As I’ve read romance over the years, I’ve collected little rules I live by when reading a book. I’m all about stretching my boundaries as I read, for example BDSM books have a way of making me reach outside my box. Broken and Dirty by Megan Hart have pushed on my emotional boundaries (in a wonderful way.)
But I do have a few rules I read by:
Rule #1. If there is going to be a rape scene, the author better tread very, very carefully.
Example of a rape scene (and aftermath) handled well: Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs.
Example of a poorly handled rape scene (or non-consensual scene)
Rule #2. No blatant cheating. I don’t do cheaters.
I would say the heroine in Megan Hart’s Broken had emotional cheating, but I was on board with it. It was a VERY complicated situation.
I felt squirmy in Her Husband’s Harlot by Grace Calloway, when the hero cheated a second time (although in a historical you can argue the hero has more leeway? I don’t know). I can’t remember ever reading a full-out cheating hero (or heroine) though. Have you?
Rule #3. Brothers don’t see or touch each other’s peens. I’m all about a M/F/M book, but no brothers. Please. Best friends? Sure! Bring on the peen parade. If you have the same dna, no thank you. (This rule was installed after I read this book back in 2009)
Rule #4. No racist language. First time I encountered it was in this book and I don’t want to read another book with those words in it. Along the same line, if the author uses derogatory language toward gays, they better have a damn good reason for it.
Rule #5. Hero is not allowed to grow a second cock at the full moon every month. One cock per hero at all times, please and thank you. I’m talking to you Nicholas.
I know we all have different rules we read by…what are yours?