Tag «trope thursday»

Trope Thursdays: Slow Burn Romance [2]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.


Round 2 of my new feature!

As I said in the description above, the idea is to look at common book tropes and dissect them each month. I’m going to pick a variety of tropes–including ones I hate–and dig a little deeper. First, I’ll define what that trope is and then list some common features. Next, I’ll pick some examples of the trope in action and why it works (or doesn’t work) for that particular story. And then finally, I’ll open the floor to you to tell me your thoughts on the trope or recommend some reads to me.

Slow Burn Romance

Definition:

A romance that develops gradually over time as the characters get to know one each other more.

Common Features:

  • Friends to Lovers
  • In Love With Client/Coworker/Partner
  • Hate to Love You
  • In Love With the Enemy
  • Teach Me to Love
  • In Love with Someone “Forbidden”

What I Love About The Slow Burn Romance Trope:

I’ve only recently come to realize that I love the slow burn romance trope. For me, one of the things I need to see the most in my romances is a deeper connection. Insta-loves don’t work for me because the connection is usually superficial or based on something “unspoken”. But slow burn romances let you see how these characters work together over time. How they compliment each other; how they slowly realize the other person is what they have been looking for all along. That’s when the looks become a little longer; and the thoughts turn into attraction; and the tension between the two leads becomes palpable.

While researching this post, I read some other bloggers’ thoughts on the slow burn trope and I think Liana @ Coffee Time Romance sums it up very nicely:

The slow burn romance means the characters can flirt with the idea of love before ever admitting they are in love. It gives them a chance to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, it gives the readers a chance to see the couple through the good days and the bad so that when the characters finally reach Happily Ever After there is no doubt that they will really have forever together.

~Liana @ Coffee Time Romance (Post: The Beauty of the Slow Burn Romance [Sep 4, 2015])

What I Dislike About The Slow Burn Romance Trope:

Sometimes I can be a little impatient when it comes to my romances. There is only so many “near-misses” a girl can take before she’s screaming at the pages for the couple to kiss!

Like I mentioned in my last Trope Thursday Posts about Fake Relationships, the problem with the slow burn usually lies in the characters or the plot itself. If the plot isn’t very strong, I usually want the romance to be of a greater focus so that something is happening in the book. But if it too is just puttering along, well, that can make for a boring read. And when it comes to the characters, I want to like them. So if I find one character is “undeserving” of another, slow burn romances can drive me nuts because I don’t see that deeper connection.

But it’s also important to note that having the characters wait a long time to establish that romantic relationship doesn’t always make a slow burn romance. You need to have those moments that show a connection happen along the way. It isn’t enough to just stick a couple of calendar days between their first meeting and that moment when they finally take the next step. You’ve got to develop it in some way.

Another time slow burn romances can fail is in a series where the romance is spread out over multiple volumes. Once the couple gets together, that tension often disappears because they get into that “honeymoon” phase of the relationship. Their relationship becomes this inevitable fact and you lose a bit of that “will they or won’t they” thrill. Either they become this perfect couple or they have to break up for the sake of the plot. It can make for a boring read in the subsequent sequels if their slow burn romance was the main focus/plot-point of their first book because what else do you have to look forward to?

Books that Use the Slow Burn Romance Trope Well:

The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1)
I found Blackhearts to be a very character driven story–which isn’t surprising because it is an origin story of sorts. Anne and Teach are both such intriguing characters on their own but when they share a scene, the magic really happens. They just have so much in common and watching them discover that was such a treat as a reader.

Their romance follows along the lines of one that is almost forbidden due to their positions in society. So while the attraction might always be there, they really do try and fight it in order to stop their hearts from breaking.

>>Series Review: Blackhearts

 

 

Not only is this one of the longest romance novels I have ever read (the Kindle version has over 600 pages which is absolutely CRAZY!) but it also has one of the slowest burning romances I’ve ever seen.

Why? Well these two don’t start as friends and they aren’t even that attracted to each other but that’s what happens over time. You watch their relationship evolve from boss/employee to partners to friends to lovers. It’s a hard thing for these two very independent people to learn to trust someone else but over the course of the novel, they learn to do that.

>>Standalone Review: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

 

 

I had already written this post before I started this book. But as I was listening to the audiobook, I knew I just had to include it in this list.

The slow burn of Royally Endowed takes place over the course of years. This is a case where calendar days in between works as there is a never ending list of (realistic) obstacles along the way. It toys with the “will-they-won’t-they” idea until you know something has to give. And when it does, you can’t help but exclaim in joy.

 

Others: Play |  Smut

Books that Didn’t Use the Slow Burn Romance Trope Well:


This one is more a case of a slightly misleading synopsis and the idea of sticking calendar days in the way. I went into this book thinking the romance was going to be the main focus of the story and it wasn’t. In fact, the leads don’t even meet each other until the 50% mark. And when they do, they ignite pretty quickly. So despite the great chemistry and tension that we do finally get, the romance left something to be desired for me due to its execution.

Review: Crossing Stars

 

 

OK! Before everyone gets mad at me for this one hear me out! When I read the synopsis for The Raven Boys, I thought the main plotline was a romance between Blue and Gansey (all that stuff about her true love it mentions). So imagine my surprise when there is nearly zilch in the romance department in The Raven Boys!

I know that the romances are all slow burn and grow over the next 3 volumes but I needed something early on. I found the plot to be slow so this was one of those cases where I would have appreciated something else (like a romance) to focus on to keep the plot moving.

>>Series Review: The Raven Cycle

 

Others: A Stardance Summer |  Changling


Can’t get enough slow burn romances? Be sure to check out my Valentine’s Day Post!

Riffle Lists: Slow Burn Romance (Live February 14th)

 

As this is only my second post for this feature, please let me know what you think about its structure/topics be commenting below. I am more than willing to modify it in the coming months!

Do you enjoy the Slow Burn Romance Trope? Any recommendations?

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Trope Thursdays: Fake Relationships [1]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.


Thanks for reading!

I’m super excited to finally share this feature with everyone! This was a feature I thought up in the summer of 2017 when I was creating a discussion post about tropes. I’ve been slowly working on bringing it to life ever since. It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to do exactly in the post as well as come up with a banner for the feature. (Don’t ask why I picked an owl, I just think they are cute and I wanted to know if I could create my own in Photoshop. Answer: yes).

As I said in the description above, the idea is to look at common book tropes and dissect them each month. I’m going to pick a variety of tropes–including ones I hate–and dig a little deeper. First, I’ll define what that trope is and then list some common features. Next, I’ll pick some examples of the trope in action and why it works (or doesn’t work) for that particular story. And then finally, I’ll open the floor to you to tell me your thoughts on the trope or recommend some reads to me.

So let’s begin! For my first ever Trope Thursday, I picked a personal favourite:

Fake Relationship Tropes

Definition:

Relationships that are formed between the leads for some purpose that requires the pair to appear to be in a romantic partnership. This purpose can be mutually beneficial or one-sided but both parties agree to fake romantic feelings to reach the end goal.

Common Features:

  • Fake girlfriend/boyfriend
  • Fake marriages (marriage of convenience)
  • Fake fiances
  • Slow burn romance

What I Love About The Fake Relationship Trope:

If I had to pick one trope to only read forever, it would likely be this one. I just love it so much! The main reason I can’t get enough is the development of the romance. In my romances, I want to see that deeper connection happen between my leads and I find I almost always get that in fake relationship novels. These characters become so ingrained in each other’s everyday life (and often in an accelerated way or during a time of high pressure) and they start to see the other person for who they are as a human being. They pick up on the quirks or the motivation for certain actions and that’s why they start to fall in love.

But don’t forget all the delicious tension of stolen kisses or lingering touches that may mean a little more! Usually the tension is just boiling over and the lines between love, lust, fake and reality begin to blur. I just love those moments where caution is thrown to the wind and the leads get carried away…

What I Dislike About The Fake Relationship Trope:

I generally don’t have any problems with the trope itself, usually it’s the plot or the characters that cause me to rate a fake relationship book lower and not the use of the trope.

Often time these stories can be cliche but I don’t particularly mind.

I do find that sometimes these novels can suffer from the time-frame of the novel depending on the situation and/or character development. Because people often need a fake boyfriend/girlfriend for a couple days or a month, the relationship can be too accelerated if not properly expanded upon with character development or a reasonable set of circumstances.

Books that Use the Fake Relationship Trope Well:

The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1)
The chemistry between these two is off the charts! This is the classic “I’ve known you forever” type of situation with a shared past of hurt.  I adored their connection and how they use their marriage of convenience to grow as people and as partners for each other.

>>Series Review: Marriage to a Billionaire Series

 

 

One Week Girlfriend (One Week Girlfriend, #1)

One of my all time favourite New Adult reads. What I loved about this one is that these two don’t know anything about each other. But that quickly changes as they are thrown into a tense situation. Again, these two just got each other and watching them start from nothing to build such a great foundation had me swooning throughout!

>>Series Review: One Week Girlfriend

 

 

Others: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me  |  The Matchmaker’s Playbook

Books that Didn’t Use the Fake Relationship Trope Well:


It’s a shame the synopsis is so grossly misleading for this story. Regardless, this one failed to deliver on a few key things. For one, I felt like our hero wasn’t as developed as he could have been. Things also happen at a very quick pace and that stopped me from being a huge fan of the romance.

>>Series Review: A Billionaire Love Story Series

 

 

Despite great sexual tension between the leads, this story didn’t work on a lot of levels. For one, both leads were incredibly irritating. It’s hard to root for something more between them when you don’t like either lead. It also suffered from an overly dramatic (and quickly resolved) plotline.

>>Series Review: Billionaire Series

 

Others: His Hired Girlfriend


Thanks for reading my first ever Trope Thursday monthly feature! I hope you come back next month to see what I have in store!

As this is my first post for this feature, please let me know what you think about its structure/topics be commenting below. I am more than willing to modify it in the coming months!

Do you enjoy the Fake Relationship Trope? Any recommendations?

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact