Monday, July 6, 2009
Gotta Love a Good Romance
By Robin Kaye
When people ask why I write romance, I tell them that it’s because I love to read it. It wasn’t always that way. I don’t think I read a romance until eight or nine years ago. I grew up reading all my father’s books, Harold Robbins, Robert Ludlum, Sidney Sheldon and the like. My mother was never a big reader, thank God because if she’d known what I was reading in the third grade, she probably would have had a conniption fit.
It wasn’t until a few months after I moved to Maryland from Boise, Idaho in October of 2000, that I picked up my first romance. I fell in love with the smart heroines, great dialogue and to die for heroes--what’s not to love? Once I got one in my hot little hands, I couldn’t put them down.
I’m a book a day reader, and believe me; if I don’t get my book fix I go through romance withdrawal. I’ve been on a reading ‘diet’ due to a crazy family life and writing deadlines. You should see me now—It’s not a pretty picture. But going on a reading diet has shown me what it is I really miss about reading a great romance. I realized I love to see the character’s arc—the way they grow and change through the book. I want to understand why a character is who he/she is at the beginning of the book and then watch her/him blossom into a better, happier version. I love to watch people, who, with the love of the right woman or man, rise to their potential even when it’s difficult to see that potential in the beginning. The great thing about love is that a true soul mate has the ability to see through the facade our heroine shows the world around her to her true essence.
Take Annabelle Ronaldi, the heroine in Too Hot To Handle. Annabelle has by no means led a charmed life, and because of it could be considered a bit of a pill. She’s not perfect, but then, who is? Even in fiction, every character has flaws—they are a part of what makes the character believable and someone we can all relate to. What makes a heroine heroic, in my opinion, is that she has the strength to recognize and overcome her faults and any other obstacle keeping her from being the best person she can be. In Annabelle’s case it was a family from hell, a dead boyfriend she never quite got over, the embarrassment of catching the her fiancé boiking the help and having a sister take over the dream wedding she’d spent the last year planning.
Annabelle was so far from perfect it wasn’t funny. Okay, it was funny, but hey, I write romantic comedy, work with me here. The thing I love about Annabelle is that she was strong enough to face her fears, and with the help of Becca, her best friend, Dr. Mike Flynn our Domestic God hero, and even the family from hell, was able to grow, overcome her past mistakes and learn from them. She became the best version of herself. Isn’t that what we try to do every day? Learn and change and become a better version of ourselves?
What is it about reading romances that you love?