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Do You Believe in the Magic of Romance? Comment and Win a Copy of Wicked Burn
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Does true romance really exist? Or is it just the stuff and nonsense of romance novels?

I do believe in romance, or I wouldn’t write romance novels. Having said that, I have to admit there are a few qualifications that go along with that attestation. A romance is a story where people connect in a way that’s beyond that of the common-place and casual. I think we dream about making that profound connection with another person. It brings us out of ourselves; let’s us see the world in a whole new way. It seems to me that’s what readers want in a romance—to vicariously experience that moment of intense connection, to feel alive, to see oneself as unique and beautiful through the eyes of another.

But is romance escapism? Wouldn’t it be better to see the world for what it is—a place where war and famine exists, where people daily take advantage, lie and steal from one another? As a child, we slowly learn the lesson that “˜life isn’t fair.’ What’s more, life can be ugly, cold and harsh. By the time we’re adults, we’re wary about being seen as a pushover…someone who’s foolish enough to believe in dreams. We know from firsthand experience that if a political candidate should mention the word “˜dream’ in their speech, they’ll be attacked by their hard-nosed opponent as being weak or unsubstantial.

But it’s mainly because life can be harsh (or routine and boring) that the romance novel has its appeal. Almost everyone knows the thrill of going to a movie theatre and escaping for a few hours to a place of excitement, romance and adventure.

Of course, there’s always the risk that a person mistakes the “˜escape’ for “˜reality.’ This is one of the main criticisms about the romance novel. Sure, most of us recognize the fantasy elements…but what about the person who actually expects a knight in shining armor or an alpha (or two) with smoking pistols in their pocket to come strutting through their bedroom door?

What if she’s unable to see the cute, hopeful guy who’s into her big-time because she’s waiting for some amalgamation of every romance hero she’s ever read?

For me, this isn’t much of an argument against romance novels. It does happen, and it’s unfortunate. But I can’t help but notice that people watch Clint Eastwood, Angelina Jolie or Harrison Ford incessantly, and rarely do they become convinced they’re a bad-ass who is going to save the world. That’s because the action-adventure hero is as much a fantasy as the romantic hero (and of course, these two roles blend together nicely.) It’s a “˜type,’ a myth that we as human beings recognize as easily as the warrior-hero or the brave, beautiful princess.

So back to my original question, “Does romance really exist?” I know that it does—just like other virtues, such as heroism, courage and altruism really exist. It’s an ideal, one that we should strive for in our relationships; not just passively wait for like a princess in a tower.

Romance is also a feeling. Sure, it’s something that happens between two people, but it’s also a person’s actions or a place that evokes a feeling of heightened awareness of oneself…the infinite possibilities of life. There’s a certain glamour to romance…a sense of something higher. It doesn’t have to be huge to be romantic. I have a scene in my upcoming Berkley time travel called DARING TIME where the early twentieth century heroine dances by herself, imagining being in her lover’s arms. It’s set in a lovely old ballroom and her satin, ermine-bordered dress swishes along the polished wood floor. That’s romance to me.

Romance lives. Sometimes it might even look and feel like a romance-novel-romance. Oftentimes, it’s as diverse, quirky, or quiet as the people who are romancing. Bolder, idealized romances in novels don’t take away from the beauty of that. Everyone has the ability to be the hero and heroine of their own life, to inject the dream into everyday existence…even if it is in some small, personal way.

So what do you think? Does romance exist in your life?

If it doesn’t…could it?

45 comments to “Do You Believe in the Magic of Romance? Comment and Win a Copy of Wicked Burn”

  1. Anne Sorgeson
      · December 9th, 2008 at 11:50 am · Link

    I agree my life does have some romance. My hubby is always sweet to me. He’ll help me with the dishes and give me lots of hugs and kisses. It is so much fun! Some days he does drive me nuts but whose so doesn’t do that. 🙂

  2. trinity Blacio
      · December 9th, 2008 at 12:31 pm · Link

    😀 😀 Hi Beth this story sounds so good. Yes I believe true romance is out there just haven’t found it yet. One day I will! Your story is going to do awesome!
    Trinity Blacio

  3. Deidre
      · December 9th, 2008 at 11:55 am · Link

    I feel that true-life romance is much different from in the books. In the beginning, it’s easy to get wrapped up in each other, but that fades after a while and you’re left with the mundaneness of life. That said, romance is what you make of it. If you make time for it, it’s totally worth it.


  4. Cathy M
      · December 9th, 2008 at 11:57 am · Link

    Hi Beth, romance definitely exists in my life. It isn’t like the fantasy world in the romance stories that I enhale, but it is still rich and satisfying and full of the small pleasures that knowing someone for over 30 years can bring. And for me its about the little things, like bringing me home a Starbuck’s drink, making my favorite meal, that extra hug as we watch tv together, and taking one look at my tired face and knowing it’s a nice for pizza. And most of all, having a sense of humor that has us laughing together every day.

