Romance novels have been in existence from as far back as Ancient Greece. More recently, romance has mingled with other genres to create a long list of subgenres, including: Fantasy romance, Historical romance, Paranormal romance, Science fiction romance, etc. If you’re an avid consumer of romance novels, you’ve probably come across some interesting titles and arousing book covers that have made their way to the top of the Kindle best-seller lists. Sometimes the cover includes a half- man with an impeccable abdominal section and sculpted pectorals. On other covers, you might find a man covered in scales (to embody a dragon romance) or artfully decorated in tattoos and a motorcycle (to appeal towards the motorcycle club vibe). These carefully crafted covers are merely used to help the potential reader understand the plot device within the novel.
Tropes in romance are used as plot devices that bring two or more characters together. Over time, these tropes have become far more creative than ever before. The tropes often intermingle with other tropes to create the hot and steamy novels readers love to purchase. Here are just a few of our favorites:
- The Billionaire:
We all remember the infamous Christian Grey and his lover Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey. Grey falls under “the billionaire” trope, which overlaps with the alpha hero (the powerful individual who is in control of everything around him but their lover). The billionaire can buy whatever he/she pleases, except for true love.
- Involved with Law Enforcement:
This trope seems to involve the police, FBI, or bounty hunters. At least one of the lovers must be working with the law. Author Kristen Ashley explores the law-abiding men in her Dream Man series, where her characters range from DEA agents to police detectives.
- A Military (Wo)Man:
Whether it is a man or woman, being enlisted and serving the country seems to appeal to many. In this trope, one of the lovers is affiliated with the military (and we are talking all branches here). Trish McCallan has some fun with Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters, the sexy SEAL in her first novel for the Red-Hot SEALS
- An Office Romance:
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren is the ideal example of this hot-and-heavy trope. With being the more relatable trope for readers, the lovers in the novel must work in the same office, whether as coworkers or as employer/employee.
- Coming from Royalty:
At least one of the lovers in this trope must derive from a royal family. Princes, sheikhs – you name it, this trope has it. Geneva Lee’s Command Me (start of the Royals Saga) takes a prince and puts his demanding, dangerous, and controlling being in the hands of a woman.
Hand in hand with these tropes come some of our own titles that can make your heart jump out your chest, especially when you listen to them read out loud:
- “Dance with Deception” by Tracy Goodwin
As she struggles with a desperate choice – honor her dying father’s final request or alienate him by choosing her true love – Sebastian is forced to make his own desperate decision: trick Gwen into marriage or lose her forever. Sebastian and Gwen must confront the consequences of their actions and secrets so scandalous that they threaten to destroy all they hold dear. In this dangerous dance with deception, who will die for love?
- “Fighting Envy: A Deadly Sins Novel” by Jennifer Miller
When I desperately needed someone, MMA fighter Jackson Stone crashed into my life. He wasn’t the one who should have been there, but he was exactly the person I needed. He believed that only fools live in the past. He showed me that a real relationship is full of dreams, faith, trust, and passion. He taught me that love is worth fighting for – even when it’s unexpected and more of a collision of hearts and souls. He proved that the wrong man at the right moment can heal everything.
- “Shooter” By Dahlia West
Chris “Shooter” Sullivan has returned to his home town of Rapid City, South Dakota to pick up the pieces of his life shattered by a roadside bomb in Iraq. He only wants to focus on holding what’s left of his old unit together, running his garage where he builds custom bikes and cars, and pretending that his murdered father’s motorcycle gang doesn’t exist. Hayley Turner is a young woman with her own traumatic past. Fresh off the bus from Nowhere, USA, all she wants is a job and a place to live, until it’s time for her to leave again. She doesn’t want to make friends, or enemies, least of all the ex-Army Ranger who obviously doesn’t like her. She bristles under his watchful eye. He’s even got her convinced she’s bad news. But circumstances force two people who don’t need anyone to need each other more and more. The more Chris gets to know Hayley, the harder it is to stay detached. And the more Hayley gets to know Chris, the more she realizes she’s been alone for so long she might never recover from it.
- “Ace” by Frankie Love
I don’t take women to bed. I take them against the wall, hard and fast, and when I come I make sure they remember. They always do. I’m cocky as hell, but sh-t, I’ve got reason to be. I own Spades Royalle, the sexiest casino in Vegas. F-ck, the sexiest casino in the country. I’m gonna keep building my empire all on my own – my ties with the mafia are in my past, buried with the bones of my family. I like my money clean and my women dirty. That is until I met Emmy Rose. She says she doesn’t want a bad boy. I guess I’ll have to change her pretty little mind.
- “Finn” by Ahren Sanders
Finn Black infiltrated my safe world the minute he breathed my name. He broke down my barriers and convinced me to take a chance. For the first time ever, I was living my life with a man who promised me a future only dreams are made of. Sometimes the line between love and longing are tested. He’s asked me t trust him, to trust us, but the fear of losing him became too much. Now I must decide if I’m willing to take a leap of faith, and hope he’ll be there to catch me.
- “Unsteady” by Shey Stahl
After fleeing from an abusive ex, Lennon hopes the garage bays of Walker Automotive will keep her dark secrets hidden from her past. What she doesn’t expect is a sexy, brooding, tattooed boss with an attitude. Neither of them can ignore their attraction as they struggle to make sense of their connection. And what happens next will no doubt be unsteady.