Romance novels are all I read and while I have no objection to the limited character types and story lines, there are recurring elements that I really could do without…
The notion that the hero “gives” the heroine orgasms as though this is some fantastical ability she is on the receiving end of instead of a participant in.
While we’re on the subject, the kind of toxic masculinity in which the hero announces he is going to and then takes great pride in “giving” the heroine many, many orgasms in one night. This leads to –
The heroine’s private parts being sore the next day because the sex was so good.
Bigger is not necessarily better. It’s just a start.
Calling the heroine “Babe” or “Cherry”. “Princess” is also on notice.
Nonsensically condensed timelines.
Lashing out, violent outbursts, and/or over-the-top jealousy as a sign of affection.
Experiments in prostitution.
The hero creating a new nickname out of the heroine’s name and persisting in using it even when she tells him not to.
The heroine who is allowed to have sex, even hooking up with the hero on the night they meet, but not those ______-bunnies over there. Those spurious bitches of questionable value and intent don’t benefit from the same feminist perspective.
Sexist stereotyping and diminishment of other women to elevate the heroine.
The Pig Becomes a Person is the contemporary romance’s version of the Reformation of a Rake and it’s more than a little icky to bang EVERYTHING that moves until you meet the magical uterus-bearer who can hypnotize the hero’s wedding tackle into submission.
Self-slut-shaming heroines have got to go.
Shopping sprees and makeovers to fashion the heroine into someone more attractive.
Former elite military member heroes.
Former military elite member billionaire heroes.
Heroes who are powerful in their every day life and then a dominant in their sex lives as well. That’s just megalomania.
Gay-for-you story lines. People can just be gay or bisexual. It doesn’t have to be a plot point.
Finding and vigorously occupying the wrong bed in the dark.
Reunion plots requiring all other relationships of the protagonists be have been bad or insignificant.
Extended separations with an “I kept myself only unto you” element.
Sexually inexperienced and/or repressed characters who instantly turn wanton.
Aristocratic heroes mentioning their responsibilities in the House of Lords. The less said about that outdated institution the better.
I’ll add more as they occur to me.
Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.