Hate: Anything where something was misheard and if the characters just @#$ing talked to each other that big misunderstanding would be cleared up and the book would have ended in chapter 3.
Love: When the main character tries to play matchmaker disastrously and ends up falling for the person she’s supposed to be matchmaking. (And everything turns out great for the other half of the pair as well.) Bonus points for same-sex couples getting together.
Hate: September/May romances with super young heroines unless they’re done really well and don’t seem like pedophilia.
Love: When characters are forced into a relationship (not a forced sexual or romantic relationship because that’s awful, but like they both have guardianship of the same dog or house or something) and through working together they come to love each other.
Hate: When one or both of the main characters is too dumb to live.
Love: When the hero asks if it’s ok to kiss the heroine (and she says yes!)
Hate: Anything non-consensual. When the hero refuses to take no for an answer.
Love: Feisty older ladies like aunties who scheme in a good way. Also young managing misses too, like BFFs or sisters. So long as it all turns out for the best.
Hate: When the main characters don’t come clean to each other soon enough. He or she is actually rich. Or he’s really his brother. They get some leeway here if the reason they don’t come clean is because they’re in love and the other protagonist hates wealthy people, or if the future of England will be compromised if ze drops hir disguise, but never if they just think it’s amusing to let the other person think she’s falling in love with the gardener even though she’s a lady and it’s a regency romance (for example). And if the latter does happen, then at that point, the hero needs to LOSE the girl until he makes it up to her by losing some of his dignity as well so he’s learned his lesson about not being a jerk. Heroes are redeemable, but they shouldn’t be allowed to end the book as jackasses.
Love: Coincidences that turn out not to be actually coincidences, but part of an intricate plot to get everything to work out. (Real coincidences in moderation, but be light on the deus ex machina.)
Hate: when she takes off her glasses she’s actually beautiful, not mousy, like she was with them on. Glasses make a woman automatically ugly.
Love: Strong well-developed supporting characters who have personalities and aren’t just 2-d stereotypes. (Whether or not they fall in love with someone by the end of the book!)
Hate: All the characters are disagreeable.
Love: When two old battleaxes fall for each other while trying to help the youngsters. (or rekindle their romance from their younger days)
Hate: Heroine bemoans that she’s too busty for fashionable beauty. Really, your boobs are too big, and that’s your problem?
Love: Women have genuine friendships and value them highly.
Hate: You can tell who will end up in bed together by who hates each other the most at the start.
Love: When there are multiple ways for everything to come out just right in the end– the characters don’t just wait on deus ex machina fate to intervene.
What are your favorite and least favorite romance tropes?