Love Me Tender

by Susan May Waren @SusanMayWarren

With Valentine’s Day just two days away, romance is in the air.

“Christian Romance, is there such a thing?”

Wow, I sure hope so! But you have no idea how often I’ve heard those words from nice, church-going folks who I know are married and once fell in love.

Today we’re going to take a look, real quickly, at Sexual Tension in a romance.

No, no, no, our Christian books don’t have sex in them. But it doesn’t mean our characters are made of cardboard! You don’t have to say the s-word to create sexual tension. The author can focus it on eyes and lips and thinking about kissing or holding someone…because this is a natural response to the deepening affection characters have for one another. This is a very normal part of their relationship – it’s how far they pursue this normal part that makes a difference (as in every relationship).
It’s normal for character to be thinking about kissing their romantic interest before they kiss…and afterwards. I always like my heroes to ask the woman before he kisses her – and if he doesn’t ask, to allude to the fact that he should have asked. I just think that heroes that go around smacking kisses on a woman are invading her personal space. Unless, of course, she kisses him first.

Here’s the key: But don’t rush the kiss. In fact, if you have to, take that logical place where they would kiss, where the reader wants them to kiss…and then make it not happen. It will build tension in the reader and make them long for the hero and heroine to finally declare their love, and have that first kiss.

I usally have about two great kisses in a book – the first one a surprise, sort of a “really? Is that where this is going?” kind of moment. The second is when they know…yes…He’s the one.

In the Cutting Edge, their first “kiss” is on New Years Eve, and it’s a dud, which builds their tension even more. Kate is engaged and Dorsey knows it and it just infuriates him, which they play out in a hilarious scene where they are trying to decide music for their event. But when they do kiss – it’s a delicious, perfect kiss because we’ve been waiting for it so long.

Don’t be afraid of building in some desire for your characters for each other. After all, we want them to be real, right?
 
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Susan May Warren is owner of Novel Rocket and the founder of Novel.Academy. A Christy and RITA award-winning author of over fifty novels with Tyndale, Barbour,Steeple HillSummerside Press and Revell publishers, she’s an eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, and a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award and the ACFW Carol. A popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation, she’s also the author of the popular writing method,The Story Equation. A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com. Contact her at: susan@mybooktherapy.com.