Day 31 Larissa Ione – Love Happens

Romance is Universal

Let me just put this out there: I am not a romantic person. At all. My husband, a very alpha military male, is far more romantic than I am. Bizarre, right? Especially given what I do for a living. Bound by Night

But the truth is that I’m not a demonstrative person with my affections. I don’t like romantic movies, I’m not one for a candlelit dinner, and I’d rather chew off my own foot than go to a wedding. Heck, I think people should elope and spend all that wedding money on the honeymoon! At least that way if the marriage ends in divorce, you got an awesome vacation out of it.

Yeah…see what I mean about not being romantic?

I can hear you right now: But you’re a romance author! How can you write about romance if you can barely tolerate it???

Good question, and trust me, I’ve thought about it long and hard. Because here’s the thing; I might not like all the mushy stuff and I might be cynical about marriage, but I love reading and writing romance. Why?

Because love happens.

No matter who you are, no matter where you are, love can find its way into your heart, and it doesn’t discriminate. It happens to almost everyone. Pair-bonding is one of the most basic, strongest instincts we possess, and romance novels tap into that primitive part of us that wants to be reminded that we all deserve someone in our life who cares for us unconditionally.

We want to be reminded that the world can be a sucky place, but there’s beauty there too.

And the beautiful thing about romance novels is that there are subgenres and heat levels for every taste. Being a less-than-romantic person, I tend to gravitate toward edgy books that balance erotic romance with dark, gritty plots, and this should come as no surprise…that’s also what I write.Reaver

Give me a hero who shows his love by slaughtering a bad guy for the heroine — that’s better than flowers any day! And happily, there are a lot of authors who give me exactly what I want — Anne Stuart, Lynn Viehl, J.T. Geissinger, to name a few. (Read Anne Stuart’s R-A-R M essay here.)

So really, romance matters because love matters. Romance means something different to everyone, but love is universal. Love makes people happy, even if they aren’t the type to cuddle or read poetry to each other. How else can you explain why even manly action movies almost always have a romantic subplot? People who wave away romance novels as “trash” and as “silly,” are completely cool with romantic subplots in movies…so clearly, something deep inside them, that instinct they can’t fight, is rearing up and cheering.

We love to love. And that is why I read and write romance. Just, you know, the dark, gritty, full-of-curse-words romance. Because the world is full of darkness, grit, and curse words…and somehow love happens anyway.

 Questions for Larissa:

What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?

Oh, my. I have SO many objects like this. See, a long time ago, my friend Karen and I started exchanging Christmas gifts, and with every gift, we sent something tacky. Like, really tacky. And we HAVE to display these tacky things when the other person comes to visit. So I have a zillion horrid things in my house. Well, I used to. I lost a lot of those treasures *rolls eyes* in hurricane Katrina. I was devastated. No, really. (That’s what I tell Karen, anyway! *g*) Anyway, the worst of these things is a hideous black ashtray that appears to be a woman being sucked into a tar pit. I think it might be evil. But that’s okay, because she’s getting a cookie jar that looks like a big dog poo this Christmas. I’m SO winning this year’s gift exchange!

If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)

“Sh*t Happens.” Yep, that’s the title of my movie. Because seriously, if something weird (not necessarily bad) is going to happen, it’ll happen to me. Or the house next door to me. None of my friends want to live by me. I’m not kidding. Fires, floods, you name it, it happens. Oh, and Sandra Bullock would play me. She doesn’t look a thing like me, but she’s pretty and I love her. So there. 🙂

What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?

This came from my readers: They gave me the gift of hitting the New York Times bestseller list. It was a dream — a dream I thought was impossible. But they gave that to me…and I can’t thank them enough.

If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be?

Hmm, I’d say Wraith and Serena from Passion Unleashed, the third book in my Demonica series. It’s very erotic, very gritty…and yet, it’s very emotional and funny. Wraith, who is both an incubus and a vampire, is REALLY damaged. His path to healing is Serena, and together they created the couple who tend to be my readers’ favorite.

For those who prefer a more traditional contemporary romance, you might enjoy Snowbound. It’s sexy but not erotic, and the couple, Robyn and Sean, must overcome more internal obstacles than external (as is the case with my paranormals.)

In any case, I hope readers enjoy the books!

