Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Themes In Romance by Fiona Jayde

I've been an avid reader since my parents stopped half way through the Wizard Of Oz and told me to finish it myself. (Evil and brilliant)

 When I was about twelve I discovered romance novels (and Nora Roberts!), and romance is still my preferred genre today. And while I don't necessarily love Romance movies, I love movies with a strong romantic sub-plots where sexual tension just sizzles on screen.

My favorite romantic themes usually involve the hero and heroine absolutely hating each other (at least verbally) while being wildly attracted to each other. (Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa pop immediately to mind.)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love the idea of a hero having to betray or "kill" his heroine (whether literally or figuratively - such as destroy her career or discredit her, etc) only to fall in love with her instead. I used a reversal of that theme in my sci-fi romance Cold Victory, where my heroine struggles with having to destroy the hero and his ship.

Similarly, I love the theme of a hero absolutely hating the heroine (or vice versa) but being honor bound or duty bound to save her - and end up falling for her.

I also love sports themes in contemporary romances - big tough athletes/ wounded warriors who need help seeing themselves as something more then statistics and scores. (I recently read Rachel Gibson's Nothing But Trouble and while it had no explosions or car chases or guns, I couldn't put it down. The sexual tension between the characters kept me riveted!)

Vengeance themes are another favorite - right up there with the hero and heroine hating each other. I think it was Silhouette romances which often had the hero forcing the heroine to marry him out of revenge, and the tension between them just sizzled.

Maybe it sounds really simplistic when I sum it up - but it seems that my favorite romance novels are very dramatic in the mutual dislike overlaid with attraction between the hero and heroine - regardless of the genre of the story.

To the readers - what are some of your favorite themes and storylines in romance novels or movies with romantic subplots?

Contest now closed to entries. 
Fiona Recently published an excellent story "Pas de Deux" with Samhain Publishing. Check out Fi's amazing trailer which I think captures the essence of the story perfectly.

One wrong move, and she could be dancing on her grave…

Two years after an injury put her dancing career on hold, Lynnrina Kovaleva is determined to reclaim her place on the stage. On the eve of her comeback production, she takes the edge off her nerves with a one-night stand in the strong arms of celebrity bodyguard Mateo Rivera.

Ex-cop Mateo is celebrating one hell of an anniversary: eight months since he was declared unfit for duty. When a delicate beauty boldly propositions him in a bar, he chooses to lose himself in her body rather than lose his mind to alcohol. This choice comes back to haunt him when he’s hired to protect a prima ballerina who’s been receiving threats.

Despite her shock at seeing him again, Lynn must not allow their intense attraction—or any creepy fan letters—to undermine her performance. Mateo can’t reconcile this coldly focused dancer with the passionate woman who seduced him. Yet he sees fire under the ice, pain hidden by the smooth mask of perfection.

The vivid memory of their entwined bodies wars with the job at hand, but he must keep Lynn safe—regardless of the cost. The most difficult challenge, however, will be keeping his hands to himself.

Warning: Contains jetés, pliés, a chilling touch of danger, and the boiling heat of an unwanted attraction that combusts into passionate sex.

Excerpt and Ordering Information

A big thank you again to Fiona Jayde (and her pirate) for being such an awesome and generous guest on the island.

Fiona Jayde is a space pilot, a ninth degree black belt in three styles of martial arts, a computer hacker, a mountain climber, a jazz singer, a weight lifter, a superspy with a talent for languages, and an evil genius.
All in her own head.

In life, she is an author of kickass, action packed, steamy romances, possesses a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do and blue belt in Aikido, a web developer, scared to death of heights, loves jazz piano, can bench-press about 20 pounds — with effort, was taught English by Nora Roberts and Growing Pains, and when not plotting murder and mayhem enjoys steamy romance novels, sexy spy thrillers, murky mysteries and movies where things frequently blow up.

She can be contacted by emailing her at fiona [at] fionajayde [dot][com]


Anonymous said...

