I'm reading a historical romance by Christina Dodd right now. Almost finished it last night. It's a sensual regency with a hero out for revenge, a downtrodden virginal heroine who meets the hero under false pretenses, loses her heart (and wins his) and then elevates herself by fighting to keep him.
Very cliche plot, yet it's a very good read.
In a 2010 article in RWA Journal, Ms. Dodd argues that the plot of every romance story is a cliche. That writers should think of them as myths--universal stories that people (esp. women) never tire of hearing. That we should not worry so much about finding new plots. We just need to tell mythical stories with a fresh voice. Our voices, unique and individual.
Readers will never tire of the same old story, as long as it is well-told.
This is great news, as a persistent voice inside of me worries that when I finish my WiP, there will be no need for my story.