I’ve been reading more lately. Some of the books are new series to me. And most of them, no matter the genre, have a touch of romance in them. How that plays out is interesting.
With the Jazzi Zanders series, I think I stayed pretty typical. Jazzi, of course, stumbles across murders, but once she and Ansel met, they were always interested in each other, but the timing was never quite right. At first, Jazzi was engaged to Chad, who ended up NOT being the one. By the time she broke up with him, Ansel was living with Emily. It wasn’t until they broke up that Jazzi and Ansel finally were both single at the same time. And then things started heating up.
But how fast does an author want things to go? I recently discovered J.D. Robb, and things got hot pretty fast in book one when Roarke and Eve meet. They moved in together at the end of that book or the beginning of the next one (I can’t remember which). And they finally made it official in book three. Anna Lee Huber followed a similar pattern for Gage and Kiera in her Lady Darby series. Lots of sparks in book one. A deeper commitment in book two, and a marriage proposal by book three. Book four shows Kiera biting her tongue as her sister does her best to make her and Gage’s wedding the talk of the ton, but they don’t finally say their vows until a novella between book four and five. And then what?
For me, the books only got better as the authors balanced marriage with genre plot lines. Couples who had solved crimes together before developed even more impressive teamwork after they said their I do’s. A civilian joined to a professional balance each other out well. Jenna Bennett outdid herself in the Savannah Martin series when Savannah and Rafe not only got married but had a baby. I was curious how Bennett would pull that off. I mean, how does an amateur sleuth solve crimes, toting a baby carrier everywhere she goes? But Bennett made it work, and she never made grand gestures of putting the baby in danger. (That would have bothered me.) But Savannah always worried about her child’s safety.
I talked to a fellow author who’s putting off having her hero and heroine become a couple because she thinks once the romance is done, the story goes flat. But I don’t agree, not if the marriage is treated honestly and done well. Look at the Kate Daniels urban fantasy series. Once Kate and Curran join forces, they only grow stronger and can face more.
Now, I understand that life and timing can slow couples down. That’s another matter. When I first met my future DH, we were in college, and I was determined not to get married until I had my degree. Unfortunately, DH went to a junior college, and the minute he graduated, he was drafted for the Vietnam war. He didn’t want to make any promises once he was drafted because he didn’t think he was coming back. Fortunately, he wasn’t in Vietnam very long. A sniper shot him through both legs and he ended up in a hospital in Japan, then finished his draft time in Texas. And he WAS lucky. The bullet didn’t hit any bone or major blood vessels in either leg. He came home alive and in one piece. A lot of his friends didn’t.
But after surviving a bullet, the poor man made the fatal mistake of leaving the army and marrying me three days after he was discharged. Out of the frying pan into the fire. But life’s detours meant we’d known each other for four years before we finally tied the knot. I know it can happen, but in stories, I’d rather it didn’t. And if has to, I’d rather it was for a good reason, not just because the couple can’t make a commitment.
Regardless, once they take the step to be man and wife, I think the relationships, as well as the plot lines, can get even better.
September 23rd is the equinoz, the first day of Fall. Enjoy it, and happy writing!