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Monday, December 18, 2006

Is 'I Love You' Enough?

http://www.awesomebackgrounds.com/templates/i-love-you-letter-01.JPGPersonally, I'm a fan of the big, grand gesture. Yes, 'I Love You' is nice, but if it's just an I love You, with no big gesture to accompany it, I don't want it. The words just aren't enough sometimes.

Let me start at the beginning.

I was reading an older category-type* Nora Roberts last night (I think the story was originally published in '83) and the hero accused the heroine of being a whore. Literally.

The story goes like this:

She shows up in Hawaii to reconnect with her estranged father, whom she hasn't seen since she was 7, some 17-or-so years before. Quite by accident, she meets his young, handsome, extremely rich business partner, who is immediately suspicious of her. You see, her mother - who died a few months before this - was a selfish witch who took the money the father sent and kept it for herself, while she left her daughter in falling down boarding school. When the mother died, the daughter (I think her name was Laine) had to sell everything she had to pay back her mothers debt. That's when she found the Hawaii address and decided to use the last of her savings to see her father.

She truly was the innocent who'd been raised by nuns, but the young, handsome, virile business partner figured she was a gold-digger looking to fleece her unsuspecting father out of more money. He basically attaches himself to her so he can keep an eye on her, and after a day, in which he treats her like crap, she falls in love with him.

I'm already irritated at this point. He's insulted her, degraded her and basically treated her like a leper for ONE DAY and yet, she falls in love with him. This is the reason I hate this '80's novels.

But that's beside the point. Well, the point of this particular post, anyway. I'm sure I'll have another rant post about the above mentioned later.

So, he seems to be starting to care for her over the next week or so, but then some jealous Island Hooker (That's a technical term, you know) overhears Laine asking the housekeepers cousin to come and look at a locket she owns, because she needs the money to get home. The IH then runs and tells the hero and the next day, he walks in at the tail end of Laine's sale of her locket and thinks she's performed some unnamed sexual act for money.

You know, the virgin who was raised by nuns?

Well, Laine takes off back to Paris, totally depressed, and a few weeks later our darling hero tracks her down. He says, "I'm sorry I said those things. I love you" and she falls right into his arms. "I'll only come back with you if you marry me before we leave Paris"


Yeah, see, I don't get it either. I guess Love just isn't enough for me. What about the groveling? What about the BIG.GRAND.GESTURE.? Yes, I realize this was written many moons ago, but I'm only picking on the lovely Miss Roberts because I read that particular book last night. If I thought about it, I'm sure I could come up with 50 more examples of this, in novels published within the last decade or so.

So tell me, is 'I Love You' enough, or do you need more? If what he's done is truly terrible, does him admitting his love make up for it? I don't think so. I guess I equate that to real life. Say my current boyfriend (love you MM) accused me of handing out sexual favors for money (you know, prostituting myself) a week after I met him (and he was serious, mind you), I would have booted him out the door so fast he'd have left skid marks for miles. And if, a week later, he showed up at my door confessing his undying love, I'd have kicked him again. Harder.

What about you?

*the story was Island of Flowers in the antho Going Home

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Blogger Chantal said...

Oh I hear you! Saying I love you just isn't enough, IMO.

You have a hero who treats the heroine like crap, and then 3 little words are supposed to make it all better? I don't think so.

Anyone can say 'I love you' I can't tell you the amount of boys who said it to me when I was about 14 while they were trying to get in my pants. Blah.

That novel you speak of may have been written a while ago, but that crap is still going on in current ones.

December 19, 2006 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

I agree Chantal, about it going on in current novels. As I said, I could come up with 50 examples if I needed to.

It makes me so angry, too. *sigh*

December 19, 2006 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Stacy~ said...

Yes, definitely the grand gesture, especially in those scenarios. "Sarah's Child" by Linda Howard comes to mind. The only book by her I hated.

I wonder if the reason so many present day books have that same thing going on to try to "recapture" what's missing in today's stories. Think about it. A lot of the books that readers mention as all-time faves are from the 70's and 80's, but not much with the current times.

For example, I never read "Flame and the Flower", but from what I understand there's a lot of non-pc stuff in it that wouldn't work today, yet a lot of readers adored that book more than any I can think of from the present time.
Of course, I could very well not have a clue as to what I'm talking about.

December 19, 2006 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger Kookie said...

Oh, I hate this kind of stuff! Saying "I Love You" is NOT enough. Never! So when heroines fall for it, I wanna feel like kicking them! Ugh!

December 20, 2006 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Grace said...

I agree with you too Holly. Sometimes the words are just not enough, especially if the hero hurt the heroine deeply. Saying I Love You will NOT fix the pain he caused her. And it frustrates me, when I read books where exactly that happens.

I'm all about the grand gesture. It doesn't have to be a BIG gesture, just something that is meaningful to the heroine to show exactly how sorry the hero is, and how he feels about her. Without that, I don't feel that giddy warmth when the hero/heroine finally get back together.

December 21, 2006 at 2:53 AM  
Blogger Dylan (aka Rowena) said...

Hmm, I'd LIKE there to be a grand gesture but if the pleading and the I love you is right, I don't think I'd be too pissed off about it.

I'll have to think on this a little more though...you've got a point sweets!

December 21, 2006 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

I understand what you're saying and totally agree with you. That's something I'm going to have to think about and maybe post on later. Good point!

Exactly! I want to kick the heroines when they settle like that. UGH!

I suppose the size of the gesture, for me, has to equal the size of the hurt. I mean, if he's cut her really deep, then he needs to do something HUGE to make up for it. But if it's something kind of small, then a small gesture would work.

I figured you wouldn't care. LOL

December 21, 2006 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Devon said...

I love male grovelling. I don't know what that says about me. When a heroine forgives the hero too quickly, it pretty much kills the book for me. I want to know how sorry he is, and how sick with love he is, and that he'll work sooo hard to make it up to her, dammit!

December 22, 2006 at 2:28 PM  

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