Romance novel clean up examples
First draft from author
Ready to indulge her wanderlust, hotel chef Jessie finds herself stuck in Texas with a broken-down car. Her plans to skip town are ruined until a desperate, handsome man makes her an offer she can’t refuse—ten grand to act as his fake girlfriend for the night. No strings attached.
Desperate to get a promotion to CIO, but sabotaged by his bachelor status, Dean panics and asks one of the chefs at his company’s hotel to stand in as his girlfriend for the evening. Lying isn’t his forte, but with Jessie by his side, he hopes he’s gained an edge.
Jessie figures the whole thing would just be a fun story she can tell her grandchildren about someday. But when his boss also insists she come along on their business retreat, Dean invites her, excited to see her again, even though they are only pretending to be a couple. Charmed by his clumsiness and intelligence, she agrees, only to regret it when something continues to build between them. Something they can’t act on because he’s paying her and mixing love and money could never work.
Notes: There’s not technically anything wrong with this blurb. It’s not bad. But it’s a little dry, and it doesn’t even hint at romance until the very end. Preferably, the romance—or at least an attraction—should be hinted at in each paragraph of the finished blurb. (The ones WE’D 1-click, at least) Additionally, there are some totally unnecessary details in this blurb (like the fact that she’s in Texas and the fact that he is panicked, for example), and since every little bit counts in a blurb, this can be simplified and tightened up somewhat. There are also points that make this read more like a synopsis than marketing copy designed to sell a book, particularly in that 3rd paragraph, which has a somewhat “and then this happened, then this happened...” feel to it. Your book blurb should NOT be a synopsis of the events that occur in your book. It should leave readers with questions and a feeling that they NEED to buy the book to find out how the characters overcome their issues and end up together.
Romance Rehab’s version
Hotel chef Jessie thinks her plan to skip town and indulge her wanderlust is as dead as her Camry’s engine...until a handsome stranger makes her an offer she can’t refuse. All she has to do is be his fake girlfriend for one night and he’ll give her ten grand. He’s smart, sweet, and charming in a clumsy kind of way, and she needs the money. What could possibly go wrong?
Dean never regretted his bachelor status...until it nearly cost him his promotion. He needs a fake girlfriend, and Jessie is the perfect combination of witty, gorgeous, and there to give him an edge in the race for CIO. All he has to do is lie his way through the night. Easy, right?
But while their relationship is fake, their chemistry is all too real. And when Dean’s boss insists that Jessie join them on a company retreat, all their best-laid plans--and good intentions--are ruined. Money and lies don’t mix with love, so obviously they can’t act on their feelings. Can they?
Notes: In our cleaned-up version, we hinted at attraction between Jessie and Dean in each paragraph—something that is essential, in our opinion, to snagging a romance reader’s attention quickly. But because this isn’t a particularly hot and steamy romance, we avoided descriptors like “hot chemistry” or “combustible chemistry”, so as not to mislead readers. We also eliminated some irrelevant information as mentioned in the notes above, and tightened up the copy where possible to make sure the sentences flow in a natural, conversational manner. We left in mentions of the fake relationship intact, because fake relationship romance is popular among romance readers on Amazon at the moment (according to KDP Publisher). And finally, we took out all elements that would give readers a “synopsis-y” vibe. The result is a smooth-flowing blurb that gives readers just enough information about the main characters, plot, and trope to make a buying decision without giving away too much information.
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