A student recently brought me a copy of Forbidden Passion by Marilyn Cunningham. Yes, it's one of those romance novels: A Candlelight Ecstasy Romance from Dell. Copyright 1987. ISBN: 0-440-12660-6. You can pick up a used copy through the Amazon marketplace for a penny (plus shipping). I wouldn't recommend it, of course, but in the interest of full disclosure...the student purchased it for 49 cents at Goodwill as a joke.
From page 117:
"She felt the night crowding around her."
Oh good, I think, suspense...tension...horror.
"The damp smell of moss came sweetly to her nostrils..."
Wait. Sweetly? Damp smell of moss came sweetly?
"...and the water bouncing over stones blended with the moan of the wind that was tossing the tops of the pines in a haunting melody above her head."
What the #($@&!
"...moan of the wind that..."
Moss doesn't smell sweet, folks. It's rotten, fetid, murky, foul. Not sweet. The wind doesn't moan through the trees...not in that way at least. It whispers. It says dark things. Haunting, maybe, but not that kind of melody.
My horror/romance hybrid:
"The moss, reeking of rot and decay, became a bed for their lustful lovemaking."
Stick that in your Forbidden Passion and smoke it. I just don't do romance.
By the way...do you think Marilyn Cunningham was the author's real name?