Romantic Gestures — What Does Your Protagonist Think?


We are having a “We Love Our Readers” giveaway every Wednesday in February. Leave a comment for a chance to win no later than midnight the Thursday after the post. This week one reader has a chance to win a book from Liz and Edith.

Last week we talked about romance in cozies and this week we focus on how it impacts our protagonist. Is your protagonist a romantic? Is there someone special in her life who is? Has your protagonist created a romantic moment or has the love in her life? Was it a big thing or a little thing? How did it impact them?

Edith: What great questions! How our protagonists react to things like romance is just as called-to-justiceimportant as what she carries in her handbag and what’s in her fridge. I will focus on my midwife Rose Carroll. I built the romance into book one. Despite being a practical independent midwife, she’s a romantic, too, but she’s conflicted about committing to David Dodge because of a painful (highly abusive, actually) experience when she was a teenager. There’s a very romantic scene in Called to Justice (out April 8!) where David takes her in his buggy out to the wide Merrimack River on a full moon night. (“The full moon splashed a silver path from the distant bank across to ours.”) You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens.

custombakedmurderLiz: Stan Connor came to Frog Ledge with a token boyfriend. She’d totally forgotten what it was like to really feel in love or even romance. In fact, she snickered at all the sappy love stories or songs when she heard them and chalked it up to unrealistic people who would eventually find their bubble burst. Then she met Jake McGee. Once she’d lost the loser boyfriend, it took them a couple of books to get things right, but Stan has now turned into one of those people who sighs over love songs, delights in sappy movies, and generally thinks her life is better because of Jake.

Sherry: Sarah has had a rocky romantic life since she is A good Day to BuyCoverrecently divorced in the first book Tagged for Death. In the third book, All Murders Final!, she does go on one romantic date with Seth Anderson to the historic Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts. And Sarah does like to be wooed. It was fun to go to the Wayside Inn with the Wickeds in December after our Books and Bagels event in Sudbury. The pictures below are from the Wayside Inn. The one on the left is the tavern.

IcedunderfrontcoverBarb: My amateur sleuth, Julia Snowden, is the product of a great romance–the marriage of a lonely girl who spent her summers on a private island and a local boy who delivered groceries in his skiff. Julia thinks her mother is the romantic and she is the pragmatist. I’m not so sure. Certainly Julia fell into the arms of Chris Durand when he appeared on her family’s tour boat to clear up some misunderstandings and confess his interest in her.

Jessie: There is at least a touch of romance in each of my series. That being said, none of my protagonists are romantics. They are all independent women with a lot WhispersBeyond_Fixgoing on in their lives whether or not they have a romantic partner. None of them are looking for romance; in fact, Gwen Fifield from Live Free or Die and Dani Greene from the Sugar Grove series are more interested in dodging matchmaking efforts by their friends and families.

Julie: Ruth Clagan is recently divorced in Clock Shop Mystery series, so she isn’t looking for romance. That said, Ben the handsome barber from next door is a dish, so there’s that. Her feelings for Ben throw her off a bit. She takes it slow, and finds it hard to trust. But did I mention that he’s handsome? Think Robert Redford in the early 70’s. That handsome. More chimeimportantly, he’s a good guy. That makes all the difference for her.

Readers: Do you have a favorite romantic moment from a book?



71 Thoughts

  1. One book I just read was Amanda Lee’s Better Off Thread. Ted surprises Marcy with a proposal after she’s caught the killer. So many great book romantic moments to choose from. I could think of more, but it’s too early to think. Thanks for the chance to win.

  2. My favorite romantic moment was an upcoming children’s book, The Rock Maiden. A family is separated and the Asian goddess freezes time for the heartbroken wife. The husband who had been lost at sea makes his way back home and the Godess unfreezes her and reunited them!

  3. When Roarke fell hard for Eve in the “In Death” series. She fought it but he stood his ground.

  4. I don’t have a favorite moment, however, whenever the protagonists realize they’ve fallen in love always make great moments in books.

  5. I don’t think I have a one single favorite romantic moment. I like the quiet moments when you see the two characters finally click and they know it.

  6. I love them all (closet romantic here)! At times I want to shake the characters when they don’t see what is right before their faces 😉 but I resist.

  7. So many books and therefore so many characters to list. I enjoy the cat and mouse play of romance found in many of the books but don’t find a full blown, gooshy romance. Afterall it is the mystery that makes the book, not the romance.

