A Trope in a romantic novel is a plot, theme, device or character used so often that it has become a convention within the genre. In other words: a romantic trope is the thing readers buy the romance for!
Relationship Topes (How do they meet)
Bachelor Auction – handsome, wealthy hero wins a date also Dare or Bet. Skylar and Ann both discuss auctions in school as grad fundraisers and how they turned out.
Best Friends Brother – forbidden love and must hide her feelings for him
Blind Date – the date usually delivers a twist, ie date turns out to be her boss. Screen example: You’ve got mail with Meg Ryan. Skylar shares a book, Bought by the Buccaneer by Vanessa Brooks.
The Dating Game – Online dating is new to the heroine this could lead to comedy, or the opposite sadism, etc. and includes, Dating sites. Ann shares some personal dating stories.
Enemies to Lovers (Bully romance popular with YA romance) – characters move past the anger to attraction. I’m currently watching the new Dynasty with my family and Mr. Carrington and the ex-Mrs. Carrington are a perfect example. The masterful husband series by Vanessa Brooks. People love the wit and spark that ignites into fireworks versus a gentle burn romance. Bully Romance, Punk 57 was recommended to Ann who is not a fan of the story type but was drawn in and felt compelled to read the story. Didn’t like genre or trope but well written and was drawn in. Discusses reviews and how they can work against an author who writes a good story, but the plot is not appreciated.
Forbidden Love – Taboos and lies are the heart of this trope, religion, or family feud – Romeo and Juliet are a good example and Shakespeare in Love. Step siblings’ class to relationship to family nationality, rival families like mafia romance. I enjoy when its not just a meeting trope but the story as well. Sometimes forbidden love is just thrown in as an afterthought. The trope should be part of the storyline. Ann provides a step sibling book example.
First Love – seeks out or is reunited with her high school or first love. Taken 2 ways initial first love or a second chance love. A trope that works well for shorter stories because there is an implied relationship that is already there.
FFM or MMF romantic menage trois that explores sexual entanglements. MFM men only interact on a sexual level or FMF women only interact on a sexual level with the males. Discuses POV regarding this trope and romance in general.
Frenemies – friendly rivalry socially or at work, banter and teasing lead to sparks flying. Lighthearted, a girl with sass, their friends but the riff each other. Light banter, teasing, a little heat
Kidnapped – reluctantly falling for the kidnapper
Marriage of convenience, or compromise – marriage based on necessity, financial or strategic reasons
Partners in fight crime – cop falling for another cop – they have this in blue Bloods with Jamie and his partner. 2 people who work together on an intimate basis then something happens and or sparks and they have a relationship. Ann and Skylar discuss working with their real-life partners.
Prom Date – teen plot –. Suspense the will he won’t he, being chosen above all others. They discuss the pros and cons through the show Glee.
Shared Pasts – have history together and now that must be resolved in the present.
Soul Mates – two characters feel they are destined but forces conspire against them. The Notebook is a worthy example, as are Jayne Castel the sisters of Kilbride series. Ann discusses omega-verse versus non-omega verse brides of the kindred where they’re within a certain proximity of the destined mate they can dream share, when they finally meet there is insta-attraction.
Hi, I'm Ann Jensen coming to you from the east coast of New Jersey. Hi, I'm Skyler West coming to you from the west coast of Canada. We are two romance writers using our life experiences to break down and share with you all things romance, how you find your next book boyfriend, discovering genres and troops and looking at what works and why and what doesn't work and why. This week on coast to coast romance, we're talking relationship trope. We've been discussing trips over the last few sessions, this category of tropes has to do with how your two main characters. Excellent, that's exciting. That's one of my favorite tropes. Yeah, one of the things that I like about the relationship trope is is that can throw a hodgepodge of tropes into a book, but the relationship trope is one where there's one lady. I mean, I guess technically you could have no, no, you have one relationship trope. So how they met and everything like that they can only meet once unless I guess there's amnesia in the story or something. Well, that's but that's true. Yeah, absolutely. How do they meet is incredibly powerful. And it's fueled things like the famous Romeo and Juliet stories. Yeah. So I think it's a great trope to talk about, and we have a list of specifics that we would come across in romance genre. And the first one is the bachelor auction, the healthy starting off the healthy, happy, healthy, healthy, definitely wealthy, handsome hero who wins a date or a dare or a bet. Yeah. And I think this is, I've seen both bachelor and Bachelorette trope auctions done in books, but I think the bachelor auction is a lot more popular because it's a situation in which the roles are kind of reversed, at least for the moment. Yes, absolutely. She's Yeah, in a night with a hot sexy man. And I've read a couple where it was usually the guy is forced to do it by his mom or his ads or you know, rideshare car. Yeah. Because, yeah. When the the wealthy lawyer, you know, are they aristocracy, aristocracy, someone in England, you know, someone who's part of the the higher ups, and it's fun, I actually have in school, we used to have, we called it the slave auction, which is, you know, not something that would get passed. Now, but this was the 80s. And so you could, so it was a way for the grade 12 to raise money for grad. And so they would basically, you know, waltz across the stage and do silly things and and you're supposed to come to school with money, and you would bid Well, I was planning some revenge. And I said to my mom, look, I need some serious coinage, because these two guys are both popular, and I plan on winning. So she's killing herself. She's like, okay, so she gave me 100 bucks, which was a lot for a grade eight kid back in the 80s. To have, but and I didn't tell anybody I had it. Slave auction comes up. First guy starts walking across the stage. And you know, their bids are like, two bucks or three bucks. And I say, you know, 25 bucks, and everyone turns around and looks at me. And so he was one of the star basketball player. So I did win the bet. And I bought him for the day and his I put them in a dress. I made him piggyback me to all of my classes. And his best friend who was much smaller had to carry my books. Follow us around like a puppy. And