Lola’s Ramblings: What aspects do you like to see in romance?

Posted October 1, 2015 by Lola in Lola's Ramblings, Romance / 26 Comments


Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me or ramble on about a book or non-book related topic. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. This feature was previously known as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.

I do not fully remember when or why I came up with this topic. It just popped into my head one fatefull day and it sounded like a good idea to write a post about it. I often mention romance in my review, so today I want to focus on what I like romance. Those aspects that make me say it’s a good romance and that mke it more likely I’ll enjoy the romance and the book. They will include tropes, but also the way a romance developes, basically any aspect of a romance that I like or what I like to see in books. These are often the things I will mention in my reviews as well.

What aspects do I like to see in a romance book?

Summer Haikus

  • How I like them as a couple. For me the romance and whether I like it is often more about the couple and how they are together than the individual characters, although great characters often contribute to a great romance, in general it’s about the couple for me and how they are together. Two characters I don’t like can still make a good couple or romance even if I do not like them. Two great characters can still leave me feeling meh about the romance.
  • Friends to Lovers. The friend to lovers trope is probably my favourite romance trope ever. It just works for me and knowing a romance is a friends to lovers romance already makes me both more likely to read the book and more likely to enjoy the book. My own relationship started as friends, before we became a couple and I think that’s why I like this trope so much. I can relate to it and it feel realistic to me. I also love that transition period between friends who want to be more till they finally get there and break that line to become a couple. I like that feeling of being close, but wanting to be closer. The fear of losing your friend if it doesn’t work out, but also the stable basis you already have for a relationship as you already know each other thanks to being friends.
  • Couple really knows each other. This is probably one of the reasons I like friends to lovers romances so much, but it can also stand as a seperate point. I like it when the couple really knows each other, those toughtfull gestures or presents that might seem meaningless, but when you think deeper, realize they are the best as the present fits the receiver. There is this scene in Summer Haikus where Masa gives Isa pens as a present as he knows she is a planner and loves colour coding everything in her planner and she doesn’t have enough pens to colour code everything. It’s one of my favourite scenes of the whole book because of that thoughtfull gesture and how it illustrates how well they know each other.
  • visionsSlow Building Romance. I love a good slow building romance. They can be so frustrating, but so good at the same time. I love waiting for the couple to get together, them slow getting closer and closer and waiting for the moment they finally get together. Reading something in every little gesture. Gah slow building romances are the best. Although there has to be enough progression of the couple getting closer in each book/chapter else it goes into frustrating territory. I want to wait on them getting together, but know they will get there and seeing things change over the course of the series/ book. There are some authors who manage the art of a good slow building romance really well and can make me wait for books till the couple get’s together and I love every second of it. And the wait makes it all the sweeter when they finally do get together.
  • Second Chance. Another romance trope I love is the second chance one, although there is more risk with this one, as they can be done good and not so good in my opinion. I like them because of how characters already have a past together and know each other and it’s fun to see them reconnect. Or have them work out issues that drove them apart in the first palce. One things I don’t like though it when there is too much hate between them, there has to be positive feelings, maybe some sadness, but not too much negativity else it doesn’t work for me.
  • Realistic. I like romances that feel realistic to me. Some romances feel very unrealistic and that can take me out of the story and romance. This often has to do with the way characters act, feel or what they say. Like the insta love for example, it’s just so unrealistic to me. I am okay with insta lust though, just not with them delcaring their love for each other the moment they meet. Or marry too fast or change their mind too fast or have obstacles be removed very suddenly. Things have to progress realistically or at least realistic enough.
  • Torn SkyCommunication. I want the couple to communicate about things or talk about things. They dont have to talk about everything, but overal I like romances more when it’s obvious the couple can and will talk with each other. There are romances where the couple just have sex or they miscommunicate, don’t talk about things, assume they know how the other feels without ever asking. This can frustrate me to no end and when a couple is willing to talk about things I like that.
  • Honesty. I absolutely hate people who lie, omit important information or cheat. I want a couple to be honest. Sure you might not tell the other eveyrthing, that’s okay, but please don’t lie about important topics. Lies always come back to bite them in the end and I feel like a good relationship or romance is build on honesty. Same with cheating, if you want to fuck someone else, please break up with your current partner first. It sometimes feels like there aren’t enough romances where the couple is honest with each other and thus when I read a romance book were that is the case that automaticaly makes me like the romance more.
  • Good for each other. I want the couple to be good for each other. Have them be aware of the other their needs, care for the other and make have them be a better person for being together. I want them to be there for each other. I like it when they make the other a better person for being together and are there to help them through hardship and fun times. I want to feel that the romance and being a couple is good for both of them.
  • Chemistry. I want to be able to feel the chemistry between the couple. I have read quite some romances that leave me cold, where I don’t feel the chemistry or love between the couple. When I feel the chemsitry between them I like the romance much more.

A good romance doens’t need to have all of these aspects, but the more of these aspects a romance has the higher the chances I will enjoy the romance.

What aspects do you like to see in a romance book? What’s your favourite romance trope?


26 responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: What aspects do you like to see in romance?

