Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I am so honored to be here on Books by Banister today. Tracie and I met over a random “The Mentalist” tweet a few years ago and have been supporting each other ever since. Just thinking about how we met, I wondered…

Would that qualify as a “Meet Cute?”

If you’re a fan of Chick Lit, romances or romantic comedies (rom coms), then you know about the meet cute. It’s where the romantic leads meet for the first time in a manner that’s supposed to be delightful and charming. They can take many forms, but there’s one type that seems to show up more frequently. It’s the one where the heroine is unexpectedly clumsy the moment she meets the hero, and then afterwards, her clumsiness miraculously disappears.  You could probably list five such meet cutes off the top of your head. And I bet at least one involves Katherine Heigl.

I’m not a fan of clumsy fall meet cute—Or maybe it’s just Katherine Hiegl movies?—and yet they are a checklist must in romantic comedies. But why? It has to be more than making the audience believe the heroine is so gosh-darned adorable? The clumsy fall meet cute usually occurs in movies. Could there be a medium specific reason?

Ninety minutes isn’t a lot of time to show two people falling in love. What might take weeks or months in real life, often needs to occur in a matter of minutes in a movie. And one way to introduce an attraction between two people is to have them touch each other. That first touch tells us a lot, doesn’t it? Touch implies trust and vulnerability. When you take a chance and let someone touch you and you’re validated with that spark of attraction, you tend to view the source of that touch through a new lens. In the twelve steps to intimacy, the first touch (hand to hand/arm) comes in at number four. Twenty-five percent of the intimacy courtship occurs before two people even touch each other. It’s that important. The clumsy fall meet cute allows our leads to skip intimacy steps and thus get the relationship ball rolling.

Just because I don’t like the clumsy fall meet cute, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the value of a meet cute that involves touch. In my debut release, The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride, my heroine, Pamela, confronts my hero, Marcus, on a golf course. What starts out as a mildly flirtatious encounter, with lots of eye contact, quickly turns hostile. But I can’t let things end that way. If I do, why would Pamela ever want to see him again?

“There’s nothing I can do.” He turned and started down the cart path.

She ran up alongside him. “Is that it? You aren’t going to help us?” She was so focused on him she didn’t notice a golf cart heading their way. He reached out and pulled her off the path just as the cart zoomed by. The old man driving it never stopped.

Adrenaline raced through him and they stood breathing heavily, his arm around her waist, their bodies pressed together. A diamond solitaire winked at him where it lay in her cleavage. He had a sudden and unexpected vision of her naked except for the necklace, in his bed, her long limbs and soft skin open and welcoming.

“Thank you,” she whispered.

“You’re welcome.”

This is their meet cute. It’s the incident that allows them to touch, to cement that the attraction exists and is two-sided, before they go their separate ways. And we need them to want each other. That desire will lead them to search each other out and send them on a journey to happily ever after. I’m not saying touch is mandatory. Certainly, intense eye contact can jump start an attraction. But ask yourself, when face to face with a person you find attractive, would you rather be looked at or touched? ;-)

What’s your favorite “meet cute?”

Author Bio: Tracey Livesay wrote her first romance novel at the age of eleven, called “The Healing Power of Love.” With a detour through college and law school--where she met her husband on the very first day--she’s finally achieved her dream of being a published author. She lives in Virginia with said husband and three kids. Her debut novel, The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride, is available now from Entangled Publishing. For info on her upcoming releases or to chat about TV, movies and/or purses you can check out her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Blurb:  To avenge his mother’s mistreatment at the hands of her upper-crust employer, self-made real estate tycoon Marcus Pearson needs entree into their exclusive world. When D.C. socialite Pamela Harrington comes to him for help, Marcus realizes the golden admission ticket he’s been seeking has suddenly fallen into his lap.

Pamela will do anything to save her favorite cause, even agree to a marriage of convenience. The altruistic "it-girl" isn't worried about the pretend passion with Marcus turning real; she's sworn off powerful, driven men who use her for her family's connections.

So she'll deny the way her pulse races with one look from his crystalline blue eyes. And he'll ignore the way his body throbs with each kiss from her full lips. Because there's no way he'll lose his blue-collar heart to the blue-blooded beauty.

Buy The Tycoon's Socialite Bride:


  1. Thank you for this article. It is so difficult coming up with a meet-cute that isn't contrived or cheesy, I think and I found the 'touch' idea very helpful.

    1. You're welcome! I'm glad it could help. :-)

  2. Hi Tracey! You made me look - is there a list of Meet Cutes for RomCom's? Not that I could find in the couple of minutes I stole from work, but I did find a fun link of Meet Cutes posted in honor Norah Ephrom's passing. http://ow.ly/ueUek - they are rather obvious, aren't they? But we don't watch RomCom to be deep thinkers, do we? Your explanation about why use Meet Cutes makes total sense. Enjoyed the post and The Tycoon's Socialite Bride IMMENSELY!