This is my absolute favorite trend in the world of romance writing - because it's (in my humble opinion - that and a buck might buy you a cup of coffee) the only one that matters. To me, romance novels - the gory, thriller kind to the inspirational kind - offer an escape to the reader. A chance to vacate their actual life, which might be filled with carpools, boring luncheons or 9 endless hours in a thankless job, and live in someone else's shoes.
Just like the fairy tales we remember, which all begin Once Upon A Time, a romance novel is a chance to get swept away and be...whoever we feel like being for a couple of hours. Or for the five minutes of peace we get while the kids, husband, pets and phone are quiet. Once Upon A Time...and 300 or so pages later we get ...And They Lived Happily Ever After.
No matter what trends are out there - and there are plenty: vampires, inspirational, cowboys, historical, futuristic - the one trend that is always needed is the promise we offer our readers. The promise that we'll sweep them away into a world where they don't have to worry about being late to soccer practice, that their boss will notice the hard work she puts in and not just the coffee she serves, that her husband still finds her the most attractive woman in the world - even at 5 AM, without makeup and with morning breath.
So that is the one trend I try to follow in all my books - that Once Upon A Time I offered my reader a 2 hour vacation from her life...and She Lived Happily Ever After.