Far be it for me to be a Negative Nancy and come up with ten of my romance dislikes. Well. I shouldn’t really say I’m a Negative Nancy when it comes to romances, since I am a shipper of things shippy!
In any case, I decided to split this TTT up! (Also included: Movie gifs from my favorite erm…adaptations. Yeah.)
Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances
Gradual love. I like my main romances running the course of the novel, or, in some cases, the course of the series. And I don’t mean an on-again, off-again-type of relationship, either (that gets old to me really fast). Just one where Person A meets Person B, and the two fall into love along the way of the plot, and eventually they do something about it. If it means marriage, sure. If it means sexy, sexy time, why not?!
Heated discourse. Some of my favorite romances tend to spice things up with arguments and occasional banter. My heroines are nothing if not pigheaded and stubborn, and oftentimes their significant others are frustrated that they can’t prevent imminent doom and danger to their loved ones, even when most likely, they’re the reasons the heroines are putting themselves in doom and danger to begin with.
Fighting Evil By Moonlight…Together. (I am sorry, for some reason I have Sailor Moon in the brain today…) There’s nothing more adorable than a romance born out of similar predicaments or timely situations. Believe it or not, war (or the threat of war) seems to be one thing that brings a couple people together. Like a kingdom’s chief of security and his poison taster, or the commander of the king’s army and a frustratingly beautiful half-monster mind-reader, or…well, you get the picture.
Regency Flirtations. Actually, it should be Period flirtations, because I’m a sucker for Victorian discourse between lovers as well. Regency just came to mind because I still admit to reading and watching the heck out of my Austen books, and I will always adore how the Sorcery and Cecelia novels were written.
Underdog Love. Now, it’s all well and good that the hero/heroine finds romance in books, but what about the friendzoned sidekick or bestie? I totally give books kudos for when a secondary character manages to find love, especially after he/she has been snubbed by the main character. As long as the person Ms./Mr. Underdog doesn’t imprint on her/his first love’s child or anything… (not…mentioning…any…names…JACOB BLACK I AM TALKING TO YOU.)
Insta-Love. The opposite of gradual love, obviously. I can understand Insta-Love solely as a physical chemistry. That’s not my problem with this trope. My main problem is that once Insta-Love hits Person A, it doesn’t even matter whether Person B has horrid traits, because like, omg, Person B is THE ONE AND ONLY. And things just get annoying for the rest of the story from there.
All-encompassing, blindingly distracting love. This ties into my dislike of Insta-Love. Sometimes the protagonist goes out of her/his way to think about romance in the most inopportune times. Like zombie apocalypses or, I don’t know, being trapped in a faerie underworld with a psychopathic unnamed goblin king. I suppose you could argue that romance is right to come up at these times, because such dark moments should have a burst of light. No no no. If you’re encountering a zombie, your first thought should really be “RUN THE FRELL OUT OF THERE” and NOT “SHOULD I REALLY GO WITH PERSON B EVEN THOUGH I LOVE PERSON C?”
SuperHot is SuperNot. Granted, I don’t mind having TDHs (Tall Dark Handsomes) running around in the story. I don’t even have too much of a problem if a romantic interest is too beautiful beyond words (like angels and werewolves…hem hem). But it does get aggravating when this hotness physical description is the only thing that endears the reader to a particular character. Sure, the guy or girl is eye-candy and probably a good and lovable person, but comparing his muscles to a Greek god or her sashaying body to an hourglass several times in the damn story is just ugh, just no.
Love Triangles. To a degree. Joey at Thoughts and Afterthoughts brought the topic of love triangles to mind recently, and I will reiterate my response there. I roll my eyes and sigh with frustration when it comes to love triangles. I often think triangles detract from the story and often this inability to choose from Person B to Person C becomes so damn important that it drowns out the actual plot. Heaven forbid the damn love triangle IS the actual plot, because then I might have to claw out my eyeballs.
Romantic Takeovers. This pretty much coincides with Love Triangles, though is not exclusive to. This is where the romance becomes the fuel of the story even when it really shouldn’t be. Sure, fine, if it’s a romance novel, I can understand all the romantic foreplay happening in the foreground. I could even enjoy it as is when the mood strikes. But there are just some stories that could have been good–even great–had the romance taken a step back to the storybuilding.
I might have overdone my rants, but believe it or not, now I kind of want to read–or re-read–a book that has the romances I like!