A Trope for Every Taste

RGianaAh, romance tropes! We all have some we love, some we dislike, and some we can go either way on, depending on the story. When I decided I wanted to talk about favorite tropes here on the Romance Bandits, I came up with about six off the top of my head. I knew there were plenty more, but was astonished at how many popular ones there really are! Here are just a few of the ones I enjoy:

Military or Law Enforcement Alpha Hero – this trope gives us a sexy, strong hero who is tough on the outside, sometimes wounded, but always deeply caring on the inside, even if he doesn’t let anyone see it. I, for one, never get tired of well-written stories with Navy Seals and FBI guys, wounded or just awesome!FBI_Hero

Sheik – this is a surprisingly popular trope! I never thought I cared much for stories with sheik heroes, but read quite a few recently after my editor told me she likes them. To my surprise, I found I really enjoyed a number of them. Like many tropes, it came down to the story and how the author told it that made the difference.

220px-The_Vow_PosterAmnesia – it’s easy to poke fun at this trope, and I don’t think it’s used as often as it used to be. But I’ve got to admit I’ve read a few that twisted my heart all around, feeling so badly for the poor amnesiac and the person who loves him or her.

 Arranged Marriage, Marriage of Convenience, Fake Engagement – While these are different tropes, there are similarities. The marriage of convenience brings the hero and heroine together primarily after the wedding, the fake engagement brings them together beforehand, and the arranged marriage can do either, but ultimately it’s about two people who don’t plan to have a real relationship. Ultimately, though, they can’t keep from falling in love with one another. Wedding

Fish out of water – who doesn’t love seeing a character feel totally out of his or her element but getting through it, winning the heart of of the one he or she loves?

Mistaken Identity or In Disguise – again, these are always fun, as far as I’m concerned! Lots of problems ensue for the poor character having to maintain the charade, with potential for great and terrible black moments.

Reunited Lovers, Secret Baby – reunited lovers is a favorite of mine to both read and write, whether there’s a secret baby between them or not. I love to read stories that feature characters who have to work through their shared past, and writing about reunited lovers gives a lot of opportunity for remembered, sizzling sexual tension between them. Ooh, la la!

Friends to Lovers, Big Brother’s Best Friend – I used both of these tropes in my latest release, Flirting With Dr. Flirting_coverOff-Limits, and threw in Teacher/Student for good measure. Hey, if one trope is good, three’s even better, right? 🙂 It was fun to write, and I hope readers enjoy it, too.

Here’s an excerpt from FLIRTING WITH DR. OFF-LIMITS

“To you, Katy.” Alec raised his glass to hers.
Maybe it was because she couldn’t see too well through the tears in her eyes, but for whatever reason, as she tried to clink her glass to his, she completely missed. And managed to toss most of her glass of wine straight onto his lap.
“Oh! I’m so sorry, Alec!” Katy leaped from her seat, grabbing her napkin to vigorously dab at the wine staining the bottom of his shirt, moving down to dab even harder at the biggest pool of liquid in a place he didn’t want her dabbing.
Or maybe he did, because seeing her hands on his groin and feeling them pressing against him shortened his breath, stepped up the beat of his heart and invited an instant physical response he couldn’t control.
“Let me handle it, Katy,” he said, firmly grabbing her wrist before she could feel exactly what was happening to him and embarrass them both.
“But the stain is setting, and— Oh!” Suddenly her motions stilled and her widening eyes met his. Obviously his body’s response to her hands all over him was plenty clear.
“Yeah. Oh.” What else could he say? Except, maybe, Touch me some more, please.

How about you? What tropes do you love or hate, and why? Are there any tropes you’ve changed your mind about over the years?  Robin is giving away a copy of the book and a tote bag to someone leaving a comment

Thanks, Romance Bandits, for having me!

 

 

Posted in , ,

Comments

94 Comments

  • Jane says:

    Welcome Robin,
    I love revenge stories. It’s fun to see how the hate turns into love. I also enjoy mistaken identity plots for the zany misunderstandings, but I don’t like it when it takes too long for the big reveal.

    • Hi jane –
      Every time someone mentions mistaken identity I think of Susan gee Heino ‘s historicals. It’s like her core story.

      Now the GR has tried to disguise his identity from time to time, but he’s too much of a known personality to pull it off. 🙂

      • Great post, Robin! Donna–I see you’re talking about me behind my back. lol Yes, I do love a good “mistaken identity” storyline! Hope my readers never get tired of them. lol All of the tropes listed here are truly fun. There’s just so much to love in romance!

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Ah, Jane, you’re right! Revenge plots can be great, usually because there’s so much pain behind the reason the character wants it! I also completely agree about the mistaken identity – fun, but when it goes on tooo long without a new problem, it can get frustrating. Thanks for your comment!

    • Jane, congrats on snagging the GR. I enjoy revenge romances, too. They have such great twists!

  • flchen1 says:

    Hi, Robin! Great to meet you! I love friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, reunion stories, and a lot of others. I really don’t like secret baby stories–those seem hard to provide a good reason that doesn’t leave me disliking one of the main characters…

    • Hey Fichen-
      I saw in the RWR that the trope from friends to lovers is the #1 favorite romance trope. Good news for Robin as that’s FLIRTING WITH MR. OFF-LIMITS. 🙂

    • Robin Gianna says:

      I wouldn’t put secret babies high on the list, but I did use that trope for my first medical romance. I agree that often it’s hard to understand the reason the heroine kept it a secret.

      Nice to meet you, too!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Reunited lovers…we all have a “what if” in our lives, maybe more than one 😉 😉

    And of course the arranged/faked/forced. The possibilities are endles.

    • Hi Amy –
      Second chance at Love is #3 on the top 5 favorite romance tropes in the RWR. LOL. I feel like I’m playing Family Feud. Show us “First Love” ding-ding-ding. 🙂

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Amy, I must say it never occurred to me that having ‘what ifs’ in our past is part of why readers enjoy reading those kinds of stories! I’ll bet we all unconsciously have the former crush/love in the backs of our brains when we read them. Thanks for the insight!

  • Mary Preston says:

    Hi,

    I’m a big fan of marriage of convenience stories. Love the resignation & realisation.

    • That’s one of my favorites too, Mary (as you know from The Seduction of a Duke). I think those are harder to write as once the characters admit their love, the story is over. But I do love a good marriage of convenience

      • Robin Gianna says:

        I agree, Mary! It’s fun to feel what the characters are feeling when they’re thrown together, but intent on keeping their distance. And when they finally accept their feelings – *sigh!* 🙂

  • Hi Robin! Hi Donna! Robin, what a fun post. I love talking about romance tropes. Some of my favorites are the fairy tale ones – you know, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty. I think those myths still have a lot of power in a love story. Loved the excerpt!

    • Hi Anna –

      Especially Beauty and the Beast 🙂 I think you’re an expert on those. I tend to have a lot of Cinderella stories – love the transformation. 🙂 🙂

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Hi, Anna! I love fairy tale stories! I wrote a twist on Sleeping Beauty that’s a bit odd and never sold, but one of these days I’m going to write a second one just for fun.

      Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  • Helen says:

    Hi Robin and Donna

    Oh I do love all of the tropes mentioned and I also love the Cinderella trope that would have to be one of my favourites 🙂 someone from a poor background that finds love with someone who has everything but love until Cinderella comes along 🙂

    Congrats on the new book I am looking forward to reading this one 3 topes in one YAY

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • LOL – as per my above response, Cinderella is one of my favs too, Helen. Surprized it didn’t make the list of the top five favorite Romance tropes.

      • Robin Gianna says:

        Donna, I haven’t gotten my RWR! When are you going to share #2, game-show host extraordinaire?? 🙂

        • Drumroll please… #2 is Soul mate/Fate

          I think that’s mostly used in paranormals – which is another reason I love paranormals. 🙂

          • Robin Gianna says:

            Ahhh….wouldn’t have guessed that, Donna! It seems to me that many, if not most, romance novels leave the reader feeling like the hero and heroine were destined to be together. Despite all the problems and conflicts, their love prevails in the end *sigh* But perhaps you’re right that the idea of ‘fate’ is a sort of magical one.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Hi, Helen! I love Cinderella stories too, especially those with a modern twist. Usually both characters have a lot to learn, which makes for a great journey.

      Thanks so much!

  • Shannon says:

    The Arranged Marriage/Fake engagement is often my favorite because the forced intimacy is more real in historicals when there were clear male/female spheres.

    I’ll add the buddy/travel story. For some reason the hero must aid the heroine from getting from some place to another while fighting the bad guys (always men in black), their attraction, sometimes the clock, and possibly the macguffin.

    Beauty and the Beast are always fun. My only problem with this is that I’ve never seen the beast on the cover with his scars.

