romance tropes

To Be a Trope or Not to Trope? Favorites in Romance

August 19, 2019 31 Comments

Hello, reader friends! We again jump on a popular bookish train as today is, you guessed it, another Top Ten list. This time, we discuss the good (or bad?) angles and elements that are romance trope favorites (or this is how I’m spinning it).

That Artsy Reader Girl | August 20: Favorite Tropes; a trope is a commonly used theme or plot device (submitted by Andrea @ Books for Muse)

romance trope favorites

In the bookworm world, I’ll boldly say, tropes are controversial. Some of us love them, others of us don’t. Some of us love a commonly used one, others of us will stay far away from a book if it even hints of said despised trope. Tropes (or a commonly used plot twist) come in many different shapes and sizes, no matter our opinions of them.

Today, I decided to share three of the tropes, all of which are romance story related, that I either love or don’t mind, depending on how they play out. Let’s get started.

Top Ten Tuesday August 20: Romance Trope Favorites

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)

1: The Best Friends to Lovers

Ok, this one is really something I’m split down the middle with. I can cite examples when I do like it and when I haven’t. In the pro column, I really enjoy this trope in Becky Wade’s recent Sweet on You and Just One Kiss. Both are sweet friendship stories that give their characters a solid base on which to build a strong romance. In the case of say, Covert Affairs, I didn’t love how the writers handled Auggie and Annie. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have minded them together if I’d felt their romantic interest was more genuine. Instead this relationship seems to come out of left field, and then, in the aftermath, their friendship (which was solid) is left in a kind of state of ruin. In short, it feels inauthentic to me.

In the end, I think, overall, it’s a good trope because a relationship that already has a solid base is one that much more genuine and easy to root for.

2: The Fauxmance*

Despite the potential for unlikable characters, I like the fake fiancé/fiancée or boyfriend in the world of romance tropes. I’ve seen it in a handful of Hallmark Christmas movies (Hitched for the Holidays is cute), and recently read Love at First Like. Despite the choices of its heroine near the end, I still did enjoy this novel. Something about it is oddly endearing. Melissa Tagg’s Made to Last is also an endearing story that fits in this category as does Kara Isaac’s All Made Up (sort of).

What’s your favorite ‘fake’ romance trope or story?

*Total credit to our hostess, Jana for this term! It’s the best.

3: The Hate to Love

This one definitely needs some clarification. I don’t 100% love this trope… unless it’s done really well. So, my idea of this element is more two people who maybe don’t love one another, but realize they actually do have something in common. In Netflix’s Set it Up, Harper and Charlie discover they do have something in common. When they realize their respective problem can be solved by teaming up, everything from there on in is golden.

4: The Marriage of Convenience

I don’t love this as a trope in “all” of the love stories, but I’ve read two or three that are beautiful! The one that immediately comes to mind are Kristen Hietzmann’s The Breath of Dawn. Of course, there’s also the classic Love Comes Softly, too.

5: The Old-Fashioned Romance

In conclusion, this one is an appropriate place to end. I will forever and always adore the old-fashioned charm of a love story that blossoms through letters, which can also translate to modern communication like IMs.


*no video this week; channel linked above

To Be a Trope or Not to Trope? Favorites in Romance. Talking about romance trope favorites in fiction; film, TV and books w Top Ten Tuesday! Text © Rissi JC

Your turn! What are your thoughts on romance trope favorites; or ANY tropes? Do you like them, dislike them, don’t care? Have any specifics you detest or love? Tell me all about them down below. If you joined Top Ten Tuesday – or have a blog, please introduce yourself below. I’d be glad to visit your bookish spaces, too.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

To Be a Trope or Not to Trope? Favorites in Romance. Talking about romance trope favorites in fiction; film, TV and books with the #booknerd meme #TopTenTuesday! Click To Tweet

ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a royal mess in my “Disorder + Feedback” post!

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Melanie Parker August 19, 2019 at 11:54 PM

    Old fashioned romance for sure. It can be such a sweet read. I love hate to love reads as well. Great list.

    • Rissi JC August 20, 2019 at 11:40 AM

      Thanks, Melanie, and for the visit. Old fashioned romances is always a good thing I think. Never too many of those. :)

  • Greg August 20, 2019 at 12:14 AM

    These are fun. I like an enemies to lovers romance, it’s neat to see the evolution of the relationship, with all the angst and snarkiness that usually goes along. :) Old fashioned romances too- I think those never go out of fashion if done well!.

    • Rissi JC August 20, 2019 at 11:41 AM

      Right? So true re: old-fashioned romance! Also, YES! All of the wit and banter in an enemies to lovers-type romance makes the story stand out more, and I like that. Thanks for the visit, Greg! :)

  • Astilbe August 20, 2019 at 5:36 AM

    Old-fashioned romances can be a lot of fun to read!

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

    • Rissi JC August 20, 2019 at 11:42 AM

      Yes, yes they can! Thanks for the visit. :)

  • Lydia August 20, 2019 at 6:13 AM

    Friends to lovers is a wonderful trope.

    My TTT

    • Rissi JC August 20, 2019 at 11:42 AM

      Sure is! Thanks for the visit, Lydia. :)

      • Lydia August 20, 2019 at 12:04 PM

        You’re welcome.

