Yet Heartwarming romances diverge from the fantasy and are grounded in the ups and downs of falling in love in real life. It’s messy, contradictory, redemptive and ultimately uplifting. These ‘real-mances’ affirm that love flourishes despite life’s challenges. Romances bloom just as beautifully in everyday life. What better way to bond than when working together to succeed despite the odds?
Our readers will recognize themselves in our heroes and heroines. Some might say, “Yes- I’m that single mom working two jobs and fitting in meetings with guidance counselors for my lovable but sometimes problem child. But I’m also a woman worthy and capable of finding true love. And while my future partner may have an imperfect life too…he’ll be perfect for me.” Ultimately, that is a love story we can all relate to and it’s the kind of romance I want to tell.
Heartwarming romances make us feel less alone. They show us that no matter the soil, love can grow. Most of all, they encourage us not to give up on love. If a brave young woman in a Heartwarming can overcome a difficult childhood or past romantic disappointments and learn to trust again, than so can the reader. It’s inspiring. Art imitating real life- the beautiful, flawed reality that is our everyday lives.
Take the movie The Descendents. Who didn’t fall for George Clooney’s portrayal of a lawyer who must learn to parent his rebellious and destructive daughters when he loses his cheating wife in a boating accident? He considered himself “the back-up parent”, but by the end of the movie, he’s healed his family and himself. He is the ideal Heartwarming hero- a man facing the realities of life, making mistakes along the way, and learning from them.
And we love him for those imperfections. Of course his cut jaw and dimple don’t hurt either. (Who am I kidding?!) Either way, he’s not the fantasy, he’s the reality. I wouldn’t have him, or my heroes, any other way.