Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes to Romance in Books

top ten tuesday

 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week, they post a new Top Ten topic and other bloggers respond with their own lists. I take part in this meme when I have something to say for the topic and I remember what day it is.

5 (ish) Things I Like
  1. The moment when a super hot guy is introduced and you just know that he is the love interest. Sure, it’s a cliche moment, but it sucks me into a book.
  2. When characters fall in love so gradually that they don’t even realize it. This type of romance feels the most real, and the dynamic it creates between the characters is usually adorable. A great example of this is Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater.
  3. When one of the love interests has a secret that explains a giant portion of their personality and the other lover interest doesn’t know it, and then they accidentally push all the wrong buttons. I love the awkwardness the secret creates and the dramatic moment of understanding when it is revealed. Again, kind of cheesy, but I love it. A good example (though it’s not exactly a romance) is Celaena and Rowan’s relationship in Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas.
  4. When romances are told from the POV of both love interests. This helps to flesh out both of the characters, deepen the connection between them, and make the reader care. (I don’t care about your romance if I don’t know why you are in love.) The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas did this well.
  5. Adorable epilogues. I love getting a glimpse of the characters’ happy ending together. Eva Ibbotson’s books do this perfectly.
5 (ish) Thing I Hate
  1. Instalove. Specifically, when two people fall in love extremely quickly and for no obvious reason. I want to understand the mentality behind a couple’s relationship, and I need it to be more than he/she is hot.
  2. When romance dominates the plot of a fantasy/paranormal book. I’m fine with Chicklit books being dominated by romance (though it is nice when they aren’t), but if I pick up a fantasy or paranormal book, I want the romance to move the plot along, not to be the plot. The Sweet Evil trilogy by Wendy Higgins suffered from this.
  3. When a giant portion of the plot is dedicated to one character being heartbroken over the other love interest. Ugh, I hate it. I don’t care if they died or said they hate you or whatever, I don’t want to read about you mourning them for fifty-plus pages.
  4. Overdone love triangles. I’m not against love triangles on principle. Sometimes they really work. But when they take over the plot and the only things that happen in the story have to do with which guy the girl picks–count me out.
  5. When a mis-communication destroys a romance. It feels so pointless. What a cheap way to destroy a romance that you’ve spent x-amount of pages building. Meg Cabot’s Abandon Trilogy could have been one chapter long if the main characters talked to each other. I will say that Eva Ibbotson pulls mis-communications off, but that is only okay because her books have a very distinct plot style and are guaranteed happy endings.
  6. When love interests die. Unless it dramatically moves the plot forward or resolves a major issue, I cannot stand it when authors kill their love interests. What is the point? Unnecessary drama, if you ask me. Not everyone has to be George R.R. Martin or Joss Whedon (and even some of the people Joss killed off on Buffy pisses me off).

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