I this show we cover tropes that have to do with where a love story starts. How they meet or come together.
Circle Of Friends: This trope features three or more protagonists all searching for love.
Coming Of Age: The first discovery of love as teenager can be a powerful theme to explore in a romance novel or story.
Coming Out: A gay hero, heroine, or transgender lead character decides to come out about their true sexuality or identity – their coming out is a catalyst for a new love interest.
Country Inn: A career-driven city girl inherits or buys a charming little inn, bed-and-breakfast, or guest house in the calm, bucolic splendour of the countryside.
Cursed: In a fantasy or folklore-inspired romance, the heroine may have fallen under a curse, spell, or wicked charm that only the hero can break or reverse.
Ghost: The heroine falls in love with a ghost, or both romantic protagonists are paranormal entities.
A Divorce Never Went Through: The lead characters discover that their marriage was never annulled, or a divorce decree was never issued because of a bureaucratic mistake or some other misunderstanding.
Grieving Lover: The heroine falls in love with a man who has lost a spouse or lover in the recent past. (a secondary trope to First Love)
The Guardian Or Ward: An older male is bound by the obligation of a legal will or promise to oversee the care of a young charge.
Makeover: The heroine is transformed from drab to fab to catch the hero’s attention. Alternatively, the hero has to transform his looks, body, and attitude to prove his worth to the heroine.
Rags To Riches: A struggling, or down-on-her-luck heroine comes into money and/or fame through a surprising windfall
Riches To Rags: A wealthy heroine or heiress loses her money and status overnight.
Return From the Dead: A man she believes is dead returns to upset the heroine’s life in a major way.
Secret Billionaire: The hero hides his identity and/or his wealth from the heroine, usually to test if she loves him for his true nature or his enormous wealth.
Small Town: Heart-warming stories set in small towns.
Trauma: A main character who has been traumatized in the past, finds healing through a romantic relationship.
Unexpected Inheritance: The heroine comes into a windfall from a distant relative.
Unexpected Parenthood: After a sibling dies or becomes ill, the heroine is now the sole guardian of one or more children.
Unexpected Pregnancy: After learning of an unplanned pregnancy, the heroine must deal with the unexpected news and decide if she will tell the hero or not.
Hi, I'm Ann Jensen, coming to you from the east coast of New Jersey. Hi, I'm Skyler West coming to you from the west coast of Canada. We are two romance writers using our life experiences to break down and share with you all things romance, how you find your next book boyfriend, discovering genres and tropes and looking at what works and why and what doesn't work and why. Welcome back to coast to coast romance. Today we're going to be talking about setup tropes. I'm Skylar West. And I'm Ann Jensen, and welcome back with us, our section of tropes has to deal with the setup, how they meet what is the general premise of how they come together, or what draws them together. Our first trope within that is circle of friends. I enjoy this because it more believable because they meet they're all searching for love and write they somehow come together and decide that yes. Oh my gosh, now that I look at you in this way. Yep, absolutely. There was an 80s show. l St. Alamos fire. I don't know if you ever saw it. I did. That's what it reminds me off right off the cuff. I mean that they're all college friends there. They've kind of all slept with each other at some point. Yeah. And some of them have now decided I'm going to pick this one. And then all sudden, they're changing their mind. And there's lots of drama, just literally in the act of that you have these different personalities. And there's different things going on. And there are different places, and it could be a lot of fun. Yeah, and something a little bit more recent would be friends are and I'm definitely showing my age saying that's more recent. I'm sure there's more recent ones than that, but that's great. Well, you know what there is it's a fun premise. I never saw it, but I was told sex on the city. Oh, yeah, Sex in the City would be another example of that, although I've never seen it. And recently, I started watching one called the good girls. It's a Netflix original and three, three friends. Three female friends, and oh my goodness, it's quite fun. Now, I haven't read a lot of books that are the circle of friends category. So I've read a lot where they use the circle of friends as a series. Yes. Where it's not the friends necessarily getting together, but it's like a circle of firemen or circle, please. Yes. Yes, I'm masters. It's more of the theme than the actual hack, or Yeah, I enjoy it as a serious once it gets past book seven ish that I start going wow, this is pretty. Let's break off into other circle of friends. Yeah, you've almost kind of worn out. You're welcome at that point. For sure. Yeah, I agree. Well, their next one is coming of age. But I think we've talked about this before, because it's the the teenage romance, the college or the high school graduation, which, you know, I think those categories might be coming up, or