Separations in romance: does it work for you? Because it most certainly works for me. Only if done the way that I like it and that is it must have two things: 1) a good reason for the separation and 2) a damn good reunion scene. I think romances today are in a slump. Many are just too damn predictable. There just isn’t enough stories out there that build on the reader’s anticipation.
But back to separations in romance, Meredith Duran did this with her debut novel, The Duke of Shadows. That the book was well written and reminded me of the romances of the past. Judith McNaught had separations in her books so often that I think it became a trademark of hers. Other notable reads: Sandy Hingston’s historical romance, The Suitor, Paullina Simon’s The Bronze Horseman and of course, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Raise of hands how many times you read the reunion scene with Jamie and Claire? I’m sure there are more stories out there but those titles listed had a short separation in the story accompanied by a nice reunion scene.
I know some readers don’t care for the h/h to be separated for too long and I’m one of them. Does it truly make the heart grow fonder? If the separation is too long, I tend to get bored and close the book. After all, the purpose of romance is to experience the journey of the couple finding love together, not apart. On a slightly different track, I didn’t care for Julia Harper’s Hot that had the hero and heroine develop their relationship by playing phone tag. They never really had any face time together. That was not cool. That’s the only book I can think of where the separation between the h/h didn’t work out so well. But enough of my thoughts, what are yours? Do you enjoy romances where there are brief separations? Does it matter to you one way or the other? What other authors use this type of plot device and use it well? Because I’d surely like to read them. Thanks.
Photo Credit: The Heart Grows Fonder by Godward, John William 1861 – 1922 from World Classic Gallery.