Valentines Day: Top of the Tropes, Part 2

top of the tropes.png

Like I said in last week’s Part 1 post:

Every genre has it’s tropes and conventions, but I feel like in Romance novels (or just romantic relationships in general) they’re especially well-known and iconic. I don’t pick up a whole lot of romance-centric stories, but I do enjoy a good cliché. In honour of Valentine’s Day approaching, here’s some trope I think are really fun and popular, and some great books which feature them.

Here’s another five.

Which are your favourite tropes? Which novels do them best?

Marriage of Convenience…

The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon #1)The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews


Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill–though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome–is anything but a romantic hero.

Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household–and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.

Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?


Slow Burn…

The Witch of Willow HallThe Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox


In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall. The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…


Friends to Lovers…

Queens of GeekQueens of Geek by Jen Wilde


Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.


Secret Crushes…

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1)Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.


Opposites Attract…

The Queen of Ieflaria (Tales of Inthya, #1)The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin


Princess Esofi of Rhodia and Crown Prince Albion of Ieflaria have been betrothed since they were children but have never met. At age seventeen, Esofi’s journey to Ieflaria is not for the wedding she always expected but instead to offer condolences on the death of her would-be husband.

But Ieflaria is desperately in need of help from Rhodia for their dragon problem, so Esofi is offered a new betrothal to Prince Albion’s younger sister, the new Crown Princess Adale. But Adale has no plans of taking the throne, leaving Esofi with more to battle than fire-breathing beasts.

6 thoughts on “Valentines Day: Top of the Tropes, Part 2”

  1. Hallo, Hallo Lou!!

    As you know, I devour Romances (ie. generally Historicals *but!* I do have a keen interest in Contemporaries – its just that I’m particularly particular about how I like them, hence why I yield on saying I’m more of an INSPY Contemporary Romance reader than a mainstream one – though there are those rare exceptions, where authors have charmed my socks off for how they knit up a Contemporary Rom!) — it wasn’t til I took to the twitterverse and the book blogosphere where I started hearing “tropes” — in fact, in the beginning I was just clueless about why everyone was talking more about tropes than characters & plot points as I just discuss books differently than others – something I also started to notice the more I hosted @SatBookChat!!

    However, in this vein — my *favourite!* marriages of convenience are mail-order brides!! One of the best ones I discovered very early-on as a ChocLit reviewer was Liz Harris’s “A Bargain Struck”. Mostly as it flipped the script on what your expecting out of this kind of narrative – especially in how she characterised her heroine Ellen. I want to do a re-read of this one day whilst listening to the audiobook version as it truly was brilliantly executed!!

    A newer one I appreciated was by Stacie Henrie – from #LoveINSPIRED Historicals – “A Cowboy of Convenience” which I felt was charmingly sweet!

    In film, my favourite mini-series is “Sarah, Plain and Tall” starring Glenn Close. Beyond brill!!

    I *love!* finding slow burning romances – the ones that sneak up on you and your never quite certain if the two are going to realise their meant to be with each other — on the opposite end, I don’t usually love combustible romances – but there is one by a ChocLit author which years back really struck me with how she brought these two forces of insta-romantic gestures together! This was by Sarah Tranter and the book was “Romancing the Soul”!! Truly – you’ll have to read my review to better understand!!

    Of your list, the ones I am curious about myself are the Mimi Matthews series and Willow Hall. I already knew I’d eventually read SIMON, as I found the audiobooks via #Scribd. (smiles) The Friends to Lovers trope is a bit trickier for me, as it can sometime ‘work brill’ and other times fell like it falls dearly flat. Just depends on how the author approaches it. In many regards, this also applies to Secret Crushes and Opposites Attract as it really has to sell the plot and connections for me otherwise its just not working right.

    One of my other favourite pairings though is second-chance romances and/or small towne romances – those two are ones I lean hard on as I really like seeing how someone can find their true match even if a considerable amount of time passes (esp for non-traditional aged characters) or those who are living non-conventional lives and it just took longer for them to find the right bloke/girl depending on whom their attracted. Since I read straight & LGBTQ+ romances it just depends on who is seeking out whom,… I believe “Time Keeper” by Tara Sim would fit the “slow burn” angle quite well and that’s definitely LGBTQ+ on the G side of the rainbow. I eventually want to get the next two stories in audiobook as I entered this as an #AudioReads and want to continue it.

    Wicked good chat! 🙂 This is why I sometimes ask questions under my Romance reviews and sometimes I opt out of asking as I don’t always get traction on them. I just hope if someone finds one they’ll want to carry forward the convo about the points I bridge into my reviews and showcases. It is lovely to talk Romance as its something I do all the time on my chat and keep trying to seek out chatty readers who love either Romance and/or Women’s Fiction without stepping into Erotica.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jorie!

      The Witch of Willow Hall was one of my absolute favourites last year, but it’s probably more of a YA Historical with strong paranormal and romantic elements? It was fab though!

      The Mimi Matthews books, on the other hand, are definitely firmly in the Historical Romance camp. I’ve read two of her books now (this and A Holiday by Gaslight) and I’m really looking forward to the next one in this series, which is coming out soon.

      I really do think you would enjoy her writing.

      You’ve probably noticed that I’m not always the biggest fan of books where romance is the driving factor, so it surprised me how much I’ve enjoyed both her books. The relationships don’t feel rushed and the characters have really great chemistry together. From a historical standpoint, these books feel really well-written to me. Matthews clearly knows her history but it doesn’t feel too info-dumpy, and the heroine’s are strong and well-written without feeling completely out-of-time. She’s got a couple of other standalones (I think) which I’m keen to check out.

      Liked by 1 person

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