Reunion Stories – they can work!

posted in: Contemporary romance | 0

As a reader I love a ‘lovers reunited’ story. What makes a reunion story stir our hearts? If the reason for the breakup is realistic and emotional, there is nothing better than seeing this couple who have suffered such a tragic breakup reunite.

Perhaps it’s because there is an instant backstory created when characters reunite. If a hero and heroine are meeting for the first time, they must first begin to learn about the other (outside of instant attraction) so that the story can go deeper. But if the hero and heroine have a past together, you can believe the instant attraction and know that there is something deeper and more profound underneath.

Or maybe it’s because the reader gets the additional satisfaction of the happy ending. Even when it seems like a relationship is over, done, dead in the ground, love conquers all and brings the couple back together. And frequently, the relationship is better for everyone the second time around, characters are older, wiser, and often more careful with their loved one’s heart.

This month I’m showing casing LOVE ME, which features reunited lovers Tyler Jeffries and Emily Stanford in a tragic reunion story. Five years ago, Tyler’s younger sister, Lizzie, died in a car accident and he blamed Emily, his sisters best friend and his then girlfriend. Reunited lovers come with complicated pasts, which I love. My reunited lovers were happy together, and then at a young age they were left to deal with death and all the accompanying guilt.

In LOVE ME there is a lot of anger, betrayal, and hurt on both sides. But the death of Tyler’s mother lands Tyler with the responsibility for his seven-year-old niece, Hayley. Tyler’s an investment banker based in New York, whereas Hayley has been brought up in Coopers Creek, Colorado. Hayley hates NY and wants to go home, so pretty soon she’s on the phone to Emily her Godmother.

Emily is Hayley’s godmother and when she learns that Hayley is unhappy in New York she challenges Tyler to let her take her home to Coopers Creek. After some bitter recriminations the pair decide to put their differences aside and do what is best for Hayley. Tyler agrees to move back to Coopers Creek and work from the Denver office if Emily moves in as his housekeeper to look after Hayley.

Here is the blurb:

The first book in USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans’s flirty new contemporary romance series…

Emily Stanford’s trip to New York, and her plan to bring her orphaned goddaughter home to Coopers Creek, backfires. Hayley’s coming home but to Emily’s horror she’s hired as Hayley’s nanny and moving in with her ex-lover, Hayley’s uncle, the handsome cowboy come banker, Tyler Jeffries. He still makes her heart pound-even though four years ago he walked away from their relationship without a backward glance.

Tyler hates that he has no choice but to let Emily move in, but this is about Hayley and what she needs. He can’t believe the woman he blames for his sister’s death still fiercely fires his blood. Back in Coopers Creek, out of his comfort zone, coping with PTA meetings and white picket fences, he lets his heart’s defenses down, only to have Emily betray him again…

Coopers Creek holds painful memories for Emily and Tyler. Can they forgive each other; can the town hold a beautiful new future for them both?

Don’t miss Ric and Kate’s sizzling romance in the second novel in the Coopers Creek series – Heal Me.

Can the two live together for Hayley’s sake and will it challenge them to reevaluate their old relationship and discover what went wrong and how they can overcome the hurt and guilt?

I love how the whole experience brings them closer together as they set out to discover if their previous passion could ever be rekindled and if in fact they really loved each other in the first place. Can love be reborn? They are both such different people, both shaped by the circumstances of the past five years.

I love writing reunion stories (my historical books To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone and A Taste of Seduction plus my contemporary, The Reluctant Wife, are reunion stories too). My favorite thing about reunited lovers is the emotional journey. Obviously, in almost every case, they have parted on less than good terms, and taking that journey from hurt and even animosity, back to love is extremely satisfying for me as a writer.

I also love that I can be really mean to my characters. I don’t go easy on the past lovers. I enjoy bringing lovers together with all of their baggage and heartache (and there is special baggage in LOVE ME), all of their wants and needs and suspicions. Watching them work through their issues and come to a place where they can let go of the past, perhaps even start again, and move on to their happily ever after.

From a writers’ point of view, you have an instant built-in conflict. Why did our lovers become separated/estranged in the first place? Chances are it will act as an impediment on the way to happiness.

From a reader’s point of view, I simply love the idea that reconciliation is possible. That Tyler and Emily can grow and become more generous, more loving individuals. That they can begin again and see if the youthful love they shared was in fact real. That a mature, deeper love evolves.

I want to know, what do you love about reunion romances? And what’s your favorite reunion story?

Follow Bronwen Evans:

USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans (Bron to her friends) grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theater. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Being able to write her characters’ stories is never work, it’s a dream come true. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer. She writes both historical and contemporary, sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin won the RomCon Readers Crown Best Historical 2012 and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. Her long novella, To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield, was a Top 5 Finalist in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 2012 and the RomCon Readers Crown Best Historical 2013. Bron lives in New Zealand with her Cavoodle Brandy. When not ensconced in her study writing her characters’ thrilling journeys to their happy ever after, Bron can be found on the golf course.

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