I just read the latest post on Romancing the Blog, which is basically about how men express romance in different ways. I think it's a valuable post to learn from, since in romance novels, it's often the little things that tell the reader that the two characters are in love. I far prefer a subtle romance than ones where the hero and heroine suddenly fling their arms around each other and declare, "My darling, my love, my passion! I've known you for five minutes! Let's get it on!".
I recently took on a client who's written a great historical romance, which we're going out with to editors shortly. I won't say very much about the book, except that at one point, the hero gives the heroine a book which she's been searching for since childhood. He hasn't seen her for four years, which is how long it's been since she mentioned the book to him, but he's gone and tracked it down especially for her. And when he finally does give her that book, which she's almost forgotten that she ever told him about, you can see how much he really cares about her. He went and found that book and then he held onto it for FOUR YEARS, all in the hope that he might see her again one day. That's love for you.
So, what are your favorite ways of seeing a hero/heroine express love for each other in romance novels? This question applies equally to writers and readers of the genre, since I think it's valuable for both groups to learn from each other. And I also think it equally applies to real life. What did I get for Valentine's Day, you ask? The graphic novel version of the first Babysitters Club book, KRISTY'S GREAT IDEA. I didn't even know that they had made them into graphic novels! But it was the perfect present and I devoured it last night. My boy knows me. =)