Christy Reece
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts

Good Thursday Everyone!

Hope you're staying warm and having a productive week. Yesterday's discussion was great. Good to know I'm not the only one who has certain preferences when it comes to character's names.

Today, I thought we'd talk about favorite and least favorite themes. You know those stories that for some reason always catches your attention. For me, one of my favorites guessed it, rescue themes. I love it when there's danger lurking, expected or unexpected, and the hero and heroine must save someone or each other. The romantic in me just sighs at this storyline. Another one I love is the revenge theme. Where the main character is out for revenge and does something to the other main character to get their revenge. Historicals are great for this because, well, abductions are often involved. Doing that today is icky, but hundreds of years ago, they were kind of commonplace. One of my favorites with this theme is Julie Garwood's Honor's Splendour. Sigh, it's so just romantic when the hero realizes the error of his ways. A twist on this theme is revenge against the villain (hint, hint, SWEET REVENGE). That theme has its own set of dangerous problems, but the outcome can be just as SWEET!

My least favorite is probably the secret baby story line. I know this is a huge favorite of many but somehow, unless there's just a really good reason for it, I don't like keeping a child a secret from the father. Just doesn't sit right with me. However, there are millions who disagree with me.

Here are today's discussion questions: What are your favorites themes? Are there any books that you search out and buy just for a particular story line? Are there any that you avoid?

Have a great day everyone. I'm headed back to Paris to see exactly what's up with Jamie and Dylan!

Blogger Jackie P said...

I am going to have to think on this one. I agree that I don't care for the secret baby line. I usually like the reunite type of romance or the tortured hero type books. I also like what I call the "I can't help myself" books. The ones where even though they bicker and annoy each other that can't help but to want the other.

December 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Hope said...

I agree about the baby thing, and I think that the secret baby is WAY over done. I like the tortured hero (especially if they are military yum yum). I also like the cowboy saving the ranch books. I know those are over done too, but I still like 'em. It is no big surprise to anyone, but I don't really care for the historical...anything. I pretty much love anything with a military wounded soul or a cowboy (way different, yep, can't help it, I am a little different too lol)

December 9, 2010 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Ronlyn said...

I find, as I'm thinking about this, there are a lot of themes I don't like, but the second I start to type out that I don't like...say reunion romances, I think of 3-4 exceptions that I really did enjoy.
My one, drop dead theme I don't like is cheating. Everything else is a go as long as it's well done with reasoning behind it and not just because that course of action is the easiest thing for the characters to do.

December 9, 2010 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger krisgils33 said...

I don't know how quickly you'll get to's blizzard conditions there! good luck and godspeed!! haha

I'm so happy to be reading something, anything, most of the time that it really takes alot for me to not like a book!!!

December 9, 2010 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger oklanannie said...

I can't think of one plot that would cause me to absolutely refuse to read a book. No matter the subject matter, if one of my favorite authors is writing a book, I'm going to buy it upon release. They are my favorite authors for more reasons than only subject matter.

Although the secret baby theme, rape/incest, time travel, vampires, bondage, menages, S&M, pirates, older woman/younger man, twin substitution and amnesia are not among my favorites, I have read many book with these themes and found entertainment. I'm open to just about anything and everything -- sometimes it's been a real eye opener!!

My favorite themes include the reunion, revenge, rescue, childhood sweethearts, family-centered, courtesans, military heroes, tortured characters, an old west story, a good contemporary cowboy story, growth and reinvention of self with a good success story.

No matter what the theme - I want that special HAPPY EVER AFTER!!

December 9, 2010 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger DiDi said...

Christy, first I LOVE LCR, I have been telling my book club friends about the 1st two trilogies and am seeing them pop up on their TBR on goodreads. I can't handle cheating or abuse. I can handle the secret baby, depending on the circumstances and how it's written. I love suspense, 2nd chances, the one that got away. Alpah males get me big time. I love it when they are tied together in a series. All these series Last Chance Rescue, Lora Leigh's Navy Seals & Elite Ops, Lorelei James' Rough Rider, Maya Banks' new KGI series. Christine Feehan has Ghostwalkers series out, it's not vamps, but falls under paranormal. I also love books that do not have the typical milloinaire and pretty people, the ones that have "real" people, Toni Blake has some awesome books out like this.

Can't wait for September and Sweet Justice!!!

December 9, 2010 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

I don't like historicals so the themes that are normally with them don't work for me, poor widow gets hired hand...usually no surprises as to how they end.
I don't just read romance but my other's have romance involved. I LOVE J.D.Robb. Police and life in future New York and the wonderful romance between Dallas and Roarke (a name I love that goes so well with his character). Another like this is Tess Gerritson with Jane Rizzoli and her husband Gabriel. And last Patricia Cornwell's type book. Love Kay Scarpetta and Benton Wesley (always thought his name should have been reversed). Since I am a Med Tech by profession the ones that deal with anything medical work for me also.
And I hate almost anything with the babies, especially the kidnapped ones, or sexual predators on kids.

December 9, 2010 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

There really isn't a plot I won't check out, with the exception of paranormal/fantasty stuff. I read the Twilight series, but that's as far as I want to go with vampires, werewolves, etc.

I agree with the secret baby theme...I think I've only read a couple books, where the heroine had a good reason for not telling the father about the baby. Roxanne St. Claire's Hunt Her Down and Cindy Gerard's Under the Wire -- both Maggie and Lily thought their kids father was dead.

I especially love tortured heros, whether they are historical, military, or cowboys. I love them all! I also enjoy rescues and reunions. Revenge is ok as long as the plot doesn't center around the hero using the heroine to get revenge...I have a hard time rebounding from when he's using her to where he loves her.

December 9, 2010 at 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Shelly Estes said...

One theme I have read lately that I didn't care for was the tortured hero who had been crapped on so many times that he felt justified in taking his lady in anger to prove he was the macho man. That smacks of rape to me. One author in particular does that in every book of hers that I have read -- so why keep reading her?? Because in the end, the hero realized what he had done was wrong, and made up for it in really romantic ways... still while I'm writing this, I realize, isn't that the case with all abusers? What's wrong with me that I keep reading her stuff??Sheesh, I need to get rid of those!!

I do love the secret baby, as long as there is a really really good reason for not telling the father about it. I also really like the scarred/wounded hero, or even the scarred/wounded heroine, who feel like they have nothing to offer, and in the end come to find that they really do have their heart to offer, and that they are worthy of being loved. I haven't read too many cowboy stories, but they sound intriguing -- what are some good ones? I recently read a really good amnesia story, so those can be pretty good too. Reunion stories are always a good theme too.

Great topic, and I love reading everyone's thoughts!!

December 9, 2010 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Crystal (cmac) said...

Hmmm.... My hands down all time favorite: Military men that come from a crappy childhood. They join the military to get away from abuse/drugs/gangs ect. There is just something astonishing about a man or woman who had some of the worst upbringings possible and still be a hero. The one that really comes to mind for me is Roger "Sam" Starrett. He overcome a great deal! BUT... I also like the books that have really big over protective families. Like Julie Garwood Buchanan family and Linda Howards Mackenzie's.
I have to agree with Christy on Julie Garwood's Honors Splendour. That book is one of my top favorite historicals. I'm so happy I finally took Christy's advice and read it. (HINT HINT HINT Aly and Hope!! lol)

I really enjoy my cowboy books too, but again I like the cowboys that have lost a lot in their lives and use the ranch life to try and bring peace into their soul. I agree with the unknown baby thing. I know if I was a guy and didn't know I had a baby out there until they were half grown it would be very hard to forgive the woman enough to actually be happy with her. I agree that sometimes it is understandable if the author is able to make me understand why then I'm okay with it.

December 9, 2010 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Hope said...

Crystal... *swoon* Sam ::sigh:: love him... you haven't given me the name of the historical I have to read and if I do, you have to fulfill your part of that bargain too.

