Tea and Biscuits: Love Triangles–Love or Hate?

The past week I have stumbled upon a couple of love triangle themed romances and I realized that this is a touchy subject for many especially if you like and read romance as much as I do or even on occasion. I am one of those readers that believe that any trope can be likable and written right if the author knows what they are doing and most especially not trying to cater to a certain “audience”. I know in YA–Love Triangles are used very frequently, and the way they are used is probably one of the main reasons why I don’t go near YA very often, in fact its rare for me to even be tempted by the genre. The closest I come to it is NA. Now I believe there are two types of love triangles. We have the most commonly used love triangle in general—which is where we have a character that is in love with two others and must choose and I have noticed this is pretty straining to read. In fact, I stay clear of this type of love triangle, it just is not what I like at all so I have learned to stay clear from it most of the time. Especially since adult romance doesn’t really go this way when writing love triangles. There is a another type of love triangle, that is popular in romance and one I don’t mind at all. It’s most commonly used in historical romance, although I have seen it ocassionally in Paranormal and Fantasy and rarely in Contemporary. Now this type of love triangle is where we have a conflict of interest. Now normally this only really happens often in Historical romance for a reason. It normally is where there is an “arranged marriage” but our character falls in love with someone else and you see how they overcome certain challenges that crop up due to the time period and culture. If you haven’t read Historical Romance, then it might be hard to understand this concept and since I don’t read YA, I am not sure if this type of triangle even happens, unless it’s a Historical YA perhaps? But in adult Historical’s this happens frequently and I really don’t mind it. Of course, there are other variations to this love triangle.

I would like to share some of my favorite books where we see this theme crop up in romance. For example one of my more recent reads “A Perfect Gentleman” we have our hero, who falls in love in his early twenties. But due to financial and social reasons, he is forced to marry someone else. Years later, he and his wife reconciled and have some interactions with the woman he once thought he loved but it was written so well. What I liked about the way Candace Camp wrote this type of triangle, was that this “other woman” was a friend to our main couple and I liked that she had no hard feelings about the past and just wanted to help them when they needed it and to make a life for herself in the process.  The next one that I really enjoyed reading was from one of my all time favorite authors Lisa Kleypas and yes she wrote a love triangle theme. In Wallflower Christmas where we have our hero Rafe, who is always trying to meet his father’s expectations, who demands that he marry a stranger, but her companion Hannah is the woman Rafe really wants to marry. But if he chooses her, everything he has worked for in his life could be lost. So Rafe has to make a difficult choice and I liked seeing him muddle through it. I enjoyed the way this story developed and most especially the romance between Rafe and Hannah. I really have a blast seeing a couple find their HEA when the odds are against them.

Next we have Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath. Our heroine of the story has been writing letters with Dallas Leigh with the intention of being his “mail order bride”. Dallas sends his brother, to transport her to his home. So Amelia and Houston fall in love along the way, I really enjoyed how they end up together and what Dallas does for them in the end. There isn’t a three way love triangle, just more a conflict of interest. What I liked most about this book is seeing the tender relationship that builds between Houston and Amelia. I truly loved these two together, especially for Houston. He is scarred from the war, and always thought he would be alone for the rest of his life and it was truly wonderful to see him find love and as you read the rest of the series you learn to admire this couple through the other books as well and see the growth in their relationship over the years. Now the final book I want to mention is the type of story set up is that is used on occasion but not very often, in fact it is a bit rare but I really enjoyed the way this author wrote this story. Hint of Wicked by Jennifer Haymore. Now I feel like Haymore is such a talented historical romance author, and in fact one of the best when it comes to writing a solid regency romance that I will never get bored of. In this story, we see Sophie our heroine of the story in love with Garrett. But then he goes missing in Waterloo believed to be dead. She is alone, a single mother. She then falls in love with another man Tristan who becomes the new Duke. But then Garrett returns, alive….and yeah that is different isn’t it? And probably a very realistic theme and I wouldn’t be surprised if you have seen this in other genres as well. But I really enjoyed the way this story plays out in the end and Haymore did a good job in writing a very sensitive topic too.

Honorable Mentions:

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Sinful Scottish Laird by Julia London

Night of Fire by Barbara Samuel

Come Love A Stranger by Kathleen Woodiwiss

There are probably many more books I could list here, but I just wanted to touch base and show the few books that I have really enjoyed and that for some you might love or hate the love triangle theme….I like variations to the love triangle set up. Where there is the main romance with certain entanglements along the way. I am not a fan of the equal love between two parties…nope that is not for me, but I do like seeing a main couple find their HEA with this set up.

Questions For My Readers

What about you all? Do you love or hate love triangles?

Do you have a certain variation to this trope you enjoy or even hate with a passion? I would love to know