I have been thinking about this idea since book club last night. In the book, Jane Slayre (and more so in the original Jane Eyre story) the heroine and hero are fairly plan.
Their desire for each other grows out of respect or something like that anyway. Or better said, Jane's desire for Mr. Rochester grows over time, but Mr. Rochester falls for her almost on sight.
Switch gears for a moment to Pride and Prejudice. Neither Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennett like each other at first. Only after both are stuck under the same roof for a week do they start to get over themselves. Both believe the other at first to be unattractive.
Do these icons of romantic fiction have to do with a great story or the author's own issues? Are they products of the time they are written or something else?
I'll let you in on something. When I write, I always make my lead female ugly. No matter what the story I am writing is, I make my lead male a sex symbol and my lead female a ball of crap.
No matter what genre I decide to make that particular story wither it be romantic fiction or horror, I make my heroine just less then plan.
And I always make it a combination of love at first sight and gradual respect.
In real life, I believe fully in love at first sight. Or at best Lust anyway. I've fallen in Love/Lust at first sight on many many occasions.
I have never yet had a relationship that grew on me. Maybe because I keep my friends separate from my lovers.
I don't even remember the last time I actually respected a man I was frealing.
Men of the world, you have been warned.