My husband made the bed for me the other day.
Not the regular, throw the sheets randomly over and sling a few pillows to the head of the bed way. Not even the strip the bed and change the sheets way. No; Mr. A put together our guest bed frame, which has been in pieces for months. He didn’t have to do this. We had a thousand jobs to do that day and we were both really busy and rather cranky. But he knew I’d like it so he did it. Now that’s a twenty-year-married kind of love.
[He and the girls had also brought me breakfast in bed, because we were going to be out of the house on Mother's Day and that's my favourite part of the day. Bless his cotton socks.]
Being as how I’m a buttoned-up Englishwoman, you’ll understand that the L word (this one, not the other one; stay focused, people) is a bit of a minefield for me. In my family, Love was the kind of word you avoided saying, and really, who needed it, when a hearty slap on the back and a nice cheese and pickle sandwich said the same thing much more effectively?
But wait! I hear you cry. Didn’t you say you write contemporary romance? Didn’t you say you read Mills and Boons all through high school? Well, yes. Reading about people who fell in love and talked about it was just the kind of release us proper English girls needed. Holed up in our dorms, we read every Mills and Boon and Silhouette Special Edition we could get a hold of (and Desires, if we could keep them hidden from Matron). And any book I’ve ever really loved, I’ve loved because of some romantic factor in it, even if it’s a thriller or a fantasy or a kids’ book. Next post, I’ll go through a few of the ones that have inspired me the most.
And then, lo, a miracle happened. It happened to me for real. In person. A crazy American who not only said the L word but used it with abandon, even when told to stop. And gradually I got used to it, to this miracle that is still my life. Now I too use it with abandon to him and to my children, who, another miracle, say it back (but they’re not teenagers yet, so we’ll see).
And I want to write about it. I’ve always wanted to write about it. It really does make the world go around, and it is a miracle, finding that person and being with them for the rest of your lives. When all we see on TV are people shouting at each other or shooting each other, when statistics tell us that we have as much of a shot of making it as of not making it, when people try to define what is and isn’t an ‘acceptable’ kind of love, the hope that is all of us falling in love all over the place is, yeah, I’ll say it, lovely.
Still can’t say it to my siblings though.
Kimberley Ash is a British ex-pat who has lived in and loved New Jersey for twenty years. When not writing romance, she can usually be found cleaning up after her two big white furry dogs and slightly less furry children. Her first novel, Breathe, is now available from Crimson Romance. Her trilogy, The Van Allen Brothers, was released by Tule Publishing in 2019.