Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Love Wanted in Texas

Theisbn9780349413532 moment I set out to write the Love Wanted in Texas Series I knew it was going to be special not only for me, but for the readers as well. This series has been so incredibly fun to write. Diving into the original Wanted characters again and their kids has been an experience I will forever cherish. I think reading the stories of the kids growing up has also been a fun journey for the readers as well. We’ve gotten to see them born, watch them grow up, walk along with them as they learned life lessons (some hard, some not so hard!), and cheered them on as they started families of their own. Talk about full circles!

Now that we are nearing the end of the LWIT series, I find myself with mixed emotions. On one hand, I’m happy to see that each character has had their story told and given a happily ever after. It’s also somewhat refreshing to know that I’ll be moving on to newer projects and exploring new things that I’m excited to share with my readers.

On the other hand, I’m sad to let go of these characters. I’ve come to love each of them so very much. They may be fictional, but they feel like my own family. There are times I often think of them when I’m driving and I find myself coming up with a scene in my head! I have no doubt letting them go is going to be very difficult and very emotional to say the least, not only for me, but for those who have invested in these characters as well.

With the release of Loving You it has given me a chance to stop and reflect on all six books in this series as well as the WANTED series. To be able to write these families has been a pure joy. Thank you for sharing this journey with me!

Happy reading!

_____

LOVING YOU is published tomorrow – available in ebook here

The Black Dagger Brotherhood in 60 Seconds

excited awesome screaming happy dance jonah hill

Rhage is back! Or, he will be in just a few short days.

With J. R. Ward’s The Beast about to hit shelves we thought we’d better get in some prep work. So we’ve called in Black Dagger Brotherhood expert Gemma Harding of  Book Mood Reviews to give you the lowdown on J. R. Ward’s fabulous series in 60 seconds*. Here are her answers to our pressing questions . . .

  1. What’s the single most important thing we need to know about the Black Dagger Brotherhood series?

That this 13, nearly 14, book series is seriously addictive and with each book you are drawn further into the world.

 

  1. In five sentences tell us what the series is about. Go:

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series started off as a paranormal romance series about a band of warrior vampires who not only protect humanity, but also their own race from a group of demon like beings called Lessers. It has evolved from each book being a standalone paranormal romance, where a particular male character ended up getting his happy ever after with the love of a good woman (whether vampire, mortal or other), to that of a very complex and heavily plotted urban fantasy series, with romantic elements. The world has widened, with other supernatural species such as sympaths and shadows now a big part of the universe. The series is still about The Black Dagger Brotherhood fighting against their enemies, but it is not just the Lessers and also has politically motivated coups against The King, Wrath,  to keep the characters on their toes. This is all against a backdrop of a group of male vampires trying to protect the women they love and the family they have built.

 

  1. What’s your favourite book in the series?

My favourite book in the series is still Lover Mine, which is centred around John Matthews (or JM), a half vampire/ half human relation to Wrath’s wife Beth, and Xhex a half sympath/ half vampire warrior working for the sympath King Rhevenge. This is the book, for me at least, I saw a change in the direction of the series. It wasn’t as heavily centred on the two leads and Ward seemed to be starting to go down the Urban Fantasy route. Plus, it was the start of my love for a certain pairing.

 

  1. Who’s your favourite character?

My favourite character changes all the time, but the character who always returns to the top of the list has to be Vishous, or V as he is known in the books. He is the Son of the Scribe Virgin (sort of the goddess of the race) and a mean S.O.B called The Bloodletter. V has the right balance of being a sarcastic, mean kick-ass fighter and a really deep and sensitive guy. This is especially true when he meets his other half, Jane, and the continual bromance he has with Butch, an ex-cop turned vampire. (Told you that it was complex).

 

  1. Why do you love J. R. Ward’s books?

For me, I think it is because Ward is trying to continually evolve and change the series with each book. Ward can really write great alpha males and is able to make each of them different and stand out. Each character has their own fears and vulnerabilities, and although that they do prevail, it isn’t without sacrifice. Ward isn’t scared to take risks with her plots and although there have been a few books in the series that I haven’t loved, I still keep reading because she knows how to dangle a carrot under the readers’ nose to make them need to read the next book in the series.