we've discussed them in the past, but coming of age now or historical novel based, I mean, there's lots of Lady, tons of different examples of that. But I'm not a huge fan of ya for romance. But I think that's because I'm a mom. But I love the coming of age premise in general. and exploring that first love is definitely a powerful theme. Absolutely. And it's interesting, because coming of age, or first love doesn't necessarily mean teenagers, right? really depends on history, right? Yeah, where that story is taking place. I've read lots where it happens for women in their 20s or 30s. I enjoy a good coming of age when it's more coming into, like maybe you've dated as a teenager, maybe you've dated, but this is your first love. The big owl Exactly. And I really, we've talked before about female arch types, the maiden, the mother, and the Crone. And a lot of what we relate to as a arch type as women is a lot of what we like to read about and write you know, I have definitely been more of the maiden for the majority part of my life, even as a mother of five, which I am, the maiden is a characteristic or an archetype that I very much relate to. And so I've written about it and I've read about it and where it is now as a as a trope is considerably different than say, the 80s or even the 90s or the early part of the millennium, very different than what it is in the last couple of years. I will admit that I love a good I don't want to call it a second chance romance because a second chance romance is when you know you dated once in the past and you count you come but I mean like a second like were either the hero or the heroine. Maybe they didn't have the best marriage. He doesn't have to be an awful first marriage or whatever but they're in the second stage of their life. Their kids are grown or whatever and then they find their forever love right like I can enjoy That I almost think of that as like a coming of age but maybe a little older age, you know where it's absolute, I'm now going to search for me instead of Yes, looking for the family and the, you know, the door want to build a house with or something like that. It's like, Who knows? That all right at the end of my life or not so depressing, but you know, because I am older, I am single, and I am searching for that guy, that guy or girl, that person who will be my partner through life, but I'm done with the children. I like, I want that grown up person. Yeah, yeah. reading those stories. Yep, exactly. And it inspires us to want to look at those things for ourselves. Right? I think that's why that trope is I actually find it to be a very positive trope, romance in general should be considered a positive thing. But there's, there's certain tropes in romance that kind of give you like a little nugget of extra happiness. And I always feel like that's one of them. Yes, definitely. Yeah. So the next one's the country in your script. Do I know it's coming out? Oh, coming out? Yes, I enjoy this. But it makes it a complicated story, right? Because it's not just about they meet someone because either they go to their first gay bar, or they go to their first transgender event, or something of that nature. And then they meet people who they never would have met before, because they were in the closet or hadn't discovered that portion of their sexuality. And I enjoy it if done well, because what does it mean to be a gay person? What does it mean to be bisexual, or transgender or all those things? So that's a theme that gets explored along with discovering their love. Absolutely. And it's interesting that when I think about coming out roadmap, I always feel so much while I'm an empath, so I'm an empath healer, by in my day job, and I have so much anger for the coming out portion, because you're literally outing yourself. It's so uncomfortable. It's sometimes like it's just, and if you're a very private person, like I'm a very private person, so I'm just like, Oh, God, you know, I feel so bad for you. Let me I just want to hold you in, you know, stroke your hair. And it's funny, because it is such a big thing in social media today and everything like that. And what's what's funny is my my own coming out story, I forgot to come out to my parents, but I had a very accepting family. And, obviously, and that's fantastic. It just was no more supported thing. And so when I see it, I mean, don't get me wrong. This was the early 90s. So there was lots of hate in this world. I'd like to say thank God that I didn't experience as much of it as a man in the 90s would have. But I was very lucky in that I had a progressive family. Absolutely. And no matter where you live, like I remember watching Brokeback Mountain. I don't know if you saw it. Yes, it was so controversial, but I think we've seen this in so many books and movies. I mean, it's well documented, but the hate people can have for a position or for just what you claim. It's remarkable to me. Yeah, and why people even care what's in other people's hearts. baffles me. Me too. Lately baffled is like, you know, I'm not asking you to change your orientation. But right it is what it is. And that's why I think the fact that there are a lot more coming out love stories now is just a sign that as a whole we're becoming more accepting. Absolutely. Go but yeah, up throws is because just when you think you know, you've arrived and something