Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Least Favorite Slow-Burn & Insta-Love Romances

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jamie @ The Broke and the Bookish.

In honor of Valentine’s Day this week’s theme is all about those romance tropes and types! Since I’m not the biggest fan of all YA romances I thought I would share with you guys my favorite slow burn romances in YA along with my most hated insta-love romances as well!

****There will be spoilers for romances in this list, however, many of them are already implied in their book’s descriptions. You have been forewarned though!****

I will link up my reviews for each of these books to the titles, if you’re interested in reading more of why I loved or hated the book! (Although I would say just skip over Shadow & Bone because it was one of my first reviews, so yikes!)

Also I’d love to hear your thoughts on these as well but please remember to be polite with others’ opinions, if you liked a romance I or another did not that’s fine! If you hated one that I or another person loved, that’s fine too! We all have different tastes! So let’s all get along and enjoy chatting books!

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Least Favorite Insta-Love Romances

5.) Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Alina + The Darkling

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Okay so not only do we have a love triangle in this book but we also have an awful case of insta-love because Alina is instantly attracted to The Darkling even though she “loves” Mal. Sorry honey but if that was the case you wouldn’t have fucked all the shit up in this book.

4.) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena + Chaol + Dorian

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Once again we have an insta-love triangle! Booooooo! Celaena is instantly head over heels for BOTH of these guys and is constantly thinking about them throughout the duration of the book….instead of ya know….KILLING PEOPLE!

3.) Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Anne + Edward

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Yep Anne falls instantly in love with Edward even though he is a huge asshole to here right away. That doesn’t even make sense! And don’t even get me going on this book…it was all around awful.

2.) The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Vika + Nikolai + Pasha

Image result for the crown's game

Insta-Love? Check. Another love triangle? Check. This is probably one of the worst cases of insta-love I’ve seen because the minute both boys see Vika they are smitten to the point where they can’t stop thinking about her and they didn’t even TALK to her!

1.) Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Violet + River

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River shows up to rent Violet’s guest house and BOOM destined to be together, forever. Hell, she goes as far as sleeping with him on the couch the same day she meets him! (and I do mean sleeping, not “sleeping”)

Favorite Slow-Burn Romances

5.) My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Jane + Gifford (“G”)

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These two are forced together by an arranged marriage but are not instantly attracted to reach other, Jane actually strongly dislikes Gifford at first based off of things she’s heard about him. However, after going through the adventures in this book they become closer and realize their true feelings. I really do love a slow burn romance, I find it far more rewarding!

4.) The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Zahra + Aladdin

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The title really says it all here, Jinn and humans are forbidden to fall in love because of the resulting “forbidden wish” so we get a very slow burn romance since Zahra knows the consequences of loving Aladdin even as she slowly falls for him.

3.) The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Kestrel + Aren

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Another case of “forbidden love” (maybe that’s my favorite trope…) where the caste system keeps them apart although Kestrel does not have feelings of love for Aren early on she slowly develops them as the major events of the plot unfold.

2.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Nemesis + Tyrus

Image result for the diabolic

This romance was a HUGE surprise to me since I wasn’t expecting romance at all and I (also surprisingly) loved it! These two are stabby and clever and meant to be together! (that rhymes!) The reason this is a slow-burn romance is because there’s an actual plot and they use each other at first to further their own agendas.

1.) And I Darken by Kiersten White

Lada + Mehmed

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While there is a love triangle in this book it’s very nontraditional and unique which is why it does not annoy me in the least bit, thought I’d mention that first! Lada is cruel, violent, clever, and far from beautiful so romance is the last thing on her mind but she ends up falling for Mehmed and vice versa. I shipped these to SO MUCH!

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Do you agree or disagree with any of my choices?

What are some of your most hated or loved romance tropes?

How about your favorite book romance or couple?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to link up your TTT as well!

The Sassy


27 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Least Favorite Slow-Burn & Insta-Love Romances

  1. I totally agree on the romance in My Lady Jane. I should have put that on my list under slow burn! I love it when authors can make the arranged marriage trope work, because that’s a romance trope I feel like I shouldn’t like, and yet some of my favorite fictional couples had arranged marriages.

    Great list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great picks for this week Heather, and I loved how you featured some romances you enjoyed and some you didn’t. I was not a fan of the relationship in The Crown’s Game at all. Instalove and love triangles can be two of my least favourite romance tropes if they’re not written well and I really didn’t think they were written well in The Crown’s Game . On the other hand I loved the relationship between Jane and Gifford in My Lady Jane and Kestrel and Arin in The Winner’s Trilogy, both were really well developed without taking anything away from the individual character development or the plot! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Beth, I’m never big on romances unless they’re really well done so I wanted to show both sides to it with this post!
      I agree both those tropes are my least favorite as well, usually once those appear I know I won’t like the book but continue to read anyways.
      And yaaassssss, I love when there’s actually a plot outside of the romance. You can have a well done romance that’s a strong plot point and still have other stuff going on, sometimes I feel authors don’t get that! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s all right, I’m normally a fan of romances but there have been a few exceptions where, because they haven’t been written well, I really haven’t ended up enjoying them at all.
        Have you come across any exceptions then for either of those tropes, despite the fact I don’t enjoy them there have been a couple of books where I’ve really enjoyed the love triangle/insta-love aspect.
        Plot outside of romance is probably the most important thing there needs to be, same with individual character development actually. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t think of any instanced where I enjoyed insta love in a book, maybe if it’s an instant attraction and not straight up love. But the one book/series where I thought the love triangle worked was Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • There have been a few books with love triangles I think have worked. I should probably change my stance on the whole ‘all love triangles are terrible thing’. It’s harder with insta-love but there are still a few cases where I haven’t minded it as much. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Man I really love the slow burn romances, and they are a lot more realistic than the whole ‘love at first sight’. I agree with ToG, I didn’t like their love triangle. I think that’s why I prefer Aelin and Rowan’s relationship more, because they absolutely despised each other to begin with. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 100% agree with you! I was expecting an actual battle of Magic not just a bunch of little parlor tricks, it was definitely underwhelming. That and the romance took center stage over everything.
      I am curious to see what is going to happen with them but I think I’ll just read a spoiler review since I can’t stand the idea of wasting time reading the sequel! 😊


  4. Love your post! I need to read My Lasy Jane and And I Darken! Though haha, two of your hated insta-loves, I put on my top ten lists of favorite ships. I shipped Celaena and Chaol hard. But less so in the first book, where I agree Celaena was pretty unbearable and unbelievable. I like her and Chaol a lot more in Crown of Midnight. Have you read it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!
      My Lady Jane and And I Darken are both amazing books with actual plots outside of their romances as well!
      I haven’t read any books past Throne of Glass although I do hear it gets better. I am wanting to continue with it but it’s not a top priority for me at the moment. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooo actual plots are good too! So excited to read both is these.
        And yeah, I wouldn’t push Throne of Glass too hard. It does get a lot better but then I personally think it gets worse again in the fifth book 😕

        Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed those ones! I did absolutely love the character of The Darkling I got annoyed a lot with Alina’s character in general so that’s probably a big part of why their romance didn’t work for me.
      I loved how there was a unique twist on the love triangle in And I Darken, definitely not the usual there!
      I adored The Diabolic, really hope you enjoy that one!
      Thanks for linking your TTT I’ll check it out! 🙂


    • Glad you still ended up enjoying The Crown’s Game despite the insta-love! The romance tropes were too much for me so I didn’t end up enjoying it at all.
      Thanks for linking your TTT, I’ll check it out!


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