hi all. I'm currently trying to outline my new historical (regency) romance novel. I had a perfectly serviceable plot that just didn't really speak to me at all and now I think I've got what I need, except arguably the most important part: why the characters are around each other in the first place. Generally in my stories (and romance in general, I know) the couple has a reason for spending time together. They're fake dating or one is a handyman and one owns a dilapidated house, or they're roommates, etc etc. But I can't come up with anything for this story. I have my characters pretty set: H is the illegitimate son of a Duke, and has a complicated relationship with his father that makes him want to stand on his own two feet apart from any aristocratic influence, and is wary about being involved with those higher born than he; h is the wealthy and social heiress to her father's peerage and idealizes romance and love despite the distress her own parents' estrangement has caused her. My plot is also set, excluding one pretty big detail: They meet in Italy, where h has lived with her father for years, and H introduces himself as his legitimate half-brother for reasons; h returns to England after years away, learns the truth about H and is angry, [...they fall in love...], they have an amorous understanding but are torn apart, h is punished and H's mother tells her she will ruin his life by being with him, so h allows H to believe she is rejecting him for his class and lets him get all mad; circumstances bring them back together and when H sees h has kept some trinket he gave her he gets her to admit she is in love with him and HEA. But the part where they actually fall in love is what's bothering me. Initially this was that h's fsther had a mistress and h was trying to avoid the scandal of indiscretion by enlisting H to help set the mistress (who she was friendly with) up with another man. I thought it flowed okay but I just...ehhh. Don't love it. I've thought about this being something that the h offers to pay a vast sun of money to the H for, which he needs to start a business or something away from his dad, but I can't figure out what she wants—well, she wants to find true love and get through her season without scandal, but I don't know how to translate that into a plot point. I have come up with enough couple-thrown-together circumstances to write twenty hallmark movies but none of them seem to fit my couple! Does anyone have any ideas?