Book catnip & blurb keywords that make us want to read it badly…

by Maryse on August 17, 2015 · 25 comments

in Book Recommendations

LOL!!! Yep, this is shaping up to be a goofy Monday, indeed. It’s NEW LIST day (I post one every Monday), and recently, our fellow readers were having a “book-catnip” discussion. Certain phrases, or storylines, or keywords in blurbs that grab us and make us want to read it next. Plus… of course, certain heroes (or hero-types) make us go crazy enough that we’d roll in ‘em. The books I mean. We’d roll IN the books. *snort* :P

What a PERFECT list idea!!! So I am immortalizing the discussion. ;)

We all know who my main catnip hero is… (Travis!! Yep… still. LOL!) ;) but here are some things that make give me a *blurb jolt* and make me want to one click it.

Reclusive, angry, uninterested men/tortured heroes a la “Zsadist” in Lover Awakened. Those that are impossible to get to, and want nothing to do with the heroine. AND I MEAN IT darn-it! NOTH-ING. Full on refusal, denial, disinterest, and even rudeness. And long term too, so we can work for it. Lots of offensive (or at least discouraging) behavior, and private pining, and more rudeness, and heartache, and… well. Work. For eventual love. Of course I want there to be love for a good part of it, but I want to feel the emotional overload of knowing better, NOT wanting to want him, and yet loving and wanting him nonetheless. And all of that delightful intense emotion, true unconditional love, and healing.

Real people married-couple problems, as portrayed in After I Do by Taylor Jenkins-Reid. This is another thing that attracts me in book blurbs. Adults, living real lives, and having real life difficulties, and therefore struggling to keep their love alive. Whether it be extra-marital issues, or reproduction issues, or overworked issues, or personal scars that have opened up again… issues. Old secrets… (but please – let them be worthy of all the darn drama, okay?!!) I just love to see two people who were set in their lives together, trying to build it back, or at least, hold it together during the hard times. Or even fall apart right before our very eyes.

Risqué love themes. Teacher-student (such as Loving Mr. Daniels and Slammed), Stockholm Syndrome (like Captive in the Dark), forbidden love of various sorts (not too gross of course, but who am I kidding? Forbidden was as forbidden as it gets, and we all loved it, did we not)? All the things that we can imagine happening (due to news stories, or “hearsay” from friends), but that we wouldn’t actually want to experience ourselves due to the incredible trauma and insecurity and even mental-health issues such a love story could cause. And that’s why I love to experience the thrill, and terror, and drama via books. Always… and ONLY via books. ;) *tee hee!!*

Potential NON-HEA - Blurbs (or recommendations from readers) that indicate a potential NON-HEA <— the possibility of that. BUT!!! Still gives me the impression that an HEA *could* happen… either way. You know. An unconventional love story. Ahhhhh I love that torment! I LOVE NOT-knowing what could happen in a book. Unpredictable = Maryse catnip! Oh I’d list some here but I’m afraid. I don’t want to spoil them either way, so I… I’m gonna think about it. ;)

Bad guys. ALMOST unredeemable, unloving, cold and distant bad-asses (and maybe even a good reason for it – the potential for redeemable). And yet… that ONE (and only one) girl is THE one that warms his cold cold heart. BUT!!!! There are SO many of these out and they do not seem to thrill me as much as they once did. I think because there was a time when an entire book or two would pass before he finally relented, fully, to her (with hints of emotion throughout… but only for her. A la “Barrons“). Now it seems only a chapter or two pass before it’s “true love”. *sigh* I want more resistance!!! P.S. It’s kind of fun rooting for the bad guy… just sayin’ (Hi Javier!!!! *blows kiss*). Oh and Terrible. Any guy named Terrible must be terrible, right? Well to many he was. BUT OMG he put my heart through the ringer, book after book, after book. One of the best love stories ever! Oh and Deuce. Although I struggle with what section to put him in… “bad-ass”, or “bad-guy”? I dunno… *sigh* Guess it depends on who you ask. No matter what… FUN!

And of course… the tattooed, bad-ass, bad boys (and I MEAN BAD-ASS!!!) fighter or protector-types/ultimate BOSS hero types. But again… while they were once so majestic to me, in books, so hard to get to, so hardened and confused, now they seem a little too easy… there has to be *something*. A “je ne said quoi” that makes being loved by him, so freaking HUGE and delightful, and relieving, putting us in that love-fog again. You know… a la Travis, Edward, Christian Grey and of course… Zsadist. *sigh* I haven’t been in a true love-fog in ages…

Oh! But what DOES get my adrenaline racing are psych-thrillers (like Jezebel by K. Larsen). Twists and turns, shocking reveals, genius story-telling, and of course, if you can throw in “love” into the mix? That’s my perfect book. You can find A LOT of that kind of reading in Alessandra Torre and Tarryn Fisher‘s work.