yeah, it was revenge, Mistress. Oh, yeah. I think about it now. It's like, setting myself off awesome. Yeah, it was. It was quite funny. I actually have a photo. And you know, what's funny is we had something so it wasn't called the slave auction. But we had something that it was for charity, but it was you know, all the cheerleaders and football players. Sure. You know, all that going up for the popular kids. And and I have to admit, I did not bid on anyone, but I do remember that happening. Oh, good. So it wasn't just me. That's That's a relief. But yeah, they were. It was just great. Yeah, we live auctions now happened in BDSM books. where they belong. The whole blacklight roulette. Yeah, yeah, series. Love that. Love that series. Yeah. Okay, so best friend's brother. Yeah. Love that must hide their feelings, her feelings for him. I've heard that a few times. And it was done quite well. I've read it done. Well, I've read it done annoying. It's more the I like it better when they were both attracted for a long time, but both didn't act on it. Or it's a situation where it was like the little sister or the little brother crushing on? Well, and that's interesting you say that because Netflix came out with a movie a couple of years ago called the kissing booth. And I don't know if your kids have seen it, but my daughter and her girlfriends have all seen it. And then they came up with kissing booth two, and the third one's coming out this August. And what it is, is this girl and her best friends a guy they grew up being buddies, but she always had a crush on the older brother never said anything. And we find out through watching him that he actually had always liked her to not have never said anything. And it's a it's adorable. Like it's one of those Yeah, I like those or I like the one where it's the age gap was like, say, six, seven years, so completely untenable. And it till they're older until they're older. And I've seen it done where like the brother and his best friend join the military, and they go away for like, 10 years, right? And then they come back and the best friend hasn't seen the sister in and all of a sudden it's like, Oh, dang, girl, you got a body. But you kind of need that separation. Yes, sir. For that to really be believable. Absolutely. Because I mean, I mean, one could arguably say even within that context that that they not go home at Christmas, and yet and did they not have leave at any point? Right, right. But I like the 10 year gaps and, or, you know, whatever, my gap of time as well. I think they're entertaining because you get to see that. So from the character perspective, you get to see that male POV or whatever, for the first time through different eyes. Yeah. And it also it also works very well for shorter stories. Yeah, because you have the implicit they know each other they you know, they there's an assumed history, there's an assumed history, there's a assumed affection. Yeah. Even if it isn't love, so it allows you to write just the the meat of or the Absolutely, yeah, for sure. You get to jump right to the desert. Okay, I think we'll be looking for one of those on my Kindle later. I need a dessert book. Blind date. Oh, you know what? I know. It's not I actually I don't know that. It's not but I'm assuming it has never been a book. But I think you've got mail. Did you ever see that with Meg Ryan did oh my gosh, I need one that was done by Vanessa Brooks is called bought by the Buccaneer. Okay. And this was kind of neat, because what the story opens up with this woman running away from her brother, it's in a period piece, right? So maybe the Edwardian period. So it's a period piece where women who are they're owned by their family, and they don't have they're not independent, she's supposed to get married, and she doesn't want to get married. And so when on route to meeting her, her groom, right, she decides to take off. So she runs through a market, escaping her brother with plans to which doesn't really have a plan. She just gifted you the journey. And she gets she gets captured and sold, ironically, a slave auction. And so now she's panicking, hoping her brother will find her. And of course he doesn't. And she gets taken by this pirate captain. And I mean, it's just it's a riot. I love it. But it turns out that it's actually her groom. And he has stolen her under the pretext of something else because he wants to see what she's really like. And it was adorable. And of course, they end up falling in love. And it's an hga like all romance books are but she did a great job of I call that a blind date my like a blind kidnapping. But you know, I could I read it. I wish I looked up the name of the book. But I read a book recently where it was a blind date in one of those dark restaurant. Oh, I love those. And so it was it was like you were supposed to now mind you. I'm gonna say it for the record that I hate any mess that has to do with food. So the idea of having to eat in the dark just does not appeal to me, right. But I like the concept of this it was it was basically a dating agency had set up a bunch of blind dates, and you didn't get to see your date until the date was over. So you have to get to know them as people before you see what they look like people brilliant. The twist on this particular one was the guy got sat with someone who he did not connect at all with and the people at the table next to him, like he connected with him, but they ended up not actually getting to see each other and then like the voices later triggered. Of course, how interesting using your different senses to connect. So it was very interesting and a well done book, but it was just a true blind date. Like I loved it in a book. No interested. Yeah, exactly. All right. Let's see. The dating game online dating I guess if we include the dating game as hookup app, meet friends apps, like all of it where you get matched to someone by certain profile or credentials, credentials, facts. Yeah, that's that again. Sorry. It's a movie but must love dogs. Yes. Perfect example. I love that show, but has to create actors in it. But yeah, they're being connected by an app or a series of questions or something like that. I again, maybe this is something like I love this. And I love this. And I'm in a book. I met my husband on a dating app. Really? I did. Oh my gosh, that's awesome. Sorry. I want to lose her someday, but oh, well, you have to Yeah, there's a lot of weeds to weed through. That's for sure. I don't think I would ever do it again. Now in my 40s, I'm sorry, I should not be having the I'm trying to figure out where I'm going in life. You know, right. Just like I'm like you're 46 Yes. Know where you're going? Your life's half over. Okay, I know. Alright, so this is this is about romance books. Not our romance. I get it. I know I should have been better like this, but it's awesome. Some at some point. We'll have to do a side podcast with like, I