I know I promised the last flash giveaway of the summer last week, but life got in the way, so here it is :) This one's specifically for romance readers, though feel free to chime in (as always!) if you don't read romance but still have an opinion. Don't forget: every comment earns you an entry into today's giveaway for a $10 gift card to your choice of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Sephora. The winner will be announced here tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!
Sometimes romance novels are criticized for being cliche or relying on worn-out story lines...but there's also something to be said for tropes, those themes that recur and that some readers grow to love. Some people love the "friends to lovers" trope (that's the one I like writing the most(). Others love the"secret baby" trope, or "arranged marriage" or "billionaire" or....yes, I could go on. Readers love tropes because they know what to expect, and though I don't always rely on tropes in my stories, sometimes I will deliberately pick one or two to anchor a book. So here you go........
Today's question: what is your favorite romance trope(s)? (I've provided a list below of some of the most common).
- Best friend’s sibling – usually, the heroine is the younger sister of the hero’s best friend (but other combinations are possible!) The sibling has always been taboo, but true passion upsets the status quo. (CS, FLF)
- Billionaire – usually an alpha hero, this character can buy anything s/he wants, except for true love. (AR, CH, CS, FLF, MMM, PP, RF, SS, ST, TD)
- Cougar – a classic May/December relationship, but the older lover is a woman.
- Cowboy – sometimes an alpha hero, a cowboy can be historical or contemporary, in his element (e.g., on a ranch) or out of his comfort zone (e.g., in New York City).
- Cyrano – a lover woos another for a friend, only gradually realizing that s/he is falling in love her/himself.
- Fairytale – a traditional fairytale is retold in an alternate cultural or historical setting.
- Fake engagement – in order to solve an exterior plot problem, our lovers pretend to be engaged, often with a set of elaborate rules and limitations for their relationship. (SS)
- Friends to lovers – our lovers have been friends for some time, but only now are discovering that they want something more from their relationship. (CH, FLF)
- Forbidden love – some outside force (cultural, familial, social, etc.) is determined to keep our lovers apart but they’re willing to fight for the relationship they desire.
- Jilted bride – our heroine is left at the altar, but she discovers true love with the hero. (CS)
- Love triangle – one lover must choose between two potential matches.
- Marriage of convenience – our lovers are determined to marry but they feel no love for each other; rather, there is some business or social reason that compels their relationship. (MMM)
- Mistaken identity – one of our lovers is assumed to be someone s/he is not, and s/he perpetuates the misunderstanding for reasons best known to him/herself.
- Office romance – our lovers work together, either as co-workers or as employer/employee. (CH, DD, TD)
- Redemption – one of our lovers has committed wrongs in the past (either against the other lover, or against someone or something else) for which s/he must atone. (PP)
- Return to hometown – one of our lovers returns to his/her hometown, either willingly or unwillingly, for a short time or with the intention to stay permanently. (DD, ST)
- Reunion – our lovers knew each other in the past and generally had some romantic relationship back then (at least a one-night stand, possibly a long-term relationship.) (ST)
- Revenge – one of our lovers is determined to get revenge for a real or imagined wrong in the past. That wrong might have been committed by the other lover or by his/her relative or close friend.
- Secret baby – our heroine is or was pregnant with the hero’s baby, but he does not know the child is his. (MMM, ST)
- Stranded – our lovers are stranded together, with the forced environment kindling their relationship. They might be stranded on a desert island, in an airport after a flight cancellation, in a motel on a road trip, etc. (SS)
- Time travel – one of our lovers travels backward or forward through time to reach the other.
- Tortured hero(ine) – one of our lovers has a dramatic, often secret past that causes him/her to live in emotional agony, cut off from the common joy of a loving relationship. (MMM, RF, SS)
- Ugly duckling – one of our lovers is not conventionally beautiful, but in the course of falling in love either becomes conventionally beautiful or discovers that conventions are immaterial.
- Virgin – one of our lovers has never consummated a sexual relationship. (RF)
- Widow(er) – one of our lovers has lost his/her spouse. The widow(er) might have been happily married, or s/he might have been unfulfilled in his/her marriage. (SS)