Popular Romance Tropes

Let’s talk about tropes.

In the romance genre, we often see some types of plots or character types repeated. These similarities resonate for myriad reasons. Some tropes are common in vintage or old-school romance, but not so much in modern romances. Then there are tropes that never go out of style.

What’s the appeal of a trope? Readers appreciate experiencing familiar tales in different settings or with various kinds of characters. A trope can be retold over time and appear fresh in the hands of an individual author.

At Sweet Savage Flame, we’re dedicating a page to these common themes. Visit the MENU under BOOK REVIEWS and click on ADVANCED BOOK SEARCH. You’ll find a new way to search for book reviews via plots, settings, hero & heroine. We’ll be updating the list with each review.

A few examples of tropes you can search for:


The main character losing his or her memory can lead to a great romance. A few romances that we’ve reviewed featuring this plot are Crescendo, Highland Fire, and Sweet Fire:

Second Chance at Love

Sometimes a romance is better the second time around with the same person.

Friends to Lovers

It’s always refreshing when a relationship starts out on a solid foundation of friendship.

Love Triangle

Who does she love? Who does he love? The drama of a love triangle may result in one heart being broken, but it also provides entertainment!

Marriage of Convenience

Marriage doesn’t always begin with love. In the marriage of convenience trope, the hero and heroine marry first, on the basis of practicality, money, property, or social standing.

Captor/ Captive

It’s an older trope, but it still checks out:

Multiple Lovers

The old-school romance trope of the heroine having multiple lovers can be found in the more erotic romances of today.

Secret Baby

A secret baby whose parentage has been hidden for years is at the epicenter of some romances. Emotions can turn on a dime in this type of story.

Millionaires & Billionaires

For some readers, the appeal of a mega-wealthy hero always glistens like gold.

Enemies to Lovers

There’s a bit of a thrill when we see two people who can’t stand each other get turned on by the other.

What tropes do you enjoy? Do you prefer familiar plots, characters, or settings? Drop a comment, and let’s talk romance.

2 thoughts on “Popular Romance Tropes”

  1. Thanks, Jacqueline. Tropes matter to me. A lot.

    There are some tropes I love. There are some tropes I feel neutral about, but I’ll read romances that revolve around them if they have other aspects going for them. And there are some tropes I love to hate!

    Which are which? Well, that would require a whole article, not a comment. But allow me to note that my favorite trope isn’t on this list.

    So here it is: “Such is the power of love.” Someone does something extraordinary for love.

    It might be difficult, dangerous, and/or costly. It might break the rules. It might break the law. It might be downright crazy!

    But love matters more than anything else. So a protag does it. And to Hell with what the rest of the world thinks!

    This trope has never been easy to find. Used to be, a reader had to really look for it. But nowadays, well, forget it. It’s just not there. Today’s romance community has other matters on its mind.

    So what do I do about this absence of my fave trope from today’s romances? You guessed it. I write my own!

    1. Fabulous! I want to read your works when you release them, so please keep us updated! The power of love is an over looked trope, and when I think about, that’s kind of peculiar in a genre defined by love itself. I’ll add that trope to the page, but have to ruminate upon which books qualify. There are some books I’ve read that are based on the power of love, but I’ll have to track them down for re-reads to review.

Please Drop a Comment and Let's Talk Romance!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: