What’s the best thing about falling in love? The excitement, the trill, the anticipation. How soon does the glow of love begin to fade?
As writers of romance, we get to relive that initial euphoria. We put our characters through an emotional wringer to make sure they’re serious about falling in love. When we end our stories, we indicate our characters will live happily ever after. That’s the promise we give our readers when we call our stories romances.
What does it take to live happily ever after? Work. Once we’ve taken those vows and promise to love and honor in sickness and health, etc., we’re still in the honeymoon stage. Everything is roses and lollipops. Then we go back to work and life as usual. Only it isn’t usual anymore. We have someone else to think about. What will he like for dinner? Would she like to go out? Who’s going to do laundry, buy the groceries? Who will pay the bills? Is it my money and his money or is it our money? (More arguments between newly-weds are over money.)
Then kids come along. Who’s supposed to pick them up from daycare? Who cooks dinner? Who’s exhausted? Yeah, romance books don’t show that. How can you keep the romance going when you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow?
Some couples schedule date nights. They hire a sitter (or beg a grandparent) to watch the kids and go out to dinner and a movie. Or do an activity they both enjoy. That takes work setting it up, but keeping the romance alive is worth it. The kids grow up, and college comes faster than you think. Soon, those kids are gone, and it’s just the two of you again. It’s so easy to grow apart. He does his thing, she does hers.
I’m no expert. Hubs and I have had our ups and downs during our forty-five years together. We’ve had health scares (ourselves and our children). Unemployment was a killer. Three times. But we pulled together when times (and money) were tough. The key word to getting through those difficult times is together.
We know that life isn’t a continuous happy-ever-after. Either divorce or death ends a marriage. That can turn a person bitter or wallowing in grief. But sometimes, we’re given a second chance at love. That’s the premise of my latest book, Romance Rekindled. A mother and daughter, their spouses gone for many years—one through divorce, the other a widow. Both get to experience falling in love a second time.
In the stories we write, we reaffirm that love is wonderful, that it comes when we least expect it. Along with our readers, we get to experience the thrill and excitement that comes with falling in love.
Abby Ten Eyck likes her life the way it is. She runs a successful business, has a well-adjusted teenage daughter, and has managed to keep men at bay since her divorce fifteen years ago. Just before Christmas, she’s hit with change. Her mother decides to sell the family home. Then she’s arrested, with an unknown man. Could this new man in her mother’s life create more upheaval? Or could his handsome son be just what Abby needs to revive her dormant feelings?
Sam Watson embraces transition from frenetic Wall Street to a small Michigan resort town. His health is worth moving close to his dad who seems over the moon in love. But it’s the daughter of his father’s girlfriend who fascinates him. Abby Ten Eyck reminds him of his driven self. He must help her slow down before she burns out. Like he did.