B is for Bard
As in the bard.
Now old William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about love, and all other aspects of the human condition, didn't he? As a teacher, I was frequently asked by complaining students how the plays and poems of someone writing nearly 400 years ago could possibly be relevant today. Here's (more or less) what I would tell them. The themes of Shakespeare's plays have made them endure throughout the centuries. His tragedies deal with issues vitally relevant to us today; for example: the complexities of love and friendship in every form, whether between men and women, parents and children, siblings, colleagues or friends. He delved deeply into human emotions and how these manifested in a multitude of profound and complex ways, such as jealousy and deception, possessiveness, pride, anger, foolishness and many, many more. In all his plays he explored important issues such as loyalty, duty, honour, marriage, trust, honesty and societal expectations as well as what happens tothe human psyche when these are threatened or undermined. Nuff said?
The title of my first romantic suspense was stolen from Shakespeare - I hope he wouldn't mind. In Loving Hate is about just that, love and hatred and the fine line separating both. The phrase (an oxymoron) came from Romeo and Juliet who, despite their youth, experienced profound and very real love.
Capturing the intense pleasure and pain of love and portraying it to the reader differently each time is no easy feat when you are not Shakespeare but we can only keep on trying in the hope that practice will make us better, if not perfect. Here is the moment when Lyssa and Alex from In Loving Hate stop fighting their desires and follow their hearts:
He reached beyond her to tug at the stiff, old sash and, as it yielded, his face brushed against her hair and she felt the warmth of his breath on her ear. She turned, as if hypnotised, feeling the heat of his body through the thin, silk robe he now wore. She looked into his eyes and felt herself drowning in them. Their lips met but barely made contact, lingering for a moment on that tantalising brink of uncertainty, until a little gasp of exquisite pain escaped from hers, to be captured by his, and the union completed. She wanted him every bit as much as he wanted her.
As his warmth enveloped her, the passion so long quiescent within her rose and engulfed her until she began to tremble with the bewildering mixture of quivering fear and intense desire. Her heart quickened and throbbed as powerful emotions pulsated throughout her body, swamping and crushing her like savage winter waves, bruising and wounding her with their intensity.
He held her closely, but with such sweet tenderness that her heart cried out in agony and anguish until it seemed to burst from its tortured confinement, erupting with a volcanic intensity that made her sob with longing. She clung to him tightly with a powerful sense of belonging—no longer as a separate entity, but as a part of that vital essence within him which needed her as much as she needed him.
His response so matched and harmonised with her emotions that they seemed to drift together onto a completely separate plane, where words were redundant and all that mattered was that sense of perfect unity, that sense that only one force stood there, consoling itself in its own sweet embrace.