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  • The 39 Clues — most of the canon pairings introduced from the second series onward involve Love at First Sight (which wouldn't be so problematic if it didn't occur with every single pairing), and readers are supposed to immediately accept that these two characters who just met are madly in love. For example: Ian Kabra and Cara Pierce. Even the Anguished Declaration of Love between Amy and Jake in Day of Doom, after the two have had several books worth of Unresolved Sexual Tension, seems awkward and forced because the scene is executed poorly, with both characters coming across as overly sappy and out of character, especially since Amy was still in a relationship with Evan Tolliver at the time and is not the type of person who would cheat.
  • At the end of The Accursed, Annabel is rather abruptly said to have fallen in love with the minor character Yaeger Ruggles, and they celebrate a double wedding with Josiah and Wilhelmina. Especially awkward given that Annabel never shows any inclination towards romantic love throughout the novel (except when she is mind-controlled by the Count), and in fact seems pretty opposed to the idea of being in a romantic relationship. Of course, given that the entire novel is a bit of a Mind Screw, the forced nature of this ending may well be intentional.
  • Dagny and John from Atlas Shrugged. Ms. Rand spends literally hundreds of pages carefully and painstakingly building up the relationship between Dagny and Hank, only to have her casually toss him aside when she meets John, who is her One True Love.
  • Beka and Farmer from Beka Cooper. About 400 pages of no romantic hints... and then suddenly she notices what broad shoulders he has. And then they're declaring their love for each other and promising marriage while they're in a jail cell, after being tortured, and at a time when Beka still doesn't know for sure who the group traitor is.
  • In A Brother's Price, Jerin's romance with Lylia ensues quite suddenly. Justified in that they're both Hormone Addled Teenagers, and as he falls in love with all the five eldest brides there would be no time to develop all those relationships in detail. And the narration doesn't claim it's true love, it is just portrayed as a mutual attraction.
  • One of the major point of contention among Agatha Christie's readers is that the romantic development between the two characters she pairs up is rarely believable.
    • In Appointment with Death, Raymond and Sarah are certain they want to get married after having had a couple of brief chance meetings and barely having talked to each other. It's somewhat justified for Raymond who is under the thumb of his tyrannical Wicked Stepmother and hardly interacts with anyone outside the family circle, but it's much less understandable in Sarah's case, since she is a happy and independent woman.
    • For all that In a Glass Darkly is a short story and therefore has limited space for character interaction by default, it still manages to suffer from the trope. The narrator and Sylvia fall madly in love right after being introduced, he immediately declares life meaningless without her, and she quickly breaks up with her fiance for his sake.
    • In The Man in Brown Suit, Anne Bedingsfield saved a strange young man from a murderer, then got into a heated fight with him when he proved most ungrateful. When Anne retells this story to a friend a day later, she expressed how passionately in love she is with him, and how she's willing to do anything for him.
    • Subverted in Murder on the Orient Express. Colonel Arbuthnot and Mary Debenham are in love and on first-name terms mere days after meeting. That's because they actually only pretend to barely know each other and have been in a relationship for a long time.
    • Subverted in The Mysterious Affair at Styles: Captain Hastings proposes to Cynthia after only knowing her for a couple of weeks, and she laughingly turns him down, warns him that somebody might accept him next time, and ends up marrying Lawrence Cavendish whom she has known for a long time. However, the subversion falls flat when one gets to the next novel featuring Hastings: in The Murder on the Links, he and his future wife fall madly in love after a couple of short meetings, and before he even learns her name, he is ready to help her get away with a crime he thinks she might have committed.
    • Sad Cypress has one of the most glaring cases. After meeting Elinor once and briefly, Peter Lord falls so madly in love with her that he fights to get her acquitted of murder and doesn't even care that she might be guilty.
    • Towards Zero has Audrey Strange and Andrew MacWhirter planning to get married after knowing each other for less than a week, with only one on-screen interaction.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses has this in-universe with the mating bond, mostly for men. Once a man meets the person destined to be his mate (usually a woman), he is instantly infatuated with her even if they've never so much as seen each other before, and he becomes intensely protective and jealous over her. It's not so bad with Feyre and Rhysand given they at least get to spend several weeks getting to know each other before getting together (and it's indicated Rhys had previously gained admiration and affection for Feyre during her three month-long imprisonment Under the Mountain), but Cassian and Lucien both quickly become obsessed with Nesta and Elain, respectively, despite these women either ignoring them or treating them with hostility and coldness. It takes a few more years for Nesta to warm up to Cassian (who is still carrying a torch after all this time), while Elain seems more interested in Azriel than Lucien.
