Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GUEST: Mysti Holiday

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. When that 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. But even better than the 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 that and hate when characters meet and then just get it on. Where’s the fun or the romance in that?

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.

You can find Mysti at:


When Karin Lattimer moves across the country and her over-protective brother asks his friend Caleb Hawkes to keep an eye on her, she’s more than annoyed…she’s turned on. The attentive cop is a walking wet dream, but Karin knows he’s only hanging around out of a sense of duty. Acting on her crazy attraction would reveal more than the man’s buff body—it would also reveal her heart.

Caleb is well aware that Karin is all woman. He can’t keep his eyes off her and his hands itch to touch her. But she’s not one-night-stand material, and he firmly believes cops make lousy partners for long-term relationships.

Still, thinking clearly isn’t a top priority when Karin and Caleb finally touch. Sparks fly and barriers melt away as easily as their inhibitions, but can she convince him there's more to life than playing it safe?


She grabbed her cell phone and texted him for the eight-hundredth time.

Need ur muscle, u jerk. U scared of me?

She hit send and leaned back in the grass, soaking up the sun and figuring she’d have to take the stupid car to some quick lube place. She couldn’t do it today...not enough time before work to drive into town and back. She’d have to do it tomorrow as soon as she woke up.

A shadow fell across her and she opened her eyes in surprise.

“I’m not scared of you, but you should be a little more careful laying out here in an open invitation.” Caleb shoved his sunglasses up his nose a bit and watched her.

“Open invitation?” Karin snorted. “Besides the fact those ugly hedges are as tall as you and twice as thick, it’s not like I was lying here like this…” She spread her legs and lifted her shirt until the swell of her naked breasts showed at the hem. Caleb’s nostrils flared, and she wished she could see his eyes.

“...or doing this.” She put her index finger into her mouth, sucked on it and then trailed it down her shirt until she found a nipple. Her finger circled the nipple until it poked against the thin cotton tank, then repeated the action on the other one.

“…or sounding like this.” She moaned and squirmed her hips just a bit.

“Jesus, Karin.” He looked around to see if anyone was watching. “You should be illegal.”


  1. Ohhh sounds wonderful. I am off to buy it :D

    Thanks for coming by and sharing with us.

    Morning D.

  2. I so hear you on point #3. I can never understand why people do this. Great post, Mysti.

  3. Mysti,

    I don’t comment much, and more often lurk, but this post was a rare occasion to draw me out.

    I will admit, I can agree with some of what you said. However, “number one” gave me sufficient pause to think about yours words—no matter what you meant, but how they come across. I have to admit, I expected an author to have a decent vocabulary, maturity and daresay a sense of courtesy?

    Perhaps, I was wrong.

    I respect good/great authors—I really do, and now, I have no idea if you are one, because of the comment “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’.” I didn’t make it past the third important element of romance, to actually see what you write about. Nor will I.

    I would expect authors, as a rule, would hold themselves to a respectful level for other authors and their hard work, and not outright bash them and make such crude comments, where us; the readers, agents, publishers and people within the literary community can read them. If it had been worded differently, I wouldn’t have minded in the slightest.

    Quite frankly, it is to each their own, and for you to show such low-class puts me, a possible reader, off enough to never give your work a second glance.

    I suppose, it is feasible to lower myself down at your level, and say if I ever came across one of your books, I would burn it in a metaphorical show of solidarity to those who write what they feel. However, I love books too much and respect people’s ability to produce them in any way they see fit. I wouldn’t do nor say that to anyone—whether I hated it or not.

    You may or may not respond to this. I do not know, because I won’t ever check. But you have your opinion, and now, I have mine.

  4. Oh, so true, on all three counts! At least in my Romance reading, I MUST have a happy ending or a HFN. Otherwise it's not a romance, it's something else.

    I'm also not pleased when characters are just downright mean to each other. A little snarking, a little trash talk, fine. But some of these couples get downright vindictive and nasty. ick.

  5. It sounds hotter every time I read an excerpt.

  6. Thanks so much for visiting! I'm sorry I'm late, the week got a little ... hmmm.. hectic. But I'm trying to touch base.

    RE: my three things -- the most important is a happy ending. Nothing irks me more than a sad ending in a "romance".

    Denyse, thanks so much for having me!

  7. Was my pleasure, Mysti - thank you for stopping by on your tour - and I wish you MUCH success and tons of sales!!! Stop by anytime, ok?

    Blessings, always ~


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.