Romance, One of My Favorite Things

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Tropes

mariageraci_thatthingyoudo_ebook_finalMaybe it’s the singing. Or watching the gorgeous Julie Andrews and a handsome Christopher Plummer fall in love, but there’s something about The Sound of Music that always uplifts me.  It’s a feel good movie with a sweet romance and the promise of a happily-ever-after. Watching The Sound of Music (and believe me, I’ve watched that movie a LOT) gives me the same feeling I get when I finish reading a really good romance. I feel…happy. And just like the movie (and the song) there are some elements or plot points in a romance that make me feel happier than others. I guess you could call them my favorite tropes.

In case you’ve never heard the word before, the dictionary defines a trope as “any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense.” Mmmm…  I’m not sure exactly what all that means, but I’ve always thought of a trope as a cliché. As much as we writers try to avoid clichés in our writing, literary clichés (or tropes!) work because they’re familiar. They’re comforting. And we all have our favorites.thenhekissedme300

Here are a few of mine:

Opposites Attract. Boy, do I love this one. Especially when there’s a class difference. One of my favorite Opposites Attract romances is The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt. I think I’ve read it at least 5 times. What I really like about it is that it’s a great twist on the Cinderella plot. It’s the heroine who has the elevated status (she’s the daughter of a nobleman) and he’s a lowly land steward. Plus, it’s deliciously hot!

Friends to Lovers.  The best example of this one is Jane Austen’s Emma. It’s also her most humorous novel, and I love a few laughs along with my romance. Of course, there’s also the wonderful Mr. Knightly (bonus points for the movie version featuring Jeremy Northam!).

Enemies to Lovers. I know. I just said I loved Friends to Lovers, but stay with me, please! I also love when two people start off with lots of conflict (whether it be personal or business), like Julie James’ It Happened One Wedding. The main characters, Sydney and Vaughn, meet in less than desirable circumstances and then are forced to play nice when they discover their siblings are getting married. Lots of laughs and hot steamy scenes later, we get our much anticipated happily-ever-after. Perfect!

Okay, so I’ve told you a few of mine. What are your favorite tropes?

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

Since we’re talking about romance, I always experience a huge high on the day a new book of mine comes out. I try not to stress about the business side of things (like Amazon rankings) and instead focus on the fact that my baby is out in the world and people are actually going to read it. It’s an incredible feeling!

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

For me, that would have to be the beach. I grew up in a beach town and most of my family vacation memories are centered around the ocean.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

The sound of waves crashing on the shore. There’s nothing better. Well, except maybe laughter.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

Gosh, this one is hard to answer. I guess that would have to be Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It’s just so beautifully written and romantic. And the letter that Captain Wentworth sends to Ann is totally swoon worthy!

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pinchristopher plummere, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

As much as I love Chris Evans, I’m going to have to go with Christopher Plummer on this. Except for the politically incorrect cigarette in this picture, you have to admit, the man was mighty fine!

Maria is generously giving away an autographed copy of the first three books in her Whispering Bay series to one US reader.


Maria Geraci author headshotMaria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, was nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA ® award. Her current addictions include watching the STARZ adaption of OUTLANDER to drool over Sam Heughan, hitting the beach on the weekends, and searching for the perfect key lime pie recipe (but not the kind they served on Dexter). You can visit her website at

Buy Maria’s books:

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  • Lovely interview!

  • Jennifer C

    I learned what a trope is! 🙂 Great interview, thanks for sharing with us, Maria! I am happy to have found your books!

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I’m happy you found them too!

  • Love your Whispering Bay books, Maria! I like the tropes you listed. Another I enjoy is marriage of convenience. And I agree with your choice of Christopher Plummer. I first saw The Sound of Music when I was a young teen (I was around for the movie’s theater release) and fell in love with it. I’ve since watched it more than 50 times, endured months of rehearsals for my high school production of it and still, I never tire of this story. As soon as the music swells in the wedding scene my tears start to flow. Every. Single. Time. 🙂

    • Aw, I love that, PJ! Thank you so much for leaving a comment! And I love the marriage of convenience too. Especially when reading historicals. All that pent up lust and passion!

  • mariannewestrich

    I’m a Virginia Beach baby and love the sound of the water hitting the beach. It’s the best sound to go to sleep to!

    • Yes it is! There is something about the sound of the ocean waves that brings me total peace 🙂

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    My favorite trope is friends to lovers. 🙂

  • Jennifer Schultheis

    My favorite trope is enemies to lovers and I love the other two you named as well If I had to pick a Chris it would be Chris Pine, never heard of Plummer.

    • Oh I love Chris Pine ‘ s gorgeous blue eyes!

  • Sharon Hrycewicz

    Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen as my favorite trope (I learned a new word today) is lost lovers reunited. BTW I read all Maria’s Whispering Bay books this summer. I really enjoyed them and the great community she’s created.

