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I know that this subject has been hotly debated in the past, but the reason why I bring it up again, is because I just finished reading Morgan Leigh’s story in the Bad Boys In Black Tie anthology.

The hero and heroine fell in love within a day, and I’m afraid, I just didn’t buy it.

I think I actually resent romance stories, where the hero and heroine fall in love within a short space of time. In some cases, if the story is well written, then I can kinda get over it, but sometimes, even that’s not enough.

This is why I have such a problem with novella length books. Unless the lead characters are best friends, or have known each other for a while, it’s always going to be a struggle for the author to convince me, that the love is real.

There was a bit towards the end of the book where the guy was envisaging the heroine and himself, thirty years down the line. Totally took me out of the story. I’m all for suspending disbelief, but I found that I just couldn’t do it. All I kept thinking was that there was no way this would happen. He’d only just met the heroine, for Oprah’s sake, most of his interest lay in getting her horizontal.

Why couldn’t the author leave us to imagine that her characters eventually fell in love, and lived happily ever after?

Lust at first sight, is a slight cliché, but surely that’s more believable than love at first sight?

What say you?

18 Comments »


  • Kate R
    August 18
    2:01 pm

    my father fell in love with my mother at first sight. They were walking toward each other and she sneezed. He told the person he was with to “take a look at that woman, I’m going to marry her.”

    My mother’s friend the Russian teacher (long dead now) met a man on a beach during a holiday. They spent the day talking. She was supposed to go home that night and he said, so whaddaya think? Want to go home with your family or come along with me and we’ll get married now? She married him.

    Might have been lust at first sight, but they all claimed it was love and those two couples had over a hundred years of marriage between them so they got some authority on the matter.

    I say lust with some deeper chords touched — and that’s all it is for the first full year anyway.

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  • Dee
    August 18
    3:40 pm

    I think love at first sight really does happen. Or, like Kate says, Lust with deeper chords. You can sometimes say thing like, “I’m gonna marry that guy” because on the onset, you see a multitude of things you like about them.

    But I don’t like when people SAY their in love after ten minutes together. I wrote a story recently where it was love at first sight, sorta (yup, it involved boinking, lol), but I had the hardest time making it work for ME because I didn’t want the characters to just suddenly say, “I’m in love with you” and that make everything okay. For me, that’s what doesn’t jive when it’s used in some romances.

    Love can happen quickly. Deciding a person is worth your sacrifice and loss and possible heartache because you like them? Er…no, a person should still have to earn that somehow.

    Smooches,
    Dee

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  • Sarah McCarty
    August 18
    4:05 pm

    I saw my husband walking up to my house and everything inside fell into place,instant recognition, and I just “knew” he was the one I’d been waiting for. He saw me standing in the door and said he “knew” he’d come home. The lust came after, shortly after, but it was that perfect rightness that was the first emotion. I can’t describe it, but we fell in love the instant we saw each other. We have been each others one and only from that instant, and 14 years later, still are. We learned about each other after the comittment, but the recogntion of what we meant to each other came before we even said hello.

    So yes, I beleive in love at first sight.

    Now, if you ask me if it’s easy to believably convey that level of immediate connection and emotion in a novella, that’s a whole different discussion. *G*

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  • Karen Scott
    August 18
    4:33 pm

    KateR wrote:
    I say lust with some deeper chords touched — and that’s all it is for the first full year anyway.

    Exactly, I understand that feeling that hits you when you first see somebody you’re wildly attracted to, but I put that down to chemicals going crazy in the body!

    Dee, I think what I’m most sceptical about is the actual declaration of love within a day of knowing somebody, because I just don’t think you can truly feel that way days after meeting a person. You can certainly say, ‘here’s somebody who I could fall in love with’ but not be in love with them surely?

    Sarah, I know many couples who have met and have instantly ignited one another, but I truly think this is mostly sexual during the first few days. I still think that the love comes afterwards, once the hormones settle down a bit.

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  • Dramedy Girl
    August 18
    5:29 pm

    Uh oh, I guess I’m going to be the cynical wench in the place. I don’t believe in LaFS. Lust sure, but I think love is something that is grown, not something that just springs from the ground. And I think lust can turn to love, but not in the span of a moment.

    Novellas are a very hard sell for me too, Karen. It’s too short a time frame for me to believe the story and that’s why I don’t read them — even from great authors.

    I would love to be proven wrong about LaFS! ;O) And honestly it may be my complete inability to trust blindly, quickly that prevents me from buying into it.

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  • Sarah McCarty
    August 18
    5:29 pm

    I don’t think “love at first sight” can be explained unless you’ve experienced it. I’ve done the instant lust thing. I know what that is. It’s easy to recognize, easy to rationalize and easy to build dreams on, but it’s not what I’m talking about.

    Love at first sight is totally different and more of a soul deep level of recognition that’s simply right.

