My Top 7 Romance Novel Industry Complaints


Well I got the period from hell, so I might as well bitch today. I been reading romance for like 14 years now. And you would think in that amount of time, some of this shit could change. There’s the big obvious stuff, like you know, number one! Diverse books. Why is this so hard? What is so difficult about this? There’s more than white people in the world. There’s more than straight people in the world. Yet for some reason, we can’t stop writing about white, straight people. Cause you keep recycling the same perspectives, shit’s gonna get boring. And it also impacts your reader, as well. An Extraordinary Union, A Bollywood Affair. I remember every damn thing about those books. But ask me what I read 2 months ago & I’m probably ain’t going to be able to tell ya. There’s a reason I remember those titles because their stories had an impact. I know that you can find them, but God damn it shouldn’t be this hard to find them. *Growls* Of course, I also blame myself for this because look what I read. So guilty. Why can’t publishers label books with the number in the series that that book is? You got 1,000 places on the damn book cover, & you can’t find 1 spot for a number? No, I don’t read books in order in a series, but you know what, a lot of people do. And how helpful would it be if, “Hey, this is book 4 in the series, let’s put that right on the spine!” Now I understand you can’t tell me exactly how many books might be in the series, Beause maybe you don’t know. But that ain’t no excuse for not putting at least 1 number on there to tell me know that there are more books coming or there are more books that you haven’t read. Dear Publishers, please for the love of God, put the trope on the back of the book that your book is. I don’t need to know the name of the heroine, I don’t need the names of the characters. I don’t need some big, elaborate explanation of the plot. Just tell me what your trope is; is it class divide? Is it contract marriage? Now yes, I understand that sometimes this isn’t gonna work for every single book. Because sometimes there isn’t a distinguishable trope. But I guarantee you, if you look hard enough there probably is. I just contradicted myself, I don’t care, I’m grumpy. Instead of telling me some author thought about a book, Instead of giving me some rating from a book reviewer that I’ve never heard of. Because I don’t often read reviews. How about you tell me what the book is about in like, one or two words. Do you know how many people on the internet search romance novels by trope? Hint. Every damn one of them. This is how romance readers read books. Humans have got hundreds & hundreds of years of history. And yet for some reason we stuck in Regencyland. Give us more eras in historical romances. Please! I like Regencyland, don’t get me wrong, but! I also like the Victorian era, I also like the Gilded Age. I like the Roaring Twenties, I like the 1950s. Hell, I even like ancient times. There is so much shit you could do outside of just Regency & a ballroom. And much like diverse romances, I understand that that is out there. But I don’t want to have to hunt for my books. I want my books delivered on a silver platter because I’m a spoiled asshole. Time travel. Bring back time travel. I don’t have any specific reasons why this should be a thing. No altruistic explanations of other readers benefiting from what I want. I just want fricking time travel. And I want you all to label that time travel shit. What was it that publisher? L-Love Swept? I forgot what publisher it was but they had a whole line of them. Called Time Swept & they had a little golden clock on the corner. Maybe it was Time Passages? Or Love Time? I don’t know. I want it. This needs to be a thing. Make it a thing again. Do it. This isn’t so much for publishers or the industry, this is for you reviewers out there. For the love of God, please mark in your headers, or your little book gathering data, or somewhere in the review, Mark whether it’s 1st person or not. I am not the only one that hates 1st person. And if I know a book is in 1st person, I ain’t gonna waste my time with it. Yes, some of you do, & I appreciate you. But most of your asses don’t & it bugs me. More. Beta. Heroes! I am so God damn tired of reading alpha assholes. Romanceland has got a problem, & it is an inflamed ass. And they all come in the form of a hero. “Oh, I can’t love! Oh! Must put my dick in everything!” Oh, shut up. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes assholes can be entertaining. But I guarantee you I ain’t gonna remember them. It’s the beta boys that get my heart every damn time, & I would like more nice guys. And again, I realize that these are available to find. But ya know, much like the trope identification, It’d be real great if yall can mark that shit on the back of the cover. Hero Type: Beta. Trope Archetype: Contract Dating. If I know what your basic trope is, that’s all I need- I ain’t- I don’t need no more; I’m gonna buy your damn book. So yeah. 7 things. That’s not a lot to ask. Dear universe, make it happen. *Fart* Yeah this video was a mess. Further proof that Jacqueline does shit when she ain’t got a script. But I didn’t have time to write, I didn’t have time to practice. I was too busy laying in bed, screaming my head off. So this is what you got. I know I can’t be the only one with grumps & complaints. Maybe I’m the only one with these particular grumps & complaints, but! But maybe not, & if not leave what yours are below. Or just things that bug you in general about either… The industry or the books published, or maybe even just shit that pops up that makes you mad in romances. Let’s just all vent our frustration below. Ahh. I actually feel better now, hmmm. Who’d have guessed, all you gotta do is just rant some & then suddenly you’re cathartic & fangirly once more. “You’re cathar—” Did I just say, “You’re cathartic?” God damn. Somebody should bar me from making videos without a script. Ugh! *Ding*

16 thoughts on “My Top 7 Romance Novel Industry Complaints

  1. Love this video! I"m so tired of just regency with a nice peppering of Victorian eye roll thats why I love the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt. And I too am beyond sick and tired of the lack of fucking diversity…whenever I come across a hero who isn't fully white (A duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran or Cam from the Hathaways series by Lisa Kleypas) I fucking SCREAM and this happens not only in Romance but in Young adult books as well even New Adult its exhausting because people are tired and they voice their complaints but the publishing houses wont publish anything different.

  2. No need to apologize for the video — I enjoyed it!

    The unnumbered series issue used to be a lot worse. Finding out if a book was part of a series and if there were more books in the series was nigh unto impossible when I was reading books pre-Internet. That's why I'm such a stickler for reading books in order now, even though most romance series don't have cliffhangers from book to book. I read too many books that left me with a feeling that I walked up to someone at a party in the middle of a conversation.

    I guess I understand POCs wanting to see themselves in books and white people wanting diverse books just because you guys are tired of reading about yourselves all the time :-), but as a POC myself I haven't gone to great lengths to seek out diverse books because so many of them are about "the struggle". I want escapism, not something that will bring me down. I'm trying to get over this, though, because I realize these books are important.

    I agree with you about the need for more historical romances in other eras. As I've commented before, I prefer Gilded Age over Regency. I've also read a couple books set in the 1920s and they were OK, but they were YA which is not my thing.

    Yes to more time-travel romance! In particular, I like time-travel stories where someone from the past is brought into the modern world and is a fish out of water. So many of the stories I find are about people who work for some sort of agency in the future and are fully prepared to travel to the past. That is no fun for me.

    Tropes seem like such an "inside baseball" thing. I have been reading romance on and off for years and I am just starting to learn what people mean by phrases like "beta hero". I can tell you what sort of stories I like and don't like, but I'm just starting to learn the names for them (BTW, second-chance romance is low on my list.)

  3. Things that need to die:
    ~ Cliffhangers — especially when the book is not CLEARLY MARKED AS SUCH
    ~ "Not your typical romance" claims, which 99.9% of the time translates into "Heads up, this isn't actually a romance but I WANT THOSE ROMANCE DOLLARS, BITCHES, BUY ME!". Or it's someone who thinks such a claim is a positive one rather than a snide remark looking down on every other romance novel. Either way — NOPE NOPE NOPE
    ~ Shitty, evil exes — in particular the hero's shitty, evil ex girlfriend/wife/fuck-buddy. Can we stop with tearing other women down just to add drama to your story?
    ~ Slut shaming. Don't. Just don't.

    What I want more of:
    ~ Female friendships. Hell, give all the heroes and heroines solid friends and/or families! I'm tired of couples existing only within the relationship but having no friends and no family (or no good family) and therefore basically no life besides falling for and fucking their partner. Which I love, don't get me wrong, but gimme all the other stuff too! Give your characters dimension and support and people to have fun with, etc, etc.

    Okay, stop me otherwise I'll be here all day. I love the genre and the community, I do, but like EVERYTHING in life, I can recognize and critize the issues within it, too. 🙂

  4. Yes to this video!!! Also, if you're looking for diverse books, as well as different time periods, Beverly Jenkins has a series called Old West, which all feature women of color, and heroes of color. The first two books awesome! The first one is called Forbidden, and the second is called Breathless. I agree with you, we need diversity in the people as well as the time periods. Personally, I'd LOVE to see 1920's NY.

  5. Love your video and agree with a lot of the topics. Ceci and I even write Beta heroes. As much as we adore our heroes, they don't sell. That's the harsh reality. Not that would make us stop writing them but it sure is a hard decision for newer writers following the examples of successful writers or those writing to market. Keep the videos coming!

  6. LOL!! Darlin'! You are my spirit animal! No everything you said isn't stuff that I really complain about … and yes I am guilty of not marking what the books POVs are (mostly because the whole "first person" "third person" nonsense confuses me) but … I LOVED THIS VIDEO! =0) Thank you for complaining! You made my night! *hehee*

  7. FOR FREAKING SERIOUS re: labeling the number in the series! And more eras of romance. And diverse romance. And PREACH about beta heroes. Alpha heroes get so annoying.

  8. I like the imperfect heros. I read one (historical spyrom) with a beta virgin who had an Embarrassing Incident in his youth and had to be coached by his new missus. It was wonderful. A bit clumsy for them but speaking as an Old Married Woman, a little realism is a good thing in a romance novel. The real world is not littered with sexperts.

  9. One of the things that frustrates me a lot is when they try to sell a novel based on the author's name alone – meaning that they don't say ANYTHING about the plot on the back cover (and just have the author's picture there instead), or even have a 'preview excerpt' on the front page. I'm sorry famous author, I know you're a big name in the romance novel field, but if I don't know what the book's plot is, I'm probably not gonna buy it. This is just a personal nitpick, but it drives me a little bit crazy.

  10. stories with impact. we need a damn genre for plot-driven character development world building fucking erotica contemporary erotica I HAVe NO IDEA. — just label it something so my ass can buy it. got people dropping me arcs.. and im like you know what type of reader I am right???????? im a fucking black unicorn bitch.

    Don't read reviews…… is a reviewer… LMAOoooo
    I was reading some worldwar2 romances.
    bitch love a ballroom. I'm a whore for a gown with a train!!!!
    fuck wit a first-person tho. as long as it gives me what I want. I will rock it.

  11. I love time travel, we definitely need more!!
    I HATE insta-love!!!!! I hate buying a book because the synopsis sounds good, and then it fucks you over when they fall in love as soon as they see each other… WTF!!

  12. BETA heroes for life! Also, almost every second romance novel has angst in the form of ML having a traumatic past and the FL trying to get his pre traumatic self yawns

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