I believe that the emotional impact of the story is what gets me. The twists and turns that the h/h go through to finally get together pulls me in every time. I also love sexual tension. It has to be done precise and clean and you know it has been done correctly when the impact of the h/h fulfilling their relationship (and it isn't always the fulfilling of something sexual, it can be a kiss or something a bit bigger) is enough to cause tears to fill your eyes.
Whether it is paranormal, contemporary, historical or suspense, certain elements have to be there for us to enjoy these stories. And there also has to be memorable moments, either a simple sentence or one scene that takes up three pages and makes you love the book instantly.
I have condensed a few of mine down for your enjoyment. And these aren't all of them, heck, I wouldn't have room to list all of my favorites! Enjoy them and let me know some of yours!
Trish aka Wackycajun
Earl of Langford
Until You, Judith McNaught
Her eyes fluttered open, and he tried to smile, to tell her he loved her, but his chest was constricted with emotion, and there was an unfamiliar lump in his throat as he looked at their clasped hands on the pillow.
He had never held a woman’s hand at a time like this in his life.
He had never thought of it.
He had never wanted to.
Stephen bent down to kiss her, he closed his eyes and swallowed, and tried to tell her again what he felt, to explain that he’d never known there were feelings like this, but the emotions were still too raw, and he was still out of breath. All he could manage to say was, “Until you...”
She understood. He knew she did, because her hands tightened convulsively on his and she turned her face and kissed his fingers.
Blue Eyed Devil, Lisa Kleypas
“Nick’s not worth going to jail for,” I said.
“I don’t know about that.” Hardy stared at me for a moment, registering my uneasiness. His expression deliberately softened. “The way I was brought up, ‘he needed killing’ is an airtight legal defense.”
“Feel good?” I whispered.
Hardy shook his head, struggling to breathe. His face was flushed as if with a high fever.
“No?” I asked.
“Felt good a half hour ago,” He managed to say, his accent slurry like he’d just done about ten tequila shots. “Fifteen minutes after that it was the greatest sex I’ve ever had, and right about now...I’m pretty sure I’m in the middle of a heart attack.”
Smooth Talking Stranger
“You can’t stand between a Texan and his power tools. We like them. Big ones that drain the national grid. We also like truck stop breakfasts, large moving objects, Monday night football, and the missionary position. We don’t drink light beer, drive Smart Cars, or admit to knowing the names of more than about five or six colors. And we don’t wax our chests. Ever.”
While Jack and Ella are putting together a crib…
“Can you do meatloaf?”
“Marry me, Ella.”
I looked into his wicked dark eyes, and even though I knew he was joking I felt a wild pulse inside, and my hands trembled. “Sure,” I said lightly. “Want some bread?”
And later in the story…
“You may not know this, but the other time I asked you to marry you, the night I put the crib together, I meant it. Even though I knew you weren’t ready.
God, I hope you’re ready now.”
And there is one other scene that I remember well. The ‘staring’ scene in Renee Bernard’s, Revenge Wears Rubies is one that is steamy, sultry and very memorable. I can’t list it here because it is lengthy, but the page numbers are…70-73.