The Weekly Bitch {3} Love Squared ~ Dreaded Plot Devices

[box type=”warning”] The Weekly Bitch is a place where Lethal, AH and myself can unload our book reading gripes. Maybe you’ll find you agree with some, and others you won’t. Maybe you keep coming back every week just to see what we have to say, or maybe you won’t. One thing is for sure, we won’t censure, but we won’t be mean. Be prepared for swearing, ranting, bitching and moaning. Badass Style.

[/box]

This week we are bitching about love issues. Love Triangles, Love Squares, Cheating and any other love type issues that creep up in novels.

AH:

I never really thought long and hard about love triangles in the books I’ve read. For the most part, they didn’t really bother me. If someone wanted to string along another person, OK, I hope it works for them. Lately though, I’ve been seeing love triangles, squares, pentagons, and other shapes appear and I can’t help but think that maybe it’s just a cop-out on the part of the author. Can’t decide on the love interest for your main character? Add a secondary love interest. Make them compete for the heart of the girl. Maybe it’s me, but I notice these love triangles a lot in the YA books, but they appear in all the the genres.

What constitutes a love triangle or other love geometric shape? Usually we have a heroine who is unable to make up her mind between the bad boy and the boy who is head over heels in love with her. I’ve also seen love triangles where the man has to choose between his current love and a past lover. What I find objectionable is the stringing along of the other party while the main character “test drives” her love interest. Maybe it’s my own personal beliefs showing up. It’s just not fair to the other party.

Is there a difference between a love triangle and dating?
************************************************
Erika:
  • I hate love issues. Hate them. I much prefer clear{ish} cut lines about who the love interest will be. I don’t mind the “will they are won’t they” tension like the case with Curran and Kate, or Mercy and Adam, but I take issue with a heroine who seems to have suitors out her hoo-ha.
  • As for is there a difference between triangles and dating, for me the difference is sex. I am not a casual sex fan, or at least not just for the sake of having sex– if you will. I have no qualms about real life people making decisions {obviously} but when reading, I just don’t like to see it. Sex is an intimacy I reserve for someone I have feelings for, and like to read as such. {and this is a generalization–as I have been happily married for 9 years) I have no problems with a heroine or hero dating one or two people at a time, as long as they aren’t sleeping with either of them.  I’m old fashioned that way.
  • Ok, now that I got that out of the way, this discussion doesn’t involve books that are geared for that kind of relationship (Menage books, erotica books, etc, etc, etc) With those, I know what I am getting myself into. But with Paranormals, Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy etc, I prefer not to have to deal with love squared.

Alyssa: from Hesperia Loves Books

I hate going through an entire book with indecision, it’s such a wasted subject and I feel like the author could get a much better story line with just focusing on one couple. it’s almost as if they don’t feel confident enough in their story and lead characters.  I don’t need a gimmick to make me like or root for certain characters.  Just show me the chemistry that the leads have.

*****************************************************************************

We are going to site specific examples of love triangles and issue that bothered us, and if you hate spoilers or are a fanatic in your choosing of which side of the love coin you are on, please be respectful when posting…please. 🙂

Erika:
  • The latest for me is Secret McQueen from Sierra Dean. I like the world, I like Secret, but I don’t like that half way into the book, she is soul-bonded to two wolves, and had an Oracle tell her her love issues were going to get even worse in the future…and I assume that means add a few vampires into the mix because she is a half breed.
~ This reminds me of Riley Jenson by Keri Arthur, and I had issues with that series at first as well. The culture is of casual sex until you find your wolf mate.. and there was a lot of sex.. LOL but after Riley settles down a bit with her vampire lover, things got easier for me to read. In the end, I loved where Keri took us with the wolf mate issue, and half vampire soul.

AH

  • Rose – Dimitri – Adrian – You all know what team you are on. Team Dimitri or Team Adrian. In either case, Rose wasn’t being fair with either of them.
  • Eugenie – Dorian – Kiyo – Here, there really is no reason for a love triangle, but strangely enough, there is one.

Erika:

  1. I really hated Kiyo. I liked him at first, but then…um not so much. Of course Dorian has his own set of issues and I think Eugenie should just swear off men. I mean really.
  2. I don’t see where love triangles and issues are really necessary except to avoid more meaningful characterization.  It’s a “fix” for some authors.
  3. Take Merit from Chicagoland Vampires…
  • In the blue corner you’ve got Ethan. {Let’s not get started on his issues LOL}
  • In the red corner you’ve got Morgan {again…with the issues}
  • In the green corner you have potential with Jonas {say what now?}
  • in the purple corner {you’ve got the werewolves on standby in case any of the vamps don’t work out}

Some other examples of Love Triangles in Urban Fantasy:

  • Chess Putnam / Terrible / Lex
  • Mac / Barrons / V’lane
  • Sookie / Eric / Bill
  • Justine / Packard / Otto
  • Miranda / David / Devon
Erika:
  1. Chess/Lex/Terrible  never bothered me. I was uncomfortable reading it, but since there was never any declarations of intent, dating or love, I was OK watching Chess screw up big time and then reap what she sowed. It felt right for the story
  2. Mac/Barrons/V’lane,  no contest you knew she was gonna get with Barrons at some point. Death by Sex Fae? not so much 😛
  3. Sookie/Eric/Bill  I freaking hate Bill and I also hate where Charlaine Harris has taken the series. I no longer read them {Do you see that Ms. Harris?  I don’t care anymore, you’ve ruined Sookie for me. I wanted her with either Eric or Quinn!}
  4. Justine/Packard/Otto  This is such a twisty series!!!  I actually like how Carolyn Crane went about her Love Triangle.
  5. Miranda/David/Devon  HELL FUCKING NO. That is pretty obvious how I feel right? lol
  6. Don’t even get me started on the trash that is being written in the Anita Blake world. I can’t even stomach that garbage anymore.
The last we could discuss is Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich.  Ranger or Morelli?
Here is what I had to say on Seventeen I don’t even care anymore. Will it be Morelli with the bare feet, round belly and junk food? Or will it be Ranger with the beamer in the bat-cave? I just don’t give a shit. I hope she ends up alone.
*************************************************************

What about you our faithful readers, and lovers of bitch

fests? Do you love or hate love issues?

************************************************************

This video is awesome!

© 2011 – 2013, Badass Book Reviews. All rights reserved.

Comments 4

  • I haven't read some of the ones mentioned but Erika, I'm so with you on Anita, Merit (that last one made me want to smack a bitch, for real), and Sookie – the last two left an awful taste in my mouth. I mean, Eric gets Sookie and Sookie becomes a timid doormat? WTF? And sadly, I'm the kind of sucker who hopes an author will redeem themselves a la Mac/Barrons/V'lane (V'lane was not gonna happen), so I go in for the long haul until I pass the same tree twice then I'm out!

  • Great post, ladies! Lex/Chess/Terrible. I'm reading "Unholy Magic" right now & I HATE it! How can Chess not see how great a guy Terrible is?

    As for Dmitri/Rose/Adrian. *shudder* Possibly the most horrible of the love triangles in YA. I've noticed a pattern with Mead. She <3's creating bs love triangles in her books.

  • For one book maybe but for a series no! Not only no but he'll no. I think we as readers get dragged through the mud so to speak gratuitously.