My Least Favorite Romance Tropes

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There are a lot of different romance tropes, and not all of them vibe with me. While the post on my favorite tropes was more focused on the book overall, this one is going to have some more specifics. As these things are the quickest way to turn me off from a book or make me want to DNF it.

Degrading Comments

Immediately no. Do not have any dirty talk where you are putting the other person down. That is the quickest way to turn me off of those scenes. Granted some of the books I enjoyed reading include this, but I still hate those scenes every time they come up. I get some people are into that, but I AM NOT.


I cannot stand this trope in real life or in books. If you are looking outside of an exclusive relationship for something then that relationship is not for you. Break up before moving on to another relationship. A polyamorous or open relationship is one thing, but when it’s defined and exclusive then absolutely no. I get it adds tension, but there are other ways of doing that.

Abduction to Love

Do not get me wrong some books I have read and loved included this trope to some degree, but it depends on how it’s done. If it’s for protection that’s one thing (one character will die if they were not taken by the other character), but if it’s not then it’s a big nope for me. It causes a major power imbalance and usually results in Stockholm Syndrome. It all depends on the amount of freedom they are given and how they are treated. But generally, the concept of kidnapping someone against their will is a no for me.

Example: Den of Vipers by K. A. Knight.

Mistaken Identity

I don’t like this trope because one side of the relationship is built around an identity that doesn’t exist. They are in love with something that isn’t real. How can they remotely get over that in the future? It doesn’t make sense. The person you thought you were in love with, isn’t that person. I cannot see a HEA (happily ever after) ending with this trope, and that’s something that I want to see by the end of the book or series.


I want to throw the book across the room when this happens. Especially if everything could be resolved if they just talked to one another. Oh, someone else told you something questionable? Cool, go talk to the person it involves and confirm if it’s true or not. If you can’t do that, there’s no trust in that relationship and it’s likely doomed.

Smut Without Plot

I need a plot. It has to have something other than just sex to hold the book together. Those elements have to be able to stand on their own to make a book memorable. There can be lots of sex in a book, but at least have some plot to follow that makes sense and isn’t weirdly paced around those scenes.

Age Gap/Teacher Student

This I’m grouping together as these both usually end up being someone being underage, which is grooming! It is illegal and wrong on so many levels. However, if the age gap is between two consenting adults then I’m fine with age gaps, it’s specifically when one of the individuals is underage. Even if they hold off on sex until they are of age, it’s still wrong because the one individual was groomed.

Now as for Teacher/Student, when it’s not involving an underage individual, there’s a power imbalance in those relationships. And a lot of times it’s done in a fetish way. Bend them over the desk to get better grades, etc. And most of the time, this exists in high school settings, not college settings.

The only instance where I did not find an issue with it was between Lance Orion and Darcy Vega in Zodiac Academy by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti. While yes he was her teacher, it was never for grades or anything involving academics. Those two aspects were separate, granted he did show some favoritism towards her in the classroom, but for the most part, it was kept professional in those settings. Since it was forbidden and neither of them wanted to get caught. They are also only a few years apart in age, so it’s not a major difference. Not to mention they were mates, and their relationship exists outside of the classroom setting.

Which romance tropes are your least favorite(s)?

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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