Then obviously, you’re reading the wrong stuff.
What you should be reading is either or both May 1812, and/or Of Honest Fame.
I don’t write romantic stuff. Not really. I don’t believe in writing it–at least not for myself. And I try never to write in cliches.
But I do believe in love. And I do believe in the power of love to uplift and transform (even the most tiresome of heroes or heroines)…
I also believe that a good love story uplifts the individual who reads it. It demonstrates all that is noble and grand about the human race and makes the reader walk taller and more hopefully toward the future. It reassures us that civilisation and all that we hold dear will continue and possibly even flourish.
One of the great joys to me of writing Of Honest Fame, and a thing for which I am profoundly grateful, is the love story of Marianne Wilmot. Mainly because it wasn’t planned, it wasn’t part of the plot, it wasn’t anything I’d included in my (several evolving) synopses. It just happened. Marianne herself just happened, stumbling quite literally out of her carriage and onto the page.
And her development as a character just grew organically as I listened and watched the whole unfold. Ditto her love story.
So, really, go have a read. Enjoy. The love stories aren’t the all in all of my work. Anyone who knows me will know that. But they are an intrinsic part of that which we call and cherish as life and I wouldn’t be without them. (There, Bennetts does have a heart, after all–who would have thought?)
And while you’re reading, enjoy the journey, not just the destination. For I’m with Sebastian Faulkes on this whole business of who cares about the author, really? It’s the characters who drive the novel, the characters who come to live in our psyches. Whom we come to love and perhaps return to again and again over our readertime of life.
And I do think that in May 1812 in Perceval, Castlereagh, Pemberton, Myddelton and Janey; and in Of Honest Fame, with Dunphail, Marianne Wilmot, Jesuadon, Boy, and Georgie Shuster I’ve created characters (none of whom are me, btw), you’ll find not just a plethora of individuals and love stories to uplift and all that, but I hope, truly hope, you will have found friends for life.
(Can you believe I’m actually plugging my own stuff here? I know, I know–I can hardly believe it, myself.)