Romance Novel Tropes

DSC01508Coastal romance uses the same tropes as other romance novels, so I thought I’d share my list of story-starters. Please add those I’ve forgotten, or discuss your favourites, in the comments.


Secrets – every family has them
Secret baby – don’t tell daddy

Treasure hunt

Enemies to lovers
Friends to lovers
Love they neighbour

All grown up now – she used to be his ward
All grown up now – best friend’s sister

Second chances – reunion, high school or otherwise
Second chances – shared tragedy


Makeover magic – Cinderella
Beauty and the Beast
Rapunzel – rescue me!

Taming the rake
Boss & secretary
Doctor & nurse
Cowboy & greenhorn
Billionaire & damsel in distress (or defiance)

Let me heal you – wounded hero/broken bird
Forbidden love – feuding families
In pursuit – half the couple knows it’s love

Mated pair (paranormal romance)
Arranged marriage
Stranded together
Forced to converse – babysitting duties
Forced to converse – where there’s a will
Forced to converse – job assignment

Shared danger
Ticking clock


*Edited to add — and with huge thanks!

Mistaken identity

Nurse – patient



Be sure to check back tomorrow for a very special Coastal Romance post.

8 Replies to “Romance Novel Tropes”

    1. Did you ever see "Ever After" with Drew Barrymore as Cinderella? There's a scene in there that does exactly that, too. Subverting the old fairytales is super fun.

      How is your Nano'ing going? Can I ask or should I wait for December?

      1. I have seen Ever After although it was a few years ago now. I might have to find it again to check out that scene.

        NaNo was charging ahead but I've had a sick girl these past few days so it put a dent in my count. I need to get stuck in tonight and tomorrow and I'll be close but I may not reach my goal this time. Thank you for asking. 🙂