 

  1. Complete the following sentence: If you like x, y and z, you’ll love J. R. Ward

If you like Hot Vampire Warriors, some steamy Romance and kick-ass action, you’ll love J. R. Ward.

 

Many thanks to Gemma for kicking off our celebrations for The Beast and sharing her love for The Black Dagger Brotherhood!

We can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of the book . . . so this week and next we’ll be reminiscing about Rhage, the brothers and our love of all things Ward over on Facebook. Come join us.

 *so, maybe more than 60 seconds, but you can never have too much J. R. Ward.

Why I wrote RAZE and REAP, and a look ahead to RAVAGE – by Tillie Cole

51rRH4WFf-LBelieve it or not, I actually wrote RAZE after a dream that I had. I was in the process of writing another dark romance, when I had a dream featuring a homeless man that had lost his memory. He was sitting in an alley, in Brooklyn, New York, begging for money so that he could enter a death match competition. He also had a Russian accent.

Now, I don’t normally dream of such dark things—I promise!—so this dream wouldn’t leave my mind. I thought about it constantly. As I took a walk one morning, I began replaying the dream in my head. An hour later I had a storyline for RAZE, and three weeks later, I had completed the first draft. I had never written a book so fast before. I literally sat down for about eighteen hours a day, everyday, until it was done. To this day I haven’t had a writing experience like that. It makes this series that much more special to me.

A few weeks later, I published RAZE via Amazon, and within a week, it had made the USA Today bestsellers list. My readers seemed to love the dark, almost dystopian, underworld that I had created, and wanted more. I knew that Talia, Luka’s sister, was a stand out character, and I had a loose idea of where her story would go if I was to ever write it. At that time I wasn’t sure if I would, but when I secured a publishing deal for four books—what became The Scarred Souls Series—I knew that story would be written, and I couldn’t wait to begin.

REAP was slightly different in tone to RAZE, and I loved that. I wanted it to be different. I have always adored the forbidden love, Romeo and Juliet-type theme, so I knew I wanted to do my very own Montague and Capulet type story—only with the Russian and Georgian mafiya. With tensions high and family honor and revenge in the story, I knew it would make for a thrilling read.

In the end, I loved the contrast of RAZE and REAP. RAZE is very rough and raw, romantic yet violent at the same time. REAP is more about unlocking the past through a forbidden love, learning to forgive, but most importantly, leaving the demons of the past behind and focusing on a new beginning. At least as much as one can after a plot twist rears its head.

I feel these two novels compliment each other greatly. As will the next two installments.

RAVAGE and RIOT, books three and four, are the final two books in the Scarred Souls series. All I can say is that with each of these next two books, the underground world that shapes the Scarred Souls series, gets bigger and bigger, stretches farther and wider, and we begin to uncover the deep layers that make up this secret, yet volatile, world.

Hold onto your seats, guys, that’s all I’m saying!

Three things you need to know about RAVAGE—a tease

  • RAVAGE is by far the most brutal and dark of the Scarred Souls series so far. It features a Jekyll and Hyde theme, and it’s a hell of a dark and twisted ride, that’s for sure! The journey of our two romantic leads is not for the faint-hearted. Limits will be tested, hearts will be pushed to their breaking point. The bridge between good and evil will be blurred.
  • The male protagonist in RAVAGE is most certainly the epitome of an anti-hero. He is a trained torturer for the Georgian mafiya and is set on destroying one of our main characters, whatever the cost. As the novel progresses, we see many elements of this multi-layered man. We find there’s more than meets the eye. We find that he too may be broken, and in desperate need of help and understanding. And total disclosure time, he’s my favorite of all the men in this series. I’m a sucker for the messed up tortured souls!
  • The female lead in RAVAGE is one of my favorites too (if you’ve read REAP, you might have an idea who she is!). Her strength and family honor is put to the test in RAVAGE, and she faces one of the most horrific situations possible. But what I love most about this character is how she endures pain and heartache with such dignity and poise. She has one goal in her life, one she’s been waiting to fulfil since she was a child, and she never gives up. She never lets go of her dream. Her capacity to forgive and love with an open heart will astound you. She is truly someone to look up to. And she may just have the kind of heart that can see past the monster that tries to hurt her, and find the true man underneath.

That’s all I’m saying for now. I can’t wait for you to read it!

____

Order Scarred Souls paperback here: https://www.littlebrown.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9780349411491

Pre-order Ravage:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/vILohl

Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/isbn9780349411088

Kobo: http://kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=9780349411088

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9780349411088&c=books

Valentine’s Day – A Little Less Ordinary

DBCPValentine’s Day is really a Marmite holiday, you either love it or you hate it. But, really? It’s a holiday!!! We say celebrate it any way you please. And to help you out MaryJanice Davidson, Maria Lewis, Penelope Douglas and Darynda Jones have agreed to offer a little advice on Valentine’s Day – A Little Less Ordinary.

Darynda has made it very clear what’s important:

Valentine’s Day — a little less ordinary — for full-time private investigator and part-time grim reaper, Charley Davidson, would be with her love interest, supernatural bad boy Reyes Farrow, in a tux. They wouldn’t have to go anywhere or do anything special, but she’s seen him in everything from a prison outfit to a biker outfit to, well, no outfit at all. A tux would be the icing on the cake. A black one, or course, to match the dark depths of his aura, with a crisp bowtie to offset the unmanageable cut of his hair, and a soft white shirt to contrast the hard expanse of the chest beneath it.

While dinner may have been on the menu, they will of course go straight to the bedroom where she will slowly — very, very slowly — relieve him of the confines of polite society. Champagne will be waiting on the nightstand. Chilled champagne. And strawberries dipped in chocolate.

The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

Penelope has solved the problem of dinners that don’t work out:

A little Valentine’s note from Jax to Juliet . . .

Jax
+
Juliet

Every year I try to do this right. I have a plan, and there are things I want to say to you. Things you need to know. But if there’s one thing we both know about me, it’s that everything goes out the window when we’re alone. Everything I’m feeling and want to tell you leaves my head, and I end up failing at giving you that special romantic night out and all the other things you deserve.

You think I just get carried away and cut our dinners short. You think it’s amusing that I have no control over myself, drag you out of restaurants, and let the brand new dress you bought go to waste when I take you home to bed early.

The truth is I’m not that selfish. I love your body, baby, and I love how good we are together, but there’s a reason we haven’t been separated a single night since that summer all those years ago when we first got together. There’s a reason I can’t wait to get home every day.

You’re irreplaceable.

I could tell you that I love how you make our house a home, how you make sure that Hawke always has everything he needs, and that you’re the mother to him that I never had. How you take care of everyone and how you still shiver when I touch you.

But most of all, the thing I want to make sure you know (that I can never seem to tell you in person) is how I’m happy every day.

Every single day.

These are things I wanted to tell you, but by the time the moment comes, my nerves are shot and I just say “fuck it” and act out. That’s usually why we end up in the car before the second course has started.

So tonight, I’m going to do things differently. Romantic dinners out don’t work for me. We’re going to an inn overnight where I’m going to feed you and put you in a bath and wash every inch of you myself, so pack a bag.

But first, we’re going to laugh and have some fun. Meet me on Woodmere Hill at the golf course and dress warm. I’ll bring the sled.

Falling Away by Penelope Douglas

Maria has taken care of those of us dealing with that special werewolf in our life:

What not to get the werewolf who has everything this Valentine’s Day by Maria Lewis

  • Stuffed bunny rabbit holding an ‘I wub you’ heart: Yeah look, nothing is going to incite the beast like giving it a very chewable and dispensable version of a creature it likes to chase three days of the month. Points for trying though.
  • Silver love heart pendant: Sure, why not? Oh that’s right, SILVER BURNS THE FLESH OFF A WEREWOLF WHAT IS YOUR DAMAGE?! You’re trying impress the girl, not watch her collarbone go up in the flames.
  • Romantic walk under the moonlight: This could be a fine and sweet way to spend the Valentine’s evening, but best to check the moon phases before you head out as that stroll after dinner could literally see you become dinner.
  • Chocolates: You can’t go wrong with chocolates unless . . . it’s that time of the month. No, not that time of the month, that other time of the month when the special female werewolf in your life is more likely to eat townspeople than a Twix. If it’s within a few days of the full moon, better to pick up a treat from the butcher instead. We recommend beef forequarter, tenderloin or brisket navel (all raw, of course).
  • Flowers: It’s a bit basic, but it does express both thoughtfulness and romance. Unless you bought her sunflowers. The only thing sunflowers say is that you hate both her and you hate yourself. Sunflowers are Satan’s flower.