    My personal experience with “love at first sight” is what made me look deeper into the concept of reincarnation because there is so much I seemed to instinctively know about my husband that really have made me wonder if it was possible that we were married before. Things that have nothing to do with the bedroom.

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  • Desiree Erotique
    August 18
    11:45 pm

    I have to completely agree with Sarah about this! Some people have not been blessed with the experience, but that does not mean it can’t or doesn’t happen.

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  • Lynne Simpson
    August 18
    11:49 pm

    Before I met my husband in person, we had been emailing and talking on the phone for a few weeks, so I knew already that he was a wonderful guy. But when I saw him, my first thought was that the man absolutely radiated Good. I don’t know if it was love at first sight or what, but it was something.

    I know what you mean about the whiplash in some stories — I don’t like it when things feel forced. A good storyteller can convince me, though.

    It’s too bad you’re not a contest judge for RWA, Karen. 🙂 My hero and heroine don’t have the instant lurve thing going on — they’re way too uptight and angst-y for that — but there’s tension right from the start. Some contest judges want the heavy romance to start by chapter two, and contests usually cover only about the first 25 pages. If I had a dollar for every time I got a “But when do they KISS???” complaint, I’d buy myself a frappuccino.

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  • Kristie (J)
    August 19
    12:16 am

    It was love at first sight for me so I believe in it. Of course there was a healthy dose of lust along with it – but it was also love.

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  • Eva Gale
    August 19
    2:38 am

    Mine was a love at first sight too. I’ve had lust at first sight, but this was different. There was a seriousness there.

    As for conveying it in fiction, I’d imagine that to be very difficult.

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  • Rosie
    August 19
    6:52 am

    No love at first sight for me. When I met my husband it was a set up and I thought he liked someone else and I wasn’t upset because my reaction to him was “meh”. Well 3 months later we were engaged and 9 months later married. We didn’t even live in the same city!!!

    My point? When we met the first time and were alone it was like lock tumblers falling into place. I completely related to Sarah’s husband’s comment about “coming home” that’s what it was like.

    The best place in the world for me (26 years later) is still whatever space he is in.

    It wasn’t lust because in all honesty, he wasn’t my type at all. It was just a sense of connection and rightness.

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  • Kathy
    August 19
    11:38 am

    I was almost 20 when I met my husband. He was home on leave from the Navy. We looked at each other and felt a conection.
    It wasn’t lust for me, at first. We are total opposites. I just knew we’d end up married.
    We saw each other everyday for 9 months and then, got married. We have been together for over 30 years.
    He still makes me feel shivery when he looks at me, and still thinks I am sexy, though we now have 2 grown children, two in-law children and 3 grandchildren.
    But if I became single, today, at 51, and I met someone like I met my husband, I don’t think I’d trust it as being “in love”.

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  • Marie Bellevaux
    August 19
    5:40 pm

    I tend to like the love at first sight storylines, probably because it was quick for me and my husband. We were engaged in two weeks after meeting. And we’ve been together since 1993. 🙂

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  • Ann Wesley Hardin
    August 20
    12:40 am

    I *do* believe in love at first sight. Things happen inside you that are unexplainable. Sure, alot of it is physical, but love is a very physical thing!

    We, as humans, like to think our brains and the thoughts within them are *superior* to animals, but we’re really not. Thoughts aren’t intrinsiclally better or truer than feelings.It can even be argued that they’re one and the same. Our physical makeup shapes our thoughts!

    Here’s an example: Apes who give birth and are knocked out for the birth, or have their babies taken away immediately, don’t display mother-love the same way apes who are allowed to go through the rigors of birth and keep their babies, do. In other words, maternal love is largely based on the physical aspect of childbirth.

    Sure there are many deviations from that–both humans and animals *adopt* and feelings of love aren’t restricted or dependant on physical acts.

    But the fact remains that the physical plays a HUGE role in love of all kinds.

    That’s why love at first sight is so exciting and mysterious to us, and that’s what erotic romance explores!

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  • Devonna
    August 20
    4:37 am

    I believe in immediate attraction ~ ok, lust, if you will…but love is something deeper. I do believe you can connect with someone right away and build from there…but that’s what love is. It’s what’s being built.

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  • LorelieLong
    August 21
    11:18 am

    I’m not sure that it matters if we actually believe in Love @ first site. What’s more important is that we want to believe in it.

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  • Bam
    August 25
    2:46 am

    Ah… the first time I ever laid eyes on Tim, I thought, “What a goofy lookin’ white dude”. I mean, he’s tall, skinny, has a computer programmer’s tan… but then he started talking and I looked into his eyes (shut up) and I just… kind of fell in.

    No, it wasn’t love at first sight. It took three or four glances.

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  • Karen Scott
    August 25
    9:59 am

    Ahhh Bam, who knew you were such a romantic…*g*

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