The problem is there's a formula, particularly in romance.
1.) Needs to have a HEA - and if not then you'd better warn people it's a cliff-hanger or expect some irate readers to get in touch. God forbid you just condemn them to a miserable life...
2.) No cheating by the heroine - yeah, I've failed that one too. Poor Lily. Again, hello 1 star rating from the people who believe marriage is sacred no matter what an arse the husband is, and cheating is therefore never, NEVER allowed.
3.) Men shouldn't say 'I love you' and then let the heroine down - because that never happens in real life - I mean really? Sorry Delilah it must just be you. Oh yeah, and me, before I met my very lovely husband who I've now been with for 25 years...
4.) Rape, drug use... not really thanks. So failed again. One particularly critical reviewer - who obviously never read Full Circle - criticised Lily, saying she'd never have not reported him. I think the domestic abuse statistics would suggest otherwise.
So anyway, the point is I've consistently broken the rules of romance. The only thing I find myself mulling over is whether you would be able to get past a heroine who is so ground down by life to begin with it's made her kind of a bitch. And if you could, would she have to 'get nice' as the story goes on. It's a toughie.
In other news I have started Cold Shoulder. It's good to be back with Delilah (and Eddy who I love just as much.)
Finally, don't run down the stairs when you have pins and needles - just the numb foot, not the needly bit - because that's just asking for trouble.