I read a really interesting review of another author’s work yesterday. The reader was asking whether it was necessary for the author to demonize one love interest to make the second love interest more attractive.
The reader said: “I’ve seen this too many times in romance novels. One love interest is made into the bad guy so the other can be the heroine’s white knight.” And I thought: yes! Exactly!
We all know that life is more complicated than that, and sometimes the love of your life might not be as easy to spot as fiction would have us think. Or, more interestingly, why do we always talk about “the love” of someone’s life?
What if there’s more than one?
In my latest book, ‘Wife‘, I follow Keisha Crawford and Jayson Holmes, two broken people whose pasts cause them shame and regret. They share a bond that is intense and sometimes even destructive of the new path they’ve chosen for their lives, but like that line in that great movie goes, they just can’t quit each other. When we meet them first in ‘Mistress‘, they’re both at a turning point and find what they most need in the other. That experience, as fleeting as it was, marks them for each other and bonds them on a level even they don’t quite understand. There’s no doubt that Jayson is the great love of Keisha’s life, and vice versa.
But what if there’s more than one?
In ‘Wife‘, I explore how different people make us grow in different ways, and whether positive or negative help us reach a place of self-acceptance, or not. One character in particular has this effect on Keisha and the temptation was there to make him the ‘bad guy’. But it didn’t feel right to me. He isn’t a bad guy, he’s just not Jayson. So I ran with this idea that maybe, just maybe, there isn’t just one. And maybe there is no bad guy. If there were, that could be too easy.
I don’t want to do easy. So I’m forging ahead with this idea that sometimes there isn’t just one, and am eager to see it play out in the final book in this trilogy, due in the Spring. I hope you’ll hang with me so we can explore this theme together.