This Week's Topic:
Racquel & Sharon's Picks
Top Ten Things We Like & Dislike When It Comes To Romances
(We're teaming up for this one, because we share pretty much the exact same opinions on all this!)
01. Slow Burn!
Nothing is more delicious than a sloooooooow burn. Nothing. It makes everything That. Much. BETTER! Everything is heightened, the first touch, the first kiss, everything! Slow burn will make us root for the couple so hard.
02. When characters meet DURING the book, become friends, THEN lovers
This is NOT friends-to-lovers romance (though Sharon has a huge weakness for those, too) because those have characters who met years before the book starts. We're talking about characters who meet at the beginning of the book and become allies, companions, friends, frenemies, whatever, then they turn into a couple. Seeing the couple through the different stages of 1. meeting 2. becoming friends 3. becoming more, is just so satisfying.
- AMAZING example: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
03. R E S P E C T
It's sad that we have to include this one, but necessary. We love it when characters, especially the hero/love interest, respects the heroine and what she does or what she likes! Respect is sexy, y'all.
04. Hate to love!
Racquel's favorite of the tropes! We like a REAL hate-to-love, not a fake I-"hate"-you-but-wanna-bang-you. That comes later. We're talking a story that actually starts with full-out hatred, then the character(s) transition through lower levels of hate until we finally reach love. Seeing characters go from wanting to shoot each other to loving each other is the swooniest.
05. When the couple TALKS!
So many books will be at least a 100 pages shorter if the couple communicated instead of assuming! When the couples talk, or fight then make up by talking it out, we will literally dance from happiness. Plus, it's just so sweet to see and read about, and the reader can believe the couple would actually work.
In general, we like our books subtle, not IN YO FACE drama llama. Obviously most romances need That Thing That Will Tear The Couple Apart To Make Them Realize They Love Each Other, but serious eyerolling happens over here when that occurs. If it's done well, it's done well. If we get a trillion billion of these scenes that tear the couple apart, our enjoyment of the book will really suffer.
02. When the "I love you" is the LAST scene
Yeah, the journey to the HEA is the best part, but it's nice to actually see them as a couple for a bit! And not only in the five-years-and-two-kids-later epilogue. So unsatisfying.
03. Making others women evil so the heroine can shine
All the women in the book are fake blondes, whores, materialistic, vapid, bitchy, wear make up, obsessed with being skinny, *insert women shaming quality here* and of course our heroine is NONE of these things which is why the hero loves her! *barf* It's sickening how often this happens, and it is just so insulting and rather disgusting.
04. When the couple loves each other from page 1
Hello, we love slow burn and books where the heroine SHOOTS her husband/love interest. (Tee hee, brownie points if you can name this one!) If the couple talks about how sexy and beautiful and perfect the other is from the first meeting we'll just roll our eyes and move along to another book. We KNOW the happily ever after will happen, so you have to make it worthwhile! Couples who eyebang from the first meeting? Eh. There needs to be more than just instant attraction behind the romance. No swooning without background on the characters and banter.
05. Men (sometimes)
Together, we have a plethora of book boyfriends, but some things are guaranteed to keep you off the list. When heroes force the heroine to eat/sleep (insert any verb here, basically) because they just know better! Or when the hero forces himself on the heroine because her body is saying yes even though she's saying no (*cough* most Old Skool romances *cough*). Like we said before: RESPECT! Heroes who recognize the heroine's independence and that the heroine is their EQUAL significant other and not their child/slave/play toy they get to control. THAT is sexy.