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.
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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.”