Words from Katy Lee!
When someone gives us their trust, we tend to want to live up to it, but we also take joy in being the one who has received it and want to give back. However, when trust is withheld from one person to another, they both lose in the end. By my hero not giving his trust to the heroine, her hands would be useless to help him. But for her, her spirit could be broken by not having her man’s trust. There is no joy in either of those scenarios.
And a reader would find no joy in reading about them, either.
The reader knows that love is hard, they know the characters in the story will have some obstacles to hurdle before they can claim their Happily-Ever-After, but the reader also knows it is coming. That may not be the case in real life, but it is for a romance novel. The characters will overcome their obstacles and joy will be waiting for them in the end. The reader can count on it.
But the fun part of reading romance is that the joy found in the characters’ love doesn’t wait until the Happily-Ever-After. It is experienced right along in the story throughout the book—even when the characters look like they might maim one another. This is why I enjoy and write romance novels. It’s the little jokes the characters share with each other, or play on each other. It’s the sacrifices we see the characters make for one another, even when it hurts. But those sacrifices aren’t meant to keep the characters down. They’re meant to bring them to a higher standard of living and make them a better person, a better partner, and give the couple a stronger future. The grand gestures and pledges of love at the end of the story spread huge smiles on readers’ faces and have them sighing with contentment. These are the final promises to the reader that the characters really have earned their happiness. The reader can believe it, and they can also believe that maybe, just maybe, a love like this can happen for them, too.