Creative Romance Novels

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 2/26/2008

Iím a sucker for a good love story, but Iím not so much a fan of romance novels. Ironically, there are a couple of romance novels that I have read more than once in my personal library. These are The Princess by Lori Wick and The Best Man by Grace Livingston Hill. To add to the irony, The Princess isnít that well written.

Until I read Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder, I really didnít give this much thought, but these two books are unusual in that they donít have the typical romance plot. The typical romance follows a plot that Snyder describes as Buddy Love. In this plot, the two main characters donít like each other, but they need each other. As the story progresses, they come together, but something holds them apart until the final push brings them together for the happily ever after ending. The Princess fits more in the Monster in the House category. The protagonist agrees to marry the prince without getting to know him first. Once they are married, she discovers that he is still in love with his dead first wife and she finds herself in a bad situation of her own making. Essentially it is the same story as Jaws and Alien. Sure, the protagonist eventually overcomes the monster through love, instead of killing it, but it is a similar story.

The Best Man is about a government agent who accidentally gets married while on a secret mission. He has to take his new wife with him while he seeks safety in Washington D.C. During their journey, they learn about each other and he discovers how much he needs her. Of course, it works out so that she really didnít want to marry the guy she was supposed to marry anyway, giving us a happily ever after ending. This is a Golden Fleece story, because it is all about the journey.

We see romance moving away from the Buddy Love story somewhat with suspense and mystery romances. I think that what could help romance as a whole is if the authors would move farther away from the Buddy Love notion and focus more on some of these other stories. Much of the variation that I see in the romance genre has more to do with using different characters in different settings, but the underlying story remains the same. But what do I know? Iím not even a fan of the genre.