Romance novels are some of my favorite casual reads, which you can probably tell given the amount of time I spend trying to get you ladies to read a few. I’ve read old ones, new ones, funny ones, sad ones, good ones, ones I’d rather not remember and, as much as I love to relax in my favorite chair knowing there’s a new one waiting, I can’t help but laugh whenever I notice the same ole clichés. Guess romance novels and clichés are pretty much inseparable. Still, would you be able to suppress an eye-roll when faced with these?
1. He is Huge
No true hero is shorter than 6 feet and, in most romance novels, the average height is more like 6.5 with 6.8 and even 7 feet being thrown around quite liberally. I mean, come on, even George R.R Martin had the decency to make his super tall, super muscular Clegane brothers the largest two people in Westeros! Geez! To make matters worse, every romance novel hero eats guys like Gregor for breakfast, possesses the anatomy that could put Google Earth’s terrain map of Rocky Mountains to shame and, as a bonus, wouldn’t hurt a fly without a fair trial. And the heroine has hots for him from the get go! Really? I mean, okay, bodybuilder types are right up my alley but even I can’t guarantee any jaw-dropping and eye widening on my part would be in awe instead of fear.
2. She is a Virgin
She’s as innocent as it gets, preferably a virgin but hey, an author might feel liberal enough to allow for an almost-virgin too. That’s the best you’ll get because only totally pure people get to experience true love. And oh, J.R. Ward, if you’re game, I’d be happy to commission a bronze statue of your likeness because you’re the only author I know to tell a story about a less than pure gal being dealt a good hand (and some happiness and hope) for a change.
3. Their Passion Knows No Limits
Ah, speaking about literature clichés, I really love this one! Now, we already established that she’s either a virgin or second best and that everything about him is as huge as it gets (or can be imagined), yet they still have a fabulous first time, all fireworks and whatnot. And she’s not only choosing not to run away (and maybe drop by the ER, you know…) but they actually end up doing it a few times during the same night. Umm… yeah. Do not try THAT at home!
4. They Make Series of Bad Decisions
The world is about the end, what shall we do? Oh I know, let’s make out until the last possible moment! The evil is coming to get us, what now? Oh, chill out, let’s make out and pretend we can’t see it then fight it because this book needs it. Need I say anything more?
5. Couple Counseling, Anyone?
An average romance novel is full of this unnecessary angst, self-doubts, things left unspoken and it always results in love birds horribly misunderstanding each other and spending at least a chapter crying over a broken heart. Well, I’ve got news for you guys – none of that would have happened if you had the brains to just TALK! I mean, that’s what couples should do.
6. He’s Super Rich
Reality check, you gals – how many super rich guys do you know? Or more specifically, how many rich, good-looking, down-to-earth guys who do not want to date models, movie-stars or well… anyone from the Kardashian clan? My answer is simple – big, fat ZERO! Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t any and it’s super nice to have so many authors reminding us about it, although I would have to advise you to keep your mind open when dating. You certainly don’t want to miss out on a great guy simply because he’s not filthy rich. Right?
7. Too Much Information
Guys making speeches (or inner monologues) on things most males wouldn’t dignify with more than two sentences, characters filling each other in on details until all you can think of is “Okay, okay, we know this story by heart, can we get on with whatever it was that has been happening here?”… It’s all there. I can’t tell you where exactly because that’s when I usually give up and do my best to forget the title, but you’re going to stumble upon it sooner or later.
Do you even notice these silly things or just pointedly choose to overlook some faux pas for the sake of a good story?