Real life can look a lot like a romance novel. Okay, you may never masquerade as a tycoon's fake fiancée to secure a lucrative deal on a resort. And maybe the country's top FBI profiler won't need your "special skills" to bring down a serial killer. But there are some basic stories you'll find true to life, where you can love like a heroine in your favorite steamy book.
1. You share a crisis.
Trapped in an elevator, a blackout, natural disaster, bank robbery? It's the last place for love, but in love and in real life, romance can happen under the craziest circumstances. Evidence of this often appears in a delivery room nine months later…
2. Co-workers are made for loving.
It's common to find love at work. Who could blame you since those conference room tables are very sexy. Between the pages of a romance novel, those boardrooms are put to good use. At a professional seminar in the middle of nowhere? Look next to you -- maybe your colleague could offer you new insight…and his room number.
3. He's your boomerang boyfriend.
You never forget that old flame. Social media makes it easy to reconnect and ease romantic regrets. In juicy novels, you are more liable to find each other the old-fashioned way -- in a coffee shop where he just happens to walk in and sees how amazing you look.
4. Delayed travelers making passes in the night.
So you might miss your business meeting in Omaha. The airport chairs aren't comfy enough for snoozing, and you've eaten all your snacks. But wait, who's that weary traveler with the chiseled features watching you with interest? Maybe it's time to strike up a "flying isn't fun anymore" conversation…
5. Your next-door neighbor is handier than you think.
He's the one who's been right under your nose the whole time -- and you're just now noticing that he doesn't draw his shades at night. What began as an oversight is now an obsession with the hunkalicious guy next door. This plot line is a tried-and-true theme, teaching to keep your eyes open for that gem.
6. Your Mrs. diploma is not what you thought it would be.
Your marriage is on the rocks and you decide to separate. Apart, you rediscover yourself and know deep down that you married the right person. In a romance novel, there is no third party involved, unless it's an adorable baby on the way. The crux of the story is the obstacle you're able to overcome -- romantically -- together.
7. The forbidden romance you must make real.
Your brother's hot best friend has tormented you for decades. You can't have him since he only sees you as the little girl playing with Barbies. You are dying to show him that you're a woman now. This might involve a complex strategy of flattering clothes and scheduled run-ins. In romance, this plan always works to the heroine's benefit.
8. You come here often?
When you're lonely for companionship, give yourself a makeover, go to a glitzy bar and dare to be gregarious! Love can begin with you, dressed to kill, finding your inner Chatty Cathy with a handsome stranger.
9. The gum on your shoe is…your beloved soul mate!
When Harry Met Sally… showed us how two people who irritate each other can fall madly in love. There's a reason why you can't stop thinking about that infuriating guy you keep running into. Maybe all that attention he's giving you means he's harboring fantasies, too. Romance novels often center on enemies becoming lovers!
10. The studly Viking who storms your castle, marries you and takes you to his even bigger castle.
Just kidding! This doesn't really happen in real life unless metaphorically. But wouldn't it be nice?
So you see, romance can be real. You can find these tales of love everywhere -- in the park, the office, on your reading device, at your bookstore, and in the stories told by your family and friends. If you need more incentive, my romance is further proof that love can happen at any moment -- and take you completely by surprise.
- By Patience Bloom
Patience Bloom started reading romance novels at 14 and has edited them as a career for 16 years. Her own relationship with The Popular Guy from high school, who showed up on her doorstep (through the magic of Facebook), turned out to be an even better leading man than she could've ever imagined. Their romance prompted her to write a memoir, Romance is My Day Job, available February 6.
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