Thursday, May 10, 2018

We're Gonna Talk About Romance Tropes (Featuring The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory)...

**Quick note before I get started:  I’m going to be using Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date as an example. I read it as an ARC a few months ago, and it’s a great example of putting a fresh spin on some familiar tropes. So, before you read on, be warned that there may be minor spoilers even though I will try to keep talk of specific situations to a minimum....**

If you think about it, fiction utilizes some kind of trope or another to tell a story, whether it’s in the backstory of a character, setting, whole magic systems, or even the type of character arc a MC goes through—think heroes journey. Tropes are everywhere and they’re not going away. It all comes down to the details. I think romance novels are a good example of this because the tropes in and of themselves are so recognizable. So, I decided to talk about two of my favorite romance novel tropes: accidental meetings and fake wedding dates.

Accidental meetings put two people who might not have otherwise met into the same space for an extended length of time. It essentially forces them to hold a conversation. In the case of The Wedding Date, Alexa Monroe and Drew Nichols get trapped in an elevator, and have a somewhat humorous conversation that involved good old fashioned cheese and crackers—the cheese apparently being the good kind too. They might not have crossed paths. Why? One, they were total strangers. Two, their respective careers kept them in different cities. So, they hung in different circles but happened to be in the same place at once. There was a lot to love about how Alexa and Drew were characterized—professional life and interactions.

What could possibly go wrong at a wedding? To elaborate, I like this trope because it makes the characters talk to each other while they concoct elaborate stories to keep the charade rolling. Such as establishing how they met, how long they’ve been dating, and simple facts that couples should know about each other all in an attempt to fool friends, family, and sometimes an ex.

When you put those tropes together you get chemistry. Or, theoretically, that’s how it should work anyway. What’s true with a lot of romances is that chemistry can be rediscovered or entirely spontaneous. So, with the accidental meeting and fake wedding date tropes it’s kind of spontaneous and works best for me when it’s evident in the interactions and not repeated (told). In the case of The Wedding Date, the chemistry between Drew and Alexa was there. And the rest of the book was a lot of seeing where that early chemistry would lead.

Like I said above, tropes are everywhere. I have my favorites and there are others that I can’t really stand in romance and in other genres as well. What it comes down to is whether they’re used effectively to further a story rather than hinder it, and of course personal preference. The latter is a big factor in what books I ultimately enjoy or DNF and move on. And I just happen to be a fan of fake wedding dates.

What are some of your favorite romance tropes that appear in any genre?

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