Saturday, January 25, 2014

Five cliché plot devices I never want to read again #Romance #Amreading

I’ve been very impatient lately with romance novels. Specifically, the ones with tired, over-used plot lines that are so cliché, even Lifetime doesn’t want to make them into movies anymore. Until authors find a way to freshen these plot devices up, I’m done reading them.  In no particular order, they are...

 1.    The relationship based on a bet. This usually involves a hot guy getting coerced by his idiot friends into asking out the mousy girl just to prove his manliness or whatever. We all know how this story plays out...
            * Girl ignores her inner alarm bells and agrees to date the hot guy who never gave her the time of day before.
            * Guy discovers mousy girl isn’t so mousy, only shy, and he starts to fall for realz.
            * Guy’s idiot friends let the secret slip that he only asked her out on a bet.
            * Girl is humiliated and dumps guy.
            * Guy makes dramatic statement of love in some adorably self-depreciating way.
            * Girl chucks brain out the window, leaps into his arms & rides off into the sunset.
            * Reader gags.

2.   The M/F best friends who are secretly in love with each other.  Tell me this...if you’ve been best friends since you were in diapers, don’t you think you would notice if your BFF was crushing on you? I guess I wouldn’t mind this plot so much if someone would just do something unique with it. Why does it always have to be on the eve of one character’s wedding to someone else before the best friend finally grows the stones to speak up? Lame.

3.  The love triangle hinging on a complete despicable, undeserving heroine. I’m actually one of the few people who will admit to loving love triangles when they are done right. (i.e. Infernal Devices, etc.) But so many books pit two equally swoon-worthy guys against each other in a battle for the affections of a heroine with the personality of wet cardboard. She spends half the book telling (not showing) the reader how spunky and tough she is, and the other half bemoaning her inability to make a decision. “I love him, but I also love him! Oh, whatever will I do????” Just once, I want both guys to realize she is totally not worth the effort and cut their losses.

 4.  The completely unbelievable virgin. She’s in her 20’s, college educated, indescribably gorgeous and sexy, but for some reason, has never done the deed. Really? Assuming the story is set in contemporary Western culture, as most of the books I read are, there better be a damn good reason why this girl is saving herself. It can be done, but so many authors don’t bother offering anything but flimsy explanations. Which brings to another annoying cliché...

5. The virgin to whore in ten short pages. Hey, I remember what it was like to be inexperienced and unsure. Sex, especially in the early days, can be intimidating and awkward. True, romance novels are supposed to be a fantasy, but is it too much to ask for a tiny bit of realism here? After all, the newness and discovery of sex can be incredibly erotic. No need to rush it.

Those are my five clichés I never want to read again. Can you think of others? Tell me about them in the comments below. 


  1. Agreed! Although more so for the first 3 than the last 2. I am writing a love triangle currently, but I keep finding ways to make it less triangular. I don't want it to be just like all the rest. It's good to be aware of these cliches that no one wants to read anymore.

  2. Jesi, you should review my new contemporary fic romance! NONE of the above and very well reviewed, called Somewhere on Maui. Let me know! :)

    1. I'd love to review your book! I'll email you.