  • At the end of Discworld: Thief of Time, Susan Sto Helit and Lobsang Ludd begin to talk as though they have mutual feelings for each other, and (it's implied) begin a romantic relationship. However, there has been nothing vaguely romantic in their interactions up to that point — which is odd, because there was a blossoming awkward romance between Jeremy and Myria/Unity, and Susan was quite taken with the idea of "someone like her" throughout the book.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In the short story "Love Hurts", Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy (who are good friends) investigate a double murder where the victim and perpetrators had this trope happen due to mind control magic. Later in the story, they also find this happening to themselves.
    • More subtly, the main novels have a brief story arc where Anastasia Luccio falls in love with and starts dating Harry. At the end of "Turn Coat", we find this trope applies to poor Harry's love with that woman, because of a conspiracy to weaken the White Council through mind control so it makes perfect sense. So the Red String had a good an in-universe reason. They break off the relationship simply because fate/magic was part of it, and trying to figure out how much was giving them both headaches and kind of freaking them out.
  • The general pattern of romance in the Ender's Game series is: "one character suddenly thinks it's fate to marry another character they barely know, the other character thinks they're rude, and suddenly they're married."
    • Ender and Novinia in Speaker for the Dead. Ender feels a kinship with a teenage Novinia he has never met, but when they meet in person, she is a bitter woman in her late 30s and everything Ender does enrages her. In the concluding chapter, they get married. Made worse in Xenocide, where the couple is seen 30 years later after they have drifted apart. She then leaves him to move into a monastery. We never see them interact in any way that suggests that they actually like each other.
    • Bean and Petra's relationship in the Ender's Shadow side series relies more on exposition than on action. In the previous book, their interactions are akin to brother and sister, with Petra being rather bossy toward him and Bean trying to prove he can take care of himself. In the second book, Petra comes to realize (via internal monologue) that she likes Bean, but at that point in the book, she hasn't seen him for about a year and merely has a vague hope he might be coming to rescue her. In the third book, she suddenly gets really desperate to have his kids because he's got a condition that will spell his death by his late teens and we don't see much reason why Bean is any interested in her. Then when the two are separated forever, she suddenly finds out Peter is in love with her and the story flashes-forward to them married for no reason other than keeping her married at the end. Worse is that both marriages came at the expense of sinking the fairly popular ship of Petra and Dink Meeker from the first book, which ends up just getting a paragraph of exposition about how the two drifted apart.
    • In Xenocide, Wang-Mu idolizes the long-dead-by-millennia Hegemon Peter and at the end of the book gets the unexpected offer to embark on an adventure with a clone of him. Over the course of three days, she grows jealous of the AI he communicates with, even though said AI's life is on the line. She also doesn't pay much attention to the Peter clone admitting at the start that he's not actually like the long-deceased Peter and more akin to a Flanderized version with exaggerated ambition and sociopathy.
  • In Fifty Shades of Grey, Anastasia and Christian barely like each other and can hardly have a civil conversation, yet we're supposed to buy that they can't live without each other.
  • Something of an in-universe example in the Firebird Trilogy. Near the start of the story, Brenden Caldwell needs to perform a deep-access mental interrogation on Firebird Angelo. Since Firebird and Brenden are heavily connatural, such a deep mental connection causes them to both fall in love almost instantly, and they get married after only a handful more meetings. This looks very bizarre to outsiders, and even the telepathic Sentinels find it a bit odd (Sentinels marry quickly, but usually there's some build-up before they attempt a connaturality probe to see if they're suited for each other).
  • From Here to Eternity: Prewitt and Lorene/Alma meet once, have an admittedly lengthy heart to heart in the night, and by their next meeting six weeks later he's already expecting her to drop work and meet him for drinks. It is possible that Prew, who's an orphan and still recovering from the trauma of blinding someone in the ring, latched onto the first girl he met who would listen to him and put her on a pedestal too much to cope with the abuse he was getting. She later outright says she views their relationship as a temporary affair that'll end when she moves back the next year.
  • Nearly every romance in Gaunt's Ghosts has no buildup or development whatsoever; the only exception is Caffran/Criid, and their buildup largely consisted of the two almost killing each other. Probably intentional, as it's implied that the characters don't have particularly strong feelings for each other and are just finding comfort where they can because they know they could die soon.
  • In Good Omens, Newt and Anathema's relationship is predicted by Anathema's long-dead Seer ancestor to be a one-time hook-up just before the apocalypse. Since Anathema's known about the prophecy all her life, she's somewhat disappointed by the reality of Newt when they do meet, but They Do anyway. Although there's nothing keeping them together after the apocalypse is averted that same day, they immediately settle into a vague, undefined relationship, and a purposely delayed prophecy delivered to Newt implies that they'll eventually get married.
  • The romantic storyline between Karigan and Zachary in Green Rider can come off a bit like this. Most of the first book is made up of Karigan just trying to reach the capital city. They interact a fair bit in the rest of the book and sporadically over the course of the series, but with the exception of maybe one conversation, all their talk is business rather than conversational or personal. Though an attraction between them is understandable (they're both rather impressive), it's easy not to see a 'chemistry' (let alone a relationship) when they only ever talk to each other like business colleagues, and spend far more time thinking about how much they love each other than they do in each others' actual company.
  • De Griezelbus: In book 5, Onnoval realizes that he has fallen in love with the adult Liselore and repents his evil ways so he can be with her, turning on Ferluci in the process. This is somewhat odd, since the last time he had seen her way back in book 1 she was still a child, only met her for a few hours, and exchanged maybe five words. Also, Liselore is the one who killed Onnoval with a Silver Bullet, which he would probably still be pretty livid about. This is Hand Waved with the explanation that because she shot him through his heart, his heart now "belongs to her". Unfortunately, Ferluci de-ages him and removes Liselore's memory so he is forced to wait until he becomes a grown-up again. The movie makes this more believable with major rewrites to both character's backstories, turning them into classmates instead.
  • Hannibal and Clarice hook up at the end of the book, despite there being zero hint of an attraction between them in the previous novel. And even after being drugged and brainwashed, it seems highly unlikely that Clarice would seduce him, and willingly abandon her life to go on the run with him.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Whether or not the books did this with the Harry/Ginny pairing is a major point of debate for fans of the series. Ginny starts off as a Shrinking Violet fangirl, but evolves into a hotheaded Action Girl while Out of Focus, with a lot of Character Shilling done to make her look better. Harry becomes closer to and gains a romantic interest in her over the course of two summers, which are never properly fleshed out, so the development can look rather forced or random to readers.
    • Lupin and Tonks. In The Half-Blood Prince, Harry sees Tonks upset several times, and thinks it's over Sirius dying, and that maybe she was even in love with him. Then the climax reveals that Tonks is deeply in love with and wants to marry Lupin. They proceed to do so, despite having no interaction on camera before this. As the books are primarily written from Harry's perspective, it's somewhat understandable that plenty of major events can happen off-camera, simply because Harry can't be present for every single storyline. At the same time, the reader can still feel left out, as the key parts of the Romance Arc never actually happen in front of them, either.
    • Happens In-Universe in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Ron consumes a love potion from Romilda Vane, who he has never met, that was intended for Harry.
  • In the second Hell's Gate book, two secondary characters are thrown together by their psionic powers the first time they meet. Literally, the first words either says to the other are "Oh dear. This is an unexpected complication."
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, there's an In-Universe mechanism for this in the form of lifebonds, magical or divinely-caused compulsions that cause the lifebonded individuals to fall in love and also to share an emotional link.
    • As the series goes on, the concept is increasingly deconstructed: Winds of Fury contains an entire scene in which the spirit of Bard Stefennote  explains to the trilogy's Beta Couple his well-supported theory that lifebonding primarily occurs between someone very powerful but emotionally unstable and someone more steady who can provide their lifebonded partner with the emotional grounding and stability they desperately need to keep them sane. As Stef advises from personal experience, the fact that one half of a lifebond is likely to be incredibly broken, this generally leads to an intense and angsty relationship far from the ultimate ideal of romantic love that many people in the setting mistakenly make lifebonds out to be. In the next trilogy, another character's obsession with forming a lifebond is rightfully presented as unhealthy and makes other characters uncomfortable; the general impression created by the narrative is that lifebonds are less about the depth of a couple's feelings for each other and more a case of Because Destiny Says So which the vast majority of people are quite fine without, thank you.
