Monday, November 27, 2006

Is it just me?

I just put down another NY-published novel after jumping ship in the middle.

This is the fourth book since coming home from NJRW that I've been unable to finish and I want to know: Is it me?

Have I lost my ability to enjoy reading, or is there really something lacking in the books I've been choosing lately? I know my internal editor is a bitch, but she's promised to shut up and just read for enjoyment now and then.

With the exception of Jennifer Elbaum's Nowhere to Hide, I haven't finished a book in two months.

This is what I've read:

Book One: Well known author. I've enjoyed a number of her other books but this one left me cold. The characters had few redeeming qualities and halfway through the book I was rooting for heroine to kick the hero in the balls. Unfortunately, I didn't like the heroine enough to keep reading and see if she did it or not.

Book Two: An erotic anthology. Not one of the three stories made my heart race or my palms sweat. The one story I actually read all the way through had a disappointing ending that seemed chopped off in the middle. I'm a staunch defender of the novella, but this one really seemed like someone had taken a full length novel and left off the last two thirds.

Book Three: I loved the catchy title and the cute cover art. This one had been on my TBB pile for a while so I was thrilled to get my hands on it. The hero and heroine were undeniably attracted to each other, but they seemed to have no purpose other than to flirt. There was no external conflict whatsoever and the only thing keeping them apart was their mutual desire not to get into a relationship.

Book Four: Another well-known author of sizzling romance. I made it to page 70 at which point I still wasn't sure who or what the hero was supposed to be. I only knew who the heroine was because her name is mentioned in the back cover blurb. By chapter three, they still hadn't even met.

What am I missing here?

Each of these books breaks the rules that over the course of the last two years I've been told over and over again should not be broken. Granted, we all know you can break any rule you want to as long as you do it with unique skill and finesse, and some of the best books out there are the ones that break the rules, but these books all seemed to be examples of why the rules exist in the first place.

I hate to complain, but this isn't how I wanted to put a significant dent in my towering TBR pile. I was really hoping to be able to finish some of the books that have been weighing down my closet floor for weeks, months or - gasp! - even years.

I really need a book that will knock my socks off. I'm even willing to tie my internal editor up and lock her in a closet if I have to. Help!


Anonymous said...

I totally hear you. I rarely buy print books any more. Maybe I've read too many ebooks, too many novellas -- I like the faster pace, the immediacy of the action (and I'm talking all kinds of action).

Since I'm assuming you've read JR Ward's Black Dagger series (my personal favorite now), I'd recommend Nalini Singh's Slave to Sensation, Kathleen Dante's Entangled, and Deidre Knight's Parallel Attraction (Parallel Heat is in my TBR). Those are three books I read cover-to-cover -- most of the hundred or so others I've acquired this year, I wound up skimming.

Good luck!

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Thanks, Robin! I'll add these to my TBB list!