When I first learned about sweet romances, romances where there is no sex on the page and often times no sex between the hero and the heroine at all, not even implied, I wondered, how does the writer portray a sweet romance hero? He’s with a woman. He has urges. He has inclinations. How does he control them so that the story stays sweet?
After I started writing sweet romances, I learned how challenging that could be. I love the romance trope where the hero and heroine are forced to be together, but that can lead to other events that readers of sweet romance don’t want. These readers want the hero and heroine to overcome difficulties in their relationship, but not to succumb to their desires.
React Like a Man
The heroine has these desires, too, but what I find challenging is writing the hero so that he reacts as any man would act, but for this woman, he’ll keep his needs in check. How does a writer portray this man so that he really acts, speaks and feels like a man?
I realize that not all fans of sweet romance want to read about that kind of man. These readers like the softer more understanding type of man. But I like a man who responds to the femininity and allure of a woman. I like a man who thinks he’s done the right thing and is perplexed when the heroine tells him he missed the mark, or worse, walks out of his life.
What does the Hero Want?
At that moment, he realizes life is empty without her, and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her by his side. Maybe she can walk away, but he can’t. What can he do to convince her she means the world to him? When he’s the one who struggles, that’s even more exciting for me. He’s never had to convince a woman he’s worth it, but she’s not buying that. If their relationship interferes with her lifetime goal, then she’s made her decision.
So has he. Having her by his side is more important than any goal or objective. How can he convince her they need to give their relationship a chance?
That for me is the challenge of writing a sweet romance. The attraction is there. Now the hero has to be written so that not only the heroine falls in love with him, but so does the reader. He has to be a man, but a man readers want to know and have feelings for. He has to be the sweet romance hero, but he has to be a hero. How a writer does that is the challenge I face every day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Be well and happy and I hope that this week is wonderful and blessed and filled with exciting surprises for you.