Romance in stories?


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme I take part in when I can think up answers! It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week we’re talking about romance in books–our likes, dislikes or a combination of the two. I am talking about both my likes and dislikes.

I don’t read many books which are just romance anymore. I read mostly fantasy, science fiction and mysteries now, but these books sometimes have romances in them.

My romance likes:

1. I like to read about relationships in books. It doesn’t have to be a romance. I like friendships, too! And sometimes they’re romances, too. (Example: Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series)

2. If the book I’m reading is part of a series I want an ongoing relationship. If the relationship ends I want a good reason.

3. Honesty between romance partners.

4. A monogamous relationship.

5. I like humor in a relationship. (Example: Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series–Curran and Kate are so much fun to listen to)

My dislikes:

1. Too much time spent on the romance–when the book isn’t a romance. (This is why I don’t usually like paranormal romance, fantasy romance, etc.)

2. I’m not fond of love triangles. (In way too many books)

3. Instant love.

4. Killing one or both of the romantic pair. (Example: this has happened in at least two mystery series I’ve read)

5. A romance forced into the story just for the sake of having a romance.

Do you like or dislike romance in books you read?

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

12 thoughts on “Romance in stories?”

  1. Oh I hate when a romance is forced in! I’ve read so many books where they were really great and I really didn’t need a romance. It ends up being a sour note on an otherwise great book.


  2. I definitely don’t like it when romance is forced in or when too much time is spent on it when it isn’t supposed to be a romance book. Usually I’ve come to realize that almost all YA is going to make the romance a big part of the plot – so I’m getting over that.


  3. I don’t enjoy it either when the romance starts to overshadow the rest of the book. Though I still read romance fantasies…when the spec fic and romance elements are balanced, that often makes for a pretty good read.


  4. I really like having romance in my books but like it best when it is a slow developing background thing to the overall plot. I agree with all your dislikes! I’ve only run into one situation where one of the romantic partners dies (Jane Austen mystery series by Stephanie Barron) and while I still enjoy the books since they don’t quite have the spark as they did.


    1. Yes, a slow developing romance is usually good. It was hard for me to read anymore books after the deaths of the romantic partners in the series I read.


  5. There is NOTHING worse than a forced romance, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong – I love to read about love! But if it’s clearly just shoe-horned in there to make the book “sell” or what have you, then the romance never turns out well. I much prefer a series to start with little to no romance and then have it develop over several books, like The Others series by Anne Bishop.


    1. I agree, Danya. When the romance is well done and seems natural and part of the story then I like it. I love the way Anne Bishop is writing The Others series and the romance in the books.


  6. I am on board with all of your likes (and a very hearty YES to number 4!) and most of your dislikes. I do like paranormal and fantasy romance, though. The thing I try to remember is that it’s usually romance in a fantasy setting or with a paranormal twist, rather than a fantasy story with some romance. Since I read both fantasy and romance (and paranormal mysteries, sometimes), combining the two is a natural fit! (That said, the fantasy/paranormal elements need to be handled well, with good worldbuilding – though I make an exception for Jayne Castle/Krentz’s Harmony books because she’s so much fun.)


  7. When I was reading more romance I didn’t mind paranormal romance or fantasy romance, but it seems like the world building is given short shrift in a lot of these books. But when it’s done well I like some romance in my books, Lark!


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