I finished reading a book recently and after thinking a lot about what to rate it I realized that quite a bit of what I didn't like was the romance. Your first thought is probably 'oh the dreaded love triangle!' and I'm not gonna lie, there kind of was one, but that wasn't actually the reason as to why I didn't like it so much. It was because every single time one of the guys, smiled/did googly eyes/complimented her/so much as brushed her arm, she would go all simpering, weak knees, and pathetic. It put me off so much! I'm positive that if that had been taken out, my rating would have been like a whole star higher (on Goodreads, I don't do ratings here in case you hadn't noticed ;))
Not two days later I picked up an anthology because it had a short story from one of my favorite authors. It was a total fluff romance and it was only a few pages long, but there was more chemistry/spark between this couple than there ever was in the whole 400+ pages of the other book and I'm just left wondering, How do they do it? How can you manage to get couples to have that spark, that chemistry, that sexual tension, even without the sexy times, in such a short amount of time, but there are other books that can't manage that in 400+ pages?
What makes or breaks a romance? And I guess most of it all just comes down to the writing, but there is still just that something, that connection, between you and the characters and that spark between the characters themselves that just brings it all together to make your heart race, make it ache, and just make you bawl your eyes out whether it's from joy or devastation, but it makes you feel. Because as much as personal preferences come into play, and the authors writing and dialogue, there are plenty of occasions where the romance is just not working out, at all, even though all the elements are technically there.
I haven't even touched upon the overuse of love triangles and the overuse of blushes, and sighs, and heart flutters that after a time you are just sick and tired of it and wondering if the girl just doesn't have a heart condition or something. (I didn't mention guys because I just haven't come across any whose heart flutter quite that much).
I'm just talking about simple chemistry, which turns out isn't always so simple, and I'd like for all authors to know that it's okay not to have romance in your books. Don't feel forced to stick it in there just cause virtually almost every YA book out there has it (half the time to the detriment of the actual plot). All I'm saying is not having romance is perfectly good too.
So what's your take on romance in (insert genre here) books? Why do you think some work and other don't?
*In Part II I'll be taking about 'traditional' romance, the dreaded insta-love, and insta-friendship.*