Sun
Feb 13 2011 5:00am

It’s Not Me, It’s You: Breaking Up With An Author

Victorian Women Crying

People who know books often talk about what is popular, what used to be popular, what should or shouldn’t be popular . . . and why. You can find the discussion in newspapers, on blogs, in magazines, and, every once in a while, books make it to the flickering TV screen as well. One of the most fascinating things that only readers seem to discuss is the process of “The Breakup.”

It mostly happens with fiction, but not always; I’ve certainly heard of readers giving up completely on self-help books, Civil War biographies, political criticisms, and everything else.

And within fiction, it mostly happens with series, but not always. Perhaps a reader will be tired of an author’s particular style, or penchant for wordiness and long books. Or will be tired that an author always has the Russians (or Jihadists, or The Man™) as the antagonist of a series. There are as many reasons a breakup can occur as there are readers and/or things to read. But, speaking generally, I most often hear the breakup label used in reference to readers giving up on a series.

Sometimes the breakups are benign. Perhaps a reader was interested or curious in a series that failed to hold his or her interest beyond a library checkout or two. No harm, no foul. Not so much a breakup as, well, a few dates before I realize you’re not the one for me. Maybe it’s an author you already like but this new series isn’t ringing your bell. Sometimes it's an author you should like, but can’t seem to get in to.

Other times, the breakup is all about the financials. An author moves a series from paperback to hardback and that could be the end. I didn’t mind hanging out with you for $7.99, but $26.99 makes me question the depth of my commitment to you. It’s not you, it’s me. My wallet, actually, but you understand, right? When the breakup is financial, a reader will often continue the series with the help of the public library. Nothing personal, right, I just can’t afford you anymore, but we’re still friends. I’m still interested in what is going on in your life. Let’s keep in touch, eh?

And then there are the other times. Whether it is fatigue, disgust, or something in between, the breakup is because something is broken between the author and the reader. It’s the series that started out as a trilogy and is now on book eleventy-seven (11ty7) and is no closer to an ending than it was in book 3. Will she or won’t she? Do you even care anymore? Shouldn’t she be so old by now the question becomes CAN she or CAN’T she? It’s the series that, even though the plots seem to change, uses a formula as routine as the yearly release date. Hairspray? Check. Donuts? Check. Hamster? Check. Impatiently patient boyfriend? Yes. Too-hot-for-you former/future lover? Yes. Black girl sidekick wearing clothes that are too small, carrying a gun, and eating fried chicken? Check! Interest? Not so much anymore.

But even then, even when you didn’t like the last book, rarely is a book relationship severed with any kind of surgical precision. It more resembles a hacksaw as you try to hang on to whatever you can of the feelings you once had. After all, there was a time when you would have paid full cover price, run to the bookstore on release day, stood in an author line to gush about the character/plot point/dialogue line that made your day. Now, those same books in the bookstore fill you with fury. What the hell has the author done to my favorite characters? WHY the hell didn’t anyone stop her before she wrote again? Doesn’t he read his own backlist?! When a new book in the series comes out, webpages, blogs, and Twitter streams can become full of frothy anger—which is sometimes fun, I won’t lie. As a reader who has been known to get heavily invested in a series only to have it turn to rubbish, I have felt this pain before. For me, along with most of my friends, the words “Anita Blake” have a definite summer and winter season. The winter of our discontent has been endless. It has been so bad that my not hating a recent book was worthy of comment!

Of course, there will be people who say you shouldn’t get so involved with books. Or they’ll say it’s silly to invest so much of your time and/or emotional energy into something that means so little to you personally. And while they’re free to say that, it’s really not something that a reader has any control over. Books move people. They always have. That is a book’s job, after all: to engage the reader.

And it isn’t always the author’s fault. I mean, Candyland™ was my favorite game as a kid, and now it isn’t. That isn’t the game’s fault. Time to move on. Books, authors, and series aren’t any different. Authors do what they do and we can either follow or say goodbye. It doesn’t, or shouldn’t, change how we felt when we were still in love. That series, at that time, was exactly the right series of books.


 

Robin Bradford is a lawyer, a librarian and, most importantly, a longtime lover of words. You can check her out on Twitter @tuphlos, On Unpaged, or read the backlist at Obiter Dictum.

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41 comments
Megan
1. Megan
Robin, just curious--what books feature a hamster?
Robin Bradford
2. RobinBradford
Evanovich. I was picking on her quite a bit in this post. I think it's a hamster. Maybe a gerbil. Who can remember?
Natasha Carty
3. WickedLilPixie
Last night, I actually packed up all my Anita Blake books for donation. I can't take it anymore, she hurts me.
Charli Mac
4. CharliMac
I tried reading that Evanovich but couldn't get into it. I think it was all those horrible stereotypes that had me rolling my eyes.

Recently, I gave up on James Patterson's Alex Cross Series. I was kind of over it.
Robin Bradford
5. RobinBradford
I recently re-read Circus of the Damned and Obsidian Butterfly and it just pissed me off how much i hate the newer ones. LOL. That probably isn't going in the right direction.

You know, maybe series just go on too long?
Laura K. Curtis
6. LauraKCurtis
There are a couple mystery series am totally over, but in romance the author I divorced was Elizabeth Lowell. I used to LOVE her. Now I feel like she's just phoning it in. I get so bored I can't finish.
Kinsey Holley
7. KinseyHolley
I can't remember when I gave up on Anita Blake, but I've never regretted it. It just got too dark, too icky, too annoying. And I think I'm about to give up on Book Sookie. TV Sookie I will watch forever - I love True Blood. But the last couple of books have left me bored and uninvolved.

The one series I've threatened to give up on, but can't, is the BDB. When Ward pulled the Casper crap in Vishous' book (I am a Vishous fangirl) I was phurious. Then Phurry's book sucked - but I finished the wretched thing anyway. No matter how much she pisses me off, I keep going back for more.
Victoria Janssen
8. VictoriaJanssen
This is an awesome post. I was on the point of breaking up with a series on Saturday night, and then the author had to remind me of the very cool overarching plot...yeah, I'll pre-order the next one.
Megan
9. Sabrina
Hate to say it but I broke up with the Anita Blake series too - as well as the Gentry series. I had actually thought the Gentry series was much better - at least for me - and have been so disappointed with where it went.

It's sad that she can create such a great world and characters and then just proceeds to drive them into utter crap.
Robin Bradford
10. RobinBradford
@Victoria LOL! I so feel your pain there. Just when I thought I was over you! :-) Not so much.

@Sabrina I think THAT is the worst part and that's when I know enough is enough. The author's vision is THE vision, after all. If I think it's crap, I know it really isn't them, it's me. Time for me to move on.
Keira Gillett
11. Keira
Anita Blake and Stephanie Plum are definitely library reads now and pretty much only if I spy them on the new book shelves. I don't keep up to date as much as I used to on them. I did enjoy the last ABVH, it cleaned me of a lot of Richard hate, I just hope it continues. lol
Megan
12. Helgagrace
First of all, great post. I demand more posts like this one, but not on identical subjects.

I broke up with Anita Blake (as announced by me on Twitter about once every three months) many moons ago. I am still hanging in with Merry Gentry, although the last one really pissed me off. I've been broken up with Scarpetta for a few books now, and I guess Evanovich as well, although we didn't break up so much as . . . drift apart. The same is true of me and Jim Butcher, which I am willing to pick up again if someone makes a compelling argument (Robin).

One series that I probably should have broken up with but haven't, and AM GOING TO FINISH DAMMIT, is Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. I've already spent like twenty years of my life reading it or waiting for the next book, so what's a few more? Does anyone else have one like this, where it's definitely gone on too long, but you don't know how to cut it off? At least there's an end in sight; who knows if/when the Anita Blake series will finish.
Judy
13. Miller
I used to read all of the Mary Janice Davidson Betsy series just because they were fun. After her last book, Undead and Unfinished, I am so over this series!
Megan
14. Sayuri
@Helagrace - OMG! I feel your pain over Robert Jordan. I still buy the books in HARDBACK no less but I haven't picked one up since Crown of Swords, I think. I am waiting for the last one to come out I think, then I will sit and have a giant re-read of the whole series from beginning to end. It'll probably take me six months but then it will be done and I can say I read it!

As for series I have broken up with, I usually can't last past book 7 or 8 in any series. The only exception so far have been Ward and Adrian for some reason. I still buy Robyn Carr's Virgin River books but I haven't read one since book 5 I think....I keep meaning to but other books things get in the way.
Jenny Schwartz
15. Jenny Schwartz
I'm with Keira. Some authors go from auto-buy to library reads, because I can't quite let go, but my precious book budget has to go to greener fields.

There is also that moment of recognition when I look at a shelf of old favourites and realise I'll never re-read them. I did that about a year ago with the L M Montgomery books, so I parcelled them up and sent them into the world for new readers of her books.
Lime Cello
16. Limecello
You stole my idea, Robin! ;) Kidding - actually, re: the break up... I think I'm one of those like battered woman fools. :X I... have a *really* hard time quitting an author. If I really enjoyed her works, even though I tell myself I'll quit after four meh or bad books... I might still take a peek, or get the book, just put it lower on my TBR pile. Sick, I know. At least *generally* I only do that with books?
It's good to see I'm not alone though ;) Libraries are lovely, wonderful things. Have always used mine. And sometimes they save me from myself!
Megan
17. JenB
I'm a shameless dumper. I have commitment issues. I'm also prone to burnout and negative reactions to hype. In other words, I'm flaky. :)

I'm not sure any author could be a permanent autobuy for me. I dumped Ward after Furry's book, Kenyon after Valerius's book, and even the latest Crusie release didn't appeal to me.

I actually like it this way. Since I rarely read past the second or third book in a series (heck, I can't remember the last time I read past the first book), I'm more likely just to become distracted or lose interest than get disappointed when the series is no longer going my way.

The only time I feel guilty about it is when I talk to authors. If a former favorite author asks me what I thought of her recent eighth book and I'm forced to admit I "got behind" and haven't caught up from book two...heh...awkward.
Donna Kissam
18. The Cat Bastet
Well, I grew up waiting for more Malory's and Montgomery's. My awareness of patterns only extends back to the mid 80s, so I'm not sure if the pattern formed earlier. I lost interest in M&Ms when I lost interest in historicals that're neither Regencies nor centered around tortured heroes of the Laura Kinsale variety, which may have coincided with a quality dive from J&J. The decade of waiting for Allegretto and then not being happy with what Kinsale did with him was frustrating. LKH was a bit of effort, but once I got to see some action out of Asher I put it down and never even reconsidered it. I no longer have to read about denim shorts and red polo shirts that match your socks and your scrunchie with white Keds worn unironically, so the whole "why are 50 guys after someone who looks like my mom going grocery shopping in 1989" issue is *over*. I like too-hot-for-her heroes as long as the character knows he's too hot and doesn't buy her own hype.

Ok, so maybe there are lingering Anita Blake issues I have yet to reconcile. Wait, let me pull out my LKH Male Character Generator, which randomly gives me combinations of eye color, hair color, height, dick size, century of origin, and species. Oops, it's offline, I never finished updating for Merry Gentry by adding the extended concentric irises thing which adds two more possibilities per guy and uncommenting the skin color field which previously had been all white but now features many colors, just no other ones actually found in nature.

I finally worked out my difficulties with breaking up with long form narrative in the Buffy fandom. All which has come before need not be called into question just because the present is so disappointing. This is still the same relationship that started with a girl slapping her hand over the mouth of a guy she'd actually started out the evening thinking she'd impress because it was the Spring of 1997 and did her crucifix just burn him all symbolically and shit? Shut up, guy to my right on this couch, I need to concentrate. Also, why are we on your couch on our first date? I have to start making better choices. So we'll always have crucifix scars that symbolize a relationship not just between individuals but between archetypes, and more importantly we'll always have vampires coming after us with shotguns and then having their rage visibly melt away when we look up and they see we're crying.

