On this Labour Day weekend (I had to add the extra “u”, or Lady B would ban me from the Ballroom), what better way to pass the time than discussing leisure reading?
So come join me in my sylvan book arbor. Settle yourself into a comfortable imaginary hammock, under the shade of a tree, with a large pitcher of iced tea (or sangria, or another beverage of your choice). There’s a platter of chocolate chip cookies, big bowls of chips and salsa, and some celery sticks and dip for the virtuous.
Today’s topic? Book tropes we can’t refuse.
The other day, I rewarded myself for finishing my latest manuscript with a book I had been hoarding, Sherry Thomas’s Ravishing the Heiress. It was an arranged marriage plot. I love arranged marriage plots, from Joan Wolf’s best friends pretending to an engagement that they can’t get out of in The Pretenders all the way to the far extreme of strangers marrying as a business arrangement in Heyer’s A Civil Contract. I might be a little skeptical that such marriages always worked (I have one that doesn’t work in one of my own books), but I am fascinated by the way the pressures of the situation affect the way the hero and the heroine get to know one another.
Other plots that are like catnip to me? Anything with a governess in it (Nine Coaches Waiting, I’m looking at you!) and any book in which the Heroine Inherits an Old House. I’m not sure how I would feel about a governess who Inherits an Old House, since I prefer to take my plot tropes neat– or, even more muddling, a governess in an arranged marriage who Inherits an Old House– but, taken singly, I’ll read anything that incorporates one of those tropes.
Which plot types do you find irresistible?