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!).
Romance makes much use of the fake relationship trope, in which a hero or heroine asks a friend (or hires an escort!) to pose as his or her significant other for a run-in with an ex/high school reunion/family gathering/business meeting, only to realize the pretend feelings between them are legit after all. The trope is fun and lighthearted and inevitably leads to things like accidental spooning and awkward conversations with friends who know which way the wind is really blowing. What's not to love?
Here are a few recommendations for this trope off the top of our heads:
- Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey
- Faking It by Cora Carmack
- Asking for Trouble by Elizabeth Young
- The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
- Fallen by Celeste Bradley
- Fake it by Jennifer Chance
- The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild by Jessica Clare
- Too Good to Be True by Kristan Higgins
- A Counterfeit Betrothal by Mary Balogh
- The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton by Miranda Neville
- His Wife for One Night by Molly O'Keefe
What books would you suggest for fellow readers with a fake fiancé itch to scratch?