The second challenge has been put to the Broody BFF street team, and it’s been a more thought-provoking one than I anticipated! That said, I’ve had fun examining my romantic preferences (not like that) and settling on the romance trope(s) I love the most!
Disclaimer: I am relatively new to the world of romance novels, though I’ve read enough to know what I like and therefore what I want more of. (This post is entirely open to recommendations in the comments!)
For example, I am very much into queer romance, and anything that’s got at least something SF/F-ish about it is even better. Mix those genres together and I am one happy swoony lady. But that’s a broad theme. What about the tropes?!
Oh, there are so many. I could be here all day talking about them, but the ones that really leave me reaching for a fan usually involve one type of dramatic conflict or another. I am all about the drama, in case that wasn’t readily apparent. However, it’s not enough to have conflict in the plot – I want it in my fictional relationships too. I want to CARE, and having conflict between two lovestruck characters in a way that adds believability will push my buttons every time. Friends to lovers who have to figure out the tricks and traps of that transition; enemies to friends/lovers who must do the same (though admittedly that can often also involve The Plot); two people in love who must struggle against the odds to be together (or, in the case of The Arranged Marriage, struggle to be together comfortably/without conflict!).
All of these tropes will usually ensure that my head is turned enough to hook me, but – and this is the really important one – the one trope I absolutely MUST have in my romance, however “traditional” or overrated it might seem, is the Happily Ever After.
When I read romance, I am reading it to get away from the grim ugliness of the world outside. I read it because I want to see more of how I wish the world was, and people who are capable of dealing with relationships in an emotionally intelligent (and sometimes just plain emotional) way and still get a happy ending make for just the kind of stories I like to turn to. Game of Thrones can keep its gritty realism and its “historical accuracy”. I’d rather have my romances. This is where I find comfort, and some hope for nicer things – and, yes, a good swoon or two. Or three.
The more swooning, the better, really.
So there is my answer to the second part of this week’s challenge! If you missed my response to the visual challenge, check out my take on an ideal date with Broody! It’s pretty low-key, but it suits me well. I imagine Broody would enjoy it too…
Onward, to Challenge #3!