else happens. And I mean, you just think about equality for women. How long that took, right. You know, women have done a really good job at different points in history of almost reversing that. different movements. It's like, Oh, boy. Yeah, it is. And the fact that people are comfortable writing about it is it warms my heart. Yeah. And it allows it gives in romance to those people who are not yet out. Yeah, for sure. Something in their category to read, that is exciting. They should have that 100% and I read I wish I could remember the name of the story, but I read a good coming out romance where his whole life he was friends with this guy who was openly gay, right? And he was always in other relationships. And then just they ended up becoming roommates at some point. And he started developing feelings for him when he had been great his whole life. And he was like, Huh, part of the story was him coming to terms with like, he didn't have a problem with people being gay, but he just never thought of himself that way. Right? Exactly. And so you have this opportunity to have a different You are right right you look through it that's important. Yes 100% okay so now we're going to talk about the country and yes this is kind of cute Okay, career driven girl city girl inherits or buys a charming little Inn or bed and breakfast or guest house in the calm bucolic splendor of the countryside which to me is more like the small town small town yeah and I can relate to this for my personal life it's like I'm a city person who's tried to be a Country Mouse right I ended up becoming coming back to my city mouse roots because it just didn't fit right this is a fun one for a setup because it's the new person in town but they're obviously there for the long haul because they're setting up a business or they're trying to make a business and you know and so they meet I've seen this done where you know the handyman they hired to fix up country in or the guy who lives next door or you know like but it's the new girl in town but it has a sense of especially within small towns it's very hard to get acceptance yes so when they have that they meet that one person that one person in the small town who becomes their friend and invites them into their world Yeah, they have the end of the country dances they have they're in a one of the two pubs to go to Yeah, how to enjoy your Friday night and let me introduce you to some people yes, and it's a fun way to do a small town romance with a city girl without it being about yes they're a fish out of water but they're choosing to be there they're you know they try to Yeah, make it oh of whatever it is exactly what I like about those ones is when they are a more of a mystery suspense so taking that a step further and having like they're drawn to this town they think they're gonna have their life's gonna be quiet but it turns out that it's just as eventful of a city and maybe there's a small town murder or something happens right? Right yeah and and they realize that it doesn't matter where you are stuffs gonna happen you know so that can be that's kind of another element or step two those i saw i there was a fun one where she inherited and it was a shifter town but like shelters she didn't know about shifters right she realized that her grandmother was a shifter you know like and then all of a sudden like nobody's talking to her and she's not doing well and yeah so yeah, yeah my friend Megan poet slug has written an amazing book like that. And that's what happens is girl moves into small town with parents and it's a shifter town. They don't know that and he's moving into be the new sheriff. It's like Oh boy. obligations. Right? So our next one is curse cursed. Oh, are we talking Beauty and the Beast? Are we talking? Yeah, I think so. I think we're we're talking here is folklore inspired romance. Right? Were you the person you meet is the only way you can break your curse or you know, yeah, yeah, it's a that we've talked about to about these overlying tropes so destined destined for one another you know that type of thing where there's only one person that's gonna make all this go away? Oh, you know what wouldn't do good in this category? It was I can't remember that series name but I'm so bad at remembering series names but it was a vampire series where if they don't meet their beloved before a certain point they basically become soulless Yeah, it's it's a curse but they unless they meet their yes or half Exactly. Yeah, so only the hero or whatever can break the wicked charm or the spell or the blood curse or Yeah, I read a two parter recently to where I guess a witch and a vampire had created a secret town or place where your bloods could live with no you know being kind of hunted down by you know real time live hunters in the now and so the which cast the spell over the area so humans couldn't find it but they could go outside of it and capture humans and bring them back for their blood bank so to speak. But what happens is is he ends up meeting someone who breaks all of this it shows him a different world shows him that he doesn't have to just have blood bags but can actually have more than that. And it turns out he she is like us more like a Van Helsing, I think where she's like the granddaughter of the original hunter family and so she has this ability to do things with him that another