My first guest post while I am on my honeymoon is from one of my favorite people, author Chelsea Cameron! Also, don’t forget to check out my current giveaway here!
In honor of my friend Laura and her upcoming nuptials, I have decided to talk about the ingredients for a perfect literary romance, because, let’s face it, literary romance is most often better than the actual thing, yes?
When most people think of a literary power couple, they automatically go for Romeo and Juliet, right? Teenage boy meets teenage girl, their parents hate each other, there are a couple of swordfights and a secret wedding and then they kill themselves. Yes, the writing is glorious. I love the way Shakespeare writes and how he uses words, but the story doesn’t really do it for me. The whole dying thing doesn’t seem romantic to me, it just seems kind of tragic, which makes sense when you consider it is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies. But I digress. When it comes to romance, there are a few things that light my fire.
First, a great meeting. I love it when the characters meet in an unusual way, or something unusual happens during their first meeting. I love that moment when their eyes lock for the first time and they know their lives have changed, whether they realize it or not. I also love it when one character is in a compromising position and the soon-to-be love interest bails them out.
Second, CHEMISTRY. One of my favorite tropes is the I-hate-you-but-I’m-wildy-
Third, a mind-blowing first kiss. I want fireworks, and trumpets and things exploding. If they don’t kiss, they at least need to have a mind-blowing romantic moment. Something that makes me wish I was in the female character’s shoes. Something that makes my toes curl.
Fourth, a happily ever after. There is a time and a place for sadder stories, but I don’t normally like sad with my romance. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be sad moments, but I like to see the people end up together at the end. Otherwise, what’s the point of going through all the work it took to get them together, only to not see them together?
There are some other things that should be in there, like conflict and lots of cute banter, but those are the main things. Here are my favorite examples of books that have all the right ingredients of the perfect romance:
- Sunshine by Robin McKinley. A non-traditional vampire story, that is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. It’s a more quiet romance, and the characters aren’t physically romantic with each other, but the romance goes deeper.
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. If you want conflict and sexual tension, this is THE book for that. Scarlet and Rhett have the best back-and-forth relationship. Of course, it doesn’t really have the HEA, but there is the possibility of it, so I made an exception. Also, it’s a damn good book.
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. This is technically a Middle Grade book, but I still like to read it. It’s a re-telling of Cinderella, but the main character, Ella, is a pretty kickass heroine. She ends up rescuing the prince from Ogres. She’s fun and he’s charming and slightly awkward. It’s also romantic in the sweetest way.
- Anne of Green Gables (series) by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Talk about tension and a love-hate relationship. Anne smashes a slate over Gilbert’s head when he makes fun of her red hair, and the back and forth continues for YEARS. If you get a chance, you should watch the movies. They’re one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I’ve ever seen.
- Kushiel’s Legacy (series including Kushiel’s Scion, Kushiel’s Justic and Kushiel’s Mercy) by Jacqueline Carey. If you need earth-shattering romance, then you NEED to read some Jacqueline Carey. While the books are not erotica, there are some BDSM elements in them. Her writing is so beautiful, it’s mind-blowing. You heart literally aches for the characters when they’re separated and can’t be together, and you rejoice when they come back together and their passion re-ignites. You may need a cold shower
- Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel. Bram is a zombie. Nora is human. No, this is not a REALLY bad episode of The Walking Dead. The zombie in this book are more human-like. They’re able to talk and move, etc. This couple doesn’t let the fact that he’s dead and she’s not stand in their way. I also love their awkwardness with each other. Bram tends to ramble when he’s nervous, and it’s just beyond adorable. I have the sequel, Dearly, Beloved and I’m waiting for a few hours of un-interrupted time so I can devour it.
Hey, I’m Chelsea, a YA/NA writer from Maine represented by Kimberly Whalen from Trident Media. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, Red Velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer.I also can’t tell my left from my right, hence the name of this blog. [Left and Write]