The Feature For The Day: Trope It Much
Today we are going to discuss the various tropes and books to match!! There is so much variety when it comes to tropes and they really add something more to a story. So why do we use tropes in books–especially romance? Why is it such a common theme? Well, lets talk about that for a bit. So the first time I really noticed tropes was in historical romance but you do see it in most sub-genres of romance. Now I am sure its in other genres of fiction but many of you Gents and Ladies know that what I read is ROMANCE…so we are going to discuss romance and tropes here.
I have always felt that tropes add so much more for a story, but if I am in the mood for a certain trope I can just narrow it down. Now I want to get to the basics about what a Trope actually is. A trope according to the ladies at Heroes and Heartbreakers–“cliches” but we call it tropes because it just sounds better right and it seems more approachable when we call it tropes instead of cliches. At least in my mind it does. What about you all….do you like the sounds of cliches or tropes more?? Now These tropes are used in various ways to bring a conflict to a story–where the couple in question have to resolve it in order to reach their happily ever after ending.
Now some of these tropes are ones that we gravitate too…others we tend to avoid or others we aren’t too sure about—it can be that love and hate relationship right? Well, most of these that I will mention I love and there are a few that aren’t my favorites but I will still read it because it adds an interest. What is most unique about romance tropes is how they can bring a couple together in various ways, and if the story is written well–you will be in for a few surprises.
Most common tropes used: (I didn’t use all the tropes used, just the most I have read)
- Best friend & Little Sister–this is a commonly used tropes, especially in Contemporary, but we do see it in historical and paranormal genres as well. My choice of book to match is Perfect Ten by Linda Kage. Now why “Perfect Ten” well here is the thing that I feel is important to remember about this trope–the emotional element. This story is one roller coaster of emotion. For those of you who have followed this series, you know that each book in the series kinda leads up to their relationship. However, this was the first book I read in the series–I could easily follow along and did I need a full box of tissues.
Let your hair down, Caroline, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
I know I’ve closed myself off in a major way over the past year, ever since “the incident” where I messed up my life completely. It’s past time I try to live again or just give up altogether. But this is quite possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done. In a last ditch effort to invigorate myself, I’m standing outside Oren Tenning’s bedroom, I just peeled off the sexiest pair of underwear I own, and my hand is already raised to knock. My brother would disown me for doing anything with his best friend, and he’d probably kill Oren. But if I play my cards right, no one will ever know about this. Not even Ten.
Maybe after tonight, I’ll finally get over this stupid, irrational crush I hate having on the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Or maybe I’ll just end up falling for him even harder. Maybe I’ll discover there’s so much more to my crude, carefree hunk than meets the eye.
- Boss & Secretary Romance-Now for some reason when I read a romance I love this trope and it really can be a historical read too. Now my choice was really hard to narrow down so I will be doing two, A historical themed, and a contemporary themed book. The first one is Rock Hard by Nalini Singh–this is an amazing story of how opposites attract, wildly entertaining and lively. The second choice is Lady Sophia’s Lover…now I love this story one of the best books I have read from Kleypas. Romantic and mysterious and sensual.
Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.
And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.
Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.
If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.
Lady Sophia Sydney would do anything to ensnare the unattainable Sir Ross Cannon. Her goal: to ruin his reputation and cause a scandal that would be the talk of all London. So she insinuates herself into his life by gaining his trust and living in his house.
Every morning, her lush presence tempts him beyond all reason . . . the way she bends over the table to serve him the meals she has prepared . . . the way her hands oh, so gently—yet sensuously—brush against him. Every night, she promises with her eyes—and her body—that the hours before dawn could be spent in unbridled passion instead of restless sleep—if only he’d let her share his bed.
She knows he is falling more in love with her each day. But she never counted on falling in love with him. And she never dreamed he might very respectably ask for her hand in marriage.
- Secret Baby or Accidental Pregnancy—this can be a variety of factors that lead up to a baby. Use of no protection (really bothers me) or happened while using protection –which is possible. This was a difficult choice because I have read many books with this trope and loved many of them. Even though its not my favorite trope, but I do love the stories with this trope.
One look at Brawn and Becca is wondering how he’d look withouthis clothes. Brawn is instantly attracted to Becca but has sworn never to touch a human female. They just aren’t sturdy enough and he likes his sex a little rough. He is shocked to learn he’ll be living with her when she refuses to leave her home. He is there to represent New Species and to learn about humans so maybe this will be a good educational experience. He just has to keep his hands off her.
