent, and bloated. Three things I apparently cannot move past.
I used to listen to Janet Evanovich on audio but stopped when it dawned on me that Stephanie was the worst sort of hypocrite. Morelli can’t look cross-eyed at another woman without Stephanie going ape-sh*t, but she’s free to bounce between him and Ranger whenever she darn well pleases. And just like that, I was cured.
I broke up with Susan Elizabeth Phillips and it was HARD. I hung in there for a while but her last couple books really disapointed me and “The Great Escape” made me so angry that I was just done. Her books have always been problematic but insanely appealing to me at the same time but it was time for a break. I can still reread her old ones but I know that I’ll bring so much baggage into new releases that there’s no way I’ll enjoy them even if they’re good.
@Willa Sunset Embrace was the first book. Another Dawn was when she killed off Ross.
SEP, definitely. She’s one of only two authors I have ever deliberately broken up with There was magic in HOT SHOT and KISS AN ANGEL (the circus book, which is on my DIK) and AIN’T SHE SWEET. There were parts of others that resonated with me, but I’m in the “It’s not me, it’s you,” because she NEVER changes. SSDD. The last book I dared read was the Brangelina-saga-costarring-Richard-Gere-as-heroine’s-dad. It took me a long time to work up to it and it was as tired as I feared.
The other one is Darynda Jones and her Grim Reaper series, and book 6 was one I looked forward to. Book 5, I enjoyed although I knew she was running out of material (book 2 reads like nobody expected the series to take off) got halfway through book 6 and sure enough, she’d run out. Too much cracking wise to beef up word count.
As for the rest, I have a habit of glomming an author, running out of that author’s body of work, moving on, and forgetting about them. The biggest one I did that with was Stephen King. Twenty years ago.
I broke up with Janet Evanovich because her books are the same thing over. And over. And over. I stayed way longer than I should have, going from hardcover autobuy, to wait until it comes out in paperback, to buying it used, all the while hoping it would get better, but by book fifteen I couldn’t take it any longer.
I also broke up with Laurell K. Hamilton when she gave up on any type of plot in favor of pages and pages of porn-like sex.
I think most of my break ups have already been mentioned. Some have been due to changes in genre such as Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught; and some I’ve just moved on from such as Johanna Lindsey, Suzanne Enoch, JR Ward, Stephanie Laurens, JD Robb and Julia Quinn. Geographical restrictions also helped me decide on which other authors to give up on: Larissa Ione; Jacquelyn Franks; Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. The UK editions that are available to me as eBooks can be $5 to $10 more expensive so for the most part I don’t buy or read those authors anymore.
@Sirius: Amy Lane! She’s an author that I’m in the process of breaking up with too – I’m just not that interested in keeping up with her new releases. I think this is a case of “it’s me, not you” – I feel like I’m out growing her. I never cared for her high octane, black hole of pain and angst books, but I read and loved a lot of her lighter and medium dark books. She was always a bit of a guilty pleasure for me – she has a lot of weird writing ticks that would annoy me in any other author, but there’s something about the way she pours out emotion that just drew me in and made me not care about niceties like editing or believability. But now that the novelty’s worn off, I find it harder to read her. I will still probably read the next Johnnie’s book, if/when it comes out, because I’m an addict. But that’s the only series I still feel connected to – I didn’t read the last one in the knitting series, and I feel good about that choice.
Cleo, I know all about reading addiction. What I tolerate in Mary Calmes’ books would have made me forget about *any* other writer very long time ago :).
Great post, Kati!
I’ve broken up with some really good authors, not because their work necessarily declined in my eyes, but because I’d read as many books of the type they wrote as I could. In mysteries Martha Grimes stands out in my memory; they just didn’t seem that interesting anymore. With Mary Balogh I feel as if I can reread old ones more happily than read new ones. There are a lot of series in romance where I stop midway through because I don’t really need to read every single person’s story (Jo Beverley is one). I liked the first three Bad in Baltimore series by KA Mitchell but I didn’t need to keep going.
I’d recommend any of those authors to readers who haven’t read them. Kind of like the boyfriend or girlfriend who was awesome but the relationship ran its course, I guess.
I think it might be harder for me to think of authors who I expect to be reading off and on until I can’t read anymore. In romance, most of those are Harlequin authors for me. Huh.
I dated Dee Henderson heavily for a lot of years. Her early entries (GOD’S GIFT for one) were terrific, her late rom/sus ones — okay, I got into the O’Malley “family” saga a bit.
But then she wrote one without an ending. I don’t even remember its name. But I affirm to you she DID NOT WRITE THE ENDING.
I left her weeping at the door and I’ve never been back.
I don’t do autobuys that much anymore except Susanna Kearsley. We’re still very much together.
How about a thread for the most pleasantly surprised we’ve been by an author whose work is new to us?
I broke up with two authors in one week — Sherryl Woods and Roxanne St. Claire. Those both were one book and done, break-ups. I almost cried, I was so sad and disappointed.
Other, more gradual break-ups include Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward and Laurel K Hamilton. (Wow, looking at the list, it’s like a pattern…)
I’ve dropped others too, for a variety of reasons…changed genre, couldn’t keep series straight, too long a wait between books.
I’ve never been an auto-buyer of any author really but there were certainly authors I would anticipate new books from and don’t any more: Lisa Kleypas, SEP, JD Robb (who was the closest auto-buy until after 34 books she made Eve into a victim in a handful of paragraphs at the end of NY to Dallas…still steamed) and other authors whose new releases now sneak up on me.
I really want to finish Nalini Singh’s psy/changeling series but her psy focused books aren’t working for me the way her changeling ones did. I still haven’t read the latest and the break-up is still in the painful phase.
I’ve ended things with Sherilynn Kenyon –after Acheron I just wasn’t that interested any more; and Laurel K. Hamilton –for the same reasons many others cited above — too much laughably BAD sex plus the weird knowledge of her rather dramatic personal life leaking into her books was icky to me; I also quit on Charlaine Harris when her Sookie books lost all the pep and joy they used to have.
I’m on a temporary hiatus from J.R. Ward, but I might go back and catch up with the Black Dagger Brotherhood someday — they just started falling flat for me. We’re on a break and I’ve been reading other PNR/UF for a few years now. ;)
This was my Goodreads review of Blood Magick:
It’s not you, it’s me
Dear Nora Roberts, I think this is the book that finally ends our relationship after 30+ years. You haven’t done anything wrong and you haven’t changed – but I have. It’s just not working for me anymore to read books about magical Irish witches who speak like fairy tale characters instead of genuine human beings. And epic battles against one-dimensional Eeeeeevil that we know will be resolved at the end of a trilogy that involves some combination of ingenues, tough broads, friends-turned-lovers, reunited-former-lovers, and lots of people uttering “so mote it be.” You’re a great storyteller, but I need some new stories and new voices.
@Cleo – I’d give Anne McCaffrey feminist brownie points for her heroine in The Kilternan Legacy who did, IIRC, reflect on some of the issues of women’s rights in Ireland at that time. I don’t know if there was another romance author who did that.
I’m with Tina on the break-up issue: if I can reread the early books, that means the author has changed and when I can’t, I’ve changed.
So, Elizabeth Lowell, who I loved way back when, now reads as mawkish – that’s me breaking up with her. With Kathleen Korbel, however, I still can reread the early books, but she loses me with the fae, so she broke up with me.
I can’t read Nora Roberts any more: from time to time I try, because she gave me a lot of happiness back in the day, but there’s nothing left to get out of the books. I suspect that’s a danger of being so prolific – that you tell all the stories that you have to tell, and eventually you repeat yourself.
She’s a bit of a special case for me. I imagine that if I had never read her, and started reading her now I would enjoy her current books – so I don’t think that she’s changed or that I’ve changed – more that we’ve finished our conversation, and there’s nothing left to say.
I’ve broken up with the author who really cemented my reading habits: Mercedes Lackey. It makes me so sad as I own almost every (older) book she’s written but her more recent works seem…sloppy. Like she doesn’t remember what happened in previous books (in the same series) so she completely re-writes history.
My big break-up is with Deborah Crombie. The last two books in her Kincaid/James series really ticked me off…..I’m done.
It’s rare that I stop reading authors that I can get from the library, but I’ve lost interest in Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Stephanie Laurens, Jo Goodman, Elizabeth Boyle, Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas and Elizabeth Hoyt. All of these women have written books that I adore, but it’s been awhile.
I love this topic, and totally enjoyed reading everyone’s comments!
I don’t think I “break up” with any authors. I’m more of a “time-out” kind of gal, because it seems unreasonable to expect any author to hit all my buttons with every book. I love Lisa Kleypas’s historicals, and her Travis family contemporaries. I liked Dream Lake, but didn’t love Rainshadow Road all that much, so I never read the other books in that series. However, I hear she’s going to write some new historicals, so I’ll be checking those out. Similarly, I loved Rachel Gibson’s Chinooks and some of her other older work, but a few of the more recent stories didn’t work as well for me. So I’m taking a little break from her, too. But I’ll always look at what she’s got coming out and sample pages. I have faith that, eventually, another one or more of her books will grab me, so I won’t give up completely.
I think I’m the opposite of you, however, in that I’m finding many modern day contemporaries to be replacing a lot of heart with a lot of sex and banter. I like explicit sex and fun banter, too, but not at the expense of a story that feels real to me. Perhaps I’m really more of a romantic women’s fiction reader than a romance reader? But that’s what makes author-reader relationships so special. There isn’t a “right book,” just a “right fit”…so I keep trying different things on!
Fun topic today, thanks!
Maya Banks has been my most recent- and painful- break up. I fell in love with her KGI series a few years ago and even started reading her historicals. First I got bored with the historicals and ended up DNF’ing the last one (something I virtually never do).
Then I was less-than-enchanted when the KGI series took a turn into the paranormal with the psychic stuff, but I hung in there.
I tried to read her newer series and forced myself through Rush and then Fever but got so sick of the repetition, super-thin plots, and insta-love that I DNF’ed Burn.
Shades of Grey and Forged in Steele were okay, but after I forced myself to read the Great Disappointment that was Van’s book, After the Storm, I realized I was done. I’m supposed to enjoy reading fiction, not force myself through it!
I’m still feeling a bit bitter. Maybe, if she slows down her output, I’ll try her again, but at this point, I’m done, I’m afraid.
@cleo: Anne McCaffrey, yeah. I agree she was ahead of her time but behind ours. I loved Lessa as a teen and I still appreciate the way McCaffrey allowed her to be so flawed – vengeful, nakedly ambitious, willing to kill to remove an obstacle, not even warm or caring where people are concerned — and yet she was driven to save humanity and achieved that goal. She got to be the hero in the hero’s journey and save the world. The book is soooo problematic in other ways but I always felt McCaffrey made the world so sexist partly to give Lessa something to fight against.
I also had an experience with revisiting the books at a an older age (18). I noticed the abusive stuff and it bothered me. I also picked up on the m/m undercurrents that went over my head as a 12 year old, and realized that the heroes were all bisexual.
Her later books were written in a much different style than the early ones and I broke up with her for that reason.
The first author I noticed breaking up with was Laura Ingalls Wilder. I LOVED her books growing up. When I re-read one of them in my 20’s, I was horrified at how snotty and judgemental and freaking IRRITATING all the characters were. It made me think much less of my young self, for having once loved all those same characters so much.
Most of my most recent breakups came at about the same point that the author’s new releases were coming out as hardcover. Once a really good series turns hardcover, it starts to suck. The font gets bigger, the whitespace takes up more room, and the story gets very disappointing.
Then I bought my e-reader in 2009, and publishing broke up with me by making all my auto buys unavailable due to geo-restrictions, so I found some new author friends. I haven’t kept them all, but mostly I haven’t really broken up with them yet. We’re not long-term enough to call it a break up.
@Janine Ballard: I didn’t pick up on the m/m undercurrents when I reread at age 20 – although to my credit, I think I read Dragons Dawn, which was the origin story and I don’t think those were present. But it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out what was going on with the blue, green and brown riders.
I’m not a particularly loyal reader to start with and I’ve only been reading romance for <4 years. There are authors I like, but although I read new books from Kristan Higgins, Julie James, and Tessa Dare soon after they come out, I still haven't finished their backlists. And I rarely re-read. So I've yet to really feel like I'm "breaking up" with an author, although I decided to take a temporary break from Julia Quinn and Julie Anne Long after reading maybe three books by each of them. Which reminds me, I should go back to them…and maybe read a Nora Roberts book for the first time. I keep meaning to, but it never seems to happen.
@Tamar: Thanks for that – had a brain fart and my mind went blank!
I had to comment and say “Thank God for the library!” I’ve broken up with so many authors and usually for the same reasons as those above. I was frantically trying to return my sister to Nora Roberts a couple of years ago. But only because I really liked “The Witness.” Everything else I’m always angry at myself for buying. So thank GOD for the library. I can read only a portion and if it’s not for me…no one knows I didn’t finish it! Linda Howard, Jayne Ann Krentz, Lisa Kleypas, Sandra Brown, Laurell K Hamilton, Catherine Anderson, boatloads of paranormals, Christian writers, suspense writers…Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke etc. Wow. I think I have more I don’t buy than I do.
