Desperate Fortune Susanna Kearsley

A Desperate Fortune

Book: By Susanna Kearsley. Inciting Event: Sara’s POV: The book, like most of Kearsley’s, is split into two stories with a modern-day framing device for the historical section. Here, Sara (an amateur code breaker with Asperger’s) arrives in France to crack the cipher on an 18th-century Jacobite woman’s journal. There, she meets the handsome Frenchman, […]

Me Before You JoJo Moyes

Me Before You

Inciting Event: After losing a series of jobs and then being hired by the wealthy Mrs. Traynor to look after her quadriplegic son Will, Lou and Will finally meet. As with most love stories, the Inciting Event is the meeting of the two romantic leads—after spending the first half of the First Act introducing the […]

In Sheep's Clothing Susan May Warren

In Sheep’s Clothing

Inciting Event: Gracie, a missionary in post-Soviet Russia, discovers the murdered bodies of her mentors, a doctor and his wife. This initiates her meeting with the Russian FSB (KGB) agent Vicktor—with whom her romance will take off. This does a nice job of setting off both the suspense plot and the romance plot all in […]

Undetected Dee Henderson


Inciting Event: Sub commander Mark reconnects with Gina, the brilliant younger sister of one of his buddies. He is the first person to whom she tells her latest idea: about a ping submariners can use that enemies will be unable to hear. As in most romances, the Inciting Event is where the two romantic leads […]

Breath of Dawn Kristen Heitzmann

The Breath of Dawn

Inciting Event: There isn’t a crystal clear Inciting Event that jumps out at me here. The obvious beginning of the conflict is the meeting of the two leads, Morgan and Quinn, but that happens very early in the story, far before the optimal placing of the First Act turning point at the 12% mark. What […]

rescue team Candace Calvert

Rescue Team

Inciting Event: ER director Kate meets search-and-rescue volunteer Wes in the hospital parking lot. The Inciting Event is always a good place for the two leads to initiate direct contact with one another in a romance. Kate and Wes had already essentially met each other earlier, during the crisis of discovering a stillborn baby in […]

Trauma Plan Candace Calvert

Trauma Plan

Inciting Event: Hospital chaplain Riley summons ER doctor Jack to the chapel to help with a panic-stricken patient. Jack asks Riley to forgive him for their conflict when they initially met. In many ways, the initial meeting between Riley and Jack is the Inciting Event, but this moment is the first where they actually come together as […]

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

Hook: Austen begins by hooking us with her famous opening line: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. The subtle irony creates a sense of conflict from the very first and hints that neither the wife in search of […]

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Time Between Us

Inciting Event: Bennet disappears after Anna finds him suffering from a migraine. First Plot Point: Bennet saves Anna from an armed robbery by transporting them both. First Pinch Point: Emma warns Anna that a relationship with Bennet is doomed because he’s leaving soon. Midpoint: Anna decides she wants to risk having a relationship with Bennet; […]

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund

A Noble Groom

Inciting Event: Carl arrives in Michigan, and he and Annalisa meet. First Plot Point: Carl goes to work on Annalisa’s farm until her future husband can arrive to help her. First Pinch Point: Annalisa’s greedy landlord tries to get her to sell; he warns Carl not to get in his way. Midpoint: Carl contracts typhoid. […]