Textbook Romance is the story of Libby, a university professor who is decidedly anti-romance. Her mother, who became pregnant as a teen by the "love of her life", who promptly ditched her, has never given up on the foolish notion of The One, a quest that disrupted Libby's life constantly as a child.
And, to her undying shame, something very similar happened to Libby herself. The "love of her life" turned out to be just the "lust of her (and a dozen other women's) life", and she can't believe she fell for it. But only once. Now, Libby has learned her lesson, for life. Or so she tells herself.
Libby's life goal is to avoid romance. She can't stand the way people repeatedly lose sight of what's "important" for the sake of love, which she believes to be a sham. And Libby should know - not only is her academic work all about researching the roots of romance, but she secretly writes romance novels on the sly!
Enter Seth, an ex-cop with a teen daughter. Seth has a mom who taught him how Real Love is supposed to work. Widowed at a young age, his mother never stopped loving her husband and instilling in her kids the belief that real love takes effort, courage and dedication. Even after his wife left him for an internet crush, Seth still believes Real Love is waiting for everyone, as long as you have the fortitude to grad a hold of it.
Textbook Romance is about the kinds of romantic options open to us. Seth, and his mother, and their devotional approach to marriage. Seth's ex, who treats internet chat rooms like a man-market. Libby's ex whose life goal is to spread the love around as much as possible before he's put out to pasture. Libby's mom, with stars in her eyes, who never seems to find anyone but "Leavers." And Libby, who has seen so many Leavers, she forgot there are "Stayers," too.
I had a great deal of fun writing a romance novel that explores... well... romance. There are multiple "styles" of love going on in this book, with each character thinking their way is the right way, given the influences and life experiences they have behind them. It's amazing how our parents, friends, lovers, ex-lovers, kids, and so forth, mold our lives, and our approach to love.
I guess it's too personal to ask your style of love, but would you care to share your views on love, whether or not you think True Love even exists, or who influenced you as to what to do (or what not to do) in the Quest for True Love?
All weekend long, comments on these blog posts will enter you to win an ebook copy of my new contemporary romance novel, Textbook Romance, courtesy of Pink Petal Books. (18+ only, please!) Contest ends Monday, June 25, 2012, at 12pm EST.