All the Romance Tropes (that I can think of)

*** Most books contain several or many tropes ***

Accidental Cuddling (see also Only One Bed)

Accidentally falling/tripping into one another

Accidental text / email or phone call

Adopting a baby/child


Alpha Hero

Amnesia/Fugue state


Arranged Marriage

Avenging a Death


Baby On The Doorstep: this might be an actual baby left for hero or heroine, or someone close to the hero/heroine leaving them unexpectedly in charge of a child

Bad Boy / Rebel

Bachelor Auction


Best Friend’s sibling

Beta Hero 

Big family and lots of family dynamics 

Books Ends (location): have the book start and end in the same place, but the hero/heroine are drastically different from the start of the book

Boss/Employee: must have explicit consent – no dubious consent, the subordinate has agency

Billionaire (Golden Sand by C.J. Miller)

Bodyguard Romance

Bridesmaid / Groomsman Affair 

Broken Hero/Heroine: may feel unworthy of love


Bullying Support / Bulling in the Past


Camping: great outdoors, sleeping bags zipped together - the modern version of sleeping in a tartan

Cinnamon Roll Hero: a hero who will take care of heroine

Christmas/ Holiday theme

Chef / Food  (Exquisite Sand by C.J. Miller)

Childhood sweethearts

Chronic Illness

Cowboys / Westerns: quiet confidence, wild and untamed


Dad’s Best Friend or Best Friend’s Dad

Dancing: one cuts in on another's dance

Damsels in Shining Armor / Dudes in Distress

Destined to be Together: imprinting

Destructive: hero or heroine thinks they are too garbage to be loved

Disasters: snowstorm, blackout, tornado

Drinking: hero/heroine drinks or is destructive, doesn't feel good enough for the heroine, self-loathing

Drunken mistake: tries to go into the wrong house, Vegas wedding


 Enemies to Lovers


 Fairy tale retelling: giving someone an apple, dress makeover, escape from the wicked stepmother

Fairies / Fae

Fake Engagement

Fake Relationship

Falling for Friend who was helping with a makeover to win over another

Falling in Love with Family’s Enemy

Family Reunion with Secrets Reveals (wedding, funeral)

Famous Person falls for Normal Person

Fated Mates

Forbidden Love

Forced Proximity

Friends to Enemies to Lovers


Grand gesture

Groups of men/brothers/ friends: often each given their own book and HEA

Groveling/Begging for Forgiveness: in proportion to the size of the screw-up


Handcuffed Together

Healthcare Workers / Medical

Hidden Baby


Hometown: returning to a hometown to reclaim a lost love

Home: orphan, foster care, never felt at home, or home was abusive and terrible. Finds home in the LI


Immigration Status: marriage due to this, but then becomes more

Insomniac: he can only sleep when she is with him

In Uniform: military, police, firefighter


Kidnapped /Captive 


Learning at the Feet of the Master

Left at the Altar

Let’s Just Get it Out of Our System

Love Triangle

Longing: aching to reach out, but holding back


Magic Dress: Putting on this dress makes the heroine feel beautiful and everyone sees her as beautiful (like in Cinderella)

Mail-order Bride

Masks / doesn’t recognize, only HE recognizes: masquerades 

Marriage in Trouble

Marriage of Convenience

Match Making gone wrong

May-December (age difference)

Medical or Sickbed: hero/heroine nursing the other back to health

Mistress Contract

Military man/man in uniform

Missing Someone They Claim They Don’t Love

Mortality Chain


Mutual (but secret) Pining



Next Door Neighbor 

Nickname: calling LI first name while others use title, calling hero/heroine by their last name when everyone else uses a title, a nickname no one else uses, use their name when everyone else uses a nickname

Not Like All the Others: the hero/heroine is different in the eyes of their beloved


Only One Bed

One Night Stand Shows Up Again

Opposite Attract

Opposite Occupations: arsonist / firefighter, environmentalist/oil executive, country/city 

Orphan: aunt or uncle caring for orphaned niece or nephew


Parenting: struggling, divorced, blended families

Partner in Danger

Pining hero/heroine


Point of View: hero/heroine sees the other as no one else does

Poor as a child, Now Rich


Quirky hero or heroine 


Rags to Riches

Reformed Rake

Road Trip

Rock Star (Starlit Sand by C.J. Miller)

Rogue Cleaning Up : changes to win over the heroine


Runaway Bride / Groom


Sarcastic banter

Scottish hero - kilt-wearing

Secret baby

Secret Identity

Second Chances

Sexual Concerns: hero or heroine need something specific for sexual satisfaction that only that person gives them


Sibling's Best Friend 

Smart hero/heroine (or nerdy hero or heroine)

Starchy Hero gets Unstarched

Sunshine and Grumpy (opposites attract)

Surprise Baby (Midnight Sand by C.J. Miller)


Switched / Swapped babies



Time Travel

Traitorous bodies

Transformation: Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast



Ugly Duckling

Up Against the Wall (kissing)

Unintentional Touching: hands brush and there’s a spark


Virgin or Never been kissed



Wagers: to date or sleep with the other person

Wedding: someone needs a date for a wedding, hiring an escort or pretend boyfriend

Will: has terms and conditions

Workplace: boss suddenly sees his/her assistant in a new light (The Maestro by C.J. Miller)


Zip: Will you zip me up?


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