female couldn't And anyway, it was actually quite interesting. She created an entire world that was existed within the real world. Hmm, yeah. Which was quite interesting. And it was well done. A lot of them are not Yeah, yeah. No, I have actually never read a romance with this next one, which is ghost. The heroine falls in love with the ghost are both romantic protagonists or paranormal. Well, I mean, both protagonists It's been paranormal entities I guess you know shifters, that kind of thing. But ghost I I've never read one I would hear either character was main character I've read ones with like side characters being ghosts, but not Oh, I've read a few where the, let's say take a couple they've already had the romance you don't see it though, as the reader, you're not reading the romance, the story begins one year or five years or 10 years or six months after the other half dies. Okay, so you have a young couple, right? And he passes and now all sudden he visits her all the time. And they actually have this ongoing dialogue and relationship, even though no one else can see him. That's interesting. It is. And I've read several of those. And one of them actually was a spanking romance. And it was done during the Victorian era. And it was adorable. But yeah, I mean, I would almost categorize those as sweet romance because nothing actually happens. Well, I would imagine that would be tough freight. I haven't seen one where they've crossed that barrier. And I've seen in romance where like the dead husband or the dead wife gives the sign that they approve of the next of the next one. But yeah, yeah. And I've even seen in some cases where it's like, they arranged for them to meet their next you know, to move on or whatever like that. But yeah, somehow in their spirit world, they have picked out the perfect person for their ex spouse to be with, or whatever. Yeah, I know it's interesting. Now this next one would be a horror story in real life, but I have seen this done well over a divorce that never went through. Yeah, that would be tough. So real life noop in romance world I have you know where they come together because they realize that they were never divorced. So you've got the backstory in the history and one would hope that it wasn't too bad of a marriage. Well, there's been some some comedies based on that too, like Demi Moore, his ex husband can't think of them. Ashton Kutcher. He did one with an actress where they went to they met in Vegas they had a crazy night and they got married and they came back home and realize what they done and filed for divorce and the judge was so tired of knowing Vegas weddings. He said no, no, you guys are living together as a married couple for a year and then you can come back and apply then. And so the thing is, is I find what's interesting with these relationships is they got their backup because now they have to be together they don't know each other at all. So to get married on a one night thing and then get stuck together and then it's like okay, and then I've seen the reverse Where will your guards down? You might not know for quite some time that the annulment or whatever the divorce didn't go through and so you're happily able to go and have coffee because that person no longer affects you they don't have they don't make choices with you You can you could be you know grandiose in your gestures only to find out later you know that there's things about that person or you rediscover things about that person that you actually enjoyed. Yeah, I think I read one where they got drunk or they met while drunk in Vegas got married then went home after waking up not realizing that they got married and then one of them goes to apply for a loan and finds out that they're married and then they have to hunt down the other one. That's great. Get a nightmare in real life but keep romance Yes, yeah. That's awesome grieving lover So the heroine falls in love the man has lost a spouse or lover in recent past it could be a secondary trope to first love I've seen this done well and then I've seen this done where I'm like kind of feels like a rebound but I enjoy this especially if it's like a situation where they were friends and they helped each other you know one help the other through say you know a spouse dying of a long term illness and everything like that and then after an appropriate amount of time passes it blossoms into love right but either way they meet or you know two people meaning at a grief yeah that's an interesting one. You have Yeah, you have two people yeah, yeah those those can make really interesting stories because it gives them this equal footing yeah and depth of character and and the reality adjacent of you know, especially with like a grieving lover, it's not that they had a bad marriage or you know, something like that. It's just that he's no longer with us. Yep. Well this next one is I like this next one, the guardian or the ward I'm, I'm okay with it in historical Regency Yeah, that's a Me too. That's what I'm referring to. And I don't mind it. If it's a situation where, you know, maybe they were rewarded for the like, 1718 and then they go away and then they they meet each other Again, or something like that. But again, I think this all goes back to the maiden mother Crone. I am so a mother. And I get I just get like, your back? Well, I'm thinking historical Yeah. Yeah, it is because nowadays, you know, someone's parents pass, and you're under age, usually you'll go and live with a grandmother or an older sibling, or you know, but this is a very, to me a fantasy trope where, you know, it's Victorian era or Edwardian goth, even, you know, whatever in there. And, you know, she's basically the different families or it was there's a standard of setup where once you hit a certain age, you inherit your money. So until that point, you're considered a weak victim, because someone else can try and steal your money from you. Hmm. And because of those times, women were considered not the brightest tools in the shed and they weren't allowed to be involved in business transactions for the most point or part whoever was anointed as the, you know, the person that was going to take care of you. The Guardian or the award was also usually some fantastical business giant so it might be the accountant or the lawyer or it might be someone else at the same social standing that you just trust because maybe you've had business dealings with them. Because it's a trust fund so it's a business transaction more than it is anything else more than a caretaker position. Exactly, huh. Yeah. So it changes you know when you look at it from that perspective for me historically it changes you know what that is now let's assume that the guardian or the ward is an old person right? And they die now their job is to make sure that they have appointed a new one and often it's their younger you know, it's their son right right so now you're getting more into that power dynamic of the good looking slightly older man right maybe they even grew up together right right. always had a crush on each other Yeah, you know hanging out behind the rose bushes but that's how I see it I mean, I can be a lot of fun but if it's done well Yes, yeah, for sure. Now what's funny is next one, I love watching shows about it not a particular fan of it and books and that's the makeover the heroine or hero is transformed from drab to fab and catches the other person's attention Yeah, I have a hard time with this one too and I think because it's completely based on how you look right and I like almost missed those times where I not that I was ever one of those people but you know people met over letters right you know it wasn't about your initial physical response to that and I think like bars and then gym bunnies really made that popular right right oh is let's oh look she came in looking like a scrawny little nothing and look now she's got a but she's got these great you know biceps and you know so now she's changed her hair and she's eating healthy oh look she's lovely really? yeah and and the thing is is the ones that I can I can enjoy it in but I won't say that I love it in is like where they were friends and then you know she gets made up to go to an event or whatever and all of a sudden the guy is like I never thought of her that way yeah like she's been my friend forever or she's been the tomboy forever and I and you know I always saw her as a buddy yes and also yeah woman and to me I can enjoy those Yeah, but I but I also see the draw of this one because you know it is tempting to want a magical you know, like oh sure the effort or if I took the then all of a sudden well it's almost a Cinderella story. Yeah, exactly where you got your fairy godmother your way your wand and you get Prince Charming. So because he sees beyond the rags now, like, you know, this is what I look like. But the challenges for me is I don't like anything that is contributing to girls feeling like they need to change how they look. Yeah, and I say that because more and more you're reading about girls as young as 13 wanting to get Botox wanting to get plastic surgery and they're not even grown yet. It's like Are you insane? Like what is there out there that makes you feel you need to do that? Crazy Yeah, no and yeah, yeah. Having a 16 year old I just say yes, yeah, it's it's crazy. But I will say and this is not a how to romantic characters meet but I absolutely love when a character has been in love with or had a crush on or something on the you know, the fabulous playboy rich guy or whatever. And then she falls in love with someone else and has a makeover and they go out for a night together and then you know, said crush. Finally, notice This is her and she's like that, that I can totally get behind like he saw behind he saw me without all this stuff and wanted me and that he gets all this. Exactly, exactly and sometimes too that can lead into meeting the right person that provides the spark that you've been wanting to make you want to make an adjustment like years ago Cher did a movie with Nicolas Cage and I love how they started her off because she's married and she's got like gray hairs mixed in with her long black hair and she doesn't wear makeup and she's all stare and she's the accountant for the family businesses and then she meets Nicolas Cage slightly younger and he wants to like I want to go on a date with you she's like no way I don't want to know you I don't want to date you I don't I'm not your type You're not my type. I don't want to do this he goes well look you come to the opera with me because that's my favorite thing and I'll leave you alone forever if you if that's what you want. So of course the day of the opera she goes for the