  8. Some of my favorite romantic escapades were in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters!

  9. In Iced Under. I thought of when Julia is afraid Chris is going to stay in Key West with the boat and he says that there’s no place he’d rather be than with her (I am liberally paraphrasing),. I thought he was considering staying down there; I know I would! But when he said that, I was so happy for her!

  10. So many good ones, how to choose? I especially like the moments when the heroine finally realizes she’s been admired by someone she didn’t expect to be attracted to her, for whatever reason: economic, age, or level of attractiveness.

    k maslowski at fuse dot net

  11. I admit, I’m a fan of watching the “chase” unfold in romantic relationships in books. I like when it is long and drawn out. 🙂 I enjoy how Heather Blake handled the romance of her main character in the Wishcraft Mystery Series. Their relationship continues to grow and evolve in fun ways throughout the series. And even though they are engaged now, you’re still excited to see what happens next!

  12. The end of Margaret Maron’s High Country Fall, when Deborah Knott finally admits to loving Dwight, that what they have is a lot more for her than “arrangement” between good friends. (It took her a long time to figure that out.) I love that series.

  13. Hmmm. I don’t have a favorite romantic moment in a book although I do feel romantic relationships have a place in mysteries like adding salt to a sweet recipe bring the end product into balance.

    Although, The Princess Bride is a book too and there is that moment when she realizes who the Dread Pirate Roberts really is and she flings herself off the top of the mountain …. 🙂

  14. It’s nice to have a variety of characters and reactions to romance since it keeps things interesting. Having said that, I’m going to put in a plug for some romance in marriage in the books I read since it adds even more variety. (Who says all cozy sleuths have to be single and in a new relationship?)

  15. All of these books sound great! I’ll add them all to my list of authors to read.

  16. I am a big time romantic…I love quiet dinners, walks, holding hands, snuggles. My husband is very receptive. I like a little romance in my books, but I’m not really the “Fifty Shades of…” enthusiast.

  17. How do you pick just one romance but held my breath with Julia and Chris in Iced under and looking forward to Call to Justice and Rose Carrol and David Dodge budding romanace.I can hardly wait for the Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths and see how her Ruth’s love story plays out and I know how I want it to. The new book by Elizabeth Peter and Joan Hess coming out soon will be the final Amelia Peabody and so much to tie up. I think Deanna Raybourn writes some of the most unusual pairings and always sad when she finishes a series but the next one always for me captures my heart. Lea Wait, Victoria Thompson and I need a Julia Spencer-Fleming and Marcia Muller and how do I pick one

  18. My favorite romantic moment was in the book “Return to Tradd Street” by Karen White. It was when Melanie and Jack finally got married in the garden of their Charleston SC Antebellum home. Melaine’s parents also remarried that day after being divorced for many years.

  19. There have been some good scenes in Janet Evanovich’s books–with Ranger and Stephanie!

      1. I’m team Ranger too! And I know people complain about how long the triangle has gone on but it’s only been three years in Stephanie’s world.

  20. Thanks ladies for a good Q & A today! I recently read Victoria Laurie’s 7th installment of the Psychic Eye series Doom with a View. Protagonist Abby Cooper and her significant other Dutch Rivers have a particularly romantic moment at the very end of the story. I’m not saying more because I don’t want to spoil the read for others, but, just sayin’…it was smooth! Thanks for a chance in the give-a-way!

  21. I am definitely looking forward to the ongoing evolution of Rose and David’s romance. I’m looking forward to the release of Call to Justice. There are so many romances I have enjoyed in books– just don’t like when they overpower the storyline.

  22. I have to say I enjoy the relationship vibe from Jessie’s characters best. I do enjoy a nice romantic love story as long as it doesnt over take the rest of the book. I enjoy the relationships in all of your books. thanks for the chance to win one of your amazing books

  23. So many romantic scenes to choose from that I find it an impossible task. Good luck to all.

  24. There are far too many love interests to pick a favorite, but I’m really taken by Laura Bradford’s Amish mysteries (maybe because I live in Lancaster, PA) with Claire and shunned detective Jakob. Laura spends a lot of time in the area learning what Amish life is really like. Her alter ego, Elizabeth Lynn Casey’s southern sewing circle series features librarian Claire and her teacher boyfriend, Milo. In both cases, it took a while for the couples to get together, but the love is so real it jumps off the page.

  25. Jessie, I think Whispers Beyond the Veil is one of the best written cozies ever! I tell everyone I meet and keep loaning it out to those who can’t buy their own copy.

  26. I think that whispers behind the veil is just one of the best books i read last year! All of the other books sounds so good,.I really don;t have a fav i have a lot that i like but not a fav if i put one down i know i will read 3 more today! Thanks so much for this.

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