By Santa Byrnes
I’m coming to you today, not so much as a writer, but as a reader. I love romance. More specifically, I love the idea (or is it an ideal?) of romance. The way a hero tucks an errant lock of hair behind the heroine’s ear. The catch in the heroine’s breath the moment her fingers brush against his.
Sigh. How romantic.
And, no, they haven’t had sex yet. It’s also well into the novel and, believe it or not, they’ve just met. Really. A good fifty or so pages in and they’ve just met, after ten years apart, at the local diner. She’s back in town trying to evade her ex and he’s never gone beyond the next town over.
The romance of their story – the meeting, instantly attracted to one another and neither willing to cross that line. They have to be true to themselves. They are on a journey of self rediscovery. Love has no place in that quest. A romance – whether for the long run or just to scratch that itch – is not on their personal itineraries. But they are pushing against what is clearly fated as their destiny. The discovery that what they’ve been searching for is the very thing they keep riling against is what drives their story.
But they’re not going to act on it….at least for another thirty pages or so. At least.
Is this kind of romance novel welcomed by readers? Can one be written where the hero and heroine don’t meet until the third or fourth chapter and don’t have sex until a few more chapters in? Can the sexual tension alone carry a book?
I have to admit, I am on the fence about this. A book that engages all my senses and keeps me at the edge of my seat is a rare find. Does that mean it has to be full of sex, as the one element used to engage my senses? Or can it be woven into the story, as one of its stronger points?
What have you come to expect and accept as a reader? Or as a writer?♥
My name is Santa Byrnes and I am a contemporary romance writer with one completed manuscript under my belt and one that I am working on at the present. When I am not wearing my writer’s tiara, you can find me at the wheel of my car chauffeuring my children heather and yon to their various activities. I write there. I don my deli diva tiara as co-owner and manager of my family’s gourmet food store. I also write there. As an ardent foodie, I get much of my inspiration for the current series I am working on. My heroines are chefs whose passions for the culinary arts rivals the passions they share with the heroes in their lives.