Caveat: This post may be controversial, so I apologise in advance if any offence is caused - it was not my intent.
I think I have romance fail. Yes, romance fail! It's insidious, creeping up on me when I wasn't looking. At first I thought it was nothing (just like you do that light cough); I brushed it off as just a small irritation, and delved happily back into my fantasy novel (which in and of itself should have told me something). But by the time I realized...it was too late. And that moment of revelation? I read the back cover summaries of two (paranormal) romance novels earlier this week and I couldn't muscle up any enthusiasm at all! I just kind of looked at them and thought 'blah, blah, blah'.
It was only then that I realized how strong a hold romance fail had. I honestly felt, upon reading the summaries, that I was reading the synopsis of a soap opera. (Don't get me wrong, at the right time and place I love soap operas - it's all Kris' fault I'm currently hooked on watching One Life to Live excerpts of the Kyle & Oliver storyline on YouTube!)
Anyway, generally speaking, soap operas are over exaggerations. What the characters are put through - everything - is so much....more! And that's what I discovered when reading the summaries. The words & phrases felt exaggerated and, to thrown in another analogy (just to confuse you even more), ...overdesigned (I've been watching too much Project Runway). It felt like everything (including the kitchen sink - I love that phrase) was present. And, what was utilized in one was all but repeated in the other. (Note the avoidance of the word 'copied'; I'm not insinuating that there is a copyright issue. It's more that the summaries had the same 'feel'.)
And these words & phrases? Beauty, claim, deadly, exquisite, forever, irresistible, loss of control, lust, pleasure, risk, seductive, secrets, wicked...
Don't get me wrong, all of these words have their place. But, all of them? At the same time? Come to think of it, it's like an overactive hormonal teenager ran rampant. (I missed that phase entirely BTW.) See, romance fail!
And my personal (not) favourite word: feisty. Reading that word in a book drives me completely bat-f*ck crazy (since I'm reading Corambis I'm going to channel one of the characters - Mildmay :) I was chatting about this with my best friend, the lovely Starfire, and for her the 'hit the wall' word is 'spitfire'. To paraphrase, the only time she expects to read that word is if she is reading a World War II novel! (I love Spitfires BTW - just so we're clear, I'm referring to the plane *grin*)
Now, I know that it is often not the author that writes these summaries, and I will concede that maybe I just happened to read the wrong two summaries on the wrong day, but I do think I have developed a rather serious case of romance fail, Which is no doubt why I'm reading fantasy ATM (and FYI it's going down a treat).
So, have you ever developed romance fail (and is there a cure or do I just need to wait it out?) and/or are there any words of phrases in summaries (or the novels themselves) that drive you bat-f*ck crazy?