Jan 27 2013 2:00pm

Trope of the Month: Class Differences!

A Private Gentleman by Heidi CullinanAcademically 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!).

This month, we're thinking about blurring class distinctions—namely, books where either the hero or heroine is of a lower class than the hero (Pretty in Pink, Jane Eyre, or Pride and Prejudice, for example!).

Come across the tracks:

  • Mary Balogh's A Christmas Promise
  • Anne Calhoun's Liberating Lacey
  • Heidi Cullinan's A Private Gentleman
  • Molly O'Keefe's Can't Hurry Love
  • Elizabeth Hoyt's Thief of Shadows
  • Ava March's Thief
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Sharyn Lewis
1. SharDan01
I am almost finished with A Taste for Scandal by Erin Knightley. He is an Earl and heir to a Marquis. She is a shopkeeper and baker. I LOVE this story. Very sweet and touching and doesn't shy away from the class differences.
Lege Artis
2. LegeArtis
Off the top of my head...
Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
Secret of a Summer Night, Again the Magic, first two books in Hathaways series and more by Lisa Kleypas (she is famous for working class heroes)
And Then He Kissed Her by L.L.Gurhke
The Proposition by Judith Ivory
The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase
Hmm, most of them are my favorites....
3. Marva
Suzanne Enoch's Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke. I just finished it and while I loved the characters, I have to wonder if he'd really marry her.
Michelle Palmer
4. ChelleP
Reforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla Kelley. Best book ever...the hero (a lord) falls in love with his indentured servant.
5. Kareni
Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey are in very different economic classes in Fifty Shades of Grey. Likewise, Eve Dallas and Roarke in the
... in Death books.
6. Janga
Oh, one of my favorite tropes. I’ll restrict myself to those on my current all-time top 100 list, although there are at least this many more on my keeper shelves.

The Famous Heroine, Mary Balogh
A Matter of Class, Mary Balogh
Hazard, Jo Beverley
My Dearest Enemy, Connie Brockway
Billy Bob Walker Got Married, Lisa G. Brown
A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal, Meredith Duran
Tallie’s Knight, Anne Gracie
Devil’s Cub, Georgette Heyer
The Proposition, Judith Ivory
Flowers from the Storm, Laura Kinsale
Blue-Eyed Devil, Lisa Kleypas
Dreaming of You, Lisa Kleypas
A Notorious Countess Confesses, Julie Anne Long
Marrying Stone, Pamela Morsi
One Perfect Rose, Mary Jo Putney
Thunder and Roses, Mary Jo Putney
Till the Stars Fall, Kathleen Gilles Seidel
A Gentle Rain, Deborah Smith
A Place to Call Home, Deborah Smith
Ravishing the Heiress, Sherry Thomas
7. JanetW
I don't think anyone has mentioned this -- and this is one of my favourite tropes (I know I know, they all are!)

Her Man of Affairs by Elizabeth Mansfield
8. DA4Pups
The Temporary Wife - Mary Balogh
The First Snowdrop - Mary Balogh
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Annalise - Libby Sydes
Ellen Hutchings
9. shadowmaster13
I love the contemporary version of this with high soceity and the idea that class differences are still upheld.
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