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You know I’m all about the romance. I’m realizing more and more that I need a great ship to really fully enjoy a book. Shippy feels give me LIFE. Now, whereas some people are annoyed when romances are cliché and tropey, I actually LIVE for certain tropes – when they’re executed well. For each of these elements, I’ll give some examples of books I’ve read and LOVED. SO. Shall we begin?
1. Hate-to-Love Romance
If you didn’t know this would be first on this list, you just don’t know me at all. I wrote about this kiiiind of at the beginning of my blogging career in a discussion post on love-hate relationships
, but since I’ve read more I’ve realized that’s not quite it. I love it when characters actually really don’t like each other at the beginning but then fall in love slowly later on. WHY? BANTER. DUH. And and that transition is just soooo feelsy and meaningful and UNF.
2. Fake Dating
Fake datinggggggggg: characters pretend to be in a relationship for one purpose or another. Whyyyy do I love this so? Duh, they’re forced into situations where they have to fake feelings but then slowly realize it might be real. There’s so much to analyze in those kisses, held hands, lingering glances. THE SLOW BURN CHEMISTRY. I need more of these books in my life.
3. Best Friend Romance
Again: I go for the slow burn. I love it when characters have been friends for ever but suddenly, because of some circumstance, realize there may be more going on. Now, this comes with a caveat, because I don’t like it when they’ve been pining after each other secretly for ages (*cough*TheBoyNextDoor
*cough*) because that gets sappy as hell. No, there should be some kind of trigger when they realize, oh shit, I actually love him/her! (Bonus points if the friendship is based on banter and snark.)
4. The Princess and Her Guard
I’m realizing more and more with fantasy and historical fiction that I loooove the princess and her guard ship. Now, I still want those princesses to be badass chicks, not completely reliant on the dude to save her or protect her. But something about that guard/knight. How he can be strong and silent, over-protective, often repressing his feelings… IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. PLEASE EXCUSE MY FEELS.
5. Unexpected Love Interest
I was torn on what to call this, first naming it a “fake out love triangle” but that’s not always the case. I just love it when the love interest is unexpected. Maybe the MC was attracted to or involved with someone else at the start, but then later on it’s like BOOM this guy is the actual charmer duhhhhhhhh. It’s really hard to explain, because it sounds like a love triangle but it’s REALLY NOT. It’s just a love interest that kind of sneaks up on you, and it’s fun to try to spot them ahead of time. HIGH LEVEL shippers can usually spot them from a mile away, but the rollercoaster of feels is a good one.
6. Stuck Together
Is there anything more fantastic than two characters with chemistry and banter and sexual tension being stuck together due to a hurricane/snow storm/blackout/stuck elevator? I THINK NOT. I need more of this trope because it never gets old. NEVERRRRR.
7. Hook Up First, Ask Questions Later
*cough* Um. Yeah. I like to swoon. I’m liking New Adult more and more. I like there to be incredible chemistry. Now, this doesn’t always work. Ships that do this have their work cut out for them, because just because the physical part of the relationship is solid, that doesn’t mean they’re really meant to be together. But often this makes my shippy feels go out of control. I like my romances hot
8. Forbidden Romance
This comes with a caveat, because I like this sometimes but not always. It’s also primarily a New Adult thing. A lot of these stray to the student-teacher relationships and I’m torn on that. Definitely not in high school, but in college it can be pretty freaking hot. The office romances I like more because there isn’t always such a clear power imbalance. But I just like the forbidden aspect, and how it leads to repressed feelings, sneaking around… it makes it a lot hotter. And the risk involved means they have to put a lot of effort in the relationship to make it a legit healthy ship, and I like that. They do really work for it. (Obviously this is not always done well. But yeah.)
9. Celebrity Romance
As a teen I was totally obsessed with the whole stardom thing – daydreaming of meeting a hot celebrity who for some reason would fall for an ordinary girl like me. I will never stop being drawn to those plots in books or movies. Hanging out behind the scenes or backstage… having to act alongside someone you first hate but grow to love? (I will always miss you, Sonny with a Chance
.) Sadly I haven’t found a looooot of books that have done this well, but I will likely keep trying anyway.
10. The Non-Confession
If you know me, you know I don’t like sappy romance. Actually, the way to get me to ship it like burning is not to have a dramatic, “I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE FOR ME, I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU,” scene, but more of a non-confession. A grudging admission that, “Maybe I sort of like having you around.” I can’t really think of a book that’s done this, sadly, so this one’s for you, Selfie
. Take it away. (RIP)
These are a few of my favorite things..
Got any titles I need to add to my TBR ASAP?