Classic Romance Tropes

Midnight WranglerBY CAT JOHNSON

Like the eternal fashion classic, the little black dress, classic romance tropes never seem to go out of style.

Readers know what they love, and love what they know. This has been proven to me again and again, both as a reader and as a writer. The thing is if you enjoyed reading a book with a particular theme, you tend to look for more stories like it.

Opposites attract. Marriage of convenience. Friends to lovers. Enemies to lovers. . . Contemporary or historical, paranormal or fantasy, it doesn’t matter, these general themes cross genres and readers love them.

I can’t say that I actually had in mind to write any particular classic romance tropes before I started plotting my latest release, Midnight Wrangler, but it sure worked out that way.

As it turns out I have more than one trope at play in this story. More like three actually. Second chances. Reunion romance. And—spoiler alert—there might even be that classic love-it-or-hate-it trope of a secret baby thrown in there!

Midnight Wrangler includes some other beloved themes as well, including small town romance and love after forty. But I wrote this particular story not to lure in readers who enjoy these themes, but because after finishing the prior book about a very young hero, I wanted a change. I wanted to tell a story about a hero and a heroine who’d lost love but find it again much later in life.

A starred review from Publishers Weekly and some very kind words from RT Book Reviews for Midnight Wrangler have proven that even in the age of smart houses, self-parking cars and artificial intelligence personal assistants, the classic tropes are still going strong. I’m sure the billionaire sheik’s virgin secretary is relieved to hear it!


A New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author, Cat Johnson is known for her creative marketing practices. Cat has sponsored bull-riding cowboys, promoted romance using bologna and owns a collection of cowboy boots and camouflage for book signings. A fair number of her research consultants wear combat or cowboy boots for a living. Sign up at for new release alerts.

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MIDNIGHT WRANGLER (Midnight Cowboys)

“Johnson…sensitively paints a sweet and sizzling contemporary romance” Publishers Weekly

“a moving story about second chances and rediscovered love that will delight fans” RT Magazine 

One Lonely Widower…

Rohn Lerner is a successful Oklahoma rancher. He’s old enough to know what he likes, and still young enough to enjoy it. But losing his wife five years ago wore him thin. He’s not ready to date, but he needs someone to share a meal with as badly as someone to warm his bed.

One Woman with a Secret…

 Bonnie Martin fled her Oklahoma home years ago, leaving behind her abusive father, and Rohn, the lost love she never forgot. Now she’s back to settle her father’s estate, but she has no idea that she’s about to bump into Rohn or that they’ll fall for each other all over again.

One Night That Changes Everything… 

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