Even though the last pet peeve number was entirely made up and pulled out of my ass, I thought I would stick with that numbering system, so for those curious, that's where I got the number.
I hate when characters fall in love too quickly in a romance. I mean I understand if the storyline has to happen on a time crunch, but if they've just met there better be some really good reasons they are falling in love so fast. You can fall in lust or infatuation pretty quickly but not love, because I've been in love and am currently in love. What you feel at the beginning is so shallow compared to what comes later.
I understand it's fiction and “fantasy,” but to me a part of why romance so often cannot rise above being “just romance” to being a good story for its own sake, is the high unreality of characters who fall in love too quickly.
In my opinion, Romeo and Juliet is the worst play Shakespeare ever wrote. I would never badmouth a living author on my blog because well, that could be bad for my future success, but Shakespeare is gone so I'll say it. These kids knew each other like three days. That's not enough for real love to grow. Killing yourself after knowing someone for three days isn't love, it's a sign that you need a padded cell and a lithium drip.
I want the characters to have something deeper. I also think it's okay in a romance for the characters not to love each other eternally by the end of the novel. As long as they are starting their HEA, it's cool with me. I'd rather have that than: “Oh, Eric, I love you, I love you. I cannot live without you.” When the heroine only met him less than a week ago. Give me a break. That's not real. I'm quite sure at that level of attachment she can live without him.
In the paranormal romance I'm editing right now, I have this problem. I do have a bit of a time crunch going on, and yes a crisis situation can bring people together. Constant togetherness can bring people together, but I needed to add another scene to help bond the characters to make their love more believable when it happens.
So from this, I guess you know I don't believe in love at first sight. I believe in lust at first sight. Pheromones and chemistry are lovely things. Raw lust is heady and exciting. But actual love is something that grows over time. It's deeper than that and I don't like when it's too cheaply bought. It just takes me out of the story.