Sep 13, 2010

What's the Catch?

Reading: Forbidden by Christina Phillips
Watching: Glee
Listening to: I like it by Enrique Iglesias
Making me smile: My day at the beach yesterday

Rachel’s great Caturday fun got me thinking about my fav romance plots. What catchy hooks guarantee that you pick up a book? I find category books are excellent at giving us those hooks that suck us in every time.

Here are some of the favs:

 Revenge
 Secret baby
 Reunion
 Marriage of convenience
 Amnesia
 Rivals

A rivals story guarantees I at least take a look at a book. My last Nocturne Bites, Hunter’s Surrender was a rivals story and I loved writing that story!

Maybe it’s the kind of characters that hook you:

 Cowboys
 Vampires
 Doctors
 Firefighters
 Werewolves
 Race car driver
 Secret agents

Image: Pandora1 |

You had me at vampire. Yes, there are lots of vampire stories around but I’ll always check them out. And secret agents…they’ll always get my vote.

Or maybe it’s the exotic settings or nationalities that draw you in:

 Australian Outback
 Mediterranean heroes: Italy, Greece, Spain
 France
 Middle Eastern Sheikhs
 Some fabulous tropical island

Image: Natalia Sinjushina |

I’m not so fussy about location, but something exotic (different from my everyday life) will always suck me in.

So what hooks have I forgotten? Have you got any favourite ones?


  1. Me, too, Anna. I love reading my favourite plots and characters over again. Favourites are probably reunions and marriage of convenience.

    With the settings I'm more easily pleased. I'm happy to go where the story takes me - I get carried away with the characters when it's somewhere different and exotic, but I also like reading about a setting that's familiar to me.

  2. Anna, you had me at doctor! And I love that picture of the man loosening his tie with the end of the stethoscope dangling near his collar... I guess that's why I write medical romances! ;)

    I love reunion stories - there's an extra layer with that back history that the characters bring to the story. But then secret baby stories are great, too... and marriages of convenience... and... :)

    Actually, I thought of another hook and that's mistaken identity. It can be a fun hook at the start of a story but I usually prefer it not to be drawn out for too long.


  3. Putting my hand up -- I too am a sucker for a reunion story. All that unresolved tension and heat. Yum. Love the Australian version of the cowboy with the Outback as a setting too.

    In fact, I'm not sure there's a hook there that I don't like :-) My all-time fave, though, is the fish out of water story. I just find that too delicious for words.

  4. Yes, I have to second Michelle -- fish out of water is a great one! Also abduction, revenge/betrayal, and opposites attract.

    With regard to heroes, I do love a bad boy hero -- but I'm also very partial to cop heroes and wrong-side-of-the-tracks heroes. And when it comes to heroines, I really like a plain Jane heroine!

    Great post Anna!

  5. Hi Rachel --
    Renuion and MOC are so popular! I'm with you on settings -- I love the exotic but quite enjoy a familiar setting as well.

  6. Hi Sharon --
    I don't mind a sexy doctor either... Ooh, mistaken identity, that's a great hook!

  7. Hey Michelle --
    Another vote for reunion. I have to confess I'm not a huge fan...I think I love that first moment a couple meets and I don't like having it messed up with old baggage! That's not to say I haven't enjoyed quite a few reunion stories!

    Love a fish out of water story though!!

  8. Hi Emily --
    I'm completely with you on a bad boy hero!! Can't get enough of them and I will always check out a bad boy story.

  9. I like dark, tortured hero's and misunderstood heroines and everything inbetween.
    I love to set my own characters in semi-ficitonal areas of Australia, but with reading I don't mind the setting as long as the author draws me into their wonderful world.

  10. Hi Anna, cool post. :)

    I love a wrong-side-of-the-tracks story (especially where the heroine is the focus of that. But don't get me wrong, I also lerve a bad boy!). And a redemption story, too, floats my boat. :)

    As far as characters go, I'll always pick up any dark paranormal (angels, mythical beings and demons being current faves), but I do love me a bad boy law enforcer or a wild and feisty female with attitude.

    For me too, the setting comes last. I think the darkness calls to me--but turn out the lights just about anywhere and voilà! You've got dark. :)

    Take care, E x

  11. Hi Mel --
    I love a dark, tortured hero as well!! They're a staple in paranormal.

  12. Hi Em --
    Agree with you on all your points. Redemption stories can be lots of fun. And you know I'm with you about angels, demons and other paranormal characters! And I'll take a wild, fiesty heroine over meek any day (-: