And here’s another insightful guest post, this time by Naida Milenkovic
of “The Bookworm” (http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/). You might already know her, since her blog is super-popular. If you don’t, just be ashamed of yourself and go check her website NOW!!!:)
Romance is one of my favorite genres for several reasons. A well written romance novel can break my heart, but in a good way. I expect no less. A great romance can be a nice escape from reality for a little while. I enjoy reading different types of romance novels from Regency to Contemporary to Paranormal Romance. For me to be able to enjoy a romance novel, it has to be well written, include strong characters and have a well developed storyline.
I like it when a romantic book is sweet and when the love between the main characters slowly develops.
In no particular order, here are a few of the other things I enjoy in romance novels.
– The Grand Gesture
The hero does whatever it takes to get his lady and to make her happy.
He climbs mountains, he rescues his heroine and he gives up his scandalous ways, if he has any, all in the name of love.
-The Love Letter
I enjoy a good love letter. In my opinion, in today’s fast moving tech savvy world not enough people make the time for this old fashioned declaration of love anymore.
One of my favorite lines in all of literature comes from Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
The hero, Captain Wentworth, writes the heroine, Anne Elliot, a love letter.
The first time I read this novel and read this love letter, I sighed and teared up. My favorite line from Wentworth’s letter is “You pierce my soul.”
How simple and how intense all at once that single line is. Austen knew how to write a fantastic hero, and a wonderful love letter.
-Strong Heroines and Heroes
I like heroines in romance novels to be strong and intelligent. I don’t like for them to swoon at the sight of the hero. To use Austen as an example again, one of my favorite novels is Pride & Prejudice. The heroine Elizabeth Bennet is strong willed, intelligent, and refuses to marry if not for love. She actually refuses the wealthy and proud Darcy’s first marriage proposal and would rather become an old maid than marry a man she does not love. What does Darcy do to win her over? Being the strong hero that he is, he performs a grand gesture of course.
-Right amount of Flirting and Sexual Tension
I enjoy the flirtation between the main characters and I like reading about that sexual tension as it slowly builds. Stolen glances and secret wishes are to the romance reader what luxurious chocolate is to the palate.
-Well Written Sex Scenes
Speaking of sexual tension, if there is any sex at all in a romance novel, it needs to be well written. A good romantic scene is passionate without being overly done and it doesn’t make the reader uncomfortable while reading it.
-Drama and Intrigue
I find that paranormal romance delivers these aspects really well. One of my guilty pleasures is Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series. This series centers around dramatic, dark and gorgeous immortal men, all of whom kick serious butt while sweeping the heroines off their feet. These heroes are the mysterious, tortured type and for me that can make for a great romantic read.
-Being Swept Away To Another Time and Place (the good old days basically)
A good regency romance can take you away and I enjoy reading love stories set in bygone era. I do enjoy a sweet, chaste romance and I look no further than Jane Austen of course, or Georgette Heyer when I am in the mood for a good regency love story.
Heyer had a knack for writing dashing heroes and feisty heroines, such as Frederica Merrivale and the Marquis of Alverstoke in her novel Frederica.
Austen knew how to write novels where romance grows slowly and where romantic love between the characters is the strong, enduring kind.
-A Good Ending Doesn’t Mean It Has To Be a Happy One
Some of my favorite romance novels do not have happy endings. For example, take Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind where Scarlett O’Hara does not get her happily ever after with Rhett Butler. What Scarlett does get however, is the hope of one.
One of my favorite Contemporary Romance writers is Nicholas Sparks. Many of Sparks’ novels do not end with happily ever afters, such as Nights In Rodanthe and Dear John, yet these are two of my favorite romantic reads.
The ending may be bittersweet or sad even, but if it’s well written and romantic, I’m satisfied.
So there you have it, those are some of the qualities I like in romance novels. These are the aspects in romance that keep me reading up until the wee hours of the night.
What are a few of yours?
Info about the blogger:
Naida Milenkovic is a mom, a bookworm and loves crochet. She enjoys historical fiction, science fiction, horror and yes, romance. She loves the classics, crochet, reading, blogging. Her favourite Films are: Gone With the Wind, Lord of the Rings, Moulin Rouge, Cold Mountain, The Godfather, The Notebook, horror films, 80’s films with John Cusack, Harry Potter, Pride & Prejudice, Last of the Mohicans. Some of her favourite authors are: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Wally Lamb, J.K. Rowling, Alice Hoffman, Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Philippa Gregory, Anne Rice, Nicholas Spark