Dec 7 2012 8:15am

Sold!: What Element Makes You Buy a Romance Novel Right Away?

An alpha male, a cabin romance, heroes with physical scars, heroes with emotional scars, something described as “angsty” or “delightful;” maybe a paranormal element or a scientist heroine. 

At some point, you make the decision to buy the book because of some trigger word that hits your reading sweet spot.

So what's your Sold! trigger?

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Anna Bowling
1. AnnaBowling
My ears perk at the mention of angst, and I've loved heroine-disguised-as-male books as long as I can remember. Any mention of Bedlam Asylum or Newgate Prison, and that book is in my hands so fast that all you'll see is a blur.
2. December
I love anything wacky or goofy. Hijinks, shenanigans, or tomfoolary, I"M THERE!!
Michelle Palmer
3. ChelleP
Second chance love, baby! My hand can't push the BUY NOW button fast enough, especially in historicals. It's even better if they married young and separated. Gives me the shivers...the good kind. ;)
Lege Artis
4. LegeArtis
Damaged (physically, psychologically, emotionally...) hero or heroine...
Good revenge plot...
5. Rottenbanana
Alpha male, tortured/damaged hero, friends to lovers and second chance love are all my auto-buys
6. Kareni
I'm with LegeArtis who said "Damaged (physically, psychologically, emotionally...) hero or heroine..." Therefore books such as
Jennifer Ashley's The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Asperger's?), Shana Galen's The Making of a Gentleman (no spoken language), and Mary Balogh's Silent Melody (deafness) all draw me in.
Vanessa Ouadi
7. Lafka
Spinster/plain jane/plus-sized heroine is my most obvious Sold! trigger. I feel I can connect more with such an heroine than with a drop-dead-gorgeous-too-good-to-be-true-every-man's-fantasy kind of heroine.
Michelle Palmer
8. ChelleP
@Lafka, I second your smart plain jane type heroines. First one that comes to mind (contemporary wise) is Gibson's See Jane Score.
9. Jamie Beck
Love this question. In both contemporary and historical romance, I'm a fan of the reformed bad boy and/or the damaged hero with a heart of gold. Conversely, I'm not at all into the 'chip on her shoulder' heroine or the overly sexually aggressive heroine.
Eva Millien
10. evampire
I would have to say that when I read the back cover of a possible new book, it is a combination of elements that entice me to buy the book. The plot, the alpha male and the heroine of the story.
Stephanie Ziegler
11. booksbysteph
that's easy... when you know there will be a happy ending but the story makes you scream, "can't you see he's hurting you because he loves you!"
Sandy Pochapin
12. Sandypo
The older brother's best friend angle -- I don't know why but I'm a real sucker for that plotline!
Shauna Comes
13. djshauns
@Sandypo - I'm with you on the older brother's best friend angle!

I am also very into the friends to lovers, plain jane/plus size/spinster heroine, reformed bad boy/rake, and I will add cop/military heroes and best friend's older brother (similar to the older brother's best friend, but without the elements of the hero worrying about his friend's reaction to him dating his sister). As you might imagine, with so many autobuy plotlines this means I buy a lot of books!
Angila Davis
14. alds830
I'm a sucker for anything with a Highlander or Viking in it. Love the go back in time heroine who has to deal with a head strong Highlander or Viking and when the lady puts them in their place (women's lib). Sandra Hill's Viking series all of them and Margaret Mallory and Monica McCarty all great stories
15. angel_gidget
Anything that swaps gender roles is instantly of interest. Women pretending to be men a la Twelfth Night. Alpha females. Ladies in armor rescuing dudes in distress. Angst is practically a given for me, and as mentioned by the others, I also enjoy some friends-to-lovers plot elements. And fantasy/paranormal settings make it perfect.
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