Book Review, Nonfiction, Romance, Writing

The Romance Novel Formula by A.K. Leigh


Is there a secret formula for writing a successful romance novel?

Backed by research and professional expertise, The Romance Novel Formula provides everything you need to take you from idea to first draft of your breakout romance novel.

Join best-selling romance author and academic researcher, Alicia Leigh, as you discover:

  • How to take your love interests on the “lovers’ journey” – inclusive of ALL types of romantic relationships: ménage, alien, LGBTQI, polyamory, etc.
  • A unique five-act structure to make your story easy to write and manage.
  • The specific story “beats” exclusive to the romance genre (and which other books on writing typically exclude).
  • The story and character arcs necessary to classify your book as romance.
  • How to avoid stereotypes by focusing on archetypes.
  • Popular romance tropes.
  • Essential writing techniques.
  • Advice on dialogue.
  • The most common writing mistakes . . . and how to avoid them.
  • Goal, motivation, and conflict.
  • Fear, need, and flaw (what are they, and do you need them?).
  • Much more!  

Complete with checklists and over 30 writing exercises, The Romance Novel Formula is the new essential romance writing guide for aspiring and experienced writers, plotters, pantsers, and professional researchers.


I’ve been reading a few mediocre romances lately and decided to pick up a how-to book on how to write a romance novel. Not that I’m a writer, but I thought it would help me with my reviews. And it has. I now know what to look for in the characters: What are their goals, their motivations, and their conflicts? What are their fears, their needs, and their flaw? Do they grow and change? What is the theme of the story? What is the tone, the mood, the atmosphere?

The book has a great outline to follow that shows one what to look for in each phase of the novel. For example, in the first 25% of the book the reader should be introduced to the first love interest, the world they live in, the meet cute (or meet ugly) of the love interests, and how the protagonists are ready to embark on a new world together. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get into a book and now I can use Ms. Leigh’s formula and break it down more easily in my review.

The guidebook made me think beyond the basics of a romance novel. I was in the middle of reviewing another book when I started reading this one and it helped me look back at things I might have missed resulting in a more interesting and clear review.  

As Ms. Leigh notes, “This book is intended as a guide to assist you while giving you the freedom to find your own version of a formula.” This is the author’s outline that she uses from her experience and she gives many examples from her own book, Beautiful (under her pseudonym, Leigh Hatchmann), Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall.

Whether you are just beginning your first novel, looking to improve your writing skills, or, like me, wanting to write more insightful reviews, give this book a try. 

Developing new skills is something I strive to do regularly and I hope my reviews will reflect what I’ve learned from Ms. Leigh’s book.


The Romance Novel Formula

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Leigh HatchmannLeigh Hatchmann is a best-selling non-fiction author, international-selling romance author, identical triplet, writing coach, editor, and hot chocolate addict. She uses her postgraduate degree in counseling to create believable, three-dimensional characters. Her certificates in forensic science and forensic anthropology help her to create realistic crime elements in her stories. She is currently completing her master’s degree in writing and has also finished her postgraduate study in editing.

When not writing, reading, coaching, studying, or enjoying nature, she can be found having fun in nature with her three gorgeous children (plus one laid-back dog and one grumpy cat). She is active on social media and encourages readers to interact with her there. She also writes fiction under the pseudonym A.K. Leigh and non-fiction as Alicia Leigh.

*Fall in love . . . with Leigh!*

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