makeover and she gets her hair like the gray taken out and she actually gets makeup on and then she buys a new dress and she buys new shoes so which I mean she looks spectacular his only share cam and but he was already in love with her like he already righted her right and that but then her her the ex like you said looks like goes whoa like why did you ever do this for me? Oh but I do you know what I I have heard some good ones where they you know the person is love it was in love with them before whatever transformative transformation but they needed the transformation to feel they were worthy of love you know, whether it be starting to work out or go walking or whatever it comes it comes down to your value system and and if you feel good about yourself, it's going to transcend into everything, including your relationships. And if you're not that's going to transcend to Yeah, for sure. If nothing else us discussing this so much. It does say that it is a good is a good trope to use in 100 different ways. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It's Next on our list. rags to riches. Oh, I could use some of that windfall. Yes, I love this as a trope actually in both directions but just you know, the it's kind of like a mixture of the fish out of water but with money instead of small city big city. Yeah, they meet because they're new to being rich or they're new to being poor or they you know, which I didn't even realize was the next one. So we'll just talk about them at both at the same time. Absolutely. rags to riches and riches to rags. Yeah, yeah. And and it's you know, someone helping them adapt to either having money or not having money helping them find their way in the new world that they find themselves in? Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. returned from the dead. Oh, okay. Fake to death. Okay, so fake your death. So we're not talking zombies. Oh, I guess that could be ghost romance. I guess depending on you know, maybe maybe they were vampire. You know, who knows? I think this is more someone was a POW. And they were assumed dead. Or I've seen this done both with married and then they have to reestablish their relationship. Yes. Because, you know, he he's got, you know, issues from that. But there's also just someone thought, you know, they had to witness protection or you know, like, many many, and amnesia, right? amnesia could fall into that category, too. And all sudden, they get back their memories. So yes, yeah, for sure. And I find this as being fun because they knew each other before they had a relationship before and then you're just seeing the rekindled Spark. Yeah. And what's fun with that is depending on the time that has passed between the first time and this and the re connection, you can draw into that some fun character shifts, right? You know, well, oh gosh, well, you were gone. I worked for three years as a veterinarian's assistant and ended up you know, losing a finger from a dog. Oh, you're such an author. Your mind just goes to the strangest places. It goes all over the place just to look at my search history, my browsing history on my computer, it's terrible. But yeah, I mean, there can be some really interesting things. So you can add in things that make the the two people more attracted to each other and remove some of the things that might have been or could have been seen as a as an issue. You know, you can expand upon any of those characteristics, which is what's fun. I like in disability. It's almost like a redo Yeah, I want to live this next one. This is the romance that I want in my life the secret billionaire who doesn't yet I just meet somebody who seems like they're Joe Schmo and you fall in love with them but then they reveal that really they have billions of dollars and you're you shall never worry about money ever again. Yeah, okay. I'm a fool for this I'm a fool for it. I don't know if I necessarily like it as a test right which is I I enjoy the ones where they meet in an odd situation and then they the person's like I really liked this person and they really liked me and they don't know that I'm this yeah so I you know and I've seen this with like rock star meet Sally who didn't know who they were in there they really like it you know famous people I read a one a Delta James's books. One of her more recent releases was like that where the woman was from a very wealthy famous family but she ended up being kidnapped and when she escaped she was just like her clothing was ragged and she was a mess so no one recognized her knew what she was hmm and then you know she falls in with the guy who lives a very simple light effect he was a cowboy very simple lifestyle ex military sounds like the book for you. And and they fall for each other and it it's great you know that the it's about the character it's not about what the character has. Yeah, yeah, it's but then you get that you get that joy at the end of going to get private planes and five seconds threats anytime they want. Honestly, the billionaire is part of the trope in every book I write it just almost every book I've written has a billionaire aspect in there because it allows me as the writer to explore Oh, okay, what kind of jet Can you take from here from New York to Africa? My Can I my one book has a billionaire in it. And can I tell you how much time I spent researching armored