How is it that in all my yapping about the romance genre, I’ve never talked about romance tropes?
This might be because I really only read historical romances until fairly recently and there are some very specific historical romance tropes.
Tropes are plot devices that bring romance characters together or character archetypes that the romance characters fulfill. Tropes are the familiar scenario–sometimes, tropes are the hook that draws a reader in. If there’s a combination of tropes or a twist on tropes, then the story can be really intriguing and even original.
So, my fave tropes to read?
In historicals, I love a good marriage of convenience story. It’s not a plot device that really works well in contemporary stories, but in Regency stories, it’s entirely possible to have a hero and heroine who have to get married to inherit something/keep something/stop a scandal from erupting/give a child a father/stop the heroine’s evil uncle from marrying her off to someone else…
This can also go along with the arranged marriage trope.
Overall, in any type of romance though, I love a good Friends to Lovers story. They might be my favorite romances, along with Second Chances–because there’s usually some level of history between the characters, so I feel okay in that they really do know each other and aren’t, like, just about to pounce on one another with incomplete information. I like Slow Burns, too, but not too slow. And I’ve read some Best Friend’s Sibling-type romances, which were cute.
Forbidden Love tends to be extremely angsty–that can be fun to read, sometimes.
It’s not really a trope, but I also really like extremely competent people falling in love. Whether it’s the female lead who is really good at her job/good at running her household or family/really really smart–and the hero who is either just as brilliant or brilliant in a different way or super supportive. In particular, I get this vibe from Alyssa Cole and Courtney Milan’s books.
So I was trying to think of what tropes I’m using in my contemporary romance idea.
There’s definitely Actor/Actress/Celebrity/Musician going on. I guess they qualify for Workplace romances, though in general I find workplace romances kind of creepy.
But tropes I don’t like? Amnesia plots. Secret babies. Billionaires.
For more on romance tropes and archetypes, here are some links: