This week's theme at Fierce Romance is love and romance. After all, this is the week leading up to Valentine's Day. And all of us here love to talk about love and romance, it's probably our favorite topic. At least it's mine, and therein lies the problem. How to pick just one topic, something specific enough to not overwhelm one little blog post.
Then I remembered a statistic I read about romance readers. I wish I could remember where I read it, I'd give credit where it's due, but the fact was that one of the most important parts of a romance, to the reader, is the moment when the hero or heroine realize they've fallen in love. It struck a chord when I read that, because I totally agree. As readers we want to experience that emotional moment of actually falling in love. It's wonderful, right? It's uplifting, isn't it?
Well, I was actually suprised when I scanned some of my stories to post examples. In most of these moments, the character is not exactly happy about falling in love.
This is from my first novel with Samhain, The Ride of Her Life:
Oh, no. She clamped her hand over her mouth before the cry could escape. How had this happened?
Not the lovemaking. She knew perfectly well how that had happened. And it had been wonderful. Everything she’d dreamed of and more. But this situation hadn’t ended up the way she’d planned. She’d been naïve enough to believe if she had one or two memorable nights of sex with Dean, she could go back to Buffalo a happy woman.
But now, the memories weren’t enough. A few nights weren’t enough.
She wanted more. She wanted Dean. She wanted happily ever after.
Sarah angrily brushed away the tears that slipped from her eyes. What was wrong with her? She knew better. She knew what she couldn’t have. But it obviously didn’t matter.
She had fallen in love with Dean.
Stupid. How could she be so stupid? Falling in love with him was the last thing she wanted to do. She thought she knew what she had been getting into. She thought she had her emotions under control.
Now she looked down at the man sleeping beside her and knew she would go back to Buffalo with a broken heart.
And from one of my Red Sage Secrets novellas from Vol 24, Bad to the Bone:
Insatiable. That was a word Annie never thought would apply to her. She couldn’t get enough of sex with Luke. Would it always be this way? Well, of course, it wouldn’t because he wouldn’t always be with her. Someday, in the very near future, she would have to do without Luke, without sex with Luke. What would she do then?
Just like driving another car just wouldn’t be the same, neither would being with any of the other bad boys out there.
And now he wanted to fulfill a fantasy she’d forgotten she even mentioned. But he remembered, the shit. He was supposed to be a bad boy. He wasn’t supposed to make her fall for him.
It wasn’t fair. She wasn’t supposed to fall in love with the first bad boy she found.
And even when I found an example when the character wasn't sorry he'd fallen in love, there's still a conflict to overcome, which is the second lesson I think we need to take away from this. This is from my Ellora's Cave novel, Chains of Desire:
He’d been so stupid to underestimate his little slave. Didn’t he already know how strong and brave she was? She could take on anyone. Even his archenemy. She didn’t need him to protect her.
And he knew in that moment that he loved Hanna. What he felt for her was so much more than the mere devotion of a Master and his slave. How could he have ever doubted it? He loved her and now he might never get the chance to tell her.
The moment when the hero or heroine realizes they've fallen in love usually isn't the happily ever after moment we crave. It's a moment we all want to read, but that doesn't mean all the problems have been solved. In fact, it often means some of those problems are just beginning. And I've found there are usually two of those moments in every book because it is seldom that both characters realize they love the other at the same time.
What about you? Would you feel let down if you couldn't experience the falling-in-love moment? I know I would.