Monday, 25 June 2018

Chuckles Chat #70 Scenarios We love And Hate About Romance

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

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Over the coming weeks I'm looking at our book buying life. By this what I mean is, what are the scenarios in a book blurb that make us really want to pick up that book and start reading? What do we love about the genre and what puts us off?

This week I'm looking at romance. Anyone who has followed my blog for a period of time will know that I prefer my books not to have romance in them at all or as little as possible.I've got no issue with other readers loving romance and wanting lots of it in their books but it's just not to my personal tastes. I feel that some books end up being DNFed because I find the romance overtaking the story and spoiling it, which is what puts me off reading anything if the blurb so much as hints at possible romance! 

Romance scenarios that I hate are ones that I talk about all the time. Love triangles and quads being my utter pet hate. In a YA book I read, the MC had four guys interested in her at the same time and frankly there was no room for any darn story with her dithering over who to choose. Did anyone have that number of high school guys after them in one week? I know I didn't! One every second or third year if I was very lucky! How can you expect there to be a great story if she is spending all her time thinking about these different guys? That really does drive me nuts in a book that was marked as 'paranormal', not 'paranormal romance'.

If I was to pick up a paranormal romance book, then yes, I'd expect the romance element to be dominant in the plot or be the main focus of the actual book. There is nothing wrong with that if it is labelled correctly so that fans of it can easily find what they are looking for. My issue is that those of us who aren't keen on romance are buying books with little or no suggestion of romance in the blurb and then getting pesky love triangles and orgies! Just label the books better so we know what we are buying and that might stop us writing so many low star reviews when we feel cheated!

I'm also not a fan of the dreaded instaluv. I got crushes on guys at school like everyone else but at no point was I thinking they were my soulmates or that we were fated to be together! I just find it so unrealistic. Yes I know it's fiction but I still find it annoying. I'm not a fan of these love hate relationships where they bicker for three quarters of the book and suddenly decide they are in love. I find that constant bickering annoying, frustrating and it can put me off the book even if there is a good story there. This is why I quit reading Jocelynn Drake's Dark Days series. I liked the story but the repetitive nature of the fighting made the MCs seem like bratty kids in a school playground. I dislike sex scenes shoved in for the sake of it especially if they are badly written. I tend to just skip those pages until it gets back to the story. 

I don't really like love in the apocalypse. For me if I'm living in a world of zombies or an EMP has destroyed life as we know it, I'll be struggling to find food and water and a safe place to hide, not looking for a boyfriend! I doubt contraception is in great supply during the end of the world and the last thing you need during a time with no medical help and hungry zombies is a screaming baby being born! 

Is there any kind of romance that I don't mind? As a matter of fact there are a few types that I can put up with. If the relationship is secure and established before the book starts, it takes the angst element away and the relationship then rarely annoys me. I read a paranormal YA book by DelSheree Gladden where the young couple loved each other but had to stay just friends because of circumstances and it was so well written that my heart broke for them both over the series. This worked because I loved both characters and I was sad about why they were kept apart, so it worked. Elizabeth Briggs, SM Wilson, Suzanne Collins and Simone Pond also brought in a normal attraction not YA instaluv, with light romance to their books without it ruining the story. That will also sometimes work for me. 

In adult books, I do prefer minimum romance or the couples to be established before the disaster or event begins so we can concentrate on that rather than relationship. If the progression from friends to couple is gradual without tropes and takes a back seat to the main story, then yes I can deal with that. Horror books with coupled friends at the cabin in the woods,  families during an apocalypse, couples on an Amazon research mission etc are quite common in the books I read and I don't mind that. I don't mind reunited couples during a deadly situation if there is no angst prior to it. It really depends on whether the author makes me love the characters in question and has me accepting that they are or should be a couple.

What romance elements really annoy you? Which will stop you reading a book that sounds good? Which romance elements make you want to pick up a book? What kind of romances do you like and dislike?

20 comments:

  1. Well, you know I can't stand insta-love. It drives me nuts. And I don't mind romance as long as I'm aware of it and it's why I picked the book up in the beginning. Like you, I like couples that weather stuff together. I have enjoyed love triangles in some series but I think it's because they are well done and develop over the course of several books - I'm thinking of Armstrong's Cainsville series to be honest. And in that one, there are mythological elements in place which contributed to the love triangle to begin with. To have them for the sake of just having them drives me nuts!

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    1. All very good points there Barb. I seem to have fewer issues with established couples or if the two characters you really love gradually get together in a slow burn way. Just no tropes please!

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  2. ...or as I refer to them, "kissing books". Blech!

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    1. I see your Blech and raise you an Urgh!

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  3. I'm not a fan of love triangles myself! I feel like someone's heart shouldn't be split so evenly, you know? Either you love one or you don't. I don't see how you can love two people so much in so little time. Even when the love triangle is written well, and I feel like it's impossible to choose (this rarely happens), then I'm always let down because someone has to lose. It's not like they're encouraging three-way romances in YA books these days. I don't know... I would just prefer only having one romance within a book.

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Yeah I know what you mean...I can't see anyone having more than a crush on two people at a YA age and how likely is it that they both fancy you? Ugh! I just find these tropes take over too many YA books that otherwise could be really good...one per book is more than enough for me!

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  4. I'm not a fan of love triangles either. Or when the guy doesn't want to like a particular girl but he's drawn to her anyway and ends up falling in love with her almost against his will. In what universe does that happen?! I find both those things really annoying.

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    1. I hate that drawn to you against my will stuff especially when they bring sex into it and it teeters on the edge of rape.

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  5. Ahhh...I see and yes I do know that about your blog (you) no romance. I myself do like romance and don't mind it in any book that I read. What I don't like in a romance or book is it to be instalove. That annoys the crap out of me. I like it to begin and develop. No you can NOT have a book where the girl has to choose between 4 guys...That is annoying.

    Great post!

    Mary

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    1. Four guys was way too much and that was just book 2 in the trilogy. I dread to think what happened in book 3!

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  6. This was fun to read, even though I knew all of your peeves. LOL Triangles and inst love drive me batty. A few times it has worked though. I like romance where they start out annoyed with each and then stumble all over themselves as they start to fall for each other.

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    1. I was wondering which series had the most men for any one woman. I can't imagine why Anita Blake came to mind...*grins*

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  7. Yeah, I’m not usually a romance fan, either. I don’t mind romantic subplots, but if it takes over the whole story, I’m done. I just don’t find romantic angst compelling enough to read about.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. The angst is particularly bad when you get arrogant arse guys and whiny females in the mix!

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  8. Interesting -- you put your finger on something for me with the bit about being okay with an established couple -- that does keep the focus on the story much better.

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    1. It definitely works better for me that way. I want the story to dominate rather than angst like that-unless the angst is vital to and adds to the plot enjoyment.

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  9. I do read romance but I HATE a love triangle more than just about anything. I'm also not a fan of the surprise or secret baby. If the book is a romantic suspense I don't mind if the romance ends up taking center stage but what I do hate is when I'm reading what is supposed to be a straight forward mystery and the romance gets more page time. If I wanted a romance I'd read a romance! Great post!

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    1. I just don't get why so many authors put in love triangles...you'd think they want to try standing out from the crowd and avoiding the stupid things! Maybe they all think that sex sells in every book...

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  10. It depends on how believable the romance is written. If it's just thrown in there and/or is the dreaded insta-love I am not a fan but if it adds another level of emotion and tension to the story I am okay with it.

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    1. My very pet hate is an instaluv triangle...BOAK!

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