    • In the most specific and literal use of this trope in the 'verse, Queen Selenay of Valdemar and Prince Daren of Rethwellan fall in mutual Love at First Sight on the battlefield at the end of By the Sword because the Divinities That Be need Valdemar and Rethwellan to be locked together at the hip when the Mage Storms hit, and also for there to be at least one more heir to Valdemar's throne so the then-current heir apparent, Princess Elspeth, can take up other divinely-mandated duties. That said, they are compatible, sensible, and physically attractive adults, so it's not a stretch to imagine that they'd have ended up together anyway.
  • Invoked In-Universe by Hera in The Heroes of Olympus, as she implants false memories of a romance between Jason and Piper before the two ever meet. This spawns a meta example as well, as this means the pair pine after each other from the beginning of the series before the readers get to learn anything about their individual personalities or potential dynamic, leading to them jumping headfirst into a real relationship when they do meet.
  • Honor Harrington: The romance between Lara and Saburo in Crown of the Slaves started more or less like this:
    Lara:: Hi, I'm Lara, do you have a girlfriend?
    Saburo: No, why?
    Lara: Because now you have.
  • Hush, Hush:
    • Patch and Nora. Nora is warned by people who care about her to stay away from him because he's clearly not a good person in any way, shape, or form. Patch stalks Nora, intentionally scares her, sexually harasses her, mind rapes her, and possesses her body. On top of that, his original plan was to murder her in cold blood, which he flat out tells her — and, when she asks if he's going to do it, he admits that it's "tempting". Nora says, more than once, that she sees absolutely nothing good about Patch. Wait, why does she fall in love with him again?
    • Vee gets this when she hooks up with Rixon in Crescendo. The two are hardly shown together and for all Vee fawns over him as the "perfect" boyfriend, there's precious little on them actually having anything in common. Vee repeatedly states that she thinks that Patch is a jerk and a potential murderer but isn't the least bit concerned about the fact that he introduced her to Rixon (and that Rixon is Patch's best and possibly only friend). Vee seems quite certain that he's a "boyscout", despite that he more or less lives in a very nasty bar and is not exactly shy about dropping crude innuendos towards Nora. That could be chalked up to Vee being a Horrible Judge of Character, except that Nora also thinks that Rixon is "cool" and sees no problem with them dating, even though she knows that Rixon is a fallen angel who possesses a Nephilim for two weeks out of every year for sex (with said Nephilim being conscious for it all). The fact that Patch hooked Rixon up with Vee as a response to suspecting that Rixon was murderous just raises even more eyebrows.
  • The Inheritance Cycle:
    • Some people felt this way about Arya and Eragon's relationship, especially in Inheritance. Eragon is immediately attracted to her and isn't subtle about his feelings in Eldest, only for Arya to completely dismiss them. She makes some good points; she and Eragon barely know each other, she is decades older than him and Eragon's feelings for her come across as a childish crush more than genuine love, considering he's only sixteen when they meet, she's the first woman he's ever noticed romantically, his tendencies to over-idealize her and stubborn refusal to accept her rejection. However, starting in Brisingr, Arya suddenly decides she finds Eragon attractive after all, despite everything she said in Eldest and it seeming rather Out of Character. By the end of the series, they're portrayed as Starcrossed Lovers Ė- to the point of exchanging their true names spoiler  Ė- with little explanation for how and why Arya's feelings changed so rapidly. Arya even says she'd consider waiting for Eragon until he's older, which some readers found kind of Squicky more than anything. Others felt it just didn't live up to Angela's prophecy that Eragon would have an "epic romance", seeing as the entire relationship amounts to a teenage boy having a one-sided infatuation with an older woman, who decides at the last minute 'Well, we could maybe hook up once you're old enough to buy alcohol and vote'. Paolini has stated that if he writes a fifth book, he will explore their relationship further, but within the published books, the romance falls a bit flat for several readers.
    • Saphira and Firnen have it even worse. Though admittedly, it's unclear how exactly dragon relationships work in comparison to humans and elves, it still comes across as rather weird and out-of-left-field when Saphira hooks up with Firnen in the last few chapters of Inheritance. At this point, Firnen is only a few months old and they've known each other for about as long.
