Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
Sometimes I mention in my reviews that I like a certain tropes or not and one day I got the idea to list some of my favorite and least favorite romance tropes. I also saw a similar post on Addicted to Romance her blog, I think it was this one about her favorite tropes in historical romances. I actually had my lists all written on this little note on my desk and then when I was reading a book with one of my least favorite romance tropes I suddenly got the inspiration to write it again.
Favorite Romance tropes
- Friends to Lovers. Friends to lovers is probably one of my most favorite tropes, not sure why, but usually this trope works for me. I like seeing characters be good friends and how that slowly changes into a romance. I like how the characters often know each often very well in these type of romances and it’s so fun to see them go from friends to lovers. I also think this trope often feels very realistic and I like realism in books. And they have a reason to spend time together as they are friends and hopefully more.
- Forbidden Romance. Once in a while I just want to read a good forbidden romance. I find the forbidden part adds some thing to the romance. And often it means they love each other a lot to go through with it even though it’s forbidden and then see them fight together against what’s in their way. Yes this trope usually works for me. It doesn’t matter what the reason is for the forbidden romance, I like the set of challenges that comes with it and how there is this outside conflict they can fight against, but that also will test their relationship.
- Opposites Attract. This can be such a fun trope, I like seeing those different personalities clash or be together. There is something great about two very different people finding common ground and falling in love.
- Slow building romance. I love a good slow building romance. It isn’t a must, but I love authors that can pull off a good slow building romance. I don’t mind waiting multiple books for the couple together, sometimes the longer the wait, the sweeter it is when they finally do get together. And all those little hints and signs suddenly seem to get so much more meaning. I love every bit we get and keep hoping for the couple to get together.
- Forced proximity. This is another trope that can cause fun situations. I remember fellow bookblogger Sophia mentioning one of her reviews once that she wanted to lock the couple in a room so they can sort things out. And that’s basically what this trope does, give them a reason not to be able to run away and face their attraction or connection or whatever head-up. Whether it’s a road trip or roommate or whatever, it just seems to work for me.
- Second Chance. Second chance romances can actually go both ways sometimes for me, but I still would list it at my favorite category as I just love seeing a couple get a second chance and proving their love is stronger than whatever kept them apart or broke them apart at first. I also like that in second chance romances the couple often already has a past and thus knows each other. But if the conflict or reason they stayed apart isn’t done well they can also easily glide in the not so well done category.
This is not to say I will automatically like every book that has one of my favorite tropes, but I am usually more likely to pick up a book with one of my favorite romance tropes and find I am more likely to enjoy them.
Least favorite romance tropes
- Enemies to lovers/ Hate to Love. Enemies to lovers or hate to love is probably one of the tropes I dislike most. Especially when that’s the only trope, combined with others it usually works better for me. For some reason the whole hate and love, fighting one moment and then kissing the next doesn’t really work for me. Although I have read some books that handle the topic well, I often just get frustrated by these type of romances. In the cases for me to like this trope the conflict or hate needs to be something serious and that I can understand why there is this dislike between the characters.
- Fake Engagement. Anything related to secrets and keeping secrets is not my favorite in books, so the fake engagement tropes isn’t one I usually enjoy. It just feels off how the couple is doing all these things together and everyone believing they are a couple and then it’s not real. Somehow I can never fully enjoy those scenes knowing it’s not real and I want them to go through that as a real couple. Not sure why, but often it prevents me from fully enjoying a book.
- Secret/ big secrets/ secret baby etc. This one ties in with the previous one a bit, some romances resolve about his big secrets or a secret someone is keeping or even a secret baby. And with secrets you always know the longer they wait to tell the other the worse it gets and at some point it’s not longer about the secret, but about the fact they kept it a secret for so long. I don’t like it when people aren’t honest with their love interest, so I can understand why people get upset about the secret thing. I actually have read a book that handles the secret trope well earlier this year as in that case I could understand why she kept the secret. I think for me to enjoy books with this I need to understand why they keep the secrets and them not outright lying about it, as outright lying about it just makes it worse in my opinion.
- Obligatory break-up scenes. I know this one doesn’t fully fit in with the rest, but it’s one of those things that always bug me in romance books. You just know that at the 80-90% mark there is going to be a break up scene, almost every romance has this. I don’t mind them needing a bit of space or slowing down or anything, as long as it isn’t always the predictable pattern of big fight and break up and then realizing they belong together and get back again. The books that do this well are the ones were it isn’t quite a break-up or where it feels in characters. I actually did a whole post about my hate for the obligatory break-up scenes and how they can be well done.
Also just because these aren’t my preferred romance tropes, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a book that has one of these tropes. And often tropes are sorta combined and aren’t as clear cut as listed here anyway. But overall I am more likely to pick up a book with a trope I like than one I don’t like, but as long as the book sounds good I will still read no matter the trope. I am just more hesitant to pick up a book with one of my least favorite romance tropes. So feel free to recommend me books with one of these tropes if you think I will enjoy that one ;).