When Romance Becomes Deadly

Believe it or not, this post isn’t about vampires. But I can see why you might think so. 🙂

I was thinking recently about romantic books in which the hero or heroine is already married (to someone else) before they find their true love. It usually happens in historical romance, probably because in modern times anyone with sense could just get a divorce. This isn’t the most common trope out there, but it happens often enough to have me scratching my head in puzzlement.

The thing is that inevitably, when the hero or heroine is married, the old spouse has to die in order for us to get to a happily ever after (HEA). Now, there are times when the guy is such an amazing jerk or the girl such a witch that it’s not the worst outcome. But even then, it’s so morbid.

Here I am, the reader, sitting around, waiting for a character to die.

(It’s even worse if I don’t dislike the old husband/wife.)

Bottom line: The hero and heroine are not free to love one another, so I’m not free (as a reader) to love the idea of them being in love.

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