Coast to Coast Romance

Conflict Tropes

November 24, 2021 Ann Jensen & Skylar West Season 1 Episode 15
Coast to Coast Romance
Conflict Tropes
Show Notes Transcript

In this Episode Skylar and I have fun breaking down the different Conflict Tropes

We will cover:

Beauty and the Beast
Gay for you
Hidden Identity
Identical Twins
Love triangle
Wrong Side of the Tracks

Contact Us:

Ann Jensen

Skylar West/Rogue London

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 tropes and looking at what works and why, and what doesn't work and why. Welcome back to coast to coast, we're going to be discussing conflict tropes today. What keeps them apart? These are some of my favorite tropes out there just because I love what the push pull between characters is. I have to admit that many of these is what I'm I'm looking for, like, what is the internal conflict or external conflict? And if you can read that in a book blurb that's perfect for me. I know I think you I don't know if we've done it on the show. But you and I have talked about blurbs before and I'm like, a blurb needs to tell me why I want to be her. Why I want to fuck him. And what's going to keep them apart. That's what I need my blurb to say. You have definitely mentioned that. And at different times to me and I agree with you, I I've liked them to a point. And what I mean by that is, is I just finished a five book series in literally five days. Because the author kept ending on a cliffhanger. And the couple had physically gotten together. They gotten together. They were made there this but they actually hadn't done the dirty work. Do you know what I'm saying? Oh, no. So I'm like, Okay, I'm not ending this series until I read the sex scene. Like I was adamant. And so anyways, I went through this thing. So at some point, like by the middle of Book Two, I'm like, I'm annoyed now. Yeah, no, no. So I love them, like I said to and I like our dirty books. Yes, we like to do. But I also I think it's a tease. And nobody likes a tease. If it seems like it's going to be a dirty book. And it's like, but not yet. Yes, yes. And I was like, Oh, I was getting upset. However, having said that, my one of my favorite writers for this type of trope is Teal Swan. If you haven't read any of her stuff, they are so much fun. She doesn't hold back. And somehow this woman manages to Layer, Layer Layer Layer all these amazing things that happen. Get get the perfect mix of story with Yes. And back and forth. Oh, it's working. Oh, no, it's not. Oh, it's working. Something else happens. Oh. Things are going to Well, something's about to happen. Till the very, very end. Oh, gosh. All right. Conflict trips. We shall start with the first one amnesia. Now, I use this in one of my books. I can't lie. Book Two. Yes, yes, yes. Book Two, she was attacked and lost several months of history. And the fun part that I played with it was in order to get to her in the hospital, they lied and said that they were engaged and so that he was able to stay with her and everything like that. But she woke up and the nurses were telling her her fiance, you know, and so she was like, Oh my God, what don't I remember? What I want to do ality they had just reconnected and there was not a whole lot he didn't remember. Yeah, yeah. No, it was it was well done. I liked the way that you use the amnesia. I have. I don't know, I guess it's the empathic part of my personality, but I have too much empathy for the poor suffer. And the person who's not remembered is like, oh, my gosh, poor, you, you must be heartbroken. And you know, I'm just spiraling off. I like that. So I like this. This can also be something that like I love and hate, because if it's just amnesia, and they have to rebuild them, okay, great, or they have to refine the spark in their relationship or something like that. But if there's a secret that the ones like, I'm not telling her if she doesn't remember that I'm kind of like, oh, about that. That's kind of underhanded. And then you got a whole trust issues that come in later when they finally do remember. But I've also seen this done with where a relationship is fading, and then something happens and memory loss, and then it's a new relationship and they refine their spark. That's fun. That's beautiful. That's wonderful because there's no deep dark secret except for the fact that they were just growing apart. But when it's used as a way to manipulate one or the other, not so much. Yeah, I think amnesia can Really? Yeah, I think as a trope we can just see it always by itself either. I think that's one of those tropes, where you'll often see it mixed in with others and, and, and because of that it makes it more acceptable. And what I would also say is this is we've said in other episodes about different tropes that the setup trope, there can only be one because they can only meet once unless there's amnesia. But this one uses many in my mind uses many of them as doesn't seem ridiculous, because every turning point within the book, depending on how long it is, could be a different conflict trope. Life is not simple. So pile them on baby. Gotcha. All right, well, from there, let's move on to our next category. I'll pair up or abroad a pair abroad about that. The young heroine takes a job as a nanny or childminder in a new city or exotic location and falls