His good intentions go astray when they are kidnapped and locked together inside a cage. Brawn finds himself reliving a nightmare when he is once again subjected to breeding experiments at the hands of New Species’ enemies. They will use Becca to get what they want from him. Brawn will do everything he can to protect her but they only have each other to depend on while trying to survive.
- Amnesia–this is a very unique element in stories and I do love it in romance, but I have mostly seen in in historical romance–it is rare to read it in other genres like Contemporary or Paranormal–but feel free to mention some so I can read them hehe. My choice for this trope is Someone To Watch Over Me by Lisa Kleypas. This is a wonderful book, very emotional and a bit an angst–but Kleypas really balances the angst part of the relationship so that its not too strong.
Grant Morgan is one of London’s most eligible and unattainablebachelors. He’s also a powerful member of the Bow Street Runners, and when he’s called to the waterfront late one night to investigate a drowning victim, Grant is stunned to recognize the face of Vivien Rose Duvall, a well-known woman of the night. He’s even more startled when he realizes that she’s alive. With no one to care for her, Grant carries Vivien to his home and revives her, only to learn that she is suffering from amnesia.
Vivien hesitantly accepts her handsome rescuer’s claim that she is his mistress, despite her misgivings about her true identity. Nevertheless, she can’t deny the marks on her throat that prove her near-drowning in the Thames was not an accident, and now she must trust the man who claims her as his paramour, for her life is in danger. As Grant searches for Vivien’s attacker, the two find themselves falling in love, all the while struggling to stay one step ahead of the evil forces that will stop at nothing to see Vivien dead
- Arranged Marriage–This is where family expectations, cultural traditions, or religious beliefs bring our lovers together or try to keep them apart. This is most common in historical romance and even paranormal romance as well. Its rare to find it in Contemporary Romance—but I have read the occasional title in this genre that does have it, but it is rare. My choice for this trope is The Bride by Julie Garwood. This is by far one of my all time favorite books and love the way these two fall in love with each other. And oh the humor–if you have yet to read this—READ NOW lol
By the king’s edict, Alec Kincaid, mightiest of the Scottish lairds,must take an English bride. And Jamie the youngest daughter of Baron Jamison, is his choice. From his first glimpse of the proud and beautiful English lady, Alec felt a burning hunger stir within him. This was a woman worthy of his fearless warrior’s spirit. And he aches to touch her, tame her, possess her…forever.
But with the wedding vows, Jamie pledges her own secret oath: She will never surrender her love to this Highland barbarian. He was everything her heart warned her against — an arrogant, brooding scoundrel whose rough good looks and seductive embrace fire her blood. But when strange accidents begin to threaten Jamie’s life and an old rumor that Alec killed his first wife spreads anew, something far more dangerous than desire threatens to conquer her senses.
- Riches To Rags, Rags to Riches–this trope can go either way and we see this quite a lot in romance. Depending on the story, I can really enjoy it. But there are times that if I am not in the mood for it I have problems with it. My choice for the trope is A Loving Scoundrel by Johanna Lindsey, I love this book, this is part of the infamous Malory-Anderson Family.
THE MALORYS ARE BACK!
Johanna Lindsey brings to glorious life her beloved aristocratic family of adventurous rogues and spirited ladies as the Malorys confront the shocking news that Jeremy, the rakehell son of gentleman pirate James Malory, has fallen in love.
When Jeremy Malory hires Danny, a young woman who grew up on London’s streets disguised as a boy, as his upstairs maid, he secretly intends to make her his mistress. But Danny surprises him with her dreams of becoming a refined lady and a gentleman’s wife. As she transforms from urchin to elegant beauty before Jeremy’s eyes, she unwittingly captivates the charming scoundrel. Now high society tongues are wagging: Who is this mysterious newcomer, and what is the truth about her past? No matter that a life-long adversary will go to any lengths to ensure Danny’s downfall, Jeremy, who vowed never to succumb to matrimony, finds his resolve weakening as he pursues a woman whose strong, passionate nature rivals his own and promises the kind of challenge a Malory man can’t resist.
