Lately, I’ve been thinking about romance tropes, in particular the hate to love you or refuse to let myself love you ones, pondering why I like them so much.
In fact, I wrote Siren’s Wave to satisfy my, possibly, not quite sane need to read about a guy who would rather break than accept his feelings.
Which is funny, because let’s face facts, in real life who would want to be the heroine in such a tale? Imagine the pain of pining for a cold-hearted, confused boy who’s stumbling around saying and doing stupid things, fighting how he feels tooth and nail. I don’t imagine it would be much fun to be the girl who tames him. At least not until the happy-ever-after part happens.
I grew up in a rough area of Melbourne, surrounded by bad-boy alpha types who were often just a night’s revelry away from their next stint in jail. And then there were the rockers I worked with in the music industry–super confident, entitled, and always looking for their next conquests. It was such a joy to see these hard hearts melt in the hands of the right girl. Wait a second … I think it is pretty clear how my tastes in romance tropes were formed.
So, although the reality of loving an unwilling doofus is unappealing, I think I get so much pleasure in enemies-to-lovers reads because nothing beats love triumphing yet again over the cynical hearts of these boys who are all–feelings? what the hell are they? It’s so good!
I need to feed my addiction folks, so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way–comments–my email–or you could even try to telepathically communicate them if you’re shy … who knows, I might just receive your signal!
I’ll post a list of my favourite books starring such troubled and feckless lads down the track, but in the meantime, here’s a few tales that I’ve recently enjoyed. They don’t necessarily fit into the hate-to-love trope … they’re just great reads.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman is an absolute treat for those who have a penchant for Shakespeare or who just love engaging, clever story telling and characters that you’ll root for all the way. The other books in the series are total delights, too. My fave is the second book. Which is yours? Click on the cover to read the blurb.
Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince is a gorgeous read and, although it’s more a fantasy than a romance, Prince Cardan (yes please!) and Jude certainly look like they could be shaping up to be a perfect example of the hate-to-love-you relationship that I enjoy so much. Yippee! This book is beautifully written, and every scene featuring the above-mentioned duo sparkles with a thrillingly perfect tension. It’s for young adults and up. I can’t wait for book two. Click on the cover to read more. Does it sound like your kind of thing?
So in Loretta Chase’s A Duke in Shining Armor it is rollicking fun to see the protagonists, forced into close and often hilarious proximity, grow to like each other. Ripley and Olympia are wonderful examples of people who are confused by and fighting their feelings. Hence why I’ve had extreme trouble putting this book down.
I’m three quarters of the way through it and have spent most of the time brimming with the warm fuzzies that I’ve come to associate with a top-notch ‘Loretta Chase ride’. It’s like the Magnum ice cream of books. So much yumminess–the humour, the dialogue, and the requisite rakehell falling for a smart girl in spectacles. I’ll be praying that book two in the series is about Ashmont. He’s a guy I’d love to see fall at the feet of a girl. Painfully. His story could be awesome.
Now, where was I? Oh yes … frustrated Ripley is clodding about in a wheelchair, Olympia thinks all chance of happiness has passed her by, and Ashmont is being a wonderfully clueless dis-Grace.
Until next time X