The Darker the Romance the Better
The Darker the Romance the Better
Growing up I memorized Edgar Alan Poe's The Raven because I liked the poem so much, and read all his fiction. Never once did I imagine I'd grow up to write dark romance, too.
What makes my latest release a dark romance?
The hero has a past.
The hero has secrets.
The hero was traumatized as a child.
The hero is reclusive.
The hero is a tormented man.
The hero refuses to enter his childhood home.
The heroine senses his angst and is determined to change his outlook on life.
The heroine, a widow, has an unhappy past, too.
The heroine's five-year-old daughter longs for a father.
The heroine refuses to consider marriage again.
The heroine suspects the ghost of the hero's dead mother haunts his house.
Nothing about this book sounds romantic until you meet Amy Millington, the gutsy photographer who turns architect Charles Harding's life upside down. She reads the deep sadness in his eyes, feels his sorrow, and with her daughter Marta's help tries to change his outlook on life.
Although Charles has accepted his life was forever changed because of what his mother did before abandoning him at an early age, he's receptive to change. Few of his memories are pleasant ones, but Amy and Marta force him out of his reclusive ways and into the sunlight, where they teach him to relax, to enjoy life, and to laugh.
He begins to daydream about a better life, one that includes Amy and Marta, even allows Amy inside to photograph his childhood home once he's removed the boards covering the windows. She has an affinity for the house she's unable to explain, and feels welcoming arms around her each time she enters the house.
Charles still cannot enter his former home, scene of a murder and suicide when he was four, but begins seeing Amy and her winsome little girl away from Harding House for dinner, a bicycle ride, and lunch. He takes Amy for a romantic picnic at the lake. She has no desire to remarry and later denies her attraction to Charles, insisting there can be no permanent place for him in their lives.
Then Marta disappears while Amy's photographing in the study of Harding House and Charles finally enters his house to help in the search. He finds Marta holding the key to his tragic past. Freed from his feelings of abandonment by his mother's suicide letter, his life takes a different turn. Not Amy's. She can't let go of the past, but Charles insists she learn the truth about her late husband's suspected infidelity. Her efforts take her back to Las Vegas and the military housing they once shared, to no avail. She's lost all contact with their Naval Air Force friends.
Then the Navy Lieutenant who caused her heartache shows up at Amy's door, a Captain in the Naval Air Force now and Amy learns the truth. Her late husband had been faithful to Amy, had resisted the sexy officer's advances. He'd never stopped loving Amy, and she has nothing to forgive.
Dark clouds no longer hang over their heads, so the sun begins to shine on Amy and Charles. He readies his house for occupancy and when the two of them start making marriage plans Marta realizes her dreams of having a home, a father and being part of a family may all come true.
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About the Author
While growing up in the South and completing seventh grade Toni Noel, writing under another name, laboriously typed each copy of the newspaper she published and circulated at church.
When she was fourteen Toni began an autobiography, but after only three chapters realized she had not lived long enough to give her life story an arc. She concluded her effort in the fourth chapter by giving her heroine an incurable disease.
She later edited her high school paper and one of her editorials earned her membership in Quill and Scroll. She also wrote a weekly fishing column, perhaps her first published work of fiction, for at that time she had never held a fishing pole.
For two of those high school years a weekly column about the happenings of her high school friends earned Toni a byline in a Scripps-Howard daily newspaper and a neighborhood weekly, the first income earned from her writing, money her father faithfully set aside for her to attend college.
Toni thrived on spending time in the library, loved to do research and write term papers. She would finish her theme well ahead of the due date so she could type the papers of classmates, a lucrative way to add to her college fund.
She met her husband of fifty-nine years her first week on campus and at the end of her freshman year gave up her dream of teaching to marry the first-year teacher who had captured her heart. He retired in 2010, ending a sixty year teaching career. ...Profile is continued on her website.
Find Toni Noel on the Web:
To satisfy the requirements for her Master's Degree in fine art photography, Amy Millington needs to photograph Charles Harding’s childhood home, but his boarded-up-house holds painful memories for Charles. Without those photographs Amy cannot secure her young daughter Marta's future. Charles denies the gutsy widow's request. Her efforts to show him how to have fun lead him to allow her to photograph his home. Then Marta gets lost and Charles must help search his house for her. He finds Marta and his mother's long-lost suicide note. Knowing the reason his mother shot his father, then turned the gun on herself, frees Charles from his past, but can he free Amy from her painful past and teach her to love again?
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