Ahh, tropes. Sometimes it feels like they’re our best frenemies, especially in romance novels : if they can make a book for me, they can utterly ruin it, too. Today I’ll share my favorite romance tropes… and the ones I despise so much, they’ll make it hard for me to keep reading!
- Lovers to Enemies to Lovers or what I’ll call : the estranged couple magic : the angst, the grovel, the instant connection – when it’s done well I adore it! (Sometimes it doesn’t work though, sadly).
- Fake Dating : it’s just so funny and makes for the best will-they-won’t-they-I’m-dying slowburns.
- Forced proximity : there’s only one bed, one car, one tent… Whatever : I eat that shit up okay?
- Grumps with a heart of gold, ESPECIALLY combined with a grumpy/sunshine pairing : I don’t know if that’s my outer pessimist who fights with my inner optimist, but these ones make my heart turn to mush.
- Rivals/Enemies to Lovers*** : I’ve thought about it and in the end, I think that I love this trope because most of the time, the main characters have distinct and independent personalities. But also? I love banter and often, the SLOWBURN!!! Is!!! Perfect!!!
*** Exceptions : see my first point below
- Those in which power dynamics are really fucked up : abduction to “romance”, slave/master, teacher/student… Yeah, NO. I will stop reading instantly.
- Secret Baby : just – no. I know it’s a favorite for some, but I really don’t like babies thrown in my romance novels, especially when their birth is used as a way to get the MCs back together. Talk about a recipe for disaster, seriously (I don’t mind children – from a former marriage, for example – but I draw the line at babies used as a plot point. Ew)
- The Hero is a Billionaire : Look, I need to like the main characters to root for them, okay? And I’m sorry but billionaires are asshole, even those who think they aren’t because they give to charity or something. There’s nothing to justify hoarding that level of money and it’s NOT possible to be a billionaire without exploiting people one way or another so even though that part is glossed-over in romance novels, because of course it is, I can’t forget it. I used to, but not anymore.
- The Hero is Part of Law Enforcement : I’ve never understood what was so sexy about uniforms – yes, that includes military – but really, who wants to swoon over a cop? In this world? (Again, I need to like the characters, huh)
- Love At First Sight : I just can’t believe in it and honestly? I find it lazy: if there’s no evolution, I can’t be interested (and it’s often paired with a lack of character development)