Top Ten Things I Like and Dislike When It Comes to Romance

It’s Valentine’s week, so of course The Broke and the Bookish has a top ten list topic that I just have to feature.  Likes and dislikes with romances.  I’m going to cover both of them-likes and dislikes.  However, rather than doing ten things for each I’m going to divvy it up to five. I’m also going to give  an example of a book that exhibits the technique I like or dislike.


1) Quirky Couples:

I like couples that are unexpected.  A lot of my favorite couples do seem a little odd.  But I think when you have an unusual and unexpected romance there’s a lot you can go off of there.

I have a love/hate relationship with this couple. It is sadistic and abusive. Yet, the dynamic is fascinating to watch.

2) Realistic Couples:

I like realism in my romances and I think it’s refreshing when you can find a book that’s romantic and the relationship feels realistic.  I like the awkwardness that can occur in real life, that doesn’ t happen in books.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t like romance, but I want something occasionally that’s palatable and  makes me think that could actually happen.

Probably one of the most realistic of relationships I’ve seen in YA.

3) Slow Burn:

Nothing is better than a slow burn romance, IMHO.  I like the build up and tension as the characters go from not liking each other, to tolerating each other, to being friends, to becoming lovers.  It always works for me.  And I really think having a slow burn, is a lot better than having a couple constantly getting together and breaking up throughout the course of a series.

Oh, Sydrian. It took you three books to admit you had feels.

4) Banter:

You can’t see chemistry between characters in a book, you have to read about it.  And what better way to read about it than banter.  Oh, do I love me some good banter.

You can banter it up in the bath tub at least in the miniseries version of this Jane Austen classic.

5) Love Triangles:

Yes, I do like a love triangle when it’s done right and there’s consequences.  In those cases, I think it can make for a compelling story (if done wrong then I really hate love triangles).

Jesse/Suze/Paul totally works. Because the dynamics feels realistic. You know who Suze is going to pick, but it’s totally okay because you want to read about her getting caught in Paul’s web.


1) Change for Love:

Don’t get me started.  You shouldn’t love someone if you expect to change them.  One of the shows I watched on TV used this trope to a romance that I should love and it ended up ruining it (cough, Rumbelle Once Upon a Time, cough).  You see it in YA a lot too with the bad boy trope.  I just want to shake these idiots and tell them that he’s not changing.

Romantic, until you push him over the town line because you thought you could change him and it turned out you couldn’t because you are an idiot. Yeah, I have issues with that plot line.

2) Abusive Dicks:

Yeah, I just can’t get into the bad boy thing.  Sorry.

Would be murderers are NOT sexy.

3) Insta Love:

Because I just can’t buy it.

4) May December Romances (this applies in YA only):

While I tolerate and sometimes like large age difference romances in adult fiction, I can’t tolerate seeing a much older guy (or girl) come on to a teen.  1) It’s illegal and 2) There’s an imbalance of power in said relationship.

Well, I really don’t like any of the romances in this series. And I gave up on it after the first book.


5) Love Triangles:

Remember how I said I love love triangles in the rare case where they’re done correctly.  Well, the other 99% of the time.  I absolutely hate them.  I hate when there’s no consequences and the boys are looked at like prizes.  It’s not good.

Nothing is worse than a love triangle resolved with the loser walking the bride down the aisle.



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