Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Love Geometry and a Giveaway

The love triangle is one of the oldest and grandest forms of romantic storytelling.  From soap operas to Harlequin romances to today's best shows on television.  Why do we love the triangle so much?  Consider that a triangle in nature, a perfect, equilateral triangle consists of three sides, equal in length, joined at a 60 degree angle.  Not only is this shape 'perfect' and 'balanced' - it means that all the parties are equal.

Perfect Triangle
In a perfect love triangle, you see all the ways each man is perfect for the woman in his life.  You know they each have flaws, but that she brings out the best in him. It's easy to root for both sides of the coupling. In some cases, you're desperate to figure out if they could make a true menage or at least a polyamorous relationship work because you want to maintain that perfect balance.

Imperfect Triangle
When the triangle isn't balanced, however, and one side seems to have a clear advantage over the other, you may find yourself rooting for only one player.  For example, on Hart of Dixie, Zoe has an unmistakable chemistry with both George and Wade.  These two friends are extremely different and George is engaged to be married to someone else.  Wade is jealous of their closeness, but regularly shoots himself and his chances in the foot where Zoe is concerned. 

Wistful Triangle
In a love triangle, someone always loses. The natural assumption is the woman torn between two men will find her happily ever after, but sometimes, even she loses.  Ilsa Lund loved Rick Blaine more than her own life, they had a passionate, torrid love, but Rick didn't need her the way her husband did. Rick sent Ilsa away to support her husband Victor's war efforts and went on with his life.  Did he love Ilsa? Absolutely, but he loved her enough to let her go.  Sacrifice, passion, commitment and bittersweet ever after are every bit as much a part of a love triangle.

Imperfect Triangle
Not all love triangles work, particularly the ones where the heroine thinks she is in love with one man and it's not her passion for this man, but her desire for absolute control and the 'fairytale' life she thinks she should have.  In the case of Scarlett O'Hara, she always thought she loved Ashley, but her passion for the milktoast neighbor was a fantasy that cost her a real life and passion with the tempestuous Rhett.  I think you could even argue that in the center of this triangle was a fourth point: Scarlett's love for her ancestral home Tara.

A Love Affair with Love Geometry

I love a great love triangle. I love to see the passion, the angst, the desire to love two men (or two women) and how that desire can tear them apart. I really love it when the men involved have a close relationship, too.  One of the things I find so perfect about the Damon-Elena-Stefan dynamic is that the brothers do love each other and keep sacrificing for each other even as they compete for the woman they both love.  It's complicated and messy. It's passionate and bittersweet.  It's triumph and tragedy.

But that's a triangle for you.
Book 2 of the Fevered Hearts

In both my recent novel Cassandra's Dilemma and the soon to be released Brave are the Lonely (March 6), love geometry plays a significant part.  In the first, Cassandra Belle is torn between two powerful men, men who's animosity and antipathy for the other threatens to keep her in the path of danger unless they can find a way past it.  In the second, Cody is torn between the love his wolf half committed to and the desire he discovers with Mariska.  It's a twist on the love triangle, one that presented all the elements of a lost first love and a discovery of a true passion and more.
Book 1 of the Forbidden Legacy
In real life, love triangles are messy (see Elizabeth Taylor-Eddie Fisher-Debbie Reynolds,  Princess Diana-Prince Charles-Camilla Parker Bowles), but they are just as captivating because at the end of the day, we're not just rooting for the people.  We're rooting for love.

What is your favorite love triangle?  Or do you not like them?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, I am giving one lucky commentator their choice of  Cassandra's Dilemma or Brave are the Lonely.  You can read the first chapter of both books at my website!

Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel. Keep up with Heather via her website


Sherry said...

I don't have a favorite love triangle when I'm reading a book with one it really depends on how well the author tells their story.
sstrode at scrtc dot com

Arianne Cruz said...

Damon, Stefan, and Elena are definitely my favorite love triangle. :)
email: cruz042 at cougars.csusm.edu

PaParanormalFan said...

I don't know if this Giveaway if closed yet but I'd like to Thank you to Paranormal Romantics for hosting Heather Long & her Love Geometry Post, which I very much enjoyed.

What is my favorite love triangle? To me, there's not a bad love triangle ;) ...I REALLY enjoy reading Menage Fiction; whether it's M/F/M, M/M/F, F/F/M, I'll even read M/M/M love triangles.
I would very much like the opportunity to enter your giveaway if it's not to late for a choice of "Cassandra's Dilemma" or "Brave are the Lonely". Thank You.

Take Care & Have a Great Week,
PaParanormalFan (Renee’ S.)

Heather Long said...

Giveaway closed today :) I'll be announcing the winner shortly