It’s a trope we see all the time. The cute, vulnerable girl runs into a strong, well-positioned man and is instantly in love with him. There’s no sensical reason for the relationship. The reader doesn’t get the joy of watching the tension turn into emotion. Nope. Instead, it’s just “told” that they are perfect together, and we, the readers, are expected to believe it.
Some of my astute readers may look at the picture to the left, think of a newly released fantasy book they recently read and be thinking, “Hey, wait….”
So yes. It’s true. Power is appealing. Stability has its own alure. When we are young and foolish, we often convince ourselves that feelings are “love” when it’s just curiosity or boredom. We tell ourselves it’s love because we’re too afraid of what might happen if it isn’t. These are the kind of mistakes I made when I was 16, infatuated with the star quarterback, or the hot teacher, or any other guy who happened to be in a position to make me daydream of a “comfortable life”. It’s what society taught me I should aspire to.
It wasn’t love.
Sal, like so many young girls, may be good at some things, but her experience with love is basically nothing. Her past is dark and horrible – she was a slave, after all. All she knows about how to interact with others is to please them or get beaten. Is it any shock that she falls for the first man to show an interest in her? Would you be shocked to learn that a natural born killer might not understand that sometimes men lie to protect their own pride?
When you’re in love, it’s so easy to list the reasons, even if they’re stupid. Men who love you don’t tell you to change into something you aren’t. Love never results in abuse! Love has nothing to do with status or hierarchy of power. Anything else is just a toxic relationship – but those are so easy to see from the outside. The same is not true for the person stuck on the inside.
One of the things I loved most about writing BloodLust was showing just how wrong a “perfect” relationship could be. They fell in “love” too fast, believed it was perfect, and the problems were so obvious you wanted to strangle one – or both – of them! No matter how atrocious the relationship became, societal vulnerabilities convinced everyone that this was “right” and “meant to be”. Now, the real question is: can things work out in the end? Should they?
Well, let me assure you, the end is not near. Sometimes people lie. Sometimes people figure out they were wrong. Sometimes people figure out they were right. But, without spoiling anything for my readers, I just have to say that it was interesting to be drug along in a story where the insta-love was just as wrong as we’d all expect, but the lovers were too foolish to see it.