    I have to say I hate sheikh stories. I typed papers for Saudi, Emerati, and Kuwaiti student in college. I have an international relations type degree. I lived in Egypt for a year. I’ve been to all the Gulf emirate states plus Yemen. I have also been to Turkey. To read these I have to suspend disbelief way too much. The only place there’s many Christian Arabs is Lebanon and Egypt, and both groups are looked down on by their Muslim neighbors at best; the worst was the Lebanese civil war. It depends on the country the shaykh is a tribal leader, not just some jet-setting business man, who is more equivalent to a Scottish clan leader. His authority comes not only from birth and tradition but also consensus of the family. The reason why brother/cousins fight for power is the issue of competence. There’s no way the following fit into a romance: the widespread conception that Western women are loose at best, whores at worst. “Bed’em, forget ’em. And FGM. For the first time last night, I actually was amazed an author managed to toss that in without raging against the practice. And bakhsheesh, wasta, and even bribery. Sorry to go on so long, but I’ve long wanted to rant and did not want to write my dissertation on orientalism and the romance novel.

    • Wow, Shannon, I didn’t realize you had such worldly experience. 🙂 I guess a little knowledge can go a long way to ruin the suspension of disbelief that a shiek romance requires. I think the shiek romance is attractive in that it forces this powerful man to bend to the woman’s will. But again – a fantasy.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Interesting, Shannon, as that’s the one trope I don’t like either. Being half-Persian I know all too well what the reality is and can’t suspend it enough to really enjoy sheikhs. Although I will say that Susan Mallery’s were the exception to that rule!

    • Robin Gianna says:

      There’s nothing like first-hand experience to affect how we react to various things, is there Shannon? I think Donna’s right – it’s all about the powerful man whose one weakness is the woman he loves. Since few of us in the west know much about the real deal, I guess we’re able to manage that suspension on disbelief. But I admit, I greatly disliked a few of the sheik books I read (ending up skimming), wanting to smack the hero good! 🙂 But that’s why there are different stories for different tastes, right? Thanks so much for your comments!

      • Shannon says:

        Diversity is such a wonderful thing. I love how computers, cable tv, and even indie publishing keep opening up entertainment alternatives. I don’t like everything, but at least I have a full menu to order from.

  • Minna says:

    Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favourites. I just love stories with scarred heroes or heroines who find someone who can see past the scars. Or if we are talking about fantasy, maybe the said hero or heroine really is some kind of beast!

    Revenge stories… Most of them I can’t stand. Hero has revenge in mind and it’s either directed at the heroine or she is just a pawn. Either way, I have a VERY hard time imagining anyone falling in love under those circumstances. Unless they are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. There are very few revenge stories I actually like, and in those stories you have someone who actually deserves what he or she is about to get and a group of people who are plotting this persons demise.

    • Interesting Minna –

      I’ve never written a revenge story but it seems some people love them and some hate them – which says to me, the author has to be very masterful to pull it off.

      Love Beauty and the Beast. Hmmm – I’m thinking a beauty with a real beast might be kind of interesting. 🙂

    • Robin Gianna says:

      I generally agree with you, Minna. I’ve read a few revenge stories where I felt the hero was unlikeable because he was carrying this terrible bitterness that you feel like he should have gotten over by now! But my college-aged daughter is addicted to the TV shows ‘Revenge’ and ‘Scandal’ so one of these days I’ll have to watch to see what the appeal is. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Minna says:

        Well, I don’t know about those TV shows, but when it comes to revenge books I’ve actually liked, like Three Fates by Nora Roberts or First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith, there is someone who has done something really bad and there is no way to get justice unless the heroes and heroines go and find a way to get that justice themselves and while they are at it, they might find each other, as well.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Welcome Robin and congrats on the book – and getting so many tropes in one book!

    Not surprisingly, I love Cinderella stories (and it’s not just all about the shoes … not really! LOL) I also really like friends to lovers and reunion stories. The other one I enjoy is the fish out of water.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Thank you, Anna! This whole conversation is making me want to go back and look at my favorite books to see what tropes they implement. I’m wondering if some use tropes I wouldn’t have thought to include, or if I’m spot on with the ones I think I enjoy most! Might be eye-opening…:-)

    • I think fish out of water is like my core story. I love putting my characters in situations that they’re just not prepared for. 🙂

  • Kat Sheridan says:

    Good morning, Robin! It’s early in the morning and that little excerpt has me already fanning myself (of course, here in the south, our “cold front” of 86 degrees today will have me fanning even more. LOL!) I adore the beauty-and-the-beast trope in all its variations. And marriages of convenience. And enemies-to-lovers. Your books sounds AWESOME! Good luck!

