Article: Reader To Reader

Reader To Reader
What Do You Like In A Romance Fiction Novel?
by Melissa Alvarez

I sat down to write this article and had a hard time thinking of a subject. What did I want to discuss today? About a zillion things went through my mind and I couldn’t decide. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

And then I wondered… what is it about a romance novel that makes me, the reader, like it?. What grabs me and pulls me into the world that the author has so painstakingly created for me to enjoy?

For me – it’s gotta be those first words on the page. I want to be grabbed by those words and yanked into the story so hard that I can feel myself falling into the world created by the author. As a reader I have to be caught in the story right from the beginning or I have a hard time getting into the book. Granted there have been times that I’ve struggled through a difficult prologue or first chapter and the story gets better as we go on but honestly, I don’t enjoy a book as much if I’m not hooked at the beginning. I want to spin out of control with the author’s words and stay that way until the last page. Am I asking too much? LOL Nah… there are a lot of writers who I thoroughly enjoy reading because of their skill in this area.

But what keeps me reading? The characters. That hero had better be a hero – larger than life and with biceps to spare!! But really – I want to see the qualities that would endear a real man to me – something that I can connect with. Let me feel his sensitive side and struggle with his inner turmoil. I want to know why he loves the heroine and watch him as he struggles with his emotions until he finally faces himself, then her.

What about the heroine? Strong, bold, sassy and a woman who isn’t taking anything off her man! A woman who can equal him if she needs to but can also be feminine and seductive. I want to see the heroine give the hero a hard time and make him struggle to prove he deserves her love.

And then there is the love – that’s what it’s all about. I want to see the love between the hero and the heroine from that first inkling of desire to the happily ever after. Give me everything in between too – the inner struggles, the conflicts, the “oh geez did I do that?” Let me see the couple as vulnerable, with faults that lead them away from each other and strengths that bring them back together.

Give me some mystery, suspense, sexual tension, awesome characters and I’m good to go. I’ll keep reading until the book is done. So how about you? What gets you involved in a good romance fiction novel?