Dear Author: What I want in a romance novel
I was going to title this post “What romance readers want” but everyone wants something different, so I can only speak for myself.
This is what I personally want in a romance novel………
Hot Alpha Male Hero: I want my leading man to be someone who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. I don’t want a billionaire who runs a fortune 500 company. I like my heroes to be rough around the edges. They are strong men with an air of authority who are not to be pushed around. They walk in to a room and all eyes are on them. They know how a woman wants to be treated. They also know that ladies will not tolerate infidelity, so they remain faithful to their main heroine. This brings us to…
Relatable Feisty Heroine who is not a pushover: I want a sassy heroine who I can relate to. She should be flawed in some way. I don’t want to read about a super model with black-belt ninja skills who can save the world in three seconds flat. Who can relate to that? I want a real woman with real thoughts and actions. She has her own mind and doesn’t bend to the will of the alpha hero. She should make good decisions (Don’t go into the dark haunted house at night by yourself….does that ever end well?) and use her head.
Awesome Secondary Characters: Make sure the other characters in the book have their own personalities and act as more than stereotypical place fillers for the main characters to talk to.
Detailed Back Stories: I want to know why the people act the way they act. Where have they been? What happened in their past to explain the way they behave in the present? Tell me about their families, their friends, funny stories about their life. Which leads us to…
Humor: If you can make me laugh out loud, then you’ve made a fan for life. I escape to a book to forget the bad day at work or the boredom of everyday life. Entertain me and make me smile.
Realistic Sex Scenes: Please don’t use words that never come up in real conversations. Labia? Pulsating member? I don’t believe I’ve ever used those before. If you can’t describe something that I might use one day, then I’m probably going to skim over these parts.
Length: Not the main guy’s length, you depraved miscreants! I mean the length of the story. I want a BOOK, not a novella. I want to meet the characters, find out their back stories, and have a chance to get to know them. I can’t do that in 60 pages.
HEA: I need a Happily Ever After. As I said above, I read as an escape. I want a happy ending where two people ride off into the sunset together. I don’t want to invest my time and then have the main characters break-up. Real life has enough tragedy without bringing more into my fantasy world.
Here is what I personally do NOT want…….
Insta-love: It doesn’t make sense when two people meet and fall in love in thirty seconds. Build up some tension. I need “will they or won’t they?” back and forth moments. Unless the people are werewolves who can sniff out a mate, I’m not going to believe in the whole love-at-first-sight business. True love takes time to build.
Love Triangles: Really? The person in the love triangle has to decide which one is right for them? It’s a big enough challenge to find one decent person that you actually want to spend time with….and you’re telling me that you found TWO at ONCE who are equally appealing? Not buying that.
Cheating: Don’t do it. In real life it would be a deal-breaker. In fake fiction, it should be also.
Secret Millionaires: How many guys do you know in real life who are secretly filthy rich beyond all your wildest dreams? That’s what I thought. Money is not the key to everlasting happiness. Look at all the lottery winners whose lives were ruined. I rest my case.
Romeo & Juliet Miscommunications: So the girl is pregnant but she runs away because she doesn’t want to disgrace the baby daddy’s prominent family….but what she doesn’t know is that he loves her and desperately wants the baby and wastes YEARS looking for them….years that they could have spent together happily. Or the man has a criminal past he’s trying to hide from the woman, but his ex comes to town and blackmails him….so he takes off and runs instead of telling his lady the truth and it breaks her heart. Tell the truth, book people! Talk to each other! Most problems could be solved with better communication.
There you have it folks….those are my rants and raves about romance novels and everything that goes with them. Agree? Disagree? Something you’d like to add? Feel free to comment and give me your opinion. Thanks for reading!