But I digress. The trick for me in breaking up, I've discovered, is really that the author has given me what she set me up to really *want* - and it obviously will be a guy, a few guys, or perhaps just a particular kind of confrontation with one of them. Then I can walk.

Evanovich drug it out a long time for such a light series but the second she let me see inside Ranger's lair, I had mine, and I was out.

Black Dagger Brotherhood? Girl, if you'd held out on Szadist I'd still be fuming and suggesting you're causing a worldwide shortage of Hs, but you'd be getting my money. Book Three? Really? You're gonna give it up in Book *Three*? She obviously couldn't wait for him any longer either. Understandable. I've always been slutty that way, myself.

Interesting that Elizabeth Peters managed to keep it going
for decades, but then again she is working with three guys who would
all be fuck or marry if it was a different series but I'll be
damned...obsessive bad(dish) guy is kill, good guy is marry, and
heroic but conflicted is fuck. This is unprecedented. Obsessive bad guy is supposed to be fuck. Just too much awesomeness blowing up my brackets.

Now we'll see if I ever get enough of Jericho Z. Barrons, who in FMK is of course all three. I've had myself enough Ms. Lane, but she's a necessary evil and they'll keep having arguments and breaking up and stuff, so it'll be fine. I can't believe KMM interested me in a Keltar, though. That's impressive. Keltars usually bore the pants right onto me. See you in Faery, Christian!
Robin Bradford
19. RobinBradford
So it isn't just me! Lots of you also have the same breakup issues that I have. See, I knew it. I knew I wasn't the only one. And the library is glad to be your intermediate step, your "book relationship counselor" if you will, between you and your author/series on the brink.
Megan
20. theoldlady
Anything by Jane Anne Krentz (so formulaic) and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series (so many characters and varieties of species I lost track).
Megan Frampton
21. MFrampton
JR Ward, I cannot quit you. Even in hardcover.

I am like a lot of you, turning to the library when I can't quite bring myself to slam the door and throw away the key.

I once announced I would never get involved with the Wheel of Time, because I was already wedded to one eternally long fantasy series--the Game of Thrones--and I'd be damned if I'd bigamize myself with another.

I have the latest GoT waiting for me, although Ms. RobinBradford herself tells me it's not as good as the first three that I've read thus far.
Robin Bradford
22. RobinBradford
@MFrampton. You don't mind if I call you MF, do ya? :-) Don't fret! It's not HORRIBLE.....it's just not up to his usual standards.
Megan Frampton
23. MFrampton
Whee! I have a new nickname! Only if you preface "MF" with "SexyMF," Prince-style (no, um, just kidding. I might die if you did that).

Also, The_Cat_Bastet, how 'bout you write a post or three for us? Email to blogging@heroesandheartbreakers.com.
Amber McMichael
24. buriedbybooks
@The_Cat_Bastet,

Funny that E. Peters and Amelia are the one series I cannot, will not, quit. Even though River in the Sky was substandard. And she's having to fill in the missing years because she's run out of stories for Ramses and Nefret.

@Robin,
Great post!

It's not just series with me, though. Although I admit I have Evanovich's 16th (holy hell!) Stephanie Plum on audio and still haven't listened to it.

Sometimes, I really do think authors' styles change. Especially with a move from one publisher to another. Maybe it's another editor. Maybe there's something else going on behind the scenes that's affecting the work. Maybe they're being forced to jump on the zombie/dragon/angel bandwagon and write a different genre. But when I dump an author based on something other than series fatigure it's nearly always because he or she changed style/subgenres or the quality of their writing just isn't the same.
Donna Kissam
25. The Cat Bastet
@buriedbybooks,

I like Nefret fine, and I liked Ramses in love with Nefret from adjacent, but Ramses should be deployed unentangled. That's the way to see him doing the things he does best, like leaping into Risha's saddle, being a spy, and probably having offstage sex with that girl.

I think the thing with the series now is that...you know, when you produce Seeing a Large Cat, The Ape Who Guards the Balance, Falcon at the Portal, and He Shall Thunder in the Sky in *four years* it's because you were in limerence. You can't keep limerence going forever. She completed The Temple of Ramses. This masterpiece is done. And Sethos, bless his heart, is too canonically Amelia-obsessed and Bertha-impregnating to have his holes filled in.

It's sort of like with the Vorkosigans. There's only one thing left to wrap up, and that's getting Ivan off Barrayar and someone, preferably Elli, getting into his undress greens. You know they're a ship. Miles ships them so hard he can't think of one without thinking about the other.

The Cat Bastet is the woman he'll never get over, though.
Maggie Kingsley
26. Highland Lassie
I suspect I'd better whisper this before you all come round and tar and feather me but.....Diana Gabaldon. I know, I know, and I loved the first three books, I really did, re-read them over and over, but by book 4 I was beginning to think, Diana, you're stringing me along, and....gulp...how much more of this is there going to be and can't you just kill off Jamie and Claire. Sorry, I will now go into a corner and hang my head in shame for my heresy.
Robin Bradford
27. RobinBradford
No heretics here! Everyone is entitled to respectful breakups! :-) I'm sure there are lots of Evanovich and Hamilton fans who want to stone me for this post, but it's only my opinion, right? I love J.R. Ward (*waves to Megan) but a lot of the online world has broken up with her too. It's all good.
Megan
28. LadyMarlyn
It's nice to read about others who have the same book issues I do. Yes, Diana Gabaldon has gotten really boring and drawn out. It took me over a month to finish The Fiery Cross, and I still haven't read the last few pages. Same with LKH. Very horrible, though I do usually read the latest book, just to see if they've gone back to the roots, I stopped even trying. So I've been looking for new authors...
Megan
29. SusiB
I've also given up on the Anita Blake series a long time ago. The books used to actually have a plot in the beginning, but the later ones (the last one I read was Narcissus in Chains) all went more or less like this: 1. Characters dress up in skimpy leather clothing, 2. Characters try to butcher each other, 3. Lots and lots and lots of blood, 4. Survivors have sex. So boring and predictable! I've also decided to avoid Loretta Chase's books in the future. I used to really like her books, but after Don't Tempt Me and Last Night's Scandal I must assume that she only writes TSTL pain-in-the-behind heroines anymore.
Julie C
30. Jaya
I still like Janet Evanovich's novels. Although when I reread, often I reread them out of order. Because that's how I started, I inadvertantly borrowed Book 6 first. And I kind of like Alex Barnaby better than Stephanie Plum because I can relate to her more.

I've somewhat broken up with Sherrilyn Kenyon and also the Carpathian(sp?) novels. Actually, I think my local library now owns all my Carpathian novels, I think I donated them during my pre-CNY cleaning. That's a definite break up :P

I also used to love the Katherine Kerr Deverry novels, but those too are now living at my local library.
Rachel Hyland
31. RachelHyland
Great post, Robin! I, too, broke up with not only Anita but all things Hamilton after Book 9, and I am not usually one to hit it and quit it.

Despite the palpable decline in quality, I'll stick it out with Betsy and Sookie, and even Stephanie (although I'll admit to being several instalments behind in the latter's adventures). I'll continue to ride the Sherilyn Kenyon Crazy Train, and even the Argeneaus have not yet lost their appeal, despite an increasing tendency to take themselves too seriously. As for the BDB.... it would take A Lot to get me away from those delicious boys. The next one is Payne's story, though. I wonder if that might do it? Even if it does, Ward will totally get me back if ever she brings out a Qhuinn and Blay book. Suggested title: Lover Boys.

@ 7. KinseyHolley

Vishous? Really? I'm more a Rhevenge girl myself, but I do get the appeal.