have some dating stories. No kidding. That's great. Allah Oh, yeah, I have some stories to walk to share those on one one of those out of a movie theater bathroom. Nice. two doors, like window bathroom. Well, I didn't go out of window I will say that. I didn't initially intend to ditch him that way because he walked me to the bathroom. And I went to the bathroom and I didn't think about it and I went out the other door and realized I was in the side hallway and I was like this is for the best. It's meant to be Oh, you're so romantic. Sorry. How do you do it? Okay, so let's go on to enemies to lovers. Game behind ex military guy to magically show up on his motorcycle whoo now we're talking about enemies to lovers love and hate this love and hate this like and I think that's true of most people. Well, and I think a lot of it depends on how the female POV is betrayed. Yeah, because portrayed not betrayed just clarify that because as an example, Vanessa Brooks does the masterful masterful husband series and her and even though it's again historical she does this brilliant job of having these strong women so I personally find that if the women are if they're too weak or they're so damage I don't know they some writers will present them as being just carpets and so I have an issue with with that. And the enemies two lovers story. Yeah. And well, I think and you know what we didn't have in here bully romance, and that's on the same enemies, two lovers. I think the reason that people enjoy enemies to lovers is because they love that wit they love that spark. They love that push pole. Yes, that will ignite into fireworks rather than a gentle burn. Absolutely. They're looking for some pop and some sizzle. And there are people who love bully romance. It's not my thing unless it unless it has to do with like say humiliation kink or something. But, like, you know, like, unless they enjoy being bullied. I'm just like, no, I love myself a good fiction book where someone overcomes a bully or overcomes a or they end up you know, getting the nerdy hot guy who magically transforms into a bodybuilder with a six. That's so much fun, isn't it and the bully at the school reunion has a potbelly. You know, like, oh, okay, yeah, there. You know, I'm there for that. Absolutely. Yeah, that's fun. But again, I also don't I bully romance is really more popular with ya and I don't eat a lot of ya romance. Well, I also find that Oh, is it teal Swan that does that series. It's the it's the wealth, the wealth ease in England, in London. And they're all in the upper echelons of school and then they carry on to college, but they see each other at all the social functions because they're all of the same financial status. And so there's this tremendous push pull like you said, Yeah, but there's in and the backstory for all of these particular characters are that mothers have left or parents have died or there's nothing's ever been addressed. No one's ever talked about it. And that seems to be a real strong backstory for a lot of these types of stories. The bully story, right is that there's emotional damage PTSD, things that have never been dealt with and charges how they respond to other people. Yeah, and I had a couple months ago, someone someone recommended punk 57 to me, because I had said that I was not a fan of Billy romance punk 57 by I think it's Nala Douglas, I think is an example of reading of writing that is so good, it will suck you in even if you're absolutely horrified by the content. Nice. I can't say that I enjoyed the story. Okay, cuz I cuz I felt dirty when I was done. I can't say that I recommend the book, because like I said, I felt. Yeah. But what I can say is that even though I was horrified by the storyline, and wanted to hire a hitman to take out the male lead, wow, I continued to need to read the next page. Interesting. That's very strong reaction. So you know, I will give, like I said, I may not like the genre. I may not like the trope. I may not like the whatever. But I can say, well done. Yeah, that's good. Yeah. Yeah. they've written a good book, whether you like it or not. Yeah. And I think that's, you know, that's a really good point. And because I mean, how many times I can't tell you I've where I've read a really well written book, and then I'll read the reviews, or read the reviews, and then the book. And there's always somebody in there who has really no complaint other than they didn't like it, and they give them a bad rating. And it's like, well hang on a second. You've already said it was well written. Yeah. And by not like it, they mean, they didn't agree with the storyline. Right, right. So they're going to instead cast a low rating on a book that really doesn't deserve it. And I know, as an author and a reader, I find that frustrating. Yeah, no, and I think you've gotten the reviews. I know, I've gotten reviews. I think my favorite is like I would have given this five stars. If it wasn't for all the public stacks. I was like, thank you for writing that review. Because that's just gold. Like, I'm just gonna play even though it was three stars, you know, it's like, but yeah, it's like when someone says, well written, but the character shouldn't have done this or well written, but you know, yeah, we're talking with reality adjacent. My favorite phrase, you know, where they're like your motorcycle club is unrealistic is like, but the book was well written. Right? And I was like, Well, yeah, yeah, it's unrealistic. So So for all of you out there, I will say this reviews feed my soul, even bad reviews feed muscle, because I love knowing that you read the only kind of reviews that I don't like, is when it's like I DNF. Dead page. 18. I'm like, then you didn't read my book? Yeah, it's like, and if you just want to put DNF at page 18, that's fine. But don't give me a three page critique of the first 18 pages because no kidding cuz it's romantic suspense and the first 18 pages are supposed to be kind of dramatic. You're building in it's all part of the building. That's funny. But yeah, like, take the time. Yeah. Even even if you write three words, take the time then your app. Yes. 100%. And unfortunately, we live in an age where it's absolutely essential. Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, moving on. Did we do Forbidden Love? We did not. Okay. Forbidden Love to booze and lies are the heart of this trope, religion or Family Feud, kind of Romeo and Juliet or Shakespeare in Love would be a good example. Yeah. Now Forbidden Love has as a whole gambit. You got Romeo and Juliet to the true taboo of like, step siblings or step brother? Yeah, like like yes, it can be anything from class to relationship to family to nationality or anything like that. And or even another one that you see a lot of in the mafia, where you've got two completely different families or something and, and so falling in love, I guess it would be that would be kind of a Romeo and Juliet. So for me, I enjoy when Forbidden Love is not just the meeting trope where it is the story as well, because I feel like sometimes the Forbidden Love is just thrown in as like, Oh, we haven't dated before because of this thing. But now we're going to and it's fine. And it's like, No, no, no, if you're going to use this true, it should be a part of the storyline there. There should be complications because of it. There should be hurdles to overcome, there should be guilt. Otherwise, it's you're talking about an internal reason for it to be forbidden other than obvious physical reasons. Yeah, no, I mean, do you have an example? Something that you've read an example is someone used Forbidden Love, but it was a situation where they were in their early 20s when their parents got married. So their steps of Oh, okay, and I'm like, not related by blood in any way. They're not related by blood by any way. They didn't grow up together. They didn't like form a sibling bond. They didn't you know what I mean? So you You're just throwing it in there to get a dirty throw like you didn't you know, like, right, right? And honestly, who would parent of an adult child is going to be like you guys didn't meet until you're in your mid 20s? But no, you should not be no. And I mean, maybe you might be like, well, if we break up then it's kind of hard it you know, family holidays. Yeah. All right, that'll give you but not the not the weekend with this. Brother. It's like, No, no, yeah, yeah. No, that's, uh, I agree with you. I think. I definitely prefer the stories where there's some serious Nxd involved in this forbidden love. You know, there has to be, you know, one that I've seen often or read often is where there's dislike where there's someone's been wronged. So you can't go out with that person's brother because they wronged your sister or your cousin or, or their father dead or you know, exactly. Or grandfather even. I mean, you can take it back even further. I see that one point a bit. Yeah. And that's fun. That's like it is it is fun. Yeah, is high internal angsty stuff. It's just, it's nice that I'm okay with exactly the scandalous thing. It can be quite fun. But again, the family should be mad at them for getting together, why shouldn't just be like a one and done? And I guess that's true of any trope don't bother to throw it in there if you're not going to build the story around it. Right? Because we've all seen the books where it's like, how many trips? Can I shove inside this book? Yes. Well as some of the biggest audiences possible. Yeah. Everyone will want this book. You know, it's a show again, but I have to mention it. And it's called Jane The Virgin. And I don't know if you've heard of Jane, the virgin heard of it. I have no, my gosh, I have never laughed so hard. Because you're right, as we're doing these podcasts when we were when we first started with number one into talking about genres and tropes. That show has every single one of them and every single episode. It's so funny, like, oh, there's the mobile blog, my husband and my daughter like, Huh, what I'm like, Oh, yeah, this is this is when this and this happens. Like, Oh, just, you know, they're not even TV shows are hard. Now. You know, like, once I started writing, and started taking writing classes and slot classes and everything like that, I have to admit that sometimes like a movie Oh, come on our TV show. Come on. I'll be like, I know what's gonna happen. Yes. Like, I recognize that true. Yep. Oh, actually, it's every single thing I watch. It's a will literally say what they're gonna say next. And we we it's kind of a running joke in our house now. It's like, nailed it. My husband starting to get good at it, too. That's pretty scary. Oh, dear. Okay, where are we so we are at first love seeks out or is reunited with their high school or first love. This can be taken two ways. One, it could be the initial actual first love, or the second chance love where we were young, and we were dumb. And we were in love and it didn't work out. But now that we're adults, and again, this is one of those tropes that works well for shorter stories. It doesn't need a shorter story. It just works well with shorter stories, because again, you have the implied history and the implied relationship that's already there. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I also find it a very common theme for ya, obviously. Yeah, but this can also come out in other things that we not necessarily other tropes, but even like alien love interplanetary. I mean, it's all you know, oh, I never found anyone I needed on Earth. But all sudden, I got shipped off to Zander land and found I can't remember this. I think it might have been part of evangelising Anderson series where she's got a lot of alien cultures that are part of a Interstellar brides program. Oh, she had a she had a series called the virgins. And what it was was the women had some like, apparently this particular races had been to earth and left behind little children. Okay, and so the women who paired to this particular race had some of that blood in them, and they were never attracted. Like they only get attracted to their mate. So try Duquesne. They tried, you know, it wasn't necessarily that they were all actual virgins, but they had a prescribed destiny meet. They had a proscribed destiny, mate, but just to the point that they weren't, you know, they were asexual up until the point that they met right there, mate. Interesting that that was fascinating. You know, I mean, don't get me wrong. I personally find a sexual love. absolutely fascinating. But then for it to, you know, to mix with the true mate for that, which I think we have further down the list here somewhere. Yeah. Oh, I'm sure I'm sure we do. Alright, let's see mnos So we have f f, m Minaj, we have, we have we have and we have m m f, and then we can have m f. And there we go. For those of you listening who don't necessarily know the difference between, say m m f and m f m, obviously, we've got male and we've got female and so if you have mmf or ffm, then to female or male or female, however, if you do F, F, it means that the women only interact on a sexual level with the male. Oh, okay. And the same thing with mF M or, yep, Mmm, yeah, yep. The the men only interact with the woman on a sexual level. But if you do mmf it means that they all interact sexually. So someone's bisexual at least gotcha. Okay, I don't know if this is necessarily a how they met trope, but I have seen a lot of good books done where like there's an established couple that brings in third or something. Okay, I'm writing a Minaj right now. So I'm full on and on this. It's complicated to write Minaj and I have a lot of respect for people who are like Vonage, because if you do it well, instead of just having one relationship to deal with, you have three absolutely because you know, between the male and the male between