For me, reunion romances might just be the most romantic of romance themes! From that boy you could never tell you had a crush, to the first love you’ve lost touch with along the way—how beautiful it is to imagine what they’ve been up to and to get a chance with them again—or for the first time.
My love for these stories began with what many consider to be the ultimate romance novel, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; a story about misunderstandings, letting our own judgment cloud the way we see others, and almost losing out on love because of it. This two act story allows the readers to first see the unsuccessful courtship between the hero and heroine, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. We see why they’re perfect for each other, but also what ultimately keeps them apart. In the second act we get their reunion. While apart, they’ve learned more about themselves and each other, and have grown into their better selves. This growth is what allows them to see each other clearly and in the end be together.
This is the heart of reunion romances and why I think they are so successful with readers. It’s not just about finding “the one”, but also about finding oneself. It’s this level of character development that makes these stories rich and interesting. And when it comes to romance novels, the set-ups for reunion romances are endless. An author can choose to write about characters who were just friends, but reunite romantically, it can be about first love, high school sweethearts, former husband and wives, children who meddle in their parents’ lives to get them back together, secret babies—and so on! And another reason why these are great stories to write is because they fit in any genre. In Love Inspired, we have a steady stream of reunion themed romances in our contemporary, historical and suspense lines.
This month for example, as part of our Heart of Main Street series, we have a reader favorite: a
friends-to-romance storyline, in Lissa Manley’s Storybook Romance.
In the ten years the heroine, Allison True, has been away from her hometown, she’s never been able to erase her feelings for her best friend's brother, Sam Franklin. Growing up, Sam only saw Allison as his little sister’s best friend. But sparks fly as they get to know each other again, and they soon realize they may be meant to be.
Next month Love Inspired Historical will have Renee Ryan’s Finally a Bride, where the heroine, Molly Taylor Scott, is recovering from two failed engagements; broken off after her would-be grooms realized her heart still belonged to childhood sweetheart, Garrett Mitchell. When Garrett returns to town, Molly wonders if third time’s a charm for her and her first love.
Also next month, in Love Inspired Suspense’s High-Stakes Holiday Reunion by Christy Barritt, we’ll
The success of these stories comes from the reader being able to walk alongside the character. They get to experience first why the characters are emotionally withdrawn, and then the character’s journey as they let down their barriers and grow into their true selves. Through faith, the hero and heroine find a way to overcome what drove them apart, and earn that love again. And, who doesn’t want to experience another chance at true love?
Ruthy here! Giselle, thank you so much for hanging with us in Seekerville today! And, editor dear, are you totally prepared for the 112 reunion romances which will show up on your desk next week???
Giselle has graciously brought along this month's Love Inspired Suspense novels as giveaways, so we'll draw names out of the cat dish to find a bunch of lucky folks who can look forward to getting a free book in the mail! SWEET! (Not quite Derek Jeter sweet, but great nonetheless!!)
And for those of you who want to really impress Giselle, she is a Yankees fan, loves Don Mattingly ("Donny Baseball, be still my heart!) and isn't afraid to hang in the bleachers with the famous Yankee "Bleacher Creatures". Clearly we were MFEO.
(Think Sleepless in Seattle, cute kid line: "Made For Each Other".) :)
Come on inside I've got Starbucks ready to load up the coffees...Murray's bagels,
sandwiches from Bits, Bites and Baguettes and sugared nuts from "Nuts 4 Nuts" my favorite roadside vendor in Manhattan!
Food's ready: Let's talk with Giselle!