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Guest Post: What I Love to See in Romance – Catherine Peace


March 21, 2014 by M. A. Dunham

Now that I’m totally committed to this romance writing deal, I’ve been reading a lot more romance of all different kinds, and I’ve finally pinpointed the things I love to see most in my romance books. I will wait until the confetti clears.

Okay, we good? Okay. I realized that a lot of what bothers me is how the hero and heroine end up like clinging starfish. They cannae do without each other. Can’t breathe, eat, sleep, etc. And for a girl like me who enjoys her independence, that’s not cool.

CP_Complete Me_MDAlso, I hate when the heroine is just vapid, or too stupid to live. When I have to keep asking myself how she has made it this far, there’s an issue. The hero having to hold her hand to keep her from tripping over her own feet or going into the windowless white van with the candy-wielding strangers? Big no for me. I don’t want the heroine to need to be saved. She needs to be able to take care of herself. Otherwise, I will read while rolling my eyes if I read at all.

And there’s my issues with the hero, because he will not be infallible. I hate seeing heroes who are total jerkholes because I can’t understand what kind of woman would put up with someone like that. I understand the whole “tough exterior” thing, but I’ve read some books that toe the line VERY CLOSELY between tough exterior and complete a-hole.

And then there are the guys who get away with whatever they want because they’re hot. I call this the Chedward effect—because both Edward Cullen and Christian Grey are controlling asshats (and I’m certain both Bella and Ana are TSTL). He’s a shallow douche, but he’s hot. That’s a whole bunch of no for me. The world is full of hot douchebags. Why do I want to read about what I already know and dislike?

So here’s what I want to see, and what I write. I appreciate women who are strong without men and their newfound relationships enhance their lives, not complete them. I need women who can take care of themselves, who are intelligent and sure of themselves and don’t go completely to mush when confronted with Mr. Gorgeousness. Women who know their minds. *Huffs* I just get sick of seeing these characters who don’t understand that you don’t lose who you are when you enter into a relationship. Maintain your interests. Be yourself. Don’t change for anyone.

As far as the men, I hate douchebags. Maybe I’ve mentioned that before. Granted, I love cocky douchebags from afar, but that’s from afar and not anyone I’d ever want to date. I like chivalry. I like someone who doesn’t try to control their partners. Jealousy? Not appealing. It just means they’re not confident in their relationship. Even jealousy-as-plot-point. The green-eyed monster makes me crazy.

So in my newest release Complete Me, I endeavored to avoid these issues. I created a strong heroine who loves her career and doesn’t lose sight of her goals when paired up with the hero; and I created a hero who loves and adores the heroine for who she is, and who doesn’t get away with murder just because he’s a big ball of sexy musician. I’d hate to break my own rules, you know.

In celebration of Complete Me, I’m giving away a $25 iTunes gift card, a free copy of the book, and a Complete Me-inspired t-shirt. Entry form is below the pertinent deets!


A romance author who needs to love….

Best-selling romance author Claire Ergleston confines her passions to the pages of her books. When she receives a 1Night Stand date ‘to give her something to talk about in interviews,’ can she let herself be swept away?


A rock star who needs to let go….

The past has a chokehold on former rock star Ty Krause. Instead of killer tunes, he kills time writing passable songs for a British boy band and his nights wishing he had the balls to say goodbye. In a last ditch effort, he signs up for 1Night Stand, thinking that a night of no-strings-attached sex will help him break the leash of his past.


From the moment Claire and Ty meet, sparks fly—but can they overcome their pasts or will their potential love story end on a sour note?

Available 3/21 from the following e-retailers:

Decadent Publishing
Barnes & Noble

Link to giveaway: Entry-Form


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