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Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Lynn Chantale

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. In recent years, I asked both authors and romance readers to come to me with their responses to this big question: “What Does Romance Mean to Me?” I was genuinely interested in what made us all tick, what continued to draw us to the genre. Why do we love “love” so much? I wanted to dig deep to the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback.

Without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Lynn Chantale, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

The Twelfth Wing

 

Romance does not come easy for me. If you’re looking for fancy words or deeds to make the heart melt or bring a tear to the eye, you’ve got the wrong woman. But you write romance, you say. Yes, I can appreciate a sentimental moment or gesture when it’s given.

For me, romance goes beyond flowers, cards, candy and trinkets. Those things are all nice but, they lost some of the awww factor.

Why? Divorce.

Recently,  I gave dating another chance. This time I focused on Meetup groups. This has proven a lot more successful in finding a worthy candidate. In one of these meetings I met a gentleman with a great sense of humor, intelligent, and and has that strong, silent thing going on that romance authors like to create in their heroes.

GEORGE DESIPRIS, pexels.com

I’ve read many romance novels in various sub-genres, have written a few myself, but to meet someone who embodies my type of romance changed my somewhat jaded outlook on love.

Created by yanalya – freepik.com

Romance is so much more than making love at the  end of a great date. It’s offering the twelfth wing, or the last slice of chocolate fudge cake. It’s opening doors, holding hands, or a single caress that says; “I am into you.”

In spite of an amicable divorce —I still love the stupid man— and with him getting engaged to a TTF (totally toxic female), I braved the dating world to find a POSiTive love interest.

Brett Jordan, Unsplash

Romance is not lowering your standards, but honoring yourself. When you’re true to who you are, you’re in a better position to receive the twelfth wing or the last slice of chocolate fudge cake. I know you’re probably wondering what the heck romance has to do with offering the last of something. It’s simple…I care about you enough to put your wants and needs above my own. I care for your happiness and well-being above mine. I consider your choice before I make mine.

Yeah, so simple a concept that it brought back the awww factor for me.

Briona Baker, Unsplash

Romance still needs consistent open, honest communication and quality time. With that comes the toe-curling, bed-breaking lovemaking at the end of a truly great date.  And yes, when we’re together I’ll offer you the twelfth wing. But be honest in your answer, ‘cause if you say no, I’m going to eat the last piece. 🙂

Nice! How incredibly romantic. I couldn’t have said it better myself… 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Lynn! Lovely to have you here! ♥
 
Guest Bio

Lynn Chantale, a romance novelist, short story writer, and part-time background singer, has published many stories across several genres.  Her works include Sex, Lies, and Joysticks, The Contractor’s Baby, and The Pick-Up Wife, to name a few.

When she’s not taking over the world, she’s dominating her household, family, and her cat, Shakespeare. You can visit her at any of her cyber haunts.

Author Links

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

So, I put the question to you as a reader today as well. What does the word ‘romance’ really mean for you? Is ‘romance’ a driving force in your life? How have your beliefs about romantic relationships informed your own relationships? Perhaps seeing other couples (parents or friends) were some kind of influence. By reading romance novels, does that help to reaffirm things for you?

If you’d like to participate in this special feature, please contact me at marieannlavender@gmail.com and I’ll schedule a spot for you. As you can tell from the schedule on the right hand side of the page, we get booked up fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a writer or author. We want to hear from anyone. We’d love to get your take on how you feel about romance, and why you keep reading our books! ♥♥♥ 

 

Thanks again, Lynn, for giving us a peek into what romance means to you. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next exclusive interview when author Dana Littlejohn visits us on July 23rd! Yay! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Faith, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Traditions, Writers

Love at First Sight: a guest post by author Holly Bargo

Love at First Sight

by Holly Bargo

 

Immortalized in movie scenes when our hero and heroine exchange that first glimpse from across a room, love at first sight occupies a permanent place within the romantic lexicon. Nowadays, though, it’s called “instalust” or “instalove.”

Ryan Jacobson, Unsplash

Apparently, that’s more accurate or realistic.

I think it’s derogatory.

What man or woman doesn’t want to feel that moment of instant attraction, that wondrous lightning strike of knowing that he or she is “the One”? That sizzling realization that you’ve just met your one true love can and should knock you off your feet.

Does it happen?

Mohamed Hassan, Pixabay

In fiction, it happens all the time. Consider that ubiquitous fairy tale, Cinderella. The prince gazes across a sea of hopeful ladies to see the glittering beauty of an unknown woman. He rises from his chair, wades through the crowd, and takes the unknown beauty by the hand. They dance all night until the clock strikes midnight and she flees. The next day he goes in search of the woman who captured his interest with just a glance and then took his heart prisoner over a single evening. And he doesn’t even know her name.

Paranormal romance, especially in shifter and vampire romances, capitalizes on love at first sight, using the practically instantaneous attraction and mating instinct possessed by many animals. Our hero (usually a shifter) recognizes his mate (usually a human) and then spends the rest of the story persuading her that he’s going to love her and take care of her forever.

Leandro De Carvalho, Pixabay

I think that most people crave that sort of obsessive devotion, which is why the “love at first sight” trope endures in popularity. However, it has its dark side, too. In Deerskin by Robin McKinley, our heroine’s parents have that sort of single-minded focus upon each other until the heroine’s mother fears the ravages of age and her father transfers his insane focus on his own daughter. The daughter grows up mostly ignored until that creepy and awful transference of obsessive love: her parents cannot focus on anyone but each other. They have no love to spare for their own child.

The ideal of it … ah, doesn’t that make you shiver with the longing to have someone whom you love forsake all others to dedicate himself or herself to your happiness? The trope generally builds upon a man’s instinct to possess and protect, taking those instincts to psychotic levels. The trope generally demands obedience from the submissive in the relationship—usually the female. He takes care, she is cared for—until the tables are turned and she ministers to him.

Andre Furtado, pexels.com

Love at first sight hearkens to the ideal of mutual care, mutual benefit, mutual pleasure, mutual support. It takes the concept of a utopian community and applies it to the two-person community of a romance or the slightly larger group of a polyamorous relationship. It takes that idealized, interdependent caring and support and adds sexual attraction.

I love love at first sight. It’s a wonderful catalyst to jump-start a character-driven romance. It complies with my no-cheating requirement in romance and ensures commitment even when intimacy occurs before the ceremony.

Intriguing post ! Thank you, Holly, for giving us a peek into the advantages and disadvantages of the ‘love at first sight’ trope.

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at her paranormal romance? Sounds like a plan!  😀

Great cover!  🙂

This is the blurb for The Eagle at Dawn:

Rachel’s brother uses her as collateral to settle a debt with an outlaw motorcycle gang. She flees to a local bar and pleads with a darkly handsome stranger to help her. His help results in homicide. When eagle shifter Diego’s vacation is interrupted by the innocent young woman he recognizes as his mate, he flees with her across national borders because she’s his and he’s not letting her go.

Having essentially swapped one captor for another, Rachel knows the dashing, sexy Spaniard is keeping secrets from her. He showers her with kindness and generosity in exchange for her obedience. Diego’s control over her and his secrets elicit her distrust and resentment.

When freedom beckons, Rachel answers its call; however, freedom brings hardship and indignity. Will she return to the controlling alpha male who stirs her blood or cling stubbornly to her freedom?

Here is an excerpt.

Rachel awoke to dark liquid eyes staring at her and the gentle stroke of fingers over her cheek and along her jaw. She gasped and drew back, initially confused. Memory slammed into place and she took another deep breath.

“What is it?” she asked, realizing the absence of engine noise and the stillness of the aircraft.

“We’ve arrived, mi encantadora.

She blinked and sat up, rolling her shoulders and stretching. Diego’s gaze sharpened and the small muscle at the base of his jaw clenched. His demeanor subtly changed from tender to ferocious and Rachel wondered what she’d done to anger him. As though realizing that he intimidated her, Diego pressed his full lips together in a thin line, closed his eyes in a long slow blink, and visibly relaxed his muscles.

He held out his hand and she took it, thinking he merely intended to help her up from the cot like the gentleman he claimed to be. However, he did not release her, but reeled her in so that her soft breasts pressed into his body and his heat easily penetrated her thin summer clothes. His other arm wrapped around her and clamped her against him. She inhaled again with sharp surprise at both the unexpected embrace and the surge of arousal that sparked low in her belly.

She swallowed, the sound audible, and blinked rapidly. “What’s going on?”

“Us,” he replied, his voice a husky murmur. Diego’s hand skimmed upward and cupped the back of her head, holding her in place and pressing her ear against his heart. The strong, steady beat thudded and calmed her nerves even as the enticing scent of him stirred her blood. She felt the soft waft of his breath over her hair and then the brush of his lips.

“Why did you kiss me?” she whispered.

“Because you’re not ready for more.”

Rachel gulped again. “What if I’m never ready for more?”

“You will be.”

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/baWNGv

Add it to Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46421105-the-eagle-at-dawn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46682405-the-eagle-at-dawn

♥♥♥ Ooh…love the tension! This looks like quite a romantic read! 

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Holly! Awesome to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

Holly Bargo lives with her husband on a southwest Ohio hobby farm with a menagerie of four-legged pets. Their two children are grown. Holly works full-time as a freelance writer and editor, and has published over 20 titles since 2014. She primarily writes fantasy and romance, often blending the two genres. Her latest release is The Eagle at Dawn, the fourth book in her Immortal Shifters series in which, yes, readers get to experience the effects of love at first sight. Holly enjoys hearing from and meeting readers. She will be at the 2019 Summer Book Fair in Springfield, Ohio. Contact her via the Hen House Publishing website.

 

Thanks again, Holly! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

We All Have Dreams: a guest post by author Sheri Langer

We All Have Dreams

by Sheri Langer

 

We all have dreams. As a child, mine was to have long polished fingernails, a sparkly diamond ring, a husband, kids, and a puppy. It was my firm belief that my children would be the luckiest on earth because I would love them beyond reason. My only other wish was to be a movie star, admired by all.

We all have dreams that change. As a child I loved movies, especially the ones where sultry, stunning actresses had to do nothing but stand in a room to have every man in sight desire them. Their allure was disarming and enviable and as I got older, I wanted to be one of them. As a teen, it became somewhat painfully obvious that a 5’2”, very bosomy, bottle-blonde was not exactly the ingenue Hollywood was banging down doors to find. I still watched movies with palpable yearning, but as a matter of practicality, I knew I would have to switch gears.

We all have dreams that change us. I went to college because I had no choice but to graduate and be a “something.” I had given up my dreams of being an actress and so I returned to my most organic desire – to be a wife and a mother. My first serious boyfriend didn’t feel ready to comply with my wishes and broke up with me. Shortly after, I met the guy I believed was Mr. Right. He transferred to my school so we could be together. It was all very romantic in the screenplay I was writing in my head.

Aaron Burden, Unsplash

We all have dreams that work – until they confuse us.  We got married. I went for my MA in English Ed so I could actually be a “something.” I loved words. The problem was I didn’t want to be a teacher or a journalist. I didn’t want to be anything that required punching a time clock or reporting to a boss. I wanted to write movies, but as far as I was concerned those were created in some far-off land by nameless sprites.

We all have dreams that shape us. I got pregnant and realized that being a mother was my truest calling. Except for the pen and paper that beckoned me in the wee hours, I was a mom all the way from colic to toddlerhood and then onto my next pregnancy, and my next pregnancy, and my next pregnancy. All the while, my movies kept me company. They reminded me, while my own marriage was unraveling, that true love was still out there.

Ani Kolleshi, Unsplash

We all have dreams that save us. I got divorced. It was a blessing, but destabilizing, nonetheless. I was no longer part of a couple. We divvied up the friends, but I got to keep the videos. The weekends I didn’t have the kids became my nights for take-out and rom coms. I needed to reinforce my childhood notions of love. I started dating, which I found was not the way to secure those notions. The more I dated, the more I needed my movies.

At some point, we all stop dreaming and start doing. One day, my sister said, very matter-of-factually, “just write your movie already.” Really? Maybe she was right. Maybe the only way I could have the love I wanted was to create it myself. I started writing a screenplay and while developing the main conflict, decided to reach out to my first serious boyfriend. I was in NY. He was safely tucked away in Florida. Maybe he would be able to explain why I was relationship-challenged.

We all have dreams that come true. My former boyfriend was now divorced and seemed to have been waiting for my call. We kept in touch and after a few weeks he said he needed to see me. Our time together convinced me to keep writing. Upon the advice of my late, treasured mentor, I novelized my screenplay and LOVE-LINES emerged.

My boyfriend moved to NY, proposed, and after a mere dozen years of living together, we got married this past New Year’s Eve.

Brian Hartley, Unsplash

Keep dreaming.

Wow! Thank you, Sheri, for giving us a peek into your life and offering some of us a reason to have hope for our romantic futures. You are so right. Love is worth waiting for, and I’m glad your life journey also led you to writing that book! 😉

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at this contemporary romance? Sounds like a plan!  😀

Great cover!  🙂

This is the blurb for Love-Lines:

What if you could find the love of your life just by reading between the lines?