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Good morning, Kat! Yes, I was going to say that perhaps the fanning had more to do with southern heat and humidity! 🙂 Thanks for your well-wishes!

    • Hi Kat (waving)!

      Man – there were frost warnings out this morning in the distant blurbs. WInter is coming…..
      Which means we need a good book up here to keep us warm. Robin’s will do nicely. 🙂

  • Laurie G says:

    Marriage of convenience is my favorite Opens the door to so many different scenarios, works in all time periods, forces close intimacy and makes them live and work together for a common goal, reasons so variable mail order brides arranged marriage, to inherit something etc. Very versatile.

    I too like the wounded warrior/ beast theme
    Cinderella rags to riches

    I like military rescue relationships too

    Not a fan of friends to lovers or secret baby.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Laurie, it sounds like you and I have similar tastes, except for the friends to lovers, which I like a lot. Marriage of Convenience is definitely a super-popular trope, likely for the exact reason you gave, which is that it can be used in so many different ways. Thanks so much for your comments!

      • Laurie G says:

        I will read friends to lovers and really any trope if I like the storyline and find it believable.

        I will look for your book as I am an ex-RN, so I like doctor heroes.

    • While I’m normally not a fan of Secret Baby, Maureen Child did a great secret baby book a while back. I’m tempted to say that I don’t remember the name, but as it was a Harlequin, I’m sure the words “Secret Baby” were in it 🙂

  • Laney4 says:

    I enjoy all the tropes mentioned and many more to boot. Variety is the spice of life.
    I especially enjoy sheikh stories, probably because the heroes are usually tall and powerful, physically strong, and fall like a brick for the heroine. I’m 5’10” and overweight, so my heroes need to be able to carry me over the threshold of my sweet dreams!
    As you said, though, it’s all in how the story is written. There can be a good plot or unusual twist to a story that make it memorable, or it can just be beautifully written that the words get me excited/revved up, but if they can do both plus have witty banter, I am a goner. Sometimes (rarely) I find a book where the title accurately describes the storyline, and I can instantly go back to that storyline in my dreams, but usually the titles (the publisher chooses, of course) are obscure and could pertain to any storyline, so I forget the story shortly after reading it, no matter how good it was….
    I will admit that stories with friends to lovers haven’t always been a hit, probably because I can’t feel the same passion. As well, secret baby stories don’t always sit right with me either. As noted above, though, it all depends on how the story has been written. It could really be hot to me if it is written well….

    How about you? What tropes do you love or hate, and why? Are there any tropes you’ve changed your mind about over the years? Robin is giving away a copy of the book and a tote bag to someone leaving a comment

    • Laney4 says:

      Whoops. Sorry about forgetting to delete the bottom paragraph. (I need visual cues to remind me what the original question is.) Me bad….

      • Robin Gianna says:

        Thanks for your interesting comments, Laney! I would agree with you about the secret baby being a very hit-or-miss trope. The first I remember being ‘wowed’ by is Rachel Gibson’s ‘Daisy’s Back in Town’. The ‘baby’ is now a 15 year old in the story, and if you’d told me I’d love it, I’d have said, ‘uh, probably not.’ But the emotions are so real and believable and I just fell totally in love with the wounded hero. That’s when I first realized, I think, that any trope can be great or not so great, depending on how the author spins it.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    I love the fact that writers are always trying new things. Read one recently where heroine was sold into sex trade. Marine on leave goes to brothel and she takes care of him then tells him she’s American, was kidnapped and needs help. Of course he rescues her. Wasn’t sure if I’d like it but it was very well done and I ended up really enjoying it. My favorite is the marriage of convenience or the unplanned pregnancy. Love baby stories. I think it’s because some wonderful guy ends up stepping up to the plate, going out of his way yo care for the woman and unborn child. One of my favorites along that line is Season of Love by Marie Force. Oh, and the above mentioned was Invincible by Alana Albertson.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      This is a good reminder, Debbie, that we readers need to step out of our comfort zone sometimes, and read things others are impressed by that we normally would ignore. That said, we do all like different things. I’ve read various single-title medical romances, some of which I really enjoyed but others were just way too dark and gritty for me. I like romantic suspense a lot, but I read for an enjoyable escape (and okay, research too!) and just don’t enjoy horrific stuff that sticks in my mind in a bad way. But that’s just me, clearly, as many readers love them! Thanks for your thoughts!

