In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d spend a little time talking about love, and more specifically, romance. The Romance Writers of America define a romance as having “a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.” Is that really all that romance is about?
According to that definition Romeo and Juliet, perhaps the most famous love story ever, was not a romance. Though not in style now, tragic love stories can be every bit as moving and even more powerful. Not sure you believe me? I don’t blame you. I’m a fan of the happy ending too.
To emphasize my point, I’m going to use a love story near and dear to the heart of paranormal lovers: Buffy and Angel. If you haven’t seen the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series and plan on doing so one day, you might want to look away. Here’s how it all goes down:
Girl who happens to be a vampire slayer meets mysterious and very hot boy. Boy saves her life a couple of times and acts like a real keeper. Boy turns out to be a centuries-old vampire. Oops. Well, we certainly can’t have that, bad news all around. They desperately try to stay away from each other, but they are already in love. More adventures take place and they save each other’s lives a few times. Until one fateful day after both almost dying they sleep together for the first time.
Boy loses his soul and gets turned back into the monster he started out as. Boy does terrible things to girl and her friends. Unfortunately girl still loves boy, but after a series of really terrible acts, we all want boy to die. Boy gets his soul back just as girl prepares to kill him. Boy doesn’t remember anything about the past few months. They share one wonderful moment, and then the girl realizes that she still has to kill boy in order to save the world. Cue one of the best kisses on television right before she runs him through with a sword.
*sniff* What a tear jerker. I cried so hard. This is only one arc in a much longer story, but the two lovebirds never do end up together. It’s a thoroughly tragic and at the same time wonderful love story, exploring so many facets of emotion. Anyone who can watch that story and think that it is somehow less just because it doesn’t end happily doesn’t appreciate the aspect at the center of every romance. Love is the beating heart of romance. Not all love ends with a smile. Every one of us knows that. Sometimes it ends in tears, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good, even a great, story.
Coral Moore has always been the kind of girl who makes up stories. Fortunately, she never quite grew out of that. She writes because she loves to invent characters and the desire to find out what happens to her creations drives the tales she tells.
Prompted by a general interest in how life works, her undergraduate schooling was in biology. She follows science news and enjoys conversations about genetics and microbiology as much as those about vampires and werewolves. Coral writes speculative fiction and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Albertus Magnus College.
Currently she lives in Connecticut with the love of her life, who offers both encouragement and kicks in the tail when necessary. Also in residence are two mammals of the families Canidae and Felidae. She released her first novel, Broods of Fenrir, in November 2011. Her next release, Elements of Rebellion, is due out in spring 2012.
For hundreds of years he’s avoided brood society, until a werewolf kills an innocent human woman and Brand finds himself dragged back into the violent politics of the shapeshifters. When the two brood women who mean the most to him come under threat, he must take up the throne and risk becoming the kind of vicious bastard his father was, or let the broods descend further into chaos–taking the friend he swore to protect and his lover with them.
Contains Strong Language, Violence, and Sexual Situations.
Hi Coral! I totally agree with you on the Buffy/Angel romance…so, so sad. 🙁 And I really liked them. But, as you say, not all love has a smiling, happy ending, but it’s still love to those who have experienced it.
Great post and giveaway!
Wendy @ Escape Into Fiction
Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 Buffy and Angel are probably still my favorite TV couple. Although Spike grew on me too, their relationship didn’t have the same impact for me. Another great pair for me that had a lot of bittersweet notes was Veronica and Logan from Veronica Mars. If you haven’t seen it before it’s worth Netflixing.
Thank you to Lori for hosting me here today.
Hi Coral. I always loved Buffy and Angel. I thought they were meant to be together. They were so good for one another. I was upset when they broke up. Spike and Buffy just didn’t have the chemistry. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com