When revising my most recent story for Harlequin Romance, I realised how much time I spend on bringing alive the simple act of holding hands. The awareness of that first inadvertent brushing of fingers. The very first time the hero folds the heroine’s much smaller hand in his large protective one. The moment when she slips her fingers between his and they fit so perfectly. When either hero or heroine takes the other’s hand and leads them somewhere—maybe to the bedroom!
That’s the thing about writing “sweet” romance—where the bedroom door is kept firmly shut—simple things like holding hands become invested with simmering sensuality. Of course these first touches and building of awareness are really important in a sexier romance too. But in a sweet romance, those initial, innocent touches are really important in building desire and passion when more explicit physical descriptions are not available.
I asked my twenty-something daughter did she remember when she first held hands with a boy. Instantly she recalled his name, the circumstances and how she felt about it. They were thirteen and fourteen respectively—and each felt both nervous and joyous. But I believe the romance of holding hands isn’t just limited to adolescence. Even in an adult relationship it can be that first, significant step towards intimacy.
Do you remember the first time you held hands with a significant other? Was it awkward, embarrassing or sweetly memorable? I’d love to read your comment!