Welcome to my little exploration of love, how people fall in love, what keeps them together, and what keeps them apart. This week, Deanna Wadsworth shares her own real-life love story. And please read on to check out her new book, Wrecked!
DEANNA'S LOVE STORY: A NON-ROMANCE NOVEL LOVE STORY
As a romance novelist, I write my books to capture one moment in time, that perfect part of the protagonists’ lives where they meet, fall in love, and decide they’re going to have a happily ever after. Of course in fiction, that moment is filled with all the angst, drama, and the intense, unrivaled passion that readers love. No one really wants to read about my two heroes burning dinner, going to work and folding the laundry. In other words the real life stuff.Hey, it’s worked for us!
Life isn’t like a romance novel.
It’s boring, wonderful, awful, stressful, funny, and mundane—depending on the day.
Our nineteenth wedding anniversary was April 19, and yes, we’ve had our “romance novel” moments over the past two decades. First kisses, first fights, making love on a beach, getting a puppy, the evil MIL trying to thwart the wedding…..you know all that wonderful drama that makes a great book.
But in between those times, the real moments are the ones that make me fall in love all over again. When I go outside after a snow storm, and he already scraped my car clean at 5:30AM before he left for work. When he reaches out his hand, and wordlessly I take it in mine. When we share a glance and a million conversations are shared in that one look. Even when I’m madder than hell at him, deep down I know that no matter what, we still love each other. What’s more important, we still LIKE each other.
Maybe not that romantic, but that’s saying something after all this time.
So what’s the key to having a happy, non-romance novel love story? Well, marrying your best friend is a good start, but how do you make it last? Well, I attended a coworkers wedding this weekend and she had placed notebooks on each table asking guests to write a bit of marital advice. It’s hard to put it all into one succinct sentence, but this is what I penned:
Never forget how in love you are today, never go to bed angry, always shower together, and always remember to laugh.
Off the Key West coast, Rief Lawson works as a wrecker, salvaging ships and their cargo. Exiled to the outskirts of society because of his mysterious gift of sight, Rief’s only respite from his loneliness is painting an unknown blond man. When a merchant ship wrecks during a violent storm, Rief rescues a drowning victim and comes face-to-face with his destiny.
It is the man from his art!
Heir to an English barony, Mathew Weston entered the merchant trade with his greedy father and soon-to-be father-in-law. Dominated by his father and smothered by the people around him—including his sweet but tiresome fiancée—Mathew is terrified to follow his true desires. Marriage and obedience seem safer than a life of secrecy and possible prison.
My historical romance novel WRECKED is a tale of two men, wrecked in heart and mind, who must salvage their chance at love and happiness in 1850’s Key West, Florida. The following excerpt is the romantic stuff of novels we all love, what makes us swoon and our hearts skip a beat. Maybe it isn’t real life, but it is romantic. After all, you don’t want to read about Rief and Mathew arguing about who is going to fix the leaking gutter, do you? LOL
Rief looked around, and though some new gawkers paused to look at the rubble, they were rather secluded in their corner. “You aren’t leaving? That you want to build a life here… with me?”
Even as the words left his lips, Rief feared that speaking them aloud might end the dream, forcing him to awaken back in his former, sad reality where the only one who loved him were mere images.
Coming closer, Mathew inspected the black soot coating the beam Rief sat upon. He hesitated for a moment, then adjusted the tails of his coat and sat. Rief chuckled at his fussiness, pleased he’d opted to join him despite the risk of sullying his clothing and reputation.
“It disheartens me that you do not believe me to be a man of my word,” Mathew finally said. “How many times must I tell you that I will never leave you?”
“I was not questioning your honor, Mr. Weston. I just can’t believe that this is happening.”
“Why not?” he all but demanded, a hint of impatience showing through. “How can I turn my back on the man who has needed me so badly that he has been drawing me since childhood, anticipating my arrival all this time, without even knowing it? You expect me to abandon you in your greatest hour of need when I have always been there for you before?”
Rief could not form a reply and only stared.
Smoothing the lapels of his frock coat, Mathew continued, “I have thought long and hard about this, Rief. After your mother’s death, you began to draw someone who gave you peace when life became unbearable. Well, take a look around you?” He gestured to the wreckage. “That man has been destroyed.”
Rief’s heart skipped, and Mathew’s eyes captured his, wide and impassioned. “You have no need for him ever again,” he declared in an ardent whisper. “I’m here now, and I will be your new peace, your solace. I am not paper and ink. My love cannot be destroyed by mortal means.” He placed a gentle but firm hand on Rief’s knee, and hope burned as hot as desire. “If the mere shadows and drawings of me have been your saving grace, I will be your anchor. Where they gave you peace, I will give you ecstasy. They may have brought you happiness, but I will vow my love.”
Sudden tears streamed down Rief’s face, and he did not bother to check them. He did not care if a thousand people saw, for these tears were not borne of weakness.
They were of pure, unadulterated joy.
Though Mathew’s vow was so damn perfect and succinct, spelling out a life grander than he’d ever imagined possible, old fears and doubts could not be vanquished with mere words. Lip trembling, he barely managed to ask, “But what if this becomes too much? The risks of being discovered, my visions? Are you sure you want to give up everything for a life with me?”
Mathew laughed, patting his knee and not letting go. “And what sort of life did I have before you? One of high society and pretentiousness? One where no one knew or cared who I was? Days being surrounded by people yet feeling so miserably alone? How can you ask me if that life is preferable to one with the man I love?”
“Matt,” he whispered, emotions getting the best of him and silencing the things he wanted to say.
“I love you, Rief, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” he said so quietly Rief wondered if it was just the wind, for the words were too perfect to be real. “I don’t care about the risks. I could have lost you last night, and that was enough to teach me real fear. I’ve always been afraid to be myself, but now the only fear which has power over me is losing you. I’d rather die than spend another day without you.”
Rief pressed his hand over his face to hide the tears, and the grip on his leg tightened with intimate promise.
Mathew’s voice wavered as he continued, “My entire life I have been waiting for this moment. I have been lonely and broken, not knowing where to go or what to do. Or even who to be. But I do not feel that way when I am with you. Your touch makes my body and my heart burn with love and desire,” he said very softly but with the intensity he showed when they made love. “You are the missing piece of my soul, Rief Lawson, the very thing which has made me a man. I love you, and I hope that you love me—”
“I do!” he cried, clutching at the hand on his leg, imploring Mathew to believe him.
Eyes brimming with affection, Mathew smiled. “Then what else do we have to worry for?”
Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and with Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.
Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon