Sep 24 2012 8:02am

Favorite Romance Author, Least Favorite Book?

Johnny Depp in The Libertine

Every author, no matter how amazing a writer, has an off moment, resulting in a book that isn't as awesome as all her other output. Everyone has their favorite author, and therefore everyone has a least favorite book by that author.

Which author, and which book? And why?

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1. AnimeJune
I love Laura Lee Gurhke, and HIS EVERY KISS is one of my favourite romance novels of all time, but SECRET DESIRES OF A GENTLEMAN was a major dud - complete with an aristocratic hero who ruins the heroine's childhood and treats her like crap **all so that she won't see how secretly in love with her he is**. Oh, and yeah, she gives up her hard-won career and ambitions to be his wife. Blah!
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I love Mary Balogh, but her Silent Melody made me crazy--a deaf-mute heroine, and it felt so treacly throughout. I haven't reread it, but I remember just wanted to wallbang it, but I couldn't (I reviewed it for AAR, back in the day, but I can't find the link). I still love her, and love most of her novels. That one? Not so much.
Hildie McQueen
3. HildieM
I adore JR Ward and devour her BDB books. Unfortunately after the excitement of finally reading Phury's book Lover Enshrined, was a big let down for me. He deserved a better story. IMHO.
4. Lizzie R
Rachel Gibson - I love most of her books and See Jane Score, Valentine's Day, Daisy's back in town and Any Man of mine are comfort re-reads. It Must be Love - read once and I can't even remember the hero's name - did nothing for me.
Carmen Pinzon
5. bungluna
I'm such a picky reader and getting more persnikity with age. All my favorite authors have put books out that I hated, at some point.
6. Miss_D
I can't say enough how much I hated "The Promise" by Brenda Joyce.

I really can't.
7. Auntie_April
One of my favorite authors is Laurell K Hamilton. Hit List, book 20 in her Anita Blake series was a complete disappointment. None of the regular characters were involved- no Jean Luc, Richard, Micah, Nathaniel , etc. I'd been eagerly anticipating the hot "harem" scenes (yes, I'm naughty). And then this book takes place during the course of approx 24hours!!! Had I know ahead of time that it was all police work out of town, not only would I have NOT pre-ordered; I wouldn't have read the book. It wasn't necessary for the series. Read one review and you know all you need for the next. I felt very let down after the year long wait, knowing I would have another years wait to try the next one in the series hoping for the action I was craving.
Wendy the Super Librarian
8. SuperWendy
I love and adore Maggie Osborne, and while she has written a couple of books I was "ho-hum" about - the dud for me was Silver Linings....which I could't even finish. I found the set-up presposterous, the characters' actions completely unbelieveable, and to top it of there was an Evil Other Woman who frankly, had ever right to be evil IMHO. I'm just glad it wasn't my first read by her, or it very well could have been my last!
9. ChelseaMueller
I'm with HildieM, J.R. Ward's Lover Enshrined almost made me quit the series. I'm glad I didn't or I wouldn't have ever read Lover Avenged, which is one of my favorites. Nom.
10. Barb in Maryland
Laura Kinsale is my love or hate author. The one I threw against the wall was My Sweet Folly. Rupert is just soooo damaged and he treats Folie so badly for sooooo long... I didn't buy the HEA at all.
But you will have to pry The Shadow and the Star and Flowers from the Storm from my cold, dead hands.
Lori K
11. LoriK
I'm a bit like bungluna, I can't think of single author where I love all her books. Some books just don't work for me and that's how it goes. There are a few books that stand out for me as particularly awful or disappointing though.

The one the popped into my mind first is Divine Evil by Nora Roberts. Nora's books are a mixed bag for me, ranging from love unreservedly to really don't like at all, but Divine Evil is just bad. It's boilerplate Satanic Panic and when I finished it (still not sure why I bothered) I remember feeling like she should be a bit ashamed of having written it.
Lisa Ellingsworth
12. LisaEllingsworth
My absolute favorite romance author is Lisa Kleypas and I have loved everything I've ready by her until last week when I read one of her early books, Only With Your Love. The heroine annoyed me so much that I wanted to throw the book quite a few times. But hey, it was one of her early books. You can't start out perfect. And really, I don't expect "perfect" from her with every book that she writes now, but somehow she seems to deliver it anyhow, IMO.
13. AshleyG
The one that immediately comes to mind for me is Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris. I absolutely loved the Sookie series until that book came along and I was actually angry after I finished it. That book came out right as the show became a big hit and it felt like she had just thrown it together in between all of her appearances. The subsequent books have been better but she has never really recovered from that one in my opinion.
Lege Artis
14. LegeArtis
Oh, this is funny... I was just writing something in this line on review of "The Space Between Us" by Megan Hart. I love her work, but last one just wasn't working for me. Big names like Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Anne Stuart, Loretta Chase etc. are hit&miss for me...
15. EmilyFerguson
Definitely JR Ward with Lover Enshrined and I also really didn't love the newest Lover Reborn. Weak romances for heroes I was so excited to read about. And, the most recent Charlaine Harris was really bad. I will have to force myself to finish that series just to see it through!
16. Rose In RoseBear
Oh, boy ... every one of my favorite authors has one book I hate, or for some reason can't read.

I guess the single book I most despise by an author I really adore is that horrid paired book in the In Death series --- the one where Nora Roberts wrote a contemporary romance and J. D. Robb wrote the corresponding In Death novel. Oh, geez, I hate that thing! Both novels are overflowing with self-congratulatory conceit --- "Look at what I can do!" --- and, while the Nora Roberts romance is serviceable, the J. D. Robb book was just awful. It's the only In Death total clunker.

Lisa Kleypas' novels set in early Louisiana turn me off --- I hate that setting. Didn't like the Jennifer Blake novels set there, either.

And I can't read Catherine Coulter's Viking romances! Love her Regency stuff, love the medieval English novels, like the contemporary books, but the Viking stuff? Bleccch! Too primitive!
Sara Roman
17. sarakaycow
Johanna Lindsey "The Heir" has been the most forgettable book I have read. I slugged my way through it, getting madder and madder at the hero because I didn't think he was acting much like a man, let alone a hero or heartbreaker!
18. Torifl
JR Ward's Lover Enshined. Pure crap.

Catherine Coulter's Devil series disgusted me on such a level I almost didn't read anything her ever again.

Julie Garwood's last 2 books. Both were forgettable tripe.

A soon to be released book -I shall not name- that had me hitting my head on my desk out of sheer irritation.
19. Rose In RoseBear
And, yes, let me chime in here ... I intensely disliked Lover Enshrined. Cormia's behavior gave me the ick --- after that scene with "the boys" at the pool, I was done with that ditz. And all the events happening in the vampire community took attention away from Phury's growth and his relationship with the ditz.

J. R. Ward really needs to revisit Phury and Cormia, and grow that relationship as she has with Wrath and Beth and Vishous and Jane. However, from what she's said, it looks like we'll see Butch and Marissa (or perhaps Manny and Payne) in the second story of Lover At Last.

Maybe P-n-C will get a novella all their own ...
20. Zazoo's Share Page
Its great to see how many of your reviews and opinions I agree with. Everyone who mentioned JRW and Phurys book, and I saw one of you mentioned how you almost gave up the series? Well I did. I read up till Rehvenges but it was a hot mess for me. I was ticked when she made Wrath totally blind. It wasnt poetic or deep it was horrible. I mean the guy was blind already. I dont like when authors mess around with the HEA of a previous couples storyline. I'm off my BDB love affair for now. I was truly looking forward to Tohrs book. Reading the reviews, I dont think I missed much.

Julie Garwood has been a key feature in my teens and early 20's. When she branched off from her Historicals which I adored to her Contemps, I was so disappointed. Dont get me wrong there were a couple of nice ones but not up to her old historical standards. They seem to be more Romantic suspense but not too much romance. Unlike Judith McNaught who made the jump successfully from historicals to Contemps (though her last 2 or 3 were very how do I say it, luke warm. No sparks bells or whistles for me. No emotion.
21. Naie
Julia Quinn and the last of the Bridgerton series, the two Duke books, and the Smythe-Smith series have been piss poor. It's a bloody shame, too, since she was the author who got me hooked on romance novels in the first place.
Vanessa Ouadi
22. Lafka
Ooh, I believe every favorite author I have has at least one book that just didn't do the trick for me! Hum, let me think...
Lisa Kleypas' Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers series #4) was pleasant but is probably my least favorite book of hers so far.
Julia Quinn's To Sir Philip with Love (Bridgerton series #6) was a real disappointment.
I had a really hard time reading Nora Robert's Savor the Moment (Bride Quartet series #3).
And, even if I liked the book well enough, R.L. Mathewson's Without Regret (Pyte/Sentinel series #2) is my least favourite book by this author so far.
But there's a difference to make here, because I did like Scandal in Spring and Without Regret and they wouldn't have disappointed me if not for their author being one of my favourites. On the other hand, I would't have liked Savor the Moment and To sir Philip with love whoever the author might have been.
Rae Alley
23. rszalley
Mercedes Lackey (fantasy/romance) wrote a fabulous world with her Valdemar books...but the last one of the Winds Trilogy holds the honor of a final sentence that made me want to throw a book against a wall. I've actually started skipping the final chapter on that book just to avoid it.

