How You Know You’re Reading a Cliche Romance

I’ve started noticing rather mundane patterns in  romances.  Overall, I like the quality of historical romance stories because they actually have decent plots, but after reading a couple I’ve noticed some things.  They follow the same plot line.

1) The cover is always way more salacious than the actual content of the story based on sexual content.

2) The heroine is usually some kind of redhead (auburn, strawberry blonde, orange flames).  The hero is tall, dark and handsome.

3) Her Prince Charming is an off-kilter high-ranking nobleman (frequently a duke, earl or viscount) who doesn’t like being a duke/earl/viscount and resents “society.”

4) Heroine is tomboyish, constantly getting into mischief and resents the role of being a lady.  Yet somehow she is fine with the role when she accepts to marry the hero.  She is also often an orphan or orphan-esque and acts childish for someone often over the age of twenty.

5) The heroine and her hero meet when he catches her at some type of criminal act or mischief.

6) Somehow hero and heroine don’t know each other, but they’re all over each other before exchanging names.

7) Hero and heroine get caught in a compromising situation due to trying to cover for heroine’s criminal activities, and to preserve her reputation the hero ends up telling people that they’re engaged.

8) Heroine gets into more mischief with something to do with political intrigue or property rights.

9) Hero moons over heroine and ways he will keep her safe and bed her, the conflicting notions make him crazy.  This results in several steamy make-out sessions and/or they just screw each other’s brains out.

10) Heroine tries to prove that she doesn’t need hero and does something stupid.

11) Hero steps in and saves the day, but we pretend the heroine did most of it on her own.

12) Epilogue explaining happily ever after.

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