Welcome to our Tea Party! What better way to celebrate a month of love than talking about it? Grab a cup of tea (or drink of choice) and join us!
1.Are there any romantic sub-genres you can’t stay away from?
I like romance more if it is the subgenre, honestly. Sometimes just straight romance is too much for me in big doses. I like it when there’s a big other part of the story to enjoy that brings the lovers together. Lately though, I’ve been enjoying Chinese wuxia or xianxia novels and shows. I’ve only watched two, but I read an (unofficial) translation and am going to start reading another one soon.
I’m a bit of a sucker for fantasy romance. Like, of course people will fall in love if one of them can perform literal magic. Show me love birds riding into the sunset on a unicorn. Or a dragon. I’ve also been getting into contemporary fiction romance lately. I think I read 3 YA romance novels in 3 days, and they were all realistic fiction-leaning (though I think I only got SUPER invested in, like, one ship). Also, I guess I’m kinda writing at least one romance that’s more contemporary fiction.
Fantasy for sure! Romance and swords? Life or death stakes? Magical creatures? Sign me up! Sci-fi is also pretty up there for me, and I love contemporary—especially on the days when I might not have enough brain juice to absorb all the cool worldbuilding in a fantasy or sci-fi romance. If fantasy and sci-fi are like, “I know a place,” contemporary is like, “You know this place,” if that makes sense.
2. What are your favorite romance tropes? What about least favorite?
Top tier tropes are like, childhood friends to lovers and mutual pining. Give me longing and give me the angst of “I’m content to just be by their side.” I don’t like overly dramatic romances, so the warm fuzzy feelings that come with being comfortable and realizing slowly you’ve been in love with each other the whole time are my favorite kind of romance things to read.
a. I’m not a big fan of miscommunication as a plot device. Like it happens, and it can be done well for sure. Once or twice in a story is fine, but your relationship canNOT thrive if you can’t communicate, fam. I also would just really like for the happy couple to get together and STAY happy for a while, LIke WHY would you break up the established couple that’s been in love for so many years? Let them set an example! Let them be in love and face a crisis together!
Don’t even mention enemies-to-lovers or I’m clearing my entire day to read it. I also love friends-to-lovers/ the-one-I-never-knew-I-needed. Especially books that also seem more representative of me (POC and LGBTQ books with these tropes>everything). I also love fairytale retellings, but I’m a little more wary of retellings these days. Same with love triangles, and no girl likes guy but another guy also likes girl but she doesn’t like him is not a triangle. Also they can’t be in a triangle if someone is already in a relationship. That just means someone is cheating or really dancing the line. Basically, I love a good triangle, but I will grade any triangle with a literal rubric.
Okay, this list fluctuates so much, but today I’m gonna say that my favorites are enemies to lovers, friends to enemies to lovers, and they were roommates, there’s only one bed (Even when someone takes the couch/floor, it’s still good!), and second chance romances (specifically in isekai fantasy stories and/or involving time travel).
3. Do you have favorite ship dynamics? What about least favorite?
Same with the tropes, I like best friends that are also lovers. I also like best friends that are also rivals that are also lovers. So you know.
- Also idiots in love! Like they’re so stupid maybe they don’t even realize they’re dating but they 100% are. They’re stupid on their own but they get worse when they’re together. I eat that up. I do also enjoy a flirty character vs a no-nonsense love interest, or even two characters that are very flirty with each other. Like I just like the flirty characters and anything that is involved with them, but seeing them off their game? We love to see it.
- I’m not a fan of characters you can’t tell are in love or that you’re just supposed to believe are in love without anybody ever showing it. I also don’t like couples who fight all the time
My favorite is also very close to being my least favorite ship dynamic. Hear me out: protective one. YES. But also please not in a creepy you-can’t-do-anything-so-I-must-be condescending-while-saving-you way. Guy protects girl out of love? Absolutely here for it. Girl can’t function properly without guy, or guy talks to her like a literal child. Girl, run. Also, girl protects guy? Yes, love it. Girl tries to be like “oh I have to be with him to protect him from himself/his urges” (I literally screamed at a book over this yesterday)? You aren’t his love interest, hun, you’re his mom. But also the grumpy one and soft one is top tier. And that one is harder to mess up. If that dynamic is in the tags, you’d better bet I’m adding it to my TBR list.
I talked about battle couples during a previous Tea Party, and I think that one is still super high on my list. The characters don’t even need to be a “battle couple” in the sense that they physically fight people. I just love when characters have each other’s backs. That mutual trust and acknowledgement of each other’s skills? Inject it into my veins! I also never shut up about grumpy/sunshine.
4. Any romances you want to recommend?
Jane Austen’’s Persuasion has possibly the best version of second chance at love and love confession I’ve ever seen in any media ever. It is for some reason not one of her most famous novels, but it’s still a classic and my favorite Austen’s novel!
a. I’ve also really been enjoying the relationship in 9-1-1: Lone Star between Judd and Grace! I love to see a healthy marriage on tv and they’re doing a great job, they’re so cute. Bonus points for being a mixed-race couple. And ever since I was a kid, Boy Meets World’s Cory and Topanga has been #goals
So Pineapple is writing an amazing romance, and Apple will soon be releasing new episodes to her amazing romance. Obviously, those are the best romances you’ll find out there. I also recently read Tokyo Ever After (like today) and I have THOUGHTS. I enjoyed it overall and would love talking about it. Also, please send me recs to your favorite romances. I need to read a lot of romance.
Raspberry and Pineapple are both posting romances right now, and I am thriving! Tied to You is packed with fluffy moments and good vibes, but there are also these heartbreaking moments in it that hit you right in the feels. How Journeys End has just started, and I’m already in love with the dynamic between Siana and Camellia. The princess has been pretty sheltered when it comes to what’s happening in her kingdom, so the way that Camellia doesn’t hesitate to tell things like they are is A+! And speaking of ship dynamics, Cat and the Cryptid Summer isn’t a romance, but Ms. Peregrine and Gran definitely have battle couple energy!