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Creator / Simona Ahrnstedt

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Simona Ahrnstedt (born in 1967) was a therapist (and still works as this half-time) until she became one of Sweden's leading writers in the Romance genre. Her first three novels were historical love stories. Her debut from 2010, Överenskommelser, takes place in the 1880s. Betvingade from 2012 takes place in 1349; De skandalösa from 2013 takes place in 1685. While the focus in these stories is on how two lovers will find happiness together, other themes are explored as well. It's so easy to believe that rich people always have been happy. After all, don't they live in big houses, wear fine clothes, go to fancy parties and have servants to do everything for them? But reality behind the facade can be ugly, maybe even terrifying. And we only have to go back a handful of generations to end up in an era, when women had much fewer rights than what men had...


To find more tropes from the novel "Överenskommelser", click here.


  • Abusive Parents:
    • Wilhelm Löwenström of Överenskommelser abuses his own children until his son Edvard becomes a serial abuser sociopath and his daughter Sofia becomes an extreme doormat. While we don't know exactly what happened between him and his wife Harriet, she has become ill from unhappiness. But after his niece Beatrice becomes an orphan and has to live with him, she becomes her uncle's new favorite victim...
    • Illiana's parents in "Betvingade" are really bad as well. Her father is tyrannical, her mother is cold-hearted. They have no love for their daughter, and they even threatened her in front of the king!
    • Gabriel's father in "De skandalösa" seems to have fitted into this trope as well while he was alive, so much that Gabriel ran away from home when he was sixteen years old. Gabriel's mother was also afraid of her abusive husband.
  • Endearingly Dorky:
    • Beatrice Löwenström in Överenskommelser has a nerdy side, but she's a Bad Ass Bookworm.
    • Ossian Bergman in "De skandalösa" is a nerdy scholar, who has a Sensitive Guy and Manly Man dynamic with the more roguish male protagonist Gabriel.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • In Överenskommelser, Sofia calls Beatrice "Bea" (pronounced as "Beh-ah").
    • In De skandalösa, Gabriel starts calling Magdalena "Malla".
  • Arranged Marriage: Simona seems to love this trope!
    • Beatrice Löwenström in Överenskommelser is forced by her uncle into marriage with a man, who's like forty years older than her and treats women like dirt under his shoes. And it does NOT end well for her! She was lucky to surive the wedding night and that the old creep died only a couple of days afterwards...
    • Illiana and Markus in Betvingade are forced to marry each other, but it turns out well enough.
    • Subverted with Gabriel Gripklo in De skandalösa, who makes a promise to his mother that he will marry a girl from the aristocracy. But he falls in love with Magdalena, the story's female protagonist, and has to break that promise.
  • Babies Ever After: Överenskommelser and De skandalösa both end with the female protagonist being pregnant. 'Överenskommelser has an epilogue, that only has been printed in the paper-back version, which really is about the birth of Beatrice's and Seth's baby. And by that point, the two beta couples already have babies too.
  • Badass Bookworm: Beatrice.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Another favorite trope of Simona's. Beatrice and Seth from "Överenskommelser" might be the prime example, with their neverending tendency to misunderstand each other. But still, Illiana and Markus from "Betvingade" and Magdalena and Gabriel from "De skandalösa" have it too, as they sometimes have unnecessary fights.
  • Best Friends-in-Law:
    • Beatrice/Seth and Sofia/Johan in Överenskommelser have this kind of relationship. Beatrice and Sofia are cousins, while Seth and Johan were close friends even before they met the Löwenström girls.
    • Magdalena and Gabriel in De skandalösa have a friendly relationship with Gabriel's sister Nora and her gay lover Venus.
