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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Just Add Water...INSTA-LOVE...!

 Only true love is love at first sight; second sight dispels it.
---- Israel Zangwill

One of the most common foul words in the world of romance book reviews. Insta-Love. Yet, no matter how many times the concept gets zapped in a review, it just keeps thriving. And thriving. 

I've been knuckle-knocked for it myself. You probably have, too, at one time or another. The comments, you know them well...Loved the characters, hated the insta-love. Insta-love, not my cup o' tea. Ugh. Inta-Love. Sorry, just could not buy the insta-love. Insta-Love did not work for me. 

So what is it about this thing called Insta-Love? The old proverbial sweeping one off their feet? The love at firs sight? The it was meant to be idea of romance? Fate. Eyes locking and the knowing two characters were made for each other? 

And why is it such a thorn in the side of romance readers? Please know I'm not criticizing this dislike for the "I" word. In fact, I heed the warnings enough that I try, really try hard, not to incorporate it into my own fictional romances. 

I try. 

But...but...sometimes...just sometimes, you know...it just feels so damn right to let our characters fall victim to that fire-cracker-sparkling-blinded-by-love type of relationship. Oh, who am I kidding? We don't let our characters do anything. They call the shots. And, gosh darn it, thy just sometimes do those crazy things. 

Okay...take good ol' Romeo and Juliet. 

 Romeo and Juliet

I ask you. How many folks have snapped these two kids over the heads for falling prey to the old monster of romance, the big bad wolf of fiction----insta-love? We bought their profession of instant attraction, fated love, a glance across a room that was so strong it drove them to defy their families and die beside each other. 

What about real-life falling head over heels the minute you look into their eyes?

 Singer Edith Piaf and Marcel Cerdan

French singer Edith Piaf met married prizefighter Marcel Cerdan and...yes...she went and did it. She said she knew she would love him, she knew he was going to be the love of her life. By looking into his eyes. And---this is a true story, remember---she was right. Until his early tragic death in an airplane crash, theirs was an affair that only few of us every experience in its passion.  

 One of my favorite contemporary examples of love at first sight is the film, Sleepless in Seattle.

 Sleepless in Seattle

I believed that you just...know theme of the film with all my heart. I believe that concept with all my heart.

Yes, then, I confess. I believe in insta-love. I even find myself, like I said, writing it. 

But---in all fairness---let me explain why this falling head over heels overnight philosophy sometimes does not work in romance fiction. For me, anyway. 

It all boils down to one thing. One huge thing.   


And just how does that huge thing---this believability---come about? 

It all starts with the characters. Getting the reader to invest in them, to believe in them, to feel they are real.  

If you think about it, believability in characters is pretty much the very delicate but very crucial denominator in getting a reader to believe insta-love can really happen. 

Fleshing out the characters. Painting life and breath into them. Projecting their souls so vividly that I believe anything they do. Letting me know their hearts and souls to back up the preposterous.  

One of the most common wishes among readers---and I feel a viable one---is the desire to feel what one character feels for another. You see, I feel in my heart that the insta-love complaint isn't necessarily one of the concept itself. Because everyone knows---it does happen. And it happens often. 

The complaint is often one of non-dimensional characters. Void of life, spirit, color, emotion. I, as a reader, long to see the emotions in a character. If I'm allowed to get to know him intimately---through whatever way the author chooses to portray him to me---I'll pretty much buy anything the author tells me about him/her. I'll believe he fell in love with just one glance. I'll believe, like Romeo and Juliet, that a pair of kids could fall so deeply, so quickly in love and that their love was so consuming it drove them to rebel against their families. 

Believability.  Draw those characters so true, so deep, that I feel as though I am them. Let me inside them, let me look at the world from their eyes and hearts. 

If you do, then I'll buy pretty much anything you throw at me. Because by doing that, you've made me feel as though I'm part of them. And if I feel that close, I'll know why they do what they do. I'll feel exactly what they feel, insta-love and all. 

Yes, much of the time love takes longer to develop. And---if that is what's to be between two characters---then that's just the way it is for them. 

