Author Topic: What do you look for in a romantic novel?  (Read 1033 times)  

Offline joseph80

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What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« on: November 05, 2016, 09:17:37 PM »
I make it a point to write tastefully yet entertaining love stories. What do you like in a romantic novel?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 11:40:17 PM by joseph80 »

Offline Shanna Moncuse

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2016, 08:51:42 AM »
I'm not into romance novels but my sister is. So I'll tell you what she looks for.
It has to have an actual plot and not just be about sex, sex, sex. Also, the characters have to have a real connection, not like insta-love or where they're clearly only physically attracted to each other. There has to be more substance.


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Offline crebel

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2016, 10:43:22 AM »
To me, there is a difference between a romantic novel/love story and a Romance (note the capital R).  A romantic novel can be any genre with a romantic sub-plot in it and often end up being bittersweet.  A Romance novel has expectations of, requirements actually, being at least a HFN (Happy For Now) or HEA (Happy Ever After) ending.

I prefer Romance novels. Any heat level is okay with me, as long as it isn't gratuitous.
A book, I think, is very like a little golden door.
That takes me into places where I've never been before.
It leads me into fairyland or countries strange and far.
And, best of all, the golden door always stands ajar. - Adelaide Love

Offline joseph80

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2016, 10:34:19 PM »
Thank you both for the feedback! I'm asking because I received positive feedback from my first book and I'm working on the follow-up

Offline crebel

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2016, 07:48:38 AM »
Thank you both for the feedback! I'm asking because I received positive feedback from my first book and I'm working on the follow-up

You might want to ask in the Writer's Cafe then to avoid any self-promotion which is not allowed in this forum of KBoards.  Good luck!
A book, I think, is very like a little golden door.
That takes me into places where I've never been before.
It leads me into fairyland or countries strange and far.
And, best of all, the golden door always stands ajar. - Adelaide Love

Offline Heffnerh

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2017, 02:32:05 PM »
I like tension and self-discovery, where it isn't clear right away who the love interest will be. I like romance books grounded more in reality where there are disappointments and people let you down, but that helps you more clearly know what it is you want/don't want in a romantic partner. Good luck!

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http://heatherheffner.blogspot.com/

Offline KyleConnor

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 04:51:04 AM »
I look for Logic. I don't like to read romantic stuff that's over the board unreal. Make the stories real that people can believe can occur to them.

Online Lorri Moulton

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2017, 09:52:10 AM »
I make it a point to write tastefully yet entertaining love stories. What do you like in a romantic novel?

I am a big fan of romance/suspense or even a mystery.  The characters have to work together to solve a problem, challenge, murder, what have you...and grow to appreciate each other's abilities and insights.  That leads to a more realistic romance, rather than just the last two single people in the room or in a group of friends.


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Offline BiancaSommerland

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 08:00:32 AM »
The same thing I look for in any book.  8)

Seriously though, I love great characters I feel like I could meet in real life. I love action and danger and excitement. I love stories that make me feel for the hero(es) and/or heroine(s).

Not sure what you mean by 'tastefully', but I do enjoy when you can practically taste certain things.

Though that would be more 'tasty' love stories.

I love tasty love stories.  ;)


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Offline Erin Zarro

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 04:42:46 PM »
I am a sucker for a good love story. The ones that wow me are where the characters have to work for their HEA (same as how I write my books, actually!). I like sex, but it has to have a plot reason. I'm not big on insta-love, but within some genres it does happen (like in fantasy, with mate-bonding). I'm especially fond of the enemies to lovers trope.

Offline dzbess

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 07:03:43 PM »
I love a rough beginning and a happy ending.
Also, the characters should have great dialogues and good witty banter always makes the book more enjoyable.

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Offline AlexLMichaels

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2017, 02:12:42 PM »
I make it a point to write tastefully yet entertaining love stories. What do you like in a romantic novel?

I like a strong heroine and alpha male hero. I like it when the story has intensity, humor and a good sex scene.
I like the cliches of the genre, because I think they are the main ingredients for a good romance novel, but when there are certain original ideas mixed into it, then it can be perfect.  :)
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Offline Ryn Shell

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2017, 01:45:28 AM »
Heroes worth caring about. Heroes you want to see connect romantically because they can do more together, be more together, be happier together than apart.
A hero, male or female, treats others with respect. Romantic heroes exude respect for others.
I have a zero tolerance for uninvited or violent sexual approaches by anyone, so my heroes never make uninvited sexually aggressive moves on others. I enjoy a well written love scene. My idea of good sex is love making, not lust making.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 02:02:18 AM by Ryn Shell »

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Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2017, 09:20:50 AM »
As has been mentioned, Romance novels (capital R) have to be about the romance and have an HEA ending (or HFN). I prefer novels where the romance is the sub plot and there is plenty of URST (unresolved sexual tension). John Gordon Davis said ALL novels should have some URST, and he is probably correct  ;).

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Offline mjl1966

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Re: What do you look for in a romantic novel?
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 11:25:28 AM »
Probably an outlier response here, so it may not be all that useful, but I really wish there was a "Romantic Tragedy" genre.  I personally love a good story where the two of them want to be together, need to be together, should be together, but the Universe says "no."  In the form of something bigger than the heroes.  I'm a sucker for those end-of-the-world movies.  Gyn and Cassian on the beach in Rogue One - I loved that moment.  They don't even get to kiss because they've been too busy sacrificing themselves to save the world.  LOVE that sort of thing.  To death.

I would cite Gone With the Wind, but that's more about Scarlett's shortcomings, so it's not quite what I'm talking about.  I don't like contrived tear-jerkers, either, although Nicholas Sparks is a guilty pleasure.  I just like love stories with a sad ending. 

But most Romance readers do not.  I get the feeling some Romance readers may very well hunt you down and beat you to death with their Kindle Reader if you don't have HEA or HFN.  :P (i.e. - Respect the genre.  If it's in the Romance genre, they gotta' win.) 

I absolutely hate abusive relationships.  The whole dysfunctional thing in 50 shades left me feeling kind of mad.  I wanted to beat Christian to death and drink his blood from a boot. (apologies to Lee Child.)  Conflict, drama, consternation and a good heated argument, or even life-and-death contests between the heroes- you bet.  But outright emotional abuse up close and personal is a 100% turnoff.  I also don't like "alpha sex."  I love Nora Roberts, but she does this sometimes and it's a turnoff.  The heroine should be burning for him before they even kiss.  It's what she wants.  What she needs.  When it's what he wants and he just has to have it and will take it no matter what - ick.  But, if he's totally consumed by her and is willing to go through the trials and tribulations to earn that kiss, well there you go.

I also hate insipid heroines.  Give me a woman with curves and a passion for something besides the hero.  Then make her fight for it.  That's hot.

And I'm sick to death of sex as a substitute for passion.  Honestly, I don't need a love scene.  Not a single one.  I prefer consummation on a higher plane - where their souls bond to the ends of the universe.  Something transcendental. 

Like I said, I'm a bit of an outlier, but there's my .02.