Sunday, June 3, 2012

3 Things I Want In a Good Romance Story

3 Things I Want In a Good Romance Story

Everyone is different, that’s a given. But the more I read and write and interact with other readers and writers, the more I realize the amazing difference in what each person likes or doesn’t like in their romance tales. Here’s my list of “musts” for anything I read or write.

1. A happy ending.

It doesn’t have to end with a marriage proposal, or even an “I love you”. But it does have to end with the feeling that the protagonists are going to make a go at a relationship. I HATE a story where I get invested in the characters and then they break up or one of them dies. Here are the facts as I see them:

Riding off into the sunset SUCKS.

And while “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.” is a fabulous line, it’s a terrible ending (though why anyone would want to be with Scarlett, I don’t know – so I really couldn’t blame Rhett).

Romeo and Juliet weren’t romantic, they were stupid (though the play has some fabulous lines). They could have avoided all their drama if they’d just been a smidge more patient and ... yanno... TALKED to each other.

When that crap happens? I swear, I’ll burn the book and then burn a picture of the author for good measure and then add them to my list of “I’ll never buy your books again, and will make it my life’s work to tell other people how horrible your story is.” Yes, I’m a little passionate about my happy endings.

2. Sexual tension.

Okay, yeah, I write erotic romance so it’s going to have sex or readers are going to be pissed. But even better than the sex act itself? That delicious anticipation leading up to it. The gut-tugging awareness. The little zings of desire dancing up and down your spine.

:::shivers with delight:::

I love nothing more than to read stories filled with tension and hate when characters meet and then just get it on. Where’s the fun or the romance in that? Draw it out a little. Make the sex a reward, the much anticipated dessert, not the appetizer.

3. Characters who like each other as well as (eventually) love each other.

I can’t buy the stories where the characters spend the entire time screaming at each other (despite their overwhelming attraction for each other) and then end up madly in love at the end. Really? I’m a big believer in people needing to like each other in order to romantically love each other. If not? Then it’s lust, not love.

What about you? What things MUST you have to really enjoy a book? I’d really like to know.

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1 comment:

Catherine Lee said...

Those are three things I like in a romance too. I also like a little fun and a heroine with a little spark and spink.