A Movie Review: Love Comes Softly

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I am not one to watch television, but my husband loves movies, particularly westerns. Last evening, he stumbled across on oldie but goodie: Love Comes Softly, directed by Michael Landon, Jr. The film originally aired in 2003 on the Hallmark channel, and is based on a Christian series written back in the 90s by Janette Oke.

As I said, I’m not one to watch TV. But the movie was worth staying up for.

This, my friends, is what I consider a true romance. A young couple, Marty & Aaron, head out west to start their new life together, but the dream is not meant to be. Before they can even set up camp, Aaron goes after one of their horses who wandered off and dies in a tragic fall. Marty is pregnant, alone, and winter is coming.

A local widower, Clark, proposes to Marty on the day she buries her husband. He offers her a solution: marry him, help him over the winter to raise his 9-year old daughter, Missie, who desperately needs a woman’s influence. In the spring, he will provide passage for Marty to go back east, along with the baby he discovers she’s carrying. With no options, Marty accepts.

The couple are married in name only, and live in separate quarters. Missie resents Marty’s presence, and her efforts to coax the girl to act more like a girl. But gradually, Marty finds a way to earn Missie’s trust. The grieving faux family show signs of becoming a real one.

As an author of romance novels, I read and listen to hundreds of titles every year. I seek out what’s popular, what’s selling, trying to figure out what today’s romance audience wants. This movie had no sex, no foul language, no violence, no dead bodies (except for Marty’s husband at the beginning). Yet the story captured my attention from the first minutes and kept me riveted to the very end, where the first kiss between Marty and Clark represents the start of their new love.

It’s true, there is a minor religious element–it was, after all, a Christian novel. But there is certainly no Bible thumping or prosyletizing. A subtle reference to Clark’s God, in one scene, is the extent of the Christian element. Other than the absence of graphic love scenes or bloody violence.

This, my friends, is romance. By the end of the movie I was smiling with tears streaming down my face. This is, ultimately, the kind of love story I love–the kind of emotional experience I’d love to provide for my readers.

Am I alone? I know I’m older, but . . . Has this kind of pure romance–without all the sex and language and violence–really gone out of style? Is there still an audience for stories like Love Comes Softly?

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Please share your thoughts in comments.

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Claire Gem writes contemporary romance and supernatural suspense. And is strongly considering drifting over to the Inspirational side . . . visit her Amazon Author Page.

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A Real-Life Regency Era Scandal

Today I’m pleased to welcome historical author, Kryssie Fortune, to my blog to talk about her latest release Wickedly Used.

Picture1While he is no stranger to pleasurable company from ladies of the night, Major Richard Rothbury of the royal dragoons is not the kind of man who will stand idly by as a woman is taken against her will, and when he witnesses a disreputable cad attempting to force himself on a girl in a back alley, he does not hesitate to intervene.

But after the grateful young woman offers herself to Rothbury, he is shocked to discover that not only was she no harlot, she was a maiden and he has deflowered her. Furious at the girl’s scandalous behavior and her carelessness with her own safety, Rothbury chastises her soundly.

Though she is due to inherit one of the largest fortunes in England, the fact that she cannot touch the money until she marries or turns thirty has kept Elizabeth completely at the mercy of her cruel uncle, and for years she has been treated as if she were a servant. Her encounter with Lord Rothbury is by far the most exciting thing that has ever happened to her, but while he shows great concern for her safety, he refuses to believe that she is anything more than a serving girl.

Despite having made it clear that he doesn’t consider a match between them to be possible, when Elizabeth disobeys him Rothbury proves more than ready to strip her bare, punish her harshly, and then enjoy her beautiful body in the most shameful of ways. But can she dare to hope that he will one day make her his wife, or is she destined to spend her life being wickedly used?

Buy links:

Amazon USA     Amazon UK     Amazon Canada    Amazon Australia

Publisher’s Note: Wickedly Used: A Dark Regency Romance includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Kryssie, tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write Wickedly Used.

Lord Uxbridge, later Marquis of Anglesey in North Wales, almost came through the battle of Waterloo unscathed. An old-fashioned hero, he had eight horses shot from beneath him but always returned to the fray.Picture2

Even the Duke of Wellington praised his courage. As the battle died down, a cannon shot rang out.

Uxbridge turned to the Iron Duke and said, “By God Sir, I’ve lost my leg.”

Wellesley stared down his long nose and replied, “By God Sir, so you have.”

It all sounds very polite and terribly British, but that veneer hid their darker feelings. A little research showed me why.

(Photo Credit: {{PD-1923}} – published anywhere before 1923 & public domain in the U.S.)

In 1790 at the age of 22, Uxbridge raised a regiment of foot soldiers, the Staffordshire Volunteers, from his father’s tenantry.

Five years later, when he was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 16th Light Dragoons, he married the daughter of the Earl of Jersey, and they had eight children.  He led Sir John Moore’s cavalry in the battle of Corunna in 1809.

Enter Lady Charlotte Wellesley, sister-in-law to the Duke of Wellington. Uxbridge’s liaison with her Wellington’s sister prevented him from serving with Wellington again until Waterloo.

Married to Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley, she’d already birthed four children. Uxbridge become infatuated with her. In 1809 he persuaded her to elope with him. Afterword, he fought a duel with Wellington’s brother, Baron Cowley. Fortunately, neither man was hurt.

Henry Wellesley divorced his wife. Uxbridge’s wife divorced him for adultery. Before he could wed, a court ruled Uxbridge must pay £24,000 settlement to Wellington’s brother. Once wed, he and Charlotte went on to have ten children.

In times when divorce was unheard of the ensuing scandal must have been the talk of society.

Uxbridge commanded the cavalry and led a charge which helped rout the French at Waterloo.

Given their history, I don’t imagine much love was lost between Wellington and Uxbridge, no matter how much courage either showed on the battle field.

I loved researching the people and places associated with Waterloo for my dark Regency Romance, Wickedly Used.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today, Kryssie, and best of luck with Wickedly Used.

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