The hero moves closer. The heroine tentatively reaches out. Cue the inviting head tilts and gazes wandering to lips. But then! The phone rings or in walks the roommate/best friend/coworker. Suddenly, the kiss that was just a breath away must wait, probably for a few chapters as the hero and heroine ruminate on a million reasons they shouldn’t entertain feelings for each other.
Ah, romance novels, how I love you.
Almost-kiss scenes are a favorite of mine. (You too? Kara Isaac’s Close to You has a fabulous one.)
Why do we love them so?
I think it’s all about the anticipation.
Prioritizing anticipation is why many readers consider peeking at the ending or spoiling a plot twist faux pas. For the most part, we would rather stay up late than take a shortcut and cheat ourselves out of one page of the journey—a journey that likely began long before we cracked the cover.
From the moment we click the pre-order button, we anticipate the blissful ending that goes with the genre. Oh, it’ll be a long journey to get there.
We have to wait for the release day.
Then we tag along as the hero and heroine meet (or reunite).
They’ll have baggage and hangups to navigate before they get to that almost-kiss.
Even if/when they do kiss, there’s often more conflict to overcome.
Finally, when all seems lost, God and love breaks through, and all that anticipation pays off in a declaration of love and a promise of a future.
*Cue all the happy sighs.*
Unfortunately, with jobs, spouses, kids, and other responsibilities, it’s not always feasible to stay up all hours of the night to read. Or perhaps you’re in a season where your attention span is taxed already. Or maybe you do have the time for longer novels, but you also want something super-quick to keep you company as you wait in the checkout line.
If you’re a time-pressed fan of anticipation and romance like me, I created a short story email subscription for you! A couple of times each year, I send out a short story in installments. Each email takes 2-5 minutes to read. I send about two installments per week while the story is ongoing. Once it wraps up, there’s usually a break of a few months where no stories come.
Oh, did I mention it’s free? It’s free!
The time between installments allows anticipation to build, but you won’t be tied down to a book for hours to see how it plays out. The emails come at different times/days. My hope is finding them in your inbox will be a fun pick-me-up.
The next story is a Valentine’s Day, secret admirer story. The first installment will land in inboxes in early February.
If you’d like to join the fun, you can sign up here.
If you’d prefer to anticipate the release of something longer, Now or Never, the prequel novella to my next series, releases 4/28/23. You can pre-order that here.
What part of a romance do you anticipate the most? The meet-cute, the first date, the first kiss, or something else?