Question: Are authors getting lazy in their portrayal of love? Let me ask it another way... how many times have you read this in a review/blurb recently?
"In the midst of it all (heroine) must decide who she can trust: sweet and loyal (good boy) or mysterious bad boy (...bad boy)."
It's gotten to the point where I, as a reader, will put down a book if I see that on the back cover.
There are dozens of reasons why love triangles can work, and I think that's because there are dozens of reasons to fall in love with someone. Why did your hero fall in love with your heroine? Let's look at a couple options:
The Timing Was Strangely Right: He had a fight with his parents, she was the rebel girl smoking at the park. He broke up with a girlfriend, she was the sweet waitress who gave him free coffee. He moved to a new city, she was the girl who was always welcoming to the new kids.
Mystery: She does something odd, without any immediate reason. Curiosity is a common precursor to romantic interest, didn't you know? :)
Instant Attraction: Another old standby, but a believable one. The problem is that most immediate instant attractions are physical, and a lot of literature describes it as an immediate mental/spiritual connection.
Old Friends Meet Again: This one is pretty fun, but it works best when there's been a significant amount of time in between the meetings.
Strange First Meeting: Because, face it, we like people who stand out. And when you meet someone for the first time in a game of spin-the-bottle, you'll treat them differently than if you met them at a sporting event.
What about characters who SHOULD fall in love, but for some reason don't?
The Timing Was Horribly Wrong: He just got engaged. She just met a boy she thinks will be her forever prince. She has a career. He just got fired. He just made a breakthrough in independence after his last break-up. She just found out her little sister is coming home from boarding school.
No Mystery: You know exactly where the relationship would go from the beginning.
No Attraction: This can be battled through, I think, but who wants to try and fall in love with someone they're not attracted to?
Old Friends Meet Again: ... and can't stand each other. Too many bad memories. Or maybe the friendship is too important to risk.
Bad First Meeting: She's his new, aggressive, uncaring boss. He's the officer that arrested her brother.
So... how about some mix and match? Or take the above reasons to love/not to love and play around with them, break them, contradict them. Have fun! :)
What are some old romantic standbys you're getting sick of? What books have you read recently that shed new light on the love triangle?