Thursday, August 26, 2010
What Are You Reading Thursday - Hooked On Harlequin Romance!
I’m not going to tell you the year. I won’t even tell you how old I was. But the summer I fell in love for the first time, it wasn’t with a boy, but with a book. A Harlequin Romance.
My family wasn’t poor, but we weren’t wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. I have ten brothers and sisters. We grew up on a small farm too far out in the country to get cable or the Internet. Winters were cold, but summers were long and boring. Tuesdays I’d walk to the bookmobile and usually pick up a biography. One day I casually grabbed a paperback on my way to the checkout desk. After my chores were done the next morning, I took the Harlequin to a shade tree and that began an adventure that continues to this day.
Except today Harlequin Romance authors don’t write about downtrodden heroines. Our heroines are women of the twenty-first century. Educated. Talented. Their troubles aren’t financial. They’re deeper, richer. The ordeals my heroines face are the same trials faced by modern women. Broken marriages, miscarriages, widowhood, abuse, betrayal. My heroines have already gone through the wringer. They aren’t searching for someone to take care of them. They can take care of themselves. They’re searching for someone to share their journey.
Our heroes aren’t overbearing wealthy guys willing to step in and save the day if only our heroine will submit to them. Nope. They might be rich. Some might even be Alpha males. But they quickly recognize our heroine doesn’t want to be saved. She wants to be considered an equal. Which usually throws the hero for a loop. It’s easy for a rich guy to provide a bit of cash. But give his heart? For real? Forever? That’s usually a deal breaker.
And that’s also what makes the journey to real love in Harlequin Romances so interesting and so diversified. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no formula for getting a hero and heroine together. Just as in real life there is no one way men and women fall in love, there is no way to predict or formulize how our strong-willed, sometimes broken, always determined, big-hearted heroine will fall in love. No way to predict or formulize how our equally strong-willed, sometimes broken, always determined hero will allow himself to be vulnerable enough to find real love.
But when they do, ah, when they do, it’s magic. Your heart lifts. You realize that happy endings can be found. You’ll smile. There might even be a spring in your step. The world won’t change, but you might see it through a happier perspective.
So take a Harlequin Romance to the beach this summer. Hey, take one of MY Harlequin Romances to the beach this summer -- MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE or MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD. Lift your heart. Inspire your soul. Make yourself happy on vacation this year. Come home rested, happy you took a journey with two people on their way to destiny.
I'm giving away a copy of MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD this month - post in the comments for your chance to win!
Susan Meier is the author of forty-plus books for Harlequin and Silhouette. You can follow her on twitter http://twitter.com/susanmeier1 or read her blog (and get her family’s recipes) at susanmeier.com.