Perfect Romance

I tried to write ‘perfect romance’ but don’t know how . . .

Now that ‘Maybe Never‘ is done, and I’ve had some time to sit with it, I have to admit it was hard to let Brendan and Tracy go. When I first wrote about them in ‘Commitment‘, they weren’t a couple and only very gradually learned how to become friends. But it wasn’t their story, so I foreshadowed a little bit (without even knowing that that was what I was doing) to what would become their story. Tracy was Riley’s beautiful best friend who never seemed to have a man around, and seemed content to offer commentary on someone else’s love life rather than have one of her own. In ‘Unsuitable Men‘, we learned why–Tracy didn’t have relationships because she just couldn’t. And Brendan, the man she falls for, was barely able to do relationships himself. But somehow they found a rocky, painful, convoluted path to each other.

At the end of ‘Unsuitable Men’, Tracy was still working on some stuff, as was Brendan and there was always the lingering question of whether it was even possible that they might find a happily ever after. ‘Maybe Never’ was supposed to be a love letter, my Valentine’s kiss to readers who wrote to me, genuinely concerned that the ambiguity at the end of Unsuitable Men meant that maybe, somehow, Brendan and Tracy would break up. And so I set out to assuage those fears and give these readers a gift of a perfect romance.

messy loveBy now, if you’ve read ‘Maybe Never’, you know that it was many things, but it was most definitely not a “perfect romance” – not in the sense of its technical construction and execution and most definitely not in terms of the relationship between Brendan and Tracy. They have baggage, they have issues, they have problems and doubts and all kinds of shit to work out. And that’s because at the end of the day, as I work on this craft I’ve come to learn something about myself as a writer. I can’t do perfect. Not by a long-shot. I don’t know those people whose relationships end with a tidy HEA.  I know the people who love hard, who fight hard, who mess up, who have lousy relationships with parents that influence their love lives, or great relationships with parents that still influence their love lives in lousy ways, people who sometimes get horny looking at someone other than their partner . . . people who have messy, messy loves.

I tried to give the gift of perfect romance, but couldn’t. And fair warning for those who in future may be inclined to read what I write – I couldn’t do it in this instance and likely won’t ever be able to. I offer instead, stories about what I know to be true: that sometimes, through all the craziness and the chaos that we impose on ourselves, the drama and the messiness; sometimes we reach out and we find someone. Not someone perfect, but maybe if you’re lucky, they’re perfect for you . . .

Happy Reading.


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Woman-Centered Fiction Writer, commenting on books, culture and the human condition.

14 thoughts on “Perfect Romance

  1. I suspect that if you were to peak in on Tracy and Brendan years from now, they would be in many ways the same but stronger due to their growth. In my opinion, that is such a great element of strong relationships, growth. I expect that even though Tracy will always have a possesive side when it comes to Brendan, that he might learn to appreciate it for what it is- her being protective of the one thing that has brought her joy. And maybe she will learn to appreciate his ability to be so balanced and calm as a way of keeping her from loosing it (her mind) entirely. I agree that you probably will not be able to write a perfect romance but you have been able to do great justice of the type of romance I see myself having, the type that I do in fact have. It is one that has grown and made me stronger. Thank you Nia.

  2. Wow. Aja was so eloquent in her response I feel there is almost nothing left to add. Even though it was a novella, I still felt like I read a full length novel. You gave us so much that initially I was shocked but almost expected it after reading Unsuitable Men because it was so thorough. Initially, I just wanted more of Tracy and Brendan whatever you gave us. Then, after reading I still wanted more. The one thing I can say is it was so real and felt like I could insert my name or any girlfriend’s name in Tracy’s place. So, thank you for making me realize that not all romance needs a happy ending to be about love. Real love.

  3. And this is why we love you, Nia!!! I read a LOT and your style, along with the characters and storylines that you create have quickly become standouts. Keep doing what YOU do, and I (and my BFF!) will definitely keep reading.

  4. You know how to write the ‘real’ in such a vivid way that it’s like we’ve entered the story Alice in Wonderland Style. You have carved a new niche in the writing world, because you do write romance. . .it’s just another kind.

  5. Keep doing what you do how you do it. Everyone I know who thought they had it perfect realized eventually that it was JUST A THOUGHT. I love your writing because there is no fairy tale…keep it real Nia as you always do. I loved how Maybe Never ended. Just like life, when Tracy though she had it all figured out the next 10 seconds changed everything. (Thanks for the ab workout by the way. I didn’t realize until I finished the book that I had held my stomach in the whole last chapter. It was that intense. Love it!)

  6. Oh my Goodness,
    Upon waiting for LV Lewis’ s new book someone suggested that I try you as a buffer until the waiting is over. Well Ms Forrester, that was 3 days ago and I have read all of your works of art with the exception of the seduction of Dylan, cause its Not on kindle. I am so in love with the characters and your writing Style. Now I’m still waiting……….I need the Art of Endings. Now!!!!!!! All I can do is read due to waiting on foot surgery. So please hurry. I’m excited!

    1. So happy you liked my stuff! I am a big fan of LV’s and like you, am eagerly awaiting Exit Strategy. And yes, writing The Art of Endings as well. Thanks for reaching out, Toni!

      1. Hey Nia, it’s the seduction of Dylan going to come back to kindle? It sounds really good.

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