Ruthie’s Reality: Making it Last, Release Day!! #RWA13 There is romance in marriage. + #Giveaway
That’s the thesis of Making It Last, the fourth book in my Camelot series, which releases today from Loveswept.
“The thesis?” you say. “Since when does a romance story need a thesis?”
Okay, I know. But I can’t help it. I’m a recovering academic, and I think it’s probably the case that every story has some kind of point behind it—some theme, some idea the author was playing with, an argument they wanted to make. When I wrote Making It Last, I was thinking about epilogues. Happy-ever-afters. And why, when romance looks past the “I love you, let’s stay together moment” at the end, it so often feels … flat.
I’m going to steal from my author note in Making It Last, now, because I say my piece pretty clearly, I think:
“Marriage contains within it all the best stuff: joy, understanding, comfort, mutual appreciation, companionship, lovemaking, and baked goods. Not necessarily in that order.
But marriage contains all the worst stuff, too—sorrow, alienation, incomprehension, discomfort, misunderstanding, loneliness, dry spells, burned roasts.
Marriage is an agreement two people make to move through life together. On the plus side, this means they’ll always have each other. On the minus side, it also means that life will keep happening to them, and they will keep having to cope with it.
The hope in any marriage—and the promise inherent in most romance novels’ happy endings—is that the couple in question will be better off coping with life together than they would have been alone.
When I wrote How to Misbehave, I left Amber Clark and Tony Mazzara a few days into their fledgling relationship. They’d found each other and taken halting but important steps toward intimacy and trust, yet on the last page of that book, Amber and Tony’s story was just beginning.
I knew how they ended up, of course. I gave you glimpses of them together in Along Came Trouble and Flirting with Disaster—married, with three rambunctious boys and a dog, still living near family in Camelot, with Tony continuing to run his father’s construction business.
But there was more. I knew there was more. And even though it didn’t fit in my plans, I had to tell this other piece of Amber and Tony’s story. Because I couldn’t stop thinking about them.
I couldn’t stop thinking about marriage—the best and the worst of it.
Making It Last takes place almost fourteen years after How to Misbehave. I wrote it because I wanted to tell a story about how life happens to love. About how hard it is for men who are working at supporting their families and women who are working at raising their children to keep track of who they are and what matters most to them.
I wanted to write about how, in many marriages, there are these pausing points—ten, twenty, thirty years in—when two people who have committed to each other are forced to stop and think. To decide. Would they choose each other again? Will they?
And I wanted to show how this choice—if made correctly, with awareness and love and open communication—can give two people the courage to reframe their notions of themselves, so they can face the next stretch of road in front of them stronger, better, and more capable of handling whatever challenges come their way.
I believe that the romance of marriage is about these moments of choosing—these anniversary affirmations that, yes, you’re the one I want. Still. Even now. Especially now.
What do you think of the romance of marriage? Do you want that pure fantasy epilogue, or are you open to looking at a couple a few years down the road? Tell me all the things! Comments will remain open for one day only, closing at midnight CT tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll pick five winners of an ebook copy of Making It Last in your format of choice. I’ll announce the winners here and send you an email if you’ve won!
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