There are so many romance books out there, it may be difficult to find a great story with intriguing characters and satisfying (or unsatisfying) ending. There are several factors you need to look out for when in search of a good copy of a romance novel. The elements include favorable main characters, conflicting plot line, believable romance, and an ending to answer all unanswered questions.
Likable Hero and Heroine
The two most important characters, the hero and heroine, must be likable and relatable so readers can easily determine which characters to root for. When reading romance books, female readers would likely develop a likeness towards the hero and would imagine themselves as the heroine. This is why the main protagonists must have relatable background stories and avoid any literary clichés and tropes like the Mary Sue: an idealized and seemingly perfect character.
Just like in real life, no relationship is without its woes. A good romance book would feature a conflict, and ultimately a resolution, that the hero and heroine will have to face. Whether it be a car accident, amnesia or arranged marriage to another person, the type of conflicts can vary. However, a decent romance novel will stick to a major conflict without adding extra issues or prolonging the dilemma.
Even though romance books are mostly considered as fiction, a romance novel of high caliber will still maintain realistic values. The romance in the book must involve passion, struggles, angst, heartbreak, and other stages that one would likely encounter in a real life relationship. If the author has a strong grasp of the language, they would use words to describe the heat and allure of an attraction between two people. Other than that, a sub-par writer will just focus on how the characters become attracted to each other in the first place without adding more depth.
Ending Resolves Issues
Whether the book ends with a happy note or a sad one, it should finish by resolving all the issues that were introduced in the climax. Some authors would often rely on cliffhangers and ambiguity to evoke a sense of curiosity in the readers, but if the conflict can be resolved, then the authors should make the effort to settle the issues.
Best-Selling Romance Novels
Throughout the decades, there have been countless of top-selling romance books. The list below includes just some of contemporary and historical romance novels that are considered as fan favorites that includes elements mentioned above.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
- Atonement by Ian McEwan