The Not-So-Grand Gesture by Audra North

Dec 6, 2013 by

The Not-So-Grand Gesture

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the grand gesture being used in romance as proof of love, because I’ve read a couple romances recently that moved me on an entirely new level from what I am used to feeling when I read a romance. And what I realized, after thinking more deeply about these two particular works, was that the hero and heroine not only saw and appreciated one another for who they really were, but that they author managed to build that appreciation so well that, when the characters finally declared love, there was no need for any gesture bigger than the words “I love you.”

It simply was there, that love, and it was incredibly believable.

I know. That sounds wrong. Shouldn’t love be made visible in big ways? Shouldn’t someone fly across the country or interrupt a wedding or buy an entire city to demonstrate love? Twenty years ago, when I started reading romance, that was often how a hero’s love was revealed—through acts of such external power that they seemed almost fantastic.

In that time, romance has changed significantly. In many cases, the grand gestures have changed from tangible proofs of love to the intangible. Intense experiences abound, from cathartic weeping (I love me a crying hero) to explosive orgasms (hope everyone is wearing protective eye gear). In the two works I read recently, though, the authors took those intangible experiences to a whole new level—they made them a part of something so very every day that the stories became deeply romantic in their believability. These stories represent the kind of love that I know and see all around me, that requires regular people to overcome fears that we all have as human beings. The “grand” gestures in these works were even more meaningful in their lack of bells and whistles.

Take Inara Scott’s Falling for Mr. Wrong. When Ross realizes that he loves Kelsey, he shows up at her door and tells her. When she accepts and returns his love, they’re just standing on her porch. It’s moving and it’s real and it feels like a huge moment even though it’s such an ordinary thing.

There’s so much more in this book that I don’t want to talk about because I’m afraid I’ll spoil it for those who haven’t read it, but suffice it to say that it is a beautiful story about love that is grand because it has thrived despite the lack of grandeur surrounding it.

Along those lines, Mary Ann Rivers’s Snowfall is gorgeous, both in its prose and its this-could-happen-to-anyone feeling when Evan declares his love to Jenny. He’s holding a brown paper bag when he does it, for goodness’ sake. He utters words of introduction that anyone might say on any given day when they are meeting someone new, but he is introducing someone new—a changed man. And in that gesture, he does something enormous and yet not very big at all.

In addition to loving these books, I recommend them as great reads! Snowfall takes place at Christmas, but it is a beautiful book for any time of year. And Falling for Mr. Wrong features a mountain climbing heroine. Which is just…awesome.

I’d love to hear what you think about no-so-grand gestures. Do you like them? Do you have any favorite examples? Leave a comment below or tweet at me @AudraNorth!

AudraNorth

 
About the Author:

Audra is the author of Falling for the CEO (http://www.entangledpublishing.com/falling-for-the-ceo). Her next release, One Night in Santiago, is available December 23, 2013 from Entangled Publishing’s Flaunt Imprint.

 

 

 

About the Book:Falling4theCEO-500px
Title: Falling for the CEO
Author: Audra North
Genre: Novella, Contemporary, Sexy
Length: 91 pages
Release Date: November 25, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62266-409-2
Imprint: Flaunt

Finance genius Meredith Klaus prefers numbers to people, especially around the holidays. At least the large sum of money that’s mysteriously vanished from the company accounts will distract her from the ghosts of Christmases past. Until her sexy boss asks her to be his last-minute date to a fundraiser gala, that is, and the promise of a special evening calls to something long-buried in her.

Andrew Stanton, Manhattan’s best-known philanthropist, has worked hard building his reputation in the industry. He offers to work closely with Meredith to fix his company’s financial crisis, but the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to look at her as just a colleague.

A beautiful dress. A handsome man on her arm. A challenge she can’t refuse. Can they find the missing money and fulfill their holiday wishes, or will Meredith be unable to overcome the demons of her past and lose her chance at happiness? 

4 Comments

  1. I was just watching Laws of Attraction last night (one of my fave movies) and the “grand gesture” at the end was the heroine going up to the hero in a grocery store and asking him if he wanted to fight for their marriage. It was simple and totally swoon-worthy. He’d said through the whole movie that you had to fight for what you wanted, and they were lawyers constantly on opposing sides, so the grand gesture could have been very grand indeed, with her bursting into a court room or delivering an “I love you” monologue during a closing argument or something. But for her to just go up to him and quietly (and tearfully ask) “So do you want to fight?” and him giving her a huge smile as an answer was just perfect 🙂

    • Michelle, that is such a great example. I haven’t seen that movie but now I have to, because your description alone is swoon-worthy! Love it. And thanks for sharing the rec!

  2. I love the more subtle “in the moment” revelations of love. There’s a wonderful contrast in declarations of love in the Keira Knightly, Matthew Macfaydan version of Pride and Prejudice. When Mr. Bingly proposes to Jane, he practices, then goes down on one knee. The grand gesture, a traditional one, works for them, for the very proper Jane. But when Lizzie and Darcy declare their love, it’s in a field with morning mist all around. And he doesn’t even get it “right.” He stumbles on the “love, love, love” you, which makes it all the more perfect. It’s beautiful and romantic and swoon worthy.

    • I feel like a bad romance author, but I have to admit I haven’t seen that version. I keep seeing it on iTunes and thinking about pulling the trigger, but Colin Firth’s face always pops up in my head and says, “You should have serious reservations about choosing that young upstart version.” and I back off.

      So now I will have to watch it, just for the quiet Lizzie and Darcy love. Love, love, love. 🙂

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