I write historical romance. In romance there are love scenes. A love scene can involve a lot of things besides the obvious: a lustful glance passed across a crowded room, a secret touch beneath a table, or - my personal favorite - a good old fashioned kiss. My job as an author is build believable chemistry between the hero and heroine in my novels. Sometimes that chemistry is there from the get go, and sometimes it takes a while to flame the fires of passion (sorry... I always wanted to use that line in one of my books, but since it's unforgivably cheesy I'll use it here instead).
Why are good love scenes important? Well, because they will (hopefully) stick with the reader and make them root for the characters involved. Take the following kisses for example... I know they're from movies, but guaranteed you know what movie they came from because the characters made an impression on you. Better yet, their chemistry made an impression on you. And what better way to illustrate chemistry than with a kiss?
The following excerpt is from The Runaway Duchess (05/10/13). It's the first time the hero (Gavin Graystone) and the heroine (Charlotte Vanderley) meet. I'll let you decide if they have chemistry or not.
“I am leaving,” Charlotte announced before she spun on her heel and closed her hand around the doorknob.
Gavin did not know why he did it. One moment he was lounging against the chair, the next he was uncoiling to his impressive height of six feet and crossing the room to stand behind the girl. She wrenched the door open. He moved with lightening quickness to slam it shut. He saw the muscles in her shoulders and neck tighten before she whirled around and lifted her chin to glare up at him; a titian haired warrior princess with a Cupid’s bow mouth just asking to be ravished.
“You cannot leave yet,” he said, his voice coming out unnaturally husky. Lord, but she smelled sweet. Like violets and sunshine and something just a little dark. A little dangerous. She was dangerous, if only for the fact that she made it so temptingly easy to forget who and what she was: an innocent, but worse than that – far worse, to Gavin’s mind – a highborn lady. Aye, this one’s blood was as blue as they came; he would stake his life on it. He fought to remember why he despised the nobility, but it was a losing battle. In this moment, in this breath, there was only him and there was only her. He ached to touch her. To know the feel of her skin. The taste of her flesh.
“Are you going to kiss me?” she asked. In the dancing candlelight her eyes were endless pools of shimmering green. He shifted closer and her eyes widened, but she did not look away or fight to be free of him. She stood quietly, her head tipped slightly to the right, her arms poised at her sides. Gavin wet his lips. The small motion drew her gaze to his mouth, and the naïve curiosity he saw flicker across her face was nearly his undoing.
“Bloody hell,” he murmured, dropping his head and bracing both arms on either side of the door, effectively pinning her between them. From inside his chest his heart pounded and his pulse raced, as if he were an eager school boy again about to lose his virginity. When had a woman affected him like this, let alone a slip of a girl with fire in her hair and steel in her eyes? Never. The answer was never. “Tell me to let you go,” he said roughly, dragging one hand from the door to cup the delicate curve of her jaw.
“Why?” she whispered.
Why indeed? Throwing caution to the wind, Gavin muttered a savage oath as he claimed her mouth with his.