Favorite Romance Tropes

We all have those tropes that make picking up a certain book a no-brainer. In the honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to talk about all the romance tropes that I absolutely love in a book. If I detect a hint of any of these in a synopsis, you can bet I’ll be adding that book to my TBR. I’m also really mad because as I was writing this post, I was drawing some serious blanks and could not recall any books that featured a lot of these tropes. I need to go back and reread every book I’ve ever had and take notes.


ENEMIES TO LOVERS

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: hate-to-love romances are my bread and butter. There are so many great aspects to this trope: the heated arguments, the palpable angst, the sexual tension, the mixed feelings. Honestly, just give me two characters that hate each other and hint at an attraction and I’ll be good to go.

Favorite Examples: Cardan + Jude from The Cruel Prince, Eelyn + Fiske from Sky in the Deep, Magnus + Cleo from Falling Kingdoms, Matthias + Nina from Six of Crows, Anthony + Kate from The Viscount Who Loved Me


CHILDHOOD FRIENDS TO LOVERS

The next best thing to hate-to-lovers, is having two people who have know each other for forever and then eventually develop feelings – or better yet, discover the feelings have been there all along. I love everything about it: the history between them, the inside jokes, the established friendship, the moments of jealousy before they realize their feelings. 

Favorite Examples: Malyen + Alina from Shadow and Bone, Eril-Fane + Azareen from Strange the Dreamer, Elliot + Macy from Love and Other Words, Jay + Violet from The Body Finder


THERE’S ONLY ONE BED

You know this trope. The protagonist and love interest encounter a situation where they need to stay in a room with only one bed which – to my great delight – they end up sharing. Every time this happens in a book, I turn into giddy, squealing schoolgirl. I don’t know how this trope originated, but I would like to personally thank each and every author that’s ever utilized it. Bonus points if they hate each other. Extra bonus points if they end up cuddling by morning or the male love interest wakes up with a bit of a situation, ya know what I’m saying 😉

Favorite Examples: All of them. (but no seriously, I’m drawing a huge blank and cannot think of a single book with this trope even though I’ve read it so many times. If anyone can think of any specific YA books in which this happens, please comment below and put me out of my misery 😭)


FAKE RELATIONSHIP

I love me a good fake relationship, especially when the characters need to make it believable and act in love: hold hands, snuggling up, kissing. I know it’s probably redundant at this point, but the trope is even better when they don’t even really like each other at the beginning.

Favorite Examples: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Rogue Not Taken, Roomies


KISSING TO HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT

Ah, the infamous “the bad guys are looking for us, let’s kiss so they look the other way!” Or when two characters are in disguise and have to kiss to keep up the ruse. Classic. I love this trope, particularly because it always happens before either of the characters admit to any feelings. And also because kissing, duh.

Favorite Examples: Angelfall, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, The Devil’s Thief, Rebel of the Sands


HUDDLING TOGETHER FOR SURVIVAL

This is such a good trope, and one that sometimes allows for our beloved characters to strip down in a totally nonsexual way and then cuddle for warmth (or survival). I think I like it so much, because usually they end up falling asleep in each other’s arms, and then it becomes very reminiscent to the whole “there’s only bed” trope which we have all learned by now is one of my favorites.

Favorite Examples: Grave Mercy, The Hunger Games, The White Stag, 


SHARING A HORSE

I’m total and complete trash for this trope. Like, in every fantasy story where there is some kind of horse riding going on, I always pray that some kind of situation arises in which the main character and the love interest have to share a horse for the duration of the rest of the journey. Whether they end up riding in front or in back, doesn’t matter it makes me swoon so hard. 

Favorite Examples: Each and every time it happens.


Are any of these tropes you enjoy reading? What are some of your favorite romance tropes? Or what are some tropes in romance you cannot stand to read? Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. How did I manage to narrow this down to just ten, you ask? I basically just wrote down the first ten I could think of off the top of my head and then refused to second guess myself or go back and change anything (okay I did change one because I wrote this entire post and then I realized I forgot Jude and Cardan and had to fix the whole thing) 😂 As you can see from my list, I enjoy pairings that are synonymous with angst and having my heart treaded upon. It’s basically my brand.

1. MALYEN + ALINA from The Grisha trilogy
The entire reason I even got into this series was because I happened upon Shadow and Bone under new releases on the Barnes and Nobles website years ago and read the excerpt of the prologue. Beautiful writing + childhood friends-to-lovers? Sign me up. 

2. ERIL-FANE + AZAREEN from Strange the Dreamer
Eril-Fane and Azareen have one of the most beautiful, tragic, heartbreaking stories I’ve ever read. I felt so deeply every time a part of their relationship was revealed. And Laini Taylor damn near destroyed me with Muse of Nightmares. Every scene with them was so emotional that sometimes I had to take breaks afterwards. These two are arguably only side characters and yet still one of my favorite pairings ever.

3. CARDAN + JUDE from The Cruel Prince
This entire relationship is so on brand for me it’s not even funny. Hated words, veiled threats, sexual tension? I barely survived The Wicked King. And there are so many amazing pieces of  fanart floating around at there that I could fill an entire wall of my room with a Jude/Cardan shrine. 

3. MAGNUS + CLEO from Falling Kingdoms
This ship marks my proudest bookish accomplishment to date. Magnus and Cleo were my trash ship from book one, back when most people were arguing for the sides of Cleo’s two other love interests. When Falling Kingdoms first came out, never in a million years would I ever have guess that it would become endgame.

