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Let’s play “Subvert the Archetypes”!

I was thinking about archetypes the other day and how often romance adheres to them. But, for me, there’s a special thrill when I realize an author has decided to turn an archetype on its head. So I asked Twitter for recommendations. There wasn’t the immediate outpouring of recommendations like I had for the “Difficult” heroines list, but boy do these books sound GOOD.

I’ve done my best to organize them – where a book seems to land in more than one category, it’s repeated. Know another title that would fit? Leave a comment or chat with me on Twitter!

Celebrities and Athletes that Don’t Behave Badly

Tired of smashed guitars and sex with every groupie that moves? Some books for you.

Lauren Blakely – Female rock star – Far Too Tempting (Per me)

Kristen Callihan – NFL football player hero who’s a virgin – The Game Plan (Per Lisa Lin)

Michelle Hazen – Rock stars behaving well – A Cruel Kind of Beautiful and Playing the Pauses (Per me)

Kristina Mathews – Baseball star who isn’t a player – Better Than Perfect (Per the author) – ON SALE

Elsie Moody – an A-List Hollywood actor who ISN’T a manwhore or alpha-hole – Buzzworthy  (Per the author)

Lily Morton – both Asa (actor) & Jude (model) are much different than their typical character types. THEY’RE AWESOME too – Deal Maker (Per Em Wittmann)

Sarah Mayberry – Rodeo rider who isn’t a player – Tanner (Per me)

Flipping the “Experience” Script

Books that buck the idea that the more experienced partner needs to be older, male, or both.

Kristen Callihan – NFL football player hero who’s a virgin – The Game Plan (Per Lisa Lin)

Alexis Hall – m/m BDSM romance with older more experienced MC who is the sub and a young, inexperienced guy learning to be a dominant. – For Real (Per Ellie Reads)

Ruby Lang – brother is concerned about how his little sister will treat his (less experienced) best friend rather than the other way around – Clean Breaks (Per the author)

Theresa Romain – she’s the rake, he’s the virgin – To Charm a Naughty Countess (Per me – this one also has a home in my “Favorites” folder on my Kindle)

Sherry Thomas – Heroine is older & an emotionally distant doctor and hero is a beta sweetheart – Not Quite a Husband (Per Theresa Romain)

Date My Sister, Please

I personally grind my teeth at the “Don’t you dare date my sister, BFF.” If he’s such a dirty dog, why are you friends with him? It’s okay if he’s a jerk to any woman you’re not related to?

Lori Foster – where the brother was basically like “WTF took you so long? I’ve been trying to get you to date my sister for ages because you’re awesome and you two clearly are into each other” – Fighting Dirty (Per Heather)

Ruby Lang – brother is concerned about how his little sister will treat his (less experienced) best friend rather than the other way around – Clean Breaks (Per the author)

Tiffany Reisz – the brother doesn’t give a fig that his sister is sleeping with his best friend because she’s an adult who can do what she wants. Refreshing! – Her Halloween Treat (Per Christine Maria Rose)

A.E. Via – Best friend’s son trope. The dad support his son in wooing his best friend. The best friend have a talk with the dad first – Promises: Part I (Per Salimes)

Beta Dukes and Billionaires

They can’t all be super-take-charge alphaholes, right?

Manda Collins – Beta Duke – Duke With Benefits (Per the author)

Courtney Milan – Beta billionaire – Trade Me (Per Lisa Lin, also a favorite of mine)

Ailments that Just Are

No faux inspiration or special treatment.

Ruby Lang – hero with allergies – Acute Reactions (Per the author)

Theresa Romain – Hero has depression (in a historical!!) and explains it to the heroine as “this is me, this is what I face, it doesn’t have a ‘fix’”- Scandalous Ever After (Per Meghan Barbato)

Katie Ruggle – MC is an agoraphobic but she’s funny, flirty, and physically super strong – In Safe Hands (Per Michelle Hazen)

Catchall

Manda Collins – Vivacious wallflower – Wallflower Most Wanted (Per the author)

Elin Gregory – goofy, wiggly werewolf – Sheep’s Clothing – (short, Per the author)

Julie James – Twitter terrorist Kyle Rhodes is NOT some awkward computer geek – About That Night (Per Lisa Lin)

Alexa Milne – six foot plus rugby player with a liking for lingerie – Sporting Chance (Per the author)

Lucy Parker – Ex is a nice person – Pretty Face (Per Therese Beharrie)

Ainslie Paton – Homeless hero – Inconsolable (Per the author)

Gretchen Riley – good-times motorcycle series where the heroines ride and the heros are betas in bad boy wrapping paper – The Mutiny Dolls series, starting with Every Last Mile – FREE (Per the author)

Charlotte Stein – The bully becomes the best kind of cinnamon roll – Never Sweeter (Per K.T. Gilbert)

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