Sunday, May 24, 2009

Opposite Love

When it comes to the hero and heroine in a romance novel, I have a thing for opposites. It could be because hubby and I are opposites – I’m an organized math geek and he’s one of those disorganized, creative music types. The ones who can pick up virtually any instrument and figure out how to play it well, whereas I am completely tone deaf. Seriously. I tried to play the violin a while back. One year later and I still sounded like screeching mice. Absolutely dreadful. Yep, I’ve since given up the violin.

But even though we’re opposites in so many ways, I adore hubby completely…because he isn’t like me. He’s him. If I had married another me, we would have driven each other nuts in no time at all. I like me, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like me enough to marry another me. My own little quirks keep life interesting for hubby (God forbid he ever think me dull *g*). But in someone else, they’d be more annoying than one of those people who wait until the all their groceries are bagged and in their cart before pulling out their checkbook (which is a process wholly unto itself) to s-l-o-w-l-y write out a check. That’s about when I stop trying to keep my daughter in check and let her run amuck. Five-year-olds can be wonderfully handy little people to have around. Simply expressing a sudden and pressing desire to go pee can really get a line moving.

Therefore, when deciding whom to cast as the h/h in a novel, I can’t possibly go with two similar people. I want them to have a happily ever after that lasts, and not wake up one day and discover marriage to oneself isn’t all that fun. But there’s a bit of a science to casting opposites. The trick is to find two people who appear totally different on the surface but actually go together perfectly. Finding that mix of complementary strengths and weaknesses that make the individuals stronger when together. It may take the characters some time to realize they are meant to be together (and that smacking into each other, bouncing off what makes them different can lead to a lot of fun on its own). But by the time the HEA has rolled around, the characters have snapped together like puzzle pieces, and in more ways than just physical. Don’t get me wrong, I love the physical part (must have that, and it has to be…sigh…amazing), but it’s also that moment when the characters just click. When they realize they have found their soul mate.

Given all that, I bet you can guess that the h/h of my new sensual regency-set romance from Berkley, Her Ladyship’s Companion, are a tad opposite. Well, more than a tad. *g* When I was mulling over a hero for Bella, a married aristocratic woman who looks like an ice princess but has a heart of a tart, I couldn’t resist giving her a man like Gideon - a baseborn male prostitute. He’s an utter gentleman, of course, with a brain in his gorgeous head. Couldn’t match my heroine up with an overly-slick idiot whose idea of seduction involved asking where the bedroom was located. That would have been downright cruel. And I will admit that it was a bit of a challenge, one wrought with sex and angst (my two favorite parts of a book) to get these two to their HEA, but rest assured, they are truly perfect for each other, so of course they end up happily ever after.

So what do you think? Do you prefer opposite love in your romance novels, or do you have a different type of favorite h/h pair? And if you want, you can always tell me your cutest quirk, the one that would drive you nuts if it was your significant other’s quirk and not your own. *g*

To celebrate the release of
Her Ladyship’s Companion, I’m giving away a copy of the book to one lucky commenter. Just leave a comment and on Tuesday night, around 10pm EST or so, I’ll pick a winner at random and post the name.

I entered the names of those who commented into the list randomizer at, and the name that came out on top is:


Congrats, Jeanmarie! Send me an e-mail at evangeline @ evangelinecollins (dot) com with your snail mail address, and I'll have the book sent to you.

Thanks again to all who stopped by the blog!

And my thanks goes out to Damned Scribbling Women for having me as a guest on their awesome blog. :D


His job was to please her. Not to steal her heart.

In the Scottish countryside of Selkirk, Isabella, Lady Stirling resides at Bowhill Park, serving penance for a sin that nearly ruined her family. For five years she has been condemned to a loveless marriage and confined to the estate where she does little more than tend her rose garden. With her husband absent for months at a time and few visitors, Bella lives a lonely existence, denying the passions that burn within her very soul.

Then her cousin comes for a visit and makes an outrageous suggestion: what Bella needs is a lover. A hired lover. Despite her need, Bella says no. But soon Mr. Gideon Rosedale arrives – and he is at her service for two weeks. Indulging in what she intends to be a harmless flirtation, Bella is overcome by Gideon’s intoxicating presence. And when she at last permits him to satisfy her desires, she discovers she’s done the unthinkable – she’s fallen in love.

Interested in an excerpt? If so, hop on over to my website - Excerpt

Available now in bookstores near you, or through Amazon

Thanks again!!
Her Ladyship’s Companion/Berkley Sensation
Lush. Elegant. Sensual Historical Romance.


Sue said...

I love opposites in heroines and heroes, so opposite that the heroine drives the hero crazy and the heroine finds the hero so irritating he even gives her a skin rash. They have nothing in common os their clashes, in and out of bed, are magnificent.

Anonymous said...

I do love opposites! What fun is a book when the H/H always get along? Cheryl

Patti Shenberger said...

Opposites always work for me! I love it when they are so different yet so perfect for one another. So you are the one with the kid running around the checkout line. Hmm, I wondered!

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Nicole. Your book sound delicious.

I think authors have to use opposites to make a romance exciting. Otherwise, the HEA is such a given that no reader is going to stick around for the journey. I have found, though, that if I give my one common base element, i.e. they will solve a problem in different ways but recognize the problem for the same moral reason, it's so much fun writing them to the HEA.

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Live and love are about balance. My dh is an engineer, he sees airplanes. I, of course, see silver birds winging into adventure. And it works because, like an A frame, each side supports and balances the other. That's how I write my h/h; the strong, silent, and supportive against the gentle, gregarious, and gutsey. They work and are never boring.

AllureVanSanz said...

I think it is a subtle balance of opposition and like-ness that make a couple work. For instance, you and your hubby view things differently but he's still creative with music while you are creative with prose.

Extreme opposites have nothing that bring them together, but you write opposites with just enough similarities to be hot! Love the book, as you know. ::winks:: And if anyone is thinking of buying it, stop thinking and make the plunge. It'll be a gift you give yourself.

All my best E.C.!

Kate Diamond said...

I can't wait to read this book! It is sitting on my nightstand, and it will be the reward activity when I (finally) finish editing my first chapter.

Kate Diamond said...

And obviously, we are glad to have you on our blog!


Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Fun blog on opposites! For me, that's the fun of writing the story. Making the hero take notice of the heroine even if she doesn't do things the way he would. ;-)


Evangeline Collins said...

Yes, Patti - that's me. The one with the kid running around the check-out line. But only if the line is really slow. If the line is moving at a nice clip, then the kid is remarkably well behaved. :)

Evangeline Collins said...

I entered all the names of everyone who commented into the list randomizer at, and the name that came out on top is:

JEANMARIE HAMILTON!Congrats, Jeanmarie!!!! Send me an e-mail at evangeline @ evangelinecollins (dot) com with your snail mail address, and I'll have the book sent on its way to you.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by to comment!