vehicles and what you know what they were like and how much they cost? And you know, exactly that's exactly what I'm talking about. And I said they're good. One of these days I'm going to own one of these and be able to pay a driver No, I'm not gonna be able to pay a driver and I'm just gonna have like, I'm gonna be in this like will office and do all my writing for the back of this armored limousine? Cuz you know, people might shoot at me. I don't know. Sure, why not? Oh, that's awesome. I love it. But yeah, you I think secret billionaires is a huge trope favorite for many people. Which takes us to the complete opposite small town heartwarming stories and small towns and romantic suspense. This is kind of what I was alluding to earlier when we talked about going from the big city to the small town. Yeah, where there's a little bit you know, there's something going on, you know, they find a hidden pot farm, you know, are drugged in because, you know, the countryside, you can hide a lot of that stuff. Right, right. But this is more about in this particular discussion, were more talking about they meet because there's only 700 people in town, and of those 700 only 25 are single and under the age of Yep. 30 but it's a great setting for romantic suspense, I think. Yeah, well, finding the the secrets and everything like that, but think it's fun as a way to meet people because and whether this be a new person in town or not, like I've read some small town romance where it was like, you know, he's the new guy in town, military, you know, retiring to the small town, and you know, he's like, everybody knows who I am. Yeah, like, you know, all the women are hitting on him. It's like, yeah, you're the only new Yeah, exactly. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's fun, too. Did you see the new whoever right? Did you see the new guy or the new girl? Yes, yeah. Yeah, for sure. Okay, well, that takes us to trauma, a main character who has been abused, sexually assaulted or traumatized in the past and finds healing through a romantic relationship. Yeah, and that could be anything from someone from a support group to just this is their, you know, their first foray out after healing enough to try to try to try again, something like that. And this I I've enjoyed stories done. Well, this way, I've been accused of not handling this well, but in general, yeah, in my first book, but what I have to say about this, and And my response to many of the critics from my first book is everyone deals with trauma and it different way, not everybody shuts down. Very true. In fact, some do the exact opposite. Some do the exact opposite. And judging what is healthy or not healthy is a very complex thing and I do not have a degree in it. I will not say that I have a degree in it, but I do know plenty of people who have experienced trauma and they have all handled it differently. So well that's just it. I mean, because every person is different every dynamic between them and the other person is different. I mean it I know people that have been children of LPs of drug addict parents who have risen above it become extraordinary people. And once that it become exactly like their parents, right? Right. So what determines that factor of it as a you know, fictional author, you're more exploring this, that specific character, you're not trying to write an entire system. And and we go back to the phrase that I use, these are reality adjacent stories. It's exactly. Let's keep on track with that, right? Yeah. Yeah. All right. The next one unexpected inheritance, mother and I think we may have covered a lot of this in the rags to riches or, you know, exact country in inheriting something. But I've, I read a very interesting one where they inherited a figurine, which had a trapped fairy in it. Wow. Okay. And when they were cleaning it, the ferry was set free, you know. So this could be this could be taken in many, many different directions. That's so true. When you think about it, like I've actually read stories where with an object has been inherited, and it was, you know, had a spell attached to it, or a power attached to it, or some kind of thing that now the people that have gotten it have to see it through to the end. And they're challenged as people and their challenges as a couple and their challenge in the marriage or in the relationship. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. So it's not just money, it or it could even be a matter of I inherited this key to this something and then they go to, and they meet someone when they are doing it, or while they're trying to figure out the mystery of inheritance. I've also seen an interesting one where it was, they were kind of enemies when they were kids. They were both fostered by the same parent, by foster parent. And in you know, they separated when they were 18 because they hated each other. And then the foster parent, like left something to each of them, and they had to work together to figure it out to figure it out. And in that they went from enemies to lovers. And that's a great story. Actually, that sounds like a lot of fun. Yeah, okay. Unexpected Parenthood. Now, I was quite surprised recently to run a trope questionnaire on Facebook. And unexpected parenthood was huge on unexpected parenthood a pregnancy. I mean, we can talk about them together. So Parenthood is more