Leah Westwood loves her husband Jacob with all her heart, even as the smoldering glances of her ex-flame Vincent Miller continue to affect her. What she once shared with Vincent threatens to rip apart the bonds she is trying to build with her husband.
Jacob’s heart belongs to Leah, but his body refuses to accept that. Rachel is the one who has been his mainstay at the most difficult times in his life. How could he leave her alone?
Vincent wants Leah back and all he has to do is watch and wait as Jacob and Leah’s relationship unravels.
Ultimately, Leah must make a choice . . . between fantasy and fidelity.
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Parker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.
Visit her site at www.ParkerJCole.com
Make it an element of the story, not the main focus. Adventure, suspense, mystery, or some other focus helps keep the story balanced. Focus on purity, privacy, and married intimacy rather than oozing emotion and sensuality between unmarried people. Fidelity, self-sacrifice, and playful fun help round out the romance. Keep it within the context of adults and near-adults and get them married as soon as possible or prevent the constant tug of physical temptation.
I have used the device of having the hero disabled in the second chapter and literally unable to move for most of the book. He is too busy wrestling with his self-pity, acknowledging his need to depend on others, and facing the danger of a second assassination attempt to worry about his romantic issues.
Another device I have used is to force the romantic characters into “arranged” marriage before they even acknowledge their love. The rest of the book describes their growth together in love, loyalty and dependence on each other, and some intimacy is expected.
A variation of the arranged marriage is one in which secrets and lies make love and trust impossible, keeping the characters apart until they can tell each other the truth and discover they are involved in solving the same mystery, at which point they can marry and work together to solve it.
Plenty of interaction with other characters and plot elements keep the focus off the attraction and strengthen the bond and commitment as the main characters go through the hardship or danger or mystery-solving together.