Dishonesty in Romance
I know that books need conflict to work well, but there's something about the 'I have a secret agenda' plot that drives me absolutely up the wall. Especially when the hero or heroine is STILL lying midway or later in the novel. For me, it comes down to trust.
Trust is important in a relationship. Without it, I'm not going to believe that a couple will ever have a lifetime Happily Ever After. Chemistry or attraction is all well and good, but without trust, I don't believe love can last.
I guess that makes me old fashioned in a way. But it's why I can't stand cheating in books, either. I'm not saying the 'secret agenda' plot can never work, but it loses its believability for me when it continues past the very beginning of the novel. Because I consider any hero or heroine who forgives someone who has been lying to them for so long as TSTL. How on earth can they ever trust that person to be honest with them when every aspect of their association is based on lie after lie?
Am I the only one who hates this trope with a passion? Are there more dishonest heroines these days or am I just noticing them? Are there any other plot devices that drive you up the wall or lead you to put a book down as a DNF?