Everyone has a favorite cliché, a subject or type of character who they'll curl up with time and again. Cowboy, billionaire, soldier, rebel, Italian, doctor, boss, sheikh...and that is just the hero! If there is a billionaire rebel, I am the first in line. Maybe that is why At The Billionaires Bidding was fun for me...right up to the point where Trish Wylie made me cry. Weepies are so not my thing and she just snuck it right in next to witty banter and silly t-shirts.
Heroine cliché's help us know where the story is going as well. Secretary, mistress, (does ANYONE use those terms in real life anymore?), virgin, princess, bride...some can be all of them at once!
Let's not forget the basic story. Secret baby. Revenge. Marriage of Convenience. Makeover. Mistaken Identity. (Temptation made great use of this in their Wrong Bed series) Amnesia. Friends to Lovers. I find people like most of the general set-ups, but have a few they avoid. For me, I steer clear of secret baby (I have brothers, so this one gets me riled) and amnesia. Though, Lucy Monroe did it well in The Greek's Christmas Baby, so you can't set aside an entire cliché completely. Still, bring me a tight revenge plot, twist it with an office affair and I am in heaven.
Settings can be wonderfully cliché. Private islands, sprawling mansions, turetted castles. Bring them on and take me away. How many readers pick up a book with Greek in the title just on the off chance we'll wind up on an island? It can't just be me!
Not only are the stories tempting, but the verbage can be as well. Sometimes deemed purple prose, I'll admit I like the flow of an emotive romance novel. His heart slammed against his chest. He pinned her with a piercing gaze. I know what that means. I can feel it, which is what we want to do when we read romance isn't it?
Clichés are a double edged sword. The very things that keep us hooked are the things we wind up defending to those who do not know the genre. Still, I hope romance authors never avid the temptation of clichés. They are simply to decadent to resist!
What are your favorite romance clichés? Which ones did I miss?
Jenna is hard at work on her next title for Mills & Boon Modern Heat. In the meantime, Her Cinderella Complex is available with a millionaire, secretary, engagement of convenience, private island, and a hot pool sccene. Check out her website, or blog.