What do readers look for in Contemporary Romance?
Dear Author Blog has an excellent article on the apparent disparity between what readers are looking for in Contemporary Romance – Single Title and Category- and the manuscripts Editors and agents are looking for.
What is REALLY interesting are the Comments to this post – including one from Nora Roberts – which clarify for me many of the common elements which I look for in a Contemporary romance, and which, hopefully, readers will find in my own work.
Top priority seems to go to:
* Wit – especially the banter
* A focus on the Intimate and emotional aspects of the relationship, not just the sex scenes
* No fake pseudo-conflict (”I had a bad prom date at age 17 and I will NEVER fall in love again!”)
* External and Internal conflicts which deal with relationships and emotions as part of character development
* Watching these two people fall in love and overcoming personal obstacles on the way.
These readers and writers all seem to love Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Nora Roberts, and many of the American authors published by Little Black Dress here in the UK – such as Rachel Gibson, and Susan Donovan. PLUS they recognise that some of the most authentic contemporary writing is from Harlequin.