Even something as passionate and overwhelming as true love may need a formula to make it work. To hear Carol Stacy, publisher of Romantic Times magazine, tell it, true romance, as depicted in the novels reviewed in her magazine, depends on an exact sequence of events. Readers of such classics as Whitney, My Love (Judith McNaught), An Accidental Goddess (Megan Sybil Baker) and The Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) will recognize the signs:

  1. Instant chemistry between a man and a woman.

  2. Sexual tension draws the man and the woman closer together, but a dramatic conflict separates them.

  3. Reader roots for the hero and the heroine to get together, despite all obstacles.

  4. Resolution: Hero commits to the heroine and the couple, it is implied, lives happily ever after.