In a recent discussion about Barbara Cartland, several readers bemoaned her incessantly giving her heroines heart shaped faces and small hands. The latter feature is, I’ve since noticed, quite common in older historical romances–how many scenes have we all encountered where her tiny fingers couldn’t reach around a hero’s heavy shaft. (rolls eyes)


But, while itty bitty hands make me laugh, they’re not as bad, IMHO, as the endless parade of heroines with violet eyes. (Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes were blue.) Purple eyes are almost unheard of and when they do occur, they’re often the result of albinism. I’m also annoyed by silver eyes–pale grey, also super rare–because they almost always are caused by virtually no melanin in the iris and are extraordinarily uncommon.


I’m also not wild about men who call their loved ones baby again and again. And if anyone throws in a who’s your Daddy vibe, I am out.

How about you? Are there traits that you encounter in romance that are a hard pass from you?

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