I read a lot of romance novels and some of them can be rather repetitive, regurgitating the same old plot and the same type of characters. Nothing new, nothing surprising. So, here’s my list of things I want in a romance novel:
- A strong and intelligent heroine. I want a smart woman who makes smart decisions and does things for smart reasons. I don’t want a doormat, I want her to have a backbone. I hate simpering needy heroines.
- An intelligent hero. He can even be a geek. Sam Stark from JAK’s Trust Me is one example of a geeky, yet very sexy hero.
- I want really good chemistry between the hero and heroine. Palpable sexual tension that eventually leads to some steamy and hot love scenes.
- I want funny and light. I want delightful. I want great dialogue, smart and snappy lines.
- Conversely, I want conflict and darkness. I want dark and tortured, troubled and serious. I like broody heroes and heroines.
- I quite like older experienced heroines with younger men. I also like the Ugly Duckling type of story, where the Plain Jane gets the handsome hero. I’m also a sucker for first love stories, or love reunited types of stories.
- I want interesting secondary characters. But I don’t want them to overshadow the hero/heroine. The Jules/Robin/Adam storyline in SB’s Hot Target is a great example of this. As secondary characters, their storyline was far more interesting than the main characters, Cosmo and Jane.
- If it is a historical novel, I want depth and historically accurate settings. I don’t want the historical setting to be mere wallpaper.
- Babies/Children. I don’t like cutesy kids. They tend to come of more annoying than cute. I don’t find babies or children remotely romantic, so will avoid any books that mention them.
- Pregnant heroines. Especially heroines who are pregnant to another man who is not the hero.
- Books that end with a wedding and children. Please. Let me decide when that happens. I don’t need to be spoon-fed everything.
- Virgin widows. There better be a damn good reason for this! A major pet peeve of mine. I’d much rather read about a widow who had a loving relationship with her first husband.
- Obvious secondary characters that are being set up for further books or a series. Doesn’t anyone write excellent stand-alone books anymore?
Sunday, June 26, 2005