for an older Local Hero, or some handsome older gentleman, single employer or billionaire. So as a conflict trope, it's the employee it's the younger woman or man, it's the this you know, maybe my child has fallen in love with this person. And if I risk a relationship with them, yes, I might be messing up my kid's life, not just my own life, not just my own personal feelings. Yeah, I was gonna say with the last book I read by Teal Swan, that was exactly what the situation was. And she ends up in England from Australia, wanting to travel. And she's in her early 20s. And, and that's exactly what happens is, the mother has died. And the kids are motherless. And there's this angst and separation between the dad and the kids. And she comes in and kind of becomes that warm blanket that wraps everyone together. And then of course, the whole second half of the book is like another we've overcome his cold indifference. And they have some kind of relationship going on. And they're attracted to each other. Yes, then comes in the portion of Oh, wow, well, what if my kids like her a lot? Right? They're starting to really fall for this. If I keep her as an au pair. I don't have to worry about screwing it up. Right. But they're already too far gone for that. Yeah. Unless Unless she's gonna walk. So I agree. I find that actually, there's a lot of fun angst in that particular trope, I think, right? Or can be Yes. And you also have the element of in a new culture, maybe they don't know, you know? Yes, lots of fun, very sexy. So beauty in the beast, the hero is often disfigured or injured in an accident must overcome his physical and emotional scars to find love with the heroine. This is cracked for me. Yeah, I don't think I'm ever shy with telling you the ones that will get me to Insta buy it because it usually has to do with someone believing that they're too scarred or too flawed or too whatever, for love. And the other person's showing them that no, I don't care. But it also is when done well. Showing that physical beauty isn't necessarily what draws a person. It's the internal beauty because and I like this even in like BB W books, where you know, someone has a different shape or a different size. And when you switch perspective to the person who's looking at them, you know, you hear their internal angst like I'm scarred I'm horrible. I'm I'm fat, I'm this, I'm that, that sort of thing. And then you switch to the other perspective, and they're like, Damn, that person's hot. And yeah, they might describe the scars or the weight or the shape or the size or whatever, but it's done in different words. And I think that beautifully encapsulates how it's love it's, it's something that might not be attractive to one person is absolutely attractive to another. Having the scar on your face might make some people recoil and other people just be like, That person served their country and that just makes them weathered or masculine or whatever the case may be. So yep, I love not only not because you know, I want a scarred her hero or heroine or something like that. It's that I want part of the story to be that journey for them to realize that it's in their head that they are not flawed, they just have a physical reminder of something or not dressing. What's interesting is, and I don't know if there's actually a trope for it specifically, but it's when you take the Beauty and the Beast ideology, but it's not a physical ailment. So you grew up, maybe in an abusive household? Yes. Right. And you see a lot of that to where, especially with the guy, you know, maybe like 50 Shades of Grey, that someone's putting out their cigarettes on your skin or something horrific. But in your mind, you devalue yourself because you're devalued as a small person. I think that's part of this. But it has to be that the person feels it feels that there's an external representation, even if it's not real. I mean, I see that, unfortunately, usually, in most books that I've read, for the men, it's, I have a temper, or I'm rougher, I'm rough for, you know, every like, that's their emotional scar, or I can't give the emotional support that the person needs. And then with a woman, it's always like, I'm not worthy. I'm just, I'm not smart enough. I'm not funny enough. I'm not whatever. And so I don't know, I guess it would be nice to one day see the reverse. Reverse gender. Sure. But yeah, no, I think it's emotional or physical. It's, it's a matter of overcoming what you see as a shortcoming, and the other person doesn't. Exactly. And, you know, the angst that goes with the imaginary for all intents and purposes, often the imaginary issue, the one thing that makes you so unattractive, no one could ever really love you. Right? They could want things from you. But they could never really love you. Right? Yeah, it's interesting. So that kind of takes me on to that ties in nicely with betrayal. The betrayal may be genuine, or the result of a misunderstanding. And I don't know if you've read Anna Durban series, there's a few of them King of Swords is her first one. And I really liked it. It's set up the trope. So what it is is Anna Durban series is based off of tarot cards. What happens is as a as a period piece, it's historical. So grandmother quietly sits by before a big huge coming out ball, pulls one special card and