Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2016!
If you’re a new visitor to RARM, I hope you’ll come back every day in August to read all the wonderful pro-romance posts this year. Check out the full calendar here. You can also find links to the last three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook. Enjoy August!
You Had Me at Hello
Do you remember that moment in the movie Jerry Maguire when Jerry bursts into Dorothy Boyd’s house, crash lands in the middle of a divorced women’s group, and utters the famous line “You complete me”?
That line sounds a little cheesy now—it’s been featured in one too many Valentine’s Day cards to have that pang-in-your-chest impact it once did, but let’s be honest. “You complete me” is the reason that movie has held onto its place in the romantic movie Hall of Fame.
It’s a swoon-worthy moment. It is romance at its best, passion pumped up to the highest degree of yearning. Dorothy may tell Jerry he had her at hello, but we know it was the “You complete me” that made her lady parts burst into flames.
The movies are one of our best go-to place for wild, passionate romance. Who can forget Westley whispering “As you wish,” to Buttercup in The Princess Bride, or Johnny’s epic “No one puts Baby in the corner,” from Dirty Dancing? For the historical romance fans, is there anything more heart-stopping than Captain Wentworth telling Anne, “I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you broke it eight years and a half ago.”
Romance puts the best kind of butterflies in our stomachs. Romantic passion is a toe-curling, spine-tingling madness. It’s the reason you sneaked out your bedroom window at age 16 to meet that boy with the pierced ear your father hated. It’s the reason you took up rock climbing, even though you’re terrified of heights. It’s the reason you now have “Jake 4-ever” tattooed on your back, and only half-regret it.
But what about the everyday kind of love—the messy, chaotic kind—that doesn’t always make it onto the big screen? As much as we might wish it did, our starry-eyed dreams of passion and romance don’t come true every day. I don’t know about you, but my husband and I don’t breathe perfect words of love into each other’s ears before we drift off to sleep at night, and the closest we get to riding off into the sunset is when one of us has to make an emergency trip to the store for toilet paper.
But that love—the committed, enduring kind of love—is what truly completes us. It doesn’t always feel that way, though, especially when your beloved partner is doing that thing you hate where he loses his cell phone and accuses you of “hiding” it from him. On those days it can feel like romance and passion suckered you into love, and then fled the building,
But that one person you chose—the one you love above all others? That man who’s always late for dinner and never takes out the trash on time? Yes, him. He’s also the man who taught you how to use power tools like a hammer-wielding ninja. He’s the one who helps you grow perfect roses in your garden and make the world’s most delicious barbequed chicken. He introduced you to the awesomeness of rabid soccer fandom, and if it weren’t for him, you never would have discovered how much you love camping on the beach.
He’s the one who knew you could do anything you wanted, even when you didn’t know it. He’s the one who believed in you, even when you didn’t believe in yourself. He completes you, and that’s why, even after all these years, he still has you at hello.
Anna Bradley recommends:
If your romance catnip is hot, exotic locations and even hotter Australian heroes, I highly recommend Rebecca Brooks’ “How to Fall.” Her hero is sweet and sexy, and her heroine is a perfect combination of fearless and vulnerable. I was really invested this couple’s HEA! Rebecca’s detailed descriptions paint a vivid picture of Brazil, and who doesn’t want to read fantastic love scenes involving waterfalls?
Susanne Lord is a new and amazing Victorian-era historical romance writer. Her debut novel, “In Search of Scandal,” has everything I want in a historical—endearing characters, a wildly romantic and compelling hero, an independent, strong heroine, and just the right touch of romantic angst. “Discovery of Desire,” the second book in the London Explorer series releases in September, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
The year is 1998, the place is Lake Union in Seattle, the activity is kayaking and the event is my first date with my now-husband. At the time I’d never been kayaking before and expected every second to tip over and get dumped in the lake. It started to rain about 20 minutes after we got into the boat, and it was freezing (note to readers: don’t kayak in Seattle in April!). Waterproof sports gear isn’t sexy, and after the rain started, I was no longer having a good hair day, but it was still the most romantic day of my life!
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
I share romance with my 11-year old daughter Annabel, who has only recently been won over to the magical world of books. Every night before bed we read a chapter of Annabel’s book of choice together. Of course I’m referring to sweet, age-appropriate books (she isn’t allowed to read any of my books until she’s 30!), but I love cuddling up with my sweet girl as she discovers the joys of love and romance.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
This is a terrible cliché, but I’m going to go with Venice, Italy. One word for you: gondolas.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. I’m a sucker for Hollywood movies couples who became couples in real life. If you haven’t seen “The Long, Hot Summer,” promise me you’ll rent it immediately. Run, don’t walk, because it’s that good! That spark between Woodward and Newman you see on the screen? It lasted through 50 years of marriage. Now that’s a romance for the ages.
Tell us about your dream date.
I’m a cheap date. My favorite thing to do is grab my husband, a few votive candles and a simple picnic dinner and head out to our favorite park. It’s near our home and right on the water, so it’s the ideal picnic spot. A picnic blanket, good wine, candlelight, and my husband – that’s my idea of a date!
Anna Bradley is generously giving away copies of “A Season of Ruin,” Book 2 in the Sutherland Scandals series to 3 US readers (apologies to international friends).
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on the *Facebook post you’ll find here (or both – Share the Love!) ;o) by 11:59 pm PST August 20, 2016. Good luck!
(*You don’t have to like the FB page, but we do recommend it. It’s easier to contact you if you win. Also consider joining the Read-A-Romance Book Club page, where we discuss romance of all kinds and will have drawings and events throughout the year.)
Anna Bradley has been an avid reader, writer and book fondler since childhood, when she pilfered her first romance novel and stole away to her bedroom to devour it. This insatiable love of the written word persisted throughout her childhood in Maine, where it led to a master’s degree in English Literature.
Before she became a writer, Anna worked with a rare books library featuring works by British women writers from the 1600s through the Regency period. Here she indulged in her love of stories, fondled smooth, leather-bound volumes to her heart’s content and dreamed of becoming a writer.
Anna writes steamy historical romance (think garters, fops and riding crops) and squeezes in a career as a writing and literature professor on the side. She lives with her husband and two children in Portland, OR, where people are delightfully weird and love to read.
Buy Anna Bradley’s books:
*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!