Single mom Fordham Price is juggling her job at a small publisher, her precocious ten-year-old daughter, and her feisty mother. She wants to find time for men, but after a series of dating disasters, her relationship status is still stuck at single.

As if her macchiato lite wasn’t already overflowing, a co-worker gets pregnant, and Fordham is expected to step in and deliver the company’s latest reality read from the Flowers from the Heart series. She must now supplement her own romantic misadventures with tales of cynical cat-ladies, identical-twin husbands, spunky monks, and countless other web-crawlers.
As she wades through the submissions, she finds one from a widower whose story gives her tingles in all the places she forgot existed. His words draw her in until she finds herself daydreaming about him more than she’d care to admit.

Could she have a love like that, or will her romantic fate be forever bound to her philandering ex-husband?

What are people saying about this book?

“Humorous romance. Entertaining tale of a divorcee meeting her Prince Charming but also encountering her first love. Will she rekindle that former romance where her heart was broken? Will she find out who is Prince Charming? Where does her daughter’s handsome principal fit into the story? All the answers will be there, as well as some surprises and laughs along the way.” — Barbara Tobey, Amazon

I must say I’m impressed. I’m not sure if a “virgin” reader’s enthusiasm is a plus or not, because I haven’t read a book in 50 years. No joke, that’s how long it’s been, and that book was the first fiction book I had read. Didn’t like it and figured it would always be like that.
This was fun, lighthearted, cute, serious, sad, happy, ridiculous, confusing, surprising detailed, vividly real as everything I read brought the characters to life in my mind, and they remained unchanged throughout. Most of all, a great read that I reluctantly put down every time I had to stop reading. Kudos, Sheri Langer!
” — Tony, Amazon

I love, love, love this book! Fordham struggles to figure out who she is and what she wants in life after being let down by her father, her first love, and her ex-husband. She finds herself raising her daughter with her mother and doing a job that makes her feel like she’s in way over her head. I enjoyed all of the characters and how you aren’t really sure how it’s all going to work out in the end.” — KReads83, Amazon

“Cute book! I loved all the different characters’ relationships throughout this book. Whether you are young, old or middle aged, love can show up! It was a quick, fun read and I’m looking forward to this author’s next book!” —R. McCleaf, Amazon

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/mv7GN2

Add it to Goodreads or BookBub:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43699742-love-lines

https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-lines-by-sheri-langer

The link to a book excerpt is: https://bit.ly/2DVHsLb

♥♥♥ Nice! This looks like quite a romantic read! 

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Sheri! Awesome to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

Sheri Langer is a chocoholic writer and editor who routinely feasts on romantic comedies. She’s been known to spontaneously reenact scenes from classic favorites like When Harry Met Sally.

A self-proclaimed moderately talented home-cook, Sheri spends a fair amount of time concocting dishes that can never be repeated. A creative rebel at heart, she has always colored outside the lines and has an instinctive aversion to recipes. To keep the calories from getting too out of hand, Sheri does step and aerobic workouts in the privacy of her bedroom, where no one has to be subjected to her lack of rhythm.

An avid word fan, Sheri frequently plays Just Words, Boggle, and Scrabble, mostly against the computer so she has excellent odds of winning. With her four kids all grown up – three of whom live in various locations across the map – Sheri and her guy, Brad, spend much of their downtime watching General Hospital and football, shopping, and pursuing the best ice cream on the planet. Much to the chagrin of their waistbands, they can often be spotted sitting on a bench outside their favorite creamery, eating obscenely overstuffed giant waffle cones.

Please feel free to connect with Sheri on social media. You can help her procrastinate by engaging in spirited exchanges or viewing pics of her great-looking family and ridiculously adorable cat, Zoe.

 

Thanks again, Sheri! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, reflections, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

A to Z’s of Romance: a Valentine’s romance blogger post by multi-genre author Marie Lavender

A to Z’s of Romance

 

I launched this blog in 2014. It just occurred to me that I haven’t written a post of my own in a while. Mainly I just share authors’ new releases, interview both authors and characters, we feature guest posts about romance, and we started offering book reviews in the new year. Sure, sometimes I feature love poetry I’ve written, but tackling a new article about romance?

Well…that’s just what ILRB is about, right? So I thought it was apropos to write something that might work for Valentine’s Day. ♥

Without further ado, here is my list of alphabetic advice for romantic relationships:

  1. Affection. By saying ‘I love you’, you can never go wrong. But your partner wants to see proof of your feelings as well.

    Carly Rae Hobbins, Unsplash

    Kiss your girl on the hand or forehead. Hold hands whenever you can. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to show your love. Simple gestures – love notes, for one – that express your affection will make your partner feel appreciated, and he or she will reciprocate in kind.

  2. Be Compassionate. We all have bad days or experience illness at one time or another. Some of us have a jerk for a boss. Listen to your partner and empathize with their problems.
  3. Creativity. If you think your romantic dates are getting stale, or stress is dragging you both down too much, get creative! Think of unique, fun activities to help you connect, and find different ways to appreciate each other.

    Created by Freepic.diller – Freepik.com

  4. Devotion. Stay devoted to your partner, and your relationship will be ‘deliciously dazzling’, and result in something ‘divine’ that you share. Do you see what I just did? 😉
  5. Excitement. When two people stay together in a relationship for a while, things tend to become more relaxed and that initial excitement you experienced evolves into a wiser love. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some of those butterflies again. Arrange to meet your partner at a bar or other public location. Pretend you’re total strangers, that you’ve just met, and strike up a conversation.

    Created by Freepik

    Or act like it’s a blind date. Flirt a little. Feel free to explore each other all over again. Who knows? Maybe you’ll learn something new about your lover, and refuel your passion.

  6. Feed Your Partner. Just so you know, guys and gals, cooking a meal once in a while is a great way to show how much you care. You’re taking the time to make something nice that you both can enjoy.

    Created by Freepik

    Plus, as long as you don’t always launch into watching television right away, it can set the stage for a good, intimate conversation.

  7. Go On Dates Together. The origin of the word ‘date’, meaning a romantic liaison, can be traced all the way back to the 1890s and up to 1903 (I am such a word nerd! LOL.). No one is definite on the exact year.

    Created by Freepik

    Anyway…make date night a thing. By doing so, you’ll find ways to reconnect after a busy week and still enjoy yourselves.

