48 Book Tropes & Ideas That I Am Weak For

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Today’s post is inspired by Sil & Sue, who I know from Twitter and who are two fabulous people you should probably follow for awesome book recs. Last week, they asked Twitter what some of our favorite book tropes/romance kinks were, and basically my mind was buzzing with all the ideas. Since I was too lazy to actually tweet my entire list, I thought I’d make a post out of it!

Book Tropes That I Love And Would Love To See More Of

  1. Romances that take place over letters, emails and texts.
  2. Fake-dating/marriage
  3. Hate-to-love chemistry
  4. Romances that rely heavily on subtle, but charged touches, and glances
  5. Grumpy heroes who are softened by heroines
  6. Grumpy heroes who are annoyed by perky heroines, but 5 seconds later can’t stop thinking about her
  7. Consent, safe-sex and discussions of expectations of sex
  8. Couples that talk instead of running away from each other
  9. Characters who are in STEM fields
  10. Couples that talk nerdy to each other
  11. Heroes with glasses
  12. Guy sees heroine in a pretty dress and can’t take his eyes off her
  13. Airport engagements
  14. Forbidden love
  15. Books where kisses are as hot as the sexy times
  16. The girl initiates the first kiss and the guy freezes for like a second, but then greedily responds
  17. Couple has pets that also fall in love with each other
  18. Office sex romances
  19. Age-gap romances
  20. When a couple who aren’t in love yet are forced to share a bed, and they start the night at each edge, but then by morning they are all tangled in each others arms
  21. Forehead kisses
  22. When a couple falls on each other and they can’t stop staring at each other
  23. Hero who winks at significant other all the time
  24. Hero who loves family more than anything
  25. Bad boys who are actually just giant bears on the inside
  26. Feminist heroes
  27. Lots and lots of banter
  28. Positive female friendships
  29. Characters who speak out against slut-shaming
  30. Road trips
  31. Fantasy set in anywhere other than the generic European setting
  32. YA books with no love triangles
  33. Books set anywhere other than the US
  34. Books that explore religion without being preachy
  35. Books with great family dynamics
  36. Happily Ever Afters
  37. Animal side-kicks
  38. Mulan, Pocahontas & Anastasia Retellings
  39. Description of food, especially baked goods
  40. Non-white characters
  41. Fantasy that don’t describe POC as “savages”
  42. Island settings
  43. Chubby main characters who find love
  44. Exploration of disability
  45. Portrayal of the Deaf community and culture
  46. Dragons
  47. Lady pirates!
  48. Books with tons of diversity a.k.a anything that’s representatives of the real world

OK well, judging by this list, I’m obviously very much obsessed with romance. No regrets!

Are any of these tropes favorites of yours? What are some of your favorite tropes/ideas not in the list above?
Let me know in the comments below!

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Nick
  • kindlemom1

    I love so many of these as well, especially friends to lovers and the hate to love trope, there is just something about them that gets me every time.

    • Same! They never get old for me either!

  • Characters in STEM!!! I’m an astrophysics major, so I love seeing characters working in related fields. I also love the trope in romance where the couple doesn’t actually say I love yous by the end.

    I’m working on a list for books with STEM heroines in Romance. I have a hundred plus books on the list. There’s a suprising amount if you do some digging 😄.

    • I’m in STEM too so I wish we’d see more characters interested in STEM!
      I’m excited to see this post of yours, AJ!

  • Yes to so many of these! My favorite is hate-to-love. But the ultimate for me is a guarded heroine who is on the emotional distant side, and the hero is persistent in breaking down her walls and truly understands her. Like in The Opportunist and Mudvain by Taryn Fisher. Or even like Rose and Connor in the Addicted series. Sigh.

    • I haven’t read those books yet, but they sound so good! OMG yes Rose & Connor! Love those two!

  • I agree with so many of these! I love forbidden romances, enemies to lovers, and fake dating/engagements! Those are some of my absolute favorites. I’m also a big fan of friends to lovers and second chance romances.

    • I adore friends to lovers and second chance romances too. Especially angsty second chance romances!

  • So many! I love romance but if there’s a trope I can’t get enough of, it’s hate to love. The Hating Game is the perfect example. Also anything with great banters. I also love antyhing with big hulks and the tiny imps that bring them to their knees. Heheheheh

    • I loved The Hating Game when I first read it but I felt so ehh about it the second time around. But I’m with you. Hate to love is one my of catnips!

  • Nerdy heroes who are sexy. I love any type of arrangement and agree haters to lovers 🙂

    • Those are some of the best tropes!

  • I snorted at “office sex.” haha. I also love love-to-hate and the whole “let’s fake date” trope, so much fun and so awkward.

    AND FOREHEAD KISSES ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST. I don’t know if I’ve ready any airport romances…

    • I’m a perv haha!
      The fake-date is my favorite because you just know they will fall for each other. Lauren Layne has a book with an airport engagement! 🙂

  • Oh my gosh, I love this post so much! Maybe I can do a post like this, if it’s okay with you. No biggie if it’s not.

    I love when the hero and heroine’s pets fall in love with each other. It’s the most adorable thing. I can’t remember if you’ve read Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks? I think you might be interested in this one based on some of these tropes that you love. It’s an AMAZING book! One of my favorites.

