We take a very scientific approach to our book review ratings. We even made a graph, to show the relationship between the quality of the book and the sex. We might even develop a very impressive and mathy equation. Our research has shown that the quality of the book is highly dependent on when the characters start boning. Specifically, P in the V. A deficiency in writing quality/cliched plot can often be saved with sex, and we’ll give a book with some excellent writing/plot till the magic and not-at-all-arbitrary 65% mark to get down to getting down.
Also: books with no sex can be divided into two categories: Books and junk. We don’t really read either of these anymore.
In terms of plot, we like books with reasonably original plots, likable characters (especially funny ones), and unpredictable suspense. We also factor in points for our personal catnips such as: dark secrets, insanely jealous men, and accidental pregnancies (basically the opposite of what we want in real life men), tattoos, a dying girlfriend or boyfriend they can’t leave for their true love, and dual narrative stories. Cleone and Mary are divided on books with cheating.
Things that make a plot bad for us (and we’ll forgive a lot!): truly unlikable heroines, or a couple who is truly in love but wishy-washy, too much sex, or bad sex that makes you flip through to get back to the plot, sneaky Christian romance, slow or absent sex, ridiculous/cringeworthy dialog, emotional attachment to a living or deceased ex, and the kind of books where they describe the character’s clothes like they’re supposed to sound super stylish but they sound awful and dowdy like they were written by a 50 year old romance writer trying to break into the college romance scene. We have a very high tolerance for nonsense in plots, sometimes the more ridiculous the better, so if we are rolling our eyes and throwing our hands up to Jesus, it has to be pretty bad.
Bad writing. Whenever the characters start in on any of the spidey-sense shit in a non-paranormal romance, I steadily begin penalizing the book. For example – that sixth sense, “prickling of the neck” when the love interest enters the room. Or when he can “smell her arousal” while she’s fully clothed. Just stop. If he can smell it, so can everyone else, and that’s kinda gross (However: panty sniffing = hot points, try and keep up). Also, we strongly object to any cringe inducing euphemism’s for moisture or a lady’s “parts,” such as, but not limited to: weeping, dripping, gushing, glistening. That’s not real and it sounds like a health issue you should talk to your doctor about. Basically what we’re trying to get at, is anything that makes me so embarrassed to be reading it that I have to turn off my kindle when people are walking by because I’m ashamed they might see it.
So what about you guys? What’s your catnip? What do you want in your trashy romances? How long will you wait for the D?