Tag: tropes

5 Romance Tropes We Love

We Can’t Get Enough of These Romance Tropes

At Sweet Savage Flame talked about tropes before. There are some plot devices and character types that never go out of style. We’ve looked around to seek the most popular tropes in Romancelandia that readers enjoy. Here are five that we think you’ll agree that make romance novels more exciting!

#1 Alpha Heroes

These heroes will do anything to protect their women. They are possessive, often jealous, and defend their ladies from all who seek to harm or take them from him. It’s important to emphasize a true alpha would never intentionally hurt his woman. Plus, he commands respect from other men through his innate strength. Alpha heroes were often found in bodice rippers and old-school category romances. Westerns and medieval historicals have plenty of male protagonists who would qualify, such as A Heart So Wild by Johanna Lindsey. Why do we love Alphas? We love them because even if they can be overbearing, their hearts are in the right place, and when they commit, they commit for life!

#2 Evil Family or Siblings

Perhaps the heroine has a brother who gambles the family fortune away. A scheming cousin who will do anything to have the hero.... Read more “5 Romance Tropes We Love”

The Hero, the Heroine, or the Love Story?

love cherish me

When you read a romance novel, what are you reading it for? The romance? The heroine’s journey? The hunky hero? Or something else entirely?

The Placeholder Reader

Recently, I came upon a quote by author Laura Kinsale. Rather than add it to the Kathleen E. Woodiwiss page, I thought it would make for a good conversation piece. In her essay “The Androgynous Reader” in Jayne Ann Krentz’ book, Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women, Kinsale cites the heroine of K.E.W.’s Shanna as proof that the average romance reader does not identify with the heroine, but rather, s/he imagines her as a placeholder for themselves to be with the hero, for:

“[A] sillier and more wrongheaded heroine than Shanna would be difficult to imagine… Feminists need not tremble for the reader–she does not identify with, admire, or internalize the characteristics of either a stupidly submissive or an irksomely independent heroine. The reader thinks about what she would have done in the heroine’s place.”

I agree and disagree with Kinsale’s assessment. As a woman, I do not internalize a foolish heroine’s poor decision-making. When it comes to reading romance, unless feminism is an explicit theme of the book, that topic doesn’t enter in how I judge the story.

... Read more “The Hero, the Heroine, or the Love Story?”