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It’a All About The Angst by Kate Hewitt
How much sadness can you take in a book? It’s a question I ask myself a lot, because I tend to gravitate towards serious issues in my stories, and I do like to write and read a fair bit of angst!
But if a book is all misery and suffering… well, it’s not much fun to read. So how do you temper the angst with humour and fun and of course, since this is a romance, some flirting and sexual tension?
In His Brand of Passion, my third Bryant Brothers book, I tried to lighten what feels like a very serious, dark book with the heroine Zoe’s sense of humour. Aaron, sadly, doesn’t have much of a sense of humour at the beginning of the book. He’s driven, focused, burning with ambition and churning with grief. But Zoe? Zoe’s fun. Zoe doesn’t take too much of Aaron’s arrogant bluster; instead she teases him about it, and eventually he learns to laugh at himself. I hope the banter between them lightens the angst of the book.
My second summer release, An Inheritance of Shame, also has a lot of sadness and darkness in it—mainly because the heroine, Lucia, lost the hero’s baby seven years before the story starts. Having suffered from a similar loss myself, I wanted to make that very real and poignant, without dragging the story down too much. Again I think Lucia saves the story from being too sad. Angelo, like Aaron, is ambitious and driven—in this case by revenge. And again Lucia isn’t willing to take any of his nonsense! I love a strong heroine, and I think Lucia and Zoe are both some of the strongest I’ve ever written, even though they’ve had their fair share of tragedy too.
So what do you think? Do you like your romances to tackle serious or sad issues? How sad is too sad?