    • I like your logic on baby stories, Debbie. Hmm…I’ll have to try one of those…

  • I love military heros. And secret baby is my favorite trope.

  • Margaret Crowley says:

    I like Fish out of Water stories. I always find the juxtaposition of what seems strange/ to what seems normal hysterical. (Perhaps a comment on my life, no?) Plus by the end usually the fish accepts the strange as normal.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      I WAS NOT going to say that about your life, Margs…no, I wasn’t 😉 I agree, Fish out of Water stories can be humorous and have the character show a lot of courage and determination!

      Thanks for coming by to see me! xoxo

    • Margaret –

      I think you need to write a fish out of water story. You’d be great at it! 🙂

  • Sally Schmidt says:

    Great list, such variety. I will have to investigate the Sheik trope, never thought about that. And I couldn’t really pick a favorite. I depends on the writing and the characters. Even when I initially think the premise has been done and maybe overdone, if I like the characters (and get a few tears going) I’m in.

    • Characters are key, aren’t they?

      It’s amazing what some authors can do with a trope. Sometimes I love them. Sometimes they are a bit predictable.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      I SO agree, Sally! While it seems most of us have tropes we look forward to or think we don’t care for, ultimately it does come down to the story. Thanks for stopping by!

  • IreAnne says:

    I enjoy the mistaken identity (who doesn’t love Princess Bride), arranged marriage and friends to lovers/big brothers best friend. Friends to lovers was even used by Jane Austen herself in Emma although it was also big brother in law’s brother 🙂 I seem to keep getting pulled into to these tropes. Love them!

  • Janie Mason says:

    Sheik stories just aren’t my thing. Mistaken identity stories can go either way. It depends on how the author handles it. The whole book can’t all balance on a single, silly miscommunication or I become one frustrated reader. I tend to really enjoy fish out of water stories. SEP does those so well.

    • That she does, Janie!

      I’m a big fan of fish out of water stories. And I hear you about the big miscommunication. Those books get set down and are never opened again.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      I agree – there has to be a mid-point where the mistaken identity is revealed, beginning another set of problems, or the book sputters to a halt waaay too soon.

      Hmmm….quite a bit of talk here about the fish-out-of-water trope, which I’ve never written. Putting one on the top of my to-write list! Thanks, Janie!

  • Deb says:

    Hi, Donna and Robin. I like The-Girl-Next-Door stories. The Hero suddenly notices the “little brat” next door has grown up…BAM! My favorite story in this trope is JQ’s ROMANCING MR. BRIDGERTON.
    I like Cinderella-type stories.
    I do not like sheik stories….Remember when that seemed all Violet Winspear wrote for Harlequin in the 70s? But, I won’t go into details why I don’t like them; religious faith and political reasons.

    • Hi Deb!

      I like Cinderella stories. Loved Enchanted when the city animals showed up to help Cinderella prepare – that was hilarious!

      I’m fond of the girl next door as well, though I haven’t tried my hand at one of those. Maybe it’s about time! 🙂

    • Robin Gianna says:

      I really enjoyed putting little bits in this ‘Flirting’ book where the hero or heroine were sometimes reminded of their childhoods together, and that who they were back when they were just friends is still part of the appeal they’re feeling for one another now.

      And Cinderella stories? Think how long that trope has endured and is still loved, for good reason 🙂

  • bn100 says:

    not a fan of the boss/employee or secret baby

    • Boss/employee is tough for me as well, BN100.
      It’s a question of ethics.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Ah, but the ethical problems for my hero and heroine in this book are part of what cause a lot of angst for them, and at first it seems insurmountable. And the terrible black moment is the hero’s (misguided!) solution to that. Obviously, I enjoyed writing it, and hope readers end up enjoying it too! 🙂

      But yes, a lot of the boss/employee stories don’t resonate well, for that exact reason.

  • Robin, welcome! I’ll ready pretty much any of these. I’m not overly fond of secret babies, sheiks, or amnesia. Castle’s amnesia and the fact he and Beckett have not hurried to the altar are not currently making me love the show. It’s more like an “Oh, really?” response.

    Teacher/student or boss/staffer would have to be handled very carefully to avoid having the unequal balance of power become a squick factor.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      I haven’t watched Castle yet, Nancy (which makes me a minority, I think!) I didn’t realize it had an amnesia trope.

