Historical Romance 101: Favorite Tropes

Welcome to another segment of Historical Romance 101. Today we will be discussing romance book tropes and what we love about them and share some personal favorites. Please join in and visit the other fabulous ladies: Jennifer @ Feminist Fairy Tales, Amanda @ On A Book Bender, and Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook


So I am super stoked for today’s feature, in fact out of all the topics we are discussing this month, this one I have been long awaiting for and most thrilled to share with you all!! I love romance tropes and there are SO many out there. For those of you who don’t know what a trope is. Its a common story line that may appear in a genre of books with a catchy phrase – i.e. Friends to Lovers in romance, or childhood sweethearts. There are many different set ups to book tropes, but I love having a theme to a story which provides a good conflict that brings a couple close together. This can happen in a variety of ways and formations. Below I am going to list my favorites to see in historical romance—-Now it is a comprehensive list, and I have listed it in alphabetical order, reasons why I love this trope and why I love the books I listed under them. So tell me which ones are your favorites and some books you love the most under these. I would love to know! 🙂


This trope is where one of the main characters: our hero or heroine suffer from severe memory loss, but also this could include fake memory loss as a part of the development of plot. This can be quite different to read, and adds such a unique element to a romance. What I have loved most about is, is seeing the way it can bring a pair close to each other without knowing the other’s past or memories and help each other through the recovery of those memories. In some cases, memories can return a great moment or a not so great. This is what makes each book that contains this trope fun. Is seeing when and where this will happen. Especially if there are conflicting interests.

Arranged Marriage 

I had so much trouble narrowing down my top picks for the Arranged Marriage Trope. This is such a fabulous one, what I love most about it is seeing strangers having to learn each other and the way they fall in love especially if the circumstances to their marriage isn’t on friendly terms. Many times we will see this trope happen between two warring clans or group of people or even family’s.

Best Friends Sister 

This trope can be so fun and easy going at times but still add a certain conflict and even “forbidden” tone to the story. Usually its not super strong but is still a focus. What I love about this trope is many times, you see how the main characters have known each other for most of their lives in many cases.

Boss and Secretary

The office themed romance has been pretty great to read. Some of my all time favorite books have this trope. This brings about moments of main characters working together, and an increase of sexual tension and almost a sense of the “forbidden fruit” as it were.

 Disguised As A Male 

This trope is a bit different from the others, but can bring some playfulness to the romance. This feature the heroine posing as a boy or a man in disguise. This makes sense in many ways. In the historical periods, there were restrictions of women. And if they poses as males, they had way more freedom. It can be great to see this element in a romance. I first discovered this in Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey. Our heroine  wanting adventure, poses as a cabin boy for a ship captain. But this captain, sees who she really is from the first moment, and plays around with her. I love this playful element and you see it quite often in this trope. It can balance out a story full of conflict or drama. This trope is also evident in various time periods and settings. From Medieval, to Regency to the American Frontier.

Enemies To Lovers 

This trope involves the two main character who have a conflict of interest. Whether its a matter of revenge, or family feuds, or just a great dislike or even hatred for each other. But you know what they say hate and love are divided by a thin line. These stories are full of angst and passion and dramatic interaction but boy can they be fun too!! I love seeing the tension build between the pair and my favorite aspect and seeing the change go from love and hate.

Fairy Tale Retellings

Now this trope is one that I have always loved seeing and can be so romantic and sweet at times. I love the way authors will take a certain fairy tale and add some different twists. Such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Pygmalion, Robin Hood, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and The Ugly Duckling.

Forbidden Romance

Now I love and adore this trope so much!! What is so interesting about this theme is seeing a couple fight against forces that want to keep them apart yet still find a way to be together. This can include family, country leaders or matters of duty and honor.

Friends To Lovers 

One of my favorite aspects of reading romance is seeing a friendship happen, whether its at the beginning, the middle or the end or all the way through. Or even seeing a friendship start from the beginning as children or teenagers, and seeing some conflict drive them apart and see them connect again. It is such a wonderful experience to see a pair transition from friendship to something more intimate and passionate. I connect better to this type of trope than any other, because I feel this is the most important kind of bond a couple can have….is being friends as much as being lovers.

Hearts Being Held Captive 

This trope may not be for everyone but I truly have LOVED it so. It has a sense of danger and mystery and intensity that is great to see in a romance. This can hold a variety of circumstances in just about any era and/or setting.

Love On The Road 

Road or Cabin romances are stories that happen on the road as it were, it brings adventure, thrills, danger and some excitement. I have a certain fondness for this trope. I love seeing a couple go on an adventure together, and end up falling in love.

Love Triangles 

In this trope I tend to be a bit picky about. Having this element in a romance can be tricky and stressful. What I prefer seeing with this trope is where you have one of the main characters who are engaged or in a relationship of sorts with not the other main character and they need to find a way to get their HEA for everyone involved.

Mistaken Identity 

This is where we see a wrong impression or a secret identity to achieve a certain goal. Sometimes it can be for one’s own protection, a honorable reason or to serve their country and personal interests.

Marriage of Convenience 

Marriages of Conveniences happen due to circumstances to surround the couple. This is usually where neither one desire a marriage  but do it out of necessity.

Rags to Riches 

Now this is a blast to read, I love seeing the crossing of lines of society we see in this one. Where one main character is wealthy and the other is not.


In this trope we find a wonderful and charming yet a sense of forbidden fruit here!! I love the royals especially when they fall in love with a commoner.

Second Chance 

This trope where we have a couple that once loved each other, but were seperated by various circumstances and brought back together and found a way to be together again. This is such a wonderful set up to a romance, in fact its one of my favorites. Mostly because this is a dream for many people in reality, especially myself personally. This trope is my “heart throb” trope.

Secret Baby 

This involves either a baby hidden away in secret, or becoming pregnant.

Unrequited Love 

This can be a heartbreaking theme to a romance, where one loves the other but isn’t returned.


There will be five winners: one grand prize winner, two runner-ups, two second runner-ups.
Winners will receive one or more historical romance novels. See below for specifics.
One entry per day per person throughout April.
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Winners must live in the U.S.

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