- original romance novel
- sexual tension, but chastity
- no love scenes
- lovemaking only happens between married couples
- lots of emotions, angst, longing
- respect (the hero will not force the heroine or elope)
- heroes knows each other since childhood or are neighbors or have family ties
- emotional tension is important
- you need to get something going in the story that keeps the lovers apart and fill their mind
- the conflict is in what prevents them from getting together
- 50,000 to 55,000 words
"Golden Heart finalist Carol S. Dunford had this to say: "I've found (sweet romances) to be challenging for that very reason. Plus the length is so short, you really have to focus, focus, focus on the romance. I try to put the hero/heroine in situations where they can't get much farther than kissing/petting.
"I think keeping the heat up in these books is no different than in any other -- remember, it's the wanting that's hot, not necessarily the getting. Make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em wait as (I think) Nora Roberts said. [Editor's note: Actually, according to an alert reader, this quote has been attributed to a variety of people, including Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, so while Nora Roberts may have said it, it's unlikely she said it FIRST!] They need a good, logical reason for not doing the horizontal cha-cha, but as long as you supply that and it's honest to your characters, there's no saying they have to make love.""
-- Mary Janice Davidson. "Keeping it sweet while turning up the heat."
Her Heart for the Asking by Lisa Mondello
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleyplas
From This Moment On by Lynn Kurland
The Silk Romance by Helena Fairfax
The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
Tangled by Emma Chase
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (YA)
Does my Head Look Big in This by Randa Abdel-Fattah (YA)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
"Life is Beautiful"
"Gone with the Wind"
"Kate and Leopold"
"The Princess Bride"
"13 Going On 30"
"She's The Man"
"Just Like Heaven"
Mary Janice Davidson. "Keeping it sweet while turning up the heat." Writing-World.
Fairfax, Helena. "How to make a sweet romance break bad (and how to raise the tension."