      I agree totally with you about the “squick” factor – an unequal balance of power is definitely not romantic, if it’s used inappropriately! Too much of that kind of ickiness in real life, unfortunately.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Nancy the balance of power is why I don’t care for boss/secretary tropes, though I have really enjoyed a few–Kate Carlisle’s stories come to mind. It’s also part of why I don’t tend to like the Sheik stories.
      I’ve seen teacher-student done really well–and Robin, your excerpt really makes me want to read yours!

    • I think I saw a bit of that amnesia Castle show. Wasn’t that the result of the car crash? Or was that one of those hypnotist plots. I loved the sexual tension of Castle but not feeling it so much lately. Hmmm…have they jumped the shark?

  • ellie says:

    A most interesting post with so many great options which all interest me very much. Friends and lovers are always appealing.

  • Elaina says:

    Writers who explore so many topics are fascinating. Why not discover new stories so that readers can enjoy more of their writing.

  • anne says:

    Since the world has changed so much, Sheik ones are out. Cinderella are always classic as is Beauty and the beast.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Yes, I can’t imagine Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast-type stories ever going out of fashion! And there are so many ways to spin those two themes, aren’t there, Anne?

  • catslady says:

    I enjoy variety but since I enjoy historicals, the marriage of convenience is a popular one. I don’t think I really hate any particular ones!

    • Robin Gianna says:

      I love historicals, but confess I’ve read fewer in recent years, since I’ve focused more on contemporaries. You’ve got me thinking about what other tropes are common in historicals besides Marriage of Convenience and Arranged Marriage? Will have to go look! Donna…I’m sure you have a spreadsheet on this somewhere…;-)

      • LOL – Nope same tropes only in corsets. I think the marriage of convenience/arranged marriage can be pulled off more realistically in an historical. Secret baby can be done but the heroine’s life would not have been easy. Now if there were a trope that involved computers and cellphones – that would be difficult for an historical 🙂

  • Mel Jolly says:

    Robin, this is a great explanation of common tropes! I’m a fan of “fish out of water” and “In disguise.” Not so much a fan of “secret baby,” but I think I’m in the minority there!

    • Robin Gianna says:

      No, Mel, I think the ‘secret baby’ trope is one a lot of readers don’t care for! Unless, as we’ve talked about, the author makes it work. I’m going to have to make you read my first book, and see what you think then…;-)

  • Becke says:

    Loved the “Yeah. Oh.” Too cute.

    Ah, favorite trope. I like secret babies, wounded heroes, and fish out of water. Not much on sheiks, but have a read a few I liked okay as long as the heroine isn’t a servant.
    b

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Thanks, Becke! Again, your list of three makes me want to come up with a story that incorporates them all….stay tuned! 😉

      I agree totally with your thoughts on the sheik trope. Some are waaay too much Alpha for me, even newer ones. But I still remember a Harlequin Presents by Michelle Reid that I loved. The sheik hero was very Alpha, but also so in love with the heroine (and she with him, of course) that it was a wonderfully emotional journey. More proof, I guess, that any trope works if done well.

  • Cassondra Murray says:

    Hi Donna and hi Robin!

    Interesting blog, Robin! I have to admit that I like almost all these tropes if they’re done well. I have an amnesia book I’ve had on the back burner for years. It’s not EXACTLY amnesia, but it is, too. And I just have to believe it would really happen. That’s all it takes.
    As for the secret baby, I don’t have the trouble with that trope that some people do as long as it’s motivated, because gosh, can you THINK of a bigger conflict than that? And great conflict makes great love stories. But that takes a lot of work on the part of the author–to motivate that trope in a way that makes me believe it. I don’t love revenge tropes, but some of my favorite books are those. I really, really like the Beauty and the Beast tropes, and I think those must be really hard to write. I love, love LOVE the friends to lovers trope, and can’t get enough of it. But the “old lover done me wrong” is right up there with it. I don’t love the Cinderella tropes, although I absolutely love a Cinderella story when it’s done well. I know that’s wrong and I’m wanting it both ways. I think I dislike the IDEA of the Cinderella story now–the rich guy and the poor girl–because I so like strong, successful heroines. But bottom line? I read them and like them. Heck. I think I like ALL of them.
    I have not come around to the Sheik stories. The reality of that is so in my face regularly that I just can’t go there with a romance. :0/

  • Robin Gianna says:

    “Great conflict makes great love stories’ – that sentence of yours pretty much sums it all up, Cassandra! Every trope brings potential for that kind of conflict, though some probably more than others.

    I want to know about your ‘not exactly amnesia’ book – sounds intriguing!