There is nothing better than curling up with a good book, especially one that will get our hearts racing and our imaginations going wild. A good romance reflects back to us what a perfect image of love could look like – and that, my friends, is a very captivating picture.
So what is it precisely about romance novels that keeps us coming back for more? Romance authors were asked for their juiciest secrets to making romance novels simply irresistible.
Christy Deveaux, best selling author of WICKA: The Chronicles of Elizabeth Blake, explains that a romance novel allows us to explore relationship possibilities. “Romance novels enable us to live vicariously through perfect love stories. They allow us to experience something that we all want, to be unconditionally and passionately loved and needed,” she said. When asked how romance is intensified through a fantasy story, Deveaux explained
“Adding fantasy to a romantic plot creates a new world for the reader to fall in love with, along side falling in love with the characters. WICKA started out as a paranormal novel but almost immediately after introducing the male protagonist, WICKA evolved into paranormal romance. It’s just hard to resist two people falling in love in any world, real or fantasy.”
According to bestselling award winning author, LaDonna Marie, who wrote Eloquent Love Notes (2015 New England Book Festival Honorable Mention), people are attracted to the detailed coverage of sensuality and affection in romance novels. “In romance novels the writer creates an atmosphere of euphoric experiences that heighten the desires in the eyes of the readers,” she explained. “The readers are then able to feel and relate to something they have experienced or what they desire to feel as it relates to their own lives.”
A.G. Kirkham, author of Guard – A Satan’s Pride Series, agrees with Marie’s statement. “Romance novels are a forbidden fruit,” she explained. “We dream about the first essential kiss, the elusive mate that makes our heart sing. The feel, the taste and a connection so strong, that you can feel your hearts connect. I believe that my novels inspire others to own their own desires and make themselves open to love.”
If anyone would know what makes a stellar romance novel, it would be Kate Pawson Studer, young adult author and freelance romance editor (former editor at Harlequin). “I think what makes romance novels irresistible is managing to capture that dreamy, euphoric, and downright delicious feeling of falling in love,” she said. “Whether you’re single, just newly falling in love yourself, or in an established relationship, we can all relish in the sensation of falling in love, both through the gaze of characters we can relate to, and ones that take us on an exciting, unknown adventure. The sheer thrill of falling in love makes for a pleasurable, gratifying experience time and time again.”
What is love without poetry? We sourced out James Gordon, A.K.A. the G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive), author of Angelica’s Box, Angelica’s Box The Evolving, Revenge of the Orgasm and The Warmest Winter, for his take on romance written works of art. “I truly believe what makes romance juicy is treading the line of fantasy and reality. As someone who writes poetry that is both romantic and sensual, I never want to overdo it,” he said. “It’s a combination and balance of sizzle and the steak. Most of my readers are women, and they remark how they can place themselves in the scenario. I serve as a vessel for the created fantasy. It’s that feeling of being taken away from it all, and when the readers return, they still feel that it is possible to go to that place time and time again.”
You have likely, through one book or another, fallen in love with the male hero. We asked our lovely authors specifically what is it about the male protagonist that makes him so addictive and why we just can’t get enough of him.
Deveaux revealed that it’s the attention the hero in the story shows the heroine, where the possibility of finding exactly what you want, of being loved exactly how you want to be loved is intoxicating. “The male protagonist is supposed to give you everything you are longing for in your life, that’s why it is so easy to fall in love with him. Even if you’ve already found your “hero”, romance novels reinforce the love we already have and allow us to relive it.” Deveaux explained.
Kirkham has a unique twist on romance novels, as she creates stories about the modern day women who may be dating later in life and needs a different type of man. “I hope to have made the women leads in my books real women who have loved and lost. That being said, women have a tendency of shutting people down and retreating when they feel they can’t give anymore or they have been hurt too deeply and don’t want to feel anymore,” she explained. “My men have a dominant air, which push the female characters beyond themselves. My male character allows them the support and push they require to give more of themselves because they feel safe. Women want to feel safe, love and cherished. Men who love you completely read your eyes, read the words that are not being said and feel the hurt you feel. They want to protect and love because it is their innate function as a man to take care of what he holds dear.”
Marie enlightened us with her feelings of what makes the perfect male character so desirable. “Women are attracted to the male character because he is willing to fulfill the desires and needs of the readers personally. The male character says and does the right spontaneous actions that women want but often are hesitant to voice. The readers are attracted because they are enticed and seduced into the fantasy of what they are reading.”
Pawson Studer also provides the secret to creating the alluring hero we would all love to call boyfriend. “When it comes to romance, there’s nothing sexier than a strong, confident hero who has the utmost respect, admiration, and passion for the heroine,” she revealed. “Sizzling chemistry is one thing, but we all have needs beyond that initial, raw attraction—those things in a relationship that make us feel whole. Intimacy. Trust. Devotion. A hero who sees the heroine for who she is, falls for her because of who she is, and then not only knows how to be the person she needs, but wants to be that person more than anything is what makes for a perfect book boyfriend.”
At some point in our lives, we will all crave an authentically loving relationship. In reading a romance, we get to explore and discover a mysterious, romantic stranger, along with the main female character; a stranger who allows the heroine to be or have anything she needs. It becomes very easy to let our imaginations swirl and surrender into this wonderful magic called love.
Whether it be steamy or sweet, celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a romance novel that will get your hearts racing and open new love possibilities in your mind.