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Friday, May 20, 2011

I WANT You! The Grand Gesture in Romance, Gotta Love It

In romance, what always makes me swoon is

The Hero's Grand Gesture

That point after the Black Moment, where the heroine has already ripped out his heart, thrown it on the floor, stomped on it, and left it there to rot as she walks out the door, gets in her car, and races away to her regular, sane, average, everyday normal life.    Without. Him.

Then, and only then, the Hero realizes that the one thing he must do to salvage his heart, his love, his life with this woman ...
Is the one thing he vowed to NEVER DO at the beginning of their journey.
And that's where the Grand Gesture happens.

Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters Series stripped the Navy Seals  -- literally and figuratively. Their women bring them to their knees, make them cry like babies and trash their hotel rooms, make them wear outlandishly horrible bermuda shorts and offer up their own lives to save the ones they love.

JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood vampires always are forced to confront their weaknesses and relive their most humiliating moments in order to purge themselves of the armor they hide behind. Their superior physical attributes melt like putty in the hands of the women they love.

Kristen Higgins turns her heroines inside out. In Too Good To Be True, Grace is  finally comes to the realization  that her 'harmless' little habit of lying and dodging the truth actually has ripple effects that affect the whole family... not just her own life. And in The Next Best Thing, Lucy faces up to the fact that her life is her own to live, not to be led by the nose to fulfill the family curse.

I'm always intrigued and -- okay, I melt like butter -- with the Grand Gesture. What makes people strip themselves bare, showing their vulnerability, in public no less? What drives them through that humiliation, of showing their weaknesses... facing down their demons... admitting their faults... owning up to their needs and their own humanity?


In all of the works I've mentioned above, from superheroes to paranormal to the girl next door...  All of these characters had Desire for the guy/woman they loved, there was no going back. No halfway, no minor measures, no mumbling.
Out Loud, In Your Face, Stark Naked, No Holds Barred, Winner Take All and Loser Go Home, All Consuming, Public .... Desire.

Your hero's goal becomes laser focused, and somehow he/she becomes consumed with communicating that Desire to the one he loves.

And it's not just the burning, throbbing, physical burn and ache of lust; of 'slaking their need' - seems vampires do a lot of slaking-- guess that's what makes them so popular....

It's the Desire to make a choice, and then the guts to follow through.
That Desire propels guys to jump off the high dive, or to cut out giant cardboard letters to invite a girl to prom.

That Desire  to make a movie trailer for a marriage proposal.

It's all about the Desire in romance.

Well... among other things, which we'll explore in upcoming blogs on Romance.

What are some of the Grand Gestures that made you swoon? I want to hear your recommendations on Romance Reads and what the Hero / Heroine did that will make me run out and ... order it for my Kindle.

A Bientot!


  1. I don't want to spoil anything for you, but I'm pretty fond of the Grand Gestures in Rachel Gibson's books. Specifically, you should check out True Love and Other Disasters or Nothing But Trouble. They're both about hockey players and show great contrast at the end. Rowr! <3 Haha

  2. I don't read much in the Romance genre, but just looking back on some of my favorite classic books--like when Gilbert gives up his job to Anne so she can stay in Avonlea, or when Mr. Darcy swallows his pride and secretly "rescues" Elizabeth's sister so that Elizabeth isn't disgraced--It always seems to be the sweet, selfless gestures that aren't directly motivated by lust that make me swoon and replay them over and over in my head.

    P.S. I looked up Mr. and Mrs. Muse--love Jonathan Adler! Those salt and pepper shakers are fabulous!

  3. Absolutely. Aint love grand? Actually, it's both a wonderul feeling and can be a very destructive one for some people. Hope your writing is going well.

  4. I left a comment last night and blogger ate it!
    I don't read much in the Romance genre, but just thinking of some of my favorite classics, like Anne of Green Gables, when Gilbert gives up his job to Anne so she can stay in Avonlea with Marilla--swoon. Or when Mr. Darcy secretly takes care of Elizabeth's sister so that Elizabeth isn't disgraced...love it.
    It's the sweet, simple gestures not directly motivated by lust that get me.
    P.S. I looked up Mr. and Mrs. Muse--I love Jonathan Adler! Those salt and pepper shakers are fab!

  5. Whoops Candace! Sorry for the double post.
    Your comment about Mr.Darcy reminds me of Colin Firth's character in Bridget Jones' diary. It's been awhile, but remember how he rescued her from the prison, and then kicked Hugh Grant's ass in the fountain, rescuing her reputation as well?

    That is chivalry, love, and integrity, all rolled up into one. Like you say, the "simple gestures not motivated by lust"... perfect summary of my post in one line there.
    Thank You!

  6. Oh... about M/Mrs.Muse...
    I know! Right?! ;) !

  7. Darrell,
    True that... there is always a darker version of everything.
    Even something as lovely as love can destroy.
    Thanks for visiting!
    I hope you come back & comment on romance again; good to get a man's take on the subject.

  8. Carrie, Thanks for the recommendations! I will look Rachel Gibson up for Mem'l Weekend reading! Sounds good.
    Love anything that elicits a 'rowr'!;)


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