Skip to main content

My Favorite and Least Favorite Novel Tropes

During this last reading slump, I did a lot of thinking about the things that I like and the things that I don't like when it comes to romance novels, and recently I posted about my hatred of all things vampire and were-related.  What I realized is that I am very picky when it comes to the books that I read because there a lot more things that I hate than there are things that I love, and even the things that I love don't always work for me.

Things That I Love


1. Friends to Lovers:  I am a huge sucker for the friends to lovers thing, which is probably why I shipped the hell out of Monica and Chandler on Friends way back when.  There is just something about two people who have always been there for each other realizing that there is something much deeper than friendship going on.  One of the things that I really liked about Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn was that Honoria and Marcus were friends before they fell in love.  The same goes for Henrietta and Miles from Lauren Willig's The Masque of the Black Tulip (2nd book in the Pink Carnation Series).  These are characters that already understand each other, so they're less likely to be tripped up by some "Big Misunderstanding" and they already have the foundation of a relationship.  What was so sweet about Black Tulip was how much Miles realized Henrietta meant to him once he decided that he couldn't love her because of his friendship with her brother, Richard.  There is one point in the book where he realizes that she matters even more to him than her brother and it is completely sigh worthy.


2. Reunited Lovers: I guess this is somewhat related to the friends to lovers thing because these are also characters that have a history with one another; they loved each other once, but for some reason it didn't work out.  One of my favorite books that did this was the 2nd book in Nora Roberts's Key Trilogy, The Key of Knowledge, which is about Dana, a librarian, and Jordan, an author, who had been high school sweethearts, but broke up not long after they graduated.  Nora did this really well in Face the Fire, the third book in the Three Sisters Island Trilogy, as well.  Julie James came very close to this twice--first in Something About You, in which Jack and Cameron got together three years after their first attempt, which ended when he was transferred to Nebraska and called her out in front of the press, and then in About That Night, in which the two main characters ended up canceling their first date ten years previously because Kyle's mother died the day before.  The second book is a bit of a stretch considering they only knew each other for about 30 minutes, but they did know each other and then were reunited later on.


3. Surprise, I'm a Spy: Honestly, I'm not really sure if this is really a thing, but if it isn't, it totally should be.  I've read a few books in which the heroine (it is almost always the heroine) finds out that this person she has either known for a very long time or has just met is a spy, who needs her help for some reason.  The first book I read this type of thing in was Secrets of the Heart by Candace Camp, in which Rachel, the heroine, discovers that her husband of 10 years is a spy for the British and has been lying to her since before they got married--the entire time, she thought he was just a really boring guy, who she was forced to marry.  Then, there is The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig, in which Amy sets out to unmask to elusive Purple Gentian and join his spy ring, only to find out that she already knows him.  (In truth, I blame my obsession on this type of thing on True Lies and Chuck.)


Things I Don't Like


1. The World Is Ending: For awhile everything that was published or released in the movies was about the end of the world--I blame the Myans.  People were really into that, but I can't stand it.  I tried to read the Myan Prophesy Series by Heather Graham, but it was just awful.  It was so awful that Dust to Dust became the very first book that I reviewed on my old blog.  To say I hated it is an understatement.  The only people that could save the world belonged to a vampire conglomerate?  Really?  *Rolls Eyes*.  Then, there was the 7 Deadly Sins series by Allison Brennan.  I got about 10 pages into that book and had to stop, and eventually I donated it to Lady Jane's Salon, hoping that it would at least help some woman learn to read (all books collected by the Salon go to Women In Need).


2. Angsty Vampires: Ever since Twilight became popular, everyone and their mother jumped aboard the vampire train, and as I blogged a few weeks ago, I am sick of it.  Some of the books were good (The Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts and the Jaz Parks series by Jennifer Rardin), but most of them were trite, repetitious copies of Twilight for adults.   Why is it that every single vampire has to be angsty?  Can't they be happy about being immortal?  It is so depressing.


3. Rapist Heroes: Thankfully, this is something that has started to become obsolete--very few authors make the mistake of thinking women find rapists sexy or romantic--but back in the 70's and 80's it was common to find a heroine to marry the man that raped her.  That's just sick.  Unfortunately, those books are still out there, waiting to be picked up by some unsuspecting person.


4. Consanguinity: I know that in the past, family members married each other with some regularity (FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt were cousins) and it was something that was done by members of the British aristocracy as a way to keep titles in the family, but that is just a little too reality for me.  I don't want to read a book in which the main characters are related in any manor nor do I want to read anything about step-siblings marrying each other if they grew up together.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2


Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:


Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: 🐶🐶🐶🐶1/2


If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …

Review of "A Stardance Summer" by Emily March

Title: A Stardance Summer
Author: Emily March
ISBN: 1250131685
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Eternity Springs #13
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $17.13 (Audible)
Rating:No Stars


Disclaimer: I wrote this review as a part of a Blog Tour, but have since pulled out of it for obvious reasons.  I am not editing the content of the review, so any mentions of the Blog Tour remain.


****
I want to start this review by saying that this is not the type of book I usually read and had I known this, I would not have signed up for this Blog Tour.  While it does not appear as if this is being marketed as a "Christian Romance" that is exactly what this is.  As a New York-born, California-living Atheist with degrees from two liberal universities, I am not exactly the target demographic for this book (or for this author, for that matter).  Despite feeling duped by the marketing, I made the effort to read the entire thing.  Honestly, had I stopped at any point before reaching the end,…

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year--Christmas in September

The day after Labor Day I woke up to an email from my contacts at St. Martin’s Press, inviting me to review six of their upcoming Christmas books, all of which have release dates in early October. For most people, this would probably be a problem — who wants to think about Christmas before Halloween — but for me, I’ve always had a soft spot for the man in the red suit. Even after I stopped believing in the Christ-Myth, I still loved that one holiday. To me, Christmas represents everything that Thanksgiving is supposed to be, but with better music and no obligatory turkey. Some of my favorite books have a Christmas theme and so I jumped at the chance to review those six books (well, five of them because the sixth has to do with cowboys and if there is one sub-genre I just cannot do is cowboys). I read the first two, With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins and Deck the Halls by Donna Alward, fairly quickly, especially since they’re both novellas. Both are being released in a little o…