  8. Have a Party at Home. How can that be romantic? Let’s find out. Well, you could throw a fun party just for the two of you, even add a theme to make it interesting. Exchange stories about how you fell in love. Share memorable times that made you appreciate your partner more. And heck, go all out with the food and wine. What a night, right?
  9. Identity. Recognize that you’re both unique people. Celebrate your differences and varying interests. For example, if the other person likes action, sci-fi or horror movies, volunteer to watch a film together.

    Created by Freepik

    Even your partner’s favorite one. Listen when they explain why this is their top movie. The experience will bring you closer, and help you understand the other person better.

  10. Just Be Open. Don’t forget to communicate more often. Be honest with each other about anything you’re feeling. Don’t go out of your way to be rude – tact has been tossed out the window these days, even though we should bring it back – but keep the lines of communication open. There’s a difference between texting and sitting down to have a real discussion without the interference of technology. You’ll feel much closer in the process.

    Created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com

  11. Kissing. A kiss is just a kiss, right? Hmm…not at all! There are different types of kisses. Sexy kisses, platonic kisses, light, affectionate kisses, and the list goes on. But there’s one I call the ‘floaty kiss’, the kiss of love. It’s the kiss where you can tell you’re in love, or at least almost there. How do I describe this? Well, your head spins, you get breathless – except that doesn’t seem to matter much – and the world disappears. All you can do is experience this thrilling, amazing kiss, and keep kissing back until you can no longer breathe. 😀

    JD Mason, Unsplash

    So, explore kissing with your partner. More often than not, this type of kiss happens when you can fully focus on each other. Kiss the one you love, and find a surprise on the journey.

  12. Lovers Rule. You don’t need to schedule your physical intimacy, of course, but if life has gotten in the way recently, try to reconnect in a romantic way. However, a satisfying quickie doesn’t hurt either! 😉

    Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

  13. Memories. Find some way to remember your happy moments together, to bring them to life. Go through pictures you took, or you could even make a collage or scrapbook of your romantic memories.
  14. New Activities. Try something new together. Take a class, go to a new, fancy restaurant, or learn a hobby as a couple. You’ll acclimate to working as a team, and share a new experience in the process.

    Created by Rawpixel.com – Freepik.com

  15. Observe. Pay attention to the subtle nuances in your partner’s life. Both men and women can feel taken for granted after a while, so help out with daily tasks when you can. Plus, if your partner has obviously been feeling down about something, go out of your way to make a special gesture that shows you notice him or her.
  16. Protect Your Private Time. It’s so easy to let life get in the way. Make an extra effort to spend more time together.
  17. Quietness. Savor your quiet moments together, even if you’re just cuddling and softly speaking. Life can be too hectic, and these times are precious.

    Created by Freepik

  18. Read a Romance Novel. Ha! Didn’t think I’d throw that one in there, did you? Guys, if you’re still calling these books ‘smut’ or ‘fluff’, get a table at Reality Check Diner. There are so many options with sub-genres now, from fantasy to paranormal, sci-fi and dystopian, all the way to romantic suspense and thrillers (here is a full list to make it easier to understand). There’s something for everyone. Or…maybe you’re into erotic romance. We won’t judge! ♥ Anyway, try reading a few romance books, and see if you still don’t have respect for them. Plus, immersing yourself in this type of fiction might let you know what your wife or girlfriend secretly yearns for. And having that knowledge is a good thing… 🙂

    Created by Freepik

  19. Sweetness and Sensuality. Be sweet and thoughtful with your partner. Never demean or make your significant other feel they aren’t worthy of love and attention. As for being sexy? Don’t be afraid to flirt, dress sexier or dance in front of your partner. Even if you feel foolish – and we understand that putting yourself out there causes vulnerability – your efforts won’t go unnoticed.

    Created by javi_indy – Freepik

  20. Talk. Stay interested in your partner’s life. “What are you doing today?” or “How was work?” are great conversation starters, and it’s better than an awkward silence. Even people who have been together for years develop a certain familiarity with each other and pay attention to unspoken cues. So, if you care, you’ll ask your partner what’s wrong when something is up.
  21. Unite. Make big decisions as a couple, instead of one partner going off and doing their own thing. If this will affect everyone, you should have a say too. Respect each other, honor one another’s opinions, and make an informed decision as a unit.
  22. Valued. Always make your partner feel valued. You want your significant other to see that you care, and you like to spend time with them.

    Created by Freepic.diller – Freepik.com

  23. Wedding…Yes or No? Hey, we get that marriage isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve been in a supposedly committed relationship for a long time, and the M word has never come up once, this a RED FLAG. Have a heart-to-heart, and find out if your partner has hang-ups about tying the knot.

    Katherine Hanlon, Unsplash

    Already married? Great! If you’ve been together for years, one idea to celebrate the romance in your relationship is to do it…again. Consider renewing your vows. Wouldn’t that be a fun event? What could be more romantic than remembering why you said yes, and marry your honey all over again?

  24. XOXO. Hugs and kisses are an important way to express how you feel about each other. These gestures can also be therapeutic during rough days. Touch is a big part of a romantic relationship…hey, not just the sexy kind of touching!

    Brooke Winters, Unsplash

  25. Youth Is Overrated. You don’t need to be a teenager or a twenty-something to still want romance in your life. Consider revitalizing your relationship with fun activities. At any age, you can always add in a gesture or two to spice things up.

    Thierry Hardoin, Flickr

  26. Zero. Contributing no effort at all will just cause trouble, at least in the long run. Relationships are hard work, but if you have a strong connection with your partner, none of these ‘little things’ you do for the one you love will ever feel like work.

    Created by Diller – Freepik

    And that’s my take for a prescription to achieve a lasting modern romance…

    So, what do you think? What might you add to this recipe for love? Comment in the thread below, and let’s start a discussion! 🙂 ♥

Host Blogger Bio

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years, and has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.  Since 2010, she has published 24 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She is also the moderator of three blogs…the I Love Romance Blog, Marie Lavender’s Books!, and Writing in the Modern Age. She’s the proud recipient of several blogging awards and book awards. Follow Marie via her author website, varied blogs, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, feel free to sign up for her monthly newsletter, and follow her on BookBub. Her books can be located at most online booksellers.

Links

Website:  http://marielavender.com/

Blogs:  http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/marielavender1

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/marielavender1/

Amazon Author Page:  https://amzn.to/2SMRcRD

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

Publisher:  http://www.solsticeempire.com/products.aspx?categoryid=262

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marie-lavender

AllAuthor:  http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/

Youtube/Book Trailers:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Sign up for Marie’s Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1g3wO13

 

Happy reading, everyone! 🙂 And Happy Valentine’s Day!

