GTT: Always time for romance

I grew up on romance novels. While the first book I read was Stephen King's Carrie (because my mama loves the Stephen King), one of other women who helped raise me had stacks upon stacks of Harlequins.

After gobbling those up, I moved onto more complicated plotlines. Three of these longer stories stand out to me: Promises & Lies, which was about a woman who struggled under difficult, demanding, and disrespectful men; Too Much Too Soon, which was about three sisters and their love for the same man; Golden Apples, which tackled a beautiful young woman's entrance into corporate America (and then rogue man it held); and a two-part romance set in frontier America where a woman named Mariah is help captive by a Native American warrior but (of course) falls in love. In the second part of the series, Mariah has died and her mixed-race son falls in love with an available, lusty blonde.

What's really interesting here is that in most of my beloved romance trash, the real story was about women -- sisters -- could be your worst enemy. That you couldn't trust them (in one book, the best friend steals the protagonists' job and sleeps with her husband, in many of them the glamorous sister gets pregnant by the virtuous sister's husband or boyfriend.) That speaks volumes considering I grew up with a sister whose main goal was to destroy me and tried to do so through several of my boyfriends.

Anyway, I read these books until their covers fell off. I loved the characters and just knew that I'd grow up to have a child named Honora (based on one of my all-time favorites). Of course, I didn't. But I remember how fiercely I felt that connection to these types of storylines. I soon moved on to the incestuous and dark plots that made VC Andrews famous (and, yes, there was a time when I just knew any girlchild of mine would be named Heaven Leigh).

So when it comes time to create a trashly storyline for myself? I have some experience there. My name would be something complicated and old-fashioned like Rowena, but everyone would call me Row. I'd be the quiet yet intelligent and opinionated woman who encounters the devilshly handsome man that she despises, yet can't stop fantasizing about.

He'd be smitten with me and go out of his way to break through my shell. I'd expect the worst but would be swept of my feet by his unpredictability, his charm, his wit, and his ability to open my eyes to things I'd never otherwise know.

I'd resist him until I couldn't. And my giving in would be hot, sweaty, and dirty. There'd be intensity and emotion and lots of unbridledness (obligatory in any trashy romance). His breath would quicken at the sight of me. I'd ache when I was away from him. Our need for each would be fiery and all consuming.

Isn't it wonderful to think about? No kids or bills or work or family drama. Just that darkly handsome and whip-smart man. Just attraction without bounds. I imagine my husband would like to know this: in my story, this man is dark complexioned, he comes from a place that's earthy and untouched, he knows how to build things, he is educated in ways I am not, he is not afraid to challenge me. He is strangely like the mountain man I will spend my life with.


  • Cheryl

    Awww, your mountain man's a lucky guy. Your story is one I would definitely put on my shelf. And oh, how I *loved* VC Andrews. I couldn't get enough of her.

  • Tatiana

    Rawr, mountain men! I admit, in romance stories I'm quite fond of the "uncultured" type figure -- you know, like you describe, someone from a place that's simpler, who knows the world in a different way from the city-bred protagonists.

  • Anonymous

    I tried to read a VC Andrews novel once and I just couldn't enjoy it. It got to me too much.

  • Kelly

    Cheryl, which was your favorite? I loved My Sweet Audrina and the Casteel series above all others.

    Tatiana, I think the "simple" type of romance lead is attractive because it strips away the trappings and makes you feel like you're getting to the bare bones of something.

    Leighish, the VC Andrews books were a tad ... much, but I loved tawdry/heartbreaking dichotomy. Also, trainwrecks.

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