I love that romance novels have familiar tropes. Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of surprises. I enjoy knowing (for the most part) what I'm getting into before I start reading. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to see the familiar tropes I love done in an uninteresting, unexpected way every now and then. So, with that in mind, here are some flipped tropes that I'm hoping to see more of in 2021 (authors out there, I hope you're paying attention. Please and thanks) :
Age gap romance where the heroine is older
You can't swing a dead cat in Romancelandia without hitting an age gap romance about an older guy and a younger woman. And heck, there are even a ton of those types of age gap romances that I really love. But while there are some great examples of older heroine/younger hero romances out there, I want MORE.
Rock stars who aren't manwhores
Look, I realize that groupies are often part of the rock star lifestyle. But why can't we have more romances about rock stars like Jon Bon Jovi who give tons of time and money to charity and are faithful to the women in their lives? Jon married his high school sweetheart and has been faithful (as far as we know) to this day. I want more of THOSE rock star heroes in my romances. Note: While we wait for more, I highly recommend The Has-Been and the Hot Mess by Isabel Jordan, which features a hot has-been rocker who runs a dog rescue. *swoon* And, of course, there are these great reads that fit the bill.
Billionaires who are WOMEN
I can think of one series where all the billionaires are women, and that's it. The billionaire romance trope is dominated by alpha males, and I really want to see more women break into that club.
Billionaires who aren't alpha jerkwads
I recently did a recommendations list of billionaires who aren't alpha jerkwads, but it wasn't a huge list because those books were really hard to find! Can some author (or group of authors) make this happen for me? Doesn't feel like too much to ask. Billionaire romance doesn't HAVE to include a messed up, domineering a-hole hero, does it?
Rom com that's REALLY funny
Somewhere along the line, authors and publishers got the idea that any romance that is low angst can be marketed with a cartoon cover and called rom com. Well, no. I'm sorry, but that's just wrong. To be a rom com, I need laugh-out-loud, almost-pee-your-pants comedy. Low angst is great, but it doesn't automatically mean rom com. The books on this list are rom coms, for example. So are these. Low angst contemporary romance is just...low angst contemporary romance.
Heroines who are stronger than their heroes
More female superheroes like Greer in Caped and Dangerous, please. Killian was a great hero because he supported Greer at every turn, and was perfectly OK with the fact that she could snap him like a twig. It was refreshing, and I want to see more of it. Sure, there are plenty of awesome, kickass heroines in romance, but precious few who are WAY stronger than their chosen heroes. I'd like to see that change in 2021.
Grumpy/sunshine pairings where the heroine is the grumpy one
I've talked about how much I love the grumpy/sunshine trope. I've also talked about how much I adore grumpy heroines. But the combination of the two tropes is so rare that I'm struggling to find a really good one. So, authors, can we change that soon? Please and thanks again.
But what about you? What are YOU hoping to see more of in romance novels in 2021? Let's discuss in the comments!