December 9, 2010 at 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

I don't mind the secret baby theme if it's a case of the hero was lied to by someone else, is fooled into thinking he is sterile and the heroine believes he knows but, doesn't care.

I am not a big fan of the hero being super rich and the heroine having to come to ask for money--thus he blackmails her into a relationship...this only works for me if she is able to obtain the money she needs without his help. Thus giving equality to the relationship and showing that she chose him of her own free will.

I love the alpha male who is suprised by the physical capabilites of the heroine to TCB. I like the alpha/ SEAL who has seen all the worst of things and grown cynical about the existence of good meeting the heroine that rocks his world --- and vice versa! :)

I really like the romance books that portray more realistic and gritty life experiences in the heroine and the hero. In books of the past, any character that went through physical and mental abuse or comitted violence or murder in self defense, was always a secondary character who was soon pushed out of the picture....I always wanted to know about these characters.

December 9, 2010 at 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

A long time ago, I read this really good Harlequin Intrigue ----I can not remember the title or who wrote it. Darn it!

The heroine was set up and sent to prision. During transport, there is an accident and she escapes into the snowy mountains. The hero is a Federal Marshal, who tracks and catches her. He thinks she is just another con claiming innocence.

It was a really good book. I loved the storyline and I wish it had been longer.

*I also wish I could remember who the title and wrote it so I can repurchase it.

December 9, 2010 at 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Shelly Estes said...

Hope, a couple of excellent historicals are "The Flame & The Flower" by Johanna Lindsay, "The Making of a Gentleman" by Shana Galen and "Barely a Lady" by Eileen Dreyer. I thought both were excellent reads. I read the Flame/Flower back in the 80's & it's always been one of my faves.

December 9, 2010 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger oklanannie said...

I just located at the used bookstore two of Julie Garwood's historicals. Upon Christy's recommendation and Crystal's further persuasion, I'm going to read "Honor's Splendor." I also got another historical by Garwood entitled "Rebellious Desire" -- anyone read it?? I've always read Garwood's contemporaries but have ignored the historicals. Guess it's time to take the plunge.

Come on Hope -- join me for a historical swim!

December 9, 2010 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger oklanannie said...

Oops! I intended to add a FYI:

Julie Garwood has a new contemporary entitled "THE IDEAL MAN" scheduled for release August 8, 2011. Amazon has the book cover and blurb up for an early peek.

December 9, 2010 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

I love revenge and amnesia stories. I also like marriage of convenience themes in historicals.

December 9, 2010 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Tanya said...

I love the whole mystery theme. That is why I think I enjoy Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark-Hunter books, because at first you meet everyone but Ash was there and little by little we got to know the story about him (when he finally got his own book). And with that now she puts in a few mystery characters (like Savitor and Thorn) and it makes me want to keep reading because I want to know what is up with them and if they will get there own book.

I am also a sucker for straight romance and action theme. I love it when I read and you see them fall in love..... but I love even more when the characters are so right for each other and at the end BOOM they are pregnant.

And I love the whole Alpha male angle of things! But I also Like the female to have a back bone and have a snappy come back for the male. LoL

I really don't like it when you get the first book in a series and it gets you hooked but the more you read the more things just don't make sense and I am there like ummm okay now what? or when there is a huge build-up and when things finally go down it is like half a page long. That just really gets me.

December 9, 2010 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Jackie, since three of the six LCR books are reunion romances and all six of them involve tortured characters, guess it's pretty clear I love both. (: And I love the idea of an 'I can't help myself' romance. Do you have any favorites?

Oh Hope, I really didn't know you don't like historicals. Is there anything we can say to change your mind. (:

Ronlyn, I don't like cheating either. I did read one Kat Martin book called The Perfect Sin that involved cheating. I really enjoyed the book and KM was able to make the hero so very sorry for what he did, I forgave him, as did the heroine. However, for the most part, I try to steer away from that plotline.

Kris, a blizzard in Paris? Oh wow, just found out that Dylan and Jamie are actually in West Virginia and are in the midst of a blizzard too. How funny!

December 9, 2010 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Crystal (cmac) said...

Hope....I've made no recommendations because I'm not at the point to fulfill my part of the bargain. :)

Oklanannie... You will love both those historical books! I really enjoyed them anyway! Read Honors Splendour first!

December 9, 2010 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Aly said...

I love reunion stories! I don't mind secret babies if it is done right. I love wounded heroes as long as they haven't been beaten to death by life.

I really don't like convenient or contrived plot devices...and don't ask me for an example b/c I can't think of any at this moment! LOL! But there are times in a book that I feel like an author didn't want to put the effort forth and it was just easier to go with a cliche plot device. Not sure that made any sense to anyone!

And cheating. I don't like it at all including previously in the relationship if it is a reunion story or for either the H or h in previous relationships.

December 9, 2010 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Aly said...

Oh and it is Hope's fault that I had to come back to post more...

I hope I don't get thrown off the blog for going a little off track since this isn't a theme but...LOCATION!

Location can go along side the theme and can certainly make or break a book for me!

December 9, 2010 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Kara C said...

I guess I can only reiterate what several have already said. LOVE the rescue theme, in all it's varied forms. There is really no theme I've come across that will make me absolutely turn a book down. I've read a bit of everything.

Enjoy Paris, Christy!

December 9, 2010 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Jackie P said...

My favorite is Noah.(I read that one over and over) Then Kleypas has "It Happened One Autumn" and "Married By Morning". JR Ward's books. I could go on and on.

December 9, 2010 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Hope said...

ALY *gasp* my fault???

December 9, 2010 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

LOL Anne, I love your reading attitude. Very eclectic! You'll definitely never run out of things to read. And I agree, whatever the theme, I want that HEA!

December 9, 2010 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

DIDi, thank you so much. I'm thrilled that you love LCR! And bless you for recommending me to your friends!

I love series books too. it's so much fun getting to know characters throughout the series and the anticipation when the character gets his own book.

I'm so glad you're looking forward to SWEET JUSTICE. I hope you love Seth and Honor's story!

December 9, 2010 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Mary G said...

I'm with Anne. I like most tropes if they're written well. Let's face it there's thousands of books and only so many tropes. The talent lies in the author's ability to put their own twist on it so we're not saying "geez, not another one".

One i'm not crazy about is older woman/younger man but I started Unguarded by one of my faves Tracy Wolff & it's wonderful.

I also don't like if there is a big age difference. Nobody can fix that for me.

December 9, 2010 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Deb, even though you don't like historicals, let me recommend Francine River's Redeeming Love. It's fabulous and one I think you'd really enjoy.

Also, since you're a med tech, have you ever read the Harlequin medical books? They're hugely popular in the UK but can sometimes be hard to find in the US. I have a few if you'd like me to send them to you. Let me know.

December 9, 2010 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Alison, I agree with you regarding those two books and the secret baby theme. That did work well because there was a good reason for the father not knowing.

Regarding the revenge theme, have you read Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood? LOL I know I talk about this book a lot, but it's such a SWEET, wonderful love story. The hero kidnaps the heroine for revenge, but nothing is as it seems. Try it if you get the chance!

December 9, 2010 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Shelly, that theme would bother me too. And I haven't read a lot of cowboy stories but there are several here who love them. Any cowboy romance suggestions for Shelly?

December 10, 2010 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Crystal, I read your first line and Sam Starett immediately came to mind. I still remember the hurt I felt for him when he was in school and opened his lunch box only to find it empty. Oh my gosh, that just broke my heart! I think Sam will forever be my favorite TS.

And LH's MacKenzie family will always be my favorite family. Just thinking of Wolfe and Mary makes me smile.

So glad you enjoyed Honor's Splendour! LOL I love it when I make a recommendation that worked. It's so funny when one book works so well for one reader and another reader sees nothing special about it. My mom and I have this battle all the time. We have completely different tastes...although she swears she loves my books. (:

December 10, 2010 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Linda, I agree. There are some secret baby stories that work. The ones that drive me crazy are the ones where the mother does it spitefully or just decides he wouldn't want to know. Grr. (:

Oh, I don't think I'd like the super rich hero and the heroine having to beg for money. I'm sure it's been done well, but that's not one I'd go out and look for.