  • Jess @ Jessticulates August 20, 2019 at 7:22 AM

    Great list! I’m 100% with you on enemies to lovers. With some stories it works – with Pride and Prejudice being the ultimate example of it done well, because their dislike is built on misunderstanding – but when characters are literal enemies and have done terrible things to each other, I’m a little uncomfortable when a romance is thrown in there. There are exceptions – I love The Folk of the Air series, and that relationship is messed up – but I think my main issue is when enemies become lovers with none of the friendship in-between. I need to see character progression and forgiveness happen first, give me all the slow-burn!

    Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday | Books that subvert tropes
    • Rissi JC August 20, 2019 at 11:45 AM

      YES!! I meant to mention Lizzy and Darcy, but my let’s-do-this-post-last-minute brain forgot. They are the ULTIMATE OTP when it comes to this trope, and I love it. I don’t think I know the series you mention, but I’m glad you like that one. Well said. An enemies to romance relationship does need that “in-between” (like Lizzy and Darcy) where you can see the change/shift or a softening affection for the other person. At least Darcy DOES love Lizzy long before she does, so really it’s just her that need to see the real him. Thanks for the visit, Jess! :)

  • Brooke Lorren August 20, 2019 at 8:07 AM

    Have to agree with best friends to lovers and hate to love. They’re opposites, but they can also make such sweet stories!

    Brooke Lorren recently posted: Favorite Tropes (Top Ten Tuesday)
    • Rissi JC August 20, 2019 at 11:49 AM

      YES! I love that trope when done well. Of course, as can be true of any trope, it can go wrong, but like Lizzy and Darcy, there are lots of god one that make lovely stories. :) Thanks for the visit, Brooke.

  • Leah August 20, 2019 at 11:45 AM

    I say “yes” to all of these. :) But my favorite is the enemies to lovers. I will never get tired of books which have that since most of them have the best romances.

    • Rissi JC August 20, 2019 at 12:03 PM

      I like most of the stories I’ve seen this trope in! One of my most recent favorites is Netflix’s “Set It Up.” Such a fun story. :) Thanks for visiting, Leah!

  • Beth Erin August 20, 2019 at 11:49 AM

    I tend to lump fauxmance into relationships of convenience but with an awesome term like that, that particular trope will forever stand on its own in my mind!

    Beth Erin recently posted: Favorite Tropes: Top Ten Tuesdays
    • Rissi JC August 20, 2019 at 12:03 PM

      Isn’t it a good term?! Saw it on Jana’s post and had to borrow it. :) Thanks for visiting, Beth Erin.

  • Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads August 20, 2019 at 1:06 PM

    Old-fashioned romances for sure! I love when love grows over letters, it’s so romantic and charming. I do love friends to lovers and enemies to lovers as well, and also the fauxmance!

    • Rissi JC August 23, 2019 at 7:08 PM

      SAME! There’s just something about them. YAY for the fauxmance. :) Appreciate you stopping by, as always, Lindsey.

  • Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense August 20, 2019 at 3:00 PM

    I’ve enjoyed all of these tropes and would love more books with these in them. I’m not sure I’d ever grow tired of them, regardless of their predictability.

    • Rissi JC August 23, 2019 at 7:09 PM

      I love the predictability of tropes (or those I like though ;D). Here’s hoping we get so many of our favorites. Appreciate your visit, Alicia, as always.

  • Lauren @ Always Me August 20, 2019 at 6:40 PM

    Best friends to lovers is usually nice. Great choices. :)

    • Rissi JC August 23, 2019 at 7:11 PM

      For sure! :) Thanks so much for visiting, Lauren.

  • Tracy @ Cornerfolds August 20, 2019 at 7:50 PM

    I’ve seen so many fake romance picks today and I definitely feel like I need to read more of them!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday #252: All the tropes
    • Rissi JC August 23, 2019 at 7:16 PM

      They can be really fun! :) Thanks for visiting, Tracy.

  • Dini @ Dinipandareads August 20, 2019 at 10:01 PM

    I looove all these romance tropes! Fauxmance (best term!) is one that I didn’t think of but always really enjoy. I also enjoy the ‘single bed’ trope ?and I’m a total sucker for a small town romance. Great list!

    My TTT post

    • Rissi JC August 23, 2019 at 7:18 PM

      Isn’t fauxmance THE best? Borrowed it from Jana. :) Aw, yes! The “one room” trope is fun indeed. :) Thanks for visiting, Dini.

  • Jessica at Booked J August 21, 2019 at 4:22 PM

    Great picks! I love the Fauxmance trope. Definitely a go-to favourite of mine. And the hate to love. For some reason, the angst that goes with it? I don’t like to overdo the angst in stories or anything but the typical brand of angst that comes with hate to love and even fauxmance? I’m a sucker for it, haha.

    • Rissi JC August 23, 2019 at 10:10 PM

      SAME! Such a fun one. I like it because it can show off/expose a new side to a romance. Hate to love is a tough one. Sometimes I don’t like it, othertimes it has that “sweet spot” that’s story perfection. Depends on the style and characters. :) Thanks so much for visiting, Jessica!

  • Molly @ Molly's Book Nook August 22, 2019 at 9:54 AM

    I like hate to love, just a good ole fashion romance, or the fauxmance too! I actually am not a huge fan of friends to lovers for some reason. I also agree with the modern touches! I like when that’s included.

    • Rissi JC August 23, 2019 at 10:14 PM

      Nothing wrong with that, Molly! I have plenty I’m not the biggest fan of either; that’s why we love that there are so many amazing authors to write these many stories. :) So glad you stopped by!! Hope you’re doing well.

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