Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that other bloggers are welcome to join in, to create Top Ten lists on varying topics. This week it’s Ten Things We Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books (or even things we want to see MORE of in romances in fiction)
1 DISLIKE – Love Triangles
The first time I read one, I didn’t even notice. the fifty billionth time, I threw the book across the room. I will actively not read a book because of a love triangle. I will automatically hate it because of the triangle so there is no point in reading it. When it’s an interesting sounding story with a triangle thrown in, it annoys me even more. I’ve read exactly 1 book where a love triangle was key to the plot and that was last week! (No triangle was mentioned in the blurb or it would not have been read. This book was Ever Darkening). They seem to always be in teen books, because teens aren’t confused enough with reality as it is, love triangles are not happening all over the place. The worst ones are when some yummy new guy turns up to steal the girls heart and suddenly the best friend is in love with her and she can’t choose. Really?! Just no. No thank you. As johnny Depp apparently famously once said, if you find yourself falling in love with two people, choose the second because if you loved the first enough you wouldn’t have fallen for the second, so sort it out people.
2 DISLIKE – Split/Separation in Book 2
Just a way to drag out the drama. One of the patterns books tend to fall into that I can’t stand to read any more. Because it’s the only possible plot development that could ever possibly happen after a couple gets together. So many book series do this and usually it could all be avoided through them actually TALKING to each other, or not being so self centred or because they just want to make the poor characters suffer. (I think Cinder is one of the only series that doesn’t get on my nerves with this. Perhaps because it’s not centre plot). They just spent the entire book 1 fighting to get together and suddenly they’re running away from each other. That makes complete sense. Well done.
3 LIKE – Unapologetic characters.
This was a hard one to define. Basically, I like strong characters who are not afraid to be themselves. Big strong guys who will fight for and laugh with and love their women and women who look into the hearts of the scarred and the scary and fall in love and protect the fragile hearts of those big tough guys no matter what. and by ‘big, strong guys’ I don’t just mean the physically big and strong, I mean the smart and fierce too. Yeah that probably doesn’t go with the title at all, but how do you give this a title? Basically I liked it when they don’t apologise for being them selves or for needing each other. And I’m making it worse. Moving on.
4 LIKE – When Romance is part of the story, but not the focus.
Sometimes a full on romance is nice but generally I like adventures with my snuggles. These stories can actually get away with separation or other things I don’t like, because it’s being used to further the plot it’s not the actual plot in it’s entirety. If a book still employs these moves though, I will like it less than if it actually comes up with plot. It is perfectly possible and even acceptable for a couple to stay together throughout the story and support each other. In fact this is preferable to everything else and a good lesson to be teaching everyone. Do this more. Please. All the time. From now on.
5 DISLIKE – Characters who think they can opt out of Fated Love
This one is particularly annoying because when they say “But I didn’t CHOOSE you!” no one ever turns to them and say “Well I didn’t choose you either love, but you’re the only one complaining so I guess I got the raw end of this deal. But go on, go off and be alone forever I think I may actually prefer it now…” and really they should because those people are inconsiderate and I’d hate to be stuck, doomed to love someone forever saddened that they think they could have chosen someone better than me if only fate had given them that chance…gee thanks, screw you too.
6 Dislike – Slow Romances
Recently I have read a few romances that seem to focus so much on the romance that the action part – the mystery or conflict – seems to be left to the very last minute so seems so rushed that it doesn’t seem worth it. (Examples? Well sadly The House of Frozen Dreams and in some ways A Little Something Different – I disliked how drawn out it was! Most of my favourite romances are part of a longer adventure. One that springs to mind is Dragonfly by Julia Golding – the romance is clearly there from the start but they just don’t know it and they must grow together through their adventure.
7 Like – A Love-Hate relationship
Thinking of Dragonfly again here – I love a relationship that begins through dislike. I don’t know why but I love the passion that comes from two people that initially don’t get along and by being stuck together they start to truly understand and see each other. Other examples of this include Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Sanctum.
8 Dislike – Un-necessary drama
On the other hand I have seen the love-hate relationship drawn out. I do hate it when you feel the characters have finally found common grown and then all of a sudden DRAMA! and they don’t get together. I’m thinking of Jennifer L Armentrout books here! I love them but GET TOGETHER ALREADY! I haven’t finished a few of her series because I’m scared of what may happen next to stall the romance, and what if they finally get together and the fireworks are gone for me? (Both her Covenant Series and her Lux series are guilty of this one!) Ooow and just thought of another one Wallbanger by Alice Clayton! What on earth happened there!!!
9 LOVE – Strong Men with a sensitive side
One of my favourite Paranormal Romance series is Gena Showalters Lords of the Underworld. All of the men in this series are hunky, muscular men who must be strong and harbour a demon that was released from Pandora’s box. Each man seems broken in some way, lonely and yet they always put on a brave face. Its only when they meet ‘their soulmate’ that they show the softer, kinder sides of themselves. I love a guy that wants to protect and care for their lady.
10 Like – Realistic Romances
By this I mean that the romance is appropriate for the age of the character. I loved Anna and the French Kiss. Because the romance was so cute, Anna had the doubts that teenagers have, not the doubts that adults think teenagers should have. The romance was the perfect example of the confusion of first love and I adored it. On the other hand if this had been two adults I would have been furious because it would have been too twee and innocent.
An example of an adult relationship that I loved was Avoiding Commitment. I’m not saying an adult relationship has to be dramatic and this dysfunctional it’s just that I loved this book. It was complicated and I spent most of it shouting at her stupidity but I could understand why she loved Jack. There are just some people that have that hold over you. I thought it was a very good story of a relationship that isn’t meant to be but you just can’t admit that it’s bad for you!