Disclaimer: my opinions shift around a lot. So whats annoying me today might have been my favourite trend ever yesterday, and it could end up captivating me for months starting tomorrow. So these thoughts may not necessarily last forever, and don't be surprised if they don't! I am also not passing judgement on people who do like these trends, tropes, and themes, nor am I placing moral judgement or value on them. As I like to say, fiction is fiction. I don't read novels to affirm my morals, I read to be entertained.
I see tons of books about mafia-themed forbidden romance. I personally don't see the appeal, I mean I like romance books featuring crime, but when I think of the mafia I think of old men in gray suits smoking cigars in 20th century Chicago or something. (Please don't judge me if my perceptions are way off!).
I don't find bikers/biker gangs in romance novels to be appealing. I tend to avoid books featuring these kinds of characters, although I will admit I have a few on my to-read list. As I've mentioned before, I do remain pretty open to various types of books, and my taste is always changing.
Very specific titles
Sometimes I find myself cringing or chuckling at some oddly specific romance titles. As a fan of Maya Banks, I ran into this one: The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress. Personally, I find this humorously specific. Other examples include The Billionaire's Blackmailed Bride , The Sicilian's Ruthless Marriage Revenge , and of course, The Sheikh's Virgin Bride.
"Cardboard" love interests
You know him....he's hot, he has abs and bulging muscles, and he has a crooked, bad-boy smile. He may or may not have a leather jacket, ride a motorcycle, and have short, dark hair. That's right, it's cardboard cut-out romance hunk! Now available for the low price of $39.99 (head not included)!
This really gets on my nerves, especially concerning the men's appearances (I mostly read female POV m/f romance). The ladies will be like "I turned around and saw him, and literally fell on my face because he looked like a divine angel, hallelujah, everything was perfect, oh and did I mention he was super rich?" And the world ceases to exist for that precious moment during which she lays her eyes upon this blemish-less, perfectly fit, radiant man. The end! Ugh....some romance books I ended up really enjoying lost stars because of this! I roll my eyes every time. Other exaggerations include declarations of 'true' (insta) love, almost inhuman levels of "romantic chemistry", and too much emphasis placed on abs and (rippling) muscles.
Things aren't perfect? We can never be together!
I find many romance books tend to feature unnecessary, often temporary break ups between couples. One thing goes wrong, they don't see eye to eye one time, and of course the world is ending. They have to always be on the same page, or they must burn the whole book! There's a loose nail in the bridge? Tear it down! Goodbye, there is no other choice! It's like some characters have never heard of sleeping on an issue, thinking it over, trying to compromise, or taking a temporary break while things cool down. I mentioned that the break ups in these books tend to be temporary, but its rarely due to a calm, rational cooling-down period. It's usually caused by unnecessary angst and black-and-white thinking between characters. I find this trope so unnecessary and annoying! One of the books I read recently lost a few stars because of this very thing!
Well, those are a few annoying trends, tropes, and themes in romance that bother me (for the time being...). Do any of these bother you as well?