The Perfect Romance Novel and Summer Reading
Last Sunday I started talking about the perfect romance novel because, primarily, I had just read one that if asked I would most certainly take with me to a deserted island. That would be Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston in any format. That story had everything I look for in a romance story and I’m still basking in the afterglow it has left behind. It’s one of my top ten this year.
And it made me start thinking about the qualities of a perfect romance novel. What would they be?
Turns out that formula is one that hundreds perhaps thousands of authors are in search of as well. Many are certain they have it if the articles I found online are any indication. If that were true, there would be far more perfect novels out there (and maybe there are) then I have come across or read about. It’s like looking through a telescope. You can only see so many stars, there’s always some just outside your vision.
But back to what I did find. Which was fascinating.
One article here at the Huff Post, the writer (a published romance author) lists the following as her requirements for a perfect romance novel:
- Have a story.
- Not too much story.
- The Sum of its Parts
That got me thinking. Can you have too much story? Can you have a great romance novel without sex? For me the answer is yes and yes. Especially within the LGBTQIA spectrum and including YA stories. I have read wonderful books where sex is not a component. Upside Down by N.R. Walker, Antisocial and The Roosevelt series by Heidi Cullinan to name a few. Too much story or too many details? There’s a difference to me. A density not in layers but in not being able to know when to let go of the miniscule and the unnecessary.
What do you all think?
Think about Jane Austen for ffs. Where’s the hot and heavy sex in that? Climbing gently down off the box.
So the essential formula for any romance is (and should be updated in this age)
Person Meets Person
Person loses Person
Person Gets Person
Then there’s the plot:
Three of the most popular romance plot devices are:
Friends become lovers
You’re my soulmate, it’s fate
This is my second chance to love again
Then what happens after that? Narrative magic, depending upon the author. They choose the setting, the genre, the characters. They bring their imagination, their own skill base and travels, history, and in some cases ability to research to the story.
And something elusive. Shrugs. That ability to add a spark of life, of magic to the page that let’s us, the reader, into something timeless, moving, and sometimes impactful. Books to remember.
I have those. I’m sure you all do as well. What books are sitting on your shelves? What books have continued to make the greatest impressions? Are any of them romance novels? Who are or were the authors? Let us know!
Meanwhile, try to stay cool. Dog days of summer are upon us. Bring out the umbrellas, the ice tea, the occasional sprinkler and enjoy your books in every format. Have a great week.
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, August 4:
- Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Team Luker by Nell Iris
- The Perfect Romance Novels and Summer Reading
- This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Monday, August 5
- Review Tour – Jay Northcote – Nothing Ventured
- Review Tour – Sword Dance by AJ Demas
- BLOG TOUR Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker
- An Alisa Review: The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron
- A Lucy Review : Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote
- A MelanieM Review : Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
- A Free Dreamer Review : Saviors: Duty and Sacrifice 1 (The God Jars Saga #1) by Devon Vesper
Tuesday, August 6:
- Release Blitz – MJ O’Shea’s Chef In Disguise
- Release Blitz Jay Hogan’s Digging Deep
- AUDIO TOUR Out in the Field by Lane Hayes
- A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1) by Jay Hogan
- A Lucy Review : Team Luker by Nell Iris
- An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Unbroken (Hearts Entwined #4) by Andrew Grey
Wednesday, August 7:
- In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
- Release Blitz – Thomas Grant Bruso ‘s The Two Of Us
- Book Reveal SOULBOUND #3 by Hailey Turner
- An Alisa Review: Hybrid Incubator by Meraki P. Dark
- A Stella Review Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble and John Solo
Thursday, August 8:
- PROMO Gene Gant
- Blog Tour- Small Town Sonata
- A Stella Review: A Pocketful of Stardust (Aster) by JP Barnaby & Rowan Speedwell
- A VVivacious Review: Toy by R Parr
- An Alisa Review: Rules to Follow (Davey’s Rules #1) by Susan Hawke
Friday, August 9:
- Release Blitz Heel by KM Neuhold
- Release Blitz for Release (Rent Boys #1) by A E Ryecart
- Review Tour – Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
- A Free Dreamer Review: Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
- A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: World Turned Upside Down by Elyse Springer
- A Lila Audio Review: Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)
Saturday, August 10:
- A MelanieM Pre Release Review: The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe