Monday, April 18, 2016

HISTORICAL ROMANCE 101: Favorite Tropes

Historical Romance 101

HISTORICAL ROMANCE 101 is a celebration of the genre that will be occurring throughout the month of April. My blog along with On a Book BenderAddicted to Romance, and Quinn's Book Nook will be writing on a variety of topics every Monday and Friday in April.


This is going to be a long post so be warned!  I have tons of tropes that I enjoy reading about and wanted to make sure to feature as many as I could.  I also wanted to make sure that I showcase some of my favorite examples of these tropes.

Unrequited Love
These are romances where either the hero or the heroine has had a crush on the other for an extended period of time.  What makes them stand to me is the drama associated with the secret and the inevitable discovery.  I am especially partial to ones where the hero is the one in love.

Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4) The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3) The Taming of the Duke (Essex Sisters, #3) As You Desire (Braxton, #1) Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4)

American Heiresses
I am fascinated when societies clash and that always seems to happen in romances where the heroine is an heiress from America who travels to England to get a titled husband.

It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2) My American Duchess How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days (An American Heiress in London, #2) The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1) Splendid (The Splendid Trilogy, #1)

Enemies to Lovers
I love banter between protagonists and the trope that almost guarantees that is the one where the protagonists dislike each other at the beginning.  So much fun drama!

The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2) Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1) My Dearest Enemy The Sword Dancer (Lovers and Rebels, #1; Tang Dynasty, #4) Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane, #9)

Class Differences
Another trope that guarantees internal and external drama is the one where the two protagonists come from different social/economic classes.

Slightly Dangerous (Bedwyn Saga, #6) Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4) Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5) Sweet Disorder (Lively St. Lemeston, #1) Forever Your Earl (The Wicked Quills of London, #1)

Pretend Relationships
These are all romances that feature the protagonists trying to accomplish a goal and needing to pretend there is a courtship or betrothal or even marriage between them.  What makes these so much fun is that things get complicated when true feelings get in the way.

When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3) A Summer to Remember (Bedwyn Saga, #.6) The Study of Seduction (Sinful Suitors, #2) The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1) The Wicked Wallflower (Bad Boys & Wallflowers, #1)

Troubled Marriage
Sometimes it is interesting to read stories that feature a married couple who has either been estranged or is on the brink of estrangement for various reasons.  There are often communication problems in these books, but skilled writers can make them understandable rather than annoying.

Winterblaze (Darkest London, #3) An Affair Before Christmas (Desperate Duchesses, #2) Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (MacKenzies & McBrides, #2) Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5) Three Little Secrets (MacLachlan Family, #4)

House Parties
These are always so much fun because they force potential couples to be in close proximity for an extended period of time.  Plus there are always interesting games and activities to learn about.

A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family, #2) Duchess By Night (Desperate Duchesses, #3) Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6) His at Night At the Bride Hunt Ball (Devine & Friends, #1)

Second Chance at Love
I love it when past lovers/sweethearts are reunited with the one that "got away".  I always anticipate the big reunion scene and how they reconcile with their past feelings and their current ones.

The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels, #1) Beauty Like the Night (Rutledge Family, #1) If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4) Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2) Everything and the Moon (The Lyndon Sisters, #1)

Characters In Disguise
I love these stories because of the potential for drama when the disguised character's identity is revealed. These types of books often involve spies which have their own special brand of external drama associated with their mission of the moment.

The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy, #1) Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #4) Lady Rogue My Lady Quicksilver (London Steampunk, #3) The Impostor (Liar's Club, #2)

Road Romances
These are romances where the two protagonists go on some type of long-distance trip together. This causes drama/conflict because they (often) don't know one another very well and now have to deal with constantly hanging out together.

Mr. Impossible (Carsington Brothers, #2) Butterfly Swords (Tang Dynasty, #1) Texas Destiny (Leigh Brothers Texas Trilogy, #1) The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton (The Burgundy Club, #3) A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2)

Beauty and the Beast Retelling
I love all fairy tale retellings, but this is one that I come back to time and again.  It has everything I love from tortured hero to gaining trust to looking beyond first impressions.

Yours Until Dawn (Fairleigh Sisters, #3) Winter Garden (Winter Garden #2) When She Said I Do (Worthington, #1) Beast Beauty and the Beast

Virgin Heroes
This isn't really a trope, but I decided to feature it anyway.  I am always fascinated with the subject of a hero's sexual experience in historical romances especially if it is none existent.

Born in Sin (Brotherhood of the Sword #3/MacAllister, #2) Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4) Untouched The Shadow and the Star (Victorian Hearts, #2) Unclaimed (Turner, #2)

What tropes do you look for the most in historical romance?


Don't forget that there will be a #HR101 Twitter chat on Tuesday, April 26th at 9:00 p.m., est.


There will be five winners: one grand prize winner, two runner-ups, two second runner-ups.
Winners will receive one or more historical romance novels. See below for specifics.
One entry per day per person throughout April.
You must be 18+ to enter.
Winners must live in the U.S.

The same rafflecopter is being used on all Historical Romance 101 blogs. You can only enter once a day regardless of which blog you visit to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great list of tropes you have here!!! I love Enemies to Lovers, Road romances and Second Chance the best!!! And you can never get enough out of those fairy tale retellings. You listed some of my favorites too. The Highwayman is AMAZING!! Love that book.

  2. Pretend romances! Those are definitely lots of fun. :D

  3. I love pretend relationships, too! They are always so fun! And enemies to lovers is one of my favorites too. the Viscount Who Loved Me is such a fantastic book, isn't it?

    I'm reading my first Elizabeth Hoyt novel right now and really enjoying it. It's The Serpent Prince. But next I think I'm going to read either The Raven Prince or Dearest Rogue!

  4. I love virgin heroes but really that's for any genre. The second chances too. *sighs* And Beauty and the Beast. And the American in England. And oh yeah pretends those fake mates are my all time favorite. Gah can I just have them all? lol


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