  5. Karin
      · December 9th, 2008 at 12:12 pm · Link

    I love your post, Beth. You hit so many good points about the fact that romance is still alive even in what can be a cold, harsh world. The romance in real life is not quite the same as the sometimes over-the-top romance that can be found in novels. However, the fact that it exists is what makes even the smallest romantic gesture so special.

    I haven’t really experienced much romance myself, but I’m definitely open to it. However, I get to witness romance in the relationship between my parents (married for over 33 years and going strong) and my sister and her husband. Their relationships give me hope that I’ll find romance for myself when the time is right.

  6. Robin S
      · December 9th, 2008 at 12:44 pm · Link

    Terrific post Beth.

    I truly believe that romance exists in our world. I don’t think it’s very prevalent though. I’ve met men and women both who are romantic in their actions and speech. It’s wonderful to run across someone who treats their partner with love and tenderness and attention. But there’s so much more than that to true romance.

    Thanks for such an insightful blog Beth.

  7. Judith
      · December 9th, 2008 at 12:44 pm · Link

    Oh yes, romance exists!

    From slow dancing in parking lots to 2 dozen chocolate dipped strawberries and red roses for no other reason but to say I love you.

    That’s one of the reasons I love to write and read romance.

  8. Kim S.
      · December 9th, 2008 at 3:30 pm · Link

    Great post!

    I definately believe that romance exists. My DH and I met in May and married three months later, (yep three months!!) in August!! That was 27 years ago!!!

    I think to have romance, there needs to be deep respect, humor and a willingness to adapt.

    Happy Holidays to all!!

  9. Yvonne
      · December 9th, 2008 at 4:33 pm · Link

    Believes in the power of dreams. If you can not imagine it how can it exsist in your world? So I dream of romance an a love as lasting as time. Love, romance and dreams are the things which brighten our lives in what can be a hard struggle. So yes I truely believe in all of it. Better to give all in the belief that hide from the possibility, can’t ever find anything that way.

  10. Beth Kery
      · December 9th, 2008 at 5:59 pm · Link

    Hey there, Anne! It sounds like he’s worth keeping! Love your descriptions.

    Seriously, romance is shown in such small ways. It’s the unromantic ear (or heart) that doesn’t hear the efforts. Men often express their warmth in different ways than women, I have found. I know with my own husband, when I was willing to learn his ‘language’ I found myself greatly rewarded.

  11. Beth Kery
      · December 9th, 2008 at 6:00 pm · Link

    Hi Diedre,
    Yeah. It’s a time consuming thing, romance, which has to come from both sides.

    Course if it works, it’s magic.

  12. Beth Kery
      · December 9th, 2008 at 6:02 pm · Link

    Hi Karin,
    Well, like I said in the post, being ‘open’ to such wonders can be considered naive. However…I can’t help but noticing that naysayers don’t seem that happy…

    Here’s to hoping in a realistic fashion…

  13. Beth Kery
      · December 9th, 2008 at 6:04 pm · Link

    Oh, do I hear you Cathy! It’s the little things, because how often do we get a chance for the really big things? If I wrote down the things my husband does for me in a day, I’d be staggered. He’s so wonderful. It’s a bit of a rush when you realize how lucky you (we) are.


  14. Beth Kery
      · December 9th, 2008 at 6:06 pm · Link

    Wow, Kim! You’re perfect for an article like this. Good for you! If you ever want to blog your secret, let me know.

    I know its a complex, challenging, awesome undertaking. Kudos to you!

  15. Kammie
      · December 9th, 2008 at 8:18 pm · Link

    I do believe that romance exists in many forms and it’s definition is different for each person. I would much rather have that kiss on the cheek or hug from my husband than a bouquet of roses. The smaller things that happen throughout each day are what remains in my mind and those small things have kept me happy for 20+ years.

  16. Larena Wirum
      · December 9th, 2008 at 8:42 pm · Link

    I believe it does and it most certainly lives in my life. I think romance is doing the little things for the important person in your life. I love to do little things for my guy. Stuff I know he can do but it makes his life a little easier when I do it for him. He does the same for me all the time. He also does the romantic things like buying me a piece of jewelery that is special just because. :mrgreen:

  17. Kim
      · December 9th, 2008 at 9:19 pm · Link

    I met my husband when I was 15 and was engaged a year later. I married him when I was 18 and 20 years later we are still happy. That isn’t to say that we have had the perfect time of it but with any relationship you have rocky times, it is how you handle them that counts. We have three children and we do a lot of family things but still have our alone time.

  18. Amy S.
      · December 9th, 2008 at 9:43 pm · Link

    I do believe in romance. I also believe in love at first sight.

