Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Allure of Romantic Suspense.... Sharon Mignerey

What could be more compelling that a couple falling in love while saving the world .or at least their little corner of it?  In a nutshell, that’s a romantic suspense, like Meg’s brand new book, Double Crossing.  In these stories, the hero and heroine are rarely looking for that perfect someone because they have more important things on their mind—usually solving a crime or staying a step ahead of the villain who is hot on their trail.  These stories can be a light-hearted adventurous romp, can include a deductive mystery, or can be dark with gothic undertones.  The process of falling in love has a way of raising the stakes and making the whole situation worse than it was before.  It sounds like a perfect story, doesn’t it?

I believe these books are perennially popular because of the combination of romance and danger.  As readers, we tend to think of these stories in terms of their plots of suspense or adventure, but the deeper allure has to do with love and honor.  The plots dip into the emotional lives of readers who can easily imagine being so well-loved that someone else is willing to risk his or her life and who can easily imagine being so honorable as to risk one’s own life for the life of a loved one.  Except the honor is rarely that easy or that simple.  These characters usually have to revisit what they value most and decide whether honor or love wins at the end of the day.  And, if an author is skillful, the characters get to walk away with both, though at the time they make their choices, they don’t know that.

The emotional journey a reader gets to take with the characters involved in choosing love or honor is a compelling one that goes to the heart of who we each imagine ourselves being.  We root for these characters and want them to succeed.  They make us imagine the best parts of our own character in the same way that a hero on the evening news who has saved someone else makes us hope we could be just like that in the same circumstances.
 Meg’s heroine, Lily in Double Crossing is exactly this sort of character.  After her father’s murder, she doesn’t sit around wringing her hands and waiting for someone else to fix things.  She takes matters into her own hands and follows the killer’s trail west.  Things get worse for her when two possible heroes get involved, each with their own agendas.  One is the missionary who wants to marry her—but Lily isn’t sure.  Does he want her or her money?  Is he really interested in helping her find her father’s killer, or does he have some other motive for accompanying her.  The other is a wandering Texan who will help … and Lily knows exactly what he wants because he tells her—she gives him money and he’ll protect her in a simple business arrangement.  Except that it soon becomes anything but simple.  Which man will be the honorable one?

Yes, I want the excitement of the suspense and its adventure.  These are issues of life and death that really matter.  Just as, in the end, love and honor are what really matter.

Sharon Mignerey is the author of eleven award-winning romance and romantic suspense novels that are known for their emotional intensity.  She and Meg were classmates together at Seton Hill University where they earned master’s degrees in Writing Popular Fiction.  All of Sharon’s titles are available as ebooks, instantly downloadable for your Kindle or Nook.


heidi ruby miller said...

"I believe these books are perennially popular because of the combination of romance and danger."

Absolutely! Heightened emotions make for great tension, especially sexual tension. ;)

Great to see two Seton Hill girls here!

Meg said...

Hazard YET FORWARD!! SHUbie Dubie Doo! ;-D

Meg said...

Oh, and Sharon can put EVERYTHING I wanted my book to say in one post. Yeesh. She's amazing. THANKS, Wyse Wonsie Woman! Love and honor, indeed. That's it in a nutshell. :-)

Karen C said...

Great post - very nicely said.