Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Romantic suspense and the second chance romance trope

As you may know, I read a lot of romantic suspense. I love the blend of suspense and romance, where there's plenty of danger and action, and there's romance and sexy times as well. Some of my favorite romantic suspense authors include Jayne Ann Krentz, Julie Rowe and Dana Marton.

But you know what bugs the living heck out of me? The second chance romance trope in romantic suspense.

Why do most romantic suspense stories fall back on the second chance romance trope? And why am I grumbling you ask?

Promise Not To Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz  Viable Threat by Julie Rowe  Silent Threat by Dana Marton

Because I do not like the second chance romance trope. It annoys the living daylights out of me most of the time. Particularly when it's not done well. And I feel like every other romantic suspense seems to use this trope.

Of course, now you're going to ask why I don't like it. Well, it's the negativity of it all. Sometimes, it's done well and the negativity or the reason the couple split up in the first place doesn't lead to a whole bunch of fighting, yelling and recriminations. But most of the time, it's not. And there are grudges, and reluctant attraction, and guilt. And the couple throwing their past into each others' faces, because hurt people, hurt people. So whenever I see a romantic suspense book with a second chance romance, I inwardly wince a bit and brace myself. I don't think that's a good way to approach a book.

Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare  The Edge of Courage by Elaine Levine  Healing Danger by Maddie Wade

That's why I like Jayne Ann Krentz and Dana Marton. Fantastic romantic suspense with no second chance romance trope. Pamela Clare, Julie Rowe, Elaine Levine and Maddie Wade are excellent too, though Ms Levine did have a second chance romance in one of her Red Team books but it was very well written that I managed to overlook the trope, as did Dana Marton ... so there are exceptions to my grumbling. And there are authors I will read no matter what the trope is.

Honor Unraveled by Elaine Levine  Forced Disappearance by Dana Marton

I had asked in the past, a bit more broadly why the frequency of the second chance romance trope in romantic suspense and one person / author said it's because there's so much going on and world building required for the suspense plot that having a second chance romance means the author can spend less time developing the relationship between the couple and focus more on the plot. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about that explanation. It seems like a bit of a cop out to me because there are a lot of authors who write romantic suspense without the second chance romance trope and do it very well.

Collision Point by Lora Leigh  Calculated Collision by C A Szarek

I'm certain this will have a lot of people up in arms because the second chance romance trope is a favorite of many. So if you're a fan of the trope, this is just one person's opinion. Mine. I want my romantic suspense without a second chance romance. And the reason I'm on this little rant is because I saw a new book by Lora Leigh that I thought sounded good. Romantic suspense, yay! Second chance romance, ugh! So I'm having debates with myself about whether I want to take a chance on it or not because I know Lora Leigh is a good writer. Maybe she'll do the trope justice and it won't be too negative? Same goes for a new-to-me author, C A Szarek. Do I take a chance or don't I?

So tell me, what about you? Do you like the second chance romance trope? And do you like romantic suspense? How do you feel about the two combined?

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  1. Hi Deanna

    I am happy with any of the troupes as long as it is written well and I can connect with the characters in the story, I too love romantic suspense but I read across all of the sub-genres and find that troupe in a lot of the books that I read, I don't think there is a troupe that I do not like :)

    Have Fun

    1. True Helen but you also tend to love most of the books you read. I'm a little fussier.

  2. I don't mind second chance. I really don't like babies though. Well, not in romances! Lol.

    1. I'm okay with babies but I really like pregnancies. I don't even know why because I don't have any children and don't want any in real life, but I love reading when a heroine gets pregnant.

  3. I completely understand why you don't like it but I like it when it's done well. Sometimes it's just not done well and there are real good reasons they broke up in the first place and shouldn't be getting back together.

    1. My problem is that more often than not, it's not done well. I think a good second chance romance is very hard to pull off. The reason they break up in the first place being critically important.