says, the next man to walk through the door is the one for you. And the girl runs to the window and looks down and sees the guy walking in is is someone that she absolutely hates with a passion and says No way. Am I ever going to marry him. Hmm. So the trope is set up right from the beginning. Okay, well, are they going to end up together? Why does she hate him? What's going on? Right. And so the story unravels as you read it, of course, but it's a fun series. I quite enjoyed it. But it's a fun series, the betrayal is imagined it didn't actually happen. Okay, which is why it reminded me of our last Beauty the Beast, because these betrayals aren't necessarily real, they're there, you might have heard part of a conversation or you happen to tap into something that you didn't know the full story and so you have a misunderstanding. As long as it's not an an easy misunderstanding to resolve, I'll enjoy this. I don't mind if it's a betrayal because they're trying to do the best thing for the other person or something like that. Or the betrayals far enough in the past. I feel like sometimes people use this too easy. Yes, like, and this goes into the cheating. Like when it's used, that you were, you know, they they got drunk or they you know, whatever. And they they actually cheated and then they have to work through it. And if it's too easy to work through it, I'm like, yeah. Make them suffer. Well, we all know how you feel about betrayal and Jensen so weekend. Yes, yes. Yeah. Other people have triggers on other things that they absolutely lie. Absolutely blackmail. The what we have written down here is the heroine is blackmailed by the hero into marrying him as a revenge or payback. I not fond of that. But I do like it as an element when it's someone outside of the couple is blackmailing one of the couple and it causes problems within the relationship, partly because that might be part of a plot point of the book I just finished, but but I like it when it's used in a conflict trope to make the relationship harder. I'm not necessarily to get into the relationship, but I haven't read many where someone was blackmailed into the relationship. So I've read one. I can't remember who it was very recently. And it was. So it's a woman. Turns out, you find out that she actually works for the mafia in New York. And she's been with them since she was a small child. And so they've raised her to be this ultimate weapon. And so what she does is she seduces the men she's told us to do, she gets them to marry them, she steals all of their money, and then she walks and so this money gets given to the mafia, and, and she's the top of her field, but you can never get out kind of thing. But her last husband, she marries what he appears to be either, and he comes hunting her down. And I don't know there. I enjoyed the idea of him looking for her and he ends up finding her in Sweden. Well, she's on another job and he steals her and he talks about all these things he's going to do to her but he doesn't really do those things. Right. So that was like betrayal more than blackmail. But well, he Yeah, I suppose. But it's he's gonna use what he knows about her to make her do what he wants. Okay. Yeah, right. And instead of it being like, like, it was supposed to be more of a BDSM story. So instead of it being like, the hero coming in and dominating for the, you know, expected or intended result all those things that are hinted that don't actually happen in the story. So I was as again a reader I was like, well, that's like almost the behind the closed doors. Sexy, right? I mean, it was a good read. It was a fun story, but it irritated me feed my fantasy god damn it. And if you're not going to feed it, tell me in the blurb I swear, we need like, a seasonal seat there marine now. Oh my God, that's a completely different conversation. Whether we do therapy or not, I'm no steam reading so that we can get our smut like, like, you know, you just have like maybe a door and it's closed or it's cracked open or is blown wide. Yeah. Fire. It's like a legend scale. Right? Like we used to have them I used to have a I used to run a paper called this Enzo. And so I created a legend on the front cover. And if you wanted to know about nutrition, there was a symbol if you wanted to know about health and wellness, there was a symbol if you want to know about yoga, there was a symbol. Well, we should have seen symbols. Yes. Smoke blowing. And there are some reviewers that do that. But Amazon needs it. Yeah, they do. Point me to the fives. I've had thought all right. It's like the stars. All right. Wait. Stop it. You're killing me. Oh my god. Okay, good. Poof. Where's my fam? Talked about eat already then. So moving on. Boston secretary. Okay. You wrote down that this is a dated trope, but I see this all the time. So is not that baited. I feel like it got to redo with the personal assistant. Yeah, you call them a personal assistants that have a secretary that does not get any different. Okay, now, don't be picking on me. I'd actually it's ah, it's the grumpy boss thing that made it popular again. That's true. was the boss hole. Those are huge boss hole. Alpha hole saw Oh, goodness me. Can I just say that I get this as a conflict trope. Because it's the it's simply employer, you know, I shouldn't kind of push pull