To explain a little about what this post will be about, every Trope Tuesday post starts with the same introduction. In every romance book you read there are tropes or archetypes you find inside its pages. You can also see them in shows, movies, plays, etc. Every type of entertainment and media. Romantic tropes are everywhere, and they are fabulous. I adore them and I always tend to find my favorite ones in romance books so I can enjoy them even more. Trope Tuesday is a weekly column where I share books that I know people will enjoy with a specific central trope.
What is a trope? Urban Dictionary explains it best: “Despite the erroneous definitions already published here, trope on the interwebs really refers to an often overused plot device. It can also be described as another variation on the same theme. TV shows, movies, comics, games, anime’, & books are full of tropes & many rabid fan-sites now name & track said tropes with a self-explanatory title for each one.” We can name a few: accidental pregnancy, best friends to lovers, sibling’s best friend, marriage of convenience, and so many more. Your favorite couples? They probably got a trope too! It’s always so nice to realize or find out your favorite romance trope and keep searching for books with the same theme. So really? I’m just helping you find that new favorite book of yours. If ever you want a post on a trope I haven’t done yet, do drop me a tweet at @thebookvoyagers and let me know!
Not everyone can do right by this trope to be honest. We know that this trope gets written with love triangles constantly. The childhood friend or the new dangerous love interest? Who will they choose at the end? Yeah, I usually hate this trope when it is written that way because the childhood friend thinks they “have” to be with the main character because of their history, their past, and all the things they have lived through together. That they are the “obvious” choice because of those reasons. So no, we aren’t going to recommend books like that.
Instead, we love childhood friends that have been there for the main character in a time of their life but suddenly have parted ways and in later years, find each other again. Or childhood friends that have become rivals/enemies and know every little thing about each other, know how to win against them but if they do win, their rivalry will be over and how will they be able to meet, talk and banter? Or childhood friends that were in your life and you two became distant but now your family needs you to be a fake couple for the crowd? We have a lot of good themes with this trope so it’s just a matter of searching what fits your likings. We hope that these five books that are below will have you find the perfect book for you!
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
I’m still unsure which MacLean book is my favorite because each time I read a new one, I become obsessed. But A Rogue by Any Other Name is up there on my Top 3. We love childhood friends who haven’t seen each other in so long but now they are going to be married because reasons (mainly the hero wants his inheritance). Imagine sharing letters with someone for so long and then they ghost you out of nowhere. Years later, you find that person again only for them to ask you to marry them for unknown purposes. You have felt so lonely throughout your life that it feels like the right choice. This Prince of London’s illicit underworld will try his hardest not to corrupt Penelope with his world, but what he doesn’t expect is that she fits just right as their Queen.
I mentioned this book in the RomBkPod: Inclusively Yours podcast in the retelling category because it also has a Persephone/Hades feel and the couple’s interactions are softly based on this mythological power duo.
Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
Once upon a time, these wonderful duo had the perfect relationship and a future that they were excited about. But their rival families ripped them apart. Still they couldn’t stop seeing each other and came up with a plan: One night, each year. Only one night. Their forbidden romance came to a stop when Livvy didn’t show up one year. When they see each other again, both of them are ready to not succumb to their desires, but it’s easier said than done.
Alisha Rai created one of the most amazing trilogies I have ever read. Hate to Want You is the start of something new and you are totally ready to experience the ups and downs of the Kanes and the Chandlers.
The Queen’s Game by Carla de Guzman
If you love princesses and queens, I have something for you as well. This wild princess has been caught kissing popstars and sinking yachts. She left her kingdom because of her aunt always butting into her business, so she promised never to return. But does after her father has died. She now has to become the queen this country is expecting her to be, so her aunt decides to make her fake date the shy, handsome Prince of Concordia.
I love Felipe and Nina’s relationship. It’s that soft, easy relationship that you feel that is just right. They get into this fake relationship, all of it so Nina has a better image in the public’s eye. But slowly, because they get along so well, they start to develop feelings towards each other. It’s so sweet and cute. We love a scandalous queen-to-be and a quiet prince together.
Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson
And because I totally have to mention this book, I’m adding it even though it is going to be released in May. You might not know about it, so if you do not, please, please write the title down. And if you do, share your excitement with me if you want!
You better believe this book is going to be a wonderful experience. Kwana Jackson’s upcoming romance is all about four brothers and their Harlem knitting shop. But when their adoptive mother suddenly dies, the shop is something they need to figure out. Jesse wants it to stay open while his brothers want it closed. He asks Kerry, his childhood friend, for help. They start to spend more and more time together, but Kerry knows Jesse has a reputation for breaking hearts.