When Opposites Attract

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Anyone familiar with my books will know I have a weakness for the opposites-attract trope. I love to take two people who, by all rights, should share one glance and say “thanks, but no thanks,” and then give them a romance it’s impossible for them to escape. It’s love and torture all wrapped up in one!

The Party Girl is probably one of my most obvious attempts at this. Take one part city girl, with a love of cleanliness, parties, and things that sparkle. Add one bearded backwoods hermit who wants nothing to do with glitter. Give them irrepressible chemistry, and voilà! What are these two crazy kids to do?

From an author’s perspective, I know why the opposites-attract trope works so well. For one, there’s instant conflict. Having met people who are my opposite in real life, I know what kinds of barriers immediately go up. If you aren’t a fan of books or movies, chances are we have nothing to talk about. If you prefer dogs to cats, you’re missing out on the superiority that is the feline species. If your worldview differs dramatically from my own, my introvert tendencies will find it much easier to watch you from afar than attempt to engage.

There are also more opportunities to delve deep into the character’s personalities when you’re talking about two very different people. When the surface qualities don’t match, that means it’s more important than ever before for the underlying characterization to share a commonality. Despite all their differences, this hero and heroine HAVE to be viable on a fundamental level, and I HAVE to make that clear to the reader.

I love that challenge.

From a reader’s perspective, I also know what I enjoy about finding two mismatched characters forced to be together.

  • The push and pull of attraction versus dislike
  • Situations where one character is out of his/her element (Ah, the fish-out-of-water trope! Another favorite!)
  • Being forced to rethink assumptions and worldviews
  • Hate sex
  • That moment when the characters realize their differences pale in comparison to their love

What about you? What do you like (or dislike) about the opposites-attract trope? Any book recommendations along these lines I should be sure not to miss?

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Book three of Getting Physical

Kendra Khuso isn’t looking for long-term. Her traditional Indian family believes it’s time she settled down with a parent-approved husband. Instead, she’s focused on building her business by day and then enjoying all the nightlife has to offer…until she meets Noah.

Noah Walker is happy with a solitary, sustainable life on a plot of land outside of town. He left a high-maintenance relationship behind him and he just wants to keep his head down and his hands busy, living off the grid and making no plans…until he falls for Kendra.

The attraction is mutual and their chemistry is electric. There’s just one problem: Noah’s best friend, Lincoln, is head-over-heels in love with Kendra even though she’s keeping him firmly in the friend zone. Noah refuses to break the bro code by pursuing a woman his best friend professes to love–but Kendra is determined to get her man, even if it means giving up the social scene for the simple life.

Available from Carina Press.

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Tamara Morgan is a contemporary romance author of humorous, heartfelt stories with flawed heroes and heroines designed to get your hackles up and make your heart melt. Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them.

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