At first, I was worried what I was going to do, because how do you pick just one romantic trope as your favorite? There are so many that are just so Good™ no matter how many times they appear in books. I’ll admit it, I’m weak for the “we’re pretending to be together for x reason but then we fall for each other” plot-line. I cozy up with the “oh no, we’re stranded in this remote location, I guess we have to work together to survive” stories. Give me a good “friends to lovers” and you’ll see me shake my head with a fond chuckle.
I rely on tropes like comfort food. When real life is too stressful or painful (2017 is testing me), it isn’t a turbulent book I want to dive into. Like a romantic comedy movie, I want to go into this story knowing that by the end, everyone who deserves happiness will be happy, after some humorous hijinks and melodramatic confessions, of course, and those who are Bad People™ are embarrassed and their goals frustrated. Hopefully publicly and with finesse.
That being said, my absolute favorite trope (which doesn’t show up in many light romantic comedies, for reasons that will be apparent) is when on a battlefield a person from the opposite side saves the life of their enemy, thus beginning a romantic entanglement.
This might be sort of a sub-trope of the “star-crossed lovers” trope and it has a lot of elements that make star-crossed lovers so appealing—the forbidden nature of the relationship, the risk of being caught, the way love transcends conflict, and so on.
But there’s that extra flavor that I find to be so GOOD, which is the saving the life on the battlefield bit. It’s just such a dramatic and compassionate moment—character A dying and character B coming by. Character A believes that character B is going to finish the job but instead B saves them. Their immediate separation, because of course B has to go back to their side of the battle and A to theirs. An obsession begins—who is this person who saved them? How do they find each other again? What if they are in a position where they are supposed to kill each other?
That’s some good stuff there, I tell you what.
My favorite book that utilizes this trope is Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and I highly recommend it for anyone else who is a fan of YA fantasy and this particular trope (it also really doubles down on the star-crossed lovers trope).
Are there any books that you love with this trope? Let me know! I’m always searching for more…