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Tuesday 20 March 2018

✉ Romance Must-Haves - Peggy Jaeger

Today author takes over our blog to tell us about "Romance Must-Haves". 

Peggy's  latest novel is Can't Stand the Heat (, Lyrical Shine, 357 pages), a Contemporary Romance, book three in the Will Cook for Love series.

"In addition to dynamic, flawed, individual characters that evolve organically and fall in love in believable, wonderful ways.

Peggy addresses complicated issues of grief, physical pain, and the emotional issues that often follow loss, all in a true, honest and respectful way.

The setting is unique, the story is real and the love is well-earned."
~ Ruby Scalera, reviewer

|| Synopsis || Teaser: Excerpt || Review || The Series || Author Guest Post || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

Romance Must-Haves 

by Peggy Jaeger

Most people who don’t read romantic fiction assume the story is filled with only lovey-dovey, gooey dialogue and lots of sex. After all, they posit, isn’t that why it’s called a romance?

Poor, ignorant souls. Romantic fiction has so much more to it than just sex and dirty dialogue.

For a novel to be classified as a romance it must first have a Happily Ever after ending. That’s the end all, be all. But to make it a great story in the genre, it needs a few more things that appeal to the romance reader.

In no particular order, I think those must-haves are:
  1. A heroine you can get behind and root for; that you can see as your friend.
    No one wants a romantic heroine who is a doormat, an unkind person, or someone with no moral fiber. You’d like to think she could be your bestie if she suddenly sprang to life off the page.
  2. A hero you could see yourself loving.
    If you can’t get behind the hero, root for him despite his quirks or questionable behavior, your heroine won’t either. And if the heroine can’t love him, the reader can’t.
  3. A story that connects with the reader.
    The romance genre crosses along all fictional lines: paranormal, doomsday, urban fantasy, historical, contemporary, humorous. If the storyline in any of those subgenres doesn’t ring true, or if the reader can’t suspend her disbelief in the plotline (dragons, anyone?) then the story will fall flat for the reader.
  4. Likeable characters.
    Even your villain should have some kind of redeeming value. Readers don’t want to see caricatures in the story.

    The hooker with the heart of gold who kills people because she must; the corporate raider with a big black handlebar mustache that he twirls whenever he plots revenge. Those characters are, for lack of a better word, stupid. Readers aren’t. They are smart and savvy and they want the characters in their books to be, too.
  5. A fully fledged story arc.
    There’s an old saying that if you show and mention a rifle over the fireplace in chapter one, you’d better explain why you referred to it in another part of the book.

    Readers don’t want to read a story where the entire plot and conflict could have been resolved if one character had just said something elucidating to the other. And they don’t want to be left hanging with an unresolved plotline. The days of cliffhangers are gone.
  6. Fully developed protagonists. As a reader I want to know why the characters in a book are acting the way they do. Characters with full backstories, real careers, relatable desires and wants make a romance story better.
  7. Romance.
    Duh! ‘Nuff said.
  8. A connection that goes beyond the superficial for the hero and heroine. Nora Roberts said once in an interview ( and I’m paraphrasing) that nobody wants to read a love scene between ugly people. Having said that, you also want the H/H to have some kind of connection beyond the fact that they are movie star gorgeous.

    Beauty fades. The characters must have some alternate connection, be it morally, spiritually, or anything else. They just can’t fall in love with the other because they are good looking. Your characters are going to have to talk to one another for eternity and if they don’t share some kind of connection other than the physical, eternity is going to feel like, well….eternity!
  9. If it has sex, a reason for the sex, not just gratuitous. Even in erotic romances the characters have sex for a reason, not just to scratch an itch. The sex in a really good romance novel is never about the physical act and always about the emotions involved in the connection between the H/H.
Delicious food is just an appetizer for life's main course:
the kind of love that feeds your soul.

Can't Stand the Heat
Available for Pre-Order NOW!

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peggy jaeger said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today and for introducing Cant Stand The Heat to your readers, followers, and fans!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Anonymous said...

Love your books! I'm looking forward to reading Can't Stand the Heat.

peggy jaeger said...

Joanne - thank you, my friend!! and thanks for stopping by today!

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading the guest post, thank you!

peggy jaeger said...

Nikolina - thank you. Enjoy your day!

Katie O'Sullivan said...

Wow - great post, Peggy! All great points, and something I've explained to many of my skeptical English major friends over the years. So looking forward to reading this book as soon as it hits my Kindle tomorrow! So. Excited. !!

peggy jaeger said...

Katie - thanks for dropping y and for being such a supportive pal!!!