Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Love Story vs Romance by Colleen L. Donnelly


Welcome our guest blogger today, Colleen L. Donnelly...ah romance.

Romance – it’s the rally-for-the-heroine and fall-for-the-hero sort of tale that makes hearts all over the world go pitter patter. It’s the genre of fiction that promises we will come away with a smile on our face and a sigh slipping from our lips. 

Romance – it’s not as messy and it’s far less complicated than the love stories other genres weave in, sometimes beneath their main plot, where no happy ending is guaranteed. 

Why would I subject myself to a story where passion may break from what’s comfortable and spill into the uncomfortable, defy a construction I know will make me happy, and take me beyond a ripped bodice to the heart that beats beneath it? A heart that aches to love and be loved, trust and be trusted, or hate and behave despicably in return? A heart that can choose to forgive – but may not. That has every reason to stay – but may not. Or that enters into a relationship which seems so right…yet not. 

Because sometimes the less happy ending makes me breathe a little deeper, haunts me for days afterwards, draws me into thousands of imaginary arguments with characters who should have done things my way. Love stories that retain the right to disappoint reveal the inner throes of loving someone the same way a mirror reveals my outer beauty as well as my flaws. They force me to take a step beyond the dream into the reality of loving, hurting, and hopefully healing. Sometimes the story that doesn’t make me smile is the story I’ll remember. 

“Mine to Tell” is one of those books – Was it adultery that marred the Crouse family’s reputation for three generations, or merely the accusation of it? Was it the fact that Julianne Crouse disappeared for two weeks that brought shame to all of the Crouse family women, or was it the stories told about those two weeks by others? On the cusp of her own marriage, Julianne’s great-granddaughter, Annabelle, has to know the truth. Defying her family’s and fiancé’s wishes, she unboards the house her great-grandfather had sequestered Julianne to, and searches for her great-grandmother’s story. Alone, at first, then with the aid of the quiet man down the road she’d ignored when they were children, and her great-grandmother’s words that begin to slowly trickle in.

Buy link for “Mine to Tell”:   http://amzn.to/1PNJo4S 

Excerpt:

“Mine to tell,” Kyle said suddenly. It was a jolt. I was yanked from my mental tumble into a pit of unredemption. Alex looked up too, a quizzical expression on his face. “Julianne left a story behind,” Kyle continued. “Some of it speculation and rumors by people who don’t know, and the rest of it by her own hand. It was a love story. One that was countered with suffering.” 

We were all quiet. I looked at him, my heart melting as I heard his masculine voice speak of love and suffering. I wanted to lean across the table and hug him, but I was too afraid. 

Alex leaned back in his chair. “What my father went through didn’t feel like love when we were little.” 

“But maybe it was,” Kyle persisted, his tone smooth and even. “Does love always turn out the way we want it to?” Then he looked at me. “Julianne Crouse was a fine woman. We haven’t finished her story, but she suffered, and she was fine indeed.” 

Tears came to my eyes. “Thank you,” I squeaked. Kyle stood and walked around the table to me. He helped me stand as he thanked them for their time. He retrieved Julianne’s picture, took my hand, and together we went to the door, Alex and his wife following us. 

“I hope you’re right,” Alex said, running his hand through his thin, brittle hair as we stepped outside. “My father had some things to come to terms with, but he was a good man. A better man later in life, when he told us he was sorry. I never knew for what.” 

Other Buy Links:

“Asked For”:   http://amzn.to/1TyflEu

“Love on a Train”:   http://amzn.to/1m9eYCx 

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8 comments:

Diane Burton said...

A heart-wrenching story. Best wishes.

Leah St. James said...

Welcome, Colleen! It's great to have you here...great topic. I'm beginning to turn to more of those love stories (as opposed to romance) as I get older. Maybe it's a need to find deeper meaning or a more complex meaning to relationships. Sounds like a great story! Wishing you much success!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Glad to have you here, Colleen! You raise good points about needing a spectrum/variety of ways to think about what it means to be human. I was a high school English teacher who often heard student complaints about having to read dark, existential literature. But the discussions we had about those books were worth every dark moment in the novel. I always maintain that authors who write about inhumanity desperately want people to be better...much better. And they usually show us the way if we'll make an effort to conjure the story they wish they could have written.

Andrea Downing said...

Sounds like a fascinating book. And thanks for sharing some interestoing things to consider.

Jannine Gallant said...

I like stories where characters have to work through the past to find happiness in the present. I'm okay with those past stories not having a happy ending, but I want the present one to end well. There's too much doom and gloom in the real world. Sorry, but I want my HEA!

Vonnie Davis said...

Welcome to the Roses of Prose. I'm wishing you good luck with your book. Romeo and Juliet was a love story and the my least favorite of Shakespeare's plays. I like my HEA's, yet adore Sarah Grimm's fated romance between a cancer victim and a rock star--"Wrecked."

Margo Hoornstra said...

Late getting here, sorry, Sounds like you've crafted an interesting tale. Suffering is indeed part of the human condition, but I too want my HEA in the end; Like Jannine said, too much strife in the real world. HEA helps us cope!!

Alicia Dean said...

Excellent post! I am good with love stories or romance. I hadn't really thought about the difference, but your explanation makes sense. Your book sounds wonderful!