Created by starline – freepik

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Dating Tips, Event, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Traditions, Valentine's

Why YOU Should Read at Least One Romance Novel in Your Lifetime: a guest post by Lady Silver

Why YOU Should Read at Least One Romance Novel in Your Lifetime

 

When people hear the term ‘romance novel’, usually they think of some cheesy story where true love triumphs at the end and it fulfills someone’s secret desires.

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However, there is so much more to these stories than just “sappiness” and “smuttiness.” They deal with hard truths about the world and give those who are struggling to find the good in humanity hope. In fact, everyone should read a romance novel at least once in their lifetime because of the following reasons.

  1. Life Lessons

During the course of certain romances, characters have to undergo character development so that they can appreciate the love that they have found. On the way, they learn certain life lessons that can be applied to the real world. An example is in The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter.

The main character has to deal with sexual abuse that caused him to feel worthless and “less-than.” On the way to recovery, he realizes that what happened to him isn’t his fault and that it’s okay to cry over the wrongs done to him. Even the female character has to overcome her own forms of abuse and by the end, they are stronger as individuals and as a couple.

Carly Rae Hobbins, Unsplash

There are other lessons that can be taught through these novels such as being compassionate, being loyal, never giving up, et cetera; all of which can be applied to the real-world.

  1. Relationship Advice

Obviously, there will be some relationship drama in a romance novel. However, the journey through the relationships can provide insight into real-life dramas. For example, if the main character finds out that they have a child by another woman in the midst of his current relationship (which happens in almost all of Pippa Grant’s books), then the story deals with how the love interest adapts to becoming a step-parent and how the main character adapts to becoming an actual parent. This scenario is played out countless times throughout the media and in real-life, so it’s good to see a book tackle how to approach this situation.

Guillaume de Germain, Unsplash

Also, everyday struggles like not knowing how to act in front of in-laws and sharing space are all struggles anyone in a serious relationship will deal with, and all are tackled within romance novels.

  1. Comic Relief

Some romance novels have an underlying humor to them. Just like movie goers flock to the cinema in order to see the new Kevin Hart movie, readers love romance novels for their comedy. Humor can bring a happy release at the end of a hard day, joy to a horrible situation, and can lighten a dark mood.

Vanessa Serpas, Unsplash

Romance novels have a lot of funny lines, such as, “I guess I’m the sole monolinguist. Which either means I know a single language, or I’m committed to eating one box” (The Master by Kresley Cole).

They also have hilarious situations like a Greek god popping out of a book naked to the surprise of a modern-day Louisiana woman (Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon).

Either way, the comedic scenarios in these books help lighten their reader’s day. Also, they’re just plain entertaining.

  1. Ideas

Of course, there are plenty of steamy scenes within romance novels, and I would be lying if I said that readers just read them for the above reasons. There is satisfaction in reading a good sensual scene between fictional characters. Sometimes, it’s not the “sex” that makes these scenes enjoyable but the tension between the two that readers love. Not only does it give fuel to fantasies, it also gives ideas for real-life partners who want to “spice it up” in the bedroom. There’s a reason why Fifty Shades of Grey did so well, and it isn’t the plot.

Stokpic, pexels.com

Sure, these scenes bring in readers, but they aren’t the only reason for reading.

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

Romance novels give real-world advice on how to handle love and life while still being entertaining and wholesome.

Created by Freepik

Too right!

Thank you, Lady Silver, for offering some great suggestions to non-romance readers, and reaffirming the fascination for loyal fans! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

I am an anonymous blogger who explores how the romance genre impacts the real world while also deconstructing all elements of romance.

Links

Website/Blog:  www.ladysilverfeather.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LadySilver9

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/103970957583905254546

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great weekend!

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Event, Faith, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Stories

Special Music Feature: Christopher Ferguson

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Here is some great romantic themed music by Christopher Ferguson.

Please help me in welcoming our first musical post to this romance blog! With Love, an album featuring some romantic songs, is available on ReverbNation.

First of all, I’d like to point out that Christopher reached out to me after a reader of the I Love Romance Blog referred him to us.

That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your album! 😉

Let’s take a look at this romance themed album, With Love, today.

Nice cover!

This is the info on With Love:

Check out one of the songs, “Tell You Hello”, here!

Sounds great! This song features Keith Taylor (Dean of Music, University of Alabama), Ami Kim (vocalist from Memphis) and Christopher Ferguson on upright bass.

Also, listen to “My Heart”, here!

Wow! Thank you for telling us about your album! It looks wonderful! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to check this album out at ReverbNation. You’re sure to be moved by these songs!

Musician Bio

My name is Christopher Ferguson. I am primarily a musician/composer (….a bass guy) and have also been writing for NPR for the last couple of years, as well (mainly just short stories that I narrate and that get broadcast on our local NPR station here in Alabama).

I call my brand of music “With Love”. The music is piano, bass and vocal. It is intentionally not loud or aggressive. I am writing gentle songs, that are soft and require the attention of a listener, with the intent of giving them something to use to reflect upon their own thoughts and feelings of love.

Link

ReverbNation:  https://www.reverbnation.com/fergusonandwithlove/songs

 

Thanks again, Christopher! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime, perhaps with your next musical release. 

Happy listening, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Contemporary, Drama, Event, Faith, Hope, Love, Message, music, Readers, Romance

A Year of Romance and Second Chances…Reflection Post: 2017 – 2018

Hi, readers! As you know, the I Love Romance Blog is a place to celebrate all things “love”, including tips on romantic relationships, as well as reading love poems, exploring romance novels in the form of pre-order and new release features, blog tours, cover reveals, guest posts about romance writing, giveaways, and perhaps finding a new, favorite romance author. This year, we also started two cool new features. One was our ‘What Does Romance Mean to Me?’ guest post feature. We had a whopping 20 posts in that series! Plus, you can’t forget our ‘Heroes & Heroines’ feature, explaining some of the behind-the-scenes details about our favorite characters from romance novels. It has been an awesome year! Hopefully, the New Year will bring just as many new and exciting opportunities!

With 2018 approaching quickly, it becomes clear that we should reflect not only on the past, but also what the future may bring. This is a time of renewal and rebirth; it’s also an age of new beginnings. With the giving spirit of the season in mind, perhaps it might lead to the greatest challenge of all – forgiveness. Perhaps second chances are truly possible, hmm?

So, to honor how much we love romance as well, I thought we’d go a step further. Why not give readers a list of great second chance romance novels? Let’s get started, shall we?

[Disclaimer: These are simply suggestions compiled from titles I found on Amazon. They are merely meant to give you options for second chance themed romance books to read. I have neither read nor reviewed them.]

This list looks like a great set of novels to get us started for 2018. I love a good romance! 😉

Also, here is a second chance story of mine!

To fully honor 2017, I’d like to thank all the talented authors who stopped by to visit ILRB. I would also like to offer tons of gratitude to the dating companies and individuals who offered up relationship and dating advice to our readers! Such a variety of posts this year! Additionally, we had 85 authors, either guesting or with books spotlighted, on our blog alone this year. Many thanks to our readers as well, for giving the I Love Romance Blog a chance!

Here are some highlights from 2017:

Character/Author Interviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/a-character-interview-with-ellie-from-a-siblings-dilemma-plus-a-conversation-with-author-molly-v-lovell/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/character-interview-with-leona-from-unfathomable-love-plus-a-chat-with-author-linda-diane-wattley/

 

New Release/Book Features

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/pre-order-release-feature-heart-of-a-savage-by-author-lashanta-charles/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/pre-order-release-feature-the-angel-alejandro-by-author-alistair-cross/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/new-release-feature-too-sexy-for-love-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/new-release-feature-cupids-arrow-anthology-by-solstice-publishing/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/new-release-feature-with-one-more-look-at-you-by-author-mary-j-williams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/new-release-feature-the-boy-friend-by-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/pre-order-release-feature-hard-to-love-by-author-s-jones/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/new-release-feature-timberline-by-skye-mcneil/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/new-release-feature-druids-portal-the-first-journey-by-cindy-tomamichel/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/new-release-feature-excess-baggage-by-laura-barnard/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/new-release-feature-seduction-en-pointe-by-gemma-snow/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/new-release-feature-love-uncovered-by-laura-barnard/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/new-release-feature-explicitly-yours-by-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/new-release-feature-hard-to-stay-by-s-jones/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/book-feature-king-in-chains-by-author-grey-francis/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/pre-order-release-feature-kurt-seyt-shura-by-author-nermin-bezmen/

 

Blog Tours

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/blog-tour-feature-hell-yeah-kindle-world-tour-presented-by-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/blog-tour-feature-j-j-montgomerys-gun-for-hire-tour-presented-via-reviews-by-crystal/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/blog-tour-feature-bella-jeanisses-shredding-dreams-tour-presented-via-words-turn-me-on/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/blog-tour-feature-sultry-nights-romance-anthology-tour-plus-madison-michaels-bedeviled-presented-via-reviews-by-crystal/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/05/blog-tour-feature-jackson-by-tracie-podger/

 

Blog Awards

http://blog.feedspot.com/romance_book_blogs/

http://blog.feedspot.com/novel_blogs/

http://www.startdating.dk/awards/romance-blogs-award-2017 (You can still vote for this one!!)

 

Personal Book News/Reviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/meet-monday-marie-lavender-interview-and-spotlight/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/new-release/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/5-star-review-for-uyr/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/new-release-alert-upon-your-love-by-marie-lavendar/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/radio-interview/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/a-short-but-sweet-5-stars/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/double-reviews-for-new-adult-romance/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/4-stars-for-the-missing-piece/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/five-amazing-stars-for-uyl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/teaser-from-chasing-ginger-a-work-in-progress/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/double-reviews-for-the-missing-piece/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/mega-cool-review-for-uyl-5-stars/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/new-release-feature-directions-of-the-heart-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/vote-for-a-romance-cover/ (You can still vote for this one!!)

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/cool-book-nomination/

 

Giveaways

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/get-a-copy-of-uyl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/new-release-feature-i-wanna-get-laid-by-kade-by-author-duo-nikki-ashton-victoria-johns-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/new-release-feature-the-depth-of-the-spirit-by-linda-lee-williams-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-cleo-scornavacca-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/free-book-the-missing-piece-by-yours-truly/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/pre-order-release-feature-directions-of-the-heart-by-yours-truly-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/last-days-of-summer-mega-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/63-free-romance-books/

 

Blog Hops & Personal Romantic Thought Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/18/my-romantic-thought-of-the-day-50/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/book-lovers-tag/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/chivalry-doesnt-have-to-be-dead-a-romance-blogger-post-by-multi-genre-author-marie-lavender/

 

Guest Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/top-5-relationship-myths-you-should-stop-believing-immediately-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/behind-the-title-creation-of-a-love-story-a-guest-post-by-romance-author-cynthia-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/top-5-ways-to-spice-up-your-relationship-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/the-relevance-of-romance-and-romantic-literature-in-modern-society-a-guest-post-by-inkitt/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/can-romantic-love-last-a-lifetime-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/five-ways-to-keep-the-romance-going-with-your-partner-a-guest-post-by-krissy-henley/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/from-friend-zone-to-love-prone-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/guide-to-lesbian-dating-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/back-to-christmas-town-a-guest-post-by-romance-author-anna-adams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/innovative-yet-safe-ways-to-meet-your-soul-mate-in-this-high-tech-world-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/how-to-survive-holiday-stress-with-your-sweetie-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/chivalry-doesnt-have-to-be-dead-a-romance-blogger-post-by-multi-genre-author-marie-lavender/

 

What Does Romance Mean to Me? Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-lilly-christine/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-debbie-white/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-lashanta-charles/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-ricardo-mejias/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-dianne-hartsock/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-susanne-matthews/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/18/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-tina-donahue/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-carole-mckee/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-nikki-ashton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-devika-fernando/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-tanya-w-newman/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-belinda-y-hughes/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-vivienne-vincent/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-rachael-tamayo/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-jeffery-martin-botzenhart/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-jenny-lynn/

 

Heroes & Heroines Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-character-george-bramley-from-devils-run-by-beverley-oakley/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-tommy-from-within-six-months-by-cleo-scornavacca/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-characters-cassie-versus-edric-from-a-siblings-dilemma-by-molly-v-lovell/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-character-herod-dargyl-anti-hero-from-the-cynn-cruors-bloodline-series-by-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-aaron-betts-from-full-count-by-lynn-stevens/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-character-josh-from-fat-girl-begone-by-d-e-haggerty/

 

Poetry

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/guest-poet-spotlight-d-l-owens/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/dream-with-me-a-poem/

 

Well, I hope we’ve given readers some new novels to check out, as well as fascinating romantic posts to glance over.

I wish you all the best in 2018! Happy New Year!

I’ll catch you on the other side…and happy reading! ♥♥♥

 

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, Second Chances

Chivalry Doesn’t Have to Be Dead: a romance blogger post by multi-genre author Marie Lavender

Chivalry Doesn’t Have to Be Dead

 

It isn’t a reach to suppose that many romance readers spent part of their childhoods dreaming of sweeping fairytale relationships, comprised of a white knight on a steed coming to a maiden’s rescue after slaying a dragon for her.

Created by Freepik

Or, for a feminist type, perhaps she was indeed the one saving her chosen male. Why not? Such individuals not only still savor a great romantic tale, but also most likely continue to admire happy couples around them. We’re looking for that elusive ‘soul mate’. Some of us, myself included, took it a step further, and now write those sweeping romance stories that might capture readers’ hearts.

Created by Awesomecontent – Freepik.com

I always dreamt of a love that would stand the test of time, a true romance like my parents had. Not an easy love, by any means. Even in romance novels, the journey includes ups and downs, as in life. But I hoped – and yes, even prayed – to find my soul mate, someone who understood me, accepted my dreams, weathered the storms of existence with me. And I would do the same for him. I poured that yearning into my stories, telling complex tales of imperfect people who found each other despite the obstacles thrown in their direction. For it’s true that real people are flawed. We live, love, hurt, and keep repeating the cycle. That’s life. I guess it’s one reason I launched the I Love Romance Blog – to not only discover new romance novels and the talented authors who wrote them, but also to learn how other people view romance. What were their romantic adventures? What advice might they offer up to readers?

I believe that within us thrives a light, a little hope for a companion to stand up and support us during our greatest accomplishments, as well as when life just gets too crazy. A partner, so to speak.

Yet, the perfect partner isn’t a perfect person. He or she has probably done something foolish before, and they might have a few regrets. There will be similar interests, but you’ll have a few differences as well.

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

It’s true that I am fortunate. I found my soul mate. We’re creative people, and I love that I’ll never have to explain the intricacies of the muse to the man I love. But, there are occasional days when we disagree, when one of us tries to needle the other. I like to make plans, and my fiancé is definitely more casual about life. Though that might seem like a nutty match, it actually works because our differences make us stronger. Those little things complement each other.

Created by Peoplecreations – Freepik.com

As partners, we challenge one another, and thereby put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. We’re both Libras too; so that makes for an interesting decision-making process when it comes to trivialities such as what to eat for dinner or which film to watch for the evening. We agree on so much, and yet there are traits that make us entirely unique. Still, at the end of the day, we have treasured moments of peace, cuddling and finding comfort together when words are no longer necessary.

Created by Freepik

My point here is that whoever you imagine will be your soul mate might not be the person who ends up as the one tailor-made for you. It’s okay to be surprised. Life is unpredictable. Keep an open mind on the journey. Don’t close the door to new experiences. You just might find that your destiny turns out even better than you planned or imagined.

Created by Freepik

Be your own white knight. Open yourself to the world, and enter it with a kinder heart. And this suggestion isn’t merely because Christmastime, the season of giving, is upon us. This is a year-round request. Do something nice for your neighbor, or the next person you see on the street. Of course, you can do that without seeming like a stalker. Just be kind. Open a door for someone, offer a smile. Give that person a rose from Roses Only.

Created by Freepik

You never know how that small kindness will impact another soul, how many ways it might inspire. Perhaps by doing so, you’ve given them a small slice of hope, and it just might be enough to jumpstart them on their own new journey.

Someone out there is your perfect match, not because he or she is, in fact, perfect (no one is), but rather because that individual was made for you. When you’re both ready, at a precise moment in time, you will find the one. In the meantime, keep everyone else open to it too.

 

Romance is a dream we hold tight inside our hearts. But it’s not fictional at all. Romance can be a mere thought, a word, or an act. Something as simple as holding a person’s hand is a tactile gesture that can change your entire perspective. As reading can open new worlds us, so can our own dreams of romance. Think about the traits you might like in a mate. Someone trustworthy, dependable…perhaps inventive? Jot them all down, if you prefer. Remember not to limit your imagination, but don’t get tied down to appearances either. There are those who prefer blondes or dark-haired individuals. In reality, it’s superficial. Though it’s possible the person meant for you might have one of those specific traits, in all likelihood they may not.

Let me explain. In the dictionary, a soul mate is defined as “a person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs”. Sure, that makes sense. You’d want to have similar values if you were dating someone. The earliest known use of the word soul mate was when Samuel Taylor Coleridge implemented the term in a letter to a young lady, claiming that a person shouldn’t “settle, but rather [choose someone] whose character and sensibilities [are of] a nature suitable to [their] own”. It’s not about looks, but rather about two souls connecting.

That’s a better way of saying it, right? Opt instead for the person who is the perfect accompaniment to your own unique tune, and together you’ll create the best symphony in the world.

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Anyway, that’s my take on it! ♥♥♥

Host Blogger Bio

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She is also the moderator of three blogs…the I Love Romance Blog, Marie Lavender’s Books!, and Writing in the Modern Age. She’s the proud recipient of several blogging awards and book awards. Follow Marie via her author website, varied blogs, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Her books can be located at most online booksellers.

Links

Website:  http://marielavender.com/

Blogs:  http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/marielavender1

Amazon Author Page:  Author.to/MarieLavender

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

AllAuthor:  http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/

Youtube/Book Trailers:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

 

Happy reading, everyone! 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday season!

Created by Sabrin_Deirani – Freepik.com

I’ll check back in for our end of the year post. 😉

 

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Dating Tips, Faith, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writing

A Year of Romance: 2016

Hi, readers! As you know, the I Love Romance Blog is a place to celebrate all things “love”, including tips on romantic relationships, as well as reading love poems, exploring romance novels and perhaps finding a new, favorite romance author. With 2017 approaching quickly, it becomes clear that the New Year offers hope, the promise of good things to come, just like a fine romance.

So, to honor how much we love romance, as well as the idea of renewal, or even new beginnings, I thought we’d go a step further. Why not give readers a list of great romance novels that encompass the New Year’s theme? Let’s get started, shall we?

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[Disclaimer: These are simply suggestions compiled from books I found on Amazon. They are merely meant to give you New Year’s options for romance books to read. I have neither read nor reviewed them.]

How about that? Romance authors really can cover any topic. This list looks like a great set of novels to get us started for 2017.

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And to fully honor our wonderful 2016, I’d like to thank all the talented authors who stopped by to visit ILRB. We had 54 authors, either guesting or had books spotlighted, on our blog alone this year.Many thanks to our readers as well, for giving the blog a chance!

