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Romance Tropes with Australian Fiction Author Rachael Johns

Happy Love Month QBD Books Readers! To get into the romance spirit we have a very exciting extract from Australian bestselling author, Rachael Johns. Rachael dives into the romance tropes she has woven into her new swoon-worthy novel, “The Other Bridget” and the stereotypical romance tropes she adores in other books. 

Named after a famous fictional character, librarian Bridget Jones was raised on a remote cattle station, with only her mother’s romance novels for company. Now living alone in Fremantle, Bridget is a hopeless romantic. 

When handsome Italian barista Fabio progresses from flirting with love hearts on her coffee foam to joining the book club she runs at her library, Bridget prays her romance ‘curse’ won’t ruin things. But it’s the attention of her cranky neighbour Sully that seems to be the major obstacle in her life. Why is he going to so much effort to get under her skin?

Bridget decides to put both men to the test by finding just the right books to capture their very different hearts. She soon discovers that not all romances start with a meet-cute, but they might just end happily ever after…

Keep reading to discover Rachael’s favourite romance books and the classic romance tropes used to make them so memorable. 

Romance novels are often criticised as being predictable – this is because from the very first page you know you’re going to get a Happy Ever After (not a bad thing in current times) and also because romance novels often incorporate classic storylines, aka tropes, that we’ve seen over and over again in our favourite novels and movies, but still can’t get enough of!


Some popular tropes include Cinderella (Pretty Woman); fake relationships (The Proposal); Runaway Bride (Runaway Bride), and in my latest book, The Other Bridget, you’ll find Grumpy/Sunshine, Love Triangle, Enemies to Lovers and Found Family, to name but a few.


If you’re looking for more of these tropes after finishing (and hopefully loving) The Other Bridget, here are some recommendations for you:


Grumpy/Sunshine – No one wants a grumpy partner in real life but in fiction grumpy love interest paired with someone full of glitter and positivity is delicious.


  • It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey – this book gives strong Schitt’s Creek vibes (not surprising considering it was this fab TV show that inspired Bailey) and is set in a gorgeous fishing village. If you like your grumpy/sunshines with spice, this one’s for you!
  • People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry – let’s face it, anything Henry writes is always perfection, but this just piques Beach Read as my fave of her novels. Bonus, you can vicariously visit a whole load of amazing holiday destinations with the characters.


Love Triangle –  our main character is torn between two love interests.

  • Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding – if you haven’t already read this modern classic where Bridget can’t decide whether the likes her grumpy childhood friend better than her kinda-sleezy but hot boss, then you’re in for a treat. If you read it years ago, maybe it’s time for a reread.
  • The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – the thirtieth book in this series just released and between you and me, I almost wish Stephanie would just choose between Morelli and Ranger and put us out of our misery, but if you’re new to this series, you have a LOT of fun to catch up on.


Enemies to Lovers – sparks fly from the beginning but at first they’re of the antagonistic variety.

  • The Honeymooners by Christina Lauren – funny from the very beginning when the best man and bridesmaid who happen to hate each other are the only two people who don’t get food poisoning at a wedding, so end up going on the honeymoon instead of the Bride and Groom.
  • Wallbanger by Alice Clayton – an older book but well worth hunting down or asking your favourite bookshop to order it in for you. This neighbours-to-lover romances will have you laughing so hard people on the train will be giving you dirty looks. Bonus, the cat Clive in this book is one of the best feline characters ever.


*Found Family – when a group of unrelated characters come together and are there for each other like a family.

  • Lucy Scores’ Knockmeout series – three books about two brothers, their best friend and the women who come into their lives. These six characters form a tight knit clan with others from the town behaving like extended family.
  • The Wake-Up Call by Beth O’Leary – although this book is primarily and enemies-to-lover romance, because it’s set in a hotel we meet the colourful cast of other employees and in the end, all the staff really look out for each other; they bicker and support just like family do. Bonus, set in an old English country hotel.

You can stay up to date with Rachael and her creative projects on social media here:

IG: @rachaeljohnsisanauthor 

To discover and shop all our bestselling romance fiction you can visit us in-store or online here. 

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