The 5 Most Beloved Sweet Romance Novel Tropes of 2023

It’s 2023 and romance readers are embracing the novels of a new era. Classic tropes with a fresh, modern look have become especially popular. Let’s explore the five most beloved sweet romance novel tropes so far this year.

The first trope is that of forbidden love—filled with danger and mystery, characters from different social classes, races, or family backgrounds connect in a way that cannot be revealed to the outside world.

The second trope is that of a reunion romance—two characters who were separated for years suddenly find themselves back in each other’s lives, and must face whether their love can survive the test of time.

The third trope is the wealthy hero—this type of character sweeps the heroine off her feet, with wealth and power providing solutions to seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Fourthly, childhood friends-to-lovers is a classic story. A deep bond between two characters since childhood finally blossoms into something more—a beautiful story of love that has been long in the making.

Lastly, opposites attract—two people from different walks of life find themselves drawn to each other despite their differences, creating an enchanting tale of contrast and passion.

Some of the most beloved sweet romance stories of 2023 embrace these five tropes—all brimming with conflict, passion, and love.

A history of Scottish words: Edinburgh

Via The Scotsman:


EDINBURGH is a city of contrasts and differences, and that extends to the dialect of its residents. Just as the Old and New Towns radically differ in style, so do the accents and vocabularies of the city’s residents.

In upper-crust areas such as Stockbridge and Morningside, residents pride themselves on their flawless diction and restrained vocabulary. While the more refined areas of Edinburgh channel the spirit of Miss Jean Brodie, it’s the likes of Leith and Tollcross that offer the more interesting slang.

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Yew sets ancient tone of burial ground

Yews in churchyards may point to pre-Christian beliefs in the sacred. Photograph: Matthew L. Tagney
Yews in churchyards may point to pre-Christian beliefs in the sacred. Photograph: Matthew L. Tagney

It might be thought that when Thomas Hardy stepped aside from his narrative in Jude The Obscure to describe Shaston, or Shaftesbury, “on the summit of a steep and imposing scarp, rising … out of the deep alluvial vale of Blackmoor” as “one of the queerest and quaintest spots in England”, he was being unduly fanciful.

But if, today, you turn aside from St John’s Hill, close to that summit, in to a small enclosed space beside the road and take in the sight of the ancient yew before you, its limbs spreading out wide and close to the ground above scattered headstones, then look ahead towards the sheer drop into the expanse of the vale, you do catch a sense of the local magic and feel you are indeed in a special place.


Via The Guardian:

Stone Chamber from Highland Passage by J.L. Jarvis

The Highland Passage stone chamber. A few years ago, I was able to walk inside this stone chamber, but it has since caved in. (The third photo has been brightened to show the interior.)

Highland Passage Stone Chamber, Putnam County, NY 5/2/15 Copyright © J.L. Jarvis 2015
Highland Passage Stone Chamber, Putnam County, NY 5/2/15 (Second image has been brightened to show interior.) Copyright © J.L. Jarvis 2015

John Knox and the Monstrous Regiment of Women

John Knox and the Monstrous Regiment of Women | Presbyterian Historical Society

Hmm…So John Knox had some issues.

Before John Knox returned home from exile to become a hero of the Scottish Reformation, he penned a shocking polemic against women in roles of authority: The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. The diatribe, which he planned to follow with a second and third blast, set the stage for a tumultuous relationship with four ruling queens: Mary of Guise (1515-1560), Mary Tudor (1516-1558), Mary Stuart (1542-1587), and Elizabeth Tudor (1533-1603).

Knox used “monstrous” and “regiment” in an archaic sense to mean “unnatural” and “rule,” arguing that female dominion over men was against God and nature. He lamented that the future of the Protestant faith lay solely in the hands of a female monarchy largely hostile to its precepts. Echoing the era’s widespread assumption that women were inferior to men, capable only of domestic acts such as bearing children, Knox placed blame on the “abominable empire of wicked women” for the trials and tribulations of the Reformation.

John Knox and the Monstrous Regiment of Women | Presbyterian Historical Society.