My main characters are eleven-years-old, so their romances are pretty tame (hands brushing, eye-contact, TALKING to each other--that sort of stuff). But when the project is all done that's the stuff I like best.
When I was a kid I only liked to read books that had some romantic element, although I hated, and still dislike, stories that took the romance to gag-inducing levels (i.e. "I love you so much I'd die without you" sort of stuff).
In high school and college I suppressed my romantic inclinations. I'd never been "in love" so I kind of doubted that the whole "in love" thing existed. I figured if I ever got married I'd just marry someone who was a good friend and we'd be happy enough.
Then, my junior year in college, I met my husband. We were good friends for a few months. Then one night he invited me to go to an Italian poetry reading. I agreed, because hey, who doesn't like Italian poetry? Plus there would be food (free food is always a good thing in college).
I couldn't understand very much Italian--I'd only taken one semester. My husband spoke fluently (he'd lived in Italy for a few years). Most of the participants read poems from books, but he'd written his own.
He looked right at me as he recited it. After a few lines people looked over their shoulders at me and chuckled. I had no idea what he was saying. The only things I'd gleaned from my semester of Italian were food and clothing vocabulary and easy verbs, but I knew it was about me. When he was done he blushed and that was one of the many moments that made me think I could fall in love with him.
He didn't tell me what it said in English until we officially started dating a few weeks later. It was a love poem, and though he's no writer, it was very sweet.
Today is his 29th birthday and I have to say I am even more in love with him today than I was when I married him seven years ago.
So now that you've had a look at my sappy, sappy self, tell me this: Is there a love story in your novel? Can any book be complete without a little romance?