I had never really thought about deus ex machina in romance until I read JR Ward. She has a character in the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the Scribe Virgin, who is virtually omnipotent, and has, throughout the series ,waved her magic wand and fixed some insurmountable issues. In the case of Rhage and Mary, it worked for me as a reader (probably because Rhage is among my favorite of the brothers, and at the time I read the book, I was still very deeply invested in the series), in the case of V and Jane, the device didn't work for me at all. In fact, I was really incensed by Ward's decision to use the device again, and most especially with how she elected to repair what she'd broken in Lover Unbound.
I've just finished reading an upcoming release by one of my very favorite romance authors, one who literally has a perfect track record with me. In this book, the author also utilized a form of deux ex machina. And frankly, I'm kind of on the fence about it. Within the construct of the world, the device actually sort of works. But I'm not a fan of the magic wand repair of an insurmountable issue. But in this case, the "fix", for lack of a better word, came through someone who had never manifested the talent before, so it was unexpected, and mostly believable, assuming that the author never, ever goes to the well again.
For the most part though, I find deus ex machina to be lazy storytelling. I think if you write yourself into a corner, you need to find a way out. I'm definitely not a fan. I've decided I'm going to go back and re-read the book, to see if the scenario works better me as I read the book again.
What's your opinion of deus ex machina in romance? Does it ever work? And if so, what are some examples of romances where the device works?