  19. Cynthya
      · December 10th, 2008 at 12:27 am · Link

    I definitely believe in romance, since I see it every day in my life. I have been happily married for 28 years to a wonderful guy who is my knight in shining armor (even if he looks more like a teddy bear.) I think most of us don’t have a problem understanding the difference between reality and fantasy. Fantasy is your lover whisking you off to a romantic weekend in Paris, reality is when he does the vacuuming, tells you he loves you more every day and makes you breakfast–and I’m perfectly happy with reality.

  20. Caffey
      · December 10th, 2008 at 12:28 am · Link

    Beth, it sure does! I too believe in that touch that sends you an awareness, a burning feeling, that the spark between you and the one you love are there. I too believe that after many years of marriage, like 25 here, that it still happens. I think that the ‘spark’ can be in many different ways because we all are different, but it too goes right along with love at the first site or even the ‘real’ site because sometimes we deny ourselves to really feel, until we let ourselves. I have a great hero!

  21. Fedora
      · December 10th, 2008 at 1:17 am · Link

    Hi, Beth! I do think romance exists, but I think the real-life stuff is a little different than what we may find in books. I think the book variety can exist, but that sometimes more work’s involved 😉 In the books and movies, you don’t have to worry about any reality intruding but in real life, you do have to take care of the details yourself (unless you happen to be one of the multi-gazillionaires who have hired people to help with that, and even so, there are things only you can do to create romance). And I think that the fantasy is that romance is completely effortless, and parts of it are, but I think in reality, there’s often more to it than the magical feelings and hearts and flowers and the electricity between you. Commitment and sacrifice and devotion are beautiful parts of romance too 🙂

  22. Beth Re
      · December 10th, 2008 at 6:50 am · Link

    I believe that true life romance is different than stories because we stop working on the relationship and let other things become priorities.

  23. Nikki Sinclaire
      · December 10th, 2008 at 8:21 am · Link

    Yes romance exists in real life … or perhaps I should say … romance can exist in real life. So many people want to define what romance should be for themselves that they miss the opportunity when romance, in a form they were not expecting, comes accross their path. Different people have different “love languages”.

    Regarding romance novels, I don’t believe they “warp” our sense of romance. They’re entertainment, they’re hope. Life would be pretty meager both of these things!

  24. Debbie Haupt
      · December 10th, 2008 at 9:27 am · Link

    I do believe in romance, my husband and I will be married 30 yrs next year and I’m still in love with him.

  25. Anne-Kathrine
      · December 10th, 2008 at 10:51 am · Link

    What a great post. Im def a big believer in romance. My ex was very difficult and left a lot of scars that Im working to overcome, but it didn’t stop me from keep believing in romance.
    My boyfriend is wonderful. He understands I have issues to work thru and is patient and always willing to talk. And he has issues too from past relationships.

    And yes it is the small things that make all the difference, like giving a back rub after a long day. Or sending an email while at work telling me he loves me (he works nights and I days). Even sitting on couch watching tv and just being able to touch that person is important.

  26. Nix
      · December 10th, 2008 at 11:53 am · Link

    i believe in love. I believe in romance. That’s what binds us together in discrete and satisfying social groups 🙂

  27. Eshani
      · December 10th, 2008 at 11:06 am · Link

    Hi Beth,
    I really enjoyed your post! I definitely belive in romance in real life. For me, even after being in a relationship for over six years, the brightest part of my day is the time I get to spend with my s/o. I agree with everyone that in real life, romance isn’t necessarily made up of grand gestures, but of thoughtful actions and a little work to keep the romance alive 😉
    I think that romance novels are to way to enjoy all the diverse types of romances. Not only are they entertaining, but they can also give hope and inspiration to do a little work to actively appreciate the romance you might already have in your life.

  28. Deb
      · December 10th, 2008 at 12:51 pm · Link

    Beth, I do believe in romance, as I watc my grandparents celebrate 75 yrs of marriage.
    My Papa, still gets what Nan calls frisky..lol
    Just lastweek end at Sunday dinner, he brought her a single red rose and told her she was still his special gal.
    So yes, I do believe.

  29. Maggie Johnson
      · December 10th, 2008 at 1:12 pm · Link

    Beth,I love your post!! Romance is alive in my house.My Husband is not much on words but shows me in many other ways and when he tells me he loves me it still makes me want to throw him down and have my wicked way with him…lol
    So yes I do believe…. 😀

  30. Amy
      · December 10th, 2008 at 3:46 pm · Link

    Absolutely, Beth! Romance is alive and well (and I knew that long before I started reading romance novels!)!! And like I see you’ve already mentioned, it’s more in the candy bars my husband buys on the spur of the moment for me or the new artist he hears on the radio and has to share with me than it’ll ever be in the expensive dinners or weekend getaways that the others around me seem to get. You just have to open your eyes and heart to the possibility that romance is in the unexpected more than in the over-hyped.

