Name Your Favorite Romance Tropes

Ranking is completely out of the question. I have a handicap when it comes to making up my mind about things that are relatively inconsequential — as opposed to jumping on important decisions without always thinking them through (cough, student loan debt), but that’s another discussion. There are many that I love, although some take the ultimate precedence. Still, ranking is simply unpossible for me.

I’m a sucker for a good enemies-to-lovers, the more hate to begin with the better. Bullies especially get my attention and the darker the better. Sports romance is always welcome, especially hockey. Baseball works too, although football players haven’t disappointed me yet so I don’t count them out, there just don’t seem to be as many to choose from but if you have a football recommendation, please share.

Brother’s best friend is also a favorite, but I’m super picky here. The old I-know-you’re-a-pig-so-my-sister-is-off-limits is fine, but the weirdly protective brothers (and cousins, fathers, stepbros or family friends) who appoint themselves guardians of a woman’s virtue skeeve me out. That’s just creepy.

Romantic suspense is preferred but it better be good. The mystery better baffle me and make me want to look over my shoulder in the dark when the dog makes me walk him in the middle of the night. But I do love romantic comedy equally. And I have to ask: is it just my imagination or are authors who describe their work as comedy just generally not actually funny? Maybe it’s a confirmation bias, like knowing that traffic will definitely move below the speed limit if there’s a Subaru in the passing lane. No offense, I know people love the brand but let’s be honest: any time of the day or night, there’s always an AARP member in a Subaru holding me up, no matter where I’m trying to go.

Mafia romance is hot and I feel like we’re in a golden age right now with the new releases we’ve seen in recent months. If you haven’t read The Oath duet, Forbidden To Love, By Sin I Rise or The Monster, you’ve been depriving yourself, there’s just no excuse.

On the slip side, there are some tropes I’d be thrilled to never meet again. Can we start with naturally red-haired heroines? Of the last 20 books I’ve read, easily 10 of them starred natural redheads and it just doesn’t work for me. It’s not that common so it seems silly to run into one in every other book, even when they’re lovely characters whose story I enjoy.

Likewise, don’t give me any hipsters and especially no man buns. Sexy and manly are the last things that come to mind when I see, hear about or even think of a bun on a dude. No thank you. Beards are fine when they’re short and neat but the current fashion of looking like a Civil War general is a huge turn-off. No handlebar mustaches or guys who cuff their pants, either.

Do you struggle with whether or not to read a book if the people on the cover aren’t attractive? Sometimes they’re ugly and the book is fantastic but I don’t always give the book a chance if I find the cover models to be less than appealing so I worry about missing out on a great read for that reason. It’s also hugely disappointing to stalk a cover model’s IG and realize he’s meh IRL and the photographer is simply magical. I mean, way to destroy my fantasies. Since we’ve already established that I’m unapologetically shallow, I might as well admit to being turned off by cartoon covers. While I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed every time I read a book that has one, I can honestly say it’s often a regrettable choice, although some are great reads.

I feel a post about favorite covers coming soon. Send your suggestions and maybe we can vote for different categories for a fun prize.

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