Tuesday Spotlight: Denyse Bridger

Today I’ll talk a little more about the book Ellora’s Cave released as my debut with them on March 3rd. HIDE AND SECRET is already getting mixed reviews, it seems to be a story that reviewers are either “getting” or they’re missing the point entirely. The setup is on the surface a love triangle, but in reality it’s not exactly cut and dried at all. I’ve set the stage with a set of characters who are madly in love with each other, but as real life often teaches us, nothing is ever black and white; it’s all layered in shades of grey. 
Quinn Lockharte’s got the burden of responsibility on his young shoulders. He’s carrying a lifetime of family expectations, and in a public family that’s not something many would dismiss casually. The woman he is expected to marry is content to do what’s expected of her, and at one point Quinn states very clearly that he hopes she isn’t in love with him, because Fate has taken him on a different journey when he least expected it.
On his way home from being away at school, Quinn stops at an antique bookstore to get a gift for his mother, and he meets Bella. It’s the stuff of dreams and romance books…love at first contact! Swept into what is expected of him, but determined not to lose what he wants so desperately, Quinn begins an explosive affair with Bella. The story reflects their relationship as she is seeing it, and illustrates the loneliness she is feeling at being his “other woman” but loving him too much to not be in that position. They are at a key moment in their love-because Quinn’s become engaged and Bella is ready to walk away for her own sense of decency.
So, reviewers are either seeing the theme I wanted–love conquers all, or they’re focusing on a cheating man and trying hard to dislike him. What is it about stories like this that make you love or hate them? I’m curious, and really would like to know. Life often forces us to do things we might not have otherwise done, do you believe love can do the same thing, and still leave you “right” and not vilified at the end of the day?


Comments

  1. Bah. It is awesome and if they miss well their loss.

  2. I think that what people usually expect out of a romance/erotic book is a happily ever after. When they don’t get that they may end up feeling disappointed or let down by the characters. The storyline may hit too close to home for some or just be too real.

  3. @romance@ is seen by a lot of people as escapism; as a way of having Happily Ever After, but without the stress of having to actually WORK at it! Sometimes, though, a story hits home, and makes the reader understand that even fictional characters are ‘real’ to some extent. That means not everything goes to plan, not every romance is Champagne and Roses, candles and HEA. In the real world, it’s harsh and bright, often blindingly so. Reminders of this are not received well by some readers. Personally, I’d rather have a sprinkling of realism with my love stories.
    Lisa x

  4. Again, thank you – Vanessa, very true about the hitting close to home, I think sometimes people see something they don’t want to acknowledge in themselves, or is coloured by their personal experiences. @Lisa – agreed, life doesn’t always work out neat and perfect, in fact it never truly does, so a touch of realism isn’t always a bad thing, even in a fantasy. The trick is to not assume that our personal reactions are the defining ones, because each response is as unique as the person experiencing it. In fiction, you have to leave your “judgement” at the door and read for the moment you’re in with the author’s vision.

    Hugs, D

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