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How to Use the Forbidden Romance Trope in Your Next Book

There are so many romance tropes that are great for creating conflict—age gap and enemies to lovers are two that I've covered in other blog posts.


But few do it better than the OG trope of forbidden love.


The reason this trope works so well is partly due to the stakes, i.e., what the characters have to give up to be together. 


Forbidden love often requires that characters give up their families, their dreams, or even their homes in the pursuit of love. 


The best example of this trope and what it asks characters to give up is the incredibly popular, brilliantly written contemporary erotic romance, Priest by Sierra Simone. 


The main male character has to decide between his faith and his feelings, and it's the strife of that decision that makes the book's happily ever after so satisfying. 


But what's interesting about the forbidden love trope is that it can be used for more than tension.


It can also be used to deepen the main characters' connection and help them overcome their doubts about the relationship. 


Your Dad Will Do by Katee Roberts is a great example of this. Going into the book, you expect the taboo nature of the heroine and hero's relationship will be the biggest hurdle to their happily ever after, but it's actually what brings them together. 


Because he's her ex's father, the hero understands the heroine's emotional wound better than almost anyone else. He knows how his son hurt the heroine, and it's his patience and empathy as she overcomes that wound and the hurt it caused that helps the heroine realize she's ready for love again. 


Their happily ever after wouldn't have worked if their relationship weren't taboo. 


There are hundreds more books out there using the forbidden romance trope, but I honestly believe that if you closely read the two I've mentioned, you'll understand the trope, the different ways it can be used to create tension and connection, and how it affects romance and character development. 


And those are the 3 key things you need to understand to use it effectively in your romance novels.

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