4. MATTHIAS + NINA from Six of Crows
*thinks about the ending of 
Crooked Kingdom*
*cries*

5. CHAOL + CELAENA from Throne of Glass
Chaolaena was originally written as endgame/mates. I have all the receipts. Don’t @ me.

6. VIKRAM + GAURI from A Crown of Wishes
This is another example of an excellent hate-to-love romance. The dynamic between these two was so realistic and convincing, and the witty banter between them was a on a whole other level. And their novella story in Star-Touched Stories was so amazing and emotional.

7. VIX + SABINA from The Empress of Rome series
If there is any couple that can rival Eril-Fane/Azareen as the angiest of all ships, it’s THESE TWO M*THERF*CKERS. I think I developed hypertension while reading these books. So many miscommunications. So many missed opportunities. So much angst.

8. DARA + NAHRI from The Daevabad trilogy
*ignores anything S.A. Chakraborty says on Twitter*
They are going to live happily ever after together in Empire of Gold, sorry I don’t make the rules.

9. JULIAN + EMMA / WILL + TESS from The Dark Artifices / The Infernal Devices.
I don’t know why Cassandra Clare writes relationships with the ultimate goal of hurting me, but she does. I couldn’t even choose between the two of these because they both cause me equal heartache, which therefore means I love them.

10. ARIN + KESTREL from The Winner’s Curse
Enemies-to-lovers. Secrets. Betrayals. Angst. Kissing. What more could a girl ask for in a bookish OTP?

Honorable Mention: ELIAS + LAIA from An Ember in the Ashes because I have no self control.

#ARCstravaganza: We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post. This book was so good. If it’s not already on your TBR, it needs to be! And even though the original cover was beautiful, the new cover design is just as gorgeous!


WE HUNT THE FLAME – HAFSAH FAIZAL

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ABOUT THE BOOK

dxyuyoyuwaajtgcTitle: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1)
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Release: May 14, 2019

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 king. 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 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 king 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.

The ABC Book Challenge | B

Happy Friday! I’m here with the next letter in the ABC Book Challenge. Two of my absolute favorite books ever – The Bird and the Sword and The Book Thief – are included here, so besides the fact that my name also starts with a “B”, I’m very partial to this list! 


MEMORABLE TITLES THAT START WITH THE LETTER “B”


BOOKS STARTING WITH “B” ON MY TBR

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Dark of the West – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the Dark of the West book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

32949202Title: Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1)
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Release: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy

Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Dark of the West has an extremely fascinating premise. The best way to describe the book would be YA fantasy meets World War II. The story is full of political intrigue, nonstop action, romance, family drama, and interesting characters. The prologue does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the book and promising a story in which not everything is what it seems. 

The worldbuilding was very intricate. I loved the blend of fantasy and history and I think Joanna Hathaway did an excellent job combining two different genres seamlessly and in a way that made sense. Plotwise, there is a whole lot going on. And while I really enjoy books that have plots that are complex and multidimensional, with Dark of the West I was confused about what was going on for a good portion of the book. There are so many different conflicts and it took me a very long time to figure out who was fighting who and why. However, as the book went on it was a bit easier to start to piece things together and I could appreciate how complicated everything was. When it comes to war and politics, not everything is black and white. 

Dark of the West is told through the POVs of two main characters, Aurelia and Athan. I still remain unsure about how I feel about Aurelia. On the one hand, I found her to be a little naive and didn’t connect with her at all. But as the book went on, she really started to show some significant growth and I thought her character arc was handled wonderfully. Athan was a character that I absolutely loved! He was so extremely interesting to read about, especially with his family dynamics and his internal conflicts. I really loved the complexity of his character and never wanted to be pulled away from his chapters. The romance was okay. The feelings between Aurelia and Athan developed in such a short time that I didn’t come across as genuine. I love a good enemies(?)-to-lovers trope, but I think it could have been written a little differently to have been more convincing. That being said, not everything was revealed and so I look forward to seeing how the consequences of the secrets being held will affect their relationship! 

Overall, Dark of the West is a well-written, engaging story full of political scheming, military tactics, romance, and friendship, with an excellent blend of fantasy and history! If you enjoy books with complex plots and intriguing characters, I would recommend adding this book to your TBR! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorJoanna was born in Montréal and is an avid storyteller who was inspired to write after reading her great-grandfather’s memoirs of the First World War. A lifelong history buff, she now has shelves filled with biographies and historical accounts, and perhaps one too many books about pilots. She can often be found reading, traveling, or riding horses.

 

Follow Joanna:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


GIVEAWAY

Win one(1) of ten finished copies of Dark of the West. US only. 

✨ ENTER HERE


FOLLOW THE TOUR

February 5 | The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

February 6 | Wishful Endings
February 6 | Paws and Paperbacks
February 6 | Book-Keeping
February 6 | Confessions of a YA Reader

February 7 | Dazzled by Books
February 7 | Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
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February 8 | NovelKnight
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February 9 | Oh Hey! Books
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February 10 | Book Slaying
February 10 | It Starts at Midnight
February 10 | A Dream Within A Dream
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February 11 | A Court of Coffee and Books
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February 11 | Omg Books and More Books
February 11 | Utopia State of Mind