Skip to main content

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. 

The list:

  • 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.


Yes, there are some things I don't care for in romances. Probably my least favorite is time travel. Who knows why?!
Mariela said…
I hate books with too much sex in them. I usually stop reading them.
check our TTT and there is a link on top to a giveaway.
Meredith said…
Great list! A lot of these are turn offs for me too.

here's my list:
Lisa said…
"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."

I can't begin to name all the books I've dumped for this reason! The Typist, 1000 White Women.....on and on and on.....

Agree on nearly all of these.

I didn't do TTT this week--i've covered those enough. You can see my post here:
Greg said…
I'd rather have a strong heroine too, and I'm not a fan of characters who are jerks for no reason or the bland stereotypes. Or, for that matter, the killer or hit man who's just "misunderstood" or is really a good person. Um, they kill people??

Nice list. :)
iloveheartlandX said…
I loathe all of these!

Popular posts from this blog

Book 40: The Martian by Andy Weir, audiobook read by Wil Wheaton

Note : This will be a general scattershot discussion about my thoughts on the book and the movie, and not a cohesive review. When movies are based on books I am interested in reading but haven't yet read, I generally wait to read the book until I have seen the movie, but when a movie is made based on a book I have already read, I try to abstain from rereading the book until I have seen the movie. The reason is simple: I am one of those people who can be reduced to near-incoherent rage when a movie severely alters the perfectly good story line of a beloved book, changes the ending beyond recognition or adds unnecessarily to the story ( The Hobbit , anyone?) without any apparent reason. I don't mind omissions of unnecessary parts so much (I did not, for example, become enraged to find Tom Bombadil missing from The Lord of the Rings ), because one expects that - movies based on books would be TV-series long if they tried to include everything, so the material must be pared down

List love: 10 recommended stories with cross-dressing characters

This trope is almost as old as literature, what with Achilles, Hercules and Athena all cross-dressing in the Greek myths, Thor and Odin disguising themselves as women in the Norse myths, and Arjuna doing the same in the Mahabaratha. In modern times it is most common in romance novels, especially historicals in which a heroine often spends part of the book disguised as a boy, the hero sometimes falling for her while thinking she is a boy. Occasionally a hero will cross-dress, using a female disguise to avoid recognition or to gain access to someplace where he would never be able to go as a man. However, the trope isn’t just found in romances, as may be seen in the list below, in which I recommend stories with a variety of cross-dressing characters. Unfortunately I was only able to dredge up from the depths of my memory two book-length stories I had read in which men cross-dress, so this is mostly a list of women dressed as men. Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb. One of the interwove

First book of 2020: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach (reading notes)

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I loathe movie tie-in book covers because I feel they are (often) trying to tell me how I should see the characters in the book. The edition of Deborah Moggach's These Foolish Things that I read takes it one step further and changes the title of the book into the title of the film version as well as having photos of the ensemble cast on the cover. Fortunately it has been a long while since I watched the movie, so I couldn't even remember who played whom in the film, and I think it's perfectly understandable to try to cash in on the movie's success by rebranding the book. Even with a few years between watching the film and reading the book, I could see that the story had been altered, e.g. by having the Marigold Hotel's owner/manager be single and having a romance, instead being of unhappily married to an (understandably, I thought) shrewish wife. It also conflates Sonny, the wheeler dealer behind the retireme