Top Ten Tuesday, 14 February 2017: My Top Ten Romance Pet Peeves, 2nd edition
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Visit the hosting blog to see lots of other lists.
Today's topic is a romance freebie (what else), to celebrate Valentine's Day. Since I love freebies, I decided to participate this week. Please visit the originating blog to see some of the other lists.
I posted a list of 10 romance pet peeves of mine in 2011, and decided to revisit that theme in today‘s Top 10 Tuesdays. Some things have changed, while others haven't.
- Weak heroines who need rescuing by the hero or others – All. The. Fucking. Time. Understandable to a point in historical novels, since most of those are about the aristocratic classes, whose women were often quite sheltered, but I prefer to read about women who are strong and capable.
- Alpha jerk heroes who remain jerks at the end of the story. If he doesn‘t change, he‘s not interesting. He don't have to stop being alpha, but the jerk part has to go.
- Sexual violence. I get it that it‘s easy to create conflict and angst by having it happen to someone, but I feel it is overused. As for “forced seduction” of the heroine by the hero, please just don‘t. Not even when the heroine discovers halfway through the ordeal that she likes it.
- Heroes who are gangsters, hit men, pirates or other violent criminals. Even if they become reformed by the end of the book.
- Characters in historical romances who behave like modern people in historical drag. I don’t mind it a little - after all, we can’t know for certain that opinions and attitudes we think of as modern didn’t exist in olden times - but too much of it and the story becomes unconvincing.
- Too much sex/Unnecessary sex scenes. I like it when a sex scene strengthens the bond between the principal characters or furthers the plot in other ways, but I detest sex scenes for the sake of sex. Especially when they are clearly padding and go on for chapters. I had to take a long break from Nora Roberts after reading a romance where a sex/love scene covered three chapters.
- Slut-shaming. I don't care who she is, if she's good, bad or evil, or the heroine herself. Just stop it already. I don't mind if another character slut-shames someone (unless it's the heroine doing it), but if the author does it, shame on her/him.
- Flat stereotypes as supporting cast. You know: the sassy gay friend, the plot-moppet, the creepy but otherwise characterless stalker, the bad parent, the evil ex, the wise elder, etc. They must have something more than just these characteristics to make them just a little bit rounded.
- Insta-love/Lust=Love. Authors, if you can’t make the falling-in love development convincing, you have no business writing romance. (I like a slow build-up).
- „Oops, why didn‘t you tell me you were a virgin?“ scenarios.