Sunday, February 13, 2011

What Makes a Good Romance Novel?

A romance novel is a narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting. It where we escape into pages of words where we fall in love with the hero when the heroine does, kiss for the first time or make love finally, and where today’s heroine is no shrinking violet, but can take on the bad guys as much as her hero.

Even the author falls in love as she or he writes the story. You can’t help it. Any good writer worth their salt has to believe their story for their readers to believe it. Just because mine is mainly paranormal, doesn’t mean I do not believe my heroes and heroines are not real; not flesh and blood as anyone else! They want their stories told like any body else does.
What makes you believe in a romance novel? When do you first suspect you might find the hero a worthy fellow? Or really care for the heroine? Is it at that first line--that hook--or do you need to read more into the book or novella?
In this world of cynicism today, it takes a romance novel for us to follow our hearts. For a good book is equal a beating heart. It’s blood, sweat, tears and happiness all rolled into words that makes a romance dig its way into our hearts.
What do you think?

Sapphire Phelan

Go beyond the usual, instead take the unusual that stretches the boundaries and find romance with Sapphire Phelan's aliens, werewolves, vampires, fairies, and other supernatural/otherworldly heroes and heroines.


Purchase the erotic male/male paranormal romance, Dark Leopard Magic at Phaze Books.

Purchase the erotic urban fantasy and Prism Winner, Being Familiar With a Witch at PhazeBooks.


Greta said...

I have to be able to feel the emotions of the characters, be able to visualize them. I think you're right--if the author believes in them, that comes across on the page and makes them more real for the reader. You also know when they don't manage to make it work--because I know I have less of a connection to the characters and the story falls short. Great post.

Greta said...

oops...guess I need to leave an email

Anonymous said...

I have to be able to connect with the characters emotionally, also. If I can't do that, then the book isn't satisfying.

I also need the HEA. If there's a HFN, then there had better be a sequel. :)

doxymom said...

Sometimes I know with the hook. Sometimes it takes most of the book. It depends on how the hero acts toward the heroine, mostly.

Course, if the guy treats her like gold and then kicks a puppy (cat, or helpless anything) he's a creep to me forever. Know what I mean?

I like HFN/HEA and I prefer an ending with hope, not darkness.

Anonymous said...

I need to connect with the character, the good and the bad. And I want to know more about the character, in some books I feel after I finished the book that I still don't know the persons in the book.
I also need a HEA. There are enough bad things going on in the real world.

luciatea01 (at)

Amy S. said...

The characters are what make a good romance. I have to feel their emotions and I need to know that they will be together at the end.

Kasey said...

Characterization. Motivation. If I can relate to what a character is feeling, then I’m usually hooked, that is if the plot suffices. But yeah, good characters always make for a memorable romance read.

Sherry Gloag said...

If the character appears to be a brute, then he has to reveal the reason for his rotten behaviour very quickly or I just dump the book unfinished into the nearest charity shop.

Redameter said...

You gotta live the life they live and feel the emotions they feel and when you are done writing, and you've gone through all the emotions it's almost hard to stop writing about the characters because they've become so real to you. I liked to have never finished the Travers Brothers series. I didn't want to say goodbye.

Love and blessings

Cate Masters said...

Great post, Sapphire. We all need some romance to brighten our days!
cate.masters @

Maeve said...

Well said, Sapphire! A great romance creates another world to relax and escape life's stresses.

Michaela said...

Your blog really made me stop and think (compare) the stories I've read the ones that made me believe and totally fall for so much so that I could never forget the book to the ones that I liked/enjoyed but didn’t leave a lasting mark on me.

So here’s what I found: I love a romance novel that makes me feel that I'm watching the story unfold rather than being told what's happen. It's harder to connect with the character when I'm told what the hero/heroine is feeling rather than shown the why and reaction of them. It's the crux of show vs. tell. That's what hooks me to a story. Plus I relate more when the characters feel feelings that I can relate too, but are not used as an excuse. It’s real.

I absolute believe in a hero, even the bad boys, when he is honorable. I end up having respect for him. A hero could be a thief as a matter of survival or circumstances but if he has an honorable code that he is not willing to compromise, I'm all for him.

I’m very picky when it comes to heroines. I can’t tolerate ones that are too weak, whiney, clingy, or a victim. It just turns me off no matter how good the story, especially if the hero is has all the characteristics I love. If I continue to pursue reading it, I find myself irritated at the heroine and feel she’s not worth the male. Mind you, she doesn’t have to be a kick butt uber-alpha babe. She can have her draw backs and social dilemmas, but have sense of worth. Just one when I read it, I could easily step into the story and I can be her. Because when they are stripped of all the paranormal advantages/disadvantages, her characteristics are something I identify with.