You are reading this essay at Be sure to visit the About Read-A-Romance Month to learn more, or the Authors & Contributors page to see a list of all the great romance writers who are celebrating the romance genre during the month of August.

For the giveaways, I’d be happy to offer for the U.S. giveaway, winner’s choice of either a copy of Passion Unleashed or Snowbound (print or ebook). For international, I’ll send the winner an ebook copy of Snowbound.

Larissa is generously donating one copy of either Passion Unleashed or Snowbound (winner’s choice, either print of ebook) to a US reader and for International readers, Larissa is offering the chance to win an ebook copy of of Snowbound. (International readers enter here).  To enter the domestic contest, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both.  (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.)  Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 31 to be eligible, though winners will be announced at a later date.

Also visit the Awesome Contests page to register this week to win a Kindle Paperwhite and “A Month of Romance” (31 books) from Amazon Montlake, or  the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!

If you love Read-A-Romance Month and decide to buy recommended books, please consider using the links from the site. Every bit helps and I do get a tiny percentage of sales. Thank you for considering it!


Air Force veteran Larissa Ione traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.


Buy Larissa’s Books on Amazon



  • Melanie Backus

    You are right, Larissa! Love is out there and some how, some way, it finds most of us. Keep that writing up!

    • Hi, Melanie – there’s one more essay if you’re interested. Courtney Milan’s didn’t post this am for some reason. Just wanted to let you know it’s there now. xoxo

  • Kathy Colligan

    I like the way you think….and write. I always look forward to reading your books! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Thanks Kathy! What a nice comment.

      Btw, there’s one more essay if you’re interested. Courtney
      Milan’s didn’t post this am for some reason. Just wanted to let you know
      it’s there now. if you want to read it. xoxo

  • Nancy Huddleston

    I like your books and I like that you are not mushy. Its nice to know I’m not alone.

    • ;o) Nancy xoxo

      Btw, there’s one more essay if you’re interested. Courtney
      Milan’s didn’t post this am for some reason. Just wanted to let you know
      it’s there now. if you want to read it. xoxo

  • Laurie W G

    Luckily the romance line of books allows you to choose the level of intimacy, danger and mushiness you desire.

    I’m curious about your path to writing a published suspense filled romance.

    I grew up in Two Rivers, WI. My HS class built all 4 of our Homecoming floats at the Coast Guard Station.

  • Kim Cornwell

    Love meeting new authors! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Donna Logan Brown

    I’m also a fan of the Anne Stuart brand of darker hero. You are a new-to-me author, although I do have some of your books in my huge TBR stack and now I’ll move them to the top. I like your philosophy and type of book. So glad you’re a part of the wonderful RARM. Here’s hoping it’s only the beginning.

  • Valerie

    I agree we all love to love but I wonder if love happens to all and we are sometimes just too human (dumb) to realize it…

  • Polly

    “…and somehow love happens anyway.” Well put.

  • MK

    I also like the dark edgy stories with love in them, so thanks for your great books!!

  • Karin Anderson

    I immediately loved Wraith when he was introduced! I love that he found Serena. 😀

  • Britney Adams

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! “…and somehow love happens anyway.” – So true!

  • Rosemarie N.

    Wow, you are on my new authors to read list. Can’t wait to read some if your books. Thanks.

  • Sebrina C

    I agree, Wraith and Serena from Passion Unleashed gave us a fabulous story!
    And I love the tacky gift exchange you do with your friend. My family members do that occasionally…..I wish it was all the time though! lol

  • Emily Krueger Lenz

    I love that you can find and show love in every situation!

  • Sharon

    Awesome interview…and yes, love happens!

  • mariannewestrich

    I had forgotten my love of reading for many years and then found your Demonica series and instantly devoured them! Since then, I can truly say, you reignited my love of reading and thank you, thank you, thank you for the hours of reading pleasure!!!!

  • Elizabeth Gray

    Totally not a romantic either, but love to read about it. Always loved action movies than romantic movies. I have a few of your books that will now be moved up in the tbr pile.

  • Krystle Watts

    I love Larissa’s books, awesome interview!

  • CJ Feeney-Renaud

    Wow, you could be my twin in the romance department. I think exactly the same way, especially about the weddings too. Love your books and thank you for writing. This is one contest I’d give my eye teeth to win! Thanks again!