they now have to take care of their brothers sisters, cousins, whatever, right? I think this one was unexpected Baby, baby. Yeah, secret baby. Secret baby. There you go. Secret baby, which, to me falls in with unexpected parenthood expected pregnancy. Secret baby. Well, so because Parenthood is usually you know, they meet because they're trying to learn how to be a parent of semi grown children and they need help and you know, the person comes and helps them out and they grow closer together and everything unexpected pregnancy and secret baby, which I will admit is one of my one of my cracks is the hot fireworks, bonfire. Whatever. One Night Stand has unintended consequences. So this person who you had amazing chemistry with, but no intention of ever after with now is permanently a part of your life, or maybe a part of your life. If you tell her don't tell them. And I love these, especially if you mix them with like Rockstar romance or Absolutely. Other things. It becomes like, Okay, do I try to find out if we fall in love before I tell him? Or do you know or do I tell him and then as we're coming to terms with it, we fall in love or you know, yeah, yeah, there's a lot of angst around the timing and the how, Yes, for sure. Yeah, that can be Yeah, that can be really interesting for me, you know what? It sounds terrible, but I get so frustrated if I'm reading a book, and I know what's going on, and I'm waiting for the other character to catch up. There's like, Don't you get it, you have a baby, what's wrong with you and It's funny because I think secret baby is actually loved and hated much like love triangles is loved and hated because there are people and don't don't get me wrong. I love the secret baby and romance. I love a second chance to romance with children. You know, I'm all at we go back to the mother thing. But there are people who are like there is nothing less sexy than a baby or Yes, person. Yes, yes, that's right. Whereas in my head, I'm like, No, that's the ultimate expression of love. Yeah, it's it's funny how, like you say, it's your crack, or it's not your crack, right? And it's either I find with this category or this trope, it's an either absolute or not at all. Yeah, yeah. Though, I will say this. One of the things that drives me crazy in non secret romance baby books is like deal. I always because I love secret baby romance. If I see a sex scene without any form of birth control, or mention of birth control, or something like that, I assume it's going to become a secret baby or what it doesn't. And it's just that the author never mentions any form of contraception. I'm like, Oh, all right. Yeah, yeah, no, and that's a really good point. Because there are times when I know myself, I just wrote a book. And I don't want this person to get pregnant. So I was very, like, Okay, I gotta go back through. And in fact, as I was editing yesterday, I found a spot where I did not make it clear whether there was contraceptive being used or not. So I'm like, okay, change my whole paragraph structure to make sure that what I written made perfect sense and why it was what it was. Cuz I agree with you. It needs to be clear. Oh, yeah. And I what's funny is, I am very clear in my books about contraception or non contraception. And so if you do not see contraception, there's a pretty good chance someone's getting pregnant, there's a good chance or at least there's gonna be a scare. Right? Yeah, yeah, for sure. For sure. But you know what, I've read all three of your MC books. And I love how you incorporate. In Book Two, like there's a pregnancy that occurs and in Book Three book when there's a child, right? It's a book yes book. Well, there's a pregnancy that ends up coming in Book Two. And then in Book Two, there's a child involved that I won't give too much away for those people that haven't read it yet. And I just I love the way that you use it. Because you can see how much respect you have for the idea that you can have whatever kink you want, and you can read about whatever kink you want to, but at the end of the day, you can also have this massive positive community family, right? And I think you do a great job of presenting that and anyone who's ever yearn to be included, your books are a shoo in. Yeah, you know what I'm realizing and found family young family is probably by far fun family is the trope that we'll be in probably every book I ever write. Right? Because I love it. I love the concept of Yeah, you might have biological family you might have you know, and you may have a great relationship with your biological family but there's there's more to the the friends it's not just friendships, it's not just casual friendships. It's it's found family. You know, it's it's that deeper sense of connection. Exactly. Those you choose to give that love and that acceptance to not necessarily on a romantic level, but on a on a platonic level. Yep. And I have an amazing, amazing family who I love dearly, but I also have a gigantic found family who I respect and love. And that comes through in your writing. So yeah, that's awesome. All right. Well, that was wonderful. Thank you again for joining us. Thank you for listening to coast to coast romance. I'm Ann Jensen. And I'm Skylar West. If you'd like to contact either of us, our links are located in the show notes. Have a great week. Thanks so much for joining us.