Who’s Afraid? by Maria Lewis

And, MaryJanice brings us full circle by emphasising what is important:

     My perfect Valentine’s Day? Oh, that’s easy. Dinner with my husband, Tony, at Forepaugh’s, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I can enjoy the love of my life. I can explain the wondrous experience in three words. (Not those three words. Ugh, boring.) Deconstructed Banana Cream Pie! Wait, that’s four words.

     Forepaugh’s isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a Victorian mansion they turned into a restaurant. And it’s not just a Victorian mansion, it’s a haunted Victorian mansion. And it’s not just a haunted Victorian mansion, it’s a haunted Victorian mansion that serves wonderful food. Plus, again: . You can check them out here: http://www.forepaughs.com. They’re not paying me to endorse them, but you can bet I’ll bring this to their attention and try to wrangle a free meal, or at least a free dessert. The dessert. The thing without which life is meaningless. (Sorry, Tony: I do love you. I do. But this is something else entirely. You are not a part of this. But hey, Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetie!)

     They bring it to you on a long narrow platter while your husband is talking about his job or the children or the life you’ve made together or whatever. The dessert rests on a pile of something that looks like Cocoa Krispies, which they call chocolate-hazelnut praline, and resting on top of the Cocoa Krispies/praline is whipped vanilla crème brûlée, and on top of the brûlée is a caramelised banana with agave nectar, and on top of the banana is a lovely little mound of vanilla bean whipped cream.

     In a word: drooooooool.

And the thing is, I could be the greatest scribe in the history of the written word (and I’m not — I’m close, but I’m not quite there yet) and my description still wouldn’t do the thing justice. It is the most delicious, sweet/creamy/crunchy dessert ever, and no Valentine’s Day would be complete without it. And, I dunno, also having the love of your life at your side or something, I guess?

So the word of the day isn’t love or even lust. It’s much more basic than that. The word of the day is droooooool.

Sleeping with the Fishes by MaryJanice Davidson

The worst things about being a romantic

romanticOn Tuesday I wrote about all the great reasons why being a romantic is fantastic and it totally is! HOWEVER. Being a romantic can also really suck. So, in the interest of everything being equal, I thought I’d share 5 reasons why being a romantic is the worst!

Terrible dates

When you’re feeling really hopeful for a date and you try really hard but the person you meet is just not right. You get that feeling like ‘WILL I EVER FIND THAT PERSON?!’, because we so strongly believe they’re out there but just can’t seem to find them.

Expectations  

As a romantic, we have pretty high expectations; I think that’s fair to say. So when those aren’t met (which is often) it can be disappointing. Why can’t our date arrive in a hand crafted, crystal carriage with unicorns pulling it? It’s just not FAIR!

Money

Being a romantic is wonderful but it sure does drain your bank account. All those sweet gestures and unexpected gifts are pricey. But you can’t put a price on love really, can you!?

Judging looks

For some reason being romantic can often be judged really harshly by people and it’s totally unfair! Loving love is a great thing and we think more people should embrace it. But when we start getting eye rolls when we’re talking about the special trip we’ve carefully planned for someone, it’s not very nice. Boo to them!

When it just doesn’t work out

When your romantic idea just goes wrong! Remember me telling you about the pasta in the lap situation, in my ‘Best things about being a romantic’ post? Basically that! It’s an awful feeling when you’ve tried really hard to create a special moment and then it all goes horribly wrong. Eventually you can usually find the funny side of the story though!

 

So all in all, there might be some downsides to being a romantic but I still think it’s pretty great, and I love being one.

The best things about being a romantic

The season of romance is upon us as the 14th February looms ever closer. Hearts, flowers, chocolates and cherubs. What’s not to love?!being a romantic

Over the years I’ve realised a few things about being a romantic and why it can be so great! Here’s my top 5 favourite things.

