Jane Austen; Pride and Prejudice 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife.' What an amazing line, and the first line no less. Instantly, you know you are reading a romance novel, a love story. I like that the first lines can grab you straight away, but I don't believe it is a must. I don't want to be beating myself up over making a perfect first line, when I just want to know what story I am reading. first-line, second page, end of chapter one, I don't care. However, a promise must be made at some point near the beginning. Between the author and the reader "By the time this book is over, 'this' would have happened." With that, a certain responsibility lays with the opening of the book/novel/short story. My question is about romance, love... erotica how do you make that promise? What are the ways in which you make it clear to the reader they are reading a love story? What advice would you give to someone writing their first romance? (cough* cough*) Also when writing a short story, how would you get your main love interests to have a relationship blossom while avoiding the cliche of 'love at first sight'? especially if your short story takes place in a narrow time scale?