In Cozy Mysteries, the various characters and their relationships with one another are an important aspect in the stories ...which often makes a romantic sub-plot inevitable.
While I enjoy the romance element in Cozy Mysteries, but I very much appreciate it when an author is able to maintain decency by exquisitely manipulating words to imply physical chemistry between the lead characters, without going into intimate details.
Moreover, I usually desire the protagonist to be happily involved with a steady partner ☺
If the protagonist is not a part of an established couple right from the first book of the series, then I prefer the romantic aspect in the Cozy Mystery series to make natural progression, from initial interactions, between the protagonist and a single member of opposite gender, to gradual friendship, to romantic relationship, to marriage etc.
It's true that some romantic tension in all of these phases can add to the enjoyment and that's perfectly acceptable to me!
However, the overall trend should always be to move forward ...and for the relationship to develop, grow and become stronger ☺
I strongly hesitate to get involved in those series where I sense a prolonged 'love-triangle'.
I think this is mainly because, to me, 'love-triangles' create uncertainty and diminish the sense of comfort and pleasure that I usually get while reading Cozy Mysteries ...basically by creating a doubt in my mind whether the protagonist will be able to achieve a 'happily ever after' with the 'right person for him/her', or not!
When the protagonist spends a lot of time, that is, more than 6 to 8 books in the series, in trying to resolve this issue, it can sometimes make him/her seem stupid and immature ...and it also makes me feel bad if it turns out that I had been rooting for the one that the protagonist doesn't chose!
Negative emotions are also invoked in me when a 'love-triangle' is introduced after a couple is already established, especially if I happen to be fond of the original couple ...and this can also at times make the protagonist come across as a fickle person.
All this further reduces some of the joy and comfort of reading a Cozy.
Moreover, often much attention has to be given for the protagonist to resolve the issue of 'love-triangle' ...and this prevent the main focus to remain on the mystery!
Whereas I feel that though the romance should definitely be present, as it adds to the reading pleasure, but it should be in the background, as a secondary part of the story.
Having said all this, I think that it's only fair to mention that while it's true that I usually find 'love-triangles' annoying but I sometimes do manage to ignore them ...if the other factors, such as writing, mysteries, characters, humour, setting, ambience etc are especially well done.
However, I would like to emphasize, that in such cases, I read the books in spite of the 'love-triangles' ...not because of them!
So my respectful and sincere request to Cozy authors is that instead of the 'love-triangles', please use the 'mystery plots' to create the suspense ...and depend on the quality of writing to entice the readers to read the next book in the series. To implement romantic tension in order to make the stories more interesting, please employ other methods. If there is still a strong need to incorporate 'love-triangles', then at least please try not to prolong them too much! Thanks! ☺