Optimism – never giving up on love

I forever believe that love is out there for me! The idea that love will be a constant in life is the best feeling. After a bad date I pick myself up and tell myself there is something better out there for not only me but everyone! My optimism can sometimes splay into OVERLY optimistic, which, truth be told can be a rather large downside, with friends thinking I’m absurd. But hey, life is too brilliant to not find someone to share it with, right?

Treating others

When you’re a romantic you love planning special things for those you care most about. Whether it be making their favourite meal or planning a surprise trip, we romantics LOVE this stuff. The best part though is how happy it makes others too. Knowing someone’s done something special for you is a great feeling and everyone deserves to feel like this. So romantics out there, continue to spread that pink, glitter coated love.

Feeling like you’re in a Disney film

Now this one may not be universal, but for me when romance is swirling around my head, I like to think of myself in a Disney film, birds singing and mice helping me design a dress for a ball (ok that last one might be a step too far). However, what I do love in Disney is that it all works out and everyone lives happily ever after, which is a lovely turn out for the books. Really, this is idealistic view is at the core of every romantic and that is AWESOME!

Always having great stories to tell

Whether your romantic ideas play out well or not, you’ll always have a great story to tell. Like that time I cooked a lovely meal for an old boyfriend and as I went to serve it, dropped it all over the floor and his lap. Embarrassment levels were high at the time, but the story went down very well with friends. He wasn’t so impressed with a scorching lap of pasta though.

Being the one people come to for romantic advice

I love sharing my romantic advice with friends and even strangers (if I can make them listen!) But what I love most is when friends come to me for advice and I can help them create an amazing surprise for someone. It’s great to turn non-romantics to the side of love and help someone make the best surprise.

 

All in all, I think we can agree being a romantic is pretty great. We’d love to hear about your favourite romantic stories, so share away on our Piatkus Entice Twitter and Facebook pages!

Love, Aimee

 

Jared, Tate and Madoc do Christmas . . . EXCLUSIVE CONTENT from Penelope Douglas

 

fallaway

 

It’s Christmas morning, and Madoc and family have come over to Jared and Tate’s. But they’re still sleeping.

Madoc: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Tate: *groans* *still asleep*

Madoc: GET UP!!

Jared: *lifts head off pillow* I’m going to fuck him up. What time is it?

Tate: *moans, reaches over and cuddles* Ignore him. Come back here.

Jared: *lays back down

Madoc: Seriously!! I can’t believe you two are in bed when your 10 year old daughter is outside the house unsupervised!!

Jared: *pops head up again* What?!

Madoc: I’M GUESSING RIGHT ABOUT NOW YOU’RE NOTICING A STRANGE SOUND, RIGHT?!

Jared: *listening

Tate: *listening

Jared: Oh, shit! *scrambles, throws on jeans and races out of room

Jared: What the hell is she doing?

Madoc: I’m guessing she found her Christmas present early.

Jared: *swings open front door, sees Dylan and Hawke racing down snow-covered Fall Away Lane on their four-wheelers.

Madoc: You realize it was kind of stupid for you and Jax to get them the same thing, right?

Jared: Dylan!! Get off that thing now!

Dylan: *carries on racing as the snow falls

Madoc: *snorts* It’s okay. Mine hear white noise when I start yelling, too.

Jared: *throws on sweatshirt, shoes, and runs to the street

Jared: Dylan, now!

Dylan and Hawke pull up to curb. Hunter and Kade watching. Fallon and Tate come outside…

Dylan: I love it! It’s so much fun!

Jared: Yeah, you don’t have a helmet on. You haven’t been trained on it, and you’re on a city street. Get off now.

Dylan: Did you wear a helmet when you raced?

Jared: I didn’t race four-wheelers.

Dylan: Were you trained how to race? I thought you told Hawke that a little danger is good for you.

Jared: Hawke’s not my child.

Dylan: Is it because I’m a girl?

Jared: Jesus…

Dylan: And Mom told me that you and she raced all the way to Main—IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! IN CARS!

Jared: *cocks eyebrow at Tate*

Tate: *hides smile

Dylan: I’ll learn how to use it on my own. I don’t need help.

Jared: No, I…

Dylan: You can’t just take it away now that I’ve gotten a chance to ride it. If I have to come inside, I’m just going to stare at it through the window all day being unhappy.

