T10T: Romance Tropes I Love/Hate

February 13, 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt was a Love Freebie, where bloggers could choose to focus on whatever romance-related topic they wanted, like OTPs, romance scenes, romance books, etc. I decided to focus on romance tropes, and pick a few that I love… and a few that I don’t! I also added a few book/series suggestions for the tropes I love, with the help of a friend’s suggestions for any I couldn’t think of/hadn’t read. <3

1. falling in love through letters/emails/etc. – LOVE

I’m such a sucker for romances that form through written correspondence! I just think they have so much potential to be really sweet and precious, but there’s always a nice touch of drama with the big reveal at the end!


2. oblivious best friend – HATE

We’ve all seen this one – it’s the best friend who is totally oblivious throughout the couple’s entire lives, until (usually) person A moves on and falls for someone else, only for person B to suddenly say, “Wow, I guess I never saw you before!” Inevitably, person A will break it off with the poor, unsuspecting third party and go rushing into person B’s arms, totally disregarding the years of unrequited love and emotional turmoil.

3. tending to the enemy’s wounds – LOVE

This really is a trope I enjoy with blossoming romances in general, but especially enemies-to-lovers tropes. The two are typically forced to work together for some reason, and one of them gets grievously injured, while the other has to nurse them back to health. It’s generally filled with lots of heavy tension and awkwardness. ?


4. abuse “because I loved you” – HATE

I feel like this is a fairly common trope in enemies-to-lovers romances especially, and I really do not care much for it. There will always be rare exceptions, of course, and if it’s just one or two infractions, I can usually forgive it, but when it’s like, “I murdered your whole family and beat the hell out of you for months because I had a crush on you”? Nah.

5. sharing a hotel room – LOVE

Okay, I’m so shameless, but I LOVE the room/bed-sharing trope. I think it’s so awkward and fun and precious, and at times, really, er… interesting… (*coughACOMAFcough*)


6. “you’re not like other girls” – HATE

Any character who uses the phrase “not like other girls” at all, in an un-ironic way, is immediately not my favorite character, but when the love interest cites it as their reason for falling for her? Ew.

7. captive/captor – LOVE

I know, this is a really controversial one, and I can fully respect that, but as long as everyone’s getting treated fairly well, and the romance is well-written, I’m a sucker for this one. I mostly prefer it in cases like The Bone Season, though, where the MC isn’t expected to work as a “pleasure slave” or do anything else degrading, and she isn’t abused by the captor.


8. skin-deep – HATE

I’ve never enjoyed shallow romances, and while I don’t think I see them in YA books very often, they still get on my nerves a lot.

9. “fated” lovers – LOVE

I know this is another one that a lot of people aren’t big fans of, but I really enjoy fated lovers – not the ones who are forced to love each other because of a curse or anything, but “soul mates”.


10. insta-love – HATE

The worst romance trope of all, if you ask me: insta-love. I cannot tell you how many otherwise incredible books have been ruined for me by insta-love. I’m not overly strict about what constitutes as insta-love (for example, I know a lot of people consider An Enchantment of Ravens to be insta-love, but I don’t, seeing as they spent several weeks together “off screen”). That said, when your MC and the love interest speak TWICE and are suddenly willing to die for one another? Ugh.

What are your most loved and hated romance tropes?


More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. My absolute favorite is the friends to lovers trope. It makes my heart melt to see friends who have known each other for forever realize that the one they are destined to be with is right in front of them. Makes my day everytime.
      I also enjoy the enemies to lovers trope. It’s always fun seeing two people you never would think belong together actually end up together. The Vanishing Spark of Dusk does it really well, I think.

      1. Aww, yeah, when it’s done well, I love it! I prefer it in the “we’ve both secretly been pining over each other for years” way, though. Like Jim and Pam on The Office – that’s THE definition of my fave best-friends-to-lovers trope! <3

        1. Imma be real and say that I’ve never seen the Office. lol. But I will take your word on it!
          But yes, I do enjoy that trope as well. As long as it doesn’t drag for too long, ya know?

    1. Nice post! I agree insta love is the WORST, and falling in love through emails/letters is SO CUTE! I did OTPs for my TTT 🙂

    1. I love, love, love watching characters fall in love through some sort of written correspondence. I think it’s because I really like to see the thoughts behind two characters falling in love. I like the “behind the scenes” feeling of those stories.
      Great list!