- May to December–this is where we have a big age difference, it can go either way as far as if its the hero or the heroine. I do like this on occasion because we see how sometimes age doesn’t matter when you truly love someone.
Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beautyJennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as “The Wolf”; his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, this handsome rogue who taunts her with his blazing arrogance. Boldly she challenges his will . . . until the night he takes her in his powerful embrace, awakening in her an irresistible hunger. And suddenly Jennifer finds herself ensnared in a bewildering web . . . a seductive, dangerous trap of pride, passion, loyalty, and overwhelming love.
- Disguised As A Male–This is quite a fun and unique trope and I love seeing the fall out happen. My Choice for this trope is Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey. This is a situation where a young woman dresses as a cabin boy to deceive the captain—but he realizes that she is a woman earlier than she thinks—adds a fun mix.
Heartsick and desperate to return home to America, GeorginaAnderson boards the Maiden Anne disguised as a cabin boy, never dreaming she’ll be forced into intimate servitude at the whim of the ship’s irrepressible captain, James Mallory.
The black sheep of a proud and tempestuous family, the handsome ex-pirate once swore no woman alive could entice him into matrimony. But on the high seas his resolve will be weakened by an unrestrained passion and by the high-spirited beauty whose love of freedom and adventure rivals his own.
- Enemies To Lovers-this is a trope where both characters are against each other whether its family feuds, business rivals, criminals, spies and much more. My choice for this trope is Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh. This is where we see two people are enemies…one is Psy and one is changeling–exact opposites in every way.
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation” – the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities – or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation
- Fairytale Retelling–now this is one of my all time favorite tropes to read. I love fairy tales and to have them in retelling is so fun. My choice for this trope is The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James (and probably my favorite book by this author) she has a series based on fairy tales and all books are fun to read.
Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke’s passion.
Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months.
Theo would have given it a lifetime… until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry. Society was shocked by their wedding; it’s scandalized by their separation.
Now James faces the battle of his lifetime, convincing Theo that he loved the duckling who blossomed into the swan.
And Theo will quickly find that for a man with the soul of a pirate, All’s Fair in Love — or War.
- Friends To Lovers–this is a fantastic trope, and we see it quite a bit especially lately. Its become quite popular and we mostly see it in contemporary romance, but we do see it in other genres just not as often. My choice for the trope is Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts. This is such a witty and fun romance.
As little girls MacKensie, Emma, Laurel, and Parker spent hours acting out their perfect make believe “I do” moments. Years later their fantasies become reality when they start their own wedding planning company to make every woman’s dream day come true. With perfect flowers, delicious desserts, and joyful moments captured on film, Nora Roberts’s Bride Quartet shares each woman’s emotionally magical journey to romance.
In Bed of Roses, florist Emma Grant is finding career success with her friends at Vows wedding planning company, and her love life appears to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. And the last place she’s looking is right under her nose.
But that’s just where Jack Cooke is. He’s so close to the women of Vows that he’s practically family, but the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. When Emma returns his passion—kiss for blistering kiss—they must trust in their history…and in their hearts.
- Kidnapped–This is where a character is kidnapped and both captor and captive have fallen in love along the way. My choice for this trope is more a woman is kidnapped because her life is in danger so a british spy kidnaps her for her own protection.
He kidnapped her to keep her safe, but the captor soon becomes a captive when she turns on her charm and has him falling in love.
Nicholas Wright is a spy. It’s what he loves to do – his calling, even. His current mission brings him home to England, where he’s on the trail of a spy.
When his plans are overheard by one Charlotte Sinclair, he has no choice but to kidnap her to keep her safe.
But Charlotte is not your typical London socialite and her wit, intelligence and beauty all threaten to corrupt Nick’s resolve to never fall in love
- Mail Order Bride–where the hero requests a spouse through a mail or magazine service. My choice of Title is Texas Bride by Joan Johnston. This is the only historical series that is written by this author (that I know of)
Miranda Wentworth never imagined becoming a mail-order bride. Now marriage to a stranger is her only hope of finding a home where she and her two younger brothers can escape the brutality of the Chicago orphanage where they live. With any luck, she can even start a family of her own, once the three of them are settled at Jacob Creed’s Texas ranch. But Miranda has one gigantic concern: Her husband-to-be knows nothing about the brothers she’s bringing along. What if he calls off the deal when he discovers the trick she’s played on him?
Jake Creed is hanging on to his Texas ranch by his fingernails. His nemesis, Alexander Blackthorne, is determined to ruin him. Jake will never give up, but he’s in desperate trouble. His wife died six months ago in childbirth, along with their stillborn son, and his two-year-old daughter needs a mother. The advertisement Jake wrote never mentioned his daughter—or the fact that he has no intention of consummating his marriage. He’s determined never to subject another wife to the burden of pregnancy. But Jake doesn’t count on finding his bride so desirable. He doesn’t count on aching with need when she joins him in bed. And he never suspected his bride would have plans of her own to seduce him.
- Royalty- a hero or heroine who is a king/queen, prince/princess, tsar/tsarina, emperor/empress, sheikh/sheikha, raja/rana/rani, or any other type of royal. This is a wonderful trope and I love seeing this happen in a romance. And it happens in any genre.
When a royal summons from her brother arrives, Emma knows it’s time to embrace her duties as the princess of a small European kingdom, and marry the man her brother has chosen for her…a stranger she has never met. Instead she does what any self-respecting princess would do—she runs away. All she wants is one week in London. One week to experience everything life has to offer, before she is locked away in a loveless marriage forever…
Former naval captain Nick Gregory has inherited a title he never wanted. As the new Earl of Lyndhurst, he chafes against his landlocked existence—until fate brings a mysterious young beauty across his path. Believing she’s an unemployed governess, Nick offers shelter and protection to the captivating girl, never guessing her true identity.
Emma falls hard for Nick, but knowing they have no future, she flees once more—this time back to her royal responsibilities. But when she and Nick unexpectedly meet again, she learns that against all odds, he’s determined to make this princess his bride…
- Sex Worker with a Heart of Gold–Where one of the characters works as exchanging money for sex. This was a difficult choice because there are a few books, But the one of my favorite is Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage. I know I have already mentioned this author, but I just LOVED this book and it almost broke my heart but in a good way. I would highly recommend this one to NA contemporary romance lovers.
I don’t care what my cousin says; I am not the queen of impossible relationships. I mean, just because my last boyfriend tried to kill me and left a bit of a scar on my neck, then forced me to move across the country and legally change my name to Reese Randall to escape him, does not mean—
Oh, who am I kidding? For a freshman in college, I have to have the worst dating track record ever.
It’s no wonder love is the last thing on my mind when Mason Lowe enters my life. But the chemistry between us is like bam! Our connection defies logic. And he’s just so freaking hot. Being around him makes me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt before. I even like bickering with him. He could be my soul mate…except for one teeny tiny glitch.
He’s a gigolo.
Boy, do I know how to pick them.
- Stranded, this is where both characters end up stranded together and end up falling in love. My choice is Charming The Highlander—this is a different mix of a story—a contemporary, with a sexy scot who is from the past!! Love this series.
A feisty beauty tempted by a bold highlander’s touch… When a plane crash strands brilliant scientist Grace Sutter on an icy mountaintop in Maine, she finds herself alone in the wilderness with the only other surviving passenger — Greylen MacKeage, a sexy, medieval warrior who’s been tossed through time to find the woman he’s destined to love. Forced together to survive the harsh, wintry landscape, neither expects the fierce passion that flares between them. But Grace is not used to letting her heart take control, and Greylen will settle for nothing less than her heart’s surrender….
- Time Travel-This is where one or both of the character travel through time and fall in love. My choice is Dark Victory by Brenda Joyce.
Fierce and powerful, Guy Macleod is every inch a Highland warrior. Yet his future is uncertain. Tormented by his family’s murder, he rejects his noble vows in pursuit of revenge—until he’s compelled to leap to the aid of a beautiful enchantress in modern-day Manhattan. One look at Tabitha Rose, and Guy knows he must possess her—body and soul.
A destiny that won’t be denied
Tabby has never met a man she wanted more, despite Guy’s macho ways. But her powers—and their newfound desire—are challenged by a jealous evil, and a supernatural showdown seems inevitable. Somehow, Guy must keep Tabby safe…and hold on to their dream of a love that transcends centuries.
He didn’t choose his destiny…Destiny chose him.
Questions For The Readers:
Do you have a favorite trope? Or do you like most of them?
What do you like most about seeing tropes in romance?