Let Me Count The Ways
Eva's husband loooooooves her. Seriously. Read this post and find out how much.
In comparison, MY husband thinks I'm mighty cute, and might consider taking me to a movie sometime if something better doesn't come along soon. (I threw up the length and breadth of two entire pregnancies, and never ONCE did he offer to clean the toilet for me. Mostly, he rolled his eyes and said, "Again? Seriously?")
However, he buys my feminine hygiene products without complaint, and actually SAYS "I love you," frequently and without flinching.
Eva's post sent me over to Romance By The Blog, looking for Bob Mayer (of the Bob&JennyShow) to discover what he has to offer about heroes who don't come right out and say "I love you" by the end of the book...only to discover that Bob surrendered his balls (and those of his heroes) to a a carnivorous crowd at an RWA meeting some time back. And that's just as it should be, of course. :p
But it doesn't change the fact that MY heroes don't tend to be the "I love you" type. Is this a problem?
My mama always said "actions speak louder than words." Of course what she meant was, "don't TELL me you're going to clean your room/unload the dishwasher/do better at not being the school tramp, DO it." So that may not actually apply here.
Let's see, how many of my heroes actually step up and profess undying adoration by the end of my stories and novellas? (These are listed in order of publication, btw.)
MOONDANCE - Nope. But by the end of this short story the couple in question has only known each other a few hours. I'm going to give Johnny a pass on this one.
HER BLACK LITTLE HEART - By the end of the book, the hero and heroine are planning to blow that pop-stand and run away together to Italy. But since they've only known each other a day, no "I love you."
LIE TO ME - Nada. Drew's just not the "I love you" type, and I think MaryJane would smack him silly if she thought he was anything less than sincere. So this still works for me.
TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT - Nyet. At one point, the vampire hero WANTS to tell the human heroine he loves her, but she won't even look at him. The silly bint. But the THOUGHT is there.
DARK OF THE DAY - This one's tricky. Nobody says "I love you," but they talk about love a lot. And that's all I can say without giving away key twists in the story. (It's short, it's free, go read it already.)
DIRTY SHAME - Well...Dare says "I think I love you" near the end, right after he saves the heroine's life. Does that count?
SKIN DEEP - Yahtzee! Noah says "I love you, too" after Erin says it first. This counts. Yes, yes it DOES, dammit.
FLESH AND BONE - (soon to be released, Watch This Space!) No. Just...no. Attractive, appealing couple? Check. Hair-raising external conflict? Check. Painful, angst-inducing internal conflict? Check. Happy ending, with aforementioned couple planning long-term relationship? Double-check. But no "I love yous." They haven't known each other long enough.
HARDCORE - (work in progress) I don't know yet. I suspect one of my two heroes is an "I love you" kinda guy (this is my first M/M romance) but I can't be sure 'til I get to the end of the story.
Wow. Apparently, I SUCK at romantic heroes. Who knew? I thought doggedly pursuing the heroine over, under and around all manner of obstacles, plus abandoning one's plans of vengeance (SKIN DEEP)/plans for a new life (TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT)/carefully built career (LIE TO ME and HER BLACK LITTLE HEART) and putting one's life at risk to save hers (MOONDANCE, LIE TO ME, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT and DIRTY SHAME) would be enough of a declaration, actions speaking louder than words and all.
Do I need to work on this? Do I need to force my heroes to say things I know are out of character or wrong for the circumstances of the story? Some guys just don't do "I love you." Others do, but not after they've known the heroine a day or a week or a month.
I suspect that my heroes' "I love yous" will fly fast and furious once I make the leap from novellas to full-length novels, but I can't make any promises.
My heart tells me to write my characters as they develop, and not force this issue. I will think on it some more. In the meantime, I need to call my husband and remind him to stop at the pharmacy on the way home.
SelahMarch.com - Romance of Dubious Virtue