I like the realistic, gritty stuff too as long there's an HEA to make it all worthwhile.

And oh, if you ever find out the name of the Harlequin book, let me know. Sounds like a must read!

December 10, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Shelly, hope you don't mind, but just wanted to make a correction--lol, so important for an author.

The author of The Flame and the Flower is Kathleen Woodiwiss, not Johanna Lindsey. Didn't want anyone to get frustrated trying to find it under Lindsey. (:

December 10, 2010 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Anne, I know I answered you elsewhere, but just wanted to say it here. Rebellious Desire by Julie Garwood is fabulous, as is The Secret, The Bride and no, I won't say the other one that I've recommended 20,000 times already. (:


December 10, 2010 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Anne, thanks for the news on the new Garwood. Love the title!

December 10, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Jane, the marriage of convenience theme is a great one in historicals. Contemporary ones are a little harder to find, but I've read a few. They're always fun!

December 10, 2010 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Tanya, SK did a great job of the build-up of Ash's story, didn't she?

And I agree, I love the alpha male, but I like the heroine to have backbone too. I especially like them when the backbone is developed throughout the book. Love seeing that character growth!

December 10, 2010 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Aly, I love reunion stories too. Love seeing the reignition of the spark that started years ago, finding out about their history and why it didn't work for them before.

And yep, cheating isn't usually something I can handle either. I can handle the gritty, violent stuff so much better than the emotional dagger that pierces the heart...such as infidelity.

December 10, 2010 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Aly, that's interesting! What is it about location that you like or don't like?

December 10, 2010 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Kara, Paris was snowed in! We decided to go on to West Virginia. LOL Yes, I know that's a bit different, but for what Jamie and Dylan need to do, it's perfect!

December 10, 2010 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Thanks, Jackie P! I was wondering if that's the kind of 'I can't help myself' romance you were talking about. Glad to hear you read it over and over again. (:

December 10, 2010 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Mary G, I'm not a fan of older women, younger men either. I've read one and though it was a good book, I didn't enjoy near as much as I would have if the age difference wasn't there.

LOL The huge difference in age thing wouldn't work for me either. Hard to believe the HEA will be very long if one is decades older than the other...well, I take that back, if it's a paranormal and one of the characters is centuries older, that'll work for me. Christine Feehan's Dark series comes to mind. The heroes are ancient and I loved them!

December 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Luci said...

Cheating for me. I can take a story about a cheater who is sincerely trying to reform. But the cheating has to have occured out of the pages :). Don't want to read cheating scenes. And although there were a couple of books where it was treated well and I could stomach it i prefer not encountering it. Having said that I am a huge believer in second chances so I love books with that theme.

Like tortured heroes that are well-written also.

The secret baby theme I don't really enjoy - it doesn't seem fair to cheat a parent of so many years of his child's life.

Another theme I have read and that I don't enjoy is encountered mostly in historicals - kidnapping. The on-the-road books are not my favourite either.

Re Julie Garwood - The Secret and Ransom were fab.

December 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Shelly Estes said...

Christy -- doh!! Kathleen Woodiwiss -- what was I thinking?? But both Kathleen & Johanna have written some excellent historicals. Sad that Kathleen has passed away.

December 10, 2010 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Christy Reece said...

Shelly, you're right, Woodiwiss and Lindsey both wrote wonderful historicals. And it broke my heart when Kathleen Woodiwiss passed away, but what a wonderful legacy she left!

December 10, 2010 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Heather D said...

I find myself having a lot of fun with books whose characters who have alot of pent up anger between each other. I like reading about the men who are smart mouthed and just an all around pain in the tail, as well as the women who can take control of those men and put them in their places! haha I guess that is why I couldnt get enough Noah and Samara. I would sit on the couch and giggle to myself when they would argue and fight. They have been my favorite couple of all the books I have read so far!

December 11, 2010 at 12:52 PM  

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