  • Deconstructed in Barbara Hambly's novel The Ladies of Mandrigyn. Fawn, after taking off with Starhawk to try to find Sun Wolf, cuts out to marry Orris Farstep. She makes it clear that it's still Sun Wolf, not Orris, she loves; it's just that she knows that it wouldn't work out with Sun Wolf, while it could with Orris.
  • This is noted in-universe in the Kitty Norville series. Kitty and Ben were platonic friends for a while, but once he got forcibly turned into a werewolf, her own wolf side formed an intensely close bond with him and they got married shortly thereafter. Kitty quickly ends up realizing that despite the intensity of their feelings for each other, they don't actually know each other that well and the two of them work to build a more meaningful relationship with each other.
  • The relationship between Éowyn and Faramir in The Lord of the Rings can seem like this, or at the very least, wedged-in. The truth is that Tolkien initially intended Éowyn and Aragorn to be together — then believed they wouldn't be a good match as Aragorn was "too old and lordly and grim", so he backtracked and created Arwen, later joining Éowyn to Faramir. Tolkien's notes show this was plainly an afterthought. That said, romances in wartime are hardly unheard of, so the relationship isnít totally unbelievable.
  • The Magicians and Mrs. Quent — Ivy's marriage to Mr. Quent is a textbook example. The first half of the book is taken up by a Romantic Plot Tumor between Ivy and Mr. Rafferdy, which took time to develop their characters; then, Ivy meets Mr. Quent, hates him, argues with him, and all of a sudden they decide they love each other and get married. Apparently, he's "right for her" in a way that Rafferdy never was, for reasons completely lost on the reader.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen is quite bad at this. Characters will be madly in love after having only known each other for a few days, or after only a few brief meetings. Unfortunately, this more often than not leaves the reader somewhat confused. A few examples among the main cast include:
    • In Gardens of the Moon, Ganoes Paran and Tattersail go from having known each other for a few days, the majority of which Paran was unconscious, to having passionate sex. Then Tattersail goes off and dies, and Paran spends the next two books pining after her.
    • The same book has Crokus Younghand and Apsalar, aka Sorr]. They meet, have a few awkward conversations, and then Crokus is ready to leave his whole life behind to help Apsalar go back home. It develops into a case of Romantic Plot Tumor, where until the end of the series it is not clear why or how they are in love — they just are.
    • The third volume, Memories of Ice, has Sergeant Whiskeyjack (a human man) and Korlat (a millennia-old Tiste Andii), who fall in love and hook up without any explanation after meeting for the first time.
    • Midnight Tides, the fifth volume, gives us Trull Sengar and Seren Pedac. They meet about twice, for a few minutes each time, and then Trull does the Tiste Edur equivalent of proposing to her. She accepts, despite the fact that they know almost nothing about each other and have barely had a conversation between them. An explanation can be found if one accepts that Seren is a latent mage and manipulates people's minds without being aware of it — and she admits to herself upon seeing Trull for the first time that she is attracted to him. However, even that is barely implied.
    • Reaper's Gale has Tehol Beddict and Janath Anar, who used to be Tehol's university professor. The fact that they know each other is not even mentioned until Bugg brings Janath home, and even then, all they do is bicker. By the next time they appear, in Dust of Dreams, they are married.
    • Speaking of Dust of Dreams, the ninth volume, there's Brys Beddict and Aranict, who at least admits to only have joined the army because she lusted after Brys. However, they share maybe two conversations during the entire book, in one of which Aranict flat-out faints. By the next book, they are a couple and deeply in love.
    • The same book has Henar Vygulf and Lostara Yil, the latter barely recovering from her previous strangled by the red string encounter with the assassin Pearl, who are instantly in love after their first meeting. So in love, in fact, that Lostara does a Shadow Dance to protect Vygulf when he's in danger, something she's never done before in the series. A damn god even comments about how much in love they are. It's especially jarring since, by their own admissions, they know almost nothing about each other.
  • Maximum Ride started out with just the gentlest of implied romance between Max and Fang, focusing mainly on an intricate plot revolving around the mad scientists who created them. Then The Final Warning hit, the plot disappeared, and suddenly they were all over each other, all the time. The fandom was thrilled for the most part... except for those who realized that these two characters were, for all intents and purposes, brother and sister...