  31. Kimmie Dunaway
      · December 10th, 2008 at 4:18 pm · Link

    Yes, I believe!!! Thanks for the contest Beth… 😀 Kimmie

  32. Katt
      · December 10th, 2008 at 9:45 pm · Link

    Romance is alive a kicking in Texas!

    Ramping up to celebrate my 31st year with the most irritating, lovable, selfish, caring, muleheaded, generous, stubborn, giving male.

    I may adore him while wishing to sell him in the same thought. 😡 But I wouldn’t want to live without him, for he is my heart and soul.

    My wishes is for everyone to find a love you will fight for and with, one that will test you and complete you.

    Happy Holidays!

  33. Sue A.
      · December 11th, 2008 at 3:29 am · Link

    I know true romance exists! I haven’t had the fortune to have it in my own life, but I’ve witnessed it between friends who happen to be couples. It’s there in the amount of time they spend together out of choice. It’s there in the way they compliment each other, meeting each others needs and yet respecting the other as an individual. Romance in real life is more about subtle and often small gestures of love, faith and unending support. True soul baring intimacy I think comes with time and shared hardships, where perfection isn’t required but honesty is a must.

  34. RobynL
      · December 11th, 2008 at 9:39 am · Link

    True romance exists in many different ways. It exists for me but in a quieter way that you spoke of and in a deeper way. Dh and I have grown to love each other deeper than when we were first married. It is a more gentle loving kind.

  35. Daphne Chitwood
      · December 11th, 2008 at 10:17 am · Link


  36. Sara Hurt
      · December 12th, 2008 at 8:59 am · Link

    yes i believe in Romance. Its the feel good butterflying of your stomach when your significant other does the little things. Makes you stand up and want to scream to the world that hes yours and if you have the chance you throw him down and have your way with him. lol I think its the little things that mean more then 1 big thing.

  37. Becky Ward
      · December 12th, 2008 at 9:21 am · Link

    Yes, I believe romance exist. It was there at the beginning of my relationship with my husband. I believe if it was there once it can be found again.

  38. Sandie E
      · December 12th, 2008 at 1:58 pm · Link

    I am a definite believer Beth, and that is because of my husband. One of the little things he did was picking up a small box of my favorite candy every few weeks for no reason at all except to please me.

    The big one: Before we got married, he said that most marriages begin in Heaven and end in Hell. He suggested we reverse that by getting married in Hell and trying to end in Heaven.
    So we got married in Hell, Michigan. And it worked out just as we hoped.


  39. Val Pearson
      · December 12th, 2008 at 2:01 pm · Link

    I totally believe in romance. My husband and I divorced only to remarry 10 years later. We have now been married for 3 years. I most definately think that romance exists.

  40. Julie
      · December 12th, 2008 at 2:38 pm · Link

    I absolutely believe or I couldn’t read romance novels. I still haven’t found my true love yet but I’m still looking. He’s probably being held hostage in a faraway country. 😆

  41. Patricia
      · December 12th, 2008 at 3:39 pm · Link

    It is all around us. It is a husband watching
    a movie he does’t like to watch to make his wife happy. You will see it in a marriage when of them sees something like and the
    gets it for them. I don’t have special one but
    my brother is the Navy and you see in his wife’s eyes when he gets off ship. Before they got married we tock her with us when was gratuting and her feet didn’t touch ground when she seen him. That is love beyond love. By the way they knew on their
    first date and that was their senior year of high school

  42. Beth Kery
      · December 13th, 2008 at 12:33 pm · Link

    WOW! Considering these rich, wonderful responses, the belief in romance does thrive, despite the odds. Thank you all for providing me with some inspirational reading. I truly enjoyed your comments, and it’s so nice to know I’m not the only one who believes.

    The winner of a free copy of WICKED BURN was Sue A. Hurray, Sue!

  43. Sue A.
      · December 13th, 2008 at 8:59 pm · Link

    Thank you Beth! I’ve replied to your e-mail!

  44. Eva Holeman
      · December 14th, 2008 at 1:57 pm · Link

    Romance does exist in every day life. But as has been stated, romance in reality is not the same as romance in a novel. Even the nerd in a novel has archetypal Hero characterics that move it beyond the realm of reality.
    Romance in a novel never ends, whereas in reality we frequently reach that point of needing to throttle the loves of our lives. But even in that moment the romance still lives.

  45. Debby Creager
      · December 18th, 2008 at 1:41 pm · Link

    I truely believe in the power of romance. I have been married for 35 years this month and to this day when my husband walks into a room where I am it is like someone has turned on a light. My whole world seems brighter.

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