Jared: Dylan, I–

Dylan: And I don’t want to be unhappy on Christmas. Come on, please? It’s so much fun. It’s going to ruin the whole day if you make me wait to ride it.

Jared: Don’t be dramatic. I—

Dylan: I’m not being dramatic! Do you call the boys dramatic?

Jared: I…I…

Tate: *laughing

Madoc: *making whipping sound

Dylan: Just twenty more minutes.

Hawke: An hour.

Dylan: Yeah, an hour. Then we’ll come inside!

Hunter: Hey, Dyl. Let me ride with you.

Dylan: Don’t call me Dyl, Dork.

Hunter: Fine. Let me ride with you. *walks to four-wheeler

Kade: *grabs him and pulls him away* You go be Hawke’s sissy. I’ll ride with Dylan.

Kade: *looks at Dylan* Scoot back. I’m driving.

Dylan: Fat chance. You want to ride with me, climb on behind. I’m driving.

Kade: *smirks, climbs on behind and then leans forward into Dylan’s back, placing his hands on the handlebars and pushing hers out of the way.

Dylan: Hey!

Kade: I always win. You know that by now. *speeds off, followed by Hawke and Hunter

Madoc: That’s my boy. You can’t learn skill like that.

Jared: *scowls and glares at Madoc

Madoc: Oh, come on. Things are going to get real interesting in a few years. She doesn’t stand a chance. You know that.

Jared: Shut up.

——————–

Love Penelope Douglas? Have you read her brand new book, available NOW: Misconduct

Misconduct

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark romance

UntitledSometimes we all want to take a walk on the wild side, and dive into a book not for the faint-hearted. In honour of Hard Beat, the smoking-hot new instalment of K. Bromberg’s Driven series, and Tillie Cole’s Reap, the stunning follow-up to her bestselling Raze (both out now), we’re taking a look at some of our favourite dark romances – join us if you dare!

The Scarred Souls series – Tillie Cole

Tillie Cole takes us on a powerful and addictive journey into the Brooklyn underworld, where Russian mobsters rule and the muscled hunks of The Dungeon fight not just for survival, but for their women too . . .

Read Raze here: http://bit.ly/1H6wTDN

Read Reap here:  http://bit.ly/1MbMT4t

The Driven series – K. Bromberg

Pulse-pounding and completely unputdownable, K. Bromberg’s Driven books redefine the boundaries of what romance can be, with relationships so complex and screwed-up that you can’t help but be drawn in.

Read Slow Burn here: http://bit.ly/1Q57c9I

Read Sweet Ache here: http://bit.ly/1Wye3aD

Read Hard Beat here: http://bit.ly/1NqNFyW

Struck by Lightning series – Cecilia Tan

From the moment Katrina meets James, she knows he is different. Daring. Dominating. Over the course of Celia Tan’s smouldering series, the author takes us into the heart of a man with a dark past and even darker desires . . .

Read Slow Surrender here: http://bit.ly/1Q57PAb

Read Slow Seduction here: http://bit.ly/1Q57FIZ

Read Slow Satisfaction here: http://bit.ly/1NqPcVw

Hard Time – Cara McKenna

From the bestselling author of After Hours and Unbound, this is a dark romance like you’ve never seen before – utterly intense and unforgettable; a book to turn your world upside down.

Read Hard Time here: http://bit.ly/1MH4Jln

Let us know what your favourite dark romances are in the comments – and whether there can ever be such a thing as ‘too dark’…

How to write a love triangle: Get the inside scoop from Joya Ryan, Tiffany Snow & us

Love triangles are like romance crack to me – put a good one in any story and I’m immediately, helplessly hooked. I’ll swallow any other problems in the story without complaint, buy into any world and hope desperately for the redemption of characters who I know I really should have given up on. At Piatkus, we’re lucky enough to this October publish two authors who excel at creating love triangles – Joya Ryan and Tiffany Snow – and even luckier that they’ve agreed to share their trade secrets on writing love triangles.