  • Vin and Elend's relationship comes off like this in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, as in the first book the supposedly very guarded and private Vin falls for Elend after having a few conversations with him in the and while posing as someone else, to the point where Kelsier even goes out of his way to spare Elend's life despite his hatred of nobles because Vin is in love with him. They spend the entirety of The Well of Ascension whining about how they aren't good enough for each other, Vin because she's a former street urchin who doesn't fit in with the high society Elend grew up in and Elend because Vin is a Mistborn and has mysterious powers he doesn't understand, making them both come off as extremely insecure and their relationship very shallow, since they rarely sit down and properly talk to each other about what's bothering them.
  • The early Night Watch (Series) novels have this with Anton and Svetlana. It seems the only reason they're together is that Gesar says so. In fact, Svetlana is frustrated that Anton seems to be taking the fact that they're going to end up together for granted, culminating in her having a threesome with two of his colleagues during a weekend getaway with Anton in the next room. When he finds out that truth, his calm acceptance and brushing off of this infuriates her, further pointing out how he doesn't care about it because their future together is set. It's pointed out, however, that Anton's big problem is Svetlana's power level, which is far above his. Historically, such relationships haven't lasted among Others. Their relationship is temporarily salvaged, when Svetlana is drained by the Mirror, making them more or less even. In later novels, they're Happily Married and raising a daughter, especially after Anton is boosted to Svetlana's power level. It's not clear what will happen after Sixth Watch when Anton is Brought Down to Normal permanently, meaning Svetlana will outlive him by centuries.
  • Done quite intentionally in the Night World series. Everyone has a soulmate, and you are meant for each other, no debate. The first book actually gives us two characters who have been friends for a while and been mutually building a relationship, but later books give us characters who deconstruct and reconstruct the idea of soulmates: Ash and Mary-Lynette, for example, act completely out of character around each other... because the feelings are entirely new and spontaneous towards a stranger. They get over it (mostly), and Ash becomes The Atoner so he can deserve her.
  • This is done very deliberately in Northanger Abbey as part of its parody of contemporary Gothic literature (where it was not exactly on purpose). Catherine is in Love at First Sight with the handsome and charming Henry Tilney and takes every opportunity to spend time with him, which he is happy to accomodate. But when he arrives with his proposal at the end of the story, the narrator makes clear that the foundation of his own feelings started not from mutual understanding or real connection — but that young men are often charmed when nice, pretty girls have obvious crushes on them.
  • Paprika: Chiba and Tokita. Yes, there are hints - very subtle hints - of mutual interest, but let's face it, this interest is never remotely identifiable as romantic.
  • Played with in-universe for The Raven Cycle heroine Blue. Growing up in a family full of psychics, she's been told the same prophecy about her true love for years. She gets pretty sick of it to the point that when she does meet the person who's supposedly her true love, she basically says Screw Destiny and decides to pursue the boy she actually likes instead. Not that this works out entirely, but she gets points for trying.
  • Realm of the Elderlings has Fitz and Molly in the Farseer Trilogy, where Fitz is apparently madly in love with Molly because they played together when he was ten. It's not so noticeable in the first book, but by Royal Assassin, she's outright referred to as his "beloved Molly" in the book's summary and Molly herself receives some Character Shilling from Patience, Berric and Nighteyes, the latter two keep commenting on what a good mate she'd be for Fitz and Patience calling her "smart and diligent, full of wit and spirit," traits that she never really shows on the rare occasions she actually does share pagetime with Fitz, but apparently she's still the love of his life. King Shrewd calls Fitz out on this when Fitz rejects a potential Arranged Marriage with Celerity, a Lord's daughter whom he does like, if not romantically, by claiming he's already promised to marry Molly. Shrewd tells Fitz that he can't just go around marrying whoever he likes (especially not some random servant girl when he has Farseer blood) when refusing Celerity might offend an important political ally and that he's acting just like Chivalry.
  • Zayn second relationship in Katharine Kerr's Snare. The other, presumably main, relationship Zayn had got pages and pages of mutual attraction and affection before they hooked up, spread over several weeks. This one had a bare paragraph explaining (not showing, explaining) that they were now friends. Next thing you know someone suggests that they're in love. Zayn is initially horrified and is rather surprised at the whole concept of homosexuality. A few days later, yep, confirmed, they're in love.
