For me, romance is not a category. On the contrary, it encompasses our lives, from that sweet moment of first love to a longed for trip on the Orient Express, filling our hearts when we least expect it.
Romance and love are not exclusive to each other. One can love deeply without romance. Or feel that delicious flutter of excitement about a person, song, or experience with no expectation of love.
Defining romance is like defining the wind. We feel it. We don’t know when it will touch us or how much it will blow us about. A romantic dinner evokes images of an intimate restaurant, roses, champagne, and holding hands. Yet, romance may be found on the ocean, alone in a yacht with whales and dolphins as our company.
Adding romance to a novel is easy yet ridiculously hard, because all of us respond differently. Some go weak at the knees when the prince sweeps the young woman off her feet. Others love a complicated story with messy endings. Or thrillers that only have a hint of romance, leaving us wondering what happened once the book finishes.
There is a fine line between too much and just right and it always comes down to the characters. For example, Christie is suspicious of expensive gifts and overt displays of affection. That’s what Derek and Gran used in place of real emotion. So, where would that leave a potential suitor if he failed to understand that?
I would love to hear what defines romance from you. Is it a perfect night out? That little, unexpected gift? An adventure with or without a loved one? Or perhaps the first rush of attraction when eyes meet across a room?
Tell me, what is your perfect romance?