6 romance tropes we love to hate in fantasy fiction

Ah, love. It’s a many layered and complicated thing. It’s what makes us burn. It’s what makes us sing. It’s what makes us cry and what sweeping fantasy is completely without at least a little of it? But love can quickly become trite and tiresome and bland.

Sarah J. Mass is one of my favourite authors and while she may sometimes venture into fantasy romance trope territory, she does it with style and flair. Crescent City was a 5/5 for me–if you love romance in your fantasy, then you will love this.
  1. Immortal men and bland teenage girls

So let me get this straight, you brooding, handsome, brilliant, fabulously wealthy and decidedly old guy–you’ve been around the block, give or take a few hundred years, you’ve loved, you’ve lost, you’ve probably had your heart broken and fucked more than your fair share of vixens, but the gawky 17-year-old in plaid whose entire ‘personality’ revolves around her being kind of clumsy is your eternal soul mate and source of your unquenched passion? Okay then. Sounds about right.

2. The guy who won’t take no for an answer

Conversely, there is nothing more irritating than the best friend who thinks he deserves to be noticed by the fearless, fabulous female in his life. You know what, guy? You’re a loser. You’re not that great. And you’re out of your league. Maybe change your shirt, comb your hair or take a yoga class or something. And stop being a loser. No woman owes you anything for your presence.

3. He’s absolutely perfect

What’s more annoying than the perfect man? Well, that’s impossible to answer because he doesn’t actually exist. Anywhere. Ever. While it might be nice to find a guy who is: drop dead gorgeous (in a rugged way), insanely rich (and loves to buy you stuff), a feminist (but still want to protect you), kind (but tough when he needs to be), smart (but not smarter than you), and loves you more than the stars in the sky, it would also actually be really annoying to be with this guy. Cause he would likely be an arrogant ass and, more importantly, your breath would always be worse than his.

4. They can just never seem to work it out

They love each other. They burn for each other. But man, there’s always some ‘misunderstanding’ that keeps tearing them apart. I mean what would happen if they actually asked the other person about why they said or did something before immediately jumping to conclusions? Maybe, just maybe, that conversation you overhead only the last 15 seconds of was misinterpreted? Maybe you missed some vital information? Maybe instead of storming off and getting into a sword fight, you actually stopped and listened to each other?

5. She just can’t see her beauty

She’s completely and totally conventionally attractive by every standard but she just can’t see it. She was hurt. She was betrayed. She is ugly inside. Thank goodness she has perfect guy from point #3 to take off her glasses and make her see who she really is.

6. Love is only for white people

We all know the random black/brown/Asian guy or gal in the story is just there as a backdrop anyway. I mean this is a story about diversity, amirite? But, we don’t want to get carried away here and imagine that your token ethnic person might, gasp, want a little poke in the ol’ kerfufflefuffle just as much as your white heroes, do we? (Obviously, this speaks to a much larger issue in the world of fantasy fiction and that’s a whole thing.)

7. The Old Girlfriend

He’s been hurt before. And he just can’t let go. (It’s always a him, by the way.) She died in a horrific way that he blames himself for even though he didn’t actually have anything to do with it. Other than love her, of course. Combine that with immortal guy who has been harbouring this flame for a few centuries and nothing is more boring than the man, who just can’t love again. This is what we call a dating red flag: run.

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