Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I'm definitely picky when it comes to romance in books. Most of the time, I tolerate the relationships or appreciate them just a teeny bit. Other times, a romance can ruin a book for me. But then, sometimes, it can be the thing that saves a story.
1. Fake Dating
Fake dating is so adorable because, inevitably, the couple will fall for each other for real. I've seen too much fake dating in celebrity fanfiction (that's why I didn't appreciate Catch a Falling Star), but I love when regular people do it. Hence, my love for The Art of Lainey and To All the Boys I've Loved Before.
2. Slow Burn
I live for the relationships that take some time. The couple is friends first, or they have feelings for each other early on, but they take their time to start a romantic relationship and they take awhile to say 'love.'
3. Best Friend to Boyfriend/Girlfriend
I think these are quite possibly my favorite romances just because I believe your spouse should be your best friend. So when stories like Better off Friends happen, I get all giggly and spastic. It also works if they're not best friends but do have a friendship first (think On the Fence and Ask Again Later).
4. When the Couple Has Lives Apart from Each Other
I abhor couples who only hang out with each other, who forget they had friends before they started dating (both in real life and in books). So when a couple can do things without each other, I applaud.
5. Displays of Affection
While I love kissing scenes, I think it's amazing when hand-holding makes me just as excited as kissing does. There's a scene in Killer Instinct that I enjoy because of this.
I understand insta-attraction and insta-crushes because they do happen. (I've seen it in real life.) And perhaps knowing from the start that's the person you want to spend the rest of your life with can happen, but it's much rarer than books make it sound like. Related to this, I can't stand characters who say I love you (romantically) when they haven't known the person all that long or spent much time with them.
2. All-Consuming Romances
You know what else I dislike? Romances in fantasy/science fiction/futuristic books that distract from bigger problems. Those couples that kiss when they could be saving their world. THERE ARE BIGGER PROBLEMS AT HAND, PEOPLE. KISS WHEN THE BATTLE IS OVER, NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT.
I get that people, including book characters make mistakes. So if the cheating is a one-time thing, and the cheater is sincerely apologetic and holds to their word that they'll never do it again and it was a mistake, then by all means, he/she should be forgiven. But I can't stand cheaters who make five million excuses for themselves and their significant other still takes them back.
4. Unnecessary Love Triangles
There have been the rare love triangles I've enjoyed (namely those in the Splintered trilogy and Shatter Me trilogy), but I find most to be unnecessary and as annoying as insta-love. They only exist to add drama.
5. Descriptive Sex Scenes
I'm one of the few book bloggers who isn't into sex in their novels. (That's why, for the most part, I don't like the New Adult genre.) I know I'm a black sheep, and I don't mind one bit. If the love interests are going to have sex, I'd prefer a tasteful fade to black. When a book starts to get into any of the nitty-gritty, that's usually my cue to say, "Peace out!"
What do you like or dislike in romances?