Monday, February 14, 2011

What's Romantic?

It's Valentine's Day.  Big deal.  Sorry but it just leaves me cold to think that we've come to this point where we have to designate one day a year to be all lovey-dovey with our partner (be they long or short term).  I like my romance like I like my chocolate: intensely delicious, sweet, a little naughty (perhaps even inspiring a little bit of guilt) and generously on offer every day of the year. 

I'll ignore the fact that I have to buy it and console myself with that saying "There's no such thing as a free chocolate".  Yes, I know.  I took a little poetic licence with the whole swapping "lunch" and "chocolate" thing but hey, it's my blog!

But then I got to thinking, romance is kinda like beauty: it's all in the eye of the beholder (or chocolate consumer as the case may be).  What constitutes romance for me may be dead boring, or tacky, or immoral to you.  So I thought I would go through some of the most common romantic things I've heard of/read about/experienced and give you my thoughts (take 'em or leave 'em).

Flowers: Can't say they do it for me.  I mean I love the gesture but then I have to remember where I put the vases and then I have to remember to change the water and then they die and I have to remember to throw them out ......get the picture?  But the rose petals sprinkled on the bed sheets - mmmm now that's appealing!
Chocolates: Oh yeah baby.  The darker the better.  This scores VERY highly on my romance-o-metre.  But chocolate body paint is an instant turn off.  Sorry, but the chocolate's for me, right?  And the easiest, cleanest way to eat it would not involve smearing it all over my body first.  So if someone else wants to lick my shoulder while I gorge myself on Valrhona - fine.  Just don't ask me to share!
Champagne:  Please.  Do you even have to ask?  Just keep pouring the bubs, babe.
Dinner In/Dinner Out:  Happy with both but baked beans on toast does not a romantic meal make.  It should be a special restaurant or an equally special dinner at home.
Sharing a bath: Ick!  I mean ICK.  Two people sitting in a puddle of their own dirt - still sound romantic?  Pass.
Jewellery: How could it not be romantic?  Unless it's an engagement ring from someone you've only dated twice before.  Then it's scary.  But if he's a multi-millionaire Italian whose fallen for you hard, then bring on the sparklies Mr Signore.
Whisked away to Paris for the weekend:  Sadly no, it hasn't happened yet but while there's life there's hope I say.  But I'd swoon almost as much for a whisk away to Melbourne or Sydney as long as there was a plush pad and a bit of faux-promenading thrown in.

My current WIP (the one I'm rewriting for submission) has a Frenchman as the Hero and of course the french co-wrote the bible on romance (with the Italians) so my guy knows all the right moves.  But I love reading (and swooning) over all the things that Heroes do in other people's books.

So what does it for you and what's the best romantic thing a Hero's done in a book you've read/written?

                                                             Photo courtesy of

1 comment:

Jackie Ashenden said...

Oooh, fabulous post, Elissa!! Love your list. Yeah, I'm with you on most of them actually. Though the bath thing is quite good when one is actually writing it - no dirt involved. Unless it's the good kind. I'll stop there I think. ;-) Especially the champers. I bought my own this year..
Anyway, the most romantic thing in something I've written? SYTYCW sub (which we shall not mention), my hero is French too and he takes the heroine to Paris and then gives her a special necklace that is significant to her. I quite liked that. Though I think in my Hammer Pants ms, the way my hero helps my heroine comes to terms with some scars is quite romantic. As to what I've read...well, not that I'm biased or anything, but Maisey Yates does a pretty good line in grand gestures from her heroes...