Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What a girl wants

I’ve been thinking lately about what I want. In particular, what I want in a romance novel.

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.
And now for a few things I don’t want in a romance novel:
  • 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?
Originally published in Poptart - Musings of a Pop Culture Tart
Sunday, June 26, 2005

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5 comment(s):

Anonymous Aggie said...

Amen/ditto to both lists

3/28/2006 12:59:00 AM  

Blogger Erin said...

You may be asking for a bit much Tart ;)

3/28/2006 11:58:00 AM  

Blogger Jill Monroe said...

In romantic suspense, it's always the slutty best friend of the heroine who gets killed by the serial killer.

3/28/2006 12:00:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Love this list! Except with you not wanting excerpts LOL as i want that.

I've never read JAK's Trust Me. Hmm, you make this Sam Stark sounds really good.. :P

3/28/2006 04:30:00 PM  

Blogger SemperLuc said...

Have you read The Fountainhead? It should fit.

4/13/2006 01:28:00 PM