  • Emily Wheeler

    I love your books; Passion Unleashed & Sin Undone are my favorites, and of course I’ve already got Reaver on preorder lock-down. I have never read Snowbound, but it is definitely on my tbr list!

  • Anne R

    Great interview, I am a huge fan of Larissa’s books. I agree, Wraith and Serena’s is one of my favorites!

  • MsErikaHayden

    LOVED the interview, and what a great contest!!
    I snorted when I read your views on wedding because I agree–elope and get a bitchin honeymoon! Hell could be be a whole 2wks long! <3

  • Ashlei42 .

    Great Interview! Love your novels! Had a very small wedding myself with a nice long honeymoon. It was so worth it, especially because I’m divorced now. Thanks for the contest and giveaway!

  • Stephanie Fredrick

    Gret interview and I’m right there with you. I’m not a gushy love person and I think its madness to spend thousands on a wedding lol. Romance is exactly how you described it. It manages to pop up even in the harshest places and conquers all. Your gritty and dark romances are what make you one of my favorite authors so never stop. 🙂

  • Kassandra

    Glad to ‘meet’ another person who finds it difficult to be demonstrative with their emotions. My husband hates trying to surprise me because my reactions are always so subdued >.<
    Give me a tragically flawed hero who mows down anything trying to hurt the one he loves while cussing a blue streak any day of the week!!!


  • Linda Henderson

    Even though I’ve been married and divorced twice I still do believe in love. I also love your cover for Reaver.

  • Heather Wohltman

    I love your LOD series!!! Can’t wait for the release of Reaver!!!

  • Margaret Stagg

    I have recently found your books and love them! I think I read all the Demonica and Horseman books in a month and a half. Can’t wait to read Revers book either.

  • Vixhen

    As a HUGE fan of Larissa’s Demonica Series, I was so looking forward to the Lords of Deliverance Series. I was blown away by her creation of yet another set of characters that pull you into their world. Now with the release of Reaver in December, I’ll be getting the most awesome, belated birthday present, ever!

  • Lexi Bissonnette

    Larissa ione is my absolute favorite author. Her books inspired me on so many levels and I cannot wait for December. The interview and guest post were awesome!

  • Meredith Richardson

    What a way to end the Read A Romance Month 🙂 I’m a huge fan of your books, especially your Demonica series!!

  • jovial_1

    Larissa wrote my first book boyfriend – Wraith. Love that demon ;)!

  • Macti3964

    I totally agree with you on the romance stuff. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • niterythm

    Oh yea totally agree, Love Happens!

  • M Kuxhaus

    Sandra Bullock would be awesome in a movie called Sh*t Happens; she’s just awesome.

  • Kathy Valentine

    you are one hell of a writer i have read all your books!!! i cant wait for this book, please keep writing!!!!!

  • Valerie Valicento

    I love all your books. I’ve pre-ordered all the new ones.

  • Sarah Rucker

    I love your work! The Demonica series is one of my favorites. Also, go Air Force!

  • Heather @ Redheaded Bookworm

    I love Larissa Ione. Wraith is one my most favorite characters ever! I was lucky and got to read Bound by Night (ARC) and I devoured it, I can’t wait for more!

  • Jennifer Beck

    I love your books and your a great writer. cant wait for the new one!!!

  • Kim Turner

    I love Larissa’s books. Looking forward to the next one!

  • Lisa Glidewell

    Touché Larissa! Well said! You go girl!

  • catslady

    And you have the most gorgeous covers!!

  • Sheryl N

    I love Larissa’s books. I can’t wait to read the new ones coming out this fall. Great interview and thanks for the chance

  • Kareni

    Thanks for your many enjoyable books and for this essay. All the best, Ms. Ione!

  • Wanda C.

    I too am not a romantic but love the books. Can’t wait for Reaver.

  • Ann

    Love doesn’t discriminate! Love that!

  • Priscilla Pomeroy

    I love Larissa’s work and have purchased every single book. Cannot wait for more!

  • Krysten Michelsen

    I absolutely love all of your books! Definitely reread them all the time! Can’t wait for more 😉

  • Awesome essay, Larissa! I love your feelings on romance. 🙂 Your books sound great, I love alpha male stories.

