Bookishly Speaking | Things I Could Do without in Contemporary Romance

Today kicks off the scary part of blogging for me – sharing my thoughts outside the safety of a review. Most bloggers I visit have posts like this, and I can’t help but wonder if they felt the same way I do when they posted their thoughts on the fly for the first time. Will anyone even be interested in what I have to say? Will they understand that these are just my thoughts, and if they don’t agree, it’s no big deal? I guess I’ll find out today, where I start ‘bookishly’ speaking out!

When it comes to reading, Contemporary Romance, in one form or another, has always been my first love. Obviously my love for the genre is fluid; it’s changed so much over the years that it has to be. Having read it for so long, I have a long list of likes and dislikes. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the things I could do without in Contemporary Romance.

  • I can’t tell where he ends and I begin. What does this even mean? Did they both just turn to liquid? I know what it’s supposed to mean – a connection on such a level that it can’t possibly be explained. And maybe I could buy that if this didn’t crop up so often in this genre. But it appears so often now that it’s lost all ability to make me feel. This is more of an eye-roller for me than anything.
  • First person blurbs. Most of the time, a first person blurb tells me nothing about the book. Often it’s from a male POV that seems to be very unhealthily obsessed with a woman. And I’ll admit, sometimes I can buy this. But it’s only after I’ve read some of the book and connected to the hero. It doesn’t usually happen from the back cover. In that case, it’s likely to skeeve me out and keep me away from the book.
  • Don’t you pity me! Don’t you dare pity me! This is a big one for me; it makes me crazy whenever I see this in a book. Who do you think you are telling someone who they can and can’t feel compassion for? Is it really so terrible that someone might feel sad for you because of something that has happened or is happening to you? Telling someone how they can or can’t feel crosses the line for me, and it grates on my nerves.
  • This. What. Is. This. Trend? Ok – I realize this isn’t exclusive to CR, but what the heck is it all about? The result this is supposed to achieve could be done just was well (if not better,) with italicized and/or bold print. I will admit that the reason this may drive me nuts is because it first came to my attention in a book I disliked to the nth degree, but now that I loathe it, there. Is. No. Going. Back. I’m. Over. It.
  • Come for me. Once, just once, I’d like the heroine to lift her head off the damn pillow or look over her shoulder and say ‘You know what? This one’s for me. I’m going to come for me this time, so let’s make it a good one!’ If I read this line once in awhile, I might find it hot, but like ‘I can’t tell where he ends and I begin,’ it just conveys a lack of originality to me. Can we really not be more creative with our wording?

Well, that’s it for now, folks, but I’m not promising there won’t be a part two. What about you? Are there things that I loathe that you love? Or maybe there are some things I didn’t mention that you don’t like. If you want to spill the beans, I’m happy to listen!

35 thoughts on “Bookishly Speaking | Things I Could Do without in Contemporary Romance

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  1. Lol, I love that last one 😉

    Honestly I have those boring common ones, like omg, they do not communicate! Stupid drama. There is a secret that is SO silly that I just do not understand why the person can not talk about it


    1. Ugh…yes! It’s called TALKING! Maybe give it a go. LOL And yes, secrets are a rough one, especially because if the writer doesn’t do it well, it can be anti-climactic for the reader.


  2. I don’t read a lot of romance, but I can totally see how these things would get annoying! I hate when a person has feelings for another person, but “on principle” will try to ignore those feelings. Like, in this one book I was reading, the woman said she didn’t want to date an athlete, so even though this guy was super-nice and charming and all that, because he was a baseball player she acted like a jerk to him and hid her feelings. It’s just annoying because it’s such a blanket statement and totally ignores the actual person!

    P.S. I also get nervous every time I write a discussion post!


    1. We’re in the nervousness together, then. 🙂

      Yes! That is frustrating to judge one person on the actions of others, no matter how you’re lumping them together. So unfair, and such a turn-off I can’t imagine why the other person would want to be with someone so judgmental after that.


