Two weeks ago, I blogged about romance tropes readers love. I had read an interview with a romance editor and what she said surprised and intrigued me for a number of reasons, but mostly because these tropes the editor said readers love were the same ones that had been popular when I first started reading romance DECADES ago.
The Romance Tropes
Audiences grow and age, but apparently, their tastes and expectation remain the same, but that last phrase isn’t quite true. These tropes don’t remain the same because readers want the tropes told in a fresher way which creates a challenge for the author to tell the same story but in a way that doesn’t mimic what the reader discovered and liked in another book.
Secret Baby Romance
In my blog, I wrote about the heroine from a small town who had to leave several years ago and didn’t tell her boyfriend she was leaving and didn’t tell him that she was pregnant—the secret baby trope. Now she must return to town for some reason and of course meets the ex who never understood why she left and who always wanted a family.
Of course, the heroine doesn’t want her child and the ex to have a relationship, but the ex is a likable guy and the child is adorable so naturally, they’re drawn to one another. The heroine failed to keep the child and the ex apart, but how is she going to separate them now they’ve grown attached to each other? On top of that, she needs to keep her feelings for the ex a secret. This is the same story that’s been told for decades but how does the author tell the story again and again and still touch readers’ hearts without the reader realizing that she’s been reading this same story for ages?
Another trope that I had mentioned last time but still find fascinating is the billionaire genre. When I started reading romance, the genre was referred to a millionaire, not billionaire. Back then, millionaires were considered rich rich rich rich—we have to account for inflation—but aside from that, it was the fairytale of the millionaire/billionaire romance that captured my attention. The handsome prince is now the billionaire. Who wouldn’t want to meet someone who’s handsome and wonderful and has enough money to solve all your financial problems? But of course, it isn’t the money. It’s all about love and happily ever after.
The billionaire genre gets even more complicated because in order for him to inherit the family company, appease his dying grandmother, etc., he needs to be married and why would he want to marry when his life is perfect just as it is? But because of his overwhelming desire to inherit the company, appease his grandmother, etc., he searches, has his staff search, for the woman he can marry for a short time period. The agreement is that there will never be any attachment and at the end of the marriage they can walk away as if the marriage never happened. But, of course, it did happen. And walking away isn’t as easy as they had planned.
Is this getting you to think about how you tell these decades old stories in a fresh new way? Next week, I’ll talk about some other tropes that are tried and true in romance.
I hope you have a wonderful week and that you and your loved ones enjoy God’s richest blessings.