  • Patty Vasquez

    “… the beautiful thing about romance novels is that there are subgenres and heat levels for every taste.” Such an important point to remember!

  • Deanna Straub

    Love your books!!

  • Sue G.

    What a unique point of view. I just might have to try this author. I like her matter of fact ways.

  • glittergirl54

    I really LOVE, LOVE your books – you take me on a adventure and give me love along the way…THANK YOU! My husband is even reading your books. He enjoyed the Demonica books but is getting kinda bogged down with the Riders’ spin-off. I can’t wait to read Reaver and throw it at him. See, romance is universal and it is found in the “manly action movies” too. Besides I call the ones he’ll read “marriage enrichment” stories 😉 Thanks for all our reading pleasure and for the giveaway.

  • Nancy E

    I’m sure you find certain things romantic, even if it’s not candlelit dinners. Those extra special things your hubby does for you, can be just as romantic.

  • Lol, you’re the same way I am! It would take wild horses to get me to see a romantic film, I’m an action movie girl all the way. I’m not a very demonstrative person either but I do love my romance novels!

  • adoore

    I’m also not very demonstrative but I love romance novels. They allow me to enter a world were I have no worries and that I can just enjoy. Love all of your books looking forward to the new series and of course Reaver.

  • Cassandra Hicks

    I am absolutely in love with Larissa’s writings now. I just finished Rogue Rider and I can’t wait for Reaver to come out. She is an amazing writer!

  • Barbara E.

    I loved your essay Larissa, and I agree, love doesn’t have to be mushy. There are lots of ways to show love other than flowers and candy, and I enjoy those much more than the mushy stuff – and they’re just as romantic to me. 😀

  • Tonda Galloway Hargett

    I loved your essay, it sounds like you have a wonderful life! Thank you for letting us share in it!

  • Elisa Bozzuto Rinaldi

    I just wanted to say that I’m new to your books but I have read all of the Demonica series and the Lord’s of Deliverance too. I read them all in a few weeks and I love them like crazy. I’m almost glad that I just discovered them so I didn’t have to wait to read them all. Keep them coming, please!

  • Brittany Reece

    I absolutely love your Demonica novels! And ironically enough, I need another copy of Passion Unleashed to complete my series. My first copy mysteriously vanished….

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I’m not the most romantic girl either but I do love some romance novels! I’ve read quite a few of your books over the years but now I really want to go back and read them in order:) I love your post…thanks for sharing!

  • Myranda

    I love all of Larissa’s books!

  • Marcy Shuler

    I really hope you win the Christmas gift exchange because I can’t even imagine what would be better (worse? LOL) than a dog poo cookie jar. 😀

  • Claudiawench

    I don’t like going to weddings either. Hubby and I spent our money on a honeymoon.

  • Sue Tirone McNamara

    LOD series is awesome!!!

  • Glenda

    I have to agree that you don’t have to have great grand mushyness to have a great love, but it is fun to read about that stuff.

  • Larena Hubble

    I love reading romances but I am not really into romantic movies either nor big on a lot of what is considered romantic gestures.
    I love your books and you might not be romantic in real life but what you write is great and I love the story lines.

  • Renee Sass

    I love your books! You may not be a romantic, but you sure know how to write them! I can’t wait to read Reaver’s story! Keep up the great work!

  • Theresa Channell

    I was reading so much vampire series that I didn’t even bother to fan out to test the waters until I read your Demonica series. I was hooked not only on your characters but the world you created around them. Now I’m hooked on your books and even if you wrote about ponies I think I would read that too! ^_^

  • tori whitaker

    I love your books! I cant wait for Reaver to come out. this series is what got me back into reading all the time. i agree with what you said above. im not a romantic either i would rather be sittin by a pond fishing as a date then to have a chandle light dinner i mean not saying i wouldnt but i would rather be doing something esle lol. and wedding blahh lol i agree spend more on the honeymoon its a vacation the wedding you can do at the courthouse around her for 80 bucks lol. 🙂

  • Debra Elise

    If I was sent to a deserted island I would take the LOD series to keep me company!

  • Nina Diab

    Your books are incredible! LOVE LOVE LOVE your Demonica and Lords of Deliverance books!! Wraith and Thanatos are my favs <3 <3 But I love them all!! Can't wait for Reaver!! Thank you for the contest, and good luck on your Christmas gift exchange! You have to win that one! XD

  • Mary McCoy

    We are so lucky to have so many talented romance writers here in WI! And omg a dog poo cookie jar? How is Karen going to top that?