the male and the female, male one and female and male, two and female, you know, yeah, and I haven't seen x and so here's a question for you when reading Minaj do you write it from the third party voice? Or do you find it easier to write from first POV first and second? So first of all, I will never write in second. And while I have read one book in my lifetime, written in second, that was good. All the rest of them were horrible. Okay, but anyway, that being said, I write mostly in third person for romance. I know that a lot of people like first person in romance, but I go deep POV with third person. So it's like being in for first person, but gotcha. So you're writing the Minaj? The in the same format, then? Okay, gotcha. What it is, though, is it's a limited POV. So I instead of flipping back and forth, male, female, male, female, like I normally do, it's sometimes it's going to be female, male male, Chapter wise. And sometimes if the story needs it, it's just going to be two separate scenes, or one of the men might get skipped. Right. Gotcha. Okay, so not to be sexist, but the woman's more important. Well, I think in romance, there is, I don't know if it's specifically said or stated anywhere, but I know with certain companies, they prefer the story to be told from the woman's perspective, or at least half or more of the story told from the woman's perspective. I will tell you that up until recently, unless it was LGBTQ romance. I did not like I would be willing to read a book that was purely from the woman's point of view, but I would not have been interested in reading a book totally from the man's point of view. Right. And part of that has to do with the fact that in general, romance is a fantasy for us. Yes. And me as a woman, I want to see that fantasy through the woman's eyes. However, I recently Alright, Joe Arden and Laura Blakely. Lauren Blakely writes some funny, funny, funny romance. Like if you want to burst out laughing and embarrass yourself while you're in public, she's the one you should read. Or one of the ones you should read. I see one of their books how to get lucky. Yeah, so Joe Arden is actually a audiobook narrator Okay, and they decided to co author a book together. Oh, and but I'm gonna assume it was on the whole mostly written, there's obviously a, an actual book for it. But I think it was written with the audio in mind, because Joe Arden narrates it, even though he wrote it, and he's very, very talented. Narrator And it was completely from the guy's point of view. It did not know that going in. And Had I known that going in, I would not have gotten it. I have to be totally honest. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. Oh, good. So you're pleasantly surprised. So I was pleasantly surprised. But a lot of times when something is totally from the male point of view, it's not like I said, a male male or something like yeah, I think we lose some of the emotion we lose, you know, we lose some of the Oh, I agree. And it's funny because, you know, I've recently come out with a new series under a different pen name. And I've had some really interesting comments. And one was from a friend of mine, who's a guy who read them and said, you know, have you ever considered writing a scene where he tells her to do such and such and it was a very male fantasy scene. Okay, because there's no woman on earth who I that I know of that wants to spend an hour licking some guy's balls, I'm sorry. And he said that Fear great punishment. I like it punishment. Good. I'm glad you proceeded it with that word. I said, I'm writing for fame for women as a female fantasy that what you just said is a guy's fantasy. That's the difference. Why isn't this why you can't write this book? He laughed. He thought he's like, wait, wait, wait, wait. I said, No, no, no, I don't want to talk about anymore. And you know, what, if done well, if your only could make a good scene? Oh, absolutely. But it's it was just funny. Because yes, no, it is. Well, a good example is back to what we always talk about in that we want our heroes to be realistic. Oh, point to a point. Yeah. We want them to talk and act and be men. And most of the time, we want them to be alpha men or you know, whatever, in our stories, but we also want them to have the flowery. Yeah, we want to believe that inside their heads, they're not just thinking about the game, or what they did five minutes ago, or, hey, here's a car. That's really cool. Like, we want them thinking she is so lovely. Yes, Yes, we do. I would burn down the world. Exactly. Yeah, you nailed it. Okay, so that takes us to frenemies, which we've kind of talked a little bit about, but this is more lighthearted. I think, yeah, I think I think this is more I see this more as a girl with SAS, or a guy with, you know, like, their friends, but they riff each other. Yes, it's almost um, you know, I've, I've read books where the work environment where they're both going for the same position. So there's this constant, not negative, but antagonistic quality to the interactions, which I think is a lot of fun. So rivalry, banter, teasing, lots of fun, little bit of heat. It's all good. It's a spark. And once again, you have a pre existing relationship that you can go and correct. Yeah, for sure. And there's, um, I'm trying to think of her name. She is just actually got a an email in today from her but a newsletter, but she just exactly what she writes. Is that kind of office interoffice conflict type stories. Hmm, yeah, fun, for sure. The next one that I love is not that I love them. I just love that this is a trope. And I wish I could say that I hadn't read a lot of books that use it. And Stockholm Syndrome aside, I've seen some fun twists, but on this mostly in erotic romance, where I can't remember the name of the story. But basically, it was twin sisters. And one had hired a BDSM fantasy company. No way kidnapped her because she wanted to experience it. But then she changed her mind. And she had to go somewhere for work. And the sister was watching her dog cancelin get kidnapped. And the sister thought she was vanilla. But you know, found out she wound an hour into the kidnapping. She's like, that's pretty good. And the thing was, she knew her sister had done this. So she knew what was going on. Right problem was that the sister had pre arranged your safe words and her other words, and she didn't know them. Oh, that's that's so much fun. Yeah. So I mean, it was and it was erotic romance. It was very much tongue in cheek because of course, the guy kidnapping didn't was like the best friend of the owner of the company and was just standing in for the warmth. Like he didn't usually do this for a living. So of course, he wasn't a player. You know, serendipity. Yeah. And they're not supposed to have sex. But But you know, unusual circumstances. That's great. But yeah, so I love it. When it's done, it's in cheek, or I could see it maybe it's like a French Resistance or something. Like if they you know, like, I kidnap you to make your family given to the demands. Well, you can even though you know, like, Yeah, well, I mean, I think about the Outlander series, like I read the books years ago before it ever came out. Yeah. And really, I mean, the Scots take Claire prisoner immediately under the guise of protecting her from the English, right, but it doesn't take too long to figure out exactly what they're doing with her. And at that point, her life becomes someone else's. Right. You know, so you could, you know, historically it can be a lot of fun to Yeah, yeah. All right. marriage of convenience. So I'm not I mean, I know there's a lot of historical marriage of convenience and that sort of things. But if I if I grew up in fake marriage, yeah, fake fiance or fake Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of this trope, it just it doesn't trigger the happy spot for me. Well, so it I feel like it triggers the same spot for me that normal kidnapping would in that your stuff. And I think it's great, you know if if you add in a slow burn romance from that where they come to love each other, okay. But again in a historical sense, well and I usually so a historical sense that wouldn't be considered convenience it would be compromised, right. So marriage of compromise because the woman will have been compromised. And so therefore the marriage has to happen bridgerton, which I I've been told that the books are quite different than the new series that Netflix has put out. But it's a perfect example of the lead character is that she, she becomes compromised. And so she the marriage has demanded, and an upper in the upper echelons of society. In historical books, we all want to imagine that when you're compromised, you're compromised by someone that you're you actually have feelings for that you love. And that this is all gonna work out for you in the long run. But the truth of the matter is, is that you know, if historically, I'm sure it was often not like that in the slightest, but that's again, like you said, the reality adjacent. Exactly. And so I like to imagine I was actually teasing another author a couple days ago. And I said, I imagined when I visit Scotland, that there's going to be gorgeous men and kilts everywhere because she lives there. And she's, I'm sorry, I don't mean to disappoint you. And I said, Stop, stop right there. I have an image in my head. Don't ruin it for me. I will say, I went to Ireland, and I fly across the Atlantic. I know that I am landing in Ireland, or at least I'm supposed to be landing in Ireland, and I get off the plane. And there were men in kilts everywhere. And I'd like I honestly I looked around, I'm like, do we take a detour? And apparently it was the National Football League Soccer, whatever it is, Ireland versus Scotland. Oh, that day, or, or that weekend or whatever, whatever. So the airport was full of men in kilts and in kilts, and I will tell you that while mixed within those men, there were a few that I was like the majority of them I was like, yeah, you go you you wear that kill. It's awesome. But to the trope, I'm gonna go to one that I love, which is the I need a fake boyfriend. I need a fake fiance. I need a fake husband. Okay. And that I love where it's like a stranger or, you know, I've seen everything from girls getting hit on at the bar, and she just wants to have a night and be like, some guy comes in and he's like this, my fiance, you know, like, it saves her and then they just hang out. And then they, you know, go to the girl's cousin is marrying like her, her ex fiance cheated on her with her cousin. And now the cousin and her ex fiance are getting married, and she has to go to the wedding. So she wants to bring a super hot guy. Oh, yes. You know, like a friend or hire a sensor, or a friend or something like that. And it's like, yes, those are those are awesome. Or the rich billionaire can only access his money if he gets married by the age of 26. Yeah, that's a common common theme that's like, Hey, you poor college student. Yeah, I'm vaguely attracted to you. So I hear it. I'm vaguely attracted to you, and you seem honest. So let's do it. I try to marry you, regardless of the possible legal consequences that might have. Oh, I love it. But no, no, no, this is gonna be well, I've seen everything from Oh, this is gonna be totally platonic. If you do, you know, it's Oh, no, no, no, and we're gonna be having sex all the time. You know, like, depending on the level of story, though a lot linear lobby lynnville I don't know how to say their first name. She she's got a lot of by her books. She had an awesome book where basically a super geek had committed a crime and, and was going to go into jail. And he needed someone to basically house it and watch his dogs and take care of his pewters and finances while he was in jail. And so he finds this girl on the street who's super hot and he's attracted to and he basically sets it up so that only she can see an ad to be not a fake, but like, you know, marry me for the seven years that I'm in jail, and you'll leave with you know, all this money and everything like that. And she has a question. So she goes to visit them in jail, and then they fall in love while he's in jail. And then he ends up getting out early and they end up staying married, but it's just a great twist on the fake. I mean, it was obviously real marriage, but yes, well, that's like the same thing for people with the you know, that was a real popular thing in the 90s I think Green Card romance. Yeah, you Yeah, I haven't ever read one of those. I have read one of those. And it was, it was interesting because it was a slow burn, obviously. And there's lots of it. So before they come together, there's more story before they come together. But once they do come come together, it's like, it's this wonderful, solid, you know, we're in it to win it kind of thing. And so it was enjoyable. For sure. It also makes me think of, I just read one recently to where there was a, it was, so in fact, I just finished it and I can't even think of the name which is terrible. But motorcycle mafia King decides to take out a motorcycle gang because they had tortured him caught and tortured him. But that's not obvious from the beginning, he was we know is that he hates the motorcycle gangs and he hates what they stand for and how they treat women and blah, blah, blah. So in order to make things right, they're gonna set up a fake marriage. So the head of the motorcycle gang shows up at the head of the mafia guy's house, and basically presents them with a bunch of eight by 10 glossy photos of all the women that he could potentially marry that they could offer him as a as a gift, right? And he's being forced into it by the rest of the family at gunpoint to make this choice. So he picks a girl based on her photo, and they have this fake wedding and