Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? You might be if you’re not careful. There are plenty of good romance novels out there that are just waiting to be found. If you know where to look, you can find your perfect love story in no time.

Most people consider romance novels to be nothing more than a guilty pleasure. They either love to read them or watch them on TV. However, if you’re looking for something more substance, you might want to look elsewhere. The following will discuss with you the various markers that can help you determine whether or not a romance novel is a good fit for you.

The Prologue

The first thing you’ll want to check for is the prologue. A prologue is a short scene that is set up at the beginning of a story. It’s a chance for the author to establish the overall mood and tone of the story before getting into the meat of it. You may see prologue-like scene at the beginning of a sitcom or movie to give the audience members a few minutes to settle into their seats, laugh, or cry before the story really gets underway.

Some authors like to foreshadow events in the prologue, but it’s not necessary. However, if you see that the story is more likely to be romantic than frightening or tragic, you’re probably going to enjoy it. The prologue of Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice tells the story of a young man who faces an impossible choice at the beginning of the book. It serves as a great introduction to the overall theme and tone of the novel:

“I’m a reasonably attractive man,” he thought to himself. “I have a good job, a nice apartment, and a fantastic family. There should be a woman out there who wants to settle down with me. Why can’t I find true love?”

By asking this question, Sparks sets up the rest of the story. He wants you to know that he’s not going to be the typical “happy-ever-after” kind of author. There will be no “happily ever after’ for Nicholas Sparks’ characters. This is a tale of sacrifice, and it’s a great way to begin.

The Characters

The second thing you’ll want to check for is the characters. Are they likeable? Do you feel like you can relate to them on some level? You should be able to empathize with the characters, even if the story is fictional. Try to identify with what the characters are going through. Take a look at the following:

Irene – She’s worked hard all her life to make sure her daughter’s wedding is perfect. When her husband-to-be dumps her one week before the big day, Irene is faced with the ultimate humiliation. She’s been betrayed by the man she thought was going to be her everything.

Her only daughter, Lucy, has just married the man of her dreams. However, in a twist of fate, it appears that Ed isn’t everything he seem. After only a few months of being married, Lucy finds herself wondering if she made the right choice. Will Ed leave his wife and family for her? If she doesn’t act quickly, Lucy fears that her mother may lose the man she loves most in the world. Luckily, Irene is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her daughter happy.

Lucy – She’s described as “pale and delicate.” If there’s one thing we know about Lucy, it’s that she’s not one to settle for anything less than the best. When her mother gets sick and is unable to attend her daughter’s wedding, Lucy is faced with a life-changing decision. She’s torn between staying with her husband, Ed, and caring for her mother. In the end, Lucy chooses her mother, because she wants her to be at her daughter’s wedding. She wants to prove to herself that she can be a good mother, even though she’s already a wife and mother-to-be.

What’s so great about Lucy is that she’s a realistic character. We can identify with her. It’s easy to relate to a character that we can empathize with. Even if you don’t personally know anyone who’s dealt with adultery or domestic abuse, chances are you know someone who knows someone who has.


Finally, you’ll want to check for the overall tone of the story. Are the characters realistic? The story doesn’t have to be realistic in terms of what happens – we know these things will happen in real life – but it should reflect the way people actually behave in real life. If you find that the story is overly dramatic or cheesy, then you might want to skip out on reading it. These are all signs that it’s probably not the kind of book you’d want to read.

There are plenty of good, romantic novels out there. If you know where to look, you can find your perfect match in no time. Keep in mind that some stories are intended to be enjoyed by all ages, so be sure to check the copyright information before you buy or read.