romance book tropes I never want to read again

Romance book tropes I never want to read again

Let’s talk romance book tropes.

Now, I love me some tropes. I really do. As an author, tropes are a great way to tap into a particular readership; to find out what people are looking for in a novel, and to give them just that. Also, some of them are just really fun, let’s be honest. (Hello, fake dating! Love you forever!)

As a reader, though, I have to admit that there are some romance book tropes I’d just rather never read about ever, ever again. And now I will tell you all about them…

All of the romance book tropes I love to hate…

romance book tropes I never want to read again(Disclaimer: this post has absolutely nothing to do with the books pictured, which are literally just here because I needed an image to go with the post…)

01. Office romance. Or anything to do with offices, basically. 

This is purely a personal thing (as are all of these, obviously…), but the last few books I’ve read have all been set (for the most part) in offices, and GOD, I hate reading books set in offices. Mostly because I hated actually BEING in an office when I worked in one, and if I’m going to be using a book to briefly escape the reality of my humdrum existence, an office is the very last place I want to escape to, thanks.

(Yes, it was my own fault for picking books set in offices. Thank you for reminding me.)

Not only is the setting uninspiring, though, I just can’t bring myself to care about someone’s important work project that needs to be completed on time, or who’s going to get that big promotion. The stakes aren’t high enough. I want drama. I want life-changing consequences. I don’t want PowerPoint presentations and lots of scenes involving office politics, and, for the reason, I will never again be buying a book set in an office. Until the next time I buy a book set in an office, obviously.

02. He’s obviously madly in love with her, but she remains completely oblivious, no matter how clear he makes it. (

Like, he could write the words “I secretly love Office Rival Girl” in his own blood on his forehead, and she’d still just be all, “Whhhhyyy doesn’t he liiiiiikke meeeee?”

03. There’s a central conflict that could easily have been solved with a 2-minute conversation.

If he just said, “FYI, I don’t hate you,” all of this could have been avoided.

04. She didn’t notice how gorgeous he was until he had to take his shirt off for a sports game which she just happened to be present for.

Other things I don’t ever want to read about: sports games. Like, I’m sure all of those ice hockey romances I keep seeing on TikTok are awesome, seriously, but I will never know, because there are few things I hate more than sport

05. She didn’t realise how gorgeous she is until he told her.

Until then, she just thought she was a nerdy, awkward girl whose flowing blonde mane and full pouting lips are SUCH an inconvenience, I mean, REALLY. And it’s such a PAIN having such long, slender legs!

(Seriously, I read a book recently – which shall remain nameless – in which the main character apologized to the love interest during sex for being SO SO thin. Because, right enough, being thin is absolutely REVILED by our society, isn’t it?)

06. She’s teeny-tiny. Basically a miniature person, really. Has she mentioned how tiny she is, though?

See above.

07. He’s SO GIGANTICALLY TALL AND HUGE that, in real life, he’d be regarded as a total freak of nature.

I dunno, maybe it’s because I’m only 5’4″ that descriptions of 9 foot giants with muscles the size of Gibraltar don’t really do it for me? Or maybe it’s because literal giants belong in fantasy books, not romance ones?

Either way, the tendency for male love interests to be described as being abnormally large is guaranteed to throw me out of the story a bit (especially when his love interest is pixie-sized), because how does he fit in a car, say? Or get into bed at night without breaking it? How does he buy clothes when he’s towering over everyone like Goliath? Does he need a specially adapted desk and chair that won’t collapse under the weight of his MASSIVELY HUGE frame when he’s doing his important busywork in the office?

Why is all of this suddenly much more interesting to me than the romance I’m supposed to be invested in?

08. He’s taking her out somewhere but she has nothing to wear except this stunning Valentino Couture gown that she totally forgot she had.


09. She escapes a traumatic event by moving to a picturesque village and opening a bakery/florist/book store.

Money is apparently no object in this, as obviously most people have the ability to quit their lives at the drop of a hat and start a twee business that barely requires them to work instead. I mean, don’t they?

Important caveat to this post: As I said above, these are all purely personal preferences, and absolutely no offense is intended to anyone who either reads or writes romance books using these particular tropes. We all have things that we do and don’t like about books, so go on: tell me some of your favorite – or least favorite – romance book tropes…

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books by Amber Eve
  • Karen Champ


    Okay, I’m absolutely sure at least half of these were inspired by either ‘The Hating Game’ or Ali Hazelwood! Both of which I love, and yet the same things drive me crazy in each one. (Ali Hazelwood, please, please, not every hero needs to be massively gigantic and not every heroine needs to be a tiny petite princess, good lord)

    October 7, 2022
    • Nita


      Haha, that’s what I was thinking of while reading this too! I just finished the Loathe to Love You novella trilogy, and while I really enjoyed them, the large man/tiny woman thing did get old. Especially since it’s also in The Love Hypothesis. I get that she’s originally a fanfic writer – which I think contributes a lot to how much I enjoy her writing – but please please develop some characters that don’t look like the Reylo pairing, oh gosh

      November 3, 2022
  • Skimpy



    October 7, 2022
  • Rotem


    Haha, I have a feeling I know what you’ve been reading with those tropes! And yes, I agree – massive man and tiny woman annoys me as well.
    Emily Henry is a definite favourite of mine, and doesn’t go for those tropes as much.

    October 7, 2022
  • Myra


    My pet hate at the moment is the tv programme telling how fat old men and women are being scammed out of their life savings by younger much better looking men or women online. I just want to scream at the tv
    “Look in the mirror you fool – that person would never be interested in your fat old carcass.” Yes I’m being judgemental, but get a grip and come into the real world.

    October 7, 2022
  • Clelia


    Haha, muscles the size of Gibraltar 😀 I hate that too, along with the obligatory “chiseled jawline” and “wavy dark hair”. As if that were the one and only type any woman could possibly find attractive.

    October 8, 2022
  • Laura Steel


    Yes, I also hate the “tiny woman” trope! As someone who is fairly tall and not particularly slim, all this does is make me feel ungainly and unfeminine.

    October 8, 2022
  • Laura


    Ha, this reminded me of a book where the main character repeatedly wails about her HUGE BOOBS and TINY WAIST and BIG BUTT. And also she is SO OLD, way too old for any man to ever want her (she’s like 32? 33?).

    October 15, 2022
  • Natalie


    My go to light read genre is romantic suspense. I do enjoy it and there are some good writers with a journalistic background. I can also cut a lot of slack for realism and plausibility.

    However, the following tropes that can just die out already.

    1. She has a terrible terrible secret that will push him away forever. She only thinks about it as “the secret” , the “thing she has done” or “her past” until the big reveal. Really, you can think about the horrible thing every three chapters without actually naming it?

    2. He has PTSD and attachment issues. He falls in love. All mental health issues dissappear.

    3. He expresses his love by turning into a possessive cave man who grunts the moment another guy looks at her. The female lead loses her panties as fast as I lose my interest.

    4. They meet in dangerous circumstances, fall in love and are planning a wedding a week later. I don’t see romance, I see trauma bonding.

    Thank you for the nice read and space to vent. 😁

    October 19, 2022