I’m relatively new to the publishing world, having only been first e-published at Ellora’s Cave in January of 2007. As such, I’m always running into ‘givens’ and stereotypes of romance novels that I’d never known about, and if I did, would probably have been too inimidated to try and write. For instance, after Wicked Burn came out from Berkley in December of 2008, I learned that some people ‘can’t stand’ the premise of someone keeping a secret in a romance novel. The logic goes that if s/he just told the secret already, the couple could get together and the reader could be free of the book. Or something like that. I even had one person write after reading Wicked Burn and tell me that I had broken a cardinal rule by having a character keep a secret (yes, there is a secret in Wicked Burn, or more accurately, a truth too painful to put into words) and would I please not do that again? (She was nice enough to include the link where I could read her rules as to be better prepared next time.)
I was amazed by all the frustration with secrets, especially since in my ‘other’ job I’m exposed to a lot of secrets. In my experience, people do keep secrets, and not always for selfish reasons. They do it out of fear, grief, shame…love. They deny certain truths to others, and even more frequently to themselves.
Maybe part of the problem is the word ‘secrets’. Sort of calls to mind the title of a soap opera, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I’m putting an advance notice out to anyone else who might have a rule carved into stone about secrets that he or she shouldn’t read Sweet Restraint. Why? The heroine, Laura, has taken on the responsibility of a painful secret, and the hero has made it his mission to get her to release that heavy burden to him.
Mini Blurb from Sweet Restraint
He drank from her furiously. Pain vibrated through his flesh. Not the discomfort of a wound or an injury, but the raw, searing pain that came from exposing a desire that had long been denied.
At that moment he needed Laura Vasquez just like he needed to breathe.
Click here to read more
So, leave a comment today about secrets in romance novels, or about my post, and you will qualify to win a Paradise Rules tote bag, a piece of fun Hawaiian jewelry and a beach book of my choosing. (LOL–I need to go through the pile I purchased for the contest and find something that seems like beach reading.) Good luck!