I come from a pretty small family. I was an only child, and my parents both lived several hours' drive from their families, so often it was just the three of us. I didn't have very close relationships with my first cousins, even. One set of grandparents lived in Mexico half the year -- the half that included Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Christmas -- so there was always distance there too.
I like to play around with family a lot in my novellas. Sometimes, in the form of an overbearing brother, like inLeBon Dom.
Sometimes it's creating strong parent/child relationships, like Josephine and Josiah in Salt and Strong Rum.
Josiah is Josephine's only parent who's present. He's raised her, given her a trade in their charter boat business, and is basically all the support she has in the world... until she meets Cliff. And, of course, Josiah is the one to convince her to go after Cliff when she doubts the possibility that she can love and be loved.
I used to write a lot of fantasy when I was a kid. I was big into sword and sandal comics, books, and movies. Conan the Barbarian was a favorite, as was the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce.
I sort of left my love of fantasy by the side of the road for many years in favor of science fiction, but recently I've delved back into it, and this light fantasy romance is the first fruits of my labors. I think more will probably follow, set in this world or others.
What's your favorite fantasy trope, readers? What do you absolutely have to have in a fantasy romance to love it?