Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spicy With a Side of Cranberry Sauce

Hi everyone, thanks so much for having me stop by today at the Bootheel Cotton Patch.
I’d like to talk about the must haves for in Romances, because as a romance author and reader, I think it’s an important thing to know.
So I was thinking the other day what the ten MUST HAVES in a Romance Book. And here’s what I came up with. Now, because I write predominately Male/Female groupings, some of my requirements might be a bit slanted toward that, so I figured I would preface this list with what every single-pair heterosexual romance needs. But for the most part, these can be applied across the board. And since I’m also here to talk a bit about my book, An Affair Across Times Square, I’ll share with you how my book fills these requirements.

5 – A Worthy Hero. Whether he’s alpha, or beta, or somewhere in between – he has to be worthy of the heroine’s love. His worth is characterized by what’s inside, not his wealth, or his status, or anything like that.
My hero, Tyler Lachlan, is an alpha male. He’s a lawyer, but before you get all down on him for his lack of moral character or his slimy lawyerness, he’s not that kind of lawyer. At the start of the book, he works at a law firm that is doing a pro bono case for good PR, and he’s heading the defense team for a homeless man accused of murdering the mayor’s daughter. He knows the man is innocent and is determined to prove it. His ultimate goal is to leave the law firm and join The Innocence Project.
4 – A Kick-Ass Heroine. No, she doesn’t have to be a vampire slayer, or a scientific genius, or have superpowers or anything like that. But she has to be kick-ass in other ways. She has to have a strength of character, a brain, and an attitude toward life that doesn’t include whining!
Layla is a kick ass heroine in every sense of the word. She’s a lawyer who prefers to work behind the scenes at the District Attorney’s office, putting the bad guys away. She’s been asked personally by the Mayor to fly out to New York City and help prosecute his daughter’s killer. She prides herself on seeing the big picture, on crafting air-tight cases, and on being a strong, independent woman.
3 – SEX. I know that a lot of people will disagree with me. But sex is a healthy part of any adult relationship and I feel like that romances that are missing this part of the equation are leaving something very important out. Some romances have a Behind Closed Doors policy, and I’m not really against those, as long as the sex is there, even if it’s off screen. (Though I don’t read a lot of BCD romances.)
Well now this is an area in which my book definitely delivers. It’s go time from pretty much page one. Tyler and Layla start out by having sex… unconventionally, of course… and they build a relationship around it as the story continues.
2 – Conflict. without conflict, there is no story. Without something keeping the two (or three or four) people apart, you have no book. If they can be together and happy, there’s no reason to write the damned thing in the first place, really.
Tyler is all about his goals and his career. He doesn’t want any distractions from helping this innocent homeless man and keeping him out of prison. Layla is all about focusing on work and denying her needs because they always seem to get her in trouble. She’s been hurt a lot in the past and doesn’t want to make the same mistakes again. They’re also both in the midst of trying to craft murder cases, on either side. The story is rife with conflict, both internally as my couple struggles to come to terms with what they want and what they need and externally as they try to find a way to win their case.
And the number one thing a romance MUST have is…
1 – A HAPPY ENDING. This might seem like a no-brainer, but Nicholas Sparks doesn’t write romances (not that his books aren’t great). But they’re not romances because usually someone dies at the end. This is NOT romance  For a romance to be a real romance, the couple (or people) must end up together and happy.
Of course, my couple ends up together, but I won’t share with you the details. 

What do you think? Am I missing anything that you think a romance MUST have?

Thank you so much for having me stop by today! I’d like to giveaway one free copy of An Affair Across Times Square to a commenter who leaves their e-mail address on their comment.


An Affair Across Times Square is on sale at:

About the author : Rachell Nichole is a contemporary erotic romance author. She currently writes what she likes to call Sizzling Romantic Entanglements for Loose Id. She loves creating memorable characters and putting them through the paces on their discovery for and journey to love. Rachell lives in New York with a mountain of books, a loving family, and an evil cat named Godiva that she adores.


  1. Thanks again for having me stop by. I got a late start on advertising the guest post, so I'm going to keep the comment contest open through Friday!

  2. thanks for the wonderful blog post today! i had loads of fun reading it

  3. Thanks Laurie. I'm glad you liked it! :-)


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