Another great post!
I've gone through so many 'themes in romance' phases it makes my head spin! LOL

Years ago I was devouring 'mailorder brides on the frontier' and 'kidnapped by pirate' themes. Always the guy wanted the girl right off the bat while the girl took a while to warm up to the idea. And most often the guy was rushing in to save the female from some dastardly villian or terrible fate.

Currently, I am loving the head strong kick butt heroine who can hold her own against the hero (alpha hero usually) so she not only captures his lust and heart, she also captures his respect and admiration.

I think the urban/fiction fantasy out there today by authors like Jeaniene Frost, Patricia Briggs and Karen Marie Moning portray this very well.

Great topic!



Carol L. said...

Great post Fiona,
There are so many different romance themes. The one that does it for me are the ones where the hero and the heroine dislike each other because of a past problem, heartache and/or betraying one another. Then while trying desperately to avoid any feelings toward one another they actually fall in love. I love the wounded Alpha male who swears he won't fall in love again and then he meets the feisty heroine who proves him wrong. :)
Karen Marie Moning does this well with her Highlanders. Emily Bryan and Anna Campbell as well.
Carol L.

Chris said...

I'll have to remember that Wizard of Oz tactic for some friends who are trying to get their kids to read more!

Um, I have a weakness for books about hockey players (yes, yes, I've read all the ones Rachel Gibson wrote). I'm mostly reading m/m romance these days, and there really aren't too many hockey player romances in the genre.

Mary G said...

Hi Fiona
Terrific post! I love athlete stories & devoured Rachel Gibson, Deirdre Martin & SEP's books. I love reunited lovers & best friend's sister, brother, cousin, etc. I guess secret baby can work sometimes too except for M/M LOL.

Jason said...

Wow! Jazz singer and space pilot! Where does she find the time??


Blanche said...

Great post!

I read a lot of different themes too! I love hard headed stubborn cowboys and alpha males who can show a bit of vulnerability too. I like friends who become lovers too.

Lea said...

Wonderful post Fi!

I love friends to lovers and lovers reacquainted themes in romance. I also like it when authors weave a surprising plot twist into the narrative that makes me blink and say "wow I didn't see that one coming!"

Thanks again Fi for taking time to join us and thanks everyone for all your wonderful comments.

Fiona is busy at a work related conference today but I know she will do her best to pop in when she can!

Have a great day everyone!

Abbie said...

I'm a big sucker for the friends as lovers theme, maybe because that's how my husband and I got together. I also have a weakness for the wounded hero. That does not reflect on my real life, though. ;)

runner10 said...

Enjoyed visiting with you Fiona.
I enjoy cowboy themes.

Heather D said...

Great Post Fi!

I read so many different themes I don't know where to start and my mind keeps spinning...I think the chemical fumes from cleaning the bathroom (and I only use comet and windex) are getting to me.

Like MsM I went through phases where I couldn't get enough of one particular theme. My favorites have always been Pirates kidnapping or finding a stowaway and any western. Recently I have been on a kick with Lori Fosters SBC (I hope I got that right) Fighters and Navy SEALS by various authors.

jeanette8042 said...

I love all types of themes whether it be friends to lovers or turning a rake into a husband!

lilazncutie1215 @ yahoo.com

Jennifer D. said...


I have a bunch of themes I gravitate towards. Reunited couples -I really like it when you the reader gets to know the characters in the past and then when they meet again in the present. Military/fireman/sports heroes - I like the family dynamics of the teams and getting to read about all the different characters on the team.

chey said...

Great post!
I like many themes. I just don't like to read books with similar themes to close together.

s7anna said...

Oh what a great topic Fiona! I'm a total sucker for enemies who become lovers theme, there's also the timeless...he's too mature (age) and disapproves of her while still lusting after her and she challenges him to invest in the relationship... ooh I also love friends to lovers stories.


Chelsea B. said...

I absolutely love the Beauty and the Beast theme. I just read The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt, and it used it perfectly!

fionna jayde said...

Hi all - thanks for hanging around with me on my last day on the island!

@ MsM - you know I went through a similar phase of "kidnapped by pirates". And totally with you about kickass heroines!

@Carol - I LOVE romances where the HH hate each other in the beginning!

@Chris - LOL its an excellent strategy! and HUH about no MM romance hokey players - could be the next big thing!

@Mary - hi dushka! There's more then one Hokey Romance author? I'll have to check out the other ones you posted - yay!

@Jase - LOL! That's why my house is a mess!

@Blance - i lOOOVE stubborn cowboys but I haven't read them in a while... Got any recs?

@Lea - thank you soooo much for having me here on the island! I love friends to lovers theme as well, where the sexual tension just sizzles:)

@Abbie - really? That's so neat!

@Runner10 - thanks! I enjoyed being here! Got any recs for cowboys?

@HeatherD - Lori's fighter guys are SUPER hot! I love athlete heros!

@Jeannete - turning a rake into a husband is awesome! Johanna Lindseys Malory novels are my faves for that:)

@Jennifer - ooh reunited couples are awesome! I love all the shared history and connections.

@Chey - i totally know what you mean -variety is the spice of life!

@Anna - love the enemies turn into lovers theme:)

Thanks so much for letting me visit with you on the island - and thanks Lea for being such a terrific host! (And letting me borrow her top lol!)

Anonymous said...

love the sports themes

the ugly duckling to hot and sexy

great 3 days


Fedora said...

Hi, Fi! Very fun topic! I do love that "they hate each other! but they also are strangely attracted and hate that they are!" theme--it's such fun to see how they overcome their differences :)

A couple of my favorites are friends-to-lovers (one favorite is Sarah Mayberry's Anything for You) and the plain Jane lands the hero, especially if it doesn't involve a magical transformation on the part of the heroine, but a change of perspective on the part of the hero. One favorite is Debbie Macomber's Morning Comes Softly.

runner10 said...

Hey Fionna,
Keep your eyes open for Jane Porter's She's Gone Country. Out in August.

Scorpio M. said...

I think reunited, second-chance at love is my most favorite romance theme. I like may/dec romances as well, I know this isn't that popular but when done right, it's great. I don't care if it's m/f older or f/m older.

Thanks for 3 great days of posts. I had fun participating!

Unknown said...

I'd have to say that yes, the hero heroine hating each other theme holds a special place in my heart. However, more than that, I especially love it when there's family involved and the heroine is trying to please the family.

If it's the hero's family (note this comes after the fights galore) then she's trying to please the impossible family who constantly tries to make her feel awkward. If it's before the showdown before girl n guy, then the family is absolutely horrified by her and keep trying to get rid of her at every turn. Through it all, our hero remains blissfully ignorant and when his lady suddenly changes to try and live up to his family, he should be suitably perplexed and furious that she would accuse his family of being the problem.

Now, if it's her family, either there's a tein sister who's idolized and their parents dote on, forever comparing the heroine to her. Or the heroine is successful in her profession, however, due to conniving step-family who keep degrading her to try and reap rewards for themselves, our heroine's self-confidence suffers greatly.

I love these two sub-plots simply because I LOVE it when the heroine finally breaks free of the chains of control and either the hero helps her, r he figures out his beloved family is not as virtuous as he once thought.

Erotic Horizon said...

Cool post..

Beauty and the beast theme does it for me every time...

The too possesive alpha male cowboy/seal/navy/military type person is always a welcome pace for me as well..


Anonymous said...

Friends to lovers, reluctant heroine, sometimes ugly duckling, and reunited former lovers are some themes that I enjoy reading (although I don't restrict myself to any set theme).

cories119 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Lea said...

Hi everyone: The giveaway is now closed to entries, winner to be announced soon!

Thank you to all who entered!

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