Am I the only one who wishes there were more romance novels that start after the couple says their vows?
Yes, it is absolutely fun to witness the meet cute, to watch two strangers discover each other, get to know each other, fall helplessly in love, and commit to a life together. But isn’t it also fun to witness two people who have already committed discover each other, get to know each other, fall further in love (or fall in love again) and then renew their commitment to each other?
If you know of any books like this, please recommend them to me! Milla Holt has at least one (Through the Blaze–I’m reading this right now, and it’s wonderful) and Liwen Ho has the wonderfully titled Retying the Knot. What other good books have this theme?
My novel Shelter is my most popular book. Maggie leaves an abusive relationship and drives into a blizzard. With nothing to call her own and no one to call on, she ends up at a church homeless shelter where she meets Galen, a man so kind he will melt your heart. (Okay, I don’t know if he’ll melt yours, but he still melts mine, and I “met” him eight years ago.)
For reasons too wordy for this post, I wrote a sequel to Shelter, showing Maggie and Galen married with two sons, and I thought the Shelter story was complete.
But then my awesome readers (seriously, I love them so much!) asked for a third Shelter book, and I thought, wow, Maggie and Galen have been married for so long now. Surely they’re tired of each other? Surely they’re tired in general? And a story started percolating.
When we meet Maggie and Galen again in the first pages of Revival, they are not okay. Parenthood and ministry has burned them both out, and their marriage isn’t so much a marriage as a housing arrangement. I broke my own heart! But Galen (because he’s the kindest man ever!) notices that his wife is hurting and asks God for help.
And you know what happens next. When God is invited, God shows up.
God brings Maggie and Galen closer together and (spoiler alert) they end up stronger than ever. (Learn more about Revival here.)
In my newer book A Good Man Is Hard to Lose, we meet the couple after they divorce! I love this story so much! (Is it wrong to say I love my own story? I promise I’m not feeling haughty as I say that!) Brent, our hero, meets Jesus after divorce, and this new relationship with Jesus makes him crave the relationship he once had with his wife—so he goes after it! I’m pretty sure it’s the most romantic book I’ve ever written. I even surprised myself. (Learn more about this book here!)
And one might think, after having written two books about romance after marriage, I would have it out of my system. But I don’t. Now I want to write a whole series!
So, please tell me the truth. Am I off my rocker? Should I go back to writing more traditional romances about young people finding love for the first time? Or are there other readers out there like me who love to see married people reconnecting and falling in love all over again?
Let’s give away a copy of Revival in celebration of marriage! If a U.S. reader wins, he or she can choose paperback or ebook. If a reader outside the U.S. wins, I’ll send him or her an ebook. Just comment to be entered in the drawing. I will choose one winner on or after July 18. 💚