they end up falling for each other. But his he's interesting, because one of the things I liked about this book was they made dark love. Okay, right. He's a shithead. But I love him anyways, I'm attracted to it works for me, right? This is this is this is the kind of person I want to be with. Yeah, no. And as long as it's not victimization, II know what I mean. Like, I don't want to say abusive, because somebody will be like, somebody will say, oh, that behavior is abusive no matter what. But it's more if the person is not a victim. I mean, yes. And they're not and it was is one of those what you would say he burns down the world for her, right? Yeah, True. True. Love is not a man who will stand between you in the world with a man who will burn down the world for you. It's exactly, exactly. Okay. So that takes us to the partners in crime partners in fighting crime. Yeah, so cops, detectives, lawyers, but basically, two people who work together intimately on a daily basis something sparks them from friends to more than our lovers or something that I'm okay with this trope. I don't think it does anything for me in particular, one way or the other. Except for that again, it you know, you have a built in relationship. Yeah, well, I'll tell you, I mean, I met my husband, and we started working together six months later in a in our private practice. And when we work together, actually, we kind of joked about it when COVID hit because we like heard about everyone's struggling being home with their spouses. And if that divorce rate went up, and people were hating each other. We were laughing because nothing had changed for us. Yeah, no. I mean, I'm divorced now. So obviously, it didn't work out. But I worked with my ex husband. And it we had to actually go to our managers and go, you have to separate us. And and part of it is it wasn't an equal balance. Right? It was it was a situation where I was the lead, and he got transferred onto my team to help out during a crunch period. And I even pointed it out when they first did it. I was like, Oh, I don't think this is good idea. And they're like, Oh, don't worry, you won't be in charge of his raises or his reviews. So it'll be fine. Yeah, two days later, I was like, nope, nope, not fine. If you want to save my marriage, you separate us. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But that aside, like, I think the partners thing it because you know, it's I enjoy it only when it becomes something like two cops, and then in a situation where they're supposed to be partners now that they're romantic, like one of them get becomes an idiot, and is like, Oh, no, you can't go into danger anymore, or you know, and then that becomes something they have to overcome. I haven't read any books on this particular topic. And the only thing that really comes to my mind is a show that my husband watched called Blue Bloods, where the youngest son ends up dating and falling in love with his partner. Oh, I mean, there's I mean, Grey's Anatomy, like all the medical shows, all the cop shows all like they have at least one if not, right, hundreds of relationships between and in general, it doesn't end well. No, no, that's true. And so, like you said, if we're writing reality, adjacent fantasy, I think that particular topic would be difficult. Yeah, it's difficult. And you I think it's one of those things where you have to address it in a realistic manner, but have the outcome be the fantasy, right? Like, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. They you know, they struggle but then they overcome and that's all right. In business on chance, at the perfect, which takes us to prom date, or basically the team plot. Yeah. And it to me, it's the choosing choosing one above all the others, you know, I'll be different. We recently went through the series Glee with our daughter because she loves music and dancing and love. Oh, yeah. And and of course she fell in love with Finn, who actually his the actors and is a client of ours. Okay. Yeah. So we got to hear a lot about what it was like for him his journey in the show and blah, blah, blah. Before he had his terrible accidental end. Yeah, I was gonna say he did. He did. However, I mean, him and Rachel get engaged in grade 12. And so, you know, you kind of you know, there's there's a lot out that well for them. But yeah, that's true, but it's kind of iconic. You know, it's the theme. And I wish they had stopped Glee when they left when, when the like, after four years. Like, I'm not saying that there weren't good episodes after that. It was just it became a different show. Yeah, I just I can't remember. I think it was season four. Is that the season when they brought in the new singers into the high school? And it was just yeah, that was hard. I have to agree. I didn't fall in love with any of those new characters. Yeah, I mean, what's the what's her roommates name? The guy who's who's gay and his boyfriend. I loved them. Yes. Yes. And and now I feel like a horrible Glee fan because because you were asking me the name. I can't think of it. Right? That's okay. Hey, Rachel and Finn, there's two. But yeah, I just adored those characters and I loved the relationship. I loved her when Kurt Kurt was Jesse. Jesse was Rachel's guy late like she dated him briefly. What was his name Blaine, Blaine. I'm like, the warbler blade was adorable. Yes, I will. Pop was still my I'm sorry. I love Oh, yeah. Yeah, the bad boy, huh? Yeah. I never really liked Sam though. I just remember Santana singing fish lips. Well, I love that. He was like, he was basically a stripper. I was like, alright. Whatever. Oh, anyway. Yeah. Oh, it's adorable. But I mean, what I mean, there you go. So there is you know, here's a couple of older gals. And we both love glee. The prom date that the team flawed the king and queen the Honestly, it was the mashups for me, but it wasn't actually the plot. It was the music for me, but they killed journey. I mean, they just did so good. Um, I rittany I loved Britney. Oh, yeah, she was crazy. Yes, absolutely. But to get back to what we started, which is the prom date, which is it's the it's the suspense it's the will he won't he it's the being chosen above all others, you know, and it could be seen in little ways where like, you could even technically take the trope down to you know, you're sitting out of the bar and someone asks you to dance like it right that it's that feeling of being picked a special one of the good neither of us reads much ya romance so right. You don't that's what we need to do. We need to find a why a romance author yes to talk to because I know we're going to be talking to a couple of romance authors in future episodes. Yeah, I don't think we have a why a romance not yet but we will we just have to find one. So feel free to make suggestions. Absolutely. If and for anyone listening if you've got a favorite why a author or if you are a why a author and