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Some of the most romantic moments in fiction include big, sweeping gestures, like flying someone to the other side of the world on a whim, but most are tiny moments of private expression, such as holding onto the button from someone's coat, just because you can't stop thinking about him or her.These collected moments are what keep romance readers returning for more, and what keeps a healthy relationship thriving.Romance novels often are accused of generating false expectations among readers.Not so: romance novels can and have pointed the way toward genuine expressions of affection for many readers, myself included.As it so happens, I met my current parter on Tinder — an app that I joined on a whim. While I was navigating the swipe-right-swipe-left world of online dating, I was also making my way through a large TBR of books — some of which were romance novels.

If you've been using dating sites or apps for a while now, you probably have an exhaustive list of dos and don'ts for your potential partner.I'm here to tell you that romance is easily summed up in one word: Fabio.The long, blond hair, the gleaming hunks of waxed man-cleavage peeking out from a shirt that's undone but still tucked in: these are the hallmarks of romance. That may be the stereotypical image of romance, and most certainly of romance novels, but that's not romance itself—not by a long shot.To date, the most romantic words I've ever read weren't from a novel, but were from an anniversary card sent to a woman I knew when I was a young girl.Her husband sent it on their tenth anniversary, and she'd kept the card for more than 60 years.

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