Cowboys in romance novels.
Often one of my major pet peeves.
Not the cowboys I love them. I love horses, and cattle, too. And good working dogs. Nothing better.
Which is part of the problem.
Let me explain. I'm the daughter of a true, old-time cowboy. One of those types who doesn't cuss in front of a woman. I know every kind of cowboy-- from cattle ranchers to rodoe cowboys, and everything in between.
So, what's the rub with reading about the men I love? I should love books about them.
I usually don't.
So many authors aren't ranch-savvy, and it often shows.
I recently critted a full ms written by a friend. Set in Wyoming, the heroine was adopted by her grandfather, a rancher. The details were exquisite. The author, a non-rancher, had done her research. Her setting was correct. Her horse details, except for one minor point, were correct. Her cattle details were near perfect. For me, it added to the enjoyment of the book. I wasn't cringing every other page because she had written every cliche out there.
On the other edge of the spectrum came from a recent contest entry I judged. Cliche? Every single one. Horse and cattle details bordered on stupid. I won't go into specifics because I don't want to embarrass the author. But if I had picked that book up in a store, I wouldn't have gone past page one.
Sure the book may sell. It may even become a bestseller. But there are a lot of readers out there who know most cowboys say rope or lariat instead of lasso.
It matters to me to be accurate. As writers, it should be our duty to be on top of the details. It's part of the deal. Don't be lazy, and assume if you've heard it, it must be correct. Take the time to look up the facts.
I'd like to know what bugs you when a writer doesn't do her research? Sailing? Cooking? Dancing?