Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme brought to you by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish (the button also belongs to them).  This week’s theme is the Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books.

I’m excited about this topic, as I have some definite preferences when it comes to romances in books.

Things I Like:

1. Nice Guys– I really like it when there is a genuinely nice guy as the romantic lead, someone it totally makes sense for the heroine to fall in love with and marry and spend happily ever after with.  Think Alex from Stay or Lincoln from Attachments or Daniel from Seeing Me Naked.

2. Banter– I love some good banter between the two characters.  Laughing together is such an important part of falling in and staying in love.  At least, I think so.  Books with great banter include: Here’s Looking at You by Mhairi McFarlane, Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern, and Jane Eyre.

3. Deeply Flawed Characters– I really enjoy a gritty romance with two totally messed up people who just make sense together and maybe even bring out the best in one another.  My favorite of these is Unsticky, but I also enjoyed Faking It and Wild Child for this reason, too.

4. Brooding Heroes– I know, I just said I like nice guys, but I also like a well-done dark and brooding hero, too.  I think I have Mr. Rochester to blame for this.  See also: Bran in Son of the Shadows and Will in Me Before You (which isn’t really a romance, but whatever).

5. Married Characters– No, no, not affairs with married characters, but novels that deal with an examination of marriage and a rededication of love.  I’m thinking books like After I Do or Landline or Wife 22.

Things I Dislike:

6. Oops! Pregnancies– There is nothing romantic about an unexpected pregnancy and that certainly isn’t something that is going to bring two people together for the long term.  At least, I’ve never read a book where this was a convincing plotline.

7. Miscommunication as a Relationship Obstacle– If the problem can be easily solved by two people talking about it, then it is not really an interesting romantic obstacle.  These are two people who are supposed to trust one another deeply enough to fall in love.  People like that actually communicate with one another.

8. Unrequited Love– Maybe I’m too far removed from being hung up on someone who didn’t want me back (it’s been a long time since middle school) or maybe I’m just not sentimental enough, but I am really not a fan of characters hung up on someone (who is clearly SO WRONG for them) from their past.  In real life, you move on.

9. Inaccurate Details– Romance novels like to be set in all kinds of worlds with their own particular jargon and rules– sports, academia, billionaire-land, government, etc.– and while I’m certainly not an expert in any of these things, it shows when an author hasn’t done their research.  I’m still ticked about a book with a hockey team called the Dallas Mavericks.  The Mavericks are the basketball team.  It isn’t that hard to find that info out (it’s called Google) and choose another fake team name.

10. Characters Tattooing Their Lover’s Face on Their Body– Ok.  I’ve only ever read one book where this happened.  But it was ridiculous and absurd and breaks the first rule of tattoos– you don’t put the name/face of a girl you’ve known for a month in a tattoo.  You’re just asking for future laser tattoo removal.  Might as well ask your tattoo artist for a reference.


What do you like or dislike when it comes to romances in books?  Do you have any recommendations for books you’d think I’d like?  How about funny stories about ones I wouldn’t like?  I’d love to hear about them!

7 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books

  1. I love these! #7 is such a pet peeve of mine, since I often find it is just lazy writing to infuse unnecessary conflict into the story. Though I will admit to engaging in a lot of #8 in my own middle/high school days, which is probably why worship from afar annoys me so much…it hits painfully close to home!

  2. 6 & 7 drive me nuts!! Like I feel like people who enjoy unexpected pregnancy stories must be at a place where they really actually want a child. Because if that happened to me, it would not be romantic. I would freak out. Hardcore. And for 7, I always want to be like, just taaaaaalk to each other!!!! Great list!

  3. I’m printing this one out and hanging it in my Library. The men will enjoy these viewpoints and it will help broaden their understanding of reading. thank you!

  4. I also hate the misunderstanding, either in romance or any other genre. So many times, it could easily be straightened out with a simple explanation or apology, instead of stretched out for unnecessary dramatic effect over hundreds of pages.

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