P.S. The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar is quite the PERFECT mix of most of these, above. Just sayin’ ;) READ. IT!!!!

Oh!!! One more… and even though I do not read many of these, I WANT TO. I have NO idea why I haven’t marathon indulged in post-apocalyptic reads. Because the thought of disease, or government takeover or something along those lines scares me to death. So not only would we get that crazy “what if” thrill, but we’d get the whole “rebuilding”, finding new friends, forgetting old “ways of beings” learning that all of that material wealth was for naught… and maybe even finding love and happiness amongst desolation. YES!!!!

Okay well…. enough of my rambling.

Let’s take a look at our fellow reader’s favorites! bev started us off:

bev: I was just listening to someone talk about figuring out your catnip in books. And then speaking of a book with Amy all over it. I was wondering what is your catnip, the keywords that make you want to buy. I think I’m learning a bit of some of yours. Fairies for MichelleS. Tessa likes the heroes that are d!cks, Amy the heroines that are. ;-)  But really what checks the box for you?

Tessa: I do like jerk heroes, but past that, what really checks my box is great secondary characters. So many times, the secondary are one dimension. When they are fully fleshed, and even better, there’s a friendship/ family love there, I just go nuts. FCH has Logan, Nate, and Heather. Harry Potter had so many awesome secondary, it’s insane. The Rocker… Series is basically a big family. Even Bully had Madoc, KC and eventually Jaxon. I just adore how it makes the story more real for me.

DianeM: Great question Bev!! I love tortured heroes (and heroines like Nora in The Siren: The Original Sinners Book 1 (The Original Sinners Series)), my 2 faves are Caleb from the Dark duet and Eli from The Lonely / LOST BOY (The Lonely Book 2). But I totally agree w/ Tessa, great secondary characters always make a book better

Lisa: Great question Bev. I think my book catnip is tortured heros who are kind of jerks initially…like Remy and Colton and Travis. And I totally agree with Tessa. Secondary characters that are well fleshed out really turns a good story to a great story for me. Loved all the characters in Jay Crownover‘s series for that reason. Felt like I knew them and missed them when I finished.

Amy: My catnip? When a book is attached to words or sayings like ugly cry, heartbreaking, gutted me, mindf$#k, twist, etc.

bev: Bad Boy/good girl Yes, well developed secondary characters. Yes, Tessa, HP rocked that. Made Families, HP did this well too. Slow Burn. Good sense of time and place, as if I know the town, or house, vibe of the city, etc

fabi: Book triggers, hmmm, I can’t really pin it down. I know I’m partial to younger characters, especially if they’re fighting against a dystopian world and there’s a little romance thrown in. So when I read a blurb with those elements, its an automatic 1 click. But there are many others too.

Lisa: fabi, have you read Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and Pandemonium. Also the author who wrote ‘travelling pants series’…her book ‘My Name is Memory’. They would all be ticking your book catnip box. Mmmm that sounds wrong. Another book quirk I love is when authors add a play list and you get that multidimensional feel by listening to the music and reading at the same time. (Trust me…listen to the choral music when reading 50 shades red room scenes *gulp*). Of course the beloved Colleen Hoover did it to perfection with her colab with Griffen Peterson for Maybe Someday. My husband thinks it’s just another way I block the rest of the world out when I have my iPod earbuds in and my head buried in my Kindle!!;)

fabi: Music, that’s another trigger for me. Give a character that plays guitar/sings and I’m likely to read the book. Same goes for soccer/football/basketball athlete characters. And dont even get me started on sci-fi. Ah, so many triggers. Probably why my reading is all over the place and I end up missing as many great books as I find.

Jean: OK I’m late to this conversation, but my catnip is the guys who are broken and need saving (Z, Remy, military men…). Also tattoo artists, bikers, and fighters. Yum!

Cheryl: My catnip in books, tortured, sweet, bad-a$$, doesn’t hurt to be a rock star or sports star, hero and a strong heroine.

Tessa: I adore CH, if done right and not cheesy just to get you to buy the next book. I love the mystery and twirling in my head of what’s going to happen, what is that mystery about… all those. Something to dwell on and ponder and make theories about are beyond priceless. However, I don’t like, “And I hate you,” the end, CH, where they get back together in the next book. *rolls eyes*

Maryse: Yes!! Agreed… cliffhangers have rocked my world in the past, but it had to be worth it!!

