Saturday, June 21, 2008

So what works for you?

Earlier this week I had the great opportunity to meet our good friend, and fellow DIK Chick, Ciara. While browsing the shelves of the ill fated used book store she posed a question to me that I will now pose to all of you:

What standard romance plot device really works for you?

Basically, when you are looking through the hundreds of books available to borrow or purchase, what plot point makes a book a "must have"? Are you a sucker of the tale of the pioneer woman abducted by the brave Indian warrior? Does the presence of a sheik who gives up his harem make your toes tingle? How about the fake engagement/wedding?

What plot device floats your boat every time?


Katie(babs) said...

I loved the beauty and the beast storyline, such as the hero who thinks he has no appeal and the heroine who comes along and lurves him to pieces.

Wendy said...

I'm with Katie on this, I'm a sucker for that type of plot.

Shannon said...

You two ladies have read The Bride and the Beast by Teresa Medieros, right? If not, you absolutely MUST!

barb said...

I'm all about the fake engagement type plots.

If they have to share a room/bed, and they both state that they are only going to sleep and not have sex, really, they both honestly mean it. No, really.

I'm also a sucker for the "omg people are chasing us, I will kiss you now and they will run past because they would never suspect that we stopped to have a snog in this doorway" bit. It's inevitably the hottest scene in any movie it ever appears in, and it's great in a book, too.

I don't care if it's super contrived. I fall for it EVERY TIME.

Christine said...

LOL Barb! I love those scenarios too!

I think I also like the stockholm syndrome scenarios, but those are VERY difficult to pull off successfully, I think.

Another one I like is the enemies to lovers plot line. And they're both strong willed characters? Love it.

Which is very similar to my absolute favorite-- the star crossed lovers. Now THAT gets me every time. *sigh*

Shannon said...

OOhhh! Those are all great! I have to admit to being a sucker for the second chance lovers. You know, the ones who were together years before and have pined for one another ever since (secretly, of course.) Then they get a second chance at love.... It is all about the big "what if?" What if we have another chance? What if distance/timing/family/etc. were not an obstacle this time? LOVE it!

Christine said...

Oh, I love those, too, Shannon!

And it reminded me that I love friends to lovers stories, too.

Kate said...

It's sort of a weird one and I can't think of too many examples, but I love it when the heroes are entirely unsuitable and not-husband-material. The one that really stands out to me is Trevalyan from The Duchess by Jude Deveraux, who is still to this day my favorite hero - the scene where he tells her that he'd make a horrible husband was one of those lovely, clear, truthiness moments of a romance novel to me, and then Clare dances with her fiance who promises he'll be a good husband and all she can think about is Trevalyan telling her he'd be a horrible one. *melt* I guess others, maybe the guy (oh, dear, have forgotten his name) from Nora Roberts' Angels Fall and I have very high hopes for Merripen in Lisa Kleypas' upcoming Seduce Me At Sunrise.

little alys said...

Hmm...for some reason, this is a hard question for me. Must think. Maybe, forced proximity? They don't have to dislike each other, or be forced together, but the two main character 'need' to work very closely for some greater reason.

Or, heroes that are not overly tortured or totally self confident in his prowess. And a heroine who's not completely timid, self doubting, or overly stubborn.

Make any sense?

Kristie (J) said...

There are a few that work for me. Since I suppose I could be called an older woman now, older heroines, younger heroes works for me. A few great examples of that storyline - if you are looking for examples is Fallen From Grace by Laura Leone. Then there's Suddenly Your by Lisa Kleypas and Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory.
Another storyline I'm SURE to purchase is where the hero has been in jail for something he didn't do. Choice picks in this line include Jackson Rule by Dinah McCall, The Rainbow Promise by Lisa Gregory and Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare.
I'm constantly mentioning One Summer by Karen Robards. This one has both in one - as does The Rainbow Promise - all are excellent books

barb said...

Going along with the "wrongly jailed" plotline - the hero with the bad reputation because when he was younger, he took the blame for something he didn't do, so someone else wouldn't get into trouble, and the heroine somehow finds out he didn't do it.

I'm totally taking notes on everybody's recs for these. This was a great idea for a post!

Kristie (J) said...

Another one I thought of - Virgin Heroes. I always like this kind too. A few that come to mind (since Barb is taking notes *g)
Born in Sin - Kinley MacGregor
Wild at Heart - Patricia Gaffney
Blue Moon - Jill Marie Landis
The Shadow and the Star - Loretta Chase
My Forever Love - Marsha Canham
Games of Command - Linnea Sinclair

Sayuri said...

I love the friends to lovers storylines. Get. Me. Everytime. *sigh*

But I love a little 'cabin fever' as well or 'road trips' *grin*

barb said...

I thought of another one! (I'm an addict, okay?)

Royalty in disguise. Sometimes it's done badly, but sometimes it's a hell of a lot of fun.

Ciara said...

I'm a sucker for secret babies, or at least the heroine getting knocked up. I think it's my biological clock ticking away.

I HATE virgin heroines, but virgin heroes are awesome.

Ciara said...

oh and I really like broken heroines and the nice guys that help them heal.

MaryKate said...

Oh Ciara - I'm SO glad you said that! I love me some secret baby plots!

I also love an "in love with my best friend's little sister" storyline like a fat kid loves cake.

Jill D. said...

I love it when they are young and have puppy love. Then there is a separation and they meet each other again as adults. Hook, line and sinker, every time!

Jill D. said...

Oh, but I second the fake engagement/marriage too!

barb said...

I just wanted to whine that my library has NONE of the older heroine/younger her or virgin hero books that you guys rec'd. ARGH! No Fair!

I will have to see what else looks good on the shelf when I leave, I guess.