The Spark...The Flame
Update: Our randomly chosen winner is Lisa Hutson. Congrats!
If you didn’t win, don’t worry. There’ll be another chance next Monday when my blog guest will be historical romance author and dedicated “Jane-ite” Regina Jeffers!
You’re in for such a treat! My blog guest, Avon author Katharine Ashe explores that highly combustible moment when love strikes without warning. Don’t think there is such a thing as love at first sight? Katharine may make a believer of you.
“You’re not thinking I’m someone else?”
“I know you are not.”
“Or that we’ve met before?”
“I know we have not.” …
“You’re not making a joke?”
“I have not yet learned how to joke that way. I think now I never will.”
With a handful of perfect words and a long, steady stare, Maria and Tony in the film West Side Story fall in love. Nineteen-sixties Hollywood never put its clunky special effects capabilities to such sublime use as in that moment. The setting—unremarkable, a dingy urban dance hall—sizzles with potential, boys and girls from rival street gangs ruffed up like cocks ready for competition. Latin jazz tumbles, trumpets scream, skirts swirl, and the moment the lovers see one another all of that fades away. Literally. The music grows softer, the screen grows softer, and there are only two people, a girl and a boy, gazing at one another. Falling in love at first sight.
Like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story paints young love beautifully: instant, complete, overwhelming. First love flares as a spark of utter brilliance. Innocence and eagerness and desire intertwine, kindling a passion that is new, untested, entirely unspoiled and lightening fast. No wonder we watch this story over and over again! No wonder filmmakers keep remaking it. The sweet, heady, wild ride of new love is captivating.
Now, I have heard people claim that love at first sight is not real love. To that I say: Of course it is.
Love is grand, wide, all encompassing, and generous. It cannot be confined to an individual act of passion, one type of emotion, or even a single ecstatic spiritual experience. Love is lots of things. It is that first glance, the spark of awareness that something is happening beyond control. It is that first smile, the first laugh, when sensibilities meet and mingle seemingly without effort. It is that first touch, the discovery that the shimmering vision of perfection only goes so far before instinct and need kick in. It is the first kiss, wondering, tender, seeking. It is breathtaking and devastatingly passionate.
I am a pushover for a dreamy first love story. But I will admit, yes—young love occasionally does not end well.
That’s what second chances are for.
I adore a romance in which the hero and heroine have lived a bit of life and have learned how to love, truly and lasting. Like the love of a mother for her young children, fierce and protecting. Or the love of a soldier for his country, noble and sacrificing. Love that knows loss and pain yet still burns because… well… What is there to life otherwise? And because hope never dies.
In my novella, A LADY’S WISH (available tomorrow!), Lady Patricia Morgan dreams of experiencing again the passion she tasted as a young lady on one glorious day with a perfect gentleman whose name she never learned. Returning after nine years to England as a war hero, Captain Nikolas Acton cannot forget the girl to whom he gave his heart then who disappeared without trace. Young love. First love. A spark that burns longer and hotter than anyone ever imagined possible.
Except the lovers themselves.
To me, that love is simply irresistible.
What is your favorite first love story? How about your favorite reunion love story? Comment to win a copy of Katharine’s sexy, swashbuckling Regency, CAPTURED BY A ROGUE LORD (coming from Avon on March 29).