The romance between Isabel, the main character, and Luke, a handsome Changer who doesn’t disguise his interest in her, is the secondary plot of my new book.
I already know why Luke likes her. She helps him out during a stormy night when she could easily have turned him in. Not everyone would have done that, and he never forgets her for it. Ironically, she doesn’t recognise him when they meet up again. Also, he keeps seeing the real Isabel behind the mask she puts up. He sees how kind, loving and gentle she is.
What I can’t figure out is why Isabel likes Luke.
She thinks he’s attractive, yes, but she doesn’t do anything because of that. She suspects that he might be after her for power and connections; it’s a case of ‘Do you like me, or do you like what I can give you?’ There’s also the fact that Isabel really does not like Changers at this precise minute, and with good reason.
One thing there won’t be is what some reviewers call ‘instalove’. It’s when two characters decide they are completely and utterly head-over-heels in love with each other at their first meeting. A lot of YA reviewers really don’t like that, and I can see why. But on the other hand, these characters are teenagers. In Teen Wolf, Scott is smitten with Allison from the first moment he sees her and to be honest, that’s a pretty realistic reaction for a sixteen-year-old. (The only problem is he happens to be a werewolf and Allison’s family are werewolf hunters. Oh dear.) And to be honest, love at first sight does exist. But judging from reviews, YA readers and reviewers might not thank you if you have it in your book.
The romance isn’t the main plot, but unless it’s done right, it’s going to fall flat. But hey, you can’t please everyone who reads a book, can you?