Like Paula mentioned in her post yesterday, most romance readers expect a 'happily ever after' (or at least a happy ending) to their books. But before that occurs, all sorts of things can, and usually do, happen to the characters along the way, making the reader wonder how in the world the HEA can ever occur.
The big resolve, of course, is usually the emotional conflict. In a suspense, an external conflict must be solved as well. Something that often gets in the hero and heroine's ways are the hazards they face as the story progresses.
But suppose we turn those hazards around and use them as a way to get the hero and heroine together, rather than keep them apart?
Having the hero play the...well, for lack of a better word...hero, is one way to get the heroine to begin to trust him. If she can trust him with her life...sometimes that helps lead her to realize she can trust him with her heart as well.
I've used a 'hazard' in several of my books.
In one it was as simple as the heroine witnessing another character's injury, which brought to mind bad memories for her. It was in the hero's arms where she found comfort and rest from her fears, and reminders of the past love they'd once shared, just waiting to be rediscovered.
In another my heroine's canoe tips over and it is the hero who pulls her from the water, saving her life. This allows her to see she can trust him with her body, and get beyond intimacy issues she has, which eventually leads to her trusting him with her heart.
In another, my heroine twists her ankle, and it is the hero's care and comfort that allow her to see past the 'fun-loving' persona he puts on to the kind and compassionate man beneath: a man she can fall in love with.
Hazards befall our characters all the time. Using them can be one way to establish intimacy and trust between your hero and heroine.
Until next time,
Happy Reading and Merry Christmas!