When it comes to writing love scenes in fiction, all authors are not created equal. Clichés and sappiness abound, but when it's done right, it's done right . . . what can I say: I'm not above dog-earing pages. (I'm looking at you, Summer Sisters. Oh yes, we did pass that around at my all-girls summer camp.)
If looking at these hot book jackets didn't make you break into a sweat, thinking about these smooches will!
Readers: What do you think is the most romantic literary kiss? Let us know in the comments.
Guest post by Katie Lane
Being a hip ‘70s teen, I passed out my fair share of kisses—or would that be a slutty ‘70s teen? Anyway, it turned out that most of those kisses were just passing fancies. But there were a few I’ll never forget. Like the first time my husband kissed me. His aim was a little off, the bill of his baseball cap thumped me in the forehead and a tube of Chapstick would’ve come in handy. Still, there was something about it that had me coming back for more . . . and more . . . and more.
This is what we strive for as writers: a kiss that will leave our readers hungering for more. From the first hesitant brush, we want to convey a spark of awareness that this kiss is different from all others. If we do it correctly, the kiss becomes not just a passing fancy but the first note in a beautiful symphony.
Here are five literary kisses I feel hit the perfect note.
- Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare): The star-crossed-lover kiss. As a playwright, Shakespeare didn’t go into a lot of detail when penning his kisses. [Kisses her] about covers it. But who needs a bunch of detail when you have poetic prose? "My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand/To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss."
- Rhett and Scarlett (Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell): The (frankly)-my-dear-I-don’t-give-a-damn kiss. Who doesn’t love a kiss that can change a “no” to “yes”?
- Ruark and Shanna (Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss): The last-request kiss. If you think it’s the last kiss you’ll ever have, you’re going to make it good.
- Ron and Hermione (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling): The it’s-about-time kiss. Close to seven books is a long time to wait for a kiss. Fortunately, it was well worth it.
- Edward and Bella (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer): The seconds-from-becoming-my-dinner kiss. That pretty much says it all.
[Thanks, Katie! And speaking of kisses, stop by Katie's website to read an exclusive kiss from the hero and heroine of Make Mine a Bad Boy.]