Contemporary Romance vs. Paranormal Romance
By Anne Marsh
By Anne Marsh
The sex is still hot and the men are still alphas, but adding contemporary romance to my writing repertoire has been a fun challenge. I’m lucky enough to be launching a sexy smoke jumpers series with Kensington Brava at the end of the month. Burning Up releases on October 30th, 2012, followed by Slow Burn on March 26th, 2013. There will also be two e-novellas.
For Jack Donovan, the hero of Burning Up, smoke jumping is a way of life. He lives for the adrenaline rush of flying over the burning California wildlands and diving straight into the inferno. There’s no room in his life for love—until an emergency call from his hometown of Strong brings him face to face with the one woman he can’t forget… Lily Cortez never got over the handsome rogue who once kissed her senseless—and then left. She vowed she was done with love ‘em-and-leave ‘em men and small town life. Until a series of malicious fires set by a stalker has her running home to hide. Now, their summer is heating up as Jack fights to save her from the stalker’s fiery threats and to convince her to give the passion between them a second chance.
Writing paranormal romance, I’ve had lion shapeshifters and fallen angels for heroes. Writing contemporary has been a fun thrill, but there are some fundamental differences between these new contemporary books and my paranormal books:
1. If the hero says: “You’re my fated mate” and/or throws the heroine over his shoulder and stalks off, he’s going to get arrested for stalking. It’s okay for Jack to toss Lily over his shoulder and carry her off to the bedroom… but only after she’s said yes (and, boy, does she). Surprisingly, this was the hardest difference for me to accept… I’m a sucker for the predestined mate trope (so much so, I use it in my new Cajun werewolf series, Tempted by the Pack… old habits die hard).
2. There’s a whole lot less killing, staking, stabbing, and shapeshifting in contemporary romance. The hero can’t just up and kill anyone who pisses him off. He can think it, sure—but he doesn’t get to do it unless the heroine’s life is at stake and there’s no law enforcement officer handy.
3. Men who sprout fur in contemporary romance are never the hero. Five o’clock shadow is sexy. A full back of hair? Not so much.
4. Saving the world is a whole lot less literal. There are fewer weapons. Entire cities don’t blow up. Although I did get to burn up several thousand acres of forest in Burning Up…
5. Kink becomes a little trickier. Unless you’re Maya Banks writing Coulters’ Woman, ménage is harder to sell emotionally. Sex, for my hero and heroine, still plays a critical part in the development of their relationship, but the heat comes more from their growing feelings for each other—and a little less from the actual ABC mechanics of what the two of them are getting up to in bed.
6. You get really, really hot cover models—who are real. Hooyah. The covers for my paranormals have certainly been attractive, but the ones for my Smoke Jumpers are, frankly, smoking hot. Time magazine covered the photo shoot that Kensington did in December 2011 and that was enough right there to convince me that writing contemporary was an excellent thing.
Some things really stay the same, though. I still write fantasy worlds. Sure, the worlds are far more realistic—although there isn’t, as far as I know, a Strong, California, Jack’s hometown looks very much like the small towns in Northern California that I’ve driven through. The fantasy part of Burning Up is the heroine’s lavender farm. I’ve always dreamed of owning a lavender farm and Lily let me bring that fantasy to life (without cashing in my 401K). I loved bringing Strong and the people who live there to life. I also still write bad boys. Jack Donovan is a bad, bad boy. He loves adrenaline, fast cars and faster plane. He’s intensely physical, fiercely loyal, and extremely sensual… and Lily’s about to win him over, body and soul.
By Anne Marsh
October 30, 2012
October 30, 2012
WHERE THERE’S SMOKE…
For Jack Donovan, smoke jumping is a way of life. He lives for the adrenaline rush—the thrill of flying over the burning California hills, the intensity of diving straight into the inferno, the glory of taming the forces of nature. Love is a distant ember compared to the feeling he gets fighting fires—until an emergency call from his hometown brings him face to face with the one woman he can’t forget …
Lily never got over the handsome rogue who once kissed her senseless—and then left. She vowed she was done with love ’em-and-leave ’em men and small town life. Until a series of malicious fires set by a stalker has her running home to hide. Now, their summer is heating up as Jack fights to save her from the stalker’s fiery threats and to convince her to give the passion between them a second chance.
Burning Up can be purchased at these stores:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Books-A-Million
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Thanks to Anne I have a digital copy of One Hot Cowboy to giveaway to one lucky winner. To enter leave a comment along with your email address. Open to everyone! The winner will be announced on October 30th. Good Luck!
By Anne Marsh
But, as summer heats up, keeping his mind on business just might be impossible. Rose Jordan left Lonesome, California, five years ago and never looked back. Back then, she’d challenged Cabe’s authority—and his control. Though he wanted her fiercely, she was too young. Too rebellious. Now, with Rose back in Lonesome, business is getting very, very personal. She wants to keep her home, but can Cabe convince her to keep him instead?