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Don't try this at home
Just in case you were thinking of modeling your life after a romance novel, don't.
Okay, look - we all go crazy in love, from time to time. Right? There's no use denying it. At some point in your life, you've done something completely irrational because it seemed like a great idea at the time. Hormones make us insane. It's part of the human condition. And it's unlikely to cause you any lasting damage - unless, of course, you conduct yourself like a heroine in a romance novel.
We all know that those fine ladies of fiction, while often spirited and spunky, occasionally behave like...well, not the sharpest knife in the drawer. This really hit home for me while I worked on my novel, I Married a Billionaire, which kicks off with Maddy, a young graphic designer, agreeing to commit marriage fraud for a couple million bucks. Hon, I understand the temptation, but...no.
Anyway, it got me thinking - what are some of the other ways that romance novel heroines tend to really, really drop the ball when it comes to major life decisions? There's plenty, of course. But this is what popped to mind.
I Hate You, Then I Love You
Much Ado About Nothing. Pride & Prejudice. The Lady Vanishes. And about ten million romance novels. You know the story - boy meets girl, boy and girl fight like cats and dogs, and by the end, they've fallen into each other's arms. Does it happen in real life, occasionally? Sure. But if you went by fictional relationships, approximately 50-70% of long-term lovers would have started out wanting to claw each other's eyes out. I don't have the data to back it up, but I suspect this number might be a bit skewed.
Sexy, Sexy Stockholm Syndrome
It's perfectly natural to develop feelings of love and affection for someone you're stuck with, for some reason or another. Especially if that person is in a position of power over your. Our minds can play tricks on us this way. But it's probably not the greatest foundation for a mutually fulfilling, long-lasting relationship. So, ladies, if a man kidnaps you - even if he does so at the behest of someone who holds irrational sway over him - or, yes, even if he pays you to marry him and he's just an irresistible alpha male with a need to control you - step! Away! From! The car!
Denial: Not Just a River
This one's huge. And you know, to be honest, it's not as uncommon in real life as it should be. I'm talking about that self-sabotaging "oh, he couldn't possibly have feelings for someone like me" thing. Nearly every romance heroine does it, and being perfectly honest with ourselves...we've done it too, haven't we? Have you ever walked away from a situation that had the potential to turn into something amazing, just because you couldn't convince yourself that it was really happening? I know I have. In romance novels, the hero always finds a way to be convincing. But in real life, sadly, that doesn't always happen. Don't let these opportunities pass you by. We're not guaranteed of any happy endings in real life, so you've got to chase after them yourself!
Of course, there's a reason why we enjoy reading about this stuff. It's just so much more interesting than the mistakes people tend to make in real life. Can you imagine if romance novels actually were about the mundane, everyday pitfalls that people actually deal with? In I Married a Billionaire, Maddy and Daniel fight over doing the dishes. But that's about as far as I'll go. Imagine a whole romance novel filled with nothing but this kind of thing:
- Relationships deteriorating
publicly via Facebook statuses and comments while friends watch awkwardly and wonder if they should say something
- An off-handed comment about unflattering clothing while shopping in a big box store that leads to days of silent treatment
- Hours-long disagreements and an inability to choose from where to order takeout for dinner
Thanks, but I'll stick with my spunky heroines making poor life decisions that somehow work out to a happy ending. Much more entertaining!
Maddy Wainright has given up on marriage - and men. After dating way too many losers who aren't capable of appreciating her for who she is, she's about ready to resign herself to a life of spinsterhood. Until her insanely rich boss Daniel Thorne comes along with an offer she simply can't refuse.
He proposes a marriage of convenience - one that would allow Maddy to live in the lap of luxury for a year, and Mr. Thorne to stay in the country that has become his home. At the end of their arrangement, Maddy will walk away with a cool two million dollars. All she has to do is move into his mansion, put on a convincing show in public, and endure a few INS interviews, for which she will be thoroughly prepped. It's a big risk, but one Maddy might just be willing to take, considering the payoff.
At first, it's all business. But when the gentle touches, passionate kisses, and lingering looks they have to give each other in public start spilling over into their private life, Daniel and his devious mind take Maddy to heights of pleasure she's never experienced. And the more she gets to know him, the more she feels that wistful tug in her chest every time he puts his arm around her in public. Before long, she finds herself wishing it were real.
As time goes on, Maddy finds herself wondering if two million dollars will be enough to cover the cost of repairing a broken heart. But Mr. Thorne may have yet another secret in store...
About the Author
Melanie Marchande is a young writer who loves creating fun, flirty, and occasionally steamy stories about two people realizing they just can't live without each other. She's just released her debut novel, I Married a Billionaire, about a struggling graphic designer and her billionaire boss who pays her to pretend to be his wife for year. She loves to connect with readers, so be sure to get in touch with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+,
Pinterest, Goodreads, her blog, website, and mailing list.
Melanie is currently on virtual tour with 15 other awesome romance authors as part of the Insatiable Reads Book Tour. From March 4-31st, readers will be invited to enter for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite, free books, and other fun goodies. Readers will also be able to participate in author chats, get insights into writing and publishing romance, and collect story swag.