For years, literally, I have read romances, since I was around fifteen or so. The first book I picked up was Judith McNaught’s, Whitney My Love. That book was loaded with emotion. I keenly felt every fear that Whit had when she thought her first love, Paul, would not see her as a grown woman, one that he might love forever. I also felt the joy whenever Whit emerged in Paris society and took them by storm. Even the instant attraction and interest that Whit felt for Clayton sang through my veins just as Judith expressed it did for Whit. Every word of that book was poured over intricately, even now when I do a re-read I still take my time with it. But not for the love scenes, although I will admit they were nice and very well explained J, not even for the humor, I took my time because of the complex emotions that seemed to SING between Whit and Clayton. I can’t tell you how many times I have re-read that book for that reason alone, that unexplainable SOMETHING that happens between those two characters.
In the past five years or so I’ve noticed that some of the books labeled romances aren’t really romances at all, they are more like sexual manuals, books that show everyone just how many times two characters can do everything to each other in every position known to man. That particular SOMETHING is gone. Now, I will admit that I’m no PRUDE. I enjoy sensual, high intensity, and high tension romances. I also enjoy writing them, but that is a totally different thing than what I’m seeing. The books that I love to read, and write, are satisfying (hopefully) on an emotional level, one that also makes the reader foam at the mouth to see something of value between the H/H. I want those scenes that caused my heart to stop, or the ones that caused me to sigh with pleasure, or even the ones that caused my fingertips to tingle as I read.
Remembering the scenes between Clayton and Whit, there are quite a few memorable ones, but some of them that stand out as pure chemistry are, the chess game at his country estate whenever Whit thinks he is nothing but a country gentleman who finds her attractive, another is the scene at Whit’s father’s house when Clay teaches her how to cheat at cards. There is a sweetness, a vulnerability between these two characters that resonates to the reader, and at that moment we catch the ‘real’ quality of the story. And just in case you missed the EMOTIONAL quality that I told you about, the guilt that Clay felt when he hurt Whit, and the feelings that he speaks with in the wedding toast will be enough to remind you that this is truly a classic novel.
It isn’t the love scenes, it isn’t the secondary characters, neither is it the historical quality of the book…it’s the EMOTION of the story, the part that reaches out and grabs you, the part that makes you re-read a story that is almost over thirty years old! That is what I find intoxicating about WHITNEY MY LOVE.
Have any of you noticed this trend that I’m speaking of? Are you also missing the true quality of what is supposed to be a romance novel? What are some of your classic favorites?
Trish aka wackycajun