@18. The_Cat_Bastet

Black Dagger Brotherhood? Girl, if you'd held out on Szadist I'd still be fuming and suggesting you're causing a worldwide shortage of Hs, but you'd be getting my money.

Hahahahahahahahaha! Gold.

@ 30. Jaya: You don't want to even check out the "Author's Cut" of Dark Prince that's out this month? Because... the AUTHOR'S CUT! What does that even mean? That we get Feehan's first Carpathian story without proper editing? Holy cow.
Robin Bradford
32. RobinBradford
@RachelHyland I came to BDB late. So, even though I've read them all, I haven't been at it as long as most people. (and I hate Dark Lover, but that is a WHOLE big story in and of itself.) I'm still madly in love with that series. Yes, even after Phury. yes. Love.


I'm still mostly.....kinda....in like with Gabaldon too. Although, again, I came to that late as well. But I came from the land of big ass fantasy novels, so I guess I'm kind of used to the unnecessary amount of detail she puts in. :-) I kinda dig it. An Echo in the Bone may have tipped a little beyond my tolerance a few times, but I still enjoyed it overall.

I think LKH is the only author who I really loved at one point and no longer own any of her books. I still like those older books, but had no problem parting with them once the series went in another direction.

I think I've broken up with Jeaniene Forst too. I really really liked Halfway to the Grave and mostly liked One Foot in the Grave. I couldn't quite work up enough caring to make my way through the other books.

But, sometimes there IS a bad book in a series, but I can bounce back. I wasn't all that crazy about Brockmann's "Into the Fire" in her troubleshooters series, but that's the only one I really didn't care for. She won me right back with the next one.
Julie C
33. Jaya
@31. RachelHyland
Well maybe :/ If I can find a copy. But I've given up on buying at the moment. The books got a bit weird for a while. And it depends on the editing (or how bad her self-proof reading is), some books *coughs*Twilight*coughs* has enough scary non-editing to make me want to immediately get rid of the book.

And Janet Evanovich posted the blurb and the first sample chapter on her website the other day of Seventeen. Apparently Stephanie is going to have to Decide between Ranger and Joe. Frankly, after all the stuff Joe has put her through over the years, if she picks him I am going to have to say goodbye to the series as I can't stand the pairing. On the other hand she has been prolific enough that it will be like "But I will always have the first sixteen books to console me."
Megan
34. jaymzangel
This post is brilliant (yes, I'm a bit late in reading it.) Like so many others, I am an Anita Blake ex. It started going down hill with Obsidian Butterfly, continued in Narcissus in Chains & ended in a fiery blaze of hellish disgust with Cerulean Sins, which I threw at the wall. I even attempted to read Incubus Dreams, thinking that surely CS was a fluke & ID simply had to be the redemption after the epic shittiness. Alas no. This was not to be. I threw ID at the wall as well, then I picked it up & spiked it onto the tile, much like a touchdown but without the celebratory effect.

I also gave Dead in the Family the wall treatment. I've not officially broken up with Sookie, I bought the subsequent book but am too scared to read it for fear of being further infuriated with the series. My question is this, why do authors get to the point of seemingly hating their own series/characters? I understand that I wil not always like what happens but when events occur that are just so out of character & full of WTFuckery, I am forced to conclude that it is an act of self-sabotage on the part of the author. Why continue with something you're tired of/dislike/don't want to write anymore? Go out with a bang, not a whimper. (I also feel the same about tv shows, writing is definitely a common thread there. Don't even get me started on S7 of Buffy.)

