Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A few thoughts on Sweet Romance

By Stephanie J Grace

The big news at Decadent Publishing recently is the addition of a sweet line: Bono—which means good in some fancy language.

A few people I know kind of scoff at sweet romance and don’t see the draw. For some reason, they are under the impression that sweet means juvenile or uninteresting. I disagree. When I reach for a sweet romance, I’ve got a few things I’m hoping to see:

Smiles that mean something: That first look across a room—maybe it’s a shy smile or one full of genuine happiness at getting a glimpse of someone special. A lot can be said with a really good smile.

Holding hands: I absolutely adore holding hands with my honey. When we were dating, I had to convince him holding hands was something he could do and after being married eight years he still holds my hand when we can because he knows I like it. Seeing something simple mean a lot brings a simple sweetness I enjoy.

First kisses…without tongue: I like seeing on paper (or ereader) that others find those first sweet kisses as endearing and special as I did. A real romance and building can happen when small steps are shown. I find that in a good sweet story, I feel like I’m falling in love right along with the characters.

No cussin’, no bangin’, and no fu’’’’’: I get burnt out sometimes on ultra-hip, graphic, high-test stories. I love them, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I yearn for a reminder that there is something sweet and good and pure in the world. A sweet romance that makes me say “awww” fills that need.

Does anyone else feel the need for romance dipped in sugar? What draws you to sweeter romance?

Felines and Flowers by Stephanie J Grace:
During high school, Warren was just Wendy’s youth pastor. All grown up and shepherding over her own flock of church kids, Wendy Miller turns to her old friend for help. Not that Warren is that old. In fact, the two have a lot more in common than Wendy would have ever thought.

After the death of his wife, Warren was sure he was finished with relationships. Wendy changes that forgone conclusion with her bright spirit and zest for life. Lining up their desires when they’re at very different points in their lives proves a challenge that might take a little divine intervention, or at least help from friends.


Kate Richards said...

I just love your style. Felines and Flowers was wonderful, it drew me in right from the start.

steph beck said...

Thanks, Kate--and the love is mututal! :)Felines and Flowers is definitely one of my favorites.

Liz said...

I'm gonna be honest. No. I don't care for "sweet romance." But that said I LOVE the series whose name escapes me now about the preacher in the Carolinas who's a widow and falls in love, I'm a liar. what else is new!

Valerie Mann said...

I love sweet romance, if the sweet fits the plot. In Felines and Flowers, it did. Hot sex between two youth pastors would not have made sense, but the other message that was conveyed was the resurrection and the importance of remembering it...another reason sweet romance fit exactly right for your story!

steph beck said...

I think when the characters and plot are right, sweet is the only way to go. Some things can't be kicked up a notch, and then again, some characters just don't suit the sweetness--just like in real life, some things work better than other.

I'm glad you caught that part, Val. I hesitated to get preachy, but Easter is soooo special and I wanted it to be special to Wendy and Warren :)

Casea Major said...

I'm writing a sweet YA right now. I love writing sweet stories where the romantic tension builds to breathless. It's so...well, sweet. LOL

Steph your story sounds delightful. And now I want to go get it.

Jessica E. Subject said...

I read all kinds. It all depends on what I'm in the mood for. What I want is that tingle in the stomach, maybe some tears. It's all about emotion, and I've experienced it all in YA, sweet romance, and erotic romance.

Another to my TBR pile. :)

Barbara Elsborg said...

Well I first wrote sweet (and funny) romance but couldn't get anyone interested - so I slipped to the dark side... but I agree - you have to do what's right for your characters.