Let’s Talk About Love: Part Three
by Donna Soluri
As a romance reader, we must be expected to love a good love story, no? I know I sure do. In fact, asking people about their most memorable love story is one of my favorite dinner party conversation topics…you remember dinner parties, right? Back in the “before times,” as I like to call it, when we could safely share a meal, laugh from our bellies, and fill our souls with intriguing stories from friends and strangers alike over a meal or drinks at a bar — carefree dinner parties. Since dinner parties are somewhat off the table for a little while longer, I thought I’d bring some of the fascinating conversations to you, socially distanced and cootie-free! I asked some romance author friends about their favorite love stories, and boy, did they come through with the entertaining content!
So much content, in fact, that we needed to split our post into not two, but THREE parts! Today is the third and final day — though we wish we could do this forever — and we have three fabulous stories . . . including one from our CEO! Enjoy!
Author of The Things We Leave Unfinished
As cliché as it sounds, my favorite love story has always been Pride and Prejudice. It’s my go-to when anxiety creeps into my life. It’s comforted me through evenings spent in rereads of my worn paperback and glorious hours catching Matthew McFadyen’s hand-flex on the screen. But even Darcy has nothing on my husband.
I’ve been married almost twenty years to a man I’m lucky enough to call my best friend. This year has been harder than any of the previous years, and we’ve been through five military deployments! Keeping a high-risk kid alive during a pandemic hasn’t just been stressful, it’s been tough on our marriage. When I told my husband how much I missed our date nights, he agreed — it’s hard to find time for romance with five kids at home. The next night, he shocked me with our first date in a year. Masks on, he held my hand and walked me into one of the biggest movie theaters in our city. He’d bought out the whole place just for us. And if movie theater popcorn wasn’t enough of a turn-on, when the screen flickered to life, there was Darcy … all fifteen feet of him. My husband had selected Pride and Prejudice for our date night movie.
Yes, ladies, I swooned. Hard.
It’s not every day your favorite love story slips into second place because the one you’re living can’t be beat, but my husband is good like that. I’m just the lucky girl who gets to live the love story with him, and I know it.
TRUE LOVE PLUS THE ULTIMATE HERO. FOR ME, THERE IS NO BETTER STORY.
Author of The Last Carolina Sister
My favorite love story is my own. It’s not flashy or over-the-top, but I love the life we’ve built.
More than twenty years ago, my hubby and I met on a blind date. The expression “opposites attract” might have been an understatement, but we’ve figured out what works for us and that’s all that counts. Somedays I like to be left alone (preferably with a book) and some days I’m filled with so much love I could burst.
What I know for sure?
Every day I choose us again — whether it’s an epic adventure or the mundane parts of everyday life. Especially during this past year, I’ve appreciated being married to someone who makes me happy — binge watching some new show or stress baking together or driving into the mountains near our house to find some socially-distant recharging time — the little parts of building a life together are the parts that count the most.
For me, it’s the best kind of happily ever after.
Author of The Dating Plan
Can there be any greater or more enduring love story than The Princess Bride? This romantic comedy adventure is about Buttercup and her one true love, farm boy-turned-pirate Westley, who are separated for many years and must fight the evils of a kingdom to be together again.
Westley is my ultimate romantic hero. Who wouldn’t want a man who responds to his beloved’s every request with, “As you wish”, even when she demands he fetch buckets and pitchers for no reason other than to watch him take them down? Have we not all dreamed of a lover so utterly devoted that he would do all the chores while saying “I love you” in code? Is there anything as romantic as a brave, courageous, noble and determined hero who is so besotted he would do anything for the woman he loves, including leaving her for years to live as a pirate so they can buy a nice house?
My favorite love story shows us that nothing—not even kidnapping, shrieking eels, insanely high cliffs, giants, swordsmen bent on revenge, battles of wits, poison, tumbles down mountains, fire swamps, lightning sand, rodents of unusual size, evil princes, six-fingered men, blows to the head, torture, or even death itself—can stop true love.
True love plus the ultimate hero. For me, there is no better story.
THERE ARE UPS, AND THERE ARE DOWNS, BUT THROUGH IT ALL, THEY ALWAYS MADE THEIR WAY STRONGER — AND TOGETHER.
CEO, Book+Main — this one’s a two-for!
Since I haven’t found the love of my life — yet — I’ll share two of my favorite couples’ stories: my parents’, and my sister, Laurie, and my BIL, Steve’s.
Let’s start with my mom and dad: They met at 14 and 17. They were on a weekend retreat, and my mom was wearing her prized cashmere sweater. My dad? He threw a snowball at her. To say they started off on the wrong foot is an understatement. Now, I’m not one for “boys will be boys,” but my dad is a jokester (and the kindest person I know), so I’m sure he thought he was being funny. My mom has always been a beautiful woman, even at 14, so I can understand why he wanted her attention. Before the weekend had ended, he asked for her number. After many months of my dad asking her out and her saying she was busy, she finally relented, and they went on their first date. My dad invited her over to celebrate his brother’s 21st birthday, so believe it or not, she met his entire family on their first date. A few months later, they went to my dad’s senior prom. Sixty years, 56 of those married, four children, three grandchildren, and three dogs later, they are more in love today than ever. They’ve always said that marriage takes work. There are ups, and there are downs, but through it all, they always made their way stronger — and together.
As if I didn’t hear that story enough times about how my mom couldn’t stand my dad when they first met, enter Laurie and Steve. Laurie was a recent college grad and living in South Florida with a girl who grew up near Steve in New York. Steve came to visit for the summer, and her roommate introduced them.
Steve was immediately smitten. Laurie, not so much. I recall a “double date” of sorts where six couples went. I was 15, and Laurie was 21. We went to see a movie, Batman, I think, and Steve was (is?) one of those guys who heartily laughs along. Laurie kept rolling her eyes and was not impressed. Like my dad, Steve persisted and continued to show up wherever Laurie happened to be that summer. Eventually, she relented, and they began to date. Over that summer, she got to see who he really was: one of the kindest, most genuine, and smartest guys she’d ever met.
Almost 30 years later, three children, and a menagerie that includes two dogs, three lizards, a bird, two fish, a hamster, and a bunny, they are truly one of the finest couples I know. They are THE definition of #relationshipgoals. The moral of the story? If you meet someone and you’re certain they not for you, I implore you to give them another shot. You just might be surprised what you find when you dig a little deeper.
P.S. When I asked my sister to read this, she said, “It’s really sweet, but you underplayed how much I disliked him.” LOL
There you have it. Three days, twelve stories (thirteen if we include Tracey’s two-for-the-price-of-one), and a whole lot of love. Did one or more of these stories resonate with you? Was there one that made you laugh, or cry, or perhaps cry-laugh? We’d love to know about it — hit the comments below to share.
While you’re there, tell us your own love story. Or the story of your parents, or your neighbors, or that fictional couple you still can’t get out of your head for whatever reason. Love is the theme of these posts — and the backbone of Book+Main Bites — and your story might just convince someone else that it exists.
And from all of us at Book+Main, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Donna should be an empty nester, but she’s not, thanks COVID-19. She’s a voracious reader of all books; she can’t pick just one sub-genre. A staunch supporter of seasoned romance and a lover of cupcakes, you’ll often find her with a cup of tea and a mountainous TBR pile close at hand. Follow her @DonnaSoluri on B+M Bites.
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