I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense, with one novel and a free short story published by Ellora’s Cave and several more projects “in development”. I retired from my day job as a civil engineer and manager last June, and it is so wonderful to have ample time to write and read those wonderful books I’d purchased but have been too busy to read. My husband counted over 100 books piled on my bureau alone! Fortunately it’s a very cold, stay-indoors type of winter up here in Ontario, Canada.
The topic this month is favorite romances. Well, like many avid lovers of romance I cannot pick just one. So I decided to describe three key elements of a great romance.
Chemistry comes from powerful emotional and physical attraction. Years ago Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had smoldering chemistry on screen and off. Their marital splits and reconciliations made headlines. Today Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison (Bella and Edward) are the new Liz and Richard – they have a great love that endures despite indiscretions. Or will it? That brings us to the next key element, the lack of which often drives a stake in the heart of passionate love.
2. Tolerance of Quirks and Faults
Abuse and infidelity respectively throw cold water on a steamy relationship, extinguishing it for good. On the lighter side, if a couple can adjust to each other’s annoying habits, personality quirks and faults, they have a chance of making it as a couple.
Dr. Temperance Brennan, the female lead character in the TV series Bones, likely has Asperger Syndrome or something similar in the autism spectrum of disorders. It makes her emotionally disconnected. Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz, the hunk we crushed on in Buffy and Angel), loves and accepts this beautiful but coldly rational woman despite her difficulty in being passionate and empathetic. Her logical mind, on the other hand, grounds him. Bones in turn tolerates what seems to her to be Booth’s excessively emotional behavior.
3. Opposites Attract
It’s not enough that the partners have very different personalities. In lasting relationships each person has traits that fill a lack(s) or need(s) in the other. The two personalities fit together like one of those wood 3D puzzles. Together they are whole, complete. Apart they feel like a piece is missing.
In The Big Bang Theory, the Penny and Leonard characters exemplify this crucial aspect of a great romance. Pretty, loving, living-month-to-month Penny has emotional intelligence and street smarts. Love-starved Leonard has intellectual intelligence, a stable job, and is reliable and loyal. They fill each other’s most basic needs for love and security.
What do you think is essential for an enduring romantic relationship? In honor of my first Genre-ista post and Valentine’s Day I’m giving away a print copy of my romantic suspense Diamond Lust to one commentor who lives in the US or Canada. The deadline for comments is midnight on Sunday, February 17th!
Who loves diamonds? Madelle’s debut romantic suspense Diamond Lust ebook is available for only $0.99.
Coming soon, Madelle is working on another romantic suspense novel (the story of Sophia from the free short read The Next Big Thing) and a steamy novella.