Romance Novel Tropes
Hi everyone! Before I begin, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Rainbow Gold Reviews for having me as a guest on their wonderful blog today. Also a big shout out to all of you wonderful readers who have taken time out of your day to read my post and to celebrate the release of my book Blood Ties with me. To help me celebrate my release, I am giving away a free ebook copy of Blood Ties. Just leave a comment on the post to be entered into the competition. Good luck, everyone!
There are dozens of established tropes in M/M romance novels and in all romance novels in fact. Yet when I sit down to write a book, I don’t think, ‘Hmm, what trope can I include in this story?,’ however, I’m sure that most of my novels contain at least one of the more well known tropes and some might even contain more than one. In fact, nearly every romance novel I can think of contains one trope or another. If you were to think about all the novels you’ve read, I’m sure you could list a lot of them too. In my own stories, there are several that come to mind right away. I’ve written gay for you, friends to lovers, growly alpha males, fated mates, bodyguard/client, and the tortured hero. I’m sure if I spent long enough thinking about it I could come up with more.
There are a few tropes that I haven’t written yet, but would love to try my hand at including the love triangle, the small town boy done good and the anti hero. Personally, I’m a huge fan of stories that contain the enemies to lovers trope. I adore all that growly, angry ‘I hate you, but I can’t keep my hands off you,’ business and I’m dying to write one of those myself. I can’t say that there’s any trope that I dislike in fact. I think anything can work as long as it’s well written.
When I was much younger, I used to read a lot of harlequin romances and the common tropes I’d find between those pages were the boss/secretary, marriage of convenience, ugly duckling, rags to riches, mistaken identity, the best friends little sister, the accidental pregnancy and of course the virgin and the reformed rake. And just what is the most common, modern trope, I wonder? Well, it would have to be the billionaire, wouldn’t it?
But why are there so many tropes in romance novels and what is a trope, exactly? Well, a trope is basically a plot device in a romance novel that brings together the two (or more) leading characters. These plot devices have been used so often that they become tropes.
While writing this post, I spent some time thinking about the tropes in my novel Blood Ties, the first book in my Vanderguard Vampires series. If you are not familiar with the novel, it charts the lives of Thomas Vanderguard, a vampire prince and his once human consort, Daniel Alexander. It begins with Thomas waiting at Daniel’s bedside for his lover to awaken for the very first time as a vampire then the story goes back a year to the day they first met.
The tropes in this story were hidden quite well it seems and it took me a while to work out which ones had been employed. There are definite themes of revenge in the story, but as neither hero wants revenge on the other, I don’t think I can count that as a trope. However when they first meet, Daniel catches the eye of another vampire, a sadistic, evil vampire who tries to lure Daniel home and Thomas has to step in to protect him. Although Daniel is a strong character both physically and emotionally, Thomas often finds himself in the role of protector so ‘sexy protector’ is definitely a trope that’s been employed.
To some extent, the rags to riches trope has been used in this novel too. In the beginning, Daniel ― who has just moved to town, is living in a motel and jobless, but he soon finds himself consort to the future vampire king who lives in a very large palace. Daniel could even be considered as a boy next door type and Thomas is undoubtedly a tortured hero.
So, what romance novel tropes do you enjoy reading? Are you all about the cowboys, do you like growly alpha males paired with snarky twinks or do you like bad boys? Are fake engagements and secret babies your thing? I’d love you to share with me what stories you gravitate towards and what tropes you’d like to see more of.
Here’s the blurb to my novel, Blood Ties:
Vampire prince Thomas Vanderguard has been alone for over two hundred years—ever since the death blow that killed his companion, Jacob. For centuries, Drones have sought to eradicate his family’s royal lineage so that a rival family may seize the throne and gain control of their territory. But Thomas’ self-imposed solitude comes to an end when Daniel Alexander walks into his life. After several months of refusal, Thomas finally gives in to Daniel’s request to change him into a vampire, even though he fears Daniel will meet the same fate as Jacob.
With a possible eternity of happiness stretching out in front of them, can Thomas keep his lover safe or is history about to repeat itself?
Like the sound of Blood Ties? Buy it here.
Excerpt from Blood Ties:
“Leaving so soon? I bet there’s something I could do to make you stay.”
Daniel took a good look at the man who had stopped him. A thick crop of mousy blond hair curled around his collar, and his flirty, mischievous smile was so bright it dazzled. If it had been a different time, Daniel would have been all over the offer, but his exchange with Thomas had left him feeling forlorn. And there was something weird about this guy’s eyes. They were almost the same gray as Thomas’, enough so that Daniel wondered if the pair were related, but he found them oddly lacking. There was no warmth in their depths, only a coldness that caused a shiver to travel down the length of Daniel’s spine.
“Thanks,” he replied. “But I’m just gonna head on home.”
When the man tightened his grip, Daniel tried to pull himself free.
“Come and have a drink with me,” he insisted, ignoring Daniel’s reply.
He pulled him toward a seat in the corner of the room. Damn but he was strong.
“I said I’m leaving,” Daniel bit out. He didn’t usually have a quick temper, but the guy’s insistence pissed him off. He hated that some men couldn’t take no for an answer.
Daniel frowned when the stranger reached up with his free hand and cupped his jaw, tilting it upward so that he met his gaze.
“You want to have a drink with me,” he stated firmly.
Daniel shook his head as if to clear it. He felt groggy, like he’d just woken up from a long sleep. He looked into the silvery-gray gaze and smiled. “Shall we get that drink?”
“Great idea.” The man grinned broadly.
Daniel’s gaze zeroed in on his teeth. Two at the front were a strange shape—pointy, like fangs. They looked sharp.
“Ronan, you might want to head on home now,” someone said.
When Daniel turned, he realized it had been Thomas who had spoken. What the hell is his problem?
Ronan let go of Daniel’s arm and took a step back. “Fine,” he bit out. He seemed to bow ever so slightly before hightailing it out of the bar.
“What the hell?” Daniel watched him rush out like he’d just realized he’d left the oven on then turned to glare at Thomas, his hands balled into fists at his side. “Look, buddy, I don’t know what your issue is, but you had no business sticking your nose in my business. We were just gonna get a drink. Do you have some sort of problem with me?”
Thomas’ mouth curved at the corners, as if he was amused that Daniel had dared to stand up to him. “I do, as a matter of a fact.” He took a step closer. “You’re too sexy for your own good. You seem intent on going home with someone tonight, so it might as well be me.”
Shocked by the reply, Daniel had no clever retort. He even forgot he was pissed at Thomas, so he didn’t tell him to get lost. He stared at him, mouth agape.
Well that’s it folks, I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! If you’d like to find me on any of the social networking sites, the addresses are all listed below.
About Lavinia Lewis:
Lavinia discovered reading at an early age and could always be found with her nose in a book. She loved getting lost in a fantasy world even then. When her parents bought her a typewriter for Christmas at aged eleven, her fate was sealed. She spent hours dreaming up characters and creating stories. Not a lot has changed. Now when she is not writing you can find her enjoying a new release e-book.
Lavinia has lived all over the UK but currently resides in London, England. She has travelled extensively to places including Africa, Asia, Australia, America and most of Europe. Although some of her books are set in Texas she has never visited the state but plans to spend time there in the near future.
She is an avid reader and her favourite authors include J L Langley, Carol Lynne, Chris Owen and Andrew Grey. Lavinia particularly loves supernatural fiction and her favourite authors in this genre include Kelly Armstrong, Keri Arthur and Charlaine Harris.
Although Lavinia is a huge fan of the romance genre, she will admit to reading anything and everything. She loves horror, a good thriller and if a book has the capacity to make her cry, well, all the better. One thing she does insist on in a book however, regardless of genre is a happy ending, so you will always find one in the books she writes.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Blood Ties, you can find it on my publisher’s website here
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I would like to give a big Thank You to Lavinia Lewis and Totally Bound for letting us take place in this Blog Tour.