It is my pleasure to share a guest post from author Kella McKinnon who lets us know...
What I want from a good romance…
I may be an author, but I’m an avid reader as well, and I love a good romance! But what is it about a great read that keeps us up all night turning the pages? Here are some of the things that in my opinion a well-written romance must have to draw the reader in.
An actual plot worth reading… This may seem like a no-brainer, but we’ve probably all gotten bored with a book or two that had no story line other than the two main characters meeting and somehow ending up in bed together.
Convincing chemistry between the main characters. This can be very hard to write, but so rewarding to read. There has to be a palpable tension and sizzle between the Hero and Heroine, or everything else falls flat.
An obstacle to overcome. There has to be something in the way of the happily-ever-after. Or maybe even several somethings. Love can never be easy, or it wouldn’t be the ultimate reward at the end of the book.
An emotional journey. Sex scenes without emotions are just sex. It’s the emotional connection and growth of the characters, and the author’s ability to draw us into those emotions that makes a story stand out.
A believable and satisfying happy ending. This is why we all read romance, right? We can experience a whole range of emotions, including anger, fear, and despair, all the while knowing it will all be ok in the end.
And here are some of the things I try hard to avoid in my own writing because they really annoy me as a reader:
Thesaurus over-use. It can be difficult to avoid using the same word again and again, but using every synonym in the thesaurus is probably not the best solution. Especially if those synonyms are not words you’d ever hear someone use in conversation.
Icky terms for male and/or female anatomy. Yes, there are only so many terms for the ‘male member’, and most of them are just not sexy, but using descriptions that are downright silly or awkward really takes away from the ‘heat of the moment’, don’t you think?
In Deep and In Deeper
by Kella McKinnon
“I never thought it would go this far… that a man with such terrible secrets would steal my heart and make me want him so much, when his life of danger and lies should have made me want nothing more than to turn and run. I understood him, you see. I knew that beneath all of that money and power, and yes… violence, was a man in desperate need of love. So desperate that he took from me something I wasn’t ready to give: my future.”
Brielle Dalton thought the few months in Vegas she needed to finish her dissertation would also be a chance to have some fun before ‘real life’ took over. But she never counted on meeting Cristos Vicario, the irresistible but troubled owner of the Adagio casino. The attraction was instant and all-consuming, but in the beginning neither knew that their lives had crossed before, and the result had been nothing short of tragedy. By the time Brielle discovers who Cristos really is, and what he has done in a reckless attempt to keep her, it’s too late. She’s already in too deep.
He leaned closer. “You smell like chocolate.”
“I had a chocolate martini with Alexis earlier.”
“I thought you were going running.”
“I did go running. Then I met Alexis.”
I didn’t like his tone, it was almost accusing. I got the sneaking suspicion that he had been spying on me.
“That’s none of your business,” I countered, suddenly a little annoyed. Almost annoyed enough to take away his bonus points.
He pushed a hand through his hair and shook his head a little. “I want it to be my business.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Did he want to control who I spent my time with?
“It means that when I’m seeing you, I want to have you all to myself. I don’t want to share you with anyone else.”
“We’re not seeing each other… you don’t date, remember?”
“Seeing each other is not the same thing as dating,” he said, pressing his lips into a thin line.
“Yes, it is. And since we aren’t seeing each other or dating, you have no say over what I do with my time or who I spend it with.” I had no idea why I was even arguing with him, because even if we were dating, I was only with Lexi and her friend Dex. And Dex was only there for a few minutes after I arrived.
He went silent for a long moment, his jaw working as he hashed something out in his mind. “I think I want to make an exception.”
“An exception to what?” I asked, exasperated.
“The no dating rule… I want us to be dating.”
I looked up at him in surprise. That was just about the last thing I expected him to say. I wondered if this was just another ploy to get me into bed. I also wondered if he’d make me sign a waiver first like Lexi had heard. Really rich guys did that sometimes before they dated someone, didn’t they? A kind of non-disclosure agreement in case of a bad break-up? Or entrapment? The thought almost made me smile but I bit my lip instead.
“I’ll think about it,” I said.
His jaw clenched tighter and he drew a breath in through his nose, as if he was trying to rein in his temper. “Come on, I’ll buy you a coffee.”
I grinned at him. “You’re forgiven.”
He laughed and took my hand, leading me away to the nearest Starbucks. “You amuse me to no end, Brielle. I like that.”
After coffee, he brought me to a really classy sushi place, and ordered a wide selection for me to try.
“You know, this is the third evening in a row you’ve taken me to dinner.”
He gave me a sexy look. “That’s because we’re dating.”
“I haven’t agreed to dating.”
“I don’t care what you did or didn’t agree to. I say we’re dating. In fact… I want you to move to the Adagio. There’s a suite of rooms open on the floor below mine that would be perfect for you.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Uh uh, no way. I’m perfectly fine where I am.”
“Brielle, where you’re staying is dangerous, not to mention… unsavory. I don’t want you there, not when I own an entire hotel.”
I rested my chin in the palm of my hand and gave him my most stubborn look. “No.”
Amazon link for In Deep
Amazon link for In Deeper
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I’m passionate about the romance genre because of the emotional journey a well-written novel can take the reader on, and my goal with each of my books is to do the same for my readers. I would love to hear from you at kellamckinnon.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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