Romance author Jill Shalvis shares about her not-so-traditionally-romantic marriage, finding a way to keep romance alive, and how her characters approach this in her latest book "Once in a Lifetime."
I make a living writing about romance. So you would think that I live a romantic life. But I can assure you that I do not. I’ve been with Alpha Man for a long time. About a week ago, I asked him what romantic thing he was going to do for me on Valentine’s Day. I swear to you he got the blank look on his face that signals panic in any man. Like oh crap, that horrible holiday is rolling around AGAIN?
The truth is, he’s not the most romantic man on earth. Or the most talkative. Or the most sensitive… I mean I don’t call him Alpha Man for nothing! So I can assure you, the sexy, hot alpha men I write about are made up of about twenty-five percent reality and seventy-five percent wishful thinking.
Still, we’ve been together since the last Ice Age, so maybe we do know SOMETHING about keeping love and romance alive. I wracked my brain and came up with a list of romantic things we’ve done for each other.
Me for him:
1. Sent him to the Final Four basketball playoffs without me. Trust me, not having to deal with me at the games was romantic.
2. Bought new tires for his first and true love – his ’72 Blazer.
3. Gave him a "pass" when he didn’t plan something for our anniversary. We ended up with Taco Bell at the lake watching the sunset. Taco Bell AND a sunset AND the lake? It worked for me.
Him for me:
1. Drove an hour off the mountain to buy me fresh cherries (my favorite) when I was feeling blue. Better than flowers that I would have killed in a few days anyway.
2. Did all the laundry and the cooking and the errands when I was on deadline, without complaint. He did, however, turn all my whites to pink. And he forgot to pay the Visa.
3. Took the kids out of my hair for two glorious days when I needed some serious alone time. However, I can’t say he did this one without complaining. Still, Best. Gift. Ever.
In my latest book, Once in a Lifetime, it's actually my heroine Aubrey who's the unromantic one. She has a lot of wrongs to right, and the residents of little Lucky Harbor want to see her prove herself deserving of the deliciously romantic Ben. So despite her doubts about love, Aubrey has to find a way to keep the romance alive.
Huh. Maybe my not-traditionally-romantic marriage is good fodder after all!
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