Based on Rachel Ann Nunes'
6 Steps to Unforgettable Romance &
my examples underneath
1. Both main characters have goals outside of falling in love.
One of them is trying to get a promotion. Someone moved to a new town and is struggling to fit in. Their business is on the verge of failure than they are working nonstop to save it.
2. The plot is relatable to the reader
The reader might think, "I have those fears." "Something like that happened to my friend." "I can totally see that happening." (In the world the author is creating.)
3. Emotional reactions between characters create tension
Something is out of their control, there is oppression, freedom limited, conflicting ideas of life and love, want the same thing--competing for it, ruthless antagonist, phobia, past failure
4. Intimacy feels real and earned
See my blogpost from September of last year about Romantic Tension
5. Reader satisfaction
Romances all end with a happily every after (HEA) or a happily for now. If it doesn't, it's not a romance.
6. Beta-readers to give feedback on reader's response
The more the merrier! Everyone has a different perspective. Everyone will read the sentences you wrote and inject their own life and circumstances into the story and interpret it differently. It is worth reading each comment carefully, deliberately, and seriously.