Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Fun - Keeping Secrets and Other Romance Tropes

The fabulous Silver James is back at the Pink Heart Society, talking about tropes and torturing heroes...

First, I’m thrilled to be here again with the Pink Heart Society. Thanks for inviting me back, ladies. And being here means it’s time for the release of The Cowgirl's Little Secret. This is me making a happy face. When I contracted for the first two books in the Red Dirt Royalty series, my editor hinted that the senior editor was really hoping the second book would be about Cord. It’s like they read my mind or something. *wink*

I understand that y’all like to have a little fun on Fridays. Can you keep a secret? I have fun “torturing” my characters—especially my alpha heroes—after I get to know them. Cord is the Jiminy Cricket of the Barron family. He’s a bit of a flirt sprinkled with a big ol’ helping of ornery. When I began plotting his story, I sorted through all the various tropes that make appearances in series romance—because that’s why we love category romance, right? 

I used the Romeo and Juliet theme in Cowgirls Don't Cry, but I still wanted an element of that in the next book. I ticked off some of my favorite tropes looking for the perfect fit. There are almost as many romance tropes as there are letters in the alphabet. 

There are some situations I love, some not so much. 

I rifled through my mental file drawer thinking about the scenarios I enjoy. That took awhile. But I narrowed it down to a handful. Second chances. Ooh…that had some possibilities. Boss-secretary/assistant. Mmm…next book maybe. Fake engagement. Not this time. Friends to lovers. Nope, doesn’t fit Cord’s personality. Ah ha! Light bulb moment, as we say in the writing world. I knew the perfect trope: Secret baby. Iffy, my Muse, and I had quite a conversation when we plotted out this book. And in Cord’s case, the trope became a “secret son” because CJ is four.

I admit it. I had a lot of fun “torturing” Cord. First I injure him in an oil-field accident then I deliver him the hospital emergency room where Jolie works, after recently returning to town. Cord never got over Jolie and while she did her best to get over him, they had a brief (and drunken) reunion. Jolie’s life would never be the same, because…CJ. And when Cord realizes he’s been denied the chance to be a father? Can you say “fireworks?”

Something else I’ll admit to is my love for romance tropes. Category romance or single title, it doesn’t matter, nor does the genre. Romantic suspense uses tropes just like paranormal. There’s something comforting about picking up a book with a familiar plot line and a Happy Ever After at the end. My preference for a particular trope depends on my mood and I’m pretty sure that preferences for particular tropes is as varied as the number of romance readers.

Do you have a catnip trope? One where you read the blurb and go, “OH! Yes!” And maybe even do a little fist pump because you’ll always want to read it, no matter what? What about favorite tropes and the ones you love to hate? Let’s talk about them. I’m all ears.

Silver's latest book, The Cowgirl's Little Secret, is out now:

She’s back at his ranch…with baby in tow!

When nurse Jolie Davis comes home, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she runs into Cord Barron–the Barrons own this town. In fact, it was their oil business rivalry with her father that caused her break up with Cord in the first place. But no amount of family meddling can deny the fact that she had his secret son. Now, four years later, as her ex is wheeled into the ER–while she’s on duty!–it’s time to come clean. Because it quickly becomes clear that Cord is determined to reclaim her…

A cowgirl at heart, Silver James has also been an Army officer’s wife and mom, and has worked in the legal field, fire service, and law enforcement. Now retired from the real world, she lives in Oklahoma and spends her days. Readers can find more information about Silver and her books at her website. She’s also on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. OMG! I'm so embarrassed! *headdesk* I've been under a tight deadline and have been chained to my computer but with very little social activity. :( I have Deadline Brain. Trust me, it IS a thing. So...I'm here now and if the conversation picks up, I'll be around to offer responses.

    Again, many thanks to the PHS for hosting me!

  2. Hi Silver - I love enemies to lovers and boss/secretary tropes! I also love really juicy/dramatic moments where the hero and heroine meet, so your hospital scene sounds awesome.