Tue
Apr 8 2014 7:10am

What’s the Longest You’ll Wait for a Hero and Heroine to Meet?

If you're reading along with the H&H Reads book, Elizabeth Essex's A Breath of Scandal, you already know that Antigone and Will don't meet for at least a chapter (10% on an e-reader).

In Lisa Kleypas's Sugar Daddy (also a past H&H Reads choice), Liberty and her hero don't meet for much longer than that.

These delays makes sense, but most romance novels have the hero and heroine meeting within five pages. Do you like for them to meet right away, or are you okay for them to wait to meet each other, if it suits the book?

What's the longest you'll wait for the hero and heroine to meet each other?

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8 comments
scarlettleigh
1. scarlettleigh
I read a lot of women's fiction and sometimes the love interest doesn't show up until the last couple of chapters so I can handle delays well.

What makes me anxious is if there are several individuals that could be the love interest and the author doesn't indicate which one it is, until late into the book.

Bottom line I am fine with delays, but not mutiple choices (grin)
scarlettleigh
2. Ey Wade
I'd wait to the middle of the first chapter or beginning if second if the storyline is good.
Heather Waters (redline_)
3. redline_
I like getting to know the characters separate and together, so I'm OK with waiting a while and letting the anticipation build.
Jennifer Proffitt
4. JenniferProffitt
To got off on what @scarlettleigh said, I think my expectations are different in women's fiction. I still expect a romance (at least in the ones I pick up!), but I'm much more tolerant about how long I'm willing to wait for it.

Again, along with @scarlettleigh, I'm fine with a wait, especially if there's tension going elsewhere, but not with multiple choices. That's a DNB (do not buy) if it's hinted at on the cover and it's a DNF if I'm not liking where it's going. Very few exceptions!
K Giardina
5. bluedragon30
I can wait for the H/H to each have their own respective chapter, but if the meeting is not forthcoming, that's going to be a DNF for me, also.
Brianna
6. carmenlire
I don't really mind when it is. I do remember a book where the H/H didn't meet for over 200 pages though. That was a bit excessive for me lol. But I'd say a good rule of thumb is within the first 50 pages.
Jamie Brenner
7. jamieloganbrenner
Thanks for this post, Megan! I'm reading it with my writer hat on today, and I was just wondering about this because I'm working on my next novel and was fretting because the hero and heroine don't meet until about page 20. But from the comments on this post so far, I think I might be okay :)
scarlettleigh
8. lulz
I really don't mind waiting a couple of chapters before the H/h meet-up. Although sometimes having them meet upfront is also good.
I guess it depends on the author's writing style. Sometimes, an author is so overzealous of character building and world building that there is really no more room left for character development by the time the hero and heroine meet. On the flipside, there are some authors who just jump the gun and make character revelations and development as they make they move along. That is also not a bad thing, but there are times that character revelations just do not connect with how I see the as the story progreses and seem to exist because it's a plot convenience (usually the "Oh, I can relate" plot points).
Like I said, it depends on how fluid an author writes it without breaking momentum for me.
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