Oh, I am the worst at breaking up with authors. I think Feehan’s Dark series, that last one will finally be the one that allows me to let go. And Kenyon, I drifted out of that and simply haven’t returned. But everyone else I am still dogged with. I may wait a bit, but I keep coming back, because sometimes I still find something I adore. Like Roberts’ The Witness, or (and maybe this should be my secret shame) Howard’s Prey. Heck, i even like about the first half dozen of Garwood’s romantic suspense, it may be that I am a bit indiscriminate, but I will admit that I am awfully grateful for libraries, because i would probably have had some serious break ups if I had actually shelled out money for a good number of the authors i probably should have broken up with.
I have a tendency to develop allergies to a writer’s style and once that happens, even the old favorites can become hard to read. I’ve had some instant allergies — Julie Garwood — and some that developed over time with favorites authors — Julia Quinn, Lucy Monroe, and most tragic, Mary Balogh. Though I’ve heard so much good buzz about her latest, I’m thinking of giving in and trying it.
It’s a lot easier to break up with an author now because there’s just so much available. Often it won’t even be a conscious decision; I’ll just realize at some point that an author I once read has had two or three books go by, and I didn’t care enough to find time for them. Sometimes I’ll try them and realize, yeah, it’s really over. It’s kind of like a pair of pants that you stop wearing because you subconsciously know it won’t fit anymore…
@LoriS. Laurel Hamilton and Janet Evonovich are my exact break ups as well! For the same reasons. I’m scared I may have to break up with SEP. I don’t want to, but she may just force me. There are too many good books out there waiting to be discovered to spend time reading crap.
J R Ward, Christine Feehan, Laurell K Hamilton, Stephanie Laurens, Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth Lowell, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris, Richelle Mead, PC & Kristin Cast, Mary Janice Davidson, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Clare, L J Smith, Kay Hooper, Lora Leigh…
Nora Roberts and I have agreed to ‘see other people’…
So apparently I’m a wee bit promiscuous. Either that or I’m a toy poodle.
Diana Gabaldon is mine. I read through the first four Outlander books in a few weeks. I think I even took a day off work to read #5. I bought Echo in the Bone in hardcover, and tried to slog through it. I realized at around page 800 I just didn’t care anymore what happened to these characters, and gave up. I took her latest out of the library and got about half way through before deciding that I wasn’t wasting any more time on this series without end.
Also, many named by other people. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, Suzanne Brockmann….
@willaful…re allergies. I have a tendency to read a whole stack of one author at a time but in recent years I’ve restricted myself to no more than three in a row because you start to really notice the tics and the phrases they use ALL the time. Even the best writers have them. Once you start noticing them they become giant neon signposts distracting you from the story.
@Fiona Marsden: Too true. I often think my memory is too good. :-(
@Mag: Glad to know I’m not the only one. :-)
I wouldn’t describe my various reading relationships with authors as breakups, which is rather dramatic. But rather, I see the relationship as drifting apart due to one or more of the following reasons: change in writing style and/or change in reading taste/mood/habit.
Mine are: Howard (still read her romantic suspense, but like many others, would love to see the emphasis on the “romantic” side), Evanovich (reading Stephanie Plum yearly is more like a ritual), Lisa Marie Rice (same old, same old and not liking the futuristic trilogy), and Brockway and Kleypas who changed genres.
Authors I recently read after a hiatus: J.R. Ward, Davidson and Feehan – interestingly, all paranormals.
Lately, my romance reading has become stagnant. I was thinking perhaps it was because these days I don’t have that many auto-buy authors to follow any more, compared to, like, 10 years ago. But I am still hanging on and hoping to find the feeling that only reading romance can bring, through *new* authors/books and not relying on the DIKs.
@Tamar That’s exactly how I feel about Kenyon’s books but couldn’t figure out how to articulate. So tired of the suffering and the life lessons (usually from a dead loved one) over and over instead of relationship development. I was also irritated by Ash’s book when there’s a declaration of love that’s interrupted by a plug for another author’s books. WTH? Took me right out of the book. Zarek’s book is on my re-read list, it holds up.
