Academically put, tropes are “common or overused theme[s] or device[s],“ which makes them sound like cliches, which makes them seem like a bad thing.
But they’re totally not! Romance novel fans all have their favorite—not to mention least favorite—tropes, from friends to lovers, chick in pants, secret baby, marriage of convenience, opposites attract, May-December, boss-assistant...the list goes on.
Each month, we’ll be picking a romance novel trope and ask you to offer recommendations falling under the trope rubric (again with the academic talk!).
Nothing like a little forced intimacy to heat up a good romance! Anyone else rub their hands together in glee when our heroes learn they've booked the very last room in the motel and—gasp!—there's only one bed, and no sofa? You just know good things will come of this, like awkward conversations about who will sleep where, dancing around bathroom routines, and, oh yeah, accidental spooning, a.k.a. romance reader nirvana.
If you're in the mood for a delicious “Just One Bed” trope setup, here are a few recommendations*:
- Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
- The Touch of Fire by Linda Howard
- Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood
- Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
- The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (Ron/Hermione)
- The Kiss Test by Shannon McKelden
- Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Since this trope is also VERY popular in fan fiction—and actually inspired this post, as I'd like to see the trope used more in the romance novels I read—I thought I'd recommend a few of my personal favorites:
- “One Taste of the Apple” by brynnmck (Battlestar Galactica, Kara/Lee)
- “If We Sleep Together Would You Be My Friend Forever” by blithers (Mindy Project, Mindy/Danny)
- “Time Enough at Last” by bayloriffic (X-Files, Mulder/Scully)
*Thanks to Lizzie Poteet for her suggestions