Setting. An important element for any author to think about when writing their story. It will guide the development of your characters, the way they interact with each other, and set a framework for rules of your world. Now, if I wrote paranormal (And I will next year!) the world would be wide open and the setting would be integral in helping me to communicate important information to the reader.
It is the same for a contemporary romance. Even though the story is set in modern, recognizable, familiar settings it is essential to make the connection with the reader and to make the story believable.
Secret Santa Baby, the story is set primarily in a modern office of a computer game developer. Picture cubicles, copy machines, computers, water coolers and the break room as a potential site for the two characters to interact. In my case, both the hero and heroine work there (Nick is actually co-owner of the company) and the office Secret Santa game is the perfect way for Nick to seduce Tessa and finally tell her how he feels. I shamelessly used the setting to propel the plot and the relationship of my characters.
I’m not the first author to set a romance in the modern-day office—and it makes perfect sense. The setting is familiar to so many people, the structure of remaining “professional” in this setting creates perfect opportunities for sexual tension, and it makes sense that a character would meet their potential love match at the place where they spend most of their time. And (a little bit of a confession here) the office setting helps you to quickly frame the world for the reader and since I had less than 15K words to write my story from beginning to end, I needed to set that up quickly and clearly.
The office romance also tells us as readers that love can happen anywhere—and we love that possibility. Love among the copy machines…it’s more than just a job. ;-)
Robin is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of the Waterworld Mermaids, a Goddess at The Naked Hero, and a contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today.
You can find Robin on her website, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter (@RobinCovington).
Secret Santa Baby by Robin Covington
Tessa Stoneman hasn’t been able to get long-time friend and business partner Nicholas Boone out of her head since they shared a single kiss in college. Even when she dated Nicholas’s best friend. Now that she’s giving up her position at GameNerdz to strike out on her own—and now that she’s single—maybe it’s the right time to see if there’s still something between them.
Nicholas knows once Tessa leaves the company she helped found, they might drift apart. Before she starts her own company in the new year, he wants to woo the woman he fell in love with during college. So he poses as her Secret Santa, gifts her with items from the song “Santa Baby,” and plans a big reveal at the company holiday party. But when his best friend wants to rekindle his romance with Tessa, will Nicholas lose his last chance?
To be entered just leave a comment for Robin or tell us: Do you like office romance stories? Why/why not? Or what other trope do you prefer?