I know I've blogged about this before, but since my current read has me checking to see if "Sucker" is tattooed on my forehead I thought now would be a good time to bring it up yet again.
I started life as a mystery fan. I still love me a good mystery. Now the bread and butter in the mystery world is a series. Sue Grafton, James Patterson, Lisa Scottoline, Tess Gerritsen etc., all successful authors with successful series. These books follow one character (or group of characters) over the course of several books, and these series tend to be "never ending." It's a rare thing indeed when a mystery author brings "closure" to a series and even then, sometimes it's picked up by one of their children or a ghostwriter. I'm invested in a hand full of series, some to the point where I just can't make a break even though I feel dirty for admitting I still read them (case in point: The Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun).
I'm fine with this. So how come I hate it so much in romance novels? Because while mysteries are "allowed" to follow the same set of characters indefinitely, romances cannot do this. Romance novels must have a happily-ever-after. There has to be that closure, otherwise it ain't a romance. So for a series to work, the romance author has to introduce secondary characters who will be the subject of books 2, 3, 4 etc. And that's where it tends to get preposterous.
There are certain authors I don't read because the idea of their neverending series is just too daunting. Stephanie Laurens, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Suzanne Brockmann, you get the idea. Because sooner or later my skepticism kicks in. Oh, so there are 16 children in the family and they're all getting their own books? The plot involves a private school, so all the students are going to grow up and get their own story? You've written about all the relatives, so now it's a story about the hero's best friend's brother's former roommate's governess? Seriously, it's like a drunken Merry-Go-Round after a while.
I want an end. I want an end to the romance series so badly that whenever I walk into a bookstore these days I'm purposely looking for a "stand alone" book. No more series. I'm done. I'm full. Frankly, I'm getting indigestion.
So where does that leave me? With Watchers In The Night by Jenna Black - book one in a new paranormal series. Now, I don't know the details, but I'm going to assume (for my sanity) that Ms. Black does have an "end an sight." I sure hope so, because I'm already wondering who the hero of book 2 will be. Which means I'm enjoying WITN. Which means I've just gotten roped into another series. Which means I've fallen for it - again. Sucker.