According to the World English Dictionary a “Romantic Comedy” is:
[quote]“Comedy with love story: a humorous film, play, or novel about a love story that ends happily.”[/quote]
Personally, I think their definition is a little out of whack. A “Romantic Comedy” is at its heart a love story first (whether it ends ‘happily’ or not), with great moments of humor blended in to add a bit of laughter to the mix. When the mix is just right, you have a story that not only lifts up your heart but tickles the funny bone until it’s not safe to pick up a drink without fear of damaging your nasal cavity.
The creators of film and television “romcoms” have the advantage of telling their stories in a multidimensional format catering to our senses of sight and sound. Novelists, on the other hand, have to rely solely on the words they put down on the page and their reader’s imagination. Author Lynsay Sands has a rare and wonderful talent for writing stories that easily make the transition from words to the level of imagination that allows the reader to envision each scene as though they were actually watching it play out on the screen.
I only recently discovered the joy of reading a Lynsay Sands historical romance after a weekend visit to the local public library. Having already run through the library’s limited inventory of works by authors already familiar to my home library, I began rummaging through the paperback section and came across THE CHASE.
Published in November of 2004, THE CHASE is not your typical “damsel in distress” and “knight in shining armor” tale of courtly romance. The heroine, Seonaid Dunbar can wield a sword better than most men (with or without her clothes on) and is too clever to let our hero, Blake Sherwell—the heir to the Earl of Sherwell, one of the wealthiest lords in the kingdom—claim his betrothed bride without first leading him on a very merry chase.
“It wasn’t her first choice, for Seonaid Dunbar had, like her brother, been trained as a Scottish warrior at her father’s knee; but fleeing to an abbey was clearly preferable to whacking on Blake Sherwell with her sword — which she’d happily do before wedding the man. No, she’d not walk weakly to the slaughter, dutifully pledge troth to anyone the English court called “Angel.” Fair hair and eyes as blue as the heavens hardly proved a man’s worth. There was no such thing as an English angel; only English devils. And there were many ways to elude a devilish suitor, even one that King Henry ordered her to wed.
No, the next Countess of Sherwell was not sitting at home in her castle as Blake thought: embroidering, peacefully waiting for him to arrive. She was fleeing to a new stronghold and readying her defenses. Swords and sleeping drafts, Claymores and kisses. This battle would require all weapons—if he ever caught her. And the Chase was about to begin”
Before the smile on my face had time to fade after finishing this book, I was on the web tracking down the author to make a list of the other titles available. Since then I have acquired and gleefully devoured five more and appear to be stalking the mail man until the titles ordered online are delivered safely into my greedy little hands.
Among those were her latest historical series set in the 13th century borderlands between England and Scotland titled; DEVIL OF THE HIGHLANDS, TAMING THE HIGHLAND BRIDE and THE HELLION AND THE HIGHLANDER. Throughout the series runs a united theme about making judgments about someone based on rumor and innuendo only to find that the truