There are many, many reasons to read romance novels. The reasons most often cited are the tropes; the emotional arcs; the characters; or the happily ever afters. I agree with all of those things, of course, but today, I want to talk about the other things. The things that aren’t always mentioned. The small things that make romances worth reading. That make them perfect. What things, you ask? Good thing I’m about to tell you 😉
Three Small Things That Make Romances Worth Reading
One: Main characters who are attracted to their partners for untraditional reasons.
I love reading about good-looking characters as much as the next person. But I really love when characters don’t fall for traditional things like good looks. Maybe the hero likes that the heroine makes jokes without smiling, so he can’t really tell it’s a joke. (Thank you, Talia Hibbert.) Maybe the heroine finds the hero who communicates through grunts annoying but also really hot. (Lucy Parker, ILY.) Anything outside of looks and charm appeals to me because it’s real. So, thank you, romance authors!
Two: When a main character does or says something unexpectedly swoon worthy.
I’m not talking about the traditional “I love you” or “you’re beautiful” here. I’m talking about a character who usually kills easily but refrains from doing so because they know their partner wouldn’t approve. (Hello, Mad Rogan.) (Mad Rogan is the only character who can make me think having an impulse to kill someone, but resisting it, is sexy.) Someone in my Facebook group said they love it when the hero tells the heroine “I’ve got you” in a supportive sense. I projected context onto this – a heroine who didn’t have support before but now does – and swooned. (Later, I thought about the reasons why this wouldn’t make me swoon, and concluded that context is important when it comes to the “unexpected”, haha.)
This is a small thing, and it might just be a me thing, but awkward characters in romance novels are perfect. I am awkward in person and awkward in my relationships, so when romance novels depict this, I feel seen. If that awkwardness is paired with the right partner, who doesn’t judge but enjoys? *SOB* Probably because awkwardness is one of those “romance is for everyone” things. Not only the smooth and suave deserve love. The awkward and fumbling do, too!
What are the small things that make romances worth reading for you? And do you have any recommendations for the above (that was a sneaky, selfish question, haha!)? Let me know in the comments below!
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