You have to like them to root for them! One of the most important things about romance books is making sure that both the hero and heroine are likeable. It’s especially hard when it comes to the hero who has to be flawed but redeemable and extremely “oooh” worthy. The heroine can be angry, feisty, or even a tomboy—but she has to be the kind of girl readers would love to be.
A fateful meeting early in the book introduces the hero and heroine. The earlier the better, so readers know who’s who and how they want things to pan out. Remember, readers want to be the heroine and fall in love with the hero. They have to come to know them in order to put themselves in the position of the characters.
Love overcomes all! A barrier or problem has to keep the hero and heroine from everlasting love to begin with. Maybe that’s another person, a dying parent, a problem, a fear or just pressure. The hero and heroine work best when they are fighting to overcome their problems to be together. A lack of barriers for characters to overcome can leave readers feeling bored.
Release the tension! Romance books really work best when the tension is released slowly—that keeps readers turning pages to find out when things happen. A tension-addicted reader is a very happy reader.
Happy-ever-after! The romance of the two main characters has to come to a happy conclusion. The couple must get together by the end of the book (or series), and they must love each other above all else. This is the law of the romance novel.