I admit, I've never been a fan of romance in fantasy, although if it fits the plot, I certainly don't mind it. Now I find myself needing to include a romantic subplot in my fantasy novel, and I'm not quite sure I know how I feel about it.
Writing the kissy, emotional scenes doesn't bother me. I don't plan to include anything R rated, so if my characters do end up in bed, it'll be behind a closed door. What makes me squirm is the need for it in the first place. For those who know the story of Gavin Kinshield, it makes perfect sense that he would need to find a wife -- and quickly (in case he croaks). In fact, omitting it altogether would be completely illogical from a story standpoint. Glossing over a subplot is, well, not who I am as a writer. If I'm going to include it, it has to be an integral part of the story. It has to pull its own weight.
Yet, I hesitate. When I ask myself why, the only answer that comes to mind is that "romance doesn't belong in fantasy." I know, I know. It's a subjective preference, one that many other fantasy readers share. Will they forgive me this one indulgence? Will I forgive myself?