  • Moon and BZ Guindhalinu in The Snow Queen Series. In The Snow Queen, Moon goes through a lot of travails to find and rescue her childhood sweetheart Sparks. During her journey, she is captured and imprisoned with another man, BZ, who comes to fall in love with her. After they escape, Moon and BZ sleep with each other once, which cements BZ's love for her, but her heart still belongs to Sparks. At book's end, Sparks is rescued and BZ leaves the planet, believing he can never return to his true love ever again. Then come the sequel The Summer Queen, Moon is shown pining after BZ based on their single moment of sleeping together. The vast majority of the 950-page book is spent showing BZ and Moon pining, reuniting, and forming a romantic relationship that, as far as readers can tell, exists solely because they are good in bed. Other characters over the course of the series fall in love at the drop of a hat because of good looks and/or good sex, but to watch the main characters fall in love without any good rationalization outside of "We once had hot passionate sex 18+ years ago" is infuriating.
  • Jon-Tom and Talea's relationship is handled this way in the Spellsinger novels. They meet in the first novel and go on an adventure together. Then they spend two novels without seeing each other while Jon-Tom moons over her. They finally meet up again in the fifth novel, approximately two or three years later. Talea admits that she's got feelings for Jon-Tom. In the time-skip between the fifth and sixth novels, they get married.
  • The Stardoc series has Cherijo and Duncan, Dhreen and Ilona, and Squilyp and Garphawayn; Blade Dancer has Jory and Kol.
  • Some got this feeling from Luke and Mara Jade in Star Wars Legends. Luke and Mara did become somewhat friends by the end of The Thrawn Trilogy and they did have interactions over the books that came after, but never dated or seemed interested in each other romantically. Luke kept hoping Mara would take Jedi training and she kept refusing. Then the Force bond in Hand of Thrawn happened and quickly led to their marriage. The pairing was still well-liked, but there was division between the supporters and those who felt they werenít a great fit for each other and didnít like the lack of build up, even with the Force bond component.
  • Sweet Valley High:
    • In spin-off Sweet Valley Confidential, Elizabeth is estranged from her family after discovering that Jessica and Todd were having an affair behind her back. In the original books, what was considered canon varied due to changes between different ghostwriters, but generally Jessica found Todd boring and he thought of her as irresponsible and childish. Confidential retconned past events so that Jessica and Todd had been seeing each other secretly ever since college, where they became madly attracted to each other after Jessica agreed to pose as Elizabeth and go as Todd's date to a party. They spend the book trying to reconcile with Elizabeth and regretful at what they've done to her, yet agreeing that their love is so strong it can't be denied. There's no real explanation as to what they see in each other (beyond Jessica thinking while drunk that Todd is better than her many failed past relationships), nor why their bond is supposed to be so strong. By the follow-up series The Sweet Life they are having problems in their marriage and their two-year-old son is torn between them, yet we're again told their love is strong enough to make it through the odds.
    • Also in Sweet Valley Confidential, Steven Wakefield comes out as gay and leaves his wife for Aaron Dallas. Like Jessica and Todd, they fight against the odds for their love and we're told they are soul mates, yet there's no explanation of the relationship, with the book suggesting that they're attracted to each other just because they are the two designated queer characters (going so far as to claim Aaron "became" gay by moving to San Francisco).
  • Ted Dekker does this in all of his later books, and some of his earlier ones. Immanuel's Veins was a vampire romance novel, which was depressing when you compare it to some of his original works like the Circle series and Thr3e. Obsessed was from the very start a man ferociously in love with some girl he had never met or seen. Even in some of his books that give relationships more time to build up, it's less talking about why his main character loves a woman and more about how intense his love is.
  • Twilight has this both In-Universe with the concept of "imprinting", which means this can be done to werewolves as soon as the plot demands (arguably, all the examples in book 3 were only to prepare the reader for the last one), and out-of-universe with Bella and Edward's relationship. Edward acts surly and moody toward Bella for the first half of the book, and yet Bella decides that she's "unconditionally and irrevocably in love with [Edward]" right after she realizes that he's a vampire who thirsts after her blood and is completely devoted to him from that point on, even in the face of Edward's own warnings about how he could kill her. Just how devoted is she? She's willing to give up her human life without any second thoughts to be with him forever, after what can't be more than a month of knowing him, and instantly leaps back into his arms after he renders her practically catatonic by leaving her without explanation. And her interactions with Edward after the vampire "reveal" consist almost entirely of them repeatedly professing their love to one another, and her even more repeatedly being "dazzled" by Edward's glorious beauty. To put it a little more into focus, Bella's other love interest was made to be more of a boorish jerk in the third book, when fans read the second book and a lot of them hoped Bella ended up with him instead, because the two of them had much better chemistry than Bella and Edward, the guy the author wanted her to be in a pairing with.
