My last blog post ‘Happy Endings | Short Story by Margaret Atwood’ kept me nudging on the notion of ‘happily ever after’. So, I thought of writing about my favourite romance tropes. Love stories are a staple for everyone, but some stories touch our hearts more than others. For instance, I cannot stand the love triangle or the wealthy male lead trope anymore.
As you know a trope is an idea or device that appears repeatedly. Some tropes have become so commonplace that they have turned into clichés like a damsel in distress.
However, there are some tropes in romance that woo us like none other. Here’s my list of favourite romance tropes and their corresponding books.
1. Plain Jane meets her Hero
The ugly duckling story is about transformation, but I like stories where plain Jane needs no change. She is happy to be herself. And what better book than the Classic Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre meets Mr. Rochester, and he is smitten by her intelligence and honesty. Though it takes umpteen trials and tribulations before Jane’s love story reaches the happily ever after ending.
2. Friends turn to Lovers
And here comes, Where Rainbows End or Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern. Rosie and Alex know each other since childhood but they believe their relationship to be nothing more than friendship. It is a story spanning about 50 years until the two unite. This book is written in the form of letters, messages, and emails that the characters write to each other. Something that one calls an epistolary novel in literary terms.
3. Enemies to Lovers
The moment you hear this trope, I am sure it is Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen who pop up in your head. Yes, the Classic story of Elizabeth’s pride and the first time she meets the haughty, arrogant Mr.Darcy is imprinted in our hearts forever. But then we know how the story proceeds and ends up with dollops up of true love.
4. Star Crossed Lovers
I think even without a blink, the answer comes as ‘Fault in Our Stars’ by John Green. Hazel and Gus meet for the first time at the Cancer Support Group, and you know the book is going to be tragic, yet it pulls you in to invest in the story. Though I would say, more than ‘Fault in Our Stars’, it is ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes that I fell in love with. Louisa Clark loses her job and the only option left for her is to be engaged as a caretaker of Will Traynor, who is paralyzed after an accident. There is doomed romance in her path, but she chooses it whole heartedly.
5. Belated Love Epiphany
This is one trope that keeps you on your toes. This trope leads me to bite my nails while wanting a character to see through the love that I am reading. My favourite here is Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, it takes an insane amount of time for Scarlett to realize her love for Rhett Butler. Whereas she has spend many years dreaming and wishing for a wrong man to be with her.
6. Second Chance
Life breaks apart a couple, but it also brings them back giving a second chance. You get to read about the memories and a rush of fresh feelings as the couple reunites.
My favourite is ‘The Best of Me’ by Nicholas Sparks. The story is about Dawson and Amanda who were college sweethearts but are separated by fate. Being born into a criminal family, Dawson has a hard time getting Amanda in his life. However, twenty years later the two estranged lovers meet at a funeral.
7. Destined to be Together
If you are meant to be soul mates, the universe will conspire to bring you together. That is one true love story. ‘The Sun is Also a Star’ by Nicola Yoon is about Daniel and Natasha. The day they meet is Natasha’s last day in America as she happens to be an illegal immigrant. But believe in fate to work its magic and bring these two together.
There are about a hundred or more tropes in the romance genre. Some we love and some not as much. These were some of my favourites from that huge list, do share your favourite romance trope or a romance novel that you absolutely love.