Unpopular Trope-pinions ~ Outside the Margins with Shae Connor

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Shae Connor goes Outside the Margins today.

No matter the sexualities of the characters involved, when it comes to romance, I have my genre preferences—or preference, I should say. I read nearly all contemporary romance and rarely diverge into other romance genres like historical, paranormal, suspense, fantasy, or sci-fi. Within contemporary, though, there are certain types of stories, certain tropes, that I particularly enjoy. Some favorite tropes of mine are friends to lovers, fake relationships, best friend’s sibling, finding love after loss, parallel relationships, and cowboys. (Mmmm. Cowboys.)

On the flip side are the tropes that I don’t like. That’s not to say that I’ve never read a single story that I like based on any of these tropes, only that they’re ones I don’t seek out. These are all very popular tropes—that’s why they keep getting published! They just aren’t usually for me.

So at the risk of hurting people’s feelings, here are my mostly unpopular opinions on tropes I dislike.

Enemies to lovers. Especially if they become lovers while they’re still enemies. Angry sex is all well and good, but I want it to have something underlying it other than “even more anger.” Gotta be a reason for the shift from enemies to friends.

Billionaires. If a book has the word “billionaire” in the title, I will probably not pick it up. I don’t mind books featuring rich characters, but not if that’s his (or her) primary characterization. In many cases, this is more on the publisher than the author. Publishers know putting “billionaire” in the title will draw in readers. That’s just unlikely to include me.

Main characters as unrepentant criminals. I don’t need the MCs to be perfect by any means, but I do prefer for the good to outweigh the bad. Even antiheroes deserve redemption.

Most “taboo” sex. I’m not into incest/pseudoincest or extremes of BDSM/kink. As with a lot of things, where that line sits is hard to define, but I generally know it when I see it.

“Dark” romance in general. Angst is all well and good, but I need some happiness or humor to lighten the load. There’s a glut of dark romance stories out there these days. It’s one of the reasons my stories tend to be on the lighter side.

“Alphaholes.” Alphas are fine with me when they have a softer side and don’t treat the love interest like an idiot. Alphaholes are just assholes under another name. I don’t even care to stick around long enough to see if they get redeemed.

Melodrama. This is another of those “I know it when I see it” things, but if a story is just a series of bad things happening to the MCs, I’m probably not going to stick around to see how it all plays out.

Love triangles. Some people adore these, but I’m a ménage fan, so I’m most likely to want all of them to end up together!

Secret babies. A surprise pregnancy is one thing, or a character suddenly having a baby that doesn’t involve the love interest (from a previous relationship, custody from a relative, etc.). But short of some kind of dire danger (see: melodrama), how do you forgive someone for hiding your child from you?

(Irony alert: I actually had an idea for a secret baby story recently. And yep, the hardest part about it is figuring out a forgivable reason for keeping the secret.)

I’m sure if I sat and thought about it, I could come up with other tropes for this list. But you know what? I’d rather spend that extra time looking for books that use the tropes I do like. Let others read all the alphahole-billionaire-secret baby-love triangles they want. There’s romance enough for all of us!

~Shae Connor


Title: Heart & Soul
Author: Shae Connor
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 11/14/2016
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Genre: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay, Gay Romance, Romance


Love can sneak up on you in the last place you’d expect.

Kellen Grady has known he’s gay since he was a teenager, but he’s never been that interested in dating. A professional pianist, he’s happy spending his days teaching students of all ages and his nights working and playing at an Atlanta bar and concert venue. When former pro football player Terrence Harvey and his brother buy the bar, Kellen’s thrown by the change to his routine, but he develops a quick friendship with Terrence, drawn to his sunny nature and sharp mind. Then their relationship takes a turn when Terrence surprises Kellen with a kiss. The unexpected action, though not unwelcome, leaves Kellen faced with reevaluating everything he thought he knew—about Terrence, and about himself.


Heart & Soul on Goodreads

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About Shae Connor

Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.

A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Writers chapter, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available from Dreamspinner Press, Wilde City Press, MLR Press, and Amber Allure.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously, and she’s an annual volunteer for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at shaeconnorwrites@gmail.com or visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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One thought on “Unpopular Trope-pinions ~ Outside the Margins with Shae Connor

  1. Easy. The MC is a vampire, and the mother feared for the child’s life. Then he tells her, “But I’m a GOOD vampire who only eats sewer rats… after which I bathe in flea shampoo and take a breath mint.” Everybody hugs and they live happily ever after.

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