I do find that taking a hiatus from reading an author for a while after a disappointing book is a healthy thing to do. Some, however, are simply irredeemable.
Elizabeth Halliday
35. Ibbitts
I really prefer series to stand-alones, but I must admit that, in the quest for new authors, I have read a lot of "first in the series" books. It usually takes a lot for me to break up with an author once I get past the third or fourth book.
I like Anita Blake: I know she's shallow and you know she's shallow, but she thinks she has the answers (most of the time)... and that's okay with me.
I like Kenyon - and I read all of her series, except the B. A. D. Agency series. I broke up with that one after the third book. I kept hoping they would get better, but they didn't.
BDB - I didn't like Phurry's book. I just wanted to shake the hell out of him and scream, "Get a grip!" But I couldn't let that series go. Ward's writing style would get me even if the characters didn't.
I very nearly left Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series after book 17 because of one of the main players going through a change of character that I had trouble accepting. Book 18 was a bit better than 17, but if things don't drastically improve with #19, I'm done...
My only stand-in-line, pay cash money, loyal-to-the-death (haha) series is the Eve Dallas "In Death" series by J. D. Robb. It's up to 43 books, counting novels and short stories, and there's not a dog in the bunch.
Megan
36. Meg McNulty
I was most pained breaking up with Charlaine Harris. I ate up the Southern Vampire series like it was manna from heaven but when I got to book ten and IT WASN'T DONE I started to feel enraged, cheated and like they were just being spun out as a feeble cash generator beyond their natural life.

Felt a bit the same about James Paterson's Alex Cross - what again? And I like Sherilyn Kenyon but started to find her male leads virtually indistinguishable.

As for Anita Blake - oh God YES. Enough already. Someone should have put that series out of its misery - and it started so well. A shame.
Megan
37. Terree L
I read a lot of books in a lot of different genres but the one I quit was Linda Lael Miller's. When she first started she did a lot of historical books mostly in Washington State and I enjoyed them, but then she changed to Western ... which is where WA is, but now she writes contemp. It just isn't my cup of tea. I tried and tried to like them, but there are so many other authors out there who write in the settings and I prefer that I DON'T have to force myself to finish their books... well, I just broke up with her :( I knew it was a clean break when a new book came out and I wasn't even tempted to read the back cover. The other two are Jude Deveraux (gasp, I can't believe I said that) and Nora Roberts. I have one of Jude's books in my TBR pile... and I just keep skipping over it. Times, they are a changin' and so are my tastes :)
Jessica O'Brien
38. JLOBrien
I can hear the gasps of the masses now...but I had a messy breakup with both Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb.

Once you get over the shock at my threesome...I can just justify my breakup. I swear.

It got to a point with me with a lot of Nora Roberts' series and the Robb "In Death" series where I could pick up the book and would probably tell you the title was the book I read five books previous. It was almost getting to be a copy & paste job for me. The same romance, characters and HEA scenarios. And even Roarke's hotness couldn't save the constant issues that came up between him and Eve.

Someone mentioned phoning it in...and I am almost inclined to say the same thing about Nora and J.D. Except all the books she has sold entitles her to a minion to do her bidding, so he or she is phoning it in.

It was such a sad breakup too...but there is no frickin way she is getting my signed books back. I will get a lawyer!
Megan
39. EmilyF
I'm impressed with you all for sticking with Anita Blake that long. :-) we barely got out of the getting to know you phase before I had to give the "it's not you, it's me" talk.

The Sookie books were the first series to get me into PNR and I'm sad to say that knowing its near the end is not as heartbreaking as I would have thought when I finished book 4 of the series. Our relationship has basically run its course, but I've come too far to not see it through.

I still auto buy BDB but I felt like Tohr's book had a bit of a "dialed in" feel. But it's still entertaining enough to keep me buying.

I definitely lost interest in Jeanine Frost somewhere along the way.

Other than Kresley Cole, most of the series' I'm still reading have lost some luster.
Megan
40. Elizabeth H
I totally broke up with Richelle Mead after I read her Georgia Kincaid series. There was too much drama, too much cheating and revenge sex that it made my heart hurt. I won't read anything from her again because of that. Don't get me wrong, she is an excellent writer, but I just can't read her anymore.
Carrie Septer
41. PennameCarrie
I don't even mind that Kenyon's men were indistinguishable...it was the more recent whiny twit heroines that have me thinking about a break up. I couldn't even finish Retribution and I have been a faithful fan through many re-reads!

The BDB and I on the other hand have a definite HEA even with it's ups and downs!
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