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5 Ways to Live Like a Romance Novel Heroine

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Even if you're not a fan of those ubiquitous supermarket bodice-rippers, you have to admit you've spent at least a little time daydreaming about having a Fabio-type come sweep you off your feet into the Happily Ever After. Totally unrealistic, though, right?

Well, according to the authors of a new book, it might not be. The authors of Wild, Wicked & Wanton: 101 Ways to Love Like You're in a Romance Novel (out today from Adams Media), Christie Craig and Faye Hughes (both romance novelists themselves), argue that finding and keeping Mr. Wonderful is as simple as adopting the attitude and relationship rulebook of the "innocent ingénues," "good girls next door," and "blissfully bad bitches" of the sexy genre.

As Craig and Hughes say: "There are ... attributes we give our heroines to help them deal with all the relationship crap. We're talking about courage, strength, wisdom, and some good ol' kick-ass gumption. Our heroines don't wish they had said something, they say it. They don't sit around and fret about their problems, either. They set out to fix them. They dig deep within themselves, discover their hidden strengths, and write their own happy endings."

Sound corny? Okay sure, it kind of is. But we're also kind of loving some of the rules Craig and Hughes set forth for their heroine, Jayne. A selection of our favorites:

  • Don't confuse a mistake with a character flaw. A mistake is a one-time thing — something that can be fixed. But a character flaw is a permanent defect. Craig and Hughes say, "Once a man has cheated, he's probably going to do it again ... and again."
  • The only way to get what you want is to ask for it. Solid advice in relationships and elsewhere. "Jayne learned a long time ago that the best way to succeed in life is to identify your goal and then set out to attain it. Part of that attainment process involves stating your goal to the people who matter. That means, if she wants a better table at a restaurant, she tells the maitre d'. If she wants a promotion at work, she tells her boss. And if she wants a monogamous relationship with her boyfriend? Well, that means she tells [him]."
  • The problem with going out of your way to make a good impression is that you have to live up to it. Craig and Hughes tell the tale of Jayne's meeting her new boyfriend's family for the first time — and his insistence that he pick out her outfit, set the rules for conversation topics, and remind her which was the salad fork. Jayne refuses to wear the three-piece suit her boyfriend, Brit, picks out for her (do they even make those for women?), thinking, "If her personal style wasn't good enough for his parents, maybe it wasn't good enough for Brit. She soon learned it wasn't. Was she heartbroken? Maybe a little, but Jayne knew there was nothing wrong with her personal style and someday she'd meet a man who'd love her for who she was."
  • Never question your instinct or your granny-panty safety net. The authors maintain that granny panties are "a way to ward off temptation and make sure the clothes stay on, until you are ready for them to come off." Pretty true, in our experience.
  • There really is a difference between having sex and making love. As much as we shudder at the M-L phrase, Craig and Hughes have a point: "Sex that is driven solely by lust will eventually lose its spark, while sex driven by love comes with rechargeable batteries."
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