    Oh, and heck yeah feminist HEROES! And speaking out against slut-shaming. I just read a book last night that, while I did like a lot of things, there was a lot of girl hate which got old real fast! However, I think authors these days are doing great jobs of showcasing female friendship, and how important it is.

    I just love the grump hero tropes you mentioned. I love a grump hero. Not an asshole hero. But a grumpy/gruff hero so works for me.

    I have never read an Anastasia retelling, but have you heard that they are making a broadway musical based on the animated movie? Isn’t that awesome.

    • Hey Quinn, totally go ahead and do one! I don’t mind at all. I’m actually quite excited to read your post if you write it!
      I’ve read Never Seduce a Scot and I loved it!
      Oh man girl on girl hate in books needs to just disappear. They are just irritating and make me angry. I have seen lots of great improvements though and I’m happy about that.
      I did hear about the broadway! It sounds exciting!

  • Ari

    YAAS NICK! THIS LIST JUST GAVE ME SO MANY FEELS!! I’m so here for nerdy heroes and forehead kisses and grumpy heroes and road trips…and I’ll stop now because I could probably go on all day.

    • Haha! You get me! <3

  • I love female characters especially into science fields and not afraid to push that glass ceiling in any occupation traditionally seen as male dominated. I want books where women don’t need a love interest to make her ‘interesting’ and if she chooses to enter a relationship, she’s calling the shots. Teens who aren’t shamed for exploring their sexuality or having multiple partners as long as it’s consensual. I want girls who love girls, who love guys, who choose not to love anyone at all. But most of all I want girls who are messy, or flawed and represent girls all over the world!

    Brilliant post Nick, absolutely loved it <3 <3 <3

    • Ooh that’s super interesting, Kelly. I don’t think I’ve read any book with that theme.
      And I’m with you! Give me all the flawed girls!

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!!! I want more of the bed sharing trope!! I was torn when it didn’t happen in A Crown of Wishes 🙁 Also yes to the age gap and office sex romances xD

    • It needs to happen more! Aww that sucks that it didn’t happen in ACOW!
      LMAO I’m glad I’m not the only who is very keen on office sexy times haha.

  • oh you listed so many here that I love as well!!! I love seeing strong female friendships in romances, probably one of the main reasons I love the Wallflower series by Kleypas. Island settings are so fun to read, I just love them and they create such a great atmosphere for a romance. Have you read Pirate Lord by Sabrina Jeffries? I do love well written kissing scenes, because if written right they are just as good if not better than love scenes. 🙂

    • Yes! The friendships in the Wallflower books was just amazing. I haven’t read that one but I have it in my TBR.

  • Bookworm Brandee

    Hahaha This is fantastic, Nick! And since I agree with all the tropes/ideas on your list, it seems I’m obsessed right along with you!! 🙂 The only two I’d add – and this is because I’m way older than you 😉 – is second chance romances and romances where the couple is older (not twenties). I was trying to decide which was my favorite and of course I can’t pick just one from your list but I think I most like the last one…you know, the *real* world!! Love that! 😀

    • Ooh! I love seeing older couples falling in love too, though yes, it’s not a norm sadly.

  • Love this list!!! So many on here I love too. Age gap romances totally get me, love office place romance, island settings are always amazing, I need banter in my life and road trips are a must read for me. Seriously I love all of these!!

    • We should send these to all our favorite authors lol!

  • YES to basically all of this!!! Road trips makes my wanderlust go wild. I also love romances that take place over letters, emails and texts. There’s something so intimate about those kind of romances. The only thing I actually struggle with is dragons in books. The thing is, I love dragons and the mythology surrounding them, heck there’s a dragon on my country’s flag, but for some reason I’ve yet to find a book with dragons that appeals to me.

    • I agree! It’s very intimate and you know that the couple is connecting on an emotional level instead of a physical one.
      Yeah, I haven’t found a good book with dragons either. It’s sad, but they are so underused and misused!

  • Oooh I love SO many of these! Road trips are soooo fun. And I love banter, and female friendships, and forbidden love for sure! And definitely all of the diverse things and characters and places and topics! Yes yes yes! These are so fabulous!!

    • Have you noticed how there aren’t a lot of road trip books though? Sad!

  • So many tropes and I love a lot of them. Fake relationship has always been my favourite of the romance tropes. I just can’t help myself. But turns out I love a good age gap romance and grumpy men do it for me every time. Positive female friendship is another I love! And yes to dragons! Ugh, just yes to all the things on your list and I will be happy in life. Although, not to a book with all these things in at once because imagine how crazy that would get.

    • Same! I only got interested in age-gap romances this year.
      Hahaha! That would be very interesting I think haha. 😀

  • OMG yes! That twitter exchange was amazing, it brought lots of new books onto my radar and reminded me of old faces (like Kleypas)! I agree with literally every single one of these, especially office…romance. Hahaha.

    If only fantasy novels that don’t refer to PoC as “savages” were the norm rather than an exception…sigh. 😒

    • I NEED more office romances that are actually good!
      UGH yes. Every time I hear about a book using POC as savages, it just annoys me, which means it happens a lot