Uncover the Three Bestselling Tropes in Romantic Suspense
Uncover the Three Bestselling Tropes in Romantic Suspense

Uncover the Three Bestselling Tropes in Romantic Suspense

To craft captivating novels, romantic suspense authors rely on the utilization of narrative tropes as a storytelling method. Tropes are common plot devices that readers and writers can expect to see in a novel. They assist authors in conceptualizing their stories. Not to mention, they provide guidelines for how the characters might behave and how the plot might unfold. This article lists the top three tropes for a heart-pounding romance.

Jumpstart Your Novel

According to Ayala (2020), romantic suspense is classified into eight plot types, each based on the main suspenseful element of the story. Three of these tropes have consistently reached the top of the Amazon Charts. So, let’s focus on the secret, the investigation, and the disturbed.

The Secret

This is a Gothic romance trope that involves a dark secret from the protagonist’s past or family. Usually, the heroine is isolated in a spooky location, and she must uncover the secret before it’s too late. The hero may be trying to unearth it as well. But the villain is often lurking in the background, ready to protect the secret at all costs.

In the novel Rebecca, the protagonist’s past holds a dark secret that plays a pivotal role in the story’s unfolding. The heroine, the new Mrs. de Winter, is isolated in the spooky Manderley. And she must uncover the secret of her husband’s ex-wife before it’s too late. A revived public interest in this trope emerged after the publication of Rebecca in 1938 and is still going strong.

The Investigation

The investigation is a romantic suspense trope in which the protagonists must investigate a crime to find the culprit. It’s more suspenseful than a murder mystery because there’s a sense of impending danger. The criminal goes to great lengths to thwart the investigation, but it’s the glue that holds the hero and heroine together.

Transform Your Novel

This type of story is in such high demand that Linda Howard has made a successful career out of it. In her novel Burn, the heroine is entangled in a perilous game of intrigue under the grip of a stranger. She transitions from fearing her captor to being captivated as she inadvertently becomes instrumental in aiding an investigation. Thanks to this trope, Burn became a New York Times bestseller.

The Disturbed

This trope combines psychological thriller and dark romance, blurring boundaries between right and wrong. Antiheroes and villains may live out past traumas, engage in violent retribution, and cause pain. Initially, the antihero is the bad guy, but then the protagonists may face a bigger enemy. This perilous situation draws them closer despite their past harm.

In the novel Twisted Me, the heroine’s life changes on her eighteenth birthday when the antihero abducts her. He’s a man whose ruthless beauty and tender cruelty captivate and terrify her in shifting measures. This premise was so successful that it expanded into a New York Times bestselling trilogy. 

To sum up, tropes are common narrative devices that readers and writers can anticipate encountering in a novel. The three bestselling tropes in romantic suspense are the secret, the investigation, and the disturbed. These types of novels have been dominating the Amazon Charts with remarkable consistency, and yours can do it too.


Ayala, R. (2020). Dangerous Love: Writing Romantic Suspense. Lovely Hearts Press.

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