interested in coming on the pot or why a romance? We are romance romance author who would like to come on and sell us on the beauty that is why romance absolutely love to have you on we would Alright, so I think we talked about shared pasts. A lot in other things soulmates Okay, come on soulmates fated mates. I'm sorry, I'm a sucker for this. I just think the most iconic example is the notebook by what's his name? He wrote letters to john Yeah, he's done. I call them the big sappy romance plots. But I mean you put them into books or into movies from the books and they they do extremely well but they're not blockchain cast Dell does a series called the Sisters of Kilbride and those are really good for that particular soul mate type of romance. Yeah, um, I like it. I like I like I said, I'm a sucker for it. I like too, I will as long as and I am going to state this because I love fated mates. But you still have issues. You know what I mean? Like you've got this overwhelming drive and got this overwhelming urge to be with them. But that doesn't mean you're happy from the minute you lay eyes on them, you know, until you've got popped out to kids on you live in the house. I also don't like where they take it to the point that you couldn't resist the drive. So I don't even know where we are anywhere. As far as what we've talked about, but omega verse, okay, I enjoy many omega verse stories in that it's a fascinating concept. But I also despise many omega verse stories, because it's basically your own body turning against you and forcing you to do something you don't want to do go into heat. I see what you're saying and involuntary response. Right? Okay. So um, I am not a fan of you meet your mate and you go basically into heat and right, that's for you. I read a line chapter book by Piper stone that was a lot like that where they were that predestined mates. But until he until he was in that form, right? She didn't know it. And then she could like feel him and smell him and had this effect on her body that she couldn't control. Yeah, brides are the Kindred is a series alien series. Yeah, Tim, and I was pretty sure it was evangelium Anderson, but I was like, I can't remember now. Where they when they're within a certain proximity of their faded mate, they start dream sharing. Oh, okay. And so in dreams, they get pretty hot and heavy. I read a vampire book that was like that, which then when they finally meet, you kind of got the attraction and the whatever, but it's not a well, actually, it's kind of funny, because I'm fine with it. Because the guy can't be with anybody else. But the girl can choose. Oh, I might have to admit that I need to rethink that. That I'm like, oh, perhaps I have a double standard. That is so funny. Because I do I hate books where you know, it's like, oh, because my body tells me so I have to do it. Now. They don't have to have relations with the person and they and they don't have to join with them, but they can no longer function for other women. Right. So that's what I mean by the guys don't have a choices. Right? You know, yeah, I hear that interesting. You know, no matter no matter what players they may have been before, after meeting there. They've been snipped, so to speak, pretty much. We've mentioned but I think we've mentioned before, or we might mention in a future episode, my terrible distaste for cheating or anything like that. So yeah, yeah. Might be okay with it. That makes me have a double standard. Oh, well, guy might have to just leave with that. It's good to know who you are. You know, I accept my flaws. There you go. I'm perfectly in perfect. That's what I tell myself all the time. Yeah. All right. Last one pre arranged marriage. Yes. And I think we talked a little bit about this RL. And you see a lot of it in like, again, mafia stories. You see it a lot in stories that are historical. You see it a lot in wealth, right? Raffaello row Well, it neat lady, she has lived in different countries around the world. But she's primarily was raised in Italy, and now lives in England, but she wrote a spice and red lace and it was an Italian pre arranged marriage. And I loved it because all the way through the book even though she's like, readily accepted her position. She fights in all the way I just love her. I could just see rafaela writing it I could just picture it just have so much fun. And I know that was recently on special for 99 cents. I'm not sure if it still is or not, but definitely worth the read. That sounds interesting. Yeah, yeah. Now I've I've seen is it wrong that I'm a fan of the pre arranged marriage when it's the the woman or the guy is escaping that pre arranged marriage and then they stumble across someone else? I think that's great. That's a trope I can get behind where it's like, you must marry this person can you take off and then you know, you find some you just stumble across, you know, a very hot lumberjack in a cabin in the woods right before your nose and you get stuck inside. So hey, Oh, that sounds like you and I read the same book. Look. She leaves her wedding if she's still wearing a dress and drives as far as she can go and runs out of gas goes into a bar and happens to witness a murder and then thereafter her and she gets rescued just before the snow hits. No, no, that's not the one that I think of. I think one was like she ran away from her. She ran out. I've read a couple of them one where she ran away from her wedding where she was in like a leprechaun green dress because her mother in law because they were getting married on St. Patty's Day, and then she like hidden the back of someone's car and then got stranded with them in the ranch and part of the Montana daddy series and then another his car accident get picked up by the lumberjack. Yes, I just read one of those two. I thought it was Jane Henry when I'm going through books and I don't see it so it couldn't have been her. No, I think that's one that's done a lot. But I you know that the shut in by nature. We didn't have on our list like shut in my nature like, well, that's kind of forced potrai Yeah, I guess first parkzone Yeah, yeah, there's a lot of them that really have that though. We we forced proximity was not a meat trip, though. No, I'm talking about for meeting it. Could we? I've read plenty of books where it's like, you know, I'm traveling in a snowstorm and I get stuck and bright. And that's how we met or a car accident. And that's how we met. Accidental meet an accidental meet. Yeah, yeah, that's not on here. No policy. I think you brought it up, then. You know, hey, I'm good for something. Sorry. Well, we've come to the end of our apparently not as extensive list as we thought. We hope you'll join us next week. Thank you for listening to coast to coast romance. I'm Ann Jensen. And I'm Skylar West. If you'd like to contact either of us, our links are located in the show notes. Have a great week. Thanks so much for joining us.