I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal romance/urban fantasy series lately. I admit, I tend to prefer the PR side of things as I like the romance to be the driving force behind the plot, but some series straddle the line between the two.
For example, I’ve just caught up with Jeaniene Frost’s amazing Night Huntress series (only one book to go!) I think a lot of people class it as a UF series, but Cat and Bones’ romance is definitely the main feature of every book. It’s sexy, sweet, soul-wrenching and so, so good. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. But on the UF side, the action and worldbuilding is truly spectacular, and the books are fast-paced and exciting.
One reason why I loved this series so much is that it has all the highlights of UF, with none of what I perceive as flaws: when a love triangle between the heroine and hero(es) is introduced.
Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I am immediately turned off by a hint of a love triangle. I don’t know whether it’s a loyalty thing, but I can’t completely love a series if I’m torn by the heroine’s indecision about which guy to go with. I like to invest in a couple and if a heroine is undecided, I can’t invest or enjoy the story fully.
A great example of this – so I hear, as I haven’t read it – is Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. From all I’ve heard, it sounds as if this is a kickass series full of action, excitement and paranormal goodness – and a love triangle. Immediately I’m put off. Which is a shame, but I know myself well enough to know that I’ll be jaw-grittingly irritated by the fifth book where my favourite guy is being made a fool when the heroine kisses the other guy. Not cool.
Perhaps it was the Stephanie Plum series that started my dislike of this trope (if you can call it a trope). We all know good ol’ Stephanie is never going to decide between Joe Morelli or Ranger, which for me is the ultimate payoff. Pick a side!
What about you? Do you like love triangles or do they make your fists clench?