  1. What a lovely commentary on this topic and you know how much I LOVE romance. *grins*. I think what I love most is seeing the way a couple falls in love and face conflict together. I adore it when they overcome hard obstacles and find a HEA. I agree with the chemistry though, that is so vital. I think what is so amazing about romances if they are done right, is seeing the ins and outs of human nature. What drives and motivates us to live a full and happy life. And you definitely see this aspect in many romance books. There is so much variety out there, but what I love the most is seeing a balance of physical and emotional intimacy between two people.
    Renee (@Addictofromance) recently posted…At A Glance: Month of SeptemberMy Profile

    • I love romance, so I thought it would be a great topic for a Lola’s Ramblings post. I agree with what you’ve said, seeing a couple fall in love and overcome obstacles together is great to see. I had to include chemistry as I prefer to really feel a romance. And indeed romances give insight in humans and human nature as well as the personalities of both characters, it’s great to see.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Kitchen: Potato Curry RecipeMy Profile

  2. I love most of these things in romances too. The only thing I feel slightly different about is the couple. I have to like the characters, moreso in romance than any other genre, and if I don’t like them individually, then I don’t like them as a couple.

    I love friends to lovers too. Like you said, it’s just so clear that they know each other well.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Review: The Masked Truth by Kelley ArmstrongMy Profile

    • I think a couple can still be good for each other even if I like them less as an individual character, but I do agree that if I really dislike the characters it’s harder to enjoy the book and romance because it’s less fun to read about characetrs you don’t like.
      Friends to lovers is one of my favourite romance tropes as I know couples that know each other well.
      Lola recently posted…Spook-Tacular EventMy Profile

    • The friends to lovers trope is probably my favourite romance trope, I just like seeing a couple go from friends to lovers and developing feelings. I want either a strong conflict or none, I dislike conflicts that are there just for the sake of drama or for the sake of having a conflict. It must be realistic.

    • For some reason the enemies to lover’s trope doesn’t really work for me as I often find it unbelievable how they go from hating each other to being a couple. Or maybe I just haven’t read the right books with this trope yet. My favourite type of romances are those that take tiem to build, it feels more like a stable and deep romance that way.

  3. Chemistry, honesty and deliciously slow building romance are all things that work for me. The slower the better, as I think the intensity before they get together can be sizzling. And humour, I love to see a couple bantering and just having a laugh together. I dread insta-love and have rarely seen a book where I can just overlook the insta-love, it can ruin a whole book for me.
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…Book Review : What You Left Behind by Jessica VerdiMy Profile

    • I totally agree the slower the better, I just love a slow building romance. I love that intensity before they really get together, it’s so awesome to read about that. Oh humour is a great one too! Banter and having them laugh together is the best! Insta-love rarely works for me, although I can still enjoy the book if other things are done well.

  4. Love the topic. It’s one of the thought processes that happen each time I review a book with romance to determine how to describe what I read and if it worked for me or didn’t. I’ve come to the conclusion that people define romance differently based on how authors write it and how readers discuss their likes/dislikes on romance.

    I think my biggest thing in a romance is well, to state the obvious, that there is in actuality a romance going on. This includes several of the things you pointed out. Does the couple work for me? Do they know each other and communicate well? Did their coming together make sense and does their staying together make sense? Yeah, I can do ‘fate mates’ or ‘love at first sight’ on rare occasions when the author really convinces me, but for the most part, I enjoy a slow burn or moderately slow developing piece. Friends to lovers and even second chance are two that make sense for being my favorites, too, because of how I feel about wanting to see a true connection in the romance.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Shadows of Asphodel Series by Karen Kincy #Review #DelightedbytheSeriesMy Profile

    • Yes that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do with this series of posts (story, characters, world building and setting are next), to narrow down the things I love and will mention in my reviews.

      Fate mates or love at first sight doesn’t usually work for me, but I’ve read a few books where the author really makes it work. How the author writes the romance is very important in how much I enjoy it. Slow burn romances are my favourite type of romances too. I think that’s why I like the friends to lovers and second chance tropes so much as that both mean the couple already knows each other and has some sort of connection. I think the connection and knowing each other is very important to me in a romance.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Kitchen: Potato Curry RecipeMy Profile

    • I hate the miscommunication type of conflict and indeed it’s even more unbelieveable when they are supposed to be a good couple or soulmates. I like intense passionate romances, but even better if they are realistic and relatable as well.

    • The enemies to lovers trope usually doesn’t work for me, but I have read one or two books where it was done well. The Friends to Lovers trope is one that usually works for me and I just like that trop. Realism and chemistry are very important in romance novels and just like you I can also enjoy a clichéd book now and then.

    • It’s nice when you see the characters enjoying each other companies and you see how much they mean to you. Slow burn type of romances are the best.

    • That’s why I love how you write romances as they have most of these points. I loved how you wrote the friends-to-lovers trope in Summer Haikus, it’s one of my favourite contemporary romance books I’ve read so far.

  5. So, I just started reading the book Red Rising by Pierce Brown, and the “romance” in the book has thrown me for a spin. Most books I pick up detail a budding romance, but Red Rising starts out where the couple is already involved…nay married. It’s kind of fascinating because so far the pair has such lovely chemistry, and I only want the best for them. It’s refreshing!

    But, I also like slow burners, especially if the pair starts out as good friends.
    Jackie recently posted…A Spooktacular Coffee Table Book | Dead Inside: Do Not Enter: Notes from the Zombie ApocalypseMy Profile

    • Oh that sounds interesting to read a book where the couple is already married and still have a lovely chemistry as wel. I think it’s a shame so many books end as soon s the couple get’s together as I love seeing a couple be together as well. Slow burning romances are my favourite type of developing romances.

    • I love doing discussion posts, they are fun to write and I always love reading people their comments. Although it can be hard to come up with topics and find time to write them.

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