  • Likewise, in The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner, with Bree and Diego and, later, Freddie. Bree and Diego interact for one night; she spends most of it afraid that he's going to kill her, and by morning they are seemingly madly in love with each other. The same goes for Freddie. Since it's from Bree's point of view, and the "relationships" between her and the guys are so muted, it's possible that we're supposed to see it as her mistaking simple friendship for love (which would fit with her background of being abused and neglected), except that nothing ever indicates this, and she acts almost exactly the same way Bella does, including being willing to die when she finds out he's gone, because life without him isn't worth living.
  • The Thursday Next series does this intentionally: Thursday and Landen get a small subplot of how they get together in the first book but were already basically in love before the series starts without much ado. Jasper Fforde admitted to doing this to get all the romantic stuff out of the way and be able to concentrate on the real story.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Half Moon or Stoneteller and Jayfeather/Jay's Wing. They've only met twice, once in Long Shadows and again in Sign of the Moon, and bam, Jayfeather has feelings for her. It's a bit of a jarring change, especially since it implies a bit of hypocrisy because he was angry at his mother Leafpool, for falling in love as a medicine cat. Watch the Broken Base fandom get up in arms over whether they're a super cute pairing that brought tears to their eyes or whether their love is too cheesy and Half Moon is a Satellite Love Interest, and cue the Jayfeather/Cinderheart, Jayfeather/Willowshine, Jayfeather/Briarlight, Jayfeather/Stick, Jayfeather/Anyone but Half Moon shippers bashing Half Moon six ways to Sunday.
    • Bluestar and Oakheart have similar problems. They hardly meet at all up until he is suddenly begging Bluestar (then Bluefur) to meet at Fourtrees. Up until this point, Bluestar hated Oakheart for months (though this was clearly intended to be Belligerent Sexual Tension) and had only recently developed a crush on him. They then spend one night together, which ends with Bluestar getting pregnant. And all this is later painted as a great tragic love story.
    • It's a running problem with cross-Clan relationships in Warriors. In addition to the above example, Crowfeather and Leafpool really get this as well. They jump from acquaintances to in love before you could say 'mouse'. Next thing you know, they're running away together, and just like Bluestar and Oakheart they get pregnant from a one-night stand.
    • Spottedleaf as Firestar's Lost Lenore is spotty, going by their interactions in life. Barely older than a kit and new to being a Clan cat, Fireheart is smitten by Spottedleaf and enjoys visiting her often. The two become friends but not much is shown about their relationship because Spottedleaf is murdered in the first book of series. Spottedleaf spends the rest of the series either being a guide spirit or being alive in prequels from before she met Firepaw. Despite barely knowing each other for a few months, Firestar continues to be in love with Spottedleaf, even after becoming Sandstorm's mate, and it's implied he loves Spottedleaf the most.
  • The Wheel of Time took this trope and beat it to death, with a canonical expression of "weird stuff happens because the plot says so". Probably the most notable example of this trope is Rand's relationship with Elayne. The characters themselves feel pretty manipulated, but hey, prophecy can do that to you! Lan and Nynaeve are also pretty bad. The period during which they fall in love in book one is completely off-page, yet we're supposed to buy that it's strong enough that in the very next book, Nynaeve is shoving thorns through her palms at the thought of not being with him. Other examples include Faile & Perrin, who vaguely argue a few times while Perrin panics about a prophecy that says she's important to him, then suddenly they're in a committed relationship. See also: Gareth and Siuan, who argue until she hears a prophecy that they should stick together, or Thom and Moiraine, who only have one significant on-page conversation, involving one of them essentially extorting the other one to go away. Multiple books later, it turns out Moiraine is actually in love with him, mostly because she heard a prophecy that they'd get married.
  • The vast majority of characters in Xanth, particularly in the latter books, are paired up within days — if not hours — of meeting each other. This manifests in-universe as the land itself being a Genius Loci Shipper on Deck: There's natural love springs that can send any zoological Crack Pairing off to start making some rather interesting hybrids.


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