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Favorite themes/plotlines/formulas in romance novels? and suggestions

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message 1: by Rhapsody (new)

Rhapsody | 5 comments It drives me nuts finding new authors/novels to read. I've found a few indexes that present authors and titles by genre (regency, contemporary, paranormal, etc.) and "if you like this author, then you'll like this other author" lists, but it's harder finding anything more specific and usually I don't much care what the genre is, it's the dynamic of the relationship that matters to me.

I like a lot of different themes, but generally speaking, my fav is an underdog heroine who needs to be coaxed out of her shell. Maybe she's totally broke and the hero saves her from destitution. Or some horrible trauma in her past has left her closed off and the hero helps her open up. It can be all sorts of things, so long as she's vulnerable and needs "rescuing" which takes most of the book. If he rescues her in the first 50 pages and the rest of it is her and him alternately in conflict/falling in love, I stop caring. I just cannot get interested in confident, strong, successful female leads. In RL, I'm an independent feminist; when I escape into fantasy-world, I want to enjoy a story about a delicate flower, you know?

So that's me! What about other people? I'd love to know people's favorite themes and maybe we can trade some recommendations.


message 2: by D. (new)

D. | 1 comments I prefer alot of witty banter - an independent smart woman and a playboy type man.
Some of my favorites are about the woman NOT looking for a man to sweep her off her feet.

I also like series books - like Lisa Kleypas's Wallflower series. ((leSIGH)) I like meeting the characters in one book, and getting to know more about them in the next few books.



message 3: by Rhapsody (new)

Rhapsody | 5 comments I like Kleypas. I've read I think 2 of her novels--I really liked the wallflower one with the shy girl who had the stutter, and I've been wanting to read her newish novel Sugar Daddy, but haven't found it in the stores. Her heroines tend to be better adjusted than I like, though. She's a great writer, just doesn't pursue the kind of plotlines I lean toward.


Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) I think I prefer the quiet heroine who has that inner strength over the feisty often too vocal about her independence heroine. But I read about both and try to judge on the plot vice the character type. Catherine Anderson has alot of heroines with that quiet strength. Johanna Lindsey, whose books I mostly love, has a few heroines that really made me mad. Some of her earliest works like Captive Bride and Paradise Wild I really disliked.


message 5: by calicheri (new)

calicheri I like books where the couple have a history. Maybe married and seperated, or first love.
I also like the witty banter and series books.


message 6: by Tina (last edited Mar 10, 2008 12:50PM) (new)

Tina My favorites are when an outsider comes in and shakes things up. Like Chelsea in Barbara Delinsky's The Passions of Chelsea Kane or Philadephia in Jayne Anne Krentz'z Golden Chance.

I also love books set in the south that feature a large family with lots of old family secrets. Like Nora Roberts' Carnal Innocence or Linda Howard's Shades of Twilight.


message 7: by BRNTerri (last edited Sep 15, 2008 03:06PM) (new)

BRNTerri I like a lot of different themes, but generally speaking, my fav is an underdog heroine who needs to be coaxed out of her shell. Maybe she's totally broke and the hero saves her from destitution. Or some horrible trauma in her past has left her closed off and the hero helps her open up. It can be all sorts of things, so long as she's vulnerable and needs "rescuing" which takes most of the book.
________

Rhapsody, a book that fits that description is my favorite novel of all time, AFTER INNOCENCE by Brenda Joyce.


Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) Tara, I like that too. Maybe not necessarily trapped but forced to be together for whatever reason. It seems to help the relationship develop whereas, if not, then the relationship may not ever happen. I also like the protective alpha male.


message 9: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (rednikki) | 3 comments I like it when the woman and the man rescue each other. The strong-woman-who-bested-everyone UNTIL THE BIG ALPHA MALE CAME AND TURNED HER INTO A WILTING FLOWER plotline makes me nauseated! Another plotline I hate: the Allegedly Capable Woman who becomes incompetent as soon as a Big Man comes along to rescue her.

I think Outlander has my favorite kind of relationship. Jaime and Claire are each great in their respective spheres; each one has a skill set that helps the other, and they negotiate a good relationship with each other.

I don't need the woman to be a kick-ass fighter AND castle-manager AND seamstress AND cook, only to find a man who is better than her at all those things. Maybe she's a great castle manager and cook, and he's a great fighter and negotiator. Or she's a good diplomat, and he's the iron fist in the velvet glove. But I like it when the couple has complimentary skill sets, and are each awesome in their own way.

I also like plotlines where the characters discover their own awesomeness, and help each other become amazing. "Knight in Shining Armor" by Johanna Lindsay does this, in a lot of ways.

Also, as D. said, witty banter, a strong independent woman who isn't necessarily pining for love.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Witty & intelligent dialogue, interesting & believable plot, acutal development of a relationship. I like to see some growth, as a person, as a couple, etc.

IMO character driven plots feel like the story has no direction. We just read a bunch of "stuff" and then whamo...the end.


message 11: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 1 comments I like a lot of intrigue, drama. Not necessarily together, forever happy ending.



message 12: by Fani *loves angst* (last edited Feb 02, 2009 02:33AM) (new)

Fani *loves angst* (FaniP) I love drama, witty dialogues, arranged/forced/convenience marriages, proud and seemingly unfeeling but deeply passionate heroes and less than perfect heroines. The "I'm beautiful, talented, strong, rich, intelligent, moral and with a heart of gold" heroine is a big NO NO. Also, supposedly "proud" rakes who in the second chapter realize they found their soulmate and spend the rest of the book on their knees begging her to accept their love is another NO NO.


message 13: by Bekah (new)

Bekah (Bekah317) | 1 comments After Innocence is a PHENOMENAL book. I just finished Patricia Gaffney's To Have & To Hold, and it is sort of that same theme too.... she needs saving. He's a total jerk in the first part of the book, but then redeems himself.

I like those books myself. She was a convict, needed a job, so he took her in as his housekeeper. I like the indentured servent ones too.

So yummy
Happy reading everyone..

Bekah

______________________


I like a lot of different themes, but generally speaking, my fav is an underdog heroine who needs to be coaxed out of her shell. Maybe she's totally broke and the hero saves her from destitution. Or some horrible trauma in her past has left her closed off and the hero helps her open up. It can be all sorts of things, so long as she's vulnerable and needs "rescuing" which takes most of the book.
________

Rhapsody, a book that fits that description is my favorite novel of all time, AFTER INNOCENCE by Brenda Joyce.



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