Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Love Those Love Triangles

When I first started writing the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, I didn't consciously set out to write a love triangle. But because of who Victoria Gardella is--a smart, beautiful, strong, very unique woman--I knew that she would attract attention from more than one hero-worthy guy.

I mean, why wouldn't she? A woman like that doesn't come along every day, and although some men might be intimidated by a Venator like Victoria...many other men would find her confidence, intelligence and wit fascinating. It's only realistic that that would be the case.

So as the first book went on and the love interests kept popping up and making their interest in Victoria known, I went with it.

And that's when I realized I am a total sucker for a love triangle.

To me, a love triangle isn't necessarily a love triangle--ie, a path that goes from point one to point two to point three and back. To me a love triangle is, more often than not, one woman with a choice of two equally wonderful men. Note that the woman is the focal point because, well, after all, I am a woman and I tend to see things from a female perspective.
One of my favorite love triangles, which won't be a surprise to many of you, is that of The Phantom of the Opera--the Andrew Lloyd Webber (or Colette Gale) version. Christine Daae has two equally hawt men in love (or obsessed) with her...which one will she choose?
I always voted for the Phantom. And I was so ticked off at her when she left with Raoul at the end of the play/movie.

And then there's the infamous Stephanie Plum triangle: Morelli or Ranger. Me? I'm a cupcake, through and through. Ranger's hot and dark and mysterious, but Morelli really seems to care for Steph.

How about Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Angel or Spike? That one's much much tougher for me....but I think I'd pick Angel for the Buffster...and keep bad-boy Spike for me.

What about LaVyrle Spencer's Vows? Anyone remember that book? A wonderful love triangle, with the hero very obvious...and definitely the right choice (and obvious from the beginning, so that example doesn't really fit here...but I love the book anyway. Emily chooses the brash, flirtatious guy as opposed to the serious, steady one.)

Has anyone read Phyllis A. Whitney's Step to the Music besides me? A YA romance set during the Civil War, published eons ago (I first read it when I was young).

Abigail, the main character, is a girl in New York State who is in love with the brother of a family--and that brother (the handsome blond) goes off to fight for the South. Meanwhile, his younger, more serious, arrogant, and cutting brother stays behind and helps the North. It takes Abigail the whole book to realize he's the one for her...not the hot-headed blond one.

And...what about you? What are your favorite love triangles? Do you find yourself always picking the same kind of guy or not? Why do you think we like love triangles?


KT Grant said...

Love triangles are my favorites in books and movies. I love how you mention Phantom of the Opera and Buffy. Who would have thought I would be torn between Angel and Spike for Buffy?
I am addicted to the BBC show, Robin Hood and two men are fighting for Marian. One bring her true love Robin and the other, Guy who is the evil henchman for the sheriff. Can you figure out who I want her to be with? LOL

Anonymous said...

I loooooove the BBC Robin Hood! My kids are addicted to it too. I have not allowed myself to watch the second season yet, though, because it'll take too much time and I'm in the throes of a deadline.

But my friend Colette Gale (she always gets to write the FUN books!)...her latest project, coming out in May...is precisely that love triangle: Robin and Marian and Nottingham.

Which one do you think *she'll* pick for Marian?

KT Grant said...

I have a pervy mind so why can't Marian have both? LMAO.
There is just something about Guy and his brooding not totally evil self. And I really don't mind that he wears leather either.

Kati said...

Mornin' ladies! Hi Colleen! I'm so glad you're with us this week!

I *love* me some love triangles. Loved Buffy/Spike/Angel, although there was never any question for me that Buffy should be with Angel (so Spike could be with me).

And I love, love, love Victoria's love triangle. I think you've done a great job drawing out the tension about who Victoria will choose. It's been unbelievable!

Colleen - Can you tell us a bit about what you're working on now that this installment of the Gardellas is done? Will you be writing more? Or moving on to a new series? Or are you taking a break?

Sarai said...

So I was one of those who loved the Anita triangle at first you know when it was just anita, jean and Richard OMG I loved it.

Then I fell in love with the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs for that reason (Still haven't read book 2 so no one spoil it for me) I am savoring it!

I'm even a geek to admit (before I knew it was her brother) the star wars triangle was the first one for me! The brother thing threw it way out of whack but there ya go!

Great topic usually I don't like the triangle to drag on in too many book which is why the Plum series wouldn't work for me b/c it gets annoying (PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PICK ONE) but I do like it for awhile!

Anonymous said...

I liked the Stephanie Plum's love triangle, though it's kind of getting tiresome that she still haven't chosen after 13 books (!!!!). But I'm still waiting for her to pick Morelli (yep, total cupcake here). ;)

Another one is the Mercy/Adam/Sam triangle from Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series: luckily that one got settled by book #3 and she chose...the one I hoped!!! ;) Don't worry Sarai, no spoilers from me. *grin*

And Victoria's triangle? My sister keeps looking at me funny when I read and I mutter "Pick Sebastian, pick Sebastian, pick Sebastian...".