I had forgotten about Jayne Ann Krentz, Julia Quinn and Stephanie Laurens in my original list. I no longer read the Jayne Castle books because I can’t remember anything about them afterwards. I still borrow JAK and AQ books from the library but don’t buy them. Quinn I gave up on during the Bridgerton series, I did try to finish it but the last book put me off her work. I don’t keep up with Laurens’ books because my interests changed.
JR Ward was my biggest breakup. The pairing in Lover Reborn just felt so convenient and forced to me. The number of side plots have just grown ridicuous and distracting, and I refused to read The King because I didn’t want to watch as Wrath and Beth imploded. I’m slower to read Sherrilyn Kenyon now, and find that she writes about characters that I have no previous connection to and neglects those I enjoyed (Can anyone tell me what happened to the Dogs of War?). Katie MacAlister also used to be an autobuy for me, but her latest historical felt more about how absurd the heroine could be than the relationship.
Folks have mentioned so many of the same ones for me: Linda Howard, Elizabeth Lowell, Patricia Cornwell, Suzanne Brockmann, Stephanie Laurens, Sherrilyn Kenyon (and I still miss what I loved about that series), Karen Marie Moning, Janet Evanovich…I’m sure there are others.
There are lot of authors mentioned here I never picked up for one reason or another. But unlike quite of a few folks here, Mary Balogh, Julia Quinn, Jo Beverly, Nora Roberts – they’re still on my to-read (if the story sounds interesting) list. I’ll admit, I started the first of Nora’s Cousin O’Dwyer series and it didn’t suck me in. I still have the books, I’ll try again later. But Carter Maquire, from her “Vision in White”, is probably one of my favorite beta-heroes of all time. I just loved his character! I also love the personal growth Eve has shown as a leader in the last 3-4 In Death books, too.
I do find most of the time, I prefer the Nora/Robb books that stay away from the paranormal. I pretty much stopped buying the Robb novellas because she really “jumped the shark” with a couple of those I did read.
Not really a break-up but a cross between Willaful’s “allergies” and on-hold – not to mention that it has been a really long time since I’ve made an author auto-buy and not a series auto-buy. But I will admit that it has probably been over 5 years since I last read Feehan, Kenyon, Lindsay, Devereux, and Singh. I do plan on finishing up each of the series I started but I haven’t yet.
@cleo: I used to reread the Pern books since I discovered them as a teenager, and I came to that same realization at about the same age. I was so disappointed.
I still like Lackey’s Valdemar series but I became “allergic” to Lackey’s writing style. I’m about 2-3 books behind on her latest Valdemar books.
@Kaley: I agree with everything you said about Maya Banks – those were my exact reasons for breaking up with her. I was close to doing it after Fever, on the edge after Burn… then After the Storm was the absolute last straw. I’m not putting myself through that again.
Jaci Burton is one I can’t say I’ve technically broken up with because the couple of books I’ve tried of hers, I haven’t enjoyed. I seem to be the only one, though, so if anyone has recs for her they’d be much appreciated!
@MikiS: But Carter Maquire, from her “Vision in White”, is probably one of my favorite beta-heroes of all time. I just loved his character!
Oooh – I adored him!
Great comments. My break-ups have all been mentioned before: Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Diana Gabaldon are my big ones. Diana Gabaldon hurt me the most: I am tragically obsessed with the first three books in the Outlander series…but after that, I couldn’t go on. I still think of all the authors above in varying degrees of fondness, though. But the only author that I can re-read from my break-up list is Diana Gabaldon. For the rest, I have my happy reading memories, and I don’t want to tarnish them with a reunion bound to end in disaster.
Interestingly enough, I feel like some authors have broken up with ME rather than the other way around. Like, I love Joanna Chambers, but when she segued into doing mostly m/m, I tried but wasn’t able to follow (I read primarily for female characters, so I’m mostly a m/f or f/f reader). It was like a sad parting of ways, where she outgrew me and I got left behind because I couldn’t make the adjustment. Ditto with Sarah Morgan. I’ve read every single one of her Harlequin Presents, but her standalone books just haven’t done it for me. She’s growing and evolving as a writer, and I want the same-old, same-old. :/
I genre-shift every few years, in that the predominant genre I read changes. And, in that, I “dump” a bunch of–I guess I’ll call them “second-tier” authors that satisfied my craving for my predominant genre and were competent and entertaining enough, but not really the authors that made me say “wow” when I put the book down after finishing it.
