Throw your desert island books out the window

Posted November 8, 2016 by Jen in Discussions | 5 Comments

Desert island books? Pshaw, that’s no good! Who can live on a handful of books? Instead, let’s talk about our desert island romance TROPES! If you got stranded on a desert island and could only read books with 3 romance tropes of your choosing for the indefinite future, what 3 would they be?

After a great deal of painful thought and ruthless selection, I have narrowed it down to just 3.

Wilderness Survival

This is my number one favorite romance trope, forever and ever. I LOVE wilderness survival stories and I will read just about any of them, even if they’re schlocky and ridiculous. See, I am hopeless in the outdoors or in any stressful survival situation, really.


If stranded in the middle of a jungle or lost in the woods, I would be dead within literally minutes. Plus, real life survival is gross, difficult, and absolutely not sexy. But in books, I love to read about a couple thrown together to survive! Nobody dies from an infection, plunges to their death after slipping off a cliff, succumbs to hypothermia, or gets their head chewed off by a lion. Instead, at least one of them is a Bear Grylls-level survival expert, no creepy crawlies bite their butts while they’re getting it on in a cave, and they usually happen upon a waterfall or crystal clear lake to provide a timely bath somewhere along the way. It’s absurd but I eat it up.


I adore a good bodyguard story. To be honest, I attribute this to my obsession with the movie The Bodyguard as a kid.

When he takes that bullet for her or picks her up and carries her to safety? good sigh (I used to just stop the movie before she gets on the plane at the end and pretend they stayed together. Stupid unsatisfying ending!) I flock toward romances where one character has to protect the other. Usually it’s the hero protecting the heroine, but I’ve even read a few where that was flipped. And the book gets bonus points from me if the protector has to move in with the protectee to do the protecting. Often it’s a cop or agent of some kind, and they need to move in to ensure that the person in danger has 24/7 protection. It is completely unrealistic and never happens in real life, but that set up does it for me every time. It gives so many great opportunities for sexual tension to build–they usually start out in separate beds but that moment when they end up in the same bed is my favorite!

Second Chance Love

My final trope would have to be second chance loves, where the couple was together before but split apart for some reason. And I don’t just mean a couple hooked up once but then never saw each other again–I mean a couple that was in love but that was pulled apart, either because of forces out of their control or just their own poor choices. When that happens, they both start at a place of wondering “what if”, and one or both of them usually carries some anger or resentment.

Then, they are reunited and slowly start to chip away at whatever challenges broke them apart in the past. I love seeing couples actually communicate and work out their differences through discussion and compromise, rather than instant fixes. When it works, the payoff is so, so satisfying.

Your turn! What would be your 3 desert island tropes?

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5 responses to “Throw your desert island books out the window

  1. Well, I am in the minority, but I love insta-love/Fated mates. Next would be the athlete tropes (Football preferably but any sport will do!). Finally, I love the military tropes (either current military or ex military!)

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