My intent in my World War II Virtues and Valor series was so have it JUST be about female spies in Occupied France. I honestly had no intention of having any romance anywhere near the stories.
While I wrote Temperance’s Trial, a romance began to emerge. I couldn’t believe it. I tried to write it out, but it didn’t work when I wrote it out, so I let it stay in. Why in the world would a French spy have any kind of romance blossom with a German soldier — especially one in charge of the prison where she’s taken when she’s arrested? I don’t have the answer, either, but the story sure unfolded in front of me.
Then, as I wrote book 2, Homeland’s Hope, suddenly I have a romance blooming between a male French spy and my American/French singing sensation and star of stage and screen. That one was even more of a surprise to me than the first romance, because it was interracial in 1941. Again, as I tried to write it out, the story kind of deflated, so I left it there.
While writing book 3, Charity’s Code (which releases on the 17th of this month), the romance was very easy to write. Charity, aka Dorothy Ewing, and her husband Tom are madly in love with each other, and the flashback scenes were so heart warming and loving and so much fun to write. The same thing happened when I wrote book 4, A Parcel for Prudence. Writing the story between her and her husband was so beautiful and really made her character so well rounded and developed.
There are three more books that follow those four, and as those who have read my contemporary free Christmas novella, Christmas Diamond, know, in at least one of the books there’s another romance blooming between my pilot, Helen, and the British pilot, Captain Green. I mentioned to my husband that there is romance in all but one book coming up, which makes six out of the seven books romantic suspense. He reminded me that I hadn’t yet fully edited that one remaining without the romance, and that he had faith that it will eventually appear. Even though I didn’t intend for any romance to be highlighted in the books at all, I probably will surprise myself by making all seven of them have some romantic quality to them.
I guess once a romance writer, always a romance writer!