Jay Crownover, author of "The Marked Men series," reflects on why the differences in characters make romance all the better. Her new book, Nash, releases April 29.
Opposites attract. It’s a trope that’s been around since the beginning of romantic literature and it’s always struck a chord with readers. Face it. It’s just more fun when a poor heroine is swept off her feet by the rich guy, and the bad boy is tamed by the sweet and innocent good girl.
I particularly enjoy using opposites in romance because there are so many of them to explore. Opposites in social class, looks, beliefs, upbringing. There are countless ways to pit two people against each other and then ultimately show that none of those differences matter as long as they love one another.
I usually focus on opposites in the couples I write, because I love breaking down all those differences as the story goes along. Even more, I enjoy showing the reader that some preconceived notions attached to certain stereotypes are wrong. Just because a boy is tattooed from head to toe doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy or an outlaw. And just because a girl is beautiful and comes from a well-to-do family doesn’t mean she’s happy. It’s all the stuff under the surface that connects people and makes them similar that is fun to play with.
In my new book Nash, I wrote the male lead specifically to play with the idea of appearances not telling the whole story. His outward looks are all rough and tough, big and scary, and tattooed bad ass, but at his core, Nash is really a sweet, kind, very gentle man. The same can be said for his leading lady, Saint. I wanted her to sort of have this ethereal quality, this outward appearance of being somewhat innocent and untouched. But at her center, Saint is an extremely hard and jaded young woman who has so many obstacles to get past in order to find her happy ever after. In Nash the hero and heroine aren’t really so different from one another, instead they fly in the face of what the outside world may project on them based off their looks alone.
I think the reason story lines about opposites are so popular is that the notion that true love can find a way through any set of circumstances or differences is a heartwarming one. These stories give readers and romantics hope and show perseverance against all odds. Everyone, deep down wants to believe that love really can conquer all. Plus when the hero and heroine do have major differences it makes the journey that much more fun and the result even more satisfying when they finally find their way to a happy ever after!
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