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Coffee Corner > What makes a GREAT romance story?

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message 1: by Chantel (new)

Chantel Seabrook (chantelseabrook) | 56 comments Mod
What makes a GREAT romance story? Everyone has different tastes and preferences, but I would love to hear what you think makes a good romance story.


message 2: by Stella (new)

Stella Alden (stellamarie) | 117 comments Mod
For a great romance, I just MUST have a compelling, exciting story along with the love interest.I just LOVE new plots with a twist. I want a strong hero. He doesn't have to be physically strong, but powerful in some way. For me, the heroine also must be strong in some way; not a mousy thing waiting to be rescued.


message 3: by Tabitha (new)

Tabitha Barret (tabithabarret) Chemistry is important. I am an author, but I also review other romance books. There is nothing worse than flat chemistry. You can have a great story, great location, but if the characters don't have that spark it's tough to read.
I had to walk away from a review because every time the characters interacted it was shown from the wrong perspective and it felt disconnected.


message 4: by Sahara (new)

Sahara Foley (saharafoley) Yes, chemistry is very important, and not just all lovey-dovey. I love characters that have sparks fly, because they don't always see eye-to-eye. And I hate weak females. I'm not that way, and I don't want my heroines to be that way either. They can start weak, but they must grow and become strong.


message 5: by Stella (new)

Stella Alden (stellamarie) | 117 comments Mod
I agree... and I like a little humor...


message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen Gordon | 18 comments I second (or is it third) the motion about strong females. I cannot relate to wussy women. I look for a unique perspective, one where I learn something new about a culture or time in history. I loved "Outlander" and "The Bronze Horseman" series for these reasons.
The best are books where the author truly surprises me. I love a good, "well I didn't see that coming." It can be difficult to find really good steamy writing too. There have been several very popular books that I didn't finish because it was page after page of descriptions of how hot the two main characters are and lots of the author struggling to find creative ways to say he inserted tab A into slot B. Great steamy writing has more to do with the brain and the heart than the erogenous zones.


message 7: by Angel (last edited Aug 22, 2015 10:19AM) (new)

Angel | 4 comments I like and write strong female leads but, I want them to show emotion as well as conviction. Real life characterization is what I go for and complexity with dark, sinister, wicked and twisted humor. An alpha male, the same way but, all characters must be complex and extremely layered at least that's how I write my characters, with several intricate plot twists and where the romance is not typically the central theme but, just a supplement like real life. When other factors are involved than just the romance then that's the kind of book for me.


message 8: by Karen (new)

Karen Gordon | 18 comments Angel wrote: "I like and write strong female leads but, I want them to show emotion as well as conviction. Real life characterization is what I go for and complexity with dark, sinister, wicked and twisted humor..."
I agree, Angel. I think there is a false idea that strong females are emotionless and tough ass (usually physically). There is more strength in having emotions, owning them and continuing to struggle despite them.


message 9: by Angel (new)

Angel | 4 comments Karen wrote: "Angel wrote: "I like and write strong female leads but, I want them to show emotion as well as conviction. Real life characterization is what I go for and complexity with dark, sinister, wicked and..."

My point exactly, Karen. Showing the human side, the facets of humanity that's what I'd like to read.


message 10: by Peter (new)

Peter Glassman (pglassma) | 2 comments I write romance the way I experienced it. My love scenes are the culmination of people having more than a hormonal attraction. Lovers should make love to the person inhabiting the body not just the body itself.


message 11: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Glynn (nancyglynn) I agree with everyone here, must be more than just a physical chemistry, but a heart-to-heart connection as well. The romance I'm currently writing has a strong female that does things I would love to know how to do. I really admire her. She also shows her emotions privately but doesn't let them define her; she moves on. And my guy is more than just hot, he has depth and so much more to give. I also love bantering couples that helps move the relationship along. I guess I would market this story as contemporary? My book out now (a paranormal/suspense) also has a spicy love story that some readers wanted me to continue their story in a sequel, but decided against that. It's nice that my couple left an impact, but I'm just done with it and moving on.

I do love writing characters with great chemistry. It must make my toes curl! ;)


message 12: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Siegrist (amandasiegrist) | 13 comments This is hard for me to describe. I need good chemistry, a strong connection whether they want to admit it right away. Sometimes the struggle the main characters have admitting their feelings is a good thing for me. Plot! I need a good plot that moves me. Is the story moving along, or is it aimlessly going in no direction that makes no sense? I like a few twists and turns in my stories...things that make you go, uh, I didn't see that coming....but in a good way. And humor. If you can get me to laugh while reading, it's a great read. It doesn't always happen. And when I write in some humor, I'm laughing my butt off while writing. Might not be funny to others, but dang, it's funny to me:)


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Great characters. People who are well-rounded, three-dimensional, believable, and have a life and interests outside of romance. I can't stand cardboard characters, or predictable characters, or characters who seem to have no agenda other than to fall in love.

I also need conflict, and for that to be genuine, believable, and multifaceted. Otherwise, there are only "straw man" obstacles for the characters to face, and that isn't fun to read about.


message 14: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Browne (victoriabrowne) Stella wrote: "For a great romance, I just MUST have a compelling, exciting story along with the love interest.I just LOVE new plots with a twist. I want a strong hero. He doesn't have to be physically strong, b..."

I agree the hero has defiantly got to be strong and fierce. Or strong minded with a fierce sole.


message 15: by Joielle (new)

Joielle | 4 comments The characters have to have chemistry. They also have to be flawed so that readers can identify with them.

One thing I've learned is that if you're writing a series at some point in time you have to break them up and let them find their way back to each other. You have to keep the readers in suspense. They won't follow along if everything is perfect all the time.


message 16: by Stella (new)

Stella Alden (stellamarie) | 117 comments Mod
I have to add one more... and this is just a personal preference. It's hard for me to fall in love with characters that moan and groan and whine throughout the book.


message 17: by Elsa (new)

Elsa Winckler (elsaw) | 8 comments Great characters, great story


message 18: by Belle (new)

Belle Ami | 7 comments What makes a great romance read is a hero that makes your heart palpitate and a heroine that he can't resist, or vice-versa!


message 19: by Stella (new)

Stella Alden (stellamarie) | 117 comments Mod
Belle wrote: "What makes a great romance read is a hero that makes your heart palpitate and a heroine that he can't resist, or vice-versa!"


I so agree with that.


message 20: by Carmella (new)

Carmella | 1 comments What makes a great romance.....spark flying chemistry. I like my characters to have honor and pride but I want to see their human side also. Of course if it's the beginning of the book you see it their mind but it doesn't come out of their mouth yet, lol. Respect also, the characters may not be loving each other yet but they are showing respect for ideas or opinions.


message 21: by A. (new)

A. Hart | 18 comments Stella wrote: "For a great romance, I just MUST have a compelling, exciting story along with the love interest.I just LOVE new plots with a twist. I want a strong hero. He doesn't have to be physically strong, b..."
Check out my novel Braver With You. It sounds like you may enjoy it ;)


message 22: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Skaggs (cindyskaggs) Sahara wrote: "And I hate weak females. I'm not that way, and I..."

I agree, a story must have a strong female. Someone waiting around to be saved is one of my pet peeves.


message 23: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Skaggs (cindyskaggs) For me, a great romance is one I can't put down. The complications keep adding up to the point I wonder how the heck these two are ever going to resolve the situation.


message 24: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Feltner | 18 comments I can't put a romance down when the characters are beautifully flawed like myself. I love it when their connection is so strong that it's pretty obvious the universe, powers that be or whatever you want to call it has thrown them together so they can make each other whole again. I like believing that their love was meant to be.


message 25: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Glynn (nancyglynn) Debbie wrote: "I can't put a romance down when the characters are beautifully flawed like myself. I love it when their connection is so strong that it's pretty obvious the universe, powers that be or whatever yo..."

Yes! I so agree.


message 26: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Feltner | 18 comments Nancy wrote: "Debbie wrote: "I can't put a romance down when the characters are beautifully flawed like myself. I love it when their connection is so strong that it's pretty obvious the universe, powers that be..."

Yeah, isn't it every woman's fantasy to meet a man that makes her believe in life and love again, who heals her soul. It's all the better when she heals him right back. Their connection is set in stone when that happens. These types of books are emotional and powerful reads which is why I read in the first place.


message 27: by Stella (new)

Stella Alden (stellamarie) | 117 comments Mod
You all say it so poetically. I am also drawn to those where the heroine finds an inner strength that she didn't know she possessed. Her love of him draws it out of her.


message 28: by Elle (last edited Sep 08, 2015 07:31AM) (new)

Elle Griffin | 9 comments I am really flexible on what I read and I am often surprised at which stories I end up enjoying. So, I won't say that I absolutely have to have certain elements, but I need to relate to the main character. It could just be in a tiny way, like enjoying the same drink, but I have to feel like we have something in common or that I understand their viewpoint. If I can't see it from their perspective or understand their actions, it throws the story off for me.


message 29: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Madbury (rachelmadbury) | 2 comments I agree with you guys so much! I, admittedly, like some steam in my stories, but I think the thing that really gets me is the sense of healing, wholeness, and peace that the lovers find from each other. I love a good tortured heart being mended.


message 30: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Helen | 11 comments I agree with so much said here. I worry that too many writers just rush to the sex bit these days, looking for the FSOG shocker. I like to build up my characters to that wow! moment so the reader’s emotions build with them. Ironically, in my debut novel The Blue Rose I was concerned I’d left it a bit late for the wow moment but everybody loved that those characters waited, so I took this through to my new book Five Steps To The Harem, but made the initial encounters between those characters more electric and built up a wild chemistry that cries out for the wow! moment to happen.

And character wise: flaws and mystery for me. That is why Mr Darcy in P&P is so loved, because he is actually opposite to what you think you are getting.


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