A Few of My Favorite Things – Holiday Romances

Long before I started writing romance, I was (and still am) an avid romance reader.  I’d like to share some of my favorite elements from romance novels and the reasons why I think they work so well.

The holidays can be a challenge for even the most ardent happily-ever-afters.  There’s the stress of preparations, travel, and managing expectations.  Then there’s the biggest stressor of all: family.

Almost everyone would agree that spending time with family is one of the key parts of the holiday season.  It can be the part that we look forward to most, but it can also be a challenge.  People are tired, cranky, and being shoved into close proximity, so they’re usually not at their best.  They’re excited and hoping for a wonderful experience, which can make the crash even harder when things don’t go as expected.

I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for a holiday romance with family drama.  And my absolute favorite sub-subgenre is when the love interest stands up to the family on behalf of a main character.  If there’s a scene where the love interest is going to blurt out all of their feelings and why the main character is such a wonderful person and why their family should appreciate them more, it’s an instant one-click for me.  (Especially if it’s paired with a fake relationship that becomes real… it’s romance catnip.)

In real life, I generally ascribe to the philosophy of each side of a romantic partnership should deal with their own family.  They shouldn’t rely on the partner to negotiate issues.  But the stand-up shout-out is an exception.

Families are supposed to be the soft place that catches you when you fall and many of them are.  But some families are more interested in grinding a person down until they fit into the family’s preconceived notion of who that person should be.  That kind of environment can teach a person that their ability to be loved is conditional on their effectiveness at not being their true selves.  When someone else comes in and tells them that they’re wonderful just the way they are, it can be a revelation.

I also enjoy the reverse, where the family is looking down on the love interest and the main character ends up loudly defending them.  It’s almost always a situation where the main character realizes that their family’s expectations and values don’t match their own.  They break free of their own limitations and stand up for the person they love.

When that person is willing to stand up to the family and shout how amazing their beloved is… it’s magical.  It’ll bring a tear to my eye, guaranteed.  Because it’s always easier to believe in yourself when someone else believes too.

There are plenty of examples of these sub-subgenres outside of the holiday romance category, but to me, they work so neatly together that they dovetail perfectly.  The family is all gathered together, which increases the pressure on the couple.  The tension gets even higher because it’s a limited amount of time.

Reading and watching these stories are some of my favorite ways to celebrate.  They represent the best of the holidays in my opinion.  They’re messy, they’re dramatic, and yet it all transforms into something transcendent and beautiful by the end.

Happy Holidays to you all!

I write paranormal romance full of suspense, action, and adventure.  My first book with Soul Mate is Deadly Potential (Federal agent Ben will do anything to protect songwriter Katie from a supernatural stalker who can hide in plain sight), available on Kindle Unlimited.  Or there’s my original series about a secret society of superheroes living among us.  Begin with Revelations for free!

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2 Responses to A Few of My Favorite Things – Holiday Romances

  1. sueberger3 says:

    I agree. I’m currently watching the good witch on Netflix and I am enjoying it so much. Happy Thanksgiving to you and happy sales.

  2. viola62 says:

    Holidays can be stressful, and I imagine very stressful when you have to deal with them as an in-law!

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