Here are some highlights from 2016:

Character/Author Interviews

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/a-character-interview-with-amy-from-the-lie-plus-chat-with-author-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/character-interview-with-emmi-vendetta-from-emmis-pride-plus-chat-with-author-jill-marie-denton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/new-release-feature-starlights-curse-by-author-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/a-character-interview-with-logan-gray-from-texas-c-h-a-o-s-plus-a-conversation-with-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/a-character-interview-with-luke-bryce-from-be-mine-plus-a-chat-with-author-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/a-character-interview-with-astrid-from-a-cowboys-true-colors-plus-a-chat-with-author-lana-k-dempsey/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/a-character-interview-with-izzy-from-dandelions-plus-a-chat-with-author-vivienne-vincent/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/character-interview-with-zoey-from-second-half-plus-chat-with-author-monica-desimone/

 

 April A to Z Blog Challenge Posts

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/a-to-z-challenge-awakening-the-fire-ally-shields/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/a-to-z-challenge-blood-brothers-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/a-to-z-challenge-courting-the-countess-by-barbara-pierce/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/a-to-z-challenge-devils-embrace-and-devils-daughter-by-catherine-coulter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/a-to-z-challenge-elsewhere-by-linda-lee-williams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/a-to-z-challenge-face-the-fire-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/a-to-z-challenge-goddess-of-the-hunt-by-tessa-dare/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/a-to-z-challenge-heart-of-gold-by-j-r-ward/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/a-to-z-challenge-identity-by-cleo-scornavacca/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/a-to-z-challenge-jewels-of-the-sun-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/a-to-z-challenge-key-trilogy-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/a-to-z-challenge-lover-unleashed-by-j-r-ward/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/a-to-z-challenge-marthas-way-series-by-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/a-to-z-challenge-no-longer-a-stranger-by-joan-johnston/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/a-to-z-challenge-one-illicit-night-by-sophia-james/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/a-to-z-challenge-playing-with-fire-by-devika-fernando/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/a-to-z-challenge-queen-of-babble-by-meg-cabot/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/a-to-z-challenge-raising-landry-by-andee-michelle/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/a-to-z-challenge-sisters-of-the-night-by-linda-lee-williams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/a-to-z-challenge-to-tempt-a-scotsman-by-victoria-dahl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/a-to-z-challenge-unhallowed-ground-by-heather-graham/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/a-to-z-challenge-victory-lane-by-shelly-davis/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/a-to-z-challenge-weather-the-storm-by-jean-ferris/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/a-to-z-challenge-x-treme-dating-by-cathy-mcdavid/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/a-to-z-challenge-you-make-me-feel-brand-new-by-chicki-brown/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/a-to-z-challenge-zenith-rising-by-marilyn-campbell/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/a-to-z-reflections/

 

 New Release/Book Features

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/cover-reveal-feature-foil-by-author-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/cover-reveal-feature-texas-stand-off-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/cover-reveal-feature-backfire-by-author-keri-lake/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/new-release-feature-sins-against-the-sea-by-author-nina-mason/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/new-release-feature-starlights-curse-by-author-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/02/new-release-feature-love-me-i-dare-you-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/new-release-feature-a-vindicated-heart-by-author-c-l-bush/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/new-release-feature-turpitude-book-4-a-provocative-true-story-a-memoir-a-harem-boys-saga-by-author-young-bernard-foong/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/prologue-reveal-feature-somewhere-to-begin-poison-and-wine-series-by-author-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/new-release-feature-kidnapped-in-love-2-backfire-by-author-jamela/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/book-feature-the-good-thief-by-author-tanya-w-newman/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/pre-order-release-feature-a-pawn-for-malice-by-author-cynthia-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/new-release-feature-new-year-baby-philadelphia-love-series-by-author-lilly-christine/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/new-release-feature-desert-deception-by-susanne-matthews/

 

Blog Tours

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/blog-tour-feature-hell-yeah-kindle-world-tour/

 

Blog Awards

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/liebster-award/

 

Personal Book News/Reviews

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/great-4-star-review-for-sch/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/4-stars-for-second-chance-heart/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/second-chance-heart-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/second-chance-heart-by-marie-lavender-2/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/solstice-rocks/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/paranormal-romance-review-magick-and-moonlight-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/scifi-romance-spotlight-blue-vision-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/review-of-blue-vision-code-of-endhivar-1-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/que-sara-sera-review-for-blue-vision-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/vote-for-blue-vision/

 

Giveaways

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/tuesday-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/romance-and-food-go-hand-in-hand/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/free-book-feature-ill-see-you-in-my-dreams-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/free-book-feature-a-cowboys-true-colors-by-author-lana-k-dempsey/

 

Guest Posts

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/the-eyes-of-love-by-dr-matthew-anderson/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/the-secret-life-of-an-erotica-writer-by-charity-parkerson/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/on-writing-romance-a-guest-post-by-ricardo-mejias/

 

Poetry

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/yearning-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/guest-poet-spotlight-honcho-mars-returns/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/poetry-romance-themed-winner-empress-of-the-universe/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/the-other-side-of-our-dreams-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/you-and-the-muse-a-poem/

Well, I hope we’ve given readers some new novels to find, as well as some interesting romantic posts to glance over.

I wish you all the best in 2017! Happy New Year!

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I’ll catch you on the other side… 😉

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance

“Lovers Like Us” – a poem

Lovers Like Us

From the window the stars in the sky seem to mock me,

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the walls in here are too close,

wanting in this night,

yearning for your arms,

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craving your soul next to mine,

                                   but lovers who hate goodbyes will always stay true…

Remembering your kiss,

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the kind that can change from sweet to wild at any moment,

recalling your hands upon my skin,

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a fire that is never fully quenched.

Lovers who yearn like this have no reason to leave…

Your voice from afar is calming,

and it’s almost like you’re with me.

We talk of our days spent apart and laugh at old times,

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we flirt just like we did in the beginning.

You’re always in my thoughts.

I am utterly consumed by you,

in mind, body and soul.

Lovers who relate so well cannot be parted for long…

My heart hurts tonight,

needing you so much,

wanting you here beside me,

just to look in your eyes,

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but I know if not tomorrow,

sometime soon I will see you again,

your hazel eyes will ground me,

your caress on my cheek will soothe,

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your hard arms warming my body,

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all of which I crave as I have no other.

I know that I’d wait forever if I had to,

but I’d wait.

Lovers who love like this are meant to be…

I need no assurances to know the truth of how I feel,

I don’t need the validation of another couple’s story in life or a book to know we are true,

though I love happy endings.

My heart knows best,

and this heart will wait.

For now I content myself with thoughts of you.

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I still yearn but never in vain.

I trust you, and I trust us.

Lovers who feel this way will not stray…

For this is true love,

and lovers who feel like this,

lovers who need this way,

who feel so much,

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Lovers like us will always,

always stay true.

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© Marie Lavender, 2015.

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Filed under Hope, Love, Message, Radio, Relationships, Romance, Writing