Have you ever read a story and thought, "What the hell? There's something missing." You look and look but can't put your finger on it and it makes you put the book down and move on.
I have learned, in my many years of reading, that when this happens to me it's because the story is missing a strong female or in the case of M/M romance a strong secondary male. I hate when there's an alpha who knows his shit and can take on the world but the person he is chasing is a mouse who can't stand up to a fly. Case in point, I read a book recently where the woman was a badass fighter but when the male came into the picture she turned into a yes woman. I didn't finish the book and it still sits on my nightstand looking at me.
As an author I try to write my females and secondary males as strong characters who are driven to find themselves while helping their mate overcome whatever problems they are facing. When I had a beta reader get back to me after reading parts of my third book, Duel Guardian, which should be out early next year, she said she was surprised with the lead female. Natalia, the main character, was strong in her own right and was actually more powerful then her male mates. The comment made me smile and I can't wait to introduce her to the world.
What are some things you have to have in a story for it to keep your attention?