Do I hear a collective sigh? (Mr. Darcy will always look like Colin Firth to me.)
I've never wanted to be a romance writer, especially since that isn't my preferred fiction reading. However, I love a good mystery, suspense, or thriller that has a touch of romance. And that's what I write. I don't really want to be hit over the head by all the various ways of describing attraction, most of which makes my eyes roll. Some even makes me want to throw the book across the room. Especially if what is keeping the hero and heroine apart is something that could be cleared up in a matter of minutes if only they would talk to one another!
My hubby and I met at a very, very conservative Christian university in the South that had extremely strict rules for dating couples. We were not allowed to even hold hands on campus. In addition to the usual dating opportunities a college campus has—lunch, dinner, sporting events, concerts, recitals, etc.—we had what was called the "Social Parlor." Think huge furniture store with loveseats and coffee tables scattered all around. And a chaperon sitting sitting at a desk or walking round the "parlor," making sure all couples were adhering to the rules.
A little strict? Yes. Archaic even? Yes, again. Frustrating at times? Absolutely! But those were the times that taught us the power of a look and the ability to communicate that has held us together over the last 33 years. And when we were together away from the school, we held hands, hugged, and yes (GASP) we kissed! LOL
That's why Jane Austen's subtle romance as portrayed in Pride and Prejudice appeals to me. As Elizabeth and Darcy got to know each other better, the more they came to appreciate each other for more than just physical attraction. That's the kind of romance I strive to portray in my own writing. And that's the kind of romance I like to read as well.