Romance Novel Characters I Want to Burn at the Stake
My romance novel obsession is a recent development. After a lifetime of thinking myself "too smart" to read "trash," I have fallen hopelessly in love with love and heartbreak and redemption and happily ever after. That said, some characters and tropes just need to die already.
- •The 20-Something Self-Made BillionaireI dare you to name TWO 20-something self-made billionaires. And yet, in the Romance genre, every stranger you accidentally bump into as you stumble out of the coffee shop is not only a 20-something self-made billionaire, but also happens to be 6'2, totally ripped, and not at all concerned about coffee stains on his bespoke Saville Row suit. Le sigh.
- •The Bad Boy Who Finds True LoveSure, he's a manwhore who bangs supermodels by the dozen when he isn't in the octagon defeating all takers in the underground MMA fight club over which he reigns supreme, but that doesn't mean that he won't fall head over heels with that mousy literature blogger who would NEVER have been caught dead at that bar except that her slutty roommate promised they'd only stay for "one drink and then leave," before abandoning her for Chad from accounting.
- •The Mousy Girl Who is Actually Quite Hot and Falls in Love With the REAL HimTypically, this girl is so far up her own ass that she does not recognize the hot guy she just stumbled into at the coffee shop to be the guy who is on the front cover of every magazine on the newsstand. This allows them to fall in love without the pretense of his fame or fortune having any role in her unrivaled devotion to him. She isn't the supermodel he usually bangs; she is so much more. And when you dress her in couture, she makes Angelina look like a school marm.
- •The Virgin (or Nearly So) Who Had No Interest in Sex Until She Met HimIf she had any prior sexual encounters, it was with her asshole ex from high school or college who lied, was only in it for himself, and dumped her as soon as he got what he wanted. But one gentle kiss -- the barest brush of his lips at the corner of hers -- and the force awakens, as it were. (Naturally, this encounter with a sexually timid virgin or quasi-virgin cures any interest he ever had in banging supermodels by the dozen.)
- •The Reformed Cocky DouchebagThis guy is a complete douche. Screw over friends, family, and colleagues in pursuit of a buck? No problem. Treat all womenkind as either depositories for excretions or someone who should shut up and get his coffee already. What else are they good for? Until he meets *her*. She, naturally sees something redeemable in the douchebag and falls completely in love with him. He doesn't actually behave with any humanity until after they get it on and well after she's fallen in love.
- •The Poorly ResearchedFrom actual offender's novels: in NYC, you will not be picked up by the same cabbie every morning unless he is a stalker. After the second time, you will call a car service or take the subway. Also, impregnation does not occur by thrusting a penis into a woman's CERVIX: The pain! Our species would die out. And a 24-year old, no matter how hard she works or how many grades she skipped, will not be the General Counsel of a Fortune 100 or a hotshot orthopedic surgeon. Just no.
- •The Identical Twin Stepbrother Alien Were-Coyote Billionaire Vampire Hunter Highlander LairdsEach subcategory on its own are groan-worthy, but put them all together and I cannot fathom how anyone can read them seriously. If they were meant to be funny, then I'm with them. But they aren't. It scares me.