  • Betty and Veronica: In De skandalösa, Magdalena Swärd is torn between two men. She sees Peter Cronstedt as the boring but safe choice (the Betty), and even though he once betrayed her, she wonders if she shouldn't forgive him. By contrast, she sees Gabriel Gripklo as the exciting but dangerous choice (the Veronica), but since he's a high-ranked aristrocrat, she could never have an equal relationship with him. But it turns out that Peter really is a jerk, and Gabriel is willing to marry her after all.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family:
    • While the Löwenströms of Överenskommelser seem to be an ordinary upper middle class family, the sad truth is that Wilhelm is a cruel domestic abuser, who somehow managed to make his wife ill from unhappiness. He has also abused his own children, and has now moved on to abuse his niece...
    • Illiana Henriksdotter in Betvingade also comes from a screwed-up family, with a tyrannical father and a cold-hearted mother.
    • And the Gripklos of De skandalösa have their issues, with a tyrannical father and a neglectful mother.
  • Coitus Ensues: Simona's novels have plenty of sex scenes, and in Överenskommelser, we also get a really long rape scene. These scenes would have worked just as well (or maybe even better) if they had been shorter and less detailed. Many of them aren't even necessary for the plot. But they're still there, and "De skandalösa" is close to being pure erotica.
  • Dances and Balls: Ahrnstedt loves having balls and parties in her novels, where the upper classes can show off their fancy clothes, flirt and dance.
  • Decon-Recon Switch / Reconstruction:
    • Despite how all her first three novels are about the upper classes and their extravagant parties and their beautiful clothes, Simona loves to deconstruct the idea that material wealth and money will automatically make you happy. Beatrice in "Överenskommelser", Illiana in "Betvingade" and Gabriel in "De skandalösa" all grew up in rich but very abusive households. Seth in "Överenskommelser" and Markus in "Betvingade" have become rich through their own efforts, but that also means that many people will look down on them as irritating upstarts. The story will always end on a happy note though, as the protagonists can move on and become happily married. And yeah, of course they will still be rich!
    • Lily Tremaine in "Överenskommelser" is a reconstruction of the Gold Digger. is stupid enough to turn down Seth's proposal and ends up in an abusive marriage with a British lord, but she can later find happiness with a new man.
    • Seth himself becomes a reconstruction of Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places. He has been searching for love so badly, that he eventually gets an wrongful reputation as a Casanova, but he can find true love when he and Beatrice finally work things out in the end.
    • Beatrice and Seth are a reconstruction of Wrong Assumption. They have misunderstood each other completely over and over (she believed that he's a Casanova, he believed that she's a Gold Digger), but they can work things out in the end.
    • Seth also serves as a reconstruction of the Nouveau Riche. Many people think that he's an irritating upstart, who spends an insane amount of money on women, and the Old Money generally despise him. And it does not help that he can be mean unnecessarily mean and proud. But it soon becomes clear to the rader, that there is more depth to him than that, and in the end, he becomes happily married.
  • Ditzy Genius: Beatrice, who is very intelligent but suffers from a lack of common sense.
  • Fiery Redhead:
    • Red-headed Beatrice Löwenström in 'Överenskommelser is intelligent, competent and assertive. She's not affraid to speak her mind, even when that only makes her oppressors angry with her.
    • Averted with Beata Jensdotter in De skandalösa. Despite being a redhead, she's less fiery than the brunette protagonist Magdalena.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble:
    • In Överenskommelser, Beatrice (self-sacrificing, stubborn, impulsive and plucky) is the Optimist, Seth (a Knight In Sour Armor with questionable morality) is the Cynic, Sofia (a lovely but weak Extreme Doormat) is the Conflicted, and Johan (a Nice Guy, who will often take the middle ground) is the Realist.
    • In De skandalösa, Magdalena (a Broken Bird Stepford Snarker) is the Cynic, Gabriel (self-sacrificing, stubborn and impulsive) is the Optimist, Venus (another lovely but weak Extreme Doormat) is the Conflicted and Ossian (a Dork Knight, who will often take the middle ground) is the Realist.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • In Överenskommelser, we have Beatrice (a plucky Ditzy Genius Fiery Redhead) as the Sanguine, Seth (ambitious, arrogant, charismatic, Hot-Blooded and proud) as the Choleric, Sofia (a docile and timid Proper Lady) as the Phlegmatic and Johan (the almost flawless Nice Guy) as the Leukine.
