Guest blogger: Annie West
One of the things I love to find in a romance is an emotionally rich situation where hero and heroine are forced to face the things they’d rather avoid (and that often means the person they’re in danger of falling for). That gives the romance such intensity.
Some of the earliest romances I read had hero and heroine meeting at various social events and interacting but then going their separate ways. Obviously I enjoyed them because I kept reading. But I remember the impact the first time I read a story where the heroine and hero, strangers to each other, were forced to stay together under the same roof. How thrilling! There’s nothing like being with someone in close proximity to discover what they’re really like, and of course, to reveal your own true colours.
Maybe that’s why I’m such a fan of marriage of convenience stories, because the characters are in such close proximity it’s like stripping away protective layers so we, and the other character, gets closer to them than anyone ever has.
My most recent book: Captive in the Spotlight, isn’t a marriage of convenience story but it’s built around a situation where h&h are forced into a level of closeness they can’t escape. Lucy has just got out of prison after serving a sentence for the manslaughter of her boss. The paparazzi surround her, desperate for a story about the lovely young foreigner who went to gaol for killing one of Italy’s richest men. Lucy’s determined not to give them anything, but she can’t get away.
Help comes unexpectedly when Domenico, brother of the man she’s supposed to have killed, offers her sanctuary. He’s the last man she wants to see. Once she’d thought him special, but his rejection of her, and his belief in her guilt, have turned the beginnings of attraction into hatred. Domenico, wanting to protect his dead brother’s family, is determined to get Lucy to sign a contract that will stop her spreading stories about the case, even if it means paying her off. So he takes her to his private island off the Amalfi Coast while he persuades her to sign. Lucy’s not a captive but she’s got every reason to stay there out of sight while she sorts out how to begin her new life. And once they’re alone together Lucy and Domenico discover things aren’t quite as simple as they’d thought.
How about some other examples where hero and heroine are brought together under the same roof?
- In Loretta Chase’s historical Mr Impossible, Daphne needs an escort to help her find her kidnapped brother in Egypt and rescue him from the villains. Enter Rupert, strong, determined and only too willing to help. But in the intimacy of their journey down the Nile Daphne discovers she’s got far more than she bargained for in Rupert.
- In Lynne Graham’s Prisoner of Passion Bella accidentally gets caught up in the kidnapping of Rica, a wealthy business man. They find themselves stuck together in a shipping container specially fitted out to keep him safe until the ransom is paid. Now that’s definitely close proximity!
- In Girl in the Bedouin Tent (sorry, couldn’t resist adding another of mine), Cassie is kidnapped and offered to a visiting sheikh as his slave. She finds herself chained to the bed in his royal tent! Because Amir is a visitor, not the local sheikh, he can’t simply demand her release or leave his diplomatic negotiations to see her to safety. As a result these two strangers share his tent for the week.
Do you like stories where the hero and heroine are brought into close proximity and then can’t get away? Are there any stories like this that stand out in your mind?
Annie is giving away a copy of Captive in the Spotlight. Leave a comment below and you will go in the draw. (If you already have Captive, Annie will substitute one of her other published titles.)
UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Shannon H.
Domenico Volpe has been a paparazzi target for years with his rugged Roman looks, glamorous lifestyle and, most recently, a family tragedy. Now that the woman at the center of it all is released from prison, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her quiet.
Domenico ensures that Lucy Knight “accepts” his offer of refuge on his well-guarded offshore estate. While the media furor abates on the mainland, things are heating up on the island! Domenico is beginning to doubt Lucy’s guilt as he uncovers the innocent, sensual woman behind the tough facade….