As a romance fan, I love reading certain scenarios. What are some favorite moments? Of course, the “I love you,” or big reveal, is wonderful. There’s probably nothing better, in my opinion. I also love the head-butting stage between the protagonists, when they believe the other person is the worst possible person for them. As we all know, they’ll eventually be proven wrong. They’re actually perfect for each other. I also enjoy those first few interactions, in which the reader gets a sneak peek into the character’s psyche.
Romance is filled with so many iconic situations and relationship milestones. But as much as I love the things I just outlined, there is one romance scenario that gets my reader heart racing.
I love a good one-night stand.
One-night stands are meant to be a one-off, a night of fun. They usually occur for particular reasons. Character A needs to scratch an itch, and Character B seems like the best person to do the scratching. It isn’t meant to go anywhere. Maybe the protagonist is looking to exorcise some demons with a hottie from his past or an attractive stranger. In fact, the protagonist may not even want to fall in love.
Of course, in romance, things are not usually as simple as they first appear. Although a hero or heroine might not be looking any further than the next morning, their one-night stand sets them on a new course, whether they realize it or not. In that sense, it’s a good plot device.
These romances present us with characters who are standing on a precipice. They’re often looking to shake things up because something in their lives isn’t working. In short, they’re willing to take a risk, and there’s something exhilarating in being able to watch that process as a reader.
As fans of the genre know, the one-night stand doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes these casual encounters lead to unplanned pregnancies. Sometimes, one night of hot sex leads to strained relations in business or family life.
It really is the trope that keeps on giving. Can you feel the drama?
If you like your romances steamy, then chances are you’ll love this trope. The heat level can be high. However, there are some great closed-door romances that also fit this bill. My favorite thing, though, is getting to witness all the awkwardness. After all, those characters have to face each other after their sex fest. It’s bound to be intense, and quite frankly, I find that extremely satisfying. Whether they see each other right away, or run into each other years later, it always comes with fireworks and “deer in headlights” confrontations. Those moments are awesome. They appease my dark soul.
Most of all, they show us very clearly neither of those characters has ever forgotten their partner in that one-night stand. In one way or another, that night changed them. What happens then? They may no longer be standing on that same precipice, but all of a sudden, they find themselves teetering on another.
And we get to watch them fall. Isn’t it fun?
If you haven’t already read this trope, I hope I’ve convinced you to give it a try. But what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t give you some recommendations first?
My first recommendation is aptly named. Parker Kincade is one of my go-to authors, and her book One Night Stand is a delicious exploration of this theme.
In A Match Made for Thanksgiving, Jackie Lau’s hero must return to his hometown of Mosquito Bay for Thanksgiving. So, on top of a delicious one-night stand, we also get some holiday romance here, as well as tricky family situations. Oh, and bubble tea.
I love one-night stand romances so much, I wrote one of my own! In Covet, characters Alex and Dana see each other as a means to an end. All they want is to forget their sadness in a stranger’s arms. What they get is so much more.