What is love, anyway?

Love has always been a mitigating factor in why I chose to read and write books where romance and happily-ever-after were the central theme, so it came as a surprise, to me and my colleagues, when my debut novel fashioned itself into a work of dark fantasy.

I had the courage to share The Scarlett Mark with an editor at a writing workshop. (Yes, authors suffer real fear when it comes to sharing their words with others!) The editor said I had a poetic voice, and I appreciated the comment as I wanted to be a literary writer. In many ways, I still do. But let’s dive deeper into my passion of storytelling and a moment in my career I can’t forget.

When Nicolai Greydon, a medieval hero, asks himself the all-important question… What is love?

You might think Nicolai a heel for his response, but how can we know love until we’ve touched its warmth, its patience and kindness, or felt its kiss upon our lips?

I want to share this questioning with you. Please enjoy Nicolai’s thoughts. An excerpt from my first novel, Book one of the Odin Saga; A MedEvil Romantasy:

Nicolai had never considered the question of love until a hunting lad had enquired about his matrimonial motives, motives that could never define a lover’s true purpose. He had skirted the issue with a response long in coming.

What is love, anyway?

He sipped his drink and contemplated the question again now. The poets wrote about this notion of love as if its essence were a heady desire or a dark spell that squeezed at the victim’s heart and rendered them helpless. The minstrels sang of silly infatuations with high-pitched voices, imparting an intense lust and sudden couplings of the heart.

“Huh,” Nicolai remembered, chuckling under his breath. He felt that love was no more than an incurable malady, an arthritic condition; a chain that threatened to drag its victims into a life of servitude. He did not care for such an affliction, but he did covet the monetary elements that came with the commitment—the money that a marriage would bring.

Someday, he might care for Alexandra, perhaps even love her, but if not for his needs, he would never have chosen her for a bride. Despite her beauty, she feared his advances, shied away from conversation, and cringed at the slightest stroke against her flesh. Frankly, they entertained little chemistry. Bedding the woman might even prove to be a trial.

Lord Nicolai, or Nick, as the more brazen ladies chose to refer to him, was not accustomed to a shy lady like Alexandra. He preferred a daredevil of a woman. He licked the salty ale from his lips as Cyn came to mind—a dark-haired vixen who had once joined him in raucous sexual exploits. He heated as he recalled their affair, but their sex-play had ended when the marriage banns were announced. Perhaps he could find her again, take her as his mistress, and enjoy her seductive pleasure on the side.

“No,” he whispered to himself as he downed his ale in a choked gulp. Removing this dark woman from his life had been a well-chosen option, as their last encounter had ended horribly. Cynara had fought the news of his upcoming marriage. She chanced to be a take all or take naught sort of woman, a wanton female who would hurt a man if he didn’t pay close attention to her needs. Such a price he couldn’t afford to pay.

But the time had come to make the announcement, so Nicolai placed his empty mug on the table and went in search of Alexandra, finding his betrothed where a dutiful daughter should be: at her father’s side, just behind her mother’s skirt.

Will Nicolai find love? Probably, but he has some lessons to learn first! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. If there is love in your life, hold that special someone close!

To learn more about the first two books in The Odin Saga, The Scarlett Mark or the The Ebony Queen, or any of my other novels, click here: My Books.


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