  • Tawnya Bentley

    Oh my goodness I have to share with my two best friends you and your friends gift exchange. Love the idea, sorry I’ll be stealing that from you. However your friend is welcome to the cookie jar. Just curious, do you two ever get crude with your gifts? I smoked for a short time and for my birthday one of my friends sent me a penis shaped lighter. Needless to say when my son started a lighter collection after I quit smoking, that one did not make the cut.

  • Danielle West

    I am so excited for this to finally release!

  • Jen C

    Love this! 🙂

  • Ann Mettert

    I’m not an overly romantic person either so I really understand this. But I do love to read them. 🙂

  • Kim

    Great post! I’m not overly romantic either.

  • MooMoo Cake

    I laughed out loud reading your post. And then again at the image of a dog poo cookie jar.

  • Beverly DeeAnjello

    Your books are amazing, I have missed reading Snowbound, but if you wrote it I’m in. Passion Unleashed is my favorite of the Demonica series.

  • leah g

    I completely agree with you, except that I am not a writer. I don’t have to be romantic to love romance novels. I like the story of falling in love and when the characters are growing together and real life aspects. The last time someone tried to romance me with a fire and blanket and wine I had such a hard time not laughing at it all.

  • rebecca moe

    I love the idea of the gift exchange! If you don’t win this year, I’d be very afraid to see what she gives you… 😉

  • J.J.

    I love guudd paranormal, and yours are among my fave. 😉

  • Katy M

    I think the tacky gift giving is great and you’ll definitely win this year!
    Thanks for sharing your view on why romance matters. I think there are many ways to say I’m thinking of you, I care, or I love you, and it doesn’t have to be with flowers, chocolates, and candelit dinners. The latter is fine if the power is out you’ve run out of batteries for the lantern 😉

  • billi

    Love your books! I am so looking forward to the new series!

  • BookLady

    LOVE your books! In romance subgenres there is definitely something for everyone. I think you have a very good chance of winning the tacky Christmas gift exchange this year.

  • Janie McGaugh

    You seem to have romance figured out, because I love your Demonica and Lords of Deliverance books.

  • Kayla S

    Squeee! One of my all-time favorite authors! I cannot wait for Reaver! I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Bound By Night! I pre-ordered a copy anyways! LOL Loved it!

  • Mandi Muñoz

    I agree spend that cash on an awesome honeymoon! And I would rather have a man who kills for me than roses and candlelit dinner any day! So excited to start this new series! If Demonica and LOD are any indication to your brilliance I have no doubt in my mind that just like those 2, I will be addicted to this one as well. Thank you for stealing many hours of precious sleep needed for work and replacing it with awesome stories that defy the norm. And thank you for creating some damn sexy, half evil men through words 😉

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    I love it! A Romance writer who is not romantic! Now I really do have to start reading your books. Thanks for a terrific post today.

  • donnas

    I just read my first book of yours and loved it, cant wait to pick up the rest!

  • Neyra @DarkestAddictions

    Awe I missed it. But no matter, I love Larissa whether she loves love in all its mushiness or not. I’m the opposite of you Larissa, I’m a romantic at heart, but honestly I don’t like it too mushy. Lol and I love your books because they ARE real, dark and gritty. I hope you never change the way you portray your characters (:

  • Dear Larissa, thank you so much for this post and for the international gift too! I adore your books, the Demonica serie is wonderful! Love Gem and Kynan! Thank you so much!

  • Mickaela Ernesta

    sometimes all i need to put a smile on my face is losing myself in a good book! with amazing characters and an awesome sense of humor as well as sarcasm, i am totally hooked with her books. i am not really a romance type of person but the type of guys presented in these books, makes me think about it!!

  • Verukah Wylde

    Your man should kill everything that makes you unhappy…..

  • niterythm

    Love love love your style of writing. it is amazing and I enjoy being drawn in, I feel like I am apart of the series. 🙂

  • Erin Walters Koiso

    Larissa Ione is one of my favorite authors! Can not wait for Reaver!

  • jackie woodland

    Hope to hear more from Underworld General,love those guys 🙂