Kati said...

So I was one of those who loved the Anita triangle at first you know when it was just anita, jean and Richard OMG I loved it.

What shape IS Anita's "love" whatever these days? Hexagonal??

Katie Reus said...

Love triangles are the best. What woman wouldn't want to read about a bunch of men chasing after one woman? ;)

I agree Sarai, I wish Stephanie would just pick one!!! Triangles are fun, but not if they're dragged out to the point of exhaustion. I haven't picked up a Plum book in a while b/c I got so annoyed.

Kristin said...

Phantom of the Opera is one of my very favorite love triangles, too! I definitely would have picked the phantom! Go figure...being that I'm on *Team Sebastian* :)and as for Robin Hood it'd have to be Guy(might have something to do with Richard Armitage)! ;) You'll probably laugh, but I haven't even watched any of the series(a bit pricey)though I've seen so many you-tube videos that I'm not completely out of the loop!

Too cool Colette is doing Robin Hood ;)...next...go Guy!!!

Kristin :)

JenB said...

Ok, I'm gonna be the unpopular one here by saying that I don't like love triangles. The woman never picks the guy I want her to pick, and my favorite guy always ends up hurt. (Well, okay, except in Dawson's Creek.)

Tracy said...

Good Morning! Welcome back Colleen!

I'm not a huge love triangle woman myself. Not opposed to them entirely but I'm more of a traditional romantic that way.

I didn't watch Buffy long enough to actually SEE the whole Spike love affair but knowing him - and I do like him a lot! - I'd still pick Angel! :)

Anonymous said...

Heh, Katie(babs), I just love the dynamic of Guy of Gisborne, but I must confess, I'm rooting for the charming Robin Hood in this triangle. He's so darn bold and cute!

For some reason, Guy's brooding is just too much for me. (Though I like the leather duster.)

Thanks MK for your compliments on my love triangle. I hope the readers agree! I do have lots who've said they can't pick between the two!

Oh, Sarai!! I was going to mention Star Wars too...but I thought I was the only one who fell for the triangle. (And I confess, at the time, I didn't "get" Han Solo. I liked Luke better. Thank God I've grown up!)

Anonymous said...

MK asked what I'm working on next...well, I hope to very soon be able to announce what my next Gardella books will be...but there are a few details that need to be worked out.

I am also working on a brand new series that has nothing to do with vampires, and is not historical...I'll be writing under a pen name, and will give more details when I have them. Soon. I promise!

(I know I keep saying that, but, man it takes a long time for things to settle into place.)

JenB said...

Oh, I forgot to say usually I get frustrated with the love triangle and just wish the girl would pick BOTH guys. And maybe the guys would hook up, too.

Kati said...


Jen ALWAYS wishes the men would hook up. She doesn't even need a heroine in the middle of the sammich.

Unless Sam Kane is writing her. Then, the heroine adds a certain je ne sais quoi. Eh?

Sarai said...

Yeah I was all for Luke until the brother snag but then I was young and just couldn't get Hans now I get him and i understand it better *g* glad I wasn't the only one!

LesleyW said...

Butch, V and Marissa.

LOL - I know I should let it go already.

Anonymous said...

See, I'd like the gal to get more than one myself...but the editors for romances don't really like that.


little alys said...

Hi Colleen! Thank you for coming and bring up this very interesting discussion. Hehehe.
Overall, I'm not too big on love triangles, but it's always nice to imagine being loved and admired by different kinds of guys...at the same time. More options? :D
I kinda grew up with a lot of mangas having multiple trianges and such so I prefer a more clear cut relationship.
I guess I'd have to stick with katiebabs and have a dirty mind. *g* Too much Emma Holly, maybe. :p I just want to see everyone happy. Is that so much to ask for in romance novels? Happiness? *wink*
Please enjoy your stay!

jessewave said...

I love Stephanie Plum and would like her to have Morelli AND Ranger. I mean, why does she have to choose?
Also, to throw a spanner in the works I love a M/M/M triangle like the one in Chris Owen's 9-1-1 where Drew, Scott and Eric have their HEA. Now I have screwed everything up for everyone except Jen LOL

KT Grant said...

So in case for some odd reason Victoria and Sebastian don't get their freak on and end happily ever after, if you need a new character to give some loving to Sebastian, I am more than happy to volunteer myself.

Kati said...

Kate you are a GIVER! Big giver. And will Sebastian's mythical heroine be named Kate?


KT Grant said...

Kate is not a seductive enough name. Perhaps I will go by Catherine or Katerina. Katerina, the luscious Spanish rose! Aren't there vampires in Spain?

Shaymless Aymless said...

I think I'll have to go with the minority here and say that love triangles usually don't work for me either. Though the whole Buffy/Angel/Spike thing was intriguing I wanted her to stick with Angel. Spike was delightful when he was evil but became a bit too whiny for me when he became good.