Either way. If the MC's fall head over heels with one touch, one lock of the eyes, I will embrace it if I can feel it, too. Don't just let me see what they see in each other. Let...me...FEEL it. 

Oh, hey. I almost forgot.

This is kind of a celebration for me today. I finally, finally, finally bought a Kindle. Only thing is, I feel the big step----the FIRST book---of my brand new Kindle is a big deal. What the hell book do I buy for that first download? 


Would you like to help me decide? 

Here' what I'd love. Comment and suggest a book for me, for my very first bought book on Kindle. 

Not just ANY book. Nope. I want a...yes, you guessed it...a suggestion of what YOU think is the best Insta-Love Romance you ever read. 

And, yes, if you're an author, tell me what YOUR best insta-love romance is. A reader? Who wrote YOUR favorite?

I'll have a drawing later in the week and I'll buy whichever book that is randomly chosen. 

And YOU---YOU---for being the person who helps me to christen my new Kindle---will get to buy some books of your own with a $25.00 Amazon gift card.


C'mon. Put your book lover mind to work and help me find a delicious Insta-Love Romance!



Shorty Chelle said...

Always by Kindle Alexander
Texas Pride by Kindle Alexander
Double Full by Kindle Alexander

Thank you for the giveaway.


Rodney Batterman said...

Deacon & Crick from Keeping Promsie Rock by Amy Lane

Jayden Brooks said...

My memory isn't what it used to be, but one story that is insta-love and works well is Love At First Sight by Cardeno C. Yeah, you know I'm a rabid fan of CC. *sigh* It can't be helped. But this story is wonderful. It's insta-love... but on one side.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Thank you, Shorty!

Vastine Bondurant said...

Rodney, thank you!
And...please post your email addy for me in case your name is drawn!
Thank you!

Vastine Bondurant said...

Thank you, Ms. Jayden!
I do have your email address on file. :)

Crissy Morris said...

I'm gonna agree with Jayden with At First Sight by Cardeno C...but also add Until Forever Comes by Cardeno C. *nods* Shifters are a good way to go if you're looking for insta-love...Stormy Glenn, Gabrielle Evans, and Jana Downs have some really good insta love books too.

Crissy Morris said...

Oh...I forgot to add my email... morris(dot)crissy(at)gmail(dot)com

Barbra said...

I've had my Kindle for years (I still use a 1st generation). The first 2 authors I tried were Josh Lanyon and ZA Maxfield. None of Josh's books are really insta-love but ZA Maxfield had the a couple of books back then that were fairly insta-love, Crossing Borders and The Long Way Home. I re-read Crossing Borders at least 2-3 times every year. It's great. :)

Vastine Bondurant said...

Chrissy! Thank you for your suggestions!
I'm getting a wonderful sampling of books to consider!
You know what? I have read 'Crossing Borders'. But I've yet to have the opportunity to read any Cardeno C. works.
Thank you!!

Vastine Bondurant said...

Barbara, thank you for your suggestions!
More excellent works to add to the list!
Thank you!

Crissy Morris said...

You MUST read Cardeno C...*nods* all of it...CC is amazing! I can't tell you how much I love every single book. :)

Vastine Bondurant said...

Crissy, I sure am getting a lot of prods toward Cardeno C! Sounding more and more intriguing!

Thank you!!

Debra E said...

I agree with Cardeno C and Kindle Alexander. Also Sue Brown's Isle of Where is a good one.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Debra, thank you!
Adding lovely Sue Brown's book to the list!

Please holler back and let me know your email addy!


ShirleyAnn said...

I'm a big fan of Love at first sight book and lots of my favourites have been mention another one is "INSTA-LOVE" by Josephine Myles.


Vastine Bondurant said...

Hi, Shirley!! I am an insta-love fan, too! And I love the title of Myles' book!

Thank you so much!!

Rodney Batterman said...

Forgot my email


Rodney Batterman said...

Forgot to give my email, Vastine.


Rodney Batterman said...

Forgot to leave my email.


Debra E said...

Sorry bout that. debdeege(at)optonline(dot)net

Vastine Bondurant said...

Thank you, Debra and Rodney!