Real romance in romance novels? by Tori Scott

Please help me welcome Tori Scott to my blog today. Tori is giving away $10 gift card in honor of the holidays so be sure and leave her a comment.

People sometimes complain that romance novels are unrealistic. I disagree. I think it’s the perspective we bring to our reading that determines whether romance is realistic or not.

I’ve always been a romantic. I started reading Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames, Army Nurse books when I was ten. While not really “romance” novels, there was always that hint of romance in them. Then I graduated to Harlequins when I was sixteen. I fell in love with the heroes of the books, and they–along with a strong, loving father– gave me the basis of what to expect from a “real” man. He should be morally strong, loving, giving, a crusader who rights wrongs and always, always protects the woman he loves.

I graduated from high school at sixteen, started college the following fall at seventeen, and met my future husband a day later. I’d chosen a bowling class for my Phys Ed requirement because I was already a good bowler and loved the game. I got to the first class early and decided to bowl a game while waiting for class to start.

I was on the seventh frame, well on my way to a 200+ game, when this guy sat down behind my lane. I think my chin hit the floor when I saw him. I threw three gutter balls in a row. While talking to him outside the room where class would be held, this thought just jumped into my head. “This is the man you’re going to marry.”

Okay, corny, right? But it really did happen. And I did, forty years ago as of December 7th. Thanks to my romance novels, we laid down some ground rules when we got married. One, that we would consider our marriage to be forever. Only two things would give us the right to walk away without looking back: One, if one of us cheated on the other. Two, if one of us hit the other. Anything else, we would work it out.

It worked for us. That’s not saying there weren’t times we wanted to give up and call it quits, but knowing that whatever problem we were having didn’t involve infidelity or abuse meant we’d sworn to work through it and stick it out. Plenty of black moments in our marriage, but always a happily ever after to follow.

Now at thirty-nine plus years, we rarely have problems. The kids are grown and are no longer a source of contention. Though money could be an issue, we’ve chosen to work those problems out together with a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work. He doesn’t spend money without talking to me, and vice-versa. (Okay, I still buy clothes without asking, but only from my own money.)

I feel sometimes like I’m living a romance novel. Yes, he has trouble still with saying I Love You out loud. It just wasn’t done in his family. But he shows me in so many ways that I’ve learned to treasure the times he does manage to say it and to interpret the signs the rest of the time. I’ve seen him risk his life to protect me or the kids. I’ve watched him work hard, physical labor to keep food on the table, watched him build us a house with his own two hands so we could have a home that was mortgage-free and that we wouldn’t have to worry about losing when times were hard.

I’ve seen him cry when I was in severe pain following surgery, seen the boundless love in his eyes when he looked into the eyes of his newborn baby, watched him grieve over the loss of his father. I’ve seen him threaten to shoot someone who threatened his children (and yes, if they’d tried to hurt them, he would have.). I watched him stand between me and the kids and a drug-crazed man trying to break into our house, holding a gun trained at the front door. Even with the police dispatcher pleading with him to put the gun away, he refused and stood his ground until police had the man in custody.

I’ve watched him wade into a pack of dogs attacking our dog, putting himself at great risk to rescue our Blue Heeler. I’ve seen him kill poisonous snakes to protect me, even though he hates to hurt anything. He spent three months in the dead of winter, hauling food and water to a cow that was down with a fractured pelvis, rolling that 800 pound cow twice a day, even though the vet said she’d never get up again. (She did, and went on to give us three more calves. Then I watched him sell her to get us a van so we could take a job we desperately needed, even though that cow was the last gift his father gave him.

So you think romance is unrealistic? Not to me. I live it every single day.

What about you? Do you have a hero in your life, or are you still trying to find that man who can live up to your idea of a hero? Or do you think such a man doesn’t exist?

My newest release, The Christmas Wish, has just such a hero. Merry Peterson finds him, but she wonders if he’s for real or if it’s all for show. Check it out to see if Jason Wells is really the man he appears to be. It’s just $1.99 on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Twitter: @ToriScott

Book link on Amazon:

19 thoughts on “Real romance in romance novels? by Tori Scott

  1. Its this type of real life examples that helps people believe that True love does exist in reality , You are really lucky to find the love of your life , & I really believe the romance novel were born from the real life stories & than the saga continued , yeah its difficult in the modern times to find such love but I have faith , that one day I will find a guy who with all his imperfections would be just perfect for me ,& I am waiting for him ….

  2. First, I love the cover. And you have a gem of a husband there. Real romance is messy just like real life. We want to see people struggle together and love each other through it all. I love how you’re sharing this in the post. Great job ladies!

  3. I love how you guys met! That is such an awesome story to itself! :0) I met my hubby in 10th grade on a school bus ride to the terminal to get on the ferry to Catalina Island. My friends and I were talking in the back of the bus about magic and he was eavesdropping… I totally caught him, he was “reading” a book without turning the pages. LOL. That was the beginning of our story. :0)

  4. Love this blog. I never really thought about love at first sight…until it happened to me. I saw the love of my life standing in a hallway the first day on my new job. That same thought…that’s they man I’m going to marry…popped into my head. We’ve been married for 45 years so I guess it’s true. Made me a believer and a romantic.

    Going to look for you book now.

  5. Aw, Jesse. How cute! Pat, people act like I’m nuts when I tell them I knew the minute I saw him, but it’s the truth. He’s so much like my dad, who was one of the last truly good men. I’m going to turn my parents’ story into a book one day. It’s the perfect romance.

  6. Okay, Tori, that post made me cry. We had the same ground rules and when I said, “If you ever hit me or any children we might have, you will never see us again” He thought I’d lost my mind because he couldn’t imagine ever hitting someone.

    I also told him I wasn’t sure if I really loved him because I’d never seen true love. He kissed me and promised me we had it. I loved him more each day. He wasn’t a man who said I love you, but he’d kiss me and I knew he did.

    Here’s to wishing you another 25 years of happiness. True love is so wonderful. It’s not just for novels. It happens in real life. I fell in love on the first date and we were married five weeks later.

  7. It will, LaTanya. I think where people make a mistake and choose the wrong one is when they get impatient and try to take matters into their own hands. But holding out for “the one” is so worth the wait.

  8. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I’m lucky enough to have a terrific husband as well. Falling in love is easy; staying in love is work but so worth it! Off to buy your book. 🙂

  9. Hi! I am 17 years old and kind of obsessed with Romance, despite never having any experience with it(not even a date). I read many romance novels constantly and I got to wondering, does this stuff really exist? After a couple web searches I became a bit sad that tons of people were of the negative view. Finding your article warmed my heart and made me hope that, maybe, just maybe, it exists.

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