I spotted some old Harlequin romances (ancient ones!) at a yard sale the other day. I remember devouring books like that when I was a kid. Yeah, I had issues with the pathetic heroines (one of the reasons I prefer to write MM romance, btw), but there were certain tropes that just made my hands tingle and my gut tense. You know, those angsty moments when your heart just breaks for the main characters? We all knew they’d get their happy ending eventually, but the pain (pleasure?) of wanting them to be happy together was totally delicious!
So what are your favorite guilty pleasures when you think of romances? What tropes make you shiver and keep you reading at lightning speed to find out what happens? Is it the tried and true “friends to lovers” story, where the two friends worry about what might happen to their friendship if they follow their hearts? Is it the “enemies to lovers” story, where you can just feel the two romantic leads fighting themselves and knowing it’s hopeless to resist?
I’ll share one of my favorites…. I love, LOVE, the romances where the two main characters are madly, passionately in love, but something happens to tear them apart. A misunderstanding or even a person who inserts themselves between the lovers, for example. They’re torn apart, only to rediscover each other years later (which can lead to an “enemies to lovers” story, if you think about it). This new, rekindled love is a more mature and deeper love than in the past.
For those of you familiar with my yaoi (mm) manga/anime addiction, you may have heard me gush about Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi, aka World’s Greatest First Love. Two boys meet in high school. The younger boy, Ritsu, has a terrible crush on the older boy, Masamune. Ritsu confesses his love at a time in Masumune’s life when Masamune’s family is in turmoil. They begin a sexual relationship. But one day Ritsu asks Masamune if he loves him, and Masamune laughs. Ritsu is so hurt, he leaves school and Masamune behind. Ten years later, Ritsu gets a job at a publisher and guess who his boss is? Yep. So begins Masamune’s quest to make Ritsu fall in love with him again. And yes, there’s a good explanation for why Masamune laughed! It’s very cute and sweet, and it gets me every time!
Your turn now! Tell me what your favorite romantic trope is and you could win your choice of one of my current Dreamspinner Press releases in ebook format or a swag bag (including a t-shirt of a Blue Notes Series cover or the fabulous new cover for Stealing the Wind). Contest ends on Friday, August 2nd. Guilty pleasures welcome. Because you know there’s a reason these tropes are so tried and true! -Shira
PS: Want to read more about my upcoming release, Stealing the Wind? You can read a very steamy excerpt from the beginning of the book here (scroll down to the end of the blog post). There’s another excerpt, the opening chapter of the novel, here. The book is now available for preorder on the Dreamspinner Press website and is 25% through July 26th!