Random Thoughts of a Romance Blogger: Tropes, Tropes, Tropes

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Today, we would like to talk to you about book tropes, you may have heard that phrase bandied about a lot recently and we thought we would dive into the world of tropes and see what is all about.

First of all, we have established that a trope is not a genre, a genre is a broad type of book, for example Romance is a genre, Thriller, Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi they are all genres. Romance even has sub-genres, something we spoke about HERE, but again they aren’t tropes. It all gets so confusing! Which, is why I turned to a trusty dictionary and decided to look up exactly what a trope is (don’t get confused with troupe, which is something to do with dancing!) , so the Oxford Dictionary defines it as:

A significant or recurrent theme; a motif.

However my cynical brain prefers the Merriam-Webster definition:

A common or overused theme or device

Bottom line, a trope is when an author uses a particular theme in their book, this theme can span genres, although you may find that some do tend to stay within one or two genres. Lets use some examples, one of the most well know themes is the “Billionaire” theme, this usually involves a girl falling for a very rich guy, it’s not often the other way round. Now this “Billionaire” theme is usually found in the Contemporary Romance genre, but can also be found in New Adult, Young Adult and Paranormal Romance. Another example, one which will span most genres “Plain Jane” where the heroine is plain or even ugly but the handsome man falls for her, this can be found in Historical, Contemporary, New Adult, Paranormal, Young Adult, you name it, there will be a “Plain Jane” themed book in there somewhere.

Of course, not all books contain a trope but there are clusters of romance books, of all genres that basically contain the same storyline, the same theme. This is not always a bad thing, although I am slightly skeptical when the same story can be regurgitated again and again and yet still be successful. It does have its upside, sometimes you are just in the mood for a book with lots of Bikers or Friends-to-Lovers storyline, there is comfort in the familiar, so when you start to read you know exactly what you are getting and you can sit back and enjoy the ride.

Here are some of the tropes we have identified along with our recommendations:

Bikers/Motorcycle Club (MC)

This is one of the most popular tropes as of late, the heroes are rough ready alpha males…don’t always expect the typical happy ending!


Who doesn’t want a billionaire to sweep them off their feet? It’s definitely fun to read about, here are our recommendations.


We all love a sports star, they are star in the bedroom as well as the pitch!

Rock Stars

Hopefully they rock your world as much as they rock that stage!


Yee-haw, now this is one of my favourite tropes! I love a cowboy, whether they are modern or historical or vampires…I think it’s the Stetson.


We’ve all had that little crush on one of our friends…wondering would we work? Does he or she like me the same way…?

Second Chance

This is all about having a second chance at love, below are some of our favourites

Friend’s Siblings

You can’t help who you fall in love with, including your best friend’s brother or sister!


Plain Jane

This is one of my favourite tropes, I love the story of the plain and/or overlooked girl winning her man

Student Teacher

Who’s hot for teacher?

Age Difference

Younger man, older woman; younger woman, older man – if you like that this is the trope for you.

What are you favourite tropes and do you have any recommendations for us?


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Tropes I like: rock star, sibling’s friend, second chance romance, bad boys with good heart. Tropes I don’t care about: secret baby, teacher-student romance, dark romance with abusive relationship

Aly P

I like most of them, but not MCs(I cringe every time I think of them) or cowboys(it just doesn’t work for me) or dark romances… otherwise, give them to me!!!!

Aislinn Kearns

I LOVE tropes. I love beta heroes and heroes in pursuit. Fake relationships. Marriages of convenience. Wounded heroes. Beauty and the Beast stories. Snowed in. Nerd characters. Virgin heroes. The list goes on!


Plain jane, cowboys, age difference

Tina F

I love second chance, neighbors, and books that involve food. I also like retelling of fairy tales. Question- Is retelling of fairy tales a genre because its a fairy tale or is it a trope?

Sophia Rose

I love some and some not so much, but I love all the ones you mentioned. I also love military, enemies to lovers, small town, fake mates, marriage of convenience, governess- employer, and so many more.

Amy R

I enjoy all kinds of tropes, one I typically one click is what I call It Happened in Vegas like Lick by Kylie Scott and Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson.


Two of my fave tropes are best friend’s older brother/younger sister and student/teacher


Dark Notes by Pam Godwin is a great student/teacher book