Romance book tropes I never want to read again
Let’s talk 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 tropes I’d just rather never read about ever, ever again. And now I will tell you all about them…
(Disclaimer: this post has absolutely nothing to do with the book pictured, which is great: I just needed a photo for this post, and I liked the cover…)
01. Office rivals to lovers
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.
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?
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 this kind of thing. We all have things that we do and don’t like about books, so go on: tell me some of yours…