Welcome to Trope Tuesdays, a meme/series created by yours truly. Every Tuesday, the goal is to discuss, define, and explain one trope that you feel any range of emotion for, and then give your verdict on the trope. The trope can be one you dislike, love, feel indifference or annoyance towards, ones you think are problematic, or those tropes that just make you want to throw them out the moon door à la Petyr Baelish. You can learn more about Trope Tuesday here.
She’s beauty, but probably not grace. She can charm the grumpy old widower father, mend a song bird’s broken wing, and might even befriend some pixies. People fall on their knees when they meet her. Her love interest’s army and household staff would die for her. She also has been known to help deliver healthy babies despite never being trained to do so. She’s our heroine. She’s the love interest that everybody can’t help but love.
Everybody Loves the Love Interest is a trope that is common to a specific niche of Historical and Paranormal Romances that tend to also have the Hierarchy of Love & Bands of Supernatural Hotties. As the name suggests, Everybody Loves the Love Interest happens when all of the other characters in the book love the love interest. There is always something “magical” about the heroine (despite her being so completely and utterly dull) that makes everyone gravitate to her. It is an easy trope to recognize because it is so dramatic.
The heroine is the subject of the trope, but I refer to her as the love interest because of her role. In Historical and Paranormal Romances, the heroine is not usually the one in a position of power. Both genres rely heavily on hierarchy and the cultures don’t usually cultivate a sense of empowerment for women. When the heroine comes into the hero’s world, she is the outsider to his people who then take her in and love her. For example, in Paranormal Romances a supernatural commander hero will take the heroine in. Then, his underlings will adore her pledge their allegiance to her safety in the face of death.
When I think of Everybody Loves the Love Interest, the first example I think of is in The Highlander’s Bride by Michele Sinclair.
Laurel Cordell, an english woman, runs away from a Scottish chieftain. While on the run she meets Laird Conor McTiernay, and then promptly faints. Of course, Conor feels a strong urge to protect this women he has know for 2.5 seconds and carries her off and declares her “mine”. His brothers who he was out traveling with all treat her as an angel despite not liking the English, and all because of her beautiful smile.
The adorations continues on. Much like other love interests from Everybody Loves the Love Interest, Laurel’s sole personality trait seems to be “likable” despite never really showing exactly what her charm is or why it merits praise. Upon being introduced to Conor’s other clansmen, they all love her. And then of course later in the book she DELIVERS A FUCKING BABY WITH NO EXPERIENCE. Yeah, I wasn’t joking about that.
Other examples of Everybody Loves the Love Interest can be found in the Bewitched and Bewildered . You can check out even more examples here on my Goodreads shelf for Everybody Loves the Love Interest
My Verdict: I hate Everybody Loves the Love Interest, but I don’t blame the trope itself. I’m the one who keeps reading books with this trope despite knowing the signs. If anything deserves to die, it’s ME. I’m the one who keeps doing this to myself.