Favorite Tropes

beauty&beast-vintageCan we talk about #tropes? Romance fiction is full of them, and some are specific to Regency romance. Do you have favorite tropes that always draw you to a story? Or some that guarantee you won’t pick up a book? I got a poor Amazon review for my book An Unlikely Hero mostly because it was a “house party” story and the reader was sick of those. I do wonder why she bought it!

Elena talked about a few she dislikes back in January here when she was judging Rita books –and oh, boy, that task is coming up again all too soon! But the reason tropes are on my mind today is because in my “other” little Regency author group, the Bluestocking League, we are working on a website where we intend to include what may amount to a small encyclopedia of Regency romance tropes –a list, with descriptions of each and perhaps a few words about their appeal– and we have been compiling the list to start with. Not as easy as you might think, despite the existing lists already out there!

Want a peek at our list-in-progress? Have any you think we should add? Here it is in no particular order:

Loveable Rogue/Rogues in love

Agents of the Crown secret-agent-man

Childhood Friend Romance

Protectors

Dukes

Scandal

Beauty & the Beast

Ugly Duckling/Makeoveri_love_being_estranged_mug-re330ccf88ac348ad8b2b7575bfeb37a8_x7jsm_8byvr_324

Estranged Lovers reunited

Friends to Lovers

Marriage of Convenience

Compromised

Governesses Governess

(other) Boss/Employee

Rakes

Mistaken Identity

(kidnapping) –almost always mistaken identity?

Rags to Riches

Wounded Hero/Caretaker Heroine

House Party Chatsworth-House

Masquerades (including Secret/Hidden Identity)

Road Trip/Runaways

Amnesia

Wagers/bets

my-guardian-angel-85701 Ghosts/guardian angels/magic locket–i.e. Something paranormal outside of self influencing the romance.

Soldier

Thief/highwayman/con artist  (are there any gypsy Regencies–and if so, would they fit here or as own trope?)

Hidden treasure

Murder(s)

Spies (not just Agents of the Crown–could be a soldier, a French spy, etc.)

Wills (tricky provisions and/or inheritances that play a major role in the plot)

Marrying out of one’s class (not sure how to say that more simply)

Demi-monde/light skirts

Spinsters

Widows/Widowers

InventorsMusicians 1817

Artists/Musicians/Writers

Heroes who have a profession

Naval/Sea faring

Smuggling

Politics/Parliament

Handicapped (could be hero or heroine or secondary character whose handicap is an issue)

Social Issues (including slavery, abuse of children, etc.)

Farming/Raising Horses/Animals?

Waterloo (since this seems of particular interest to some readers)

Christmas (and perhaps other  holidays)

India/Other foreign travel?

Children (stories where a child or children play a significant role in bringing the hero and heroine together)

Lots of books include more than one, and some overlap. Which books that you’ve read (or written), leap to mind when you look at these tropes?

We could talk about which favorite tropes appear in which favorite authors’ books. Or we could get into a discussion about where some of these tropes originated (besides the history of the period itself) –Austen? Heyer? Some of the early Regency writers like Cartland?

Sadly, I’ll have to leave that to you in the comments –I am really short on time this week! But I would love to hear what you all have to say about some of these tropes, or even about the list itself!

About Gail Eastwood

Gail Eastwood is the author of seven Regencies that were originally published by Signet/Penguin. After taking ten years off for family matters, she has wobbled between contemporary romantic suspense and more Regency stories, wondering what century she's really in and trying to work the rust off her writing skills. Her backlist is gradually coming out in ebook format, and some are now available in new print editions as well. She is working on the start of a Regency-set series and other new projects. Stay tuned!
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