thing, but I would really like someone to write it where anyone even stops to think that anymore. More than one sentence. He's my boss. I shouldn't do it. But Ooh, legs up on the desk, you know, like, it feels like people use it. And they put it in as if it's a problem, but then it's not. Yes. And it's like, no, you should. And I had this ad but it wasn't assistant. It was just employee employer in Book Three. And people did talk and it did cause a problem because some you know, the CEO of the company and one of the programmers got together if it's going to be a premise of your book. Don't blow through it. Like this goes with all the tropes. And I think I've said in another episode where it's just like, if you're going to use the trope use the trope don't just throw it in there to have another trope in. Well, it's interesting you say that because I find that if I find a trope bye bye writer Oh, as an example, let's say I've read several different books by the same author. And they go into different sub genres and tropes, I can tell when an author is uncomfortable with what they've chosen to write about. Because they dance around the issue. It's like they haven't quite made up their mind themselves. Or they have, they'd haven't quite decided if they like what they're doing or not, but like what they're doing in this particular story. And so they tap dance, and I can tell, and it's funny as heck, because I'll have a few conversations post storytime ago. So I was just reading blah, blah, blah, and just wondered, you know, what you were thinking? And then they'll go into their whole job, you know, their whole drama, oh, my gosh, I'm never gonna write that again. Oh, it was so difficult. Oh, I just couldn't really get into it, or I couldn't relate to it. Oh, it was torturous. And so I agree with you. I think that regardless, as an author, if you're comfortable with what you've chosen to write or not, you need to own it. Right? If you're going to write about it, write about it. If you're not going to write about it, just pull it out. There's there's 1000 Other tropes that you can stick in there. You don't need to do the ones that you're uncomfortable with. There are hundreds of authors out there who aren't uncomfortable, and will happily write it. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And for you and for the readers, you know, you're right, and I mean, blurbs and stars and reviews, these are so important to helping you find the right book. Yes. And and it's it's so fun. The flip side of that, it's, we need to understand what we're engaging in. And I know for myself, I spent two hours last night going through my Kindle. And I must have read 50 Different blurbs. And I could not find the book I was in the mood for couldn't find it. Right. And I was like, I wish that we could change our algorithm or empty our algorithm. So that when we put something in stuff that you've never seen before it comes up, it's really hard to get past that with I have to admit that I've stopped using Amazon to search for books. And I use either Goodreads because people will collate lists. Write that idea, or romance I O or there's a couple others that I'll look at if I if I especially if I'm in the mood for something very specific. Yes. And I do get those moods, but not being comfortable with what you're writing takes us to our next one. Cuz I'm never gonna do it. Bully. The bully? Yes, it's a trend. It's a thing. We've talked about it in other episodes in the I think Reena can be making some serious writes these ones it does quite well with them. Yeah, and more power to the people who enjoy it as a conflict trope. It should be the bully falls in love with someone and that someone doesn't want to be with them because they're a bully. Yes. Hence the growth of the characters. Right? Sure and move towards each other. Right. And so it should be something that they're either helping them get no get over their bullying ways. Or they're seeing that maybe the bully wasn't really a bully, he was just defending himself or emotionally See, the thing is, I find most of these stories, whether they're well written or not tend to be instead of the character growing within the story. That let's say it's the heroine telling the story. As an example, she's first party POV. And it's her discovery of him of what he actually is underneath. He hasn't changed. He's still an asshole. Pardon the expression, right, Phil a bully. He hasn't changed. But her discovery of why he's the way he is. grows her character. Right. And I see that probably 90% of the time. Yeah. And it's like for me, as a reader. It's like, okay, I can it's almost like love. It's almost like buting the beast, you get to love the monster because now you figured out but he's still a bully. Right. Right. And so I for me, there's nowhere to go. Yeah, and so they're not and for that reason, I don't read them. Right. But I have read a few Terenas Kenton, I enjoyed them, but I saw the pattern. Okay, see how this is going? It's the same thing. Renee Rose has to but they're also shifters. So there's a little bit of a shift on that no pun intended. And I enjoyed those more only because the the elfin ism like the the human doesn't realize that the bully is is actually an alpha. Right? Right. And so they see it as a bully, but it's really just them being exactly and so when that comes into play, and now they understand who each other are, well, then they both grow. And that's that's more kind of my mind. Yeah, yeah. All right, the dare or the bet. Now Not as a meat trope, but as a conflict trope. I would think it's finding out that you were set up because of it there. But I think the ultimate example is that show she's all that that came out in the 90s. And the newest version of that he's all that just came out a couple months ago. on Netflix, it was awesome. So Freddie Prinze Jr. was in the original one, with the guys from Fast and Furious though the blonde one that died several years back. They were the two main leads. Okay, the he the blonde. They're rich, snobby? You know sport guys, right, typical as high school athletes that are going to get scholarships and they come from wealthy families. Right. Keep the blonde when there's Freddie Prinze Jr. to take, basically, the most unpopular girl in school and turn her into a princess and get her named prom queen. Mm hmm. And, and, and it's Rachel hunt, I believe is her name. And she ends up playing the mom in the newest version of Hazel that, so they brought her back, and the guy who plays Shaggy, and all the last 20 years worth of Scooby Doo movies, okay, he's back in it too. And anyway, so he ultimately, of course, he falls in love with her while he's helping this transformation process. But really, all he's done is he's pulled out. He's made her see herself differently. Right? Right. And all and yeah, just adding to it. Yeah, now I enjoy when it's like, at a bar, you know, I dare you do. shirker. That woman or I dare you to, you know, whatever. And the person takes it and then falls in love. But then after they've fallen in love, find out it finds out Yeah. And then. Yeah, that's what happens in these two they find out and negative and ugly and tell us not? Yeah, cuz you gotta get your Hga worse proximity. I love this one. I do as a conflict. I've seen it done well in like an elevator scene where one of them is freaking out because they're claustrophobic. Yes. And I have to and I loved it. So I don't know, I don't know, necessarily that I see this as a conflict, though. Because first proximity is more environmental. Like, because they have to spend time together, they get closer to me for his proximity being a conflict would be more like other relationships going well, and then they get stuck in a cabin for a weekend. And they find out that, you know, he chews with his mouth open and she leaves her socks around, like, you know, it's like that. That would be a conflict to me. But that's funny. My so rogue, rogue London, my my other pen name has a brand new series coming out in the next few weeks look when we'll release. And it's forced proximity. So the first ones, the stowaway. And they're stuck on a plane together for 18 hours, right? Yes, they learn a lot. And the second one, she's a castaway, and get stuck on an island where there's only one other person. Right? And I will tell you the last one, I don't want to give away too much. But I had so much fun with those. Right? Oh, yeah. But I like it as a trope just not necessarily like to be the conflict is not the forced proximity. It's no, it's not it's at for me, in this case is actually that the the heroines are running away. They're what they're runaways, is what they are. And so they end up being stuck in situations that the forest proximity is really coming from something else, right? Yeah. This next one. Gay for you. Okay, so done well as a conflict trope is awesome, because the openly gay member of the couple doesn't believe that the straight or seemingly straight could possibly, or that they think that they're just a fling or an experiment or something like that. I think that's awesome, because it explores the fact that sexuality is not a fixed point, or attraction is not a fixed point, or you know, all those kinds of things, if it's done in such a way where it's trying to convert the straight person, and then they eventually cave that gets into weird dynamics as far as I am, because it seems more like just a personal fantasy than a than a realistic style story. Yeah, I would have to agree hidden identity, where the heroine hides your true identity or creates a false persona to hide her involvement in events that usually took place in the past. Hmm, this is fun. You If it's not, you know, once again, if it's not betrayal, because finding out that they're actually a member of, you know, a rival gang or rival family or something like that, or it usually has to do with their original identity, having elements that the main, you know, that their counterpart was instinctively against, but then once they're in love with them, they're like, Well, how could I love someone who is this? Whatever thing it is? Right? I haven't really? I don't know. I guess so. Well, I'm sure you do undercover agents. Okay. They're sent into infiltrate an organization and they fall in love while they're in it. Okay, yeah, I find those really hard. Okay. I do. I just It drives me bonkers. It's like, oh, you know what your whole relationships based on like, the fact that your feelings are real does not matter. There. That's my take on Okay. All right. Well, that just takes us to the next one, which is identical twins, which drives me bonkers. Oh, that's so funny. The only time I've seen identical twins done amazingly, was when this girl was dating a guy. And she was literally about to break up with him because she just couldn't take it anymore. And so it was like, Alright, one more last date. One more last chance. And he was he wanted to blow off the date, because he just didn't feel like dealing with it. But he didn't want to hurt her feelings. Because he kinda you know, liked her as person. And so he begged his brother to take his place on the date. Gotcha. Just so that, you know, and he's like, No, we're gonna break up. I just just do this last date for me. Because it was to an event, didn't want to let her down, let her down or anything like that. He's like, but I just can't do it with her anymore. Right. So both of them were at the point of breakup. And then she spends the night with the identical twin and is like, oh my god, Where's he been on my life? What happened? How did I not realize this is the perfect person for me. And they have such a wonderful night and the whole book going along, but the the twin brother, the original twin brother is like, you have to bring like, I'm not dating her like I don't like her knees like but held. And then eventually it comes out and you know, there's there's problems but and that's the only time I've liked it. I don't I don't. I've known enough twins in my life that people aren't really that identical. No, and I think I agree with you. I mean, I have twins, my do their boy and girl twins, but I have twins. However, I read a series by JT Gelsinger. And it was beautifully cruel and cruel paradise. And it's mafia again, right in it. This guy comes in the Twin one walks into this restaurant basically, at least once a week and intersection for hours just so he can watch her. Right? And he's got she she spends the whole first chapter talking about his vibe and, you know, trying to guess what he does and who he is and blah, blah, blah. Anyways, long story short, he, yeah, his him and his brother trade off. When one wants a break from the lifestyle of being a mafia head. Okay, which I found interesting so that all the pressure isn't just on the one of them. And then you get more into the backstory and find out that they're from Ireland and their families were killed in front of them. And they were strung to a tree and all they've got left is each other. And so there. So even though the whole first book is about 21, the whole second book is about twin two, they merge often throughout the books, and the only one who seems to notice the difference is their number one guy and the women they end up falling for. Quite cute. All right. That's good. incest, okay. So it doesn't work for me, in the true taboo sense of the word where you're actually related, or you're actually biologically close, it doesn't matter. And to me, this is just a tad a taboo one and it's for very specific readers who are who are into it. People use the taboo though for like, step. And I get annoyed sometimes when they use this, especially if it's like they were adult children and their parents married. Yeah, to me, that's not incest. Yeah, it's like, there's no real taboo here. Like knock it off. Like yeah, no parent is gonna be like now, again. Yeah. All right. It might be oh, well We don't want to mess with our parents, you know, because if we date and it doesn't work out, then family dinners are going to be complicated. holidays or whatever. So that could be interesting if that's the problem, but the whole push pull of, I can't, even though I didn't meet you until I was 24 years old. And you were 27 We are step siblings. It's like, no, no, that's not taboo. That's no, you being silly. Yeah, I really look like that once and I found it annoying. But true incest. I don't even know if it's allowed on Amazon. I don't know. i Good point. It's more like Wattpad or, you know, the free free stuff. Alright. Learning to Love. So the heroine is determined to learn a new skill set, let's say dancing or driving a car and falls head over heels for the instructor. Teach me baby teach me? Yeah, that's grown up teacher student is really what it is. Yeah, college professor, college professor is more complicated because the person would lose their job driving instructor. You know, like, I hope you can hold off dating for the short period of time that you have them as a student. But you've been taking driving lessons for two years, what's going on with that? And you know, I also love that it's like, I don't know who's learning to drive in their 20s. But all right, whatever. ski instructor then smarty pants. Now that's fine. I actually saw an interesting one where like, she was doing a bucket list. And it was a motorcycle instructor so but that would be interesting angles. Yeah, those are courses like you didn't take Yeah, third courses. And but again, it's the the job might be at stake, the power dynamic of oh, I can't take advantage of my student. Well, you know, where you see it a lot, too is with the rich. So let's say it's the girl is from a very wealthy family and the guy's just an instructor. So he's not really good enough for her as far as the family's concerned. Right. I see that sort of thing. Exactly. I see that usually wrapped in there. And in fact, a lot of historicals are based on that. You