  3. Haha. This made me giggle. I feel the same way about a lot of this, too. Especially the “don’t pity me” thing. Feeling bad for someone is okay. It’s good, in fact. It’s good to feel compassion for someone who has had to deal with difficult things.

    I actually did a post similar to this not too long ago. It was fun. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE romance novels. But certain things get on my nerves. What really drives me nuts is when a person (usually the heroine) moans while eating food. Like, I get it. The food is delicious. But do you need to make all that noise about it. And why the hell does it turn the guy on?


    1. I will have to check out your post.

      Yes, the moaning is annoying. Especially when it’s with every single bite! I’d find that quite awkward if I was sitting across the table from someone who kept doing that.

      It is good to feel compassion for other people. In fact, I think it’s a great quality in a person!


  4. Yes, discussion posts can be so much more personal and more you than a review can be. I feel the same way. I usually get hung up whether others will find my post interesting or not.

    But this, this is fun and cathartic because I love my romance though I see certain things that make me cringe or grind my teeth. I had the same reaction to the ‘don’t pity me’ one just recently. My big ones lately are not talking stuff through, hiding stuff when you claim to love them, and hating all men because some guy did you wrong- or maybe not even having a bad experience, but thinking you could have one is enough to shove people away.

    I never thought about it, but that first person blurb stuff doesn’t attract me, either. I swear they all say ‘I’m obsessed and he/she is bad for me/I’m bad for them.”

    LOL! Look forward to part two.


    1. Yes; and I was hoping for just one person to be interested enough to respond! LOL

      I agree with all or your trope-y hang-ups. How hard is it to talk things through? It doesn’t even have to be that second, but at least be mature enough to work up to it! Same with hiding things. And that’s something that, if not worthy enough for being kept through the whole book, can fall very flat for the reader.


  5. I love this, Angie! And it’s hilarious because I wasn’t aware of your. dislike. for. this. Would I be awful if I started doing it all the time in our emails?? 😀


  6. Love this! I would have to agree that both come for me and I don’t know where he ends and I begin are way over used.


  7. LOL. This makes me laugh. Awesome post, Angie. The last one, though… haha
    For me, one thing that I don’t like is when a hero gets turned on by everything a heroine does or says. Like, ok I get that he is attracted to her but can we get other lines than “it turns me on”. Especially for something silly that she says or does. Sometimes it makes me giggle but many times, “oh ok.. this is getting old. Stop it already.”


  8. The where he/she begins and I end. Yeah that one is stupid to me. The pity one is eye rolly. I like the come for me when either does it (I’ve seen the heroine say it to the hero quite a few times, too) And the period one. Ha! I don’t mind that because to me it really can’t be done any other way other than… adding those.


  9. It’s crazy because I still can’t decide if Paranormal Romance or Historical Romance were my first love because I started reading and loving them at the same time. But what’s even crazier is that I have more Contemporary Romance stories under my belt than either of these genres lol, so either I’m a contradiction or I am confused.


  10. oh I just LOVE this post darling!! And I agree with so many of them. The whole “dont pity me” drives me nuts, and really can be so frustrating because when has empathy and compassion been a horrible thing right? And yeah that last one I so agree with.


  11. This was an awesome post, Angie Elle!!! (and yes, discussion posts are *scary* but you’ve dipped your toe in now, it’s all good!) Your list had me giggling! Especially the first and most especially the last one!! LOL Yeah, I wanna read that too. 😀 And I look forward to more Bookishly Speaking!


    1. Thank you, Brandee!

      The list of things that drive me nuts really is endless, but none of them will make or break a book for me. They’ll just hinder my enjoyment for a quick second! LOL


    1. Haha – just once I would LOVE to see that in a book!

      Yes, these issues do tend to crop up in most genres that do include a romantic story-line. They won’t make or break a story for me, but it does make me grumble for a hot second.


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