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Jenna Jaxon–My Favorite Romance Tropes: The Second Chance

Today, Jenna Jaxon returns to Visit with My Friends with a great article and a fantastic book with a great cause!

My Favorite Romance Tropes:  The Second Chance

In a post on my blog last year I talked about the seven universal plots all writers use in their work.  That’s right, only seven.  But through the use of tropes, which is my real subject today, we expand that seven into an infinite variety of stories.

According to the OED, tropes are recurrent themes or motifs and in the romance genre they are conventions, familiar themes or plot lines that we either love or hate.  Some of the most notable tropes in romance are the marriage of convenience, secret baby, women disguised as men, boy/girl next door, arranged marriage, ugly duckling, guy in love with his best friend’s girl, boss-secretary romance, and revenge.  The list continues.  These tropes give the seven plots their individual flavor–that and the skill of the writer.

One trope that has become my favorite is the second chance.  Lovers parted and reunited.  Two people passionately in love who have a huge argument–causes range from infidelity, to outgrown each other, to business relocating one across the country–and somehow, miraculously, reunite after realizing they were made for each other.

I’ve run across this particular trope many times in my reading:  Sherry Thomas’ Private Arrangements, Jo Beverley’s Skylark and The Shattered Rose, Mary Balogh’s One Night For Love, Lisa Kleypas’ Again the Magic (my fave), and Elizabeth Boyle’s Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress.  And there are hundred of others.

Why is this trope so popular?  Because we, who read and write romance, crave that happy ending and want to live it vicariously through these characters.  Everyone deserves a second chance at making that HEA happen, so we root for that estranged couple to come to their senses and fall in love all over again.  It doesn’t matter what came between them, somehow they just need to forgive and forget, as we wish we had the chance to do in real life.

My contemporary erotic novella, Almost Perfect falls into this trope.  Here’s the blurb that makes the set-up very clear:

Pamela Kimball’s birthday present, a 1Night Stand adventure, promises to jump-start her life, put a new man in her bed, and help her forget her past.  Unfortunately, movie-buff Pam’s Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy takes an alarming wrong turn when she’s abandoned on a not quite deserted island—with ex-husband Roger Ware.

Forced by hunger to accept Roger’s offer of dinner,  Pam realizes the geek she married has transformed into one of the most charming, sexiest men she’s ever met. His newfound confidence—and hot body—re-kindle old fires.  A simple kiss leads Roger to challenge her to discover how much his lovemaking skills have improved, leaving Pam torn between self-preservation and burning desire.

With time running out before they’re rescued, Pam must decide if her heart can survive the consequences of becoming Roger’s “almost” perfect 1Night Stand.

The stage is set for a second chance.  But will they take it?

What are your favorite “second chance” romance reads?  Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of my erotic contemporary novella Hog Wild.

Almost Perfect is Decadent Publishing’s Read For A Cure book for the month of May.  All publisher proceeds from sales of the book from any vendor during the month will go to benefit Relay for Life. And a portion of the author’s proceeds will be donated as well.  That means whoever purchases the book during the month of May is making a wonderful contribution to cancer research.   Please Read For A Cure and help us close the book on cancer.

Blurb for Almost Perfect:

Pamela Kimball’s birthday present, a 1Night Stand adventure, promises to jump-start her life, put a new man in her bed, and help her forget her past.  Unfortunately, movie-buff Pam’s Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy takes an alarming wrong turn when she’s abandoned on a not quite deserted island—with ex-husband Roger Ware.

Forced by hunger to accept Roger’s offer of dinner,  Pam realizes the geek she married has transformed into one of the most charming, sexiest men she’s ever met. His newfound confidence—and hot body—re-kindle old fires.  A simple kiss leads Roger to challenges her to discover how much his lovemaking skills have improved, leaving Pam torn between self-preservation and burning desire.

With time running out before they’re rescued, Pam must decide if her heart can survive the consequences of becoming Roger’s “almost” perfect 1Night Stand.

Excerpt for Almost Perfect:

She inched into the lapping surf, searching for movement. Reflection off the water made this task harder than expected. Wasn’t the Caribbean supposed to be teeming with fish?  Now that’s something she’d had a lot of instruction in. Almost every marooned-on-an-island movie had a scene where the heroine learned to catch fish. Six Days, Father Goose, Blue Lagoon. All you needed was your hands and patience. She could do this.

Pam waded out further then stopped just before the water hit her now dry shorts. “Not gonna to have a damp crotch all night.” The words reminded her of exactly what she had hoped for tonight. “But not from wet shorts!” She headed back to shore to remove and drape them next to her shirt. The bandeau was a different story. Still damp, even after several hours, and uncomfortable. Might dry better if not next to her skin anyway. “Screw it!  Live dangerously.”

Standing as good as naked on the deserted beach, Pam smiled as the warm breeze caressed her bare body. The sense of being slightly naughty added to her delight in the sensual feel of the air as it dried her breasts. Her nipples peaked as the wind cooled them. She strutted down to the water’s edge to sink her toes in the sand, the salty tang in the air adding to the perfect moment.

“If you’re skinny dipping, you forgot to remove one very important piece of clothing.”

Pam whirled around. Roger stood on the beach behind her, a green bottle of Perrier in one hand. His gaze played up and down her naked torso and his salacious grin widened. “Mind if I join you?”

Bio:

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical  and contemporary romance who has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own writing.

Jenna lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Visit me at Jenna’s Journal at http://jennajaxon.wordpress.com

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20 thoughts on “Jenna Jaxon–My Favorite Romance Tropes: The Second Chance

    • Thank you, Victoria! I’m very excited to be the Read For A Cure book for Decadent in May. I have a relative who’s a survivor, so the cause is dear to my heart. Thanks for coming by!

  1. Jennifer Lowery says:

    Love second chance books! Such a romantic concept! So great of you to donate to such a wonderful cause! You go girl!

    • Thank you for coming by, Patricia. The second chance trope somehow feels very rewarding. I guess because you admit to a mistake, you are able to move past it, and your reward is your HEA. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Kicking Off The Almost Perfect Read For A Cure BlogTour | jennajaxon – jenna's journal

  3. D'Ann Lindun says:

    One of my favorite stories is love reunited. It runs through a lot of my stuff. Love it in this book, Jenna.

  4. Oh OH, Jenna – You have to read Beautiful Disaster by Laura Spinella. Rita finalist this year and an amazing emotional 2nd Chance read.

    You know I love Roger and Pam. Hope they find a cure with the money the book makes this month.

  5. Terrific post. I love the second chance trope as well…and I love the marriage of convenience, secret baby, friends to lovers, revenge…okay…I love them all. Your book is going to be a great read! Looking forward to when I can finally sit down and enjoy it! Congrats Jenna!

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