    • In ''De skandalösa", Magdalena (a Broken Bird Stepford Snarker) as the Melancholic, Gabriel is (a Boisterous Bruiser Spirited Competitor) as the Sanguine, Venus (another docile and timid Proper Lady) as the Phlegmatic and Ossian (a Dork Knight Gentleman and a Scholar) as the Leukine.
  • Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't: Illiana in Betvingade is the White Sheep in a Big, Screwed-Up Family, so it's no wonder that her relationship with them (except for maybe with her twin brother, who dies at the beginning of the novel) is bad.
  • Happily Married: Simona has very few couples, who are happily married when the story starts. One of the few exceptions is Johan's parents in "Överenskommelser", who are obviously devoted to each other. Gabriel's sister Amelie in "De skandalösa" also seems to be happy with her husband, even if he always seems to have duties somewhere else. In the end though, both the alpha couples and the beta couples will have become happy.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Defied in "De skandalösa", where the Gripklos were really close to losing everything. But luckily, Gabriel was clever enough to make a new fortune through trade. (His family weren't exactly thrilled by him "lowering himself" so much, but they did need the money.)
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: In "De skandalösa", Magdalena Swärd (the story's female protagonist) ends up being a spicier contrast to Venus Dag och Natt, the girl who Gabriel (the story's male protagonist) has pretty much promised his mother that he will marry. Magdalena is the intelligent, brooding, cynical and more mature woman, who is not afraid to have sex with Gabriel to get what she wants (dark feminine). Venus is much more sweet-natured, beautiful, docile and slightly naive (then again, she might be a bit naive simply because she's only sixteen years old) (light feminine).
  • Lonely Rich Kid:
    • Beatrice and Sofia in Överenskommelser have each other and their companion Mary, but that's it.
    • Illiana Henriksdotter in Betvingade was unloved by her own parents and seemingly had no friends.
    • Gabriel and his sisters in De skandalösa seem to have been lonely children. But at least they had each other.
  • Marriage Before Romance: Illiana and Markus in Betvingade get this. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, they're forced to marry each other. But it turns out well enough, as they start falling in love with each other...
  • Morality Kitchen Sink:
    • Överenskommelser covers the entire scale of morality. White morality is represented by Beatrice (a good but still flawed Ditzy Genius) and Sofia and Johan (who are close to being flawless). Grey morality is represented by Seth (a Jerk with a Heart of Gold), Jacques (Seth's equally morally ambiguous friend) and Vivienne (a Good Bad Girl). Black morality is represented by the three (!) abusive misogynistic villains.
    • Betvingade has a similar set-up. White morality is represented by Illiana and a few minor characters, who will be good people. Grey morality is represented by Markus and his friend Stellan, who will come across as morally ambiguous. Black morality is represented by most of Illiana's family, with their long history of abuse and violence, and by Roland Birgersson, a sociopathic murderer.
  • Naked First Impression:
    • In Betvingade, Illiana is naked when she first meets Markus. She was abducted and taken to him while taking a bath!
    • In De skandalösa, Gabriel is naked when he first meets Magdalena. She had almost walked in on him while having sex with his mistress.
  • No Antagonist: There is no real antagonist in "De skandalösa". Gabriel's father was abusive, but he is now dead. It is revealed that Peter Cronstedt is a jerk, but you can hardly call him a villain. The plot is more about the different couples getting to know each other (and having a lot of sex).
  • Of Corset Hurts / Of Corsets Sexy:
    • Överenskommelser goes back and forth between these two different tropes. We get several allusions to how uncomfortable it can be to wear a corset, but a lady is expected to do it anyway. And if she shapes her body as much as possible, men will of course find her more attractive.
    • Magdalena Swärd in De skandalösa is happy to not have to wear a corset during a costume party.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • In Överenskommelser, three different couples are divided into two different "Onis". Beatrice and Seth are more rebellious and hot-tempered (red), while Sofia and Johan are more calm and laid-back (blue). Jacques and Vivienne, the second Beta Couple, is yet another hot-tempered red oni pairing.
    • De skandalösa has a similar set-up. Gabriel is an impulsive red oni. And while Magdalena tries to be a composed blue oni, she's really a hot-tempered red oni. Ossian and Beata are their more calm and laid-back blue oni Beta Couple. And we also get Venus, a sweet-natured and docile Proper Lady (blue), and Nora, an emotional Lady Drunk (red).
  • Romantic False Lead / Romantic Runner-Up:
    • In Överenskommelser, Beatrice has Alexandre St Cyr D'Aubigny and Seth has Lily Tremaine. But in the end, Alexandre and Lily hook up, leaving Beatrice and Seth free to finally get their happy ending.
    • Peter Cronstedt to Magdalena in De skandalösa. Magdalena considers forgiving him, despite that he had betrayed her. But he turns out to really be a jerk, and she eventually ends up with Gabriel (the male protagonist) instead.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: In De skandalösa, Gabriel Gripklo (seemingly roguish) and his friend Ossian Bergman (nerdy and noble) have this kind of dynamic.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Simona will have two protagonists: A woman and a man, who are the central love couple. But she will also show us the perspective of different family members, friends and even antagonists.
  • The Antagonist:
    • In Överenskommelser, we have Edward Löwenström, Vilhelm Löwenström and Count Rosenschiöld.
    • In Betvingade, we have Roland Birgersson and Illiana's whole family.
  • The Grunting Orgasm / The Immodest Orgasm: Simona Ahrnstedt combines these two in her sex scenes. And she's got plenty of them.
  • The Protagonist:
    • In Överenskommelser, we have Beatrice Löwenström and Seth Hammerstaal.
    • In Betvingade, we have Illiana Henriksdotter and Markus Järv.
    • In De skandalösa, we have Magdalena Swärd and Gabriel Gripklo.
  • The Sociopath:
    • Edvard Löwenström in Överenskommelser is a sadistic serial abuser of women. He makes a fourteen-year-old girl pregnant and then abandons her, feeling no remorse even when she dies after an abortion. He feels no sadness when his sister is seriously ill and makes sure that Beatrice is separated from Seth. He can't feel love even for his own family, neither can he feel gratitude. And he also gets bored much too easily, which actually is another sign of sociopathy.
    • Roland Birgersson in Betvingade has already murdered a woman and now plans to murder her son (who happens to be Markus Järv, the story's male protagonist) as well. And he's prepared to also murder Markus's wife and/or let Markus's six-year-old daughter drown to get his way. And to make things worse, it also turns out that Roland is Markus's father.
  • They Do: Överenskommelser and De skandalösa end in this very fashion and the couples get together.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Simona has two examples of this:
    • In "Överenskommelser", Beatrice is the Ladette-like and competent one, who will even compete with men in ice-skating and horse-riding, while her cousin Sofia is beautiful, demure and "perfect". note 
    • In "De skandalösa", we get a romantic couple example with Venus (a beautiful and docile Lipstick Lesbian) and Nora (a way more brassy and "mannish" Butch Lesbian).
  • True Companions:
    • In Överenskommelser, Beatrice has Sofia and Vivienne, and Seth has Johan and Jacques. The two beta couples Sofia/Johan and Vivienne/Jacques hardly interact though, except for in the epilogue, that only has been printed in the paperback version of the novel.
    • Magdalena and Gabriel in 'De skandalösa have a close relationship with their beta couples, Beata/Ossian and Venus/Nora.
  • Villain Opening Scene: Ahrnstedt followed this trope in her first two novels. In Överenskommelser, the prologue is from Edvard's POV. In "Betvingade", the prologue is from Roland's POV.