Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
1. Alpha males who take it too far is definitely a big one on this list. It seems fairly popular to have an alpha male who is just into control he comes off as a possessive douche canoe. The traits of an unsexy possessive male are as follows: claiming ownership BEFORE a relationship truly starts, claiming ownership while talking to other people outside of your personal life, not letting you go places or see people you want to see, making you ask permission before doing either of those things, and stating ‘it’s for your own good’ when really it’s probably just them adding tension. Get away from him lady!
2. Repetitive sex. I get that real life relationships have sex that is basically about the same each time, however this is a book and you don’t have to put in every boring little boink to take up pages. If it’s erotica…okay, understandable…but even then try to make each one feel a little different. Otherwise I’m just going to roll my eyes and skim until the characters have decided to stop breeding.
3. Love triangles. Get that crap out of here! I put up with it in YA novels because it seems like I don’t have much of a choice most of the time…but in full on romance novels it rarely has it’s place. Most women (and it always seems to be women) don’t flit between two guys completely unsure of which one they want to be with it. If they are having that much of a problem deciding maybe it’s time to sit down and come to terms with the fact that they’re polyamorous…have a discussion with boy 1 and boy 2 about said polyamorous tendencies and go from there. None of this “oh i love him so much but I also love this” and then by the end of the book she’s barely glancing at guy 2.
4. Cheating, is gross and not something I find sexy. Nor do I enjoy the tension it might create. I’m okay with books talking about growing a part while feelings are developing for other people…but if they cross that line into creating a relationship based on those feeling WHILE in another relationship you can count me out.
5. Gross words and descriptions…Not every word works well for romance novels, especially for those with sex scenes. If you can take a description and easily replace the subject with some gross horror monster then it’s time to rework that description into something marginally more desirable. I.E.: Veiny, moist, etc.
6. Super naive/innocent main characters. I don’t mean the character with inexperience, that’s normal…I mean the characters who are like baffled by the idea of sex, who barely even know what the word means. It’s not very realistic in most situations seeing as it’s pretty difficult to find a tv show that doesn’t include at least one sex scene every season or a song on the radio that doesn’t allude to it.
7.Insta-love has no place in a straight out romance book. It barely has a place in other genres, but I tolerate it because there is much more going on. In a romance I want the relationship to develop over time, I want to be able to root for the couple…if they meet and instantly there are all these feelings other than outright lust I get sort of bored. Why bother caring if they didn’t even have to work at the relationship in the first place?
8. Same main character, different book. It’s sort of hard to find stand out main characters in the romance department because so many have the same jobs, ambitions, and personalities. Personality is fairly important so if he/she just seems like she was cut from the same mold as all of the other titles in that genre it’s boring.
9. Disinterested couples. This is rare, but sometimes the main couple just doesn’t have chemistry. They are supposed tp…the book tells me they do…but I don’t see it. Sure they have sex and do couple things together but their conversations are so standards it’s like they are on auto-pilot or just together for the sake of company.
10. Rigid troupes. I want to see variety in the different tropes and cliches in romance novels. Instead of some middle class female falling for a billionaire, why not the other way around? Instead of the super experienced guy showing the innocent but willing girl the ways of ‘the world’, why not turn the tables?