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Valentine’s Mini Book Blogging Challenge: Day 3 – The CHEESIEST Romance

Parajunkee_Valentines_Challenge

For Day 3 of the Valentine’s Mini Challenge hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee’s View we’ve been tasked with choosing the cheesiest romance scenes or topics we’ve read about in a book.

And once again I’m beating my head against my desk as I don’t really read romance novels, the kind that I find contain all sorts of cheese. I also realize that my criticism could very well be insulting and I am not about to judge someone for what makes their heart go pitter-patter. One girl’s cheese could be another girl’s chocolate-y goodness.

But I am OLD and I have read many, many books and I may have run into one or two cheesy scenes, lines, encounters over the years….

And I’ll get to those in a moment. But first, here are the challenge deets in case you want to sign on for the torture fun.

The Challenge

Day 1 – Let us have it. Your Book Boyfriend List.  (And I mean all of them!)

Day 2 – The HOTTEST scene you have ever read in a book.

Day 3 – The CHEESIEST ROMANCE scenes or topics you have read in a book.

Day 4 – Love-triangles. The ones that worked for you, The ones that didn’t.

Day 5 – Most romantic books you’ve ever read.

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The Cheesiest Romance

In general I find hearts-and-flowers romance somewhat cheesy to read about. Without all the angst, I tend to find professions of undying love, a willingness to “be there” for one another “always” a bit too sugary. Wow, that sounds terrible of me….

But maybe it’s that I can’t get into the fantasy of the romance without some kind of challenge presented as it feels just too unrealistic.

And while I can’t say as I’ve read many, if any, the stories I tend to steer clear of due to their cheesy or potentially skeezy nature are…

Scenario 1

We meet the older, wealthy man. Powerful. Dominant. Arrogant. Women are his playthings. Maybe he’s an executive. Maybe he’s a royal. But he gets what he wants, when he wants it, from whomever he wants it. In walks the young, a.k.a. barely legal, sweet, wholesome, virginal girl who is reluctantly seduced by his charms, wealth and power. The game is cat and mouse until that moment that he breaks her resistance. Yada yada yada. She becomes his undoing and they live happily ever after.

Scenario 2

He’s a cowboy, farmhand, stable boy, ranch foreman. She’s a rancher’s daughter who just got kicked out of her wealthy boarding school and is forced to return home to try and learn how to be “good.” She’s a Daddy’s Girl. She’s a ***ck tease. She wants to stir up trouble. He’s just trying to do his job. He resists. She pursues. A dangerous situation presents itself – a rearing stallion, a hay baler gone awry, a man (employee, townie) who just can’t understand the meaning of “no.” He protects. Lusty encounter ensues. He falls madly in love. She does a complete 180, discards her bratty, trampy persona and becomes the girl who is good enough for him. Daddy approves so they ride off into the sunset toward their HEA.

Scenario 3

She’s an older, wealthy heiress. Beautiful. Untouchable. Virginal-ish. She thought she had love once, but he’d only been interested in her money. After a brief dalliance with her best friend, he left her jilted, broken, alone. Her trust was as broken as her heart so she could never meet those appreciative looks from other men. The years pass. Enter her new, young, strapping manservant. He’s crass. Abrasive. Brazen. Insubordinate. She wants to fire him, but she’d made a promise to his dying mother to keep him in her employ. He walks in on her one day as she’s in a state of undress. There’s fire in his eyes. It awakens something in her. And so the game begins. He renounces all claim to her wealth to prove his love. They marry. They spend their days (and nights) tangled in the bed sheets to make up for all that lost loving. Even at her advanced age (early 40s) she becomes pregnant. (Who knew that could happen?) They are surprised but overjoyed. They are a family.

Okay… sorry… I could go on and on. And on.

But aside from various “moments,” such as when a man on horseback rides up, his skin glistening with sweat, and picks up a girl and rides off into the sunset to have his wanton way with her somewhere along the dusty trail, it’s novels that involve similar scenarios to the three I outlined above that I find to be particularly cheesy.

Okay, okay. If you must have a specific novel whose romance I find cheesy, well, any of the “love” scenes between the gyno and Sandy in Judy Blume’s Wifey are ones that just ooze cheese. If I recall, didn’t he call her his wolfie or something equally as creeptacular?

Other eye-rolling elements that I find have the cheese factor are…

The too eager to please male/female character. (Desperation has a stink about it. Much like cheese.)

The overly “randy” dude. (If he wants it that often, that badly, maybe he needs to see a doc.)

The wide-eyed innocent. (Sex is not a four letter word.)

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Phew. I am so glad that’s over with and that tomorrow’s post is about love triangles. Because I love, love, love those triangles.

I am a sucker for the bad boy in romance. I’m sure to many that dynamic (bad boy/good girl) has the eau de fromage. For me, it’s the sappy happy, the way too unlikely pairings, and lovin’ in the stables or in ye olden days. (I am just too distracted by the realities of horsey scents or almost-never-washed bodies for me to enjoy the latter two.)

Mr. Perfect is always too perfect.  And I always wanted Prince Charming to grow a pair… or at least lust after a few girls that throw themselves in his way in his quest to find his true love. Smitten was never a good look for him, IMO.

But that’s just me… and probably only me.

What about you?

What do you consider a big block o’smelly cheese in romance? What novels do you roll your eyes at because the romance just stinks?

Is it an instant and immediate profession of undying love that makes you wrinkle your nose? Is it a scenario of eyes meeting across a crowded room that turns you off? Or is it one where the girl realizes, after dating loser after loser, that her best friend, the boy next door, is and always has been the love of her life?

Leave a comment or share your post links. I’d love to know!

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