I classify romance as the struggle to find love; that rocky road to happiness...with a happily-ever-after ending. Love stories can also be about falling in love; rocky road to get there...but can entail details not fit for romance stories.
Romance stories don't include married couples and cheating on your spouse. Somehow, people consider adultery "justifiable" and call having an affair a "love" event. Huh? Or, the hero or heroine have multiple partners throughout their coupled journey to "find" true love with each other. Sorry, I just don't get it!
I'm not talking about menage romances, which seem to have a big following. I'm talking about sneaking around and having sex with someone else, other than your "loved one/ones"...the main characters in the story.
Movies/Books to consider:
"The Bridges of Madison Country". Why would anyone consider this a romantic story/movie? Since when does a married woman having an affair become acceptable and turn into something other than what it is...total disregard for marriage vows and spouse. Okay. Maybe it's a "love" story, but I find nothing romantic or fun about it.
"Brokeback Mountain": Adultery. Doesn't matter if he cheats on his wife with another man...it's still cheating. Love story.
"Gone With the Wind": I wanted to strangle Scarlett throughout the book/movie. Nothing heroine-like, only selfish attitude. Rhett was a hero for finally leaving her. Love story, not romance.
"Casa Blanca": Oldie but goodie. Tear-jerker, unhappy ending. Love story.
"While You Were Sleeping". I love this movie. This is a romance. No one is married, and even though the heroine is faking an engagement to one brother who's lost his memory, she fights her attraction to the second brother...her true romance partner. And he fights the same attraction. Only after the truth is blurted out at the almost wedding do the hero and heroine face the truth and are free to love each other.
"Dirty Dancing": budding relationship, separation and sadness, but happy ending. Romance.
"Pretty Woman": magnetic pull of mutual attraction, rocky road leading to black moment, happy ending. Romance.
The books we write as romance authors need that happily-ever-after to satisfy readers. I want it in a book I read and my books present it to readers. The outcome of any book or movie classifies it as romance or love story...and I see a definite dividing line between the two.
My opinions...and I bet others think differently. So, what about you? How do you differentiate between a Romance and Love story or movie?
Entice Me - Luscious Love Stories Anthology released by Romance Books '4' Us
Naughty Literati Anthologies
Photos: Flickr: endot, Sabrina Campagna, and emily792872's photostreams.