One of the main differences between writing an Urban Fantasy vs a Paranormal Romance is the inclusion of an HEA (or Happily Ever After.) PNRs need to have it, UF’s don’t. Most PNRs are about a specific couple, whereas a UF might have a couple, but that couple doesn’t have to stay together. The heroine can hook up with the hero…or not.
When I first wrote A BRUSH OF DARKNESS, it was definitely a PNR. I had a completely different ending in mind, but after I sold I was asked to turn it into a UF and bring in another potential love interest for A SLIVER OF SHADOW.
I wasn’t sure about that at first. At the time I had my head fairly wrapped around the HEA concept, but the more I thought on it, the more I realized my editor was right. It’s hard sometimes – as an author I can spend years with my characters. Even though a book might span a timeframe of a few days or weeks (or hours, even) – it can feel like a lifetime for me.
So I have trouble sometimes with not “rushing” the romantic elements. (Obviously, if the characters have some sort of instant bond, this may not apply.) I know some readers expressed disappointment that Abby didn’t get her HEA with sexy incubus Brystion. But when I really looked at it, A BRUSH OF DARKNESS was only a few weeks in length – and while Abby and Brystion could certainly be attracted to each other and sleep with each other…is that really enough time for a couple to fall in love?
Perhaps. Perhaps not. But for Brystion – his entire existence is based on sex. With Abby he wanted more than that, and even though he was very much infatuated with her, he didn’t know if he could really be what she needed. And he decided to try to remove himself from the equation. Maybe not as successfully as he thought, but his heart was in the right place at the time.
This allowed space for a potential new suitor to show up – this time in the form of Talivar, an elven prince. He’s quite a bit different from Brystion in a number of ways. Even if he doesn’t have quite the same electric sexual spark that the incubus does, he’s Abby’s room-mate for 8 months before he makes a move on her.
My point is that Talivar’s relationship with Abby is a much slower build up. They’re friends and co-workers first – connected by a common bond via Abby’s employer (Talivar’s sister). They’ve had a chance to get to know each other without all the complications of a sexual relationship (and it’s given Abby a chance to get over the fact that Brystion left her…at least as best as can.) So when Talivar starts to court Abby, it’s a bit more realistic in a lot of ways.
Does it mean they’re going to end up together for their own HEA? Maybe, maybe not. Brystion has a lot of his own growing up to do when it comes to Abby, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to let her go without a fight, particularly when he realizes he’s awfully close to losing her completely. (He’s still a bit of an arrogant ass, but I suspect that’s part of his charm.)
As potential love triangles go, it’s not a typical one, but it’s been very interesting to write.
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