Skip to content

What Attracts Us May Change

One of my book pet peeves is when a character’s attraction to their love interest centers ONLY around their physical attributes.

We was hot. His muscles bulged. He was just so handsome. His face was like that of a greek god.

Some of that is fine. Being attracted to someone’s physical features is all well and good. But there’s so much more that can attract us to a person, and utilizing a variety of them can make stories so much fuller! Scent, voice, facial expressions, the way they treat others, their mind, their humor.

What attracts one person may not attract another person. Not only that, but what attracts us at one point in time might not be attractive to us later. Let me explain.

Story Time

Soon after I first met my husband, we were in the cafeteria of our University. We’d finished a meal and decided to wander over and get some ice cream. We opened the door of the freezer thing where the giant tubs of ice cream were and my future hubby leans over and in front of me to get his scoops of ice cream. The cold air that was blowing into the ice cream freezer blew over him and up to me, blowing his SCENT right at my face.

And holy cow. Major pheromone reaction. It was a catch-my-breath, reach-out-and-grab-something-to-hold-myself-up moment because hot dang, he smelled delicious. I was nineteen and my olfactory system said, “Yes. Him. We want HIM.”

Now, I was certainly also attraction to his looks, but we all know that pretty people aren’t always good, nice or kind. People are whole packages.

I love it when romance writers include a variety of avenues for attraction, because JUST hearing about how hot someone is gets old pretty quickly. Also, for me, there is something so relatable to reading about a character having that sort of a visceral reaction to a smell, or the way someone moves, or the way a man holds a baby (y’all know what I’m talking about), because I KNOW how that feels.

And, as I mentioned, the things that affect us may change over time. I loved me some strong, yummy man smell back in the day. When we were dating, my man leant me his coat one evening and I went home with it, and I totally slept with it just to enjoy the smell of it.

Fast forward to now. Nearly everything in my house is unscented. Detergents, hand soaps, lotions. Anything that I can get unscented will be unscented because my pregnancies morphed my chemistry so that I HATE strong smells. Not as badly as I did when I was actively pregnant, but I still can’t enjoy my husband’s cologne, and he’s pretty much given up on wearing it. But I still like reading about the heroine who loves a good manly cologne, because I remember what that was like, and I can absolutely relate.

It’s fun to see these changes in what attracts us when they are woven into books. This can be done especially well if the romance takes place over years. Second chance romances books are a great way to showcase how attraction can change and mature over time.

Speaking of second chance stories that happen over time (you like my smooth segway?)… Songs for Libby is on sale!

Clean Romance Highlights

The Book of Merla Meadows by Rebecca Mogollon is a FREE reader magnet.

When a storm hits her village, Merla Meadows takes in a handsome stranger and his mother, who happens to be the infamous Christian mystic, Margery Kempe.

The Way of Water by Toni Cabell is a fantasy clean romance.

The desert kingdom of Toresz is a dangerous place if you’re a woman with a witchy skill—or a man in love with the wrong kind of woman.

Becoming a Leading Lady by S.R. Nulton is a contemporary magic romance.

Emily’s world has been in constant flux since she discovered she had magic.
Published inWriting Process

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply