9 Popular Romance Trope Recommendations

Since we are coming to the end of February I thought I would include 1 last romance focused blog post. Quite a lot of these are romance focused stories but some are stories that just happen to have romance in. I have taken 9 popular romance tropes and decided to recommend 1 book for each trope! Enjoy!

FYI: I do mention the names of the couples in the books. Most of them are pretty obvious but just pre-warning 🙂

Love Triangle

  • Title: Orange
  • Triangle: Naho, Kakeru and Suwa
  • Author: Ichigo Takano
  • Series: Lore Olympus
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance

Plot: On the day that Naho begins 11th grade, she receives a letter from herself ten years in the future. At first, she writes it off as a prank, but as the letter’s predictions come true one by one, Naho realizes that the letter might be the real deal. Her future self tells Naho that a new transfer student, a boy named Kakeru, will soon join her class. The letter begs Naho to watch over him, saying that only Naho can save Kakeru from a terrible future. Who is this mystery boy, and can Naho save him from his destiny?

I went for a very stereotypical love triangle here. Two men are both interested in one woman and she must choose. I will be honest and say it’s quite obvious what the ending outcome is going to be and I personally preferred the other boy in this triangle. That being said I feel that the whole triangle was handed really well, both guys are lovely characters so you root for them both and everyone is mature about the situation which I really liked.

Secret Billionaire

  • Title: Crazy Rich Asians
  • Couple: Rachel and Nick
  • Author: Kevin Kwan
  • Series: Crazy Rich Asians #1
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance

Plot: When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should—and should not—marry.

I actually haven’t read this trope but my favourite rom-com of all time is Crazy Rich Asians so I thought I would promote the book version. To be honest, if my boyfriend could just announce he’s a secret billionaire that would be ideal!

Friends to Lovers

  • Title: Heartstopper Vol. 1
  • Couple: Charlie and Nick
  • Author: Alice Osman
  • Series: Heartstopper #1
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance

Plot: Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner… 

I have only read volume 1 but this primarily focuses on the blossoming friendship between these two boys but its a really well-placed friends to lovers story. Everything feels organic and it’s so beautiful watching the feelings grow and being able to visually see it happen due to the graphic novel format.

Stuck Together

  • Title: Gemina
  • Couple: Hanna and Nic
  • Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
  • Series: The Illuminae Files #2
  • Genre: Sci-Fi

Plot (No spoilers for the rest of the series): Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station. When an elite strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner.

So, I chose this one as I thought what is the most extreme version of this trope? I know! An attack on a isolated space station! I really liked this book, it’s my favourite out of the trilogy, and I thought that this book and the subsequent one really tackle the conversation how relationships can form in scary situations and what that means once that situation has passed. Are these feelings genuine and lasting or just a spur of the moment thing?

  • Title: We Hunt the Flame
  • Couple: Zafira and Nasir
  • Author: Hafsah Faizal
  • Series: Sands of Arawiya #1
  • Genre: Fantasy

Plot: Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya–but neither wants to be. War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds–and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

For all my enemies to lovers fans out there! Now, I thought I had read more than I actually have but the main reason I chose this book is more due to the fact that this book IS INCREDIBLE AND EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT ASAP.

Forbidden Love

  • Title: Saga
  • Couple: Alanna and Marko
  • Author: Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
  • Series: Saga
  • Genre: Science Fantasy

Plot: When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

I struggled initially with finding a book for this trope as I have not had much exposure to it or books that I have read haven’t fully developed the couple enough for me to want to recommend it and then I saw this beauty. I mean what is more forbidden than two sides of an opposing inter-galactic war!!!!!

Second Chance

  • Title: Mooncakes
  • Couple: Nova and Tam
  • Author: Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy

Plot: Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town. One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home. Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

A perfect read for Halloween time! I love the idea of second chance romance. If you’re supposed to be together fate will find away to bring you two back together! I thought this was a lovely example of that.

Soul Mates

  • Title: Miss Abbott and the Doctor
  • Couple: Cati and Andreas
  • Author: Maripaz Villar
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Historical Romance

Plot: Doctor Andreas Marino loves his quiet life, filled with work and simple amusements, and when the strange Miss Abbott arrives in his town he decides he doesn’t like her at all. Unfortunatelly she’s funny and quirky, has an uncommon past and seems to enjoy getting him in trouble. 

I basically put them under this trope as they are my favourite literary couple point blank period.

Fake Dating

  • Title: Iron Widow
  • Couple: Zetian and Li Shimin
  • Author: Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Series: Iron Widow #1
  • Genre: Sci-Fi

Plot: The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.  When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​ To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

Now in this one Zetian and Li Shimin must get married so its taking fake dating to a whole other level. I really like this trope and I felt this was done in a really interesting way with upped stakes and a really interesting enemies to lovers focus. Ughhh this book is incredible!

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