Favorite Historical Romance Tropes {Historical Romance 101}

Posted 18 April, 2016 by Amanda / 6 Comments

Historical Romance 101

Trope, for the purposes of this post, is all about common themes in books. You know the ones. Friends to lovers. Instalove. Too stupid to live. When it comes to historical romance, there are a few tropes I adore:

Second chance romances

Second chance romances are ones that have recently become my favorite: the lovers (literal or figurative) broken apart by something in their past find a way to be together again. The underlying pain of both characters create a delicious layer of additional tension. Angst! All the angst! Here are a few of my favorites:

The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne LongOnce Upon a Marquess by Courtney MilanATalentforTrickery

The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long, Once Upon a Marquess by Courtney Milan, and A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson.

Another second change romance I loved (but never reviewed) was Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley.

Family friends

This usually comes in the form of older brother’s friend/little sister or friend’s brother. Case in point?


The Duke and I and Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Enemies to lovers

Probably one of my favorite tropes ever, enemies to lovers causes the sparks to fly when tension is high. The name of the game here is passion.


A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare, It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas, and The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

I also loved The Baron Next Door by Erin Knightley (a great “clean” romance author, if you’re into that).

Don’t forget to stop by Quinn’s Book Nook, Feminist Fairy Tales, and Addicted to Romance for their favorite tropes!
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6 Responses to “Favorite Historical Romance Tropes {Historical Romance 101}”

  1. Great picks of tropes you have here!! I loved Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage along with The Duke’s Perfect Wife for the Second Chance trope. Jennifer Ashley does so great with her Mackenzies. I can never get enough of them. Enemies to Lovers is a personal favorite, I love seeing those sparks between a couple. It Happened One Autumn and A Week To Be Wicked are both fabulous picks. I really love Tessa’s Spindle Cove series. Great dynamics. Family friends are awesome too and your picks are just right for that!!

    • I seriously adore Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzies. So good! Wouldn’t mind a reread of that series. Maybe in order this time (since I read the series out of order the first time — lol).

  2. I used to love second chance love stories, but I don’t really love them right now. I mean, I don’t hate them, but they don’t make me want to pick up a book. I’m not sure what’s changed.

    I love family friends, though! Especially Romancing Mister Bridgerton!!!!! And enemies to lovers has been a favorite since I read Pride and Prejudice! I love both A Week to Be Wicked and It Happened One Autumn. And I really liked The Sum of All Kisses too!
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…My Favorite Historical Romance TropesMy Profile

  3. Jennifer @ Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews

    I love all three of these! Enemies to lovers stories are so much fun and full of drama. Family friend romances are ones that I seem to gravitate towards as well.

    • I think what’s so great about family friend romances is that they always seem to resist, so there’s still a lot of angst, just in a different way. (Plus it’s usually fun watching the older brother go off the deep end.)

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