By Johannah Bryson, author of Lake Effect
When you think romance, what comes to mind? Is it the sweeping lawns of Mr. Darcy’s grand estate? A lone figure walking thru the mists of dew filled gardens? Is it the dark intrigue of Manderlay and trying to live up to a previous love? Perhaps it’s the folly and foibles of Bridget Jones as she navigates her way thru relationships. Whether it’s the gentile touch of Darcy’s hand onto ungloved skin or the sting of Christian Grey’s crop, there are as many ways to tell a romance story as there are ways to fall in love.
One thing is certain though: we need to have that fairytale ending. Even Charlotte gets what she wants when she marries Mr. Collins. For her, romance was more practical. A beautiful home to call her own and the security that came from being married. Marianne Dashwood never thought she’d fall in love with Colonel Brandon, yet, in the end, he was the perfect love for her. She allowed her definition of love to grow and change. As modern day women, we think Anastasia Steele is too young to have a definition of love and so is molded by a worldlier Christian Grey. Yet, as the story progresses, she finds her own voice and asserts her own will like only a true romance novel heroine can do.
For me, it’s a combination of both. I love the assuredness and command of Christian Grey. His ability to protect Anastasia is present from the beginning and only grows as the character is developed. By the same token, however, I love the shy, unassuredness that Mr. Darcy keeps so well hidden behind his regal façade.
For some of us it’s the chase and the hunt that keeps us reading. For others, it’s the happy ending that you know is waiting for you. Whether I’m reading or writing a love story, seeing all the different ways that true love can be torn apart makes that coming back together all that much sweeter. I love romance stories in all their different forms. From a Regency novel to modern day themes to futuristic stories, bring me a well told story of the pursuit of love — but make sure it’s got a happy ending!