Series Saturday: At RWA Nationals

As series authors know, the best romances can come in small packages. The writers of these category-length tales are especially adept at making sure that every glance and every word spoken is infused with meaning. Each scene in these books must count and oftentimes the most important scene is the first meeting between the hero and the heroine. This year at the RWA Nationals we had the chance to ask series authors to reveal which one of their “meeting scenes” between the hero and heroine they consider their most memorable.

Jane Porter, Harlequin Presents

When asked to reveal her favorite meeting scene, Jane Porter immediately mentioned her May 2008 Harlequin Presents title, King of the Desert, Captive Bride. When wrongly imprisoned on trumped up charges in the Middle East, travel agent Olivia Morse has no one to turn to — except Sheikh Khalid Fehr. To get her out of jail, he must claim her as his betrothed. “The heroine is in a horrible prison,” explains Porter, “so he uses his Alpha-ness to save her.” And with this unconventional start, these characters have secured a place in the author's and readers' hearts.

Vicki Lewis Thompson, Harlequin Blaze

For Vicki Lewis Thompson, the best is yet to come. Fans won’t get to read this author's most memorable meeting scene until next June in a new Sons of Chance book, but it promises to be a doozy. The introduction between the hero and heroine starts, interestingly enough, with a fire. The hero sees smoke coming from the property that borders his ranch, and when he investigates he finds the heroine setting aflame her recently deceased father’s old recliner. Her father had let the ranch go to ruin, and the heroine is acting out on her emotions. “She is totally ticked off and grief stricken, and this is her act of rebellion,” says Thompson. If first meetings are anything to go by, this is going to be one hot ride!

Michelle Willingham, Harlequin Historical

The meeting scene in Michelle Williangham’s July historical Tempted by the Highland Warrior, stands out in the author's mind. In the story, Callum MacKinloch has suffered at the hands of his captor, and Marguerite de Montpierre is the only one who can soothe this tortured soul. When they meet, Callum has already lost the ability to speak, yet he and Marguerite communicate on another level. “Their meeting is a unique scene because he doesn’t speak,” explains Willingham. "But Marguerite proves to be Callum's angel and he clings the memory of her to help him heal." The tender scene is one the couple, and readers, will savor.

Marta Perry, Harlequin Love Inspired

The choice is an easy one for author Marta Perry: “One of my favorite hero/heroine meeting scenes from my Love Inspired books happens in Her Surprise Sister, my July release in the Texas Twins series. Violet Colby is dumbfounded when a handsome stranger walks up to her in a Fort Worth coffee shop and demands to know why she’s avoiding him. Before she can yell for help or pull out the pepper spray, he says, ‘Whatever you think, I still want to marry you.’” And so begins the tale of Violet and Landon Derringer — as this twin is mistaken for a sister she never knew she had.

Andrea Laurence, Harlequin Desire

It’s been said that the best place to meet someone is actually at a wedding — and that’s just where the hero and heroine of Andrea Laurence’s July's More Than He Expected, cross paths. “The characters are a maid of honor and best man at a friend’s wedding,” says the author. “When they are walking down the aisle Alex whispers to Gwen ‘Later’ — just that one word. And then after the reception, he finds her and says ‘It’s later.’” How charming! Is it any wonder this is Laurence’s pick for favorite?

Kira Sinclair, Harlequin Blaze

Kira Sinclair is especially excited for readers to get a hold of her yet-to-be-released December 2012 title The Risk Taker. In this Blaze book, the hero and heroine are no strangers to each other, but it has been about 12 years since they’ve last had contact. “The hero has been an Army Ranger who has been tortured horribly and he’s back in the States. To forget the bad memories he needs an adrenaline rush, so he’s joined an underground fighting club,” says Sinclair. “The heroine follows him there and when he is in the ring, he sees her in the crowd which causes shock and confusion and results in him taking an uppercut to the face!” Sounds like a (re)meet he — and we — won’t soon forget.

We all remember our favorite couples and the moment they first locked eyes ... whether it was when Harry Met Sally or when a Regency romance hero asks the object of his affection to dance a waltz. Which “meet cutes” immediately pop to mind and are the most memorable for you? Tell us in the comments below, and to learn more about series romance, click over to our Everything Romance Page.