Maryse: I am LOVING this hero-catnip question… Me too, I’m into the broken bad-asses. And they don’t have to be god-like gorgeous either. Just BIG, strong protectors (even if they’re bad-guys) and reluctantly loving until that one girl comes along and then they give their WHOLE heart. Gah I LOVE that. Z is my ultimate. Travis too (but of course!!) hahaha!! Acheron… definitely. Christian Grey (although I don’t know how much of a “bad-ass” he was). Sebastian from Surviving Raine (YES!!) an even Evan Arden. Terrible from The Downside Ghosts series (and he is another of my perfect examples that he was not a physical beauty, BUT OMG I FELL HARD for him!!!!)

Okay… anyone else? What gets you excited about a book?


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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy August 17, 2015 at 9:02 PM

Ooh ooh!! One more to add for me…ANGST!!!

Angst is definitely my catnip. ;)

bev August 17, 2015 at 9:09 PM

Good dialogue, especially fast banter.
Chemistry between the H&h.

Tessa August 17, 2015 at 9:12 PM

Also, humor. Even scary, horrible things need good humor to keep you going.

Listen to us. We’re even in that conversation, and still we’re piping up with more.

Maryse August 17, 2015 at 9:13 PM

LOL! I as thinking the same thing… ;)

*snort* :P

Tessa August 17, 2015 at 9:20 PM

We’re incorrigible. :D

MichelleS August 17, 2015 at 9:22 PM

Catnip for me is when I read a blurb and it says “he knew he couldn’t have her, but he took her anyway”… I’m like… What? Who? Why? I love the forbiddeny stuff.

And it’s the FAE that are my catnip, not fairies!!! They’re powerful, and magical, and total bad @$$es. Just needed to clarify.

And men in kilts. Here kitty kitty… Catnip for sure.

bev August 17, 2015 at 9:30 PM

Fairies ~ heh, sorry.
I didn’t know it’d be featured or wouldn’t have said that about.Amy either. Rofl.

Amy August 17, 2015 at 9:41 PM

Oh! And the word “forbiddeny” that was coined here! Catches my attention every time. :D

Bev…what’s wrong with what you said? You spoke nothin’ but the truth, ya know. ;)

Tessa August 17, 2015 at 9:48 PM

I thought Fae was a given? I’m with Michelle with wanting that catnip. :P

MichelleS August 17, 2015 at 9:48 PM
bev August 17, 2015 at 10:03 PM

Amy all in the eye of the beholder. I think how we all feel about d!ck heroes is how you feel about the heroines.

Maryse August 17, 2015 at 10:24 PM

Tee hee. Fairies. The FAE don’t like that!!! :P

You girls make me giggle!!!!

Tessa August 17, 2015 at 10:40 PM

Technically, Fairy is where the Fae live. However, “F***ing Fairy” was awesome. I want the next book. *goes author stalking*

Amy August 17, 2015 at 11:02 PM

Ah, gotcha Bev.

Carla August 18, 2015 at 12:27 AM

I get you! I feel just like you about all of it and seriously, I wish all the authors in the world could see this list. *claps* Maybe they would know what we really want and need.

Laura August 18, 2015 at 1:39 AM

Ooooo mines are anything with – scarred, single dad or reclusive
Hmmm there’s a pattern here I’m sure lol

Jean August 18, 2015 at 9:14 AM

Yes Laura! Reclusive always gets me too!

Ela August 18, 2015 at 9:25 AM


Ahhhhhhhhhh Catnip – FAE, Angst, CHEATING, IAD

Ela August 18, 2015 at 9:44 AM

I need more Fae rec’s, please, preferably NA or just plain old Adult :)

Maryse August 18, 2015 at 11:58 AM

Thank you SO much for the support, Carla. I mean… there’s a sort of storytelling *magic* to it, of course, but yep… this is pretty much, IF well written, gets me every time.

Maryse August 18, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Forbiddeny is my favorite! :P

Julie August 18, 2015 at 12:58 PM

How about a fake relationship? Those get me every time!

Cheryl August 18, 2015 at 3:08 PM

Agree with Tessa, has to have some humor mixed in with the angst/forbiddeny. ;)

Michelle S August 18, 2015 at 5:34 PM

Ela – Ryder & Syn have a FB page? What is it? I did a search and a bunch came up.

Fae books….. tell me you read the Tairen Soul Series? All the other ladies will roll their eyes, but seriously, best Fae book ever. He is the tortured, ancient King of the Fae. The world building is magnificent. I go a little nuts about this. My catnip.

Ela August 19, 2015 at 9:17 AM

Thanks MichelleS, I’ll look those up and if you haven’t guessed yet, I haven’t read it yet!

The Fae Chronicles – Fan Page

If you can’t find these give me your full name on FB and I’ll add you to the groups.
Nightshade is Vlad’s nightclub!

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