There was the YA series in the late '80s early '90s, can't remember the name of it but all the titles where single word and the names of the heroine. They were all about love triangles. I read them all but remember being a bit peeved at times since the hero picked was almost never the one I wanted. *sigh*

Ahh... the Stephaine Plums are in the TBR. I'll get to them someday! Really I swear I will. Currently going through the Guardian series by Meljean Brook.

Bridget Locke said...

Ohhh...love triangles. I first got into those when I was a kid reading the Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith. My favorite series by her though was Dark Visions trilogy because that love triangle was HAWT, especially to a 13 year old. Didn't hurt that the main heroine had my name. :)

So, I've been a huge fan of the triangle since I can remember. Love them!

Bridget Locke said...

And I'm still a Max girl all the way baby! I love angsty, broody heroes. Yum!

Ana said...

I have to admit I hate love triangles, only because my innards get so twisted with ansgt , I can't cope LOL. Because I always root for one of the guys and since I am a hero king of gal, if my favorite isn't picked, I suffer. *has no life*

I still cry over the Phantom - Christine, dude, it was GERARD BUTLER! and I was a Spike girl all the way. And Pacey! Yay!

The love triangle I must love to hate though is that of Lost - Kate, Sawyer and Jack. Jack is one my least favorite characters of all time and Sawyer is my top 1 TV hero so all I want is for him to get his Freckles. You can see how anxious I get everytime I see Kate near Jack. Argh

Anonymous said...

Wow, lots of you aren't that into the love triangles...that sort of surprises me!

But I can see why if you always pick the wrong guy.

Ana, I so hear you on the Christine/Phantom thing. If you want to read a book where that little problem is fixed, I suggest Colette Gale's very dirty UNMASQUED....Her dedication at the beginning of the book is:

"To all the women who thought Christine should have stayed with the Phantom."

Katie, I'll put you on the list for Sebastian if Victoria doesn't pick him. I already know which list to put MK on.

(And I'm actually a little frightened, because of her threats. So if I disappear soon after When Twilight Burns is out...you'll know why.)

Christine said...

What a great topic.

I enjoy love triangles, but only if they are resolved in a reasonable amount of time. In romance literature, 3-4 books tops. After that, I think it becomes unfair and hurtful to the one that gets cut out of the loop in the end. And usually that's the guy I want for myself by then, anyway, so we must keep him available. ;)

I'm enjoying the Victoria-Sebastian-Max triangle so far because Sebastian and Max bring such vastly different traits to the forefront. And right now (after the first book), I think the perfect man is a combination of the two. (Oh no! That's Colleen's husband! Eeek!) But I do already have an inkling who Victoria should be with in the end. :)

Shannon said...

My favorite triangle is Mercy/Sam/Adam. I just love Patricia Briggs' series. I won't spoil it either, but DAMN!

I like the Phantom triangle, but having read the actual book, I have a different perspective on the Phantom character. He was one crazy, sadistic bastard.

When the show was on the air I was a hard core Buffy/Spike shipper. Now that I am rewatching from the beginning, I love me some Angel. Selfishly, I still want her with Spike so I can have David... er, I mean Angel. Mmmmm... David Boreanez just does it for me. There was even a triangle on his current show, Bones, but is just annoyed me. Bones and Booth are so perfect for each other!

Oh! What about the Bridget/Mark Darcy/Daniel triangle? Mark is obviously the better man, but that was the first movie in which Hugh Grant was sexy to me. He was such an ass, but yuuuuuuummy!

Anonymous said...

Shannon, you know, the thing that bugged me about the Bridget Jones flick was that I felt like Mark Daniels was a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen. LOL.

I worry about shit like that.

In fact, when I'm watching a thriller/action movie, all I can think of during the car chase scenes is...who's going to clean up all this mess??

And Christine...are you saying my Music Man is perfect? Close....but not quite. But that's what makes him fun.

Shannon said...

Haha, Daniel definitely was a sexual harassment lawsuit. I couldn't stand the character, but it was the first time I looked at Hugh Grant and saw something other than wimpy or prudish or a wet blanket.

Oh! I heard a rumor that you are going to be coming to Chicago this week for a signing at Borders? Is this true? If so, I will def need to make a trip out to the burbs!

Anonymous said...

Ah, the love triangle. It's more like a love-hate relationship for me. See, I love the tension it brings, but at the same time it's like watching a tennis match! And I hate tennis.
I too love the Stephanie Plum series. I'm a babe (a Ranger fan). There is just something about his mysterious persona and the way he and Stephanie bond that I find enthralling.
And just to put it out there Colleen, I am a Max fan...he just has to work through his inner dilemmas to realize that he and Victoria belong together. I noticed she seemed more confident (if that’s the right word) after her and Max broke the ice. They seem to bring out the best in each other and they make a great team when they work together.Hopefully we'll get to read on about their babies taking over the family Venator business (:

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