    1. Great choice of topic! I actually just posted on romance tropes so I was very excited when I came upon this post. I agree with you … why does abuse romance trope even exist?! I love the first trope! I think the whole letters thing is super cute. I haven’t read the ones you put up on there so I’m happy that I have recs now lol. I absolutely hate insta love. It’s the worst for me.
      Check out our blog’s list if you want @ Love thy Shelf

      1. Thanks, Chrissi! Yes, it’s so precious! I’m reading another one with a touch of that right now – More Than We Can Tell, by Brigid Kemmerer – and the two characters text each other while sitting right next to each other sometimes. It’s so cute!

    1. Insta love is one of my most disliked tropes as well. But also love triangle. There are some well written ones out there, true, but most of the time it annoys me haha.

    1. Instalove can be horrible and ruin the story, but sometimes I can kinda see why the writer chose it. When you have a very naive character, or a unworldly character (as in little experience in life) than I can see why instalove would happen. A perfect example for that is Everything Everything. First I hated the instalove, but I realised that in this case, she has little to no experience in life. She gets all her experience from reading books, so when a boy shows up, she sees it as her “escape” and one chance to fall in love. So I’ve grown to not immediately​ hate instalove.

      1. That’s a really interesting take on it, Dorine! I’ve honestly never thought about it like that before, but that is a REALLY good point. It still bugs me, but at the same time, you’re right, it can make a very logical plot device with some characters!

        1. I had the same pov as you until someone pointed it out to me! It still can be really stupid sometimes, but now, atleast for some of them, I can see why haha.

    1. i LOVE the email/letters trope ugh, so cute!
      i think enemies to lovers is my ultimate favourite tho and insta love is the worst, so bad.

      1. It’s so precious! And yes, I really love enemies to lovers so much. I used to not care much for it, but the older I get, the more fun I have with it, because it almost always makes for a nice slow burn romance, and those are my faves!

    1. Oh I love where you went with the freebie! I do love some of these as well like sharing a room/bed….oh yes and yes there are good and bad with any option. Great picks! My Top Ten

    1. I’m fairly sure I’ll be seeing a lot of ACOMAF today in these TTT-posts but I mean.. how can we not mention them AT LEAST once?!
      Soulmates = love it! I had a whole werewolf-period where I read one story after another, as long as it had to do with finding their mates and.. My god, the nostalgia.
      Slowburn romances. YES!
      I never really had a problem with insta-love, unless it’s waaaay too insta. I cannot handle that. You do not say “I love you” to someone you barely know, talked with, and who betrayed you as well. NO. NONONO.

      1. Right?! It’s, like… the perfect mention for V-Day. <3
        Right! I know we've talked about this, but I'm the same way, like… if it's not SUPER instant, it's fine! I don't even mind if it takes, like, a few weeks. Hell, even if they spend, like, a week together on a mission and then start falling for each other, if it's written well, I can handle it. But when it's been thirty minutes? No. NOPE. Lmao

    1. I agree with you on all of these. Falling in love through letters/emails and the shared hotel room scenario are probably my favourites – I didn’t know anything like that happened in ACOMAF, and now I’m reconsidering the decision to abandon the series…
      I’m not sure whether I hate the oblivious best friend or “not like other girls” more. The oblivious best friend just makes me angry because it’s always SO obvious, while the “not like other girls” makes me roll my eyes so hard they hurt.
      If you’d like to see my love freebie, you can find it here.

      1. Oh man. Would you mind if I ask where you abandoned the series? Because ACOMAF is just… wow. I honestly love it so freaking much and if you like the shared hotel room scenes, let me tell you, the single shared room/bed scene I have ever read IN MY LIFE is in ACOMAF, lol!
        Yesss, same on both of those! It’s so annoying!

    1. I have to agree with you on all of this! Maybe I don’t hate the oblivious best friend thing as much, or at least can name a book or two where it worked for me, but I grew up reading a bunch of toxic romances from the 80s, so my romance bar was set pretty low. 😉

    1. I’m a sucker for captive/captor as well, but damn it can be problematic. I HATE insta-love and the oblivious best friend is annoying! I also really, really, really, REALLY hate love triangles.

