Handle With Care

handle with care; the romance edition

bookworm things

I can’t believe it’s still a conversation online on what classifies as a romance novel? Like, it’s kind of a given that it is NOT A ROMANCE NOVEL if it doesn’t end with a Happily Ever After. It can be a romantic book, but it is NOT A ROMANCE, thanks. If I’m reading a romance novel, I want that HEA. That’s why I’m reading romance.

handle with care

There are a lot of good tropes in the romance genre. And then there are some that need to burn away in a fire until there’s nothing left. And there are some that fall in between the ‘ohmygod yes please and ‘oh god why, and those are the ones that are hit or miss depending on the writer and the context.

Those are the ones I am going to attempt to write about.

ribbon + book2

  • Power imbalances can be interesting to read about. Boss/employee where the employee has just as much power in their relationship? Sure, it can be GREAT. Teacher/student with a much older teacher and a teenage student? BURN IT. (I am wary of professor/student relationships, because they can be done pretty decently, especially if the age difference is not great and no one is a teenager. But also, they can be manipulative.)
  • Love triangles can be contrived and forced and come out of nowhere. But they can also be organic and geniunely conflicting. Those are the ones I do not mind reading. And sometimes those are the ones I want ending in polyamory because I cannot choose which endgame I actually prefer.
  • The whole enemies to lovers thing is something I adore. However, it has to grow organically, otherwise it’s just dangerous. Enemies to reluctant allies to friends to ‘oh shit i love them’ is the real winner here. All the stories like that, please.

wolves and roses

This is a short list because, well, I like more tropes than I don’t, apparently. (Also, most of the tropes I read, I look for in fanfictions. ALL THE FANFICTIONS, THANK YOU.) But I am constantly looking for more recommendations, so give me some!


I’m Ara, a Southeast Asian writer who someday hopes to have published a novel, and who is currently losing herself in the worlds created by others. I love books and food and television and blogging and I get distracted and sidetracked easily.

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