Trope it Up: Tropes That Define Romance Novels!

Posted July 18th, 2015 by in Blog, Features, Trope it Up / 25 comments

Trope it Up: Tropes That Define Romance Novels!


If you are like us here at HJ then you likely fall vigorously in love with a hot, romance novel. Today we are sharing a few tropes that defines why we love romances so much.
One of the things that I love most about today’s tropes is that they are the foundation that romance novels are known for. Most of these we all know and some we might not have thought of as a trope. For me that is what makes this post so much fun.
Are you ready?
Here goes:Tropes That Define Romance Novels!



These heroes are some of the most sought after contemporary heroes and for good reason. Whether or not you loved Christian Grey from the infamous “Fifty Shades of Grey” he caught your attention. There’s just something extra special about a wealthy man falling in love with an average woman.


For those of us that love historical fiction a rogue is a hero that is extra spicy. A titled man that has undesirable reputation until he falls for the woman of his dreams makes rogues one of my favorite tropes.


This trope might be a bit odd, but these bad boys of romance can often times be found winning over the heroine’s hearts. As the saying goes ‘there is just something about those bad boys.’


A juicy scandal can surely heat up a romance novel in any era. From spies to rogues and even to billionaires a romance trope wouldn’t be complete without a little misconduct.

Strong-willed heroines:

Lately there have been a lot of thrilling romances releasing within the industry and those include the strong-willed heroines. An independent woman who is not afraid to tell both heroes and readers exactly what she is looking for out her man, her life and even the bedroom.

Happily-Ever-After endings.

A romance trope would not be complete without HEA’S. As both a reviewer and as a reader I have come to except that each romance novel contain a happy ending. After all it just isn’t romance without a cheerful ending.


If you love Paranormal than you know why shapeshifters have made our list. Whether hero or heroine a shapeshifter character is entirely impossible to overlook. These alpha characters are known as equal for their action as they are for fiercely loving their mates.


A hard working hero meets the open range is something to surely sweat over and the cowboys of today’s western authors are of no exception.

Sensual scenes:

Let’s face it a romance novel would not complete nor romantic until there is a love scene exchanged between the characters. Whether tamed or erotic these sensual scenes can make a romance novel feel complete.

 Which of these tropes are your favorites? If not listed, what is the trope that you find defines a romance novel?
Let us know!






25 Responses to “Trope it Up: Tropes That Define Romance Novels!”

    • Sara @HarlequinJunkie

      ITSAPROGRESSION, we all fall victim to auto correct… unless you are the exception to the rule?
      HJ is a friendly place for like minded booklovers and we would like to keep it the same. Please check in all snark at the door. Thanks.

      • itsaprogression

        I had a big long reply my tablet just ate for lunch. Instead I’ll just say, apologies, I am a copy editor by trade. I find multiple errors in published documents, whether online or in book format very disconcerting.

        Question though about the word trope. I’ve always thought of it as a plot device, not necessarily in terms of the generic HEA. When I pick up a category romance, it’s because I know it’s going to be a HEA. Now it might be a friends to lovers or a reconciliation type theme (my favorites), but that couple best be riding off into the sunset together at the end of the book. 😉

        I guess it just depends how broad your definition of the word trope is?

        • Sara @HarlequinJunkie

          ITSAPROGRESSION, readers don’t think in terms of “plot device”. So I guess yes, “trope” does have a broader definition depending if you are an editor/author or just a reader.

  1. elisabethhobbes

    I love the enemies to lovers trope. Also as I write historicals I find the underdog hero winning the wealthier or higher class heroine more interesting than the powerful man winning the lower class heroine as he has to work harder.

  2. BSBbabe

    Definitely cowboys. But I also like reunited lovers whether it be former spouses, high school sweethearts or reunions between one-night stands.

  3. Leanna

    Second chance romances. I am reading one right now A Match made on Main Street by Olivia Miles.