I actually don't have many love/hate moments...probably because I'm still trying to get through the back catalog for some authors I find. I think the problem I'm running into more often is the books I loved that don't stand the test of time.
Carmen Pinzon
24. bungluna
@rszalley - I refuse to accept that the epilogue for "Open Season" by Linda Howard excists.
25. Jessica W
I will agree with everyone about the whole j.r. ward. I really don't like Marissa nor Jane. And stopped reading her books not only because of the characters but the bullshit explantion she gave about "race" in her books.

Love, Love Love Nalini Singh but didn't like Caressed by ice or kiss of snow. Judd and Hawke deserved better than the spoiled brats they got. Also not happy but will still get and read it when it comes out her next Archangels guild book. Not a fan of Elena.
26. wsl0612
G.A. Aiken's Last Dragon Standing - ugh, I loathe Keita, just think she's a spoiled undeserving brat! And I'm still very bummed that Aiken/Laurenston won't give Morfyd her own book, or a least a novella!
Alexandra W
27. parasolprotectorate
I love Nora Roberts but Search for Love and the ending of Untamed make me unbelievably angry.
Claire Louise Thompson
28. Nefersitra
Love the Dark Hunters series but hated Dark Side of the Moon.

Not only did I dislike both the hero and the heroine but I couldn't understand why they fell in love each other unless (IMO) it was a dawning realisation that no one else would have either of them. I wasn't that fond of some of the characters in Retribution either but at least I could see why Sundown and Abigail would fall in love.
29. miller
I used to read Mary Janice Davidson's Betsy series; however, after finishing Undead and Unfinished I haven't touched her novels since.
Literally threw the book against the wall, never again do I want to read about cannibalism in what I expect to be a "light" paranormal read.
30. Wendy W. Durden
to "wsl0612" I disagree about Keita as that was the role she played so others wouldn't see who she really was: her queen's assassin/spy. But about Queen Betsy... now there I have to agree with "miller". Not sure that I believed nor understood the time paradox/travelling BS that enabled that particular trilogy of books. It seemed like a mess all over there. I did read the complete threesome so I could see if it made sense..... but it didn't. I enjoyed the Fred books more. But really, no one author can hit it out of the ballpark every time. I love Christine Feehan, but some of her Carpathians made me grind my teeth and want to throttle her editor. Because how many times do we have to read the same phrase or plot for them to use another? And as to the historicals, come on. How many regency or georgian aristocracy males are there to choose from and torture or be tortured by? Sometimes it seems all those authors have a pool of names/plots and pick a paper out of it and go write some drivel. This is not to say ALL of them are drivel, just seems like most are. There are a few that shine, but I find more to annoy than enjoy. IMO.
31. Julie Brook
Isn't it funny how you can love multiple series from an author, and then just hate one?
I love Lisa Kleypas's historicals, but really dislike the Louisiana ones.
I love Julia Quinn's books from her older ones up through and including The Diary of Miss Cheevers. But the more recent books, especially the Smythe/Smiths seem like seem like parodies of her earlier works. It feels like she's given up.
I feel the same way about the the three Cynster sisters books from Stephanie Laurens - it feels like the same old story, chase around the country, hide from the bad guys, meet up with/be protected by some of the older Cynster, HEA.
Its not just romance writers. I see the same thing with my favorite mystery authors. I don't know if publishers push them to come out with new books too frequently, or if they get bored, or what, but somewhere around the 7th or 9th or whatever'th title in a series, it feels like the author is so bored with her characters, that I get bored too.
What are series that you think have run too long?
My list includes Quinn's Bridgertons, Laurens's Cynsters, MaryJanice Davidson's Queen Betsys, Loretta Chase's Delaceys - these are all authors who I love, but have been very disappointed with.
32. Charlayne
I'm going to disagree with the issues of JRW's BDB series, especially Lover Enshrined and Lover Reborn. She does things in her books that invoke thought, strong emotions, and I like that in books. Cormina doesn't have social skills because she's been sequestered, she has no real way of relating to anything but that dull, white life she had. The mansion with all the personalities and emotions is a whole new place for her. And Phury is a typical selfish druggie mess --he can't get past his self-loathing to see what he has right in front of him. The book was a START on this, I do want Ward to revisit him and Cormina, as well as the other Chosen, in future books to solve the issues that she left open with the book.

And the latest one, Lover Reborn had me almost throwing my Nook against the fireplace, a bad thing, because she pulled my emotions in so many different directions. I wanted to slap both Autumn and Tohr, I wanted to scream at them. And then, in the end, I ended up sobbing like there was no tomorrow. That is the mark of a great book, IMO. I can't wait for the Qhuinn/Blay book.

I was unhappy with Gena Showalter's latest: Darkest Surrender. I thought Paris' story would have more "bite" in it, it tended to wander and he kept whining and acting like he didn't freaking care about anything. I also have almost stopped reading any of the Sookie Stackhouse books, sadly, because she's just not going anywhere with the story. Every writer has an "off" book but these just tended to make me want to stop the series.
33. Ashley C
I really like J.R Wards BDB books but I really hated Butch and Marissa they were a weak couple and she was sooooooo whiney!!!! Butch was also "Oh, shes sooooooo perfect I dont deserve her!!" I think if a guy wants his girl he should fight for her and believe he is what she needs, IMO. I didnt feel the love between the characters, I felt it was mostly superficial and found myself skipping past the scenes about them to read the in between stuff. Definitely, a dud in her otherwise great series!
34. Jessica Louise
I forgot about Gena Showalter. The darkest surrender never happened in my mind. Kaia is the most annoying character I have ever read about.
Tonya Campbell
35. tnicole1976
i love j r ward's black dagger brotherhood series, but the book about manny and payne sucked. it was more about the gay couple than it was about them. i don't have a problem with that, except that the book was supposed to be about manny and payne. it was so bad that i don't even remember then name of it and i sold it back to the store as soon as i finished it.
36. Kat905
I loved the Earth's children series written by Jean Auel...except for the final book. Absolutely hated it on every level. It felt like hundreds of pages describing caves and the betrayal in the relationship between Ayla and Jondalar had me wanting to smack him upside the head. It felt like the author was sick of the series and wanted to wrap it up. It left a really sour taste in my mouth and it was a real struggle to finish. It may not have been a typical romance novel, but after 7 massive books, you really became emotionally envolved in this couple.
37. Maddie Grove
I love Mary Balogh, but I absolutely despise four of her books: Dancing with Clara (contemptable hero, doesn't do people with disabilities any favors), Tangled (useless heroine, morally rephrensible solution to love triangle, Balogh clearly doesn't want to be writing a Victorian romance), More than a Mistress (absurdly saintly heroine, infuriating hero, just kind of boring), and Then Comes Seduction (SO BLAND).

As for other favorite authors...

Sabrina Jeffries: Don't Bargain with the Devil (starring a Spanish version of Pepe le Pew)
Elizabeth Hoyt: To Desire a Devil (hero SUCH a dick)
Liz Carlyle: One Touch of Scandal (dull, confusing, and vaguely offensive, somehow)
Julia Quinn: An Offer from a Gentleman (hero awfully douchey for someone who's supposed to be sweet, Cinderella parallels way too cutesy)
Georgette Heyer: Lady of Quality (painfully boring, unpleasant hero and heroine)
Laura Kinsale: The Prince of Midnight (heroine just screams at hero for being disabled the whole time, so much wasted potential with setting)
Julia London: The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount (whiny hero, way more depressing than it thinks it is)
38. ladynat
If I had to pick a J R Ward book I dislike, it wouldn't be Lover Enshrined. It would actually be any of the Fallen Angel Series. They just don't do it for me.
However, Sherrilyn Kenyon holds top honors for her YA Chronicles of Nick series. I can accept that it is an alternative history book where Nick's entire life happens differently from what we know. that I'm fine with. In the same way that I am fine with the Star Trek reboot. What I cannot accept. What pulls me out of the book and the series and keeps me from finishing is the damned historical inaccuracies.(sp) Nick surfing the net for Ferragamo and texting at 14? Everyone he knows has a cellphone. Nope. Don't believe it. Nick was 14 in approx. 1994-1996. I can believe that Kyrian gave him a cellphone, but back then they were few and far between and hardly anyone had them. The net was nothing like it is today. I"m willing to believe that Ferragamo on the net wasn't even a dream back in the day. It drives me absolutely batshit.
39. Rebekah Weatherspoon
I loved J.R. Ward. Lover Enshrined didn't bother me that much. However, I hated Lover Unleashed and Lover Reborn. I think she's forgotten the rules she's set up in her own universe. Who gets to live and die and come back. The way the already mated couples keep fighting and nearly breaking up, I feel like the bonding scent thing means nothing. And as mentioned above, I was not happy with the way she explained race in her series at all.
40. Sweetpyb
I would have to say Lover Reborn by J. R. Ward was the worst book in the series. It was a very weak story and no way believable.
41. adoore1
I would agree with J.R. Ward's lates book Lover Reborn was her worst book yet. All her rules are thrown out the window with an unbelievable reason. The book made no sense what so ever.
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