Who doesn’t love a good remix? Take something you like, kick it up a notch, and voila; you have the next dance hit waiting to earworm us all summer long. Romance novels do a bit of remixing as well. Tropes are a staple of the genre and every now and then authors blend them to make for a more intricate and fast-paced read.
In Jeannie Moon’s debut novel, The Temporary Wife, she mixes up marriage of convenience, the rich hero falling in the love with the maid's daughter, and reunited childhood sweethearts. Moon weaves these plotlines together seamlessly which resulted in a two day read and ignored family members.
Megan Rossi was the maid's daughter. She grew up with the family's children, Jason and Molly. They were her best friends. Jason was her first love. Her mother quit her job when the family accused Meg of gold digging the moment her high school romance with Jason was exposed. To add more salt to her wounds, Jason didn’t fight for her.
Years later, Megan has custody of Molly’s daughter after her tragic death. And the family doesn’t like it and is fighting her for sole custody. In swoops Jason, vowing to honor his sister’s last wishes. He’s independently wealthy and knows the one thing that will ensure his niece’s future—his protection in the form of marriage. But marrying the girl that got away gets more complicated than he bargained for. Especially when they can’t keep their hands off of each other.
This is a well done remix. The unrequited love of childhood sweethearts reuniting, their ever-present difference in social status, and a marriage of convenience that’s becomes inconvenient when sparks fly. Add to that the whole family dynamic of the adorable little girl and you have the perfect storm of romance tropes.
In Jennifer Haymore’s A Hint of Wicked we have a love triangle between family members, amnesia, and the 'I’m back from the dead and you’re still legally married to me' trope mash-up. This was one hell of a tensely plotted out Regency. Poor Garrett returns home after seven years of not knowing who he was, from a head injury sustained in the battle of Waterloo. He finds he was declared legally dead and his wife is now married to his once best friend and cousin and now heir to the family fortune. Oh, and he had a little girl.
How do you choose from a love you thought dead and your newfound love? How do you deal with the undeniable scandal? The trauma to the child? How do you reclaim the life you had when you’re no longer sure it’s the life you want? Here we have three people who love each other very much and are still passionately attracted to one another. Family torn apart by war and scars left behind. Yeah, it read like one of my mother-in-law’s Spanish soap operas.
Amnesia is always a complicated plot device. A love triangle even more so. But adding that last little twist of a guy returning from the dead and it's one hell of a powerful remix.
What trope remixes did you love?
Charli Mac writes Women’s Fiction and YA Paranormal set in Philly and the South Jersey Shore. Snorts & screams are probable and fist-pumps are highly discouraged at www.charlimac.com. Twitter her @charlimacs.