Ah…romance. Who doesn't love the feeling of your heart soaring when that special someone walks into the room? It's a sensation that is so basic to our human existence: people need to love, and they need to be loved. We want it, we need it, and we are complete when we have it. Yes, yes, yes, we all need our independence, we need to be able to look in the mirror and know who we are… but by gosh and golly, love is what makes the soul complete.
But hey, we're not here to talk about us, are we?
We're here to talk about those dangerous, deadly, tortured immortal and magically enhanced heroes and heroines of paranormal romance novels, and what it takes to bring such extreme and conflicted characters into a place of love, tenderness and happily ever after. Can immortal beings with such baggage, and such history really find their way to love as well as the protagonists in contemporary romances? Or are they too busy with saving the world to even want it?
We'll start with the Question of the Day: if you have the ability to destroy the world with a single sweep of your sword, is that enough to make your spirit whole?
Not so much.
Oh, sure, some of these big tough badasses may spout on about how every man is an island, and how all they need is a good battle and male bonding to be emotionally complete, but really? That's just a crock, a big ol' lie designed to hide their vulnerability and their burning need for a woman to love.
An immortal warrior with a fiery rod-o-love (and I'm talking about his sword, you with the racy little mind) is tougher, more independent and more tortured (often literally), than your average hero of a contemporary romance, but how different are they really? The heart, the soul, the spirit—it contains a need for a connection, a need for healing, a need for peace, no matter what the context. And sometimes, the longer a man's been isolated and deprived, the stronger his need is for salvation. Granted, that much time and angst allows him to build a hell of a wall around his emotions, and it's no easy task to break through, so thank heaven for the women of paranormal romances!
The heroines of contemporary romances are strong, independent, and courageous, but they are also burdened by their own difficult pasts, their own baggage, and their desire for a man to step up and make her feel like a woman. In paranormal romances, you have those same women, with the same attributes and needs, but the external stakes are often higher, the conflicts more intense, and the men can be a bit more of a challenge ("Oops! I'm so sorry my love, I didn't mean to almost kill you when my inner demon took over. Please forgive me?).
I've written contemporary romances (adult and young adult) as well as paranormal romances, and I've found that the interplay between a man and a woman is the same no matter what the context. Even the most deadly warriors are plagued by the same need to connect, the same emotional blocks to reaching out, and the same passion. In paranormal, it's fun to create more vivid, obvious differences and conflicts between the hero and heroine (she's an angel, he's a demon, hmm… that could be a problem), but any well-crafted romance has an insurmountable conflict or irreconcilable differences between the heroine and the hero. It's what makes a romance so special. The question is, do you like your story told in the context of proper Regency ballrooms, cutthroat corporate America, or the unpredictable wildness of a land filled with demons, vampires or, better yet, warriors who have been tortured for 150 years at the hands of Death's slightly psychotic grandma?
I vote for a century and a half of torture! What about you? What paranormal romances have you read where the romance was so vivid that it simply melted your soul?
KISS AT YOUR OWN RISK BY STEPHANIE ROWE – IN STORES JANUARY 2011
He needed a killer woman…
Blaine Underhill is one lucky man after having recently escaped a century and a half of imprisonment at the hands of an evil witch. Now he’s determined to save his still-enslaved friend, but in order to do so, he’ll need the help of one of the world’s most lethal women.
She was drop dead gorgeous, literally…
Trinity Harpswell is sick and tired of being a Black Widow. Having managed to go three years without accidentally killing anyone she loves, she’s one short week away from freeing herself from this killer curse forever.
When Blaine tracks her down and convinces her to help him, little does Trinity know that the next seven days are going to be murder!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Four-time RITA Award nominee and Golden Heart Award winner Stephanie Rowe is a nationally bestselling author, and has more than twenty-five contracted titles with major publishers such as HarperCollins, Dorchester and Harlequin. Stephanie has charmed reviewers with her unique blend of humor and otherworldly magic. She lives outside Boston, MA, where she is working on the next two books in the Soulfire Series: Touch if You Dare (July 2011) and Hold Me If You Can (September 2011). For more information, please visit http://www.stephanierowe.com/.
Sourcebooks is sponsoring a giveaway for two Minding Spot readers!!
HOW TO ENTER
Follow Minding Spot (GFC, Twitter, Facebook, Email or Networked Blogs)
Answer Stephanie's Question: What paranormal romances have you read where the romance was so vivid that it simply melted your soul?
USA and Canada Only.
Contest ends January 17th. Prizes shipped direct from sponsor.