Power PlayLove triangle rules à la Tiffany Snow – author of the Risky Business trilogy

  1. Decide how far the love triangle will go. There are various degrees of “love triangle” and in my opinion, a TRUE love triangle is one where the heroine falls in love with BOTH heroes. For instance, did anyone really think Jacob ever had a chance with Bella? Or that Ashley and Scarlett were ever going to get together? But having a heroine fall in love with two different men is a tough scenario to create believably. And then comes the next question: will she have sex with both men? And, if so, how to do that without turning women readers against her? (Women readers are very tough on heroines, especially when it comes to the heroes they adore.) But a love triangle doesn’t have to go that far, as we’ve seen many times in fiction. Just know and have a plan for how and why and how much the heroine will be emotionally involved with each hero.
  2.  Don’t go for the easy way out. Locked in a love triangle and don’t know what to do? Death starts looking pretty darn good — for one of your heroes, that is. Kill one off and voilà! The heroine’s choice is made for her. Or, Option B, have one of the heroes do something so reprehensible, the readers (and the heroine) are left with no choice but the alternative. Stay true to your characters and dig deeper for that reason why one love story is going to work out and the other one won’t.
  3. Be Prepared for the Fallout. Unless the love triangle is erotica, someone’s going to lose in the end. Romance readers get emotionally invested in characters — that’s one of the many reasons they’re the best! And with that investment comes disappointment and sometimes anger when a love triangle doesn’t end to their satisfaction. I think every romance writer of a love triangle has had the hate messages and angry emails at the end of a series (or during) when their preferred hero doesn’t get the girl. The old saying is true: you can’t make everyone happy. Be sure to stick to YOUR vision for the story and give readers a reason to follow your emotional logic. Don’t pull a rabbit out of the hat at the end and expect readers who’ve faithfully followed (oftentimes for many books) to be pleased. End the love triangle in a way that justifies the work put in to creating it.

 

Yours TonightLove triangle rules à la Joya Ryan – author of the Reign series

  1.  Friendly Competition: There’s nothing wrong with a bit of friendly fire when it comes to getting the girl. Keeping dude one and dude two in check with each other keeps the heat revved up and the scenes spicy. Going for the girl can be a tricky match, so each guy has to bring his A game.
  2.  Earn it: One of the best parts of writing a love triangle is pitting two strong men, not against each other, but against themselves. They want the girl? They have to earn her. Why are they the best man? How can they prove that to her and the reader? That key element of breaking down the hero and showing what he’s really made of and why the heroine should be with him is what keeps the story constantly spiraling forward.
  3.  Mr. Man Must Be Unique: Each hero in the story has to have his own flare. He possess something the other hero doesn’t and it’s that something that the heroine needs. Each man has different skills, strengths and taps into a special side of the heroine. It’s the men’s uniqueness from each other and from other men that keep the reader going back and forth on who to cheer for. Because they’re both awesome in their own way!

 

And finally, here are three points from an editorial point of view, as I had a think about what really makes them work for me as an editor:

  1. Make the choice difficult. Too often, I see love triangles made up of the ‘right on paper’ choice and the maverick choice that you just know is the only one who’s capable of making the heroine truly happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love that too (I’m basically a sucker for anything involving three characters and a choice for the heroine to make) but where this doesn’t work is if much of the excitement in the story is meant to flow from who the heroine ends up with. If both men aren’t deeply appealing in their individual ways, it can make for a very frustrating read. It becomes harder to sympathise with a heroine going back-and-forth over this kind of choice, which automatically distances your readers from the story.
  2. Explore the difference. I find the most compelling triangles occur when each hero brings out a different aspect of the heroine – the more you can tie her choice in with the heroine’s character arc, with the kind of person she wants to be, the more powerful the story is likely to become – the stakes will be higher if we believe that her ultimate choice will also impact her overall character.
  3. Give the heroine agency. It can be very easy for a heroine in this situation to become somewhat passive – someone who keeps being rescued, who is helplessly overcome every time one of the heroes makes a move. Though initially compelling (everyone can understand how she might feel!), without a heroine who has the gumption to make her own choice and fight against her feelings, as well as rebel against the situation as a whole, may begin to lose reader sympathy – make sure she’s got her own story and develops as a character in her own right. What, apart from each of the men, does your heroine want?

 

Want more love triangles? Of course you do, because THEY ARE AWESOME. We love this list of 26 unforgettable TV triangles, in order of time sustained . . .

 

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