Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Ick Factor

There are just certain kinds of books that I cannot read no matter how good the writer. I've encountered several of these over the last couple of months and it got me to thinking about the exact plot device that makes me say "I think I just threw up in my mouth" (a brilliant line from that classic movie, Dodgeball).

The other day I picked up one of the new Silhouette Bombshells. I'd never read one before so I picked one written by a writer I usually like, Ruth Wind/Barbara Samuel. I know that the Bombshells aren't traditional romances which is fine with me. I like action adventure books and have been reading a lot of Vince Flynn lately, so this book should have been a good read. Well, it was, until the throwing up in my mouth part.

So what causes this thoroughly disgusting reaction in me? Huge age discrepancies between the main romantic characters where a parental or close relationship had previously been involved. I'm fine with May/December romances where the characters meet as adults, but tell me that the man was the guardian of the girl and then had the hots for her when she became an adult and I just lose it. I don't care how good a writer is, this disgusts me beyond belief. In my little Pollyanna world, you don't lust after kids you've known since they were in diapers and Daddy's best friend is not a candidate for sex (the case in the Wind book). I barely finished an older Iris Johansen Loveswept with this same plot and threw away a Meagan McKinney and a Karen Robards.

This particular plot device used to be fairly common and I'm almost okay with the guardian who's never actually spent any time with his ward. But anytime the two characters knew each other well when one was a child, the ick factor sets in and the book goes in the trash.

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