know, she's supposed to grow up and marry whoever the heck she's told to marry but falls in love with, you know, the gardener or the horse groomer or even an Outlander. I think when Jamie is released from prison and ends up in England, right, he he works as a groomsmen, right? And you know the woman of the house at the castle of the extensive lambs off for him. Oh, my goodness. Love Triangle. Yeah. Love Triangle. Pay love it. Hate it. Mostly. I hate it. Because again, I think we've covered this a few times. Can't stand cheating. Yeah, but even if it's a situation where it's not cheating, where they're not exclusive. So it's an it's an open relationship. I think I just the whole do I want the dark broody Bad Boy or the clean cut billionaire. Yes. Unless this falls into polyamory and you're actually have Oh, yeah. Oh sets of people together. And then it's a different totally different trope. I've actually know who cod Jenna Maresi Jenna, Marissa? Yeah. Jenna Morrissey, I think, I don't know if I'm pronouncing her name, right. She did. The cyborgs circus, the sideburns. Anyway, her story was someone was dating two different people. And then ended up with both of them. So that was cool. Yeah, that would be but that that doesn't go into the push. Well, I guess it was a little bit of push pull at first where it was like, Ooh, I need to pick and then yeah, I don't have to cyber tinker. I remember the name of the book well done. Which is horrible because I was actually an arc reader four it is a great book loved it. Sci Fi romance. And a truly true bisexual which was nice. So yeah, that's the only time I like love triangle is if if, if you have the push pull, and then you're like, you know what, we don't need to choose. Yes. What and the only time I have found those is in the reverse harem books, where I've actually read about where everyone's happy in the end. I've seen them in some daddy books where where that's been interesting, where you almost get a mommy and a daddy, but they're both men. Yeah, yes. But Shama Gamry had a really good one. That was an asexual Dom, okay was in a relationship with a boy. And then there was basically a daddy style DOM or just like a straight DOM like, So, physically, you know this the submissive in the group physically could only get his needs met by the asexual but the asexual wasn't interested in sex. So Right. They got there. They got, you know, it was it was an interesting dynamic where they all ended up together, but one of them was asexual. And I think it's the only a romance book where it had an asexual love in it where, you know, it was like, I can meet your needs as a daddy. Right? I can't meet your needs in the bedroom. Right. And they were able to have, yeah, that's interesting. Yeah. Well, that takes us to May to December, and I'm not really familiar with that trope. So I'm going to let you talk about it a little bit. So maybe December, I like it. When it's not ridiculous. In that, you know, like, you have a 17 year or 18 year old, let's keep it legal, an 18 year old with like, a guy retiring. Like right now, like in a you know, in his late 50s, or 60s, when it's 15 years and 20 years, I enjoy it as a conflict trope. Because it's like, you know, I'm older, they're young, they're the they're this, they're that, you know, like, why would they want an old guy like me, it's very popular in the daddy dynamic. It's very popular in any of the dominant books, because the dominant partner being experienced and wise and able to guide the submissive is attractive. Right. But like I said, there have been somewhere I've seen like, no, really, I'm growing up, because I had a hard childhood. And I'm 18. And, you know, we go back to, you know, Mother energy. I'm like, No, you're not, Sweetie, you're not grown up. Oh, someone should have told me that. But the other thing is, I have to admit that I've known people in real life who are May December romances, and I've seen it works out. While they're, you know, the one is in their 20s. Yeah. And then the person who gets into their 30s or 40s, and this person is now not only retired, but becoming ill. And yeah, I have a real life. It's all that hard, hard relationship to deal but in a book, I can pretend I can enjoy my reality adjacent story. Sure. And for sure of how the mature yet somehow still in the prime physical condition of life goes on the 20 something year old. Alright, well, we used to call that a midlife crisis, but that's okay. Oh, yeah. How did it become a trope? But I like I said, I will read plenty of them. Mostly because it's sometimes hard to believe. No matter how many billionaire romances you read, where the guy just happens to have made his first billion by 22, and therefore he's only 27. Now, in this book, The truth of the matter is, if you're going to do a true, rich, settled person, they're probably in their 40s or 50s. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Well, let's move on to medical romance. I have read a few. But I don't have any burning examples for myself of what I have this particular trope, so about her? Well, so as a conflict trope, not just as a and this is the difference. It's not we're not talking a personality trope, where one of them happens to be a doctor and the other one happens not to be a doctor, we're talking your patient. You meet them because you're their ER doctor or you meet them because you're their OBGYN, or you meet them because you're in some sort of medical position over them, so to speak. So the conflict is there, my patient, I shouldn't. I've seen it with like psychologist, psychiatrist, surgeon, everything like that, like oh, you can't operate on them because you're in love with them. He's a world class surgeon and the girl he's dating gets hurt while he's there. And therefore he can't operate on her because he'd be too emotional or he operates on her anyway and risks losing his job or he meets them through. He's his doctor and oh, I can't be with her because she's my patient, that sort of thing. And it's again, it's the forbidden dining EMIC and as a conflict, I'm not too much a fan of the doctor patient doctor falling for their patient. But it is absolute crap to me if a doctor is dating someone and they get hurt, or they get sick, or they get whatever, and they have to fight, because they can't be the one to save the day they have to let somebody else save the day they have to take that. Yeah, I'm all there for that. Mm hmm. That is a much better way. Much better version for sure. Mistaken Identity. This is fun. I've seen it that a couple times. I think that there's a there's a lot of good TV shows with it. But I saw overboard overboard vessel and quality homes, my fav. I forget, I don't visit the one about the clones or someone like somebody died. And they looked exactly like them. And they took over their life. That was a that was interesting. But to me this more as a conflict. It's like, they get into something because they're expected to be somebody else, or they get introduced as somebody that they're not. And the relationship develops, and they don't clear that up. And then it goes further than they ever intended. Right? I saw, I read I read a fun one where, like, these girls went out for the night and they pretended to be other people like they they just made up these whole personalities. Sure, for a fun night for a fun night. And then one of them fell in love with their guy of the moment when they and like the friends were trying to keep up the fallacy and everything like that. So that's, that can be fun. But again, then, you know, you lead into betrayal. And yeah, it's a Fallout, right? So it's all going to be in how you decide to write the fallout of that. Right? It's gonna make it a really great read for me or not. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Well, that takes us to our last, we got to go. Actually, workplace romance we've pretty much covered also. Yeah, absolutely to go too much into that. But but the wrong side of the tracks that are the tracks that that's really common, especially with the billionaire sub genre, the billionaire sub job genre, but it's also common with the mechanic or the guy is a carpenter works with his hands or something, or he belongs to a motorcycle club or say, you haven't done this, and I don't I won't be doing this because personally, it just annoys me in real life. So I don't tend to read it that much. Because it's like, you're judging someone by their job. You're judging someone by where they grew up. You're judging someone by whether it be right side of the tracks or wrong side of the tracks. It's just right. It's judgment either way, but as a conflict trope, I've seen it done old money new money, right? I've written old money new money with with the dark side of Kingsley. Right? And she's American and he's old British money. And I enjoyed it. If it's a my family won't accept, not that I won't accept. Yeah, or the people around us doesn't make sense. It's a conflict in your environment versus personally, where I enjoy it. But that's not how everybody sees it. You know, some people do it as like, Ooh, I took a walk on the wild side, but now I love him, but I have to change him to make him fit into my now now. Stop it. I think we all know that's a mistake. Oh, God, I heard a funny clip the other day. That's our funny meme. The other day it was like when dating in your 30s Except the fact that the only thing your man will change his his socks. There you go. I'm concerned. They didn't say underwear, but that's okay. Still the same point. Oh, anytime I hear the words. And I've heard these many times over the years when people are getting engaged or getting married. It's like, once we get married, and as soon as those words come out, I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, no. Put the lawyer on retainer now. It's funny how I don't know how that how that fallacy comes into being it's like where like if you're not with someone right now that you plan on marrying that all that isn't right already. You're gonna have a problem. It's that Well, I think it's also the like, well, when they grow up when they it's like right, yeah, no, maybe maybe, maybe they will and many relationship count on it. Yeah, but you can't go into it. Expecting. Exactly right. Exactly. See now we're going off of books and going to real life advice, right? We're no longer in reality adjacent mode. We're in real mode. Well thank you everyone for joining us for our conflict tropes. So you next week we will. Thank you for listening to coast to coast romance. I'm Ann Jensen, and I'm Skyler 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.