Over the decades my taste has changed enough that some autobuy authors 20 years ago aren’t necessarily on autobuy now. But I would hardly call that a breakup, and to be honest, some of those authors have died or retired in the meantime (R.IP., Joan Aiken).
@Joy: That’s a useful way of looking at it. I’ll still read “second-tier” historical authors, but have largely given them up in most other subgenres.
My break-up with Jean M. Auel was nearly a violent thing. The final book was so bad that it ruined the entire series pretty much for me. I wound up giving away my hardcovers.
But the first romance author whose work I religiously bought – Julie Garwood – I don’t buy much of her current stuff either. I did pick up her latest since it was marked down to $6 and I had a gift card. I’ll give it a shot.
I have a feeling once I’m done with the Smith-Smythe quartet, I am pretty much done with Julia Quinn’s new work. Nothing has quite recaptured the feel of the Bridgerton series for me. Nothing has made me cry the way that “To Sir Philip, With Love” did or sigh the way “Romancing Mister Bridgerton” did.
I am still fiercely wedded to the J.D. Robb books, to use the term mentioned above, but the last single-title that Nora Roberts put out disappointed me so much. “The Collector” had such a great beginning, then I wound up wishing the murderer would just kill them both. By the way, is it me, or have her books gotten really graphically violent lately? Like, the kidnapping/torture done in “Thankless in Death” was done to such a degree that I haven’t dared re-read the book. It was just that uncomfortable, and it takes a lot to shake me.
But in return, I have new loves like Courtney Milan that have helped replaced the long-beloved authors I have retired for now.
@Meg: I had to abandon my ebook of Thankless in Death for the print copy, so that I could skip over the parts where we’re in the serial killer’s mind. Ugh! The two books since then weren’t nearly so bad.
I’ve almost entirely broken up with romantic suspense as a genre, kind of like how everyone in Martians, Go Home stops reading science fiction. Real life is too scary already. The “In Death” books are pretty much all the RS I still read.
Wow. I hadn’t really thought of this until I read yesterday’s post and all the comments. Yeah, I knew I’d broken up with a couple of authors, but I’ve actually broken up with *a lot* of the authors other people have mentioned. I used to be a huge mystery reader, but I’ve broken up with almost everyone in that genre except some historical authors. I’ve also broken up with a ton of the historical and contemp romance authors that I loved so much about 10 years ago. Some I got actively pissed at and made a conscious uncoupling decision, but others I just gradually drifted away from due to ennui. There are even some authors whose books I still buy out of habit even tho I haven’t read one in ages! Shades of breakups!
To compensate for the breakups, I’ve just filled the gap by reading more from other genres/subgenres: SFF, UF, YA, M/M romance, etc. I don’t lack for things to read even if I do whinge about not being able to find something that suits my mood on occasion. :-)
@Kris: Loved your response. I’m obsessive in tracking books wanted or read. Also track “Do not read” and “Last chance” authors, including pseudonyms. Currently there are 186 on the first list and 17 on second. Thank goodness I still have 103 authors on the auto read list.
Some I hated to put on the “Do not read” were Candace Camp, Claudia Dane, and Susan Krinard. I still occasionally read Nora Roberts and try to ignore dialogue that resounds of the Dallas staccato.
@pamelia: Acheron did me in as well. Haven’t touched a Kenyon book since.
Tami Hoag. Loved her early work–great romances–and then she started moving steadily away from romance to more of a “romantic suspense” feel (Guilty as Sin, Thin Dark Line, etc.) and then to darker, grittier stuff that had no appeal for me.
I’ve been having trouble with a lot of my authors. I just discovered romance novels two years ago and I’m already moving away from some of the authors I’ve been close too during that time. I loved Maya Banks but the last five or six have left me feeling bereft. I love Nora Roberts but hated the O’Dwyer series. It felt weak to me and not up to her usual standard (loved “Whiskey Beach” though). I’ve taken a step back from Jaci Burton who has been a tad repetitive to me. I’ve also quietly held off on J.R. Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon not because I’m done but I have so many to read.
Because I read so many books a month, I notice trends even though separation. Susan Mallery is almost just comfort food at this point. The stories are repetitive and follow the same patterns but I’m promised a happy ending so I figure, why not? I’ve been trying to read her “Yours for Christmas” since I got the galley copy almost six weeks ago.
