A review, and a random thought on romance

There is a very nice review of Snow on the Roof at Hearts On Fire Reviews. You can read it here. They have some flattering things to say about my story “Waiting for the Light”.

I was also contemplating a particular romance trope in light of a book I started to read just recently in the pile I brought home from the library. I had picked it up thinking it was a historical murder mystery, but once I started to read, I realized that it was a mystery-romance. The heroine has a meet-cute with a guy on the ferry that she’s taking to the Greek island where the book takes place. On the island, he is giving her a lift in his sporty little car, when he accidentally knocks over an old lady’s fruit stand, knocking oranges all over the road. Immediately, he stops, apologizes, and helps the old lady pick up her fruit.

And this really gave me pause; it made me stop and go, “Wow, I like this guy! This one’s a keeper, lady.”

… then about five pages later, the actual romantic hero shows up, which is clearly signposted because he is a total dick and the heroine hates him. Just to be sure, I turned to the blurb on the back (normally I avoid those, being a spoilerphobe) and discovered that not only is Dick Boy our “hero”, but the guy I’d liked so much is slated to be the murder victim.

Yeah. No. Back on the pile it went.

But this made me realize just how thoroughly over the alpha-hero trope I am. Over. Done. I want characters (male and female) who are the sort of person who would stop to help an old lady pick up her oranges. I want kind characters, the sort who are aware that they exist as part of a community; who, when they accidentally hurt someone, notice and apologize for it, even if it’s a stranger, and doubly so if it’s a loved one.

And I think it was very eye-opening for me how startling it was, to encounter a scene in the opening pages of the book in which the character that I had believed to be the hero does something kind and altruistic. That’s rare. And it shouldn’t be.

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I'm a writer and artist living in Fairbanks, Alaska.

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Posted in Anthologies, Dreamspinner Press, Reviews, Romance, Writing
2 comments on “A review, and a random thought on romance
  1. Liat says:

    Just read your short story in Snow on the Roof – and wanted to say that it was beautifully written and I really enjoyed it. I went looking for more m/m romance of yours but couldn’t see any – is there any more out there?

    • Layla Lawlor says:

      Hello! Thank you so much – that is so wonderful to hear, and I’m absolutely delighted that you enjoyed it!

      Right now, I don’t have anything else available, except for a very short and very different story in an anthology from a few years ago (this one). Sadly I’m just getting started! I have a few stories and a novella under consideration in various places, though — so hopefully soon there will be more to share.

      Thank you so much for stopping by — reading this comment really made my night!

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