      1. Very true, Olivia! I feel like it has to be done well, and even then, it’s risky, but man, do I love it. <3
        Oooh, then stay far away from the Three Sides of a Heart anthology! It's a whole collection of love triangles, lol!

    1. I like friends to lovers, but I agree the oblivious best friend trope is annoying! Captive/captor, I have issues with, it’s not that I don’t like couples that start that way (Beauty and The Beast anyone?) but it does make me feel a little uneasy. Falling in love through letters and tending to each other’s wounds-YAS! Instalove I agree is totally annoying, and the abused because I love you, yup you don’t abuse someone you love. Sharing a hotel room is not one I’ve come across too often but I agree it can make for some interesting situations. Fated lovers I actually kinda hate? I don’t really believe in soulmates, that there’s one perfect person out there for everyone so that trope kind of rubs me the wrong way.
      My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/top-ten-tuesday-146/

      1. I love friends to lovers if it’s not oblivious, honestly. If they’ve both secretly loved each other for a long time? Precious. But when one of them (usually the guy) is like, “… d’oh! When did you get so pretty?” I just find myself rolling my eyes, lol. And I can totally understand the rest of what you said! <3 Even if we don't agree on all of it, I like the points you made! 😀

    1. I like your take on today’s theme! And I have to admit, I love the sharing a room/bed trope as well (and have used it myself a time or two).
      Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks!

    1. Great post. I love the enemies to lovers trope but only if it doesn’t contain abuse. I also love the sharing a room/bed trope. The I’m not like other girls trope is really annoying what’s wrong with female solidity ☺

      1. Same, I do hate when enemies to lovers includes abuse! It’s just kind of gross to me. 🙁 There was actually a recent release that I loved, and gave 4.5 stars, but I almost knocked it down to 3.5 stars just because of how much I disliked the way the enemies-to-lovers thing was handled. Ultimately I decided it hadn’t ruined the book for me or anything, but every time I think about it, I still consider lowering my rating a little. :/

    1. I love your take on this week’s topic. And, I agree with a love of your opinions. However, I do love a good friendship turned into romance story line whether the best friend is oblivious or not.
      My TTT Post

    1. I agree completely with every single one of these! We have such similar taste in romance tropes! My favorites are the ‘penpal romance’ or the ‘enemies-to-lovers’ trope 🙂

    1. I absolutely love this twist on this week’s topic! My most favorite trope is enemies-to-lovers. I didn’t even realize ‘tending to the enemy’s wound’ was a thing but I dig it, especially if we’re talking about THAT scene in Six of crows!

      1. Thank you! Okay, so, confession time – I haven’t read Six of Crows yet! I couldn’t think of more examples for that one, so I had to enlist help from a friend, and it’s one of her faves! It is EXTREMELY high on my TBR, though – like, I plan on reading it in March or April hopefully!

    1. I agree with you on most of these, but I kinda like the oblivious best friend one IF it’s played out well. I think it’s more that I love friends-to-romance but whatever

      1. Understandable! Whenever neither party is oblivious, I actually really love it! For some reason, it just kind of ruins it for me whenever they pull the whole “when did you get so hot?!” card, lol.

    1. Abuse “because love” is actually the main reason why I don’t like enemies-to-lovers relationships, or the whole “hot and cold” dynamic within a couple. Surely you wouldn’t be mean to somebody because you like them?? It just seems odd to me.

      1. Yeah, it really puts a damper on the whole thing! :/ I know a lot of people enjoy the angst and drama it creates, but it just doesn’t work for me. I like stable, happy relationships, lol!

    1. insta-love makes me want to put the book right down and never pick it back up ? so annoying and unrealistic

      1. You totally should! BTW, in case nobody has told you, there’s a glossary in the physical editions of the book. I didn’t think I needed it TOO often, but there were a couple of times I was glad someone had told me it was there, and I’ve seen a few reviews that said they would’ve enjoyed it more if they’d utilized it, so I like to give people the heads-up! <3

    1. i love your blog so much and this post so much and agree with all of these so hard. except sometimes fated lovers and captive/captor but even those i love sometimes too???

      1. I love you! And I love your comments! And yeah that’s super understandable ? I think my thought was I love those tropes when they’re done well but I almost didn’t put captive/captor tbh, just because I feel like it can be done poorly SO EASILY? But like… when it’s done well I’m so trash for it

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