I’ve been struggling more and more with long-running series books. I’ve only read the first 8 ‘In Death’ books and loved them but haven’t been able to muster up the interest to read the next 35 or so. I’ve felt that way with Kenyon, Ward, Robin Carr, etc. It took me ten years to get caught up on the Sue Grafton novels. It’s been tough to convince myself to read them. Plus I’ve taken time away from the series so I inevitably have to re-read the early ones to remember where I left off.
Agree with Deb Kinnard on Dee Henderson. When she finally made a comeback with an “O’Malley” book after many years, it was a huge disappointment. Nothing like what the previous stories were like.
We outgrew our old bookshelves and my husband build a new set that will fit many more books. So I had to box away my books for several months and am now reexamining books as I put them back on the shelf – if they even make it back…
I knew I had given up on Sherrilyn Kenyon (all those books are ALL in the give-away box), but I was surprised to see that I hadn’t purchased a new Iris Johansen and Lori Foster books in quite some time. Not sure if I’ll keep the ones I have or make a clean break…
for some reason them kenyon books sound like mm books ,i keep seeing angsty ,dark, emotional , is that emo? i dont read either ones since it not my cup of tea. but it sound so great how folks have something they love love to read. i have given up on mercedes lackey books, they are just to juvie for my taste. the kim harrison book ugh. great character ,setting,worldbuilding , but main character has to much inside her head stuff and her weird yelping sound like so much filler to fill the pay by the word fills and frankly it seems lot of stuff is lifted from previous book of her to get new readers up to speed and it a lot. getting nowwhere in the series and long time between the books being publish. all that just to manipulative for me.and frankly some the book in the series were so flawed in writing i could see parts were needing editing. ouch.
@tc- Hi, tc!
If it’s not a problem, can you please elaborate on what you meant by this that kenyon books sound like mm books?
I read few Kenyon blurbs right now and I fail to understand…
I seem to break up with authors a lot earlier than others. I dropped Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake books after book #6 (the porno-snuff movie book – was it “Killing Dance”?). I lasted with Janet Evanovich until Stephanie and Ranger had their night of passion and then never went back into that relationship. I refused to read anything Kathleen Woodiwiss wrote after “So Worthy My Love” (which I read in about 2 hours because I skimmed through most of it because it was that bad – and I was about 18 at the time, so my tolerance for bad was pretty high).
Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind were my big fantasy breakups. As an aside, I was such a fan of Goodkind at one point, in 2001-ish that I bought his latest release as a present for DH (who introduced me to Goodkind) for an anniversary present and he bought the same hardback book for me for an anniversary present. At that point we agree not to buy each other books as presents when we knew the other liked the series – books were to be a joint gift or specifically asked for.
Brockmann and SEP haven’t done it for me for the last couple of books, but I haven’t completely broken up with them, I’ve just deferred buying their most recent books until my budget is a little more generous (it’s near non-existent at the moment) and then we’ll see.
@Tsuki: Some of the gems of the “In Death” series do come further in. I cry like a baby every time I read “Visions in Death,” and some of the books around that part of the cycle are immensely powerful.
I broke it off with Lora Leigh when she couldn’t keep her ages, names, how they died and what locations they were in, in the book….Maya Banks, Kenyon, the same reason everyone mentioned Acheron was a DNF….Harlequin Presents line….way too many similar plots….Brenda Joyce when she switched over to paranormals and left us hanger with that book series.??
I think the hardest author I quit was Diane Palmer (don’t judge me) I just kept buying her books and “buying” her badly plotted out books that were all just retreads plots about young virgins and late 30’s bullies posing as alphas……
Linda Howard I’m still holding on with numb fingers but hey we have a history.
Back in the 80s I used to read anything written by Woodiwiss or Johanna Lindsey.
Back in the 90s I used to read anything written by Jayne Ann Krentz, Sandra Brown or Nora Roberts,
The only one of those authors that I still read is Sandra Brown because, well I know the romance in her books is very little but she’s amazingly great with suspense, a genre that I love, romantic or not. I love her twists and turns.
I don’t even re-read old favorites of those authors I have given up with.
A couple of books I don’t connect with are enough to give up on an author. And I don’t usually look back to them, unless I read several great reviews about one particular book.
I have always found new authors. Nowadays my autobuys are, apart from Sandra Brown, Suzanne Brockmann, Meljean Brook, Courtney Milan, Lisa Kleypas, Rachel Gibson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips & Sherry Thomas. And I’m going through the backlists of Laura Kinsale & Jennifer Crusie.