People are fond of dismissing romance novels as utter fantasy, or of building up impossible expectations about love and relationships. When I hear those arguments, all I can do is smile because I know true happy ever after can, and does, happen. I know, because nineteen years ago (October 16) in a quaint little lakeside hotel in Petoskey, Michigan, I married my own personal hero–when everyone around us said it wouldn’t last.
In my romance novels, I love pairing together people with enormous obstacles between them. Maybe he’s a medieval knight out to avenge his family by killing her father. Maybe she’s an assassin whose mission is to slay an invading king–and isn’t opposed to seducing the noble warrior standing in her way in order to achieve her deadly goal. Maybe he’s a vampire who took her blood to save himself from dying, and now finds himself bound to a woman who has no idea his kind exists. Or maybe, as in my upcoming release from Delacorte, EDGE OF DAWN, she’s a female warrior in a world torn apart by war between mankind and vampires, a woman who’s lost the only man she ever loved to the violence of combat–only to realize years later that he not only survived, but now leads the very enemies she despises.
These are huge problems to overcome–much worse than any of us will ever know in real life. But we don’t need vampires or assassins or wars to pose challenges to our relationships and jeopardize our happily-ever-afters. We have other things to navigate around in our journeys, things like family and jobs and life in general. For me, the obstacles to overcome were mostly external: John was married before—twice. He was almost twenty years older than me. I worked for him before we started dating. He had kids nearly my age. His parents thought I was a gold-digger and my parents thought he was robbing the cradle.
Practically everyone close to us looked at our relationship from the outside and said it was never going to last. But, like the couples I write about in my books, we didn’t listen to any of that chatter. We focused on us. We shared every moment in life, the good, the bad, and yes, there was some ugly too. But our foundation was always rock solid. Our trust never wavered. And I’m happy to say that nineteen years later (twenty-six, if you add the years when we were dating) I love him every bit as much, if not more, than I did in the beginning. He is my hero, and I’m here to tell you that happily-ever-after really does exist. Now if only I could convince him to try on those fangs….
What do you think? Do you enjoy romance for the pure, unrealistic fantasy of it, or because you know true love and a lasting romance really can happen?
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About the author:
As a child, Lara Adrian used to sleep with the covers up around her neck, afraid she might become the midnight prey of deadly vampires. Later on, under the influence of Bram Stoker and Anne Rice, she had to wonder if her fear wasn’t actually something else: a secret desire to walk in a darker world, to live a dangerous and sensual dream with a man of seductive, preternatural power. It is that twining of fear and desire that fuels Lara’s own fantasies today, and the idea that she explores in her New York Times bestselling Midnight Breed series of vampire romance novels from Bantam Dell Books.
With an ancestry stretching back to the Mayflower and the court of King Henry VIII, Lara Adrian lives with her husband in New England, surrounded by centuries-old graveyards, hip urban comforts, and the endless inspiration of the broody Atlantic Ocean.
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