I would love to say we, as authors, aren't taken aback when someone dislikes a book we've written. And if there are any authors who are the slightest bit like me, they're surprised, too, when someone loves a book they've written. I think it's because, in a very real way, that is "us" typed all over those pages. Even when our characters are doing and saying things in real life that we might not, their actions still come out of some little corner of our mind. And sometimes that's a little funky to see---a character doing something rather appalling. Some of my characters have actually embarrassed me.
Maybe I could consciously set out to write a story that more readers would like. I could follow the formula of popular erotica and use plots with proven track records. But, truth is, I write what I write because I have a story to tell. Sure, I hope you like the characters (or dislike the ones I'd prefer you dislike); enjoy the action, the sex, but I write what turns me on, and I like to think I couch it in some realism. The girl doesn't always get the guy; sometimes people want different things and have to part ways, and sometimes a character is too selfish or damaged to provide what another character needs.
Does that sound of out place in erotica? If so, I'm glad. I'm tired of seeing female characters going to pick up their dry cleaning, throwing themselves on the counter and fucking the guy who's sorting clothes. Some of my female characters have a few pounds to lose, and some of the males are probably too harsh for most tastes. Not everyone is rich or beautiful or living in a remote castle. One of my characters in "Sub U" was a raging alcoholic. But that's life.
I was dinged rather badly by a reviewer who said "Sub U' just wasn't what she expected. I am really, really, really glad to hear that. I hope my characters continue to make mistakes, do the unexpected, and unwittingly throw a screw or two in the works of their lives. Don't we all do that?
Do real-to-life problems and flawed characters interfere with your enjoyment of erotica?