    • Oh, Sharon, we are kindred spirits for sure! Isn’t Captain Wentworth absolutely dreamy? I’m so honored that you’re read my whole series. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

  • jcp smith

    friends to lovers or marriage of convenience (I love a mix of the two troupes as well.)

  • LSUReader

    I enjoy the friends to lovers, beauty and the beast and ugly (odd) duckling tropes. Typically, I don’t care for secret baby books, though I’ve enjoyed a few of those, too! Thanks for visiting.

    • Hey, Tiger! (Sorry couldn’t help the LSU reference! ). I love Beauty and the Beast too Great trope!

  • Bernadette

    I enjoy all three of these tropes! (I love that word, thanks for teaching it to us) But my favorite would have to be enemies to lovers. Although I do love a good opposites attract story too! I absolutely love your books and I can’t wait to read more! =)

    • Hi Bernadette! Enemies to lovers is so passionate, isn’t it? And thank you so much for reading my books! I am happy to announce there will be more Whispering Bay romance coming soon!

  • Karen Mikusak

    I enjoyed your interview. Would love to win!

  • Linda Henderson

    I haven’t started your Whispering Bay stories yet but they are on my wish list. I love series books and I tend to read a lot more of those than stand alones.

  • Patty Vasquez

    The enemies to lovers is probably my favorite trope. I’m an historical fiction reader, so I also like the reformed rake trope, as in Lisa Kleypas’ Devil in Winter. I’m not sure what you call this trope, but there’s the create the list for the perfect man/funny story. Linda Howard’s Mr. Perfect is a classic example of this kind of book. And then, the bet that goes awry and the characters fall in love: Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me is the best example of this trope. Oh, so many great books and plots!

    • Oh, Patty, I adore Bet Me! And the reformed rake is a DEFINITE favorite as well!

      • Patty Vasquez

        I have to edit my original response. Linda Howard’s book is titled Mr. Perfect. About 5 minutes after I typed the title, I got to thinking about one of the funny scenes in the book, and it occurred to me, I had gotten the title wrong! Argh! I need an edit button, with many apologies to Ms. Howard, this is one of my favorite books.

  • Really interesting! My favorite trope: opposites attract! It have inspired so many wonderful stories….

    • Hi Marinella! Opposites attract is a great trope. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I’m so happy to have an actual definition of “trope”. I always knew what it was but could never put it in a word and “cliché” fits perfectly. Thanks for your insights!

    • You’re welcome, Dorothy! And thank YOU for reading and leaving a comment. Romance readers are the best!

  • catslady

    I like variety so most troupes but cinderella, enemies to friends, beauty and the beast – a little angst lol.

    • Well we all love to see our heroes suffer through a little angst, don’t we? 😉 Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Candy Lyn

    I have a ton of favorites but the enemy to lover…I think that is very hot! Also love the stepbrother thing because they are usually mean with serious chemistry.

    • Hi Candy, I agree enemies to lovers can be very hot! Thanks for posting a comment!

      • Candy Lyn

        Of course! I love authors and any communication with him!

  • Aleen D

    You are a new author to me. The enemies to lovers trope is one of my favorites.

    • Hi Aleen, enemies to lovers is popular today! I Love it too!

  • Susan Beamon

    I don’t have one or two tropes I like. What bugs me is when an author uses more than three in a book, like a billionaire (hate that one with a passion) step-brother enemy second chance bad boy special operator all in one. Just too messy.

    • Oh Susan you have made me laugh! I always joke about writing a billionaire cowboy seal stepbrother for a hero! But I am sure someone has done it!

  • alisha woods

    chris pine, also like enemies to lovers

    • Hi Alisha, Chris Pine has his beautiful blue eyes can leave crumbs in my bed any day! 😉

  • Kareni

    Thanks for a fun post. Some tropes that call to me include amnesia and time travel. Also a story with a hero or
    heroine with challenges (aspergers or blindness, for example) will
    get my attention.

    • Good choices, Karen! I am so glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Kim

    Thanks for the post. I enjoy a good friends to lovers trope or an opposites attract trope.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Kim! Thanks for commenting!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thank you for sharing and posting here.

    • This was a fun post to write, Debbie 🙂 Read a Romance month is a fabulous idea!

  • Sharlene Wegner

    Friends to lovers & enemies to lovers are my 2 favorite tropes. Also, second chance romance. By the way Christopher Plummer aged very well, too! did you see him in Must Love Dogs?

    • Hi Sharlene, Yes I loved that movie! So funny when he ended up “fixed” on a date with his own daughter!

      • Sharlene Wegner

        I know! That was hysterical!

  • Pamby50

    Friends to lovers is my favorite. I love the Sound of Music and Christopher Plummer is my favorite.

  • Diane Sallans

    I do love to start a series at the beginning!

    • Me too ! Best of luck with the giveaway, Diane!

  • Cheryl

    I love friends to lovers stories. 🙂

  • cheryl c.

    I like so many different tropes. Enemies to lovers is a favorite along with fairy tale retellings, marriages of convenience, and second chances.

  • Julie Ford

    I haven’t read your books yet but would love to

  • Diane Blaser

    Hi Maria, I’m so glad that I discovered your books! I have enjoyed them so much!

    • Thank you, Diane! I’m so glad you found them. Thank you so much for all your help spreading the word!

  • Jerry Marlatt Pierson

    You will be a new author for me. I would like to read your book. Thank you for the giveaway and a chance to win.

    • You’re welcome, Jerry! Best of luck with the giveaway!

  • Dawn Anderson

    I love friends to lovers stories. I also like unplanned pregnancies and secret babies. There are so many good tropes to use.

    • Hi Dawn! I’m a sucker for the secret baby trope!

  • Joan Varner

    I always enjoy the “enemies to lovers” trope because there is usually a lot more dialogue with snarky barbs and tension between the hero and heroine.

    • Yep, gotta love snarky dialogue. Thanks for leaving a comment , Joan!

  • Jennifer Lessard

    Maria you are a new author for me but I have That Thing You Do on my kindle and will be reading it and I am sure will be back for more!

  • Erin F

    I love friends and enemies to lovers too! I love that sudden realization that your “love” has been right along side you all along and I love the conflict and dawning horror that your nemesis is your “love” 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    • Great points, Erin. I also love that dawning realization that the perfect person was right under your nose all along!

  • Carol Luciano

    Oh yes, enemies to lovers is one of the best. Also the BF sister. Hanks for your post I enjoyed reading it.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    • Oh, another trope I love. The girl next door/best friend ‘ s sister!

  • Glenda

    My all time favorite is friends to lovers because I believe the relationships has a better chance of forever survival. That said I have fun reading all of the tropes!

    • I agree, Glenda, Friends have a much better chance of making a love connection last. 🙂

  • Molly

    I haven’t read any of your books before but I will have to change that soon.

    • Yes, you should, Molly! Right now, the first book in the series, THAT THING YOU DO is FREE on Amazon, Kobo and iBooks. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Sharon Forbes

    I have to say, I’ve yet to have the pleasure of reading one of your books, but that’s about to change! They sound like they’d be so much fun! Oh, and by the way, I loved that video on your FB page, so cute!!

    • Thanks, Sharon! I made that video myself, but of course you could probably tell 😉

  • marypreston

    I’m rather obsessed with Sam Heughan right now too.

  • K Davis

    Key lime pie is either wonderful, or just so-so. Ever noticed that? When you find the perfect pie recipe, I want it! 🙂

    • When I find the perfect key lime pie recipe I’ll be sure to shout it out to the world! Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Michele Hayes

    I love finding authors that are new to me. Thanks for the
    chance to win.

  • Rhi

    Since you mentioned two of Jane Austen’s book in this, I just had to mention that my favorite of hers is Northanger Abbey. There is so much tongue-in-cheek to it. Always makes me smile when I re-read it.

    • Hi Rhi, LOVE Jane Austen! She’s the inspiration behind a lot of my books!

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    My favorite is friends to lovers although I’ve loved stories of the other two you mention. Christopher Plummer is one fine, good looking man!! Thank you for your post.

    • Hi Eileen, thanks for leaving a comment. You know, even old, CP isn’t too shabby!

  • dholcomb1

    A younger Christopher Plummer was very fine, indeed!


  • Texas Book Lover

    I love all tropes and really have no favorites. Small town romances which I don’t think is a trope are my favorite type of book though if I didn’t mix it up and read every other type of romance I would get bored.

    • Yes, variety is important. I do LOVE small town romances (probably because I write them!)

  • Mary McCoy

    You listed my three favorite tropes, thanks!

  • Marcy Shuler

    I like wounded warriors, friends to lovers and best friend’s brother tropes.

    • Hi Marcy, all great tropes. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • kirsten west

    Enemies to lovers and opposites attract. That picture reminds me of Rex Harrison in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

    • Oh, I love that old movie! Maybe it’s the beard?

  • Emily Baucom

    Those are my favorite tropes as well 🙂

    • Thanks for leaving a comment, Emily! Best of luck with the giveaway!

  • Sue G.

    What fun and flirty covers your books have! Love it! I also enjoy the brother’s best friend trope! It’s like it’s forbidden!

    • Thanks, Sue! I too, love the brother’s best friend trope 🙂

  • Sheila M

    I love opposites attract stories as well.

  • Deana Dick

    I love opposites attract stories as well. When I first met my husband we hated each other. We were so different and couldn’t seem to get along. Thirty-two years later , I think we finally like each other. Lol