Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
Did you know that August is Romance Awareness Month?
Sounds good to me since I write Western romance. However, it’s also been six months since flaming-heart February, and it doesn’t hurt to be hit with a reminder of happily-ever-after.
Literarily speaking, “romance” is a genre that guarantees a happy ending. It is not to be confused with “love story,” because there you run into tales like Romeo and Juliet and the 1970’s hit movie, Love Story.
If you’re not so sure about romance, let me give you five reasons to love it:
- Happy endings.
- Dreams come true.
- Endings that are happy.
Okay, I admit it, all five reasons sound nearly alike, especially 1 and 5. Consider them matching facets of the same gem stone.
Romances may differ from love stories due to their happy endings, but good romance promises a not-so-easy trip along the way. No one wants to read about perfect Paul and Polly with their perfect lives. A good story runs on the fuel of conflict, heartache, and obstacles.
Because people want characters with wounds and scars. They want to see characters who struggle with disappointments and setbacks similar to real, everyday life. They want characters who fight the good fight and win.
It’s all about the win.
People need victory in the face of discouragement—even if that victory is not their own.
To me that sounds a lot like God’s story. It’s definitely a romance because it’s all about how much He loves us and how He will love us forever. It includes obstacles, human disappointments, and a diabolical bad guy. But God wins. Jesus defeated death through the cross, grave, and resurrection.
It was His victory, but we get to appropriate it. I’d call that a happy ending—or beginning, whichever way you want to look at it.
Life is full of enough unhappiness, so I choose to read (and write) stories that deal with struggles but also leave characters winning and readers (including me) feeling good.
What’s your favorite romance? Is it a book, a movie, or your own marriage? Comment below and I’ll enter your name in a drawing for a signed print copy of A Change of Scenery, Book 4 of the Cañon City Chronicles. (US address only for print copy. An e-copy will be sent elsewhere.)
I’d love to hear which romance got your attention and made you smile. But remember, you can’t pick Romeo and Juliet. No happy ending there.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,
that even though we were dead because of our sins,
he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.
It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!
Ephesians 2:4-5 NLT
~5 Reasons to Love Romance Click To Tweet
Riding Barlow without benefit of a saddle had terrified Ella—and taken her back to her childhood. Once she found her center on the old mare’s broad back, a sense of control overpowered her fear of falling. How quickly old memories overwhelmed her—cantering bareback across the paddocks, loose hair flying, and her father’s groom grinning at the
rail, faithfully keeping her secret. Her family would have been horrified to learn she rode like a “plains Indian” from one of the Wild West shows.
But she could not bring herself to thank Cale Hutton for his heavy-handed ways. She could have fallen. She could have broken her neck. She could have re-injured her leg. But she hadn’t. And she’d enjoyed a brief reprise of her lifelong love of riding. If she gained nothing else from this time at the ranch, she’d gained that. And for that she was grateful.
Someday you will love again. Nana’s words worked to the surface. Why hadn’t she said Ella would ride again? Had she viewed that as more of an impossibility than marriage? But to be fair, Nana hadn’t said marriage either. She’d said love. ~A Change of Scenery
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