Top Ten Tuesday – Likes & Dislikes in Book Romances

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books (can do a full list or split it up in likes/dislikes or even things you want to see MORE of in romances in fiction)

This one’s a little hard to write because I tend to not seek out books that are strictly romances, but I do read books with romances in them, so here are five of the things I like and five of the things I don’t like when it comes to romance in books.


1. Swoony men – Obviously. But not swoony in a typical way. For example, I much prefer Cricket in Lola and the Boy Next Door to St. Clair in Anna and the French Kiss. St. Clair knows he’s swoony and that’s not my thing.

2. Beautifully written dialogue between the characters – The way Sam talks about Grace in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

3. Imperfect / flawed love interests – I know no one is perfect, but sometimes it’s like authors forget this. Give me someone who has a backstory or is struggling with something.

4. Slow to build relationships – Take your time. Let the characters get to know one another, please and thank you.

5. Witty banter – But not if that’s ALL there is between them. I like humor and word play.


1. Instalove – We all knew this was going to be on my list. Blah.

2. Love triangles (unless they’re done well) – Unless it’s a love triangle like in Throne of Glass, I probably won’t like it.

3. Clichés / formulas – Did Girl just realize she’s been in love with Best Friend the whole time? Was there a Huge Misunderstanding? Are one or both of them Hiding Something? Can you say cliché rom com plots?

4. Dangerous / volatile relationships – No, no, no, no. Don’t do it.

5. Unnecessary romances – If your book can go from beginning to end with no romance and still be a wonderful book, WHY must you shove a romance in there? Not every book was meant to have a romance. Kthanksbye!

Alright, there you have it. What do YOU like or not like when it comes to romance in the books  you read?

53 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Likes & Dislikes in Book Romances

  1. I love swoony as well. But it’s much more attractive if the character doesn’t even know that he/she has that effect on others. I haven’t read Lola yet, but now I’m more excited than ever to continue this companion trilogy! 🙂

  2. I’m really excited to read Lola now, because I didn’t find St. Clair very attractive in Anna so hopefully I’ll like Cricket more! (I didn’t DISLIKE him but I think you’re right…he knew he was attractive to all the girls and he kind of acted like an indecisive jerk about it).

  3. Dialogue is important for almost any book, but definitely so in a romance, where what people say shows so much of a developing relationship.

    Why do books get random romance tossed in? Because some readers demand it. Shame on them!

  4. Unnecessary Romances. Yes. Reading a Sci-Fi book and find a romance just thrown in there for no reason at all, often forgot about by the end of the book. Augh. Why?!

  5. Completely agree with the unnecessary romances! I hate when its added just because the author feels like readers need it. Some books just don’t! My boyfriend, who reads mostly sci-fi/fantasy/dystopia, gets so mad about this. He’d rather it not exist at all in most of the books he reads! Lol. All Fall Down by Ally Carter is a great example of a book that didn’t need a romance and didn’t really have one.

  6. Omg, I have points no. 4 & 5 (like list) and point no. 4 (dislike list) in my post! It seems most bloggers dislike best-friend-secretly-love-the-other-person angle. I actually enjoy friends-to-lovers angle because I find this type of relationship usually lasts longer.
    I agree with you on point no. 3. I dislike it when heroine falls in love with “perfect” hero. Nobody’s perfect.

    • I think that the friends-to-lovers thing is great when it’s written well. I LOVED it in Lola and the Boy Next Door, but when a character SUDDENLY realizes she’s always loved her best friend with little to no explanation for this realization, it irritates me. Does that make sense?

  7. Great list! I totally agree with a lot of these. Especially witty banter and slow burn/slow building love. I also love friends-to-lovers stories. Hate hate insta-love as well as love triangles. Ugh.

  8. HHahha very true the last one. I don’t like if a female main character is always drooling over the guy and there is no development at all. You may call this dumb girls. Seriously, 300 pages of “Omg he’s hot and I’m ugly” is just the worst!

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