But in a romance novel...well, hot is a MUST! Now, I am not talking about hot and heavy S*X. (gasp) I am talking about the hot, heart-thumping, blood-pounding romantic tension. You betcha!
Romance is all about the relationship between a man and a woman. The dance of awareness, like, questioning, doubt, attraction, and love. It is a give and take, where attraction is a forceful wave crashing against the shore, only to be pulled back by the grasp of a strong tide.
Here's an example of romantic tension from my WIP, a medieval romance.
“Will you be at supper, my lord?” Jocelyn bit her lip, hating to sound as if she begged for his attention. He had not taken supper in the hall the past few days, and she wanted him to know she had noticed the slight.
Lifting her down from the horse, he paused, holding her close, not releasing his grip on her waist. “Do you want me there?”
She glanced away from his questioning gaze, distracted by the warmth of his hands. “You need not come if you find it tedious.”
Malcolm caught her face with his hand and turned it toward his own. Her breath caught as he leaned down, his lips hovering over hers. Heart hammering in her chest, Jocelyn struggled for breath, waiting for the warmth of his lips upon hers. His roughened cheek brushed hers as those lips, which should have claimed her own, whispered in her ear instead. “You, my lady, are anything but tedious.”
Jocelyn swallowed hard, disappointment filling her when he dropped his hands, stepped back, and gave her a small bow.
“I thank you for a most enjoyable ride,” he said, leaving her in the hands of his capable guardsman.
Jocelyn took a deep breath and watched Malcolm’s tall, broad form walk purposefully down the bailey. My, but he muddled her head into confusion. Just days ago she had fought against his kiss and yet today, well, today she was of a mind to be kissed senseless.
You were wanting them to kiss, weren't you? Now you are wanting to read on, to see if they get close to capturing a kiss in the next scene, aren't you? That is the purpose of romantic tension. To keep the reader investing in the characters, watching their relationship grow, and cheering them on to a happy ending.
What favorite author of yours utilizes romantic tension? What favorite book or movie is loaded with romantic tension? Or what is a good way of sneaking in romantic tension?