By Narelle Atkins
Great romance stories have great lead characters. These characters have depth and are like real people. They have strengths and weaknesses and wrestle with problems and issues while falling in love.
The heroine in my current work-in-progress is fluent in four languages: English, French, Spanish and her native tongue, Italian. For my book research, I’ve been looking for movies with Italian scenery and characters who have similar accents to my heroine and her family.
My husband and I browsed Netflix and discovered the 2012 Danish film ‘Love Is All You Need’ starring Pierce Brosnan. The film has English subtitles and includes characters speaking Danish, Italian and English. I loved the beautiful coastal scenery in Italy and the diversity of accents, but it was the characters who hooked me into the story.
Ida is a Danish hairdresser who’s recovering from breast cancer and discovers her adulterous husband in a compromising situation. Her daughter is getting married in Italy and the groom’s father, Phillip (Pierce Brosnan’s character), is a widower and successful American businessman who owns the lemon grove where the wedding will take place.
Ida is a strong character. She’s struggling to deal with the changes to her physical appearance from her cancer battle and her husband’s brutal betrayal. Her unexpected connection with Phillip is both intriguing and complicated. Their maturity and life experiences add an extra dimension to their developing relationship. I’ve included the YouTube movie trailer at the end of this post. (Please note: The movie has some bad language in the subtitles and undressed characters in a few scenes.)
I recently read Muffins & Moonbeams by Elizabeth Maddrey in the Arcadia Valley Romance series. We first meet the Baxter brothers In Elizabeth’s Arcadia Valley novella, Loaves & Wishes. While reading the novella I really wanted to learn more about Malachi and discover his romance story in the first full length book in the Baxter Family Bakery Romance series, Muffins & Moonbeams.
Malachi lost his hearing when he was a young child and he has learned to lip read. He speaks well although he’s self conscious and worries about how people will relate to him. Ursula is an introvert who has social anxiety. She prefers to escape into her online gaming world rather than relate to people in the real world.
I have a family member who struggles with social anxiety and it was insightful to view the world through Ursula’s eyes. I really enjoyed Malachi and Ursula’s romance and how their unique challenges and character strengths created a fun and fascinating story.
Unique characters are memorable characters. Their stories stay with us and can give us a different perspective of the world.
Have you recently read a book or watched a movie with a character who has stayed in your mind? I’d love to hear your thoughts.