Seeking book recommendations!
So, I’m in the mood for a book with a prominent romantic subplot, but I have several very specific requirements:
The couple can’t be so overwhelmingly infatuated with each other that they become morons, they must continue to be rational people.
They also can’t be so infatuated with each other that they ignore the needs and/or existence of other people.
Co-dependency is bad, see also obsession, and excessive possessiveness/manly chest pounding. Not romantic.
Also it can’t be a story about a tender young thing being in love with a genuinely evil person, unless the evildoer has one hell of a redemption arc before any serious romantic shenanigans begin. Personally I find the idea of being romanced by someone who has, for instance, just committed genocide in my presence, threatens me or my friends with violence, or similar activities, to be a major buzz-kill, and I consider that characters matching criteria #1 (being rational despite romantic entanglements) will feel the same or must be disqualified.
There can’t be too many goopy descriptions of anyone’s delicate features or other such tripe, although tenderness and cuddling are good and in fact a few scenes of that nature are encouraged. Just not overwhelmingly saccharine blather for endless paragraphs, especially not if it’s peppered with ridiculous euphemisms.
The ‘hatred/aggravation that turns into love/was love all along’ plot is hackneyed, but acceptable, as long as the male half of the couple doesn’t spend the entire first half of the story being a sexist jerkface—if he starts out that way then it needs to be slapped out of him early on, otherwise I’ll find it too tedious for words.
No stupid self-sacrifice stunts, especially if they are obviously big tactical mistakes.
No withholding important information out of a desire to protect someone, unless there is a seriously legit reason. And not making someone aware of danger because you just don’t want to or because you don’t want them to attempt to do anything about it (because wha?) is never legit. Unless you actually hate them and want them to wander into more danger through ignorance, and that’s a different type of story.
No being inexplicably drawn to each other, or relationships based on physical attraction but that have no emotional connection or intelligent attraction. I like characters to be in love with their brains.
If there’s an adventure, intrigue, or mystery going on in the background for the romance to be happening around, that is a plus.
It’s also a plus if they’re not teenagers—my love for YA lit is now in conflict with my desire to read books about people other than teenagers :P also my aversion to books that deal heavily with boiling hormones, because ew.
So…does this book exist? I mean, I know it does because I have several such books on my shelves, but I’m looking for one that I haven’t already read. Do you have recommendations? Am I out of luck?