Jan 21 2014 8:20am

Inciting Incident: Damaging Events in Romance Novels

Many heroes—and lately, some heroines—have a single event that caused emotional damage to them. In historicals, often, a man is rejected by the woman he loves (or thinks he loves), and so he swears off women entirely. In romances across genres, heroes saw their parents with unhappy marriages or domestic abuse, and they have resolved never to fall into that trap themselves.

Some of the past events seem as though the characters should just get over it, already (not every woman in the world is as heartless as your ex, for example), while other events truly seem as if they could do damage.

So what's the most damaging single event you've read in romance novels?

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1. Torifl
Ahhh, there are so many. lol

Faith Hunter's Black Arts had a scene that made my heart stop and me tear up. One of the heroes once again makes promises he couldn't or wouldn't keep and it practically destroys the heroine.
2. JacquiC
I think the loss of a child has to be one of the worst.
3. Kareni
Rape is another damaging event as is false imprisonment.
Carmen Pinzon
4. bungluna
In Petals from the Storm by Mary Jo Putney, the hero is a spoilt brat who deserves a good spanking. The heroine, however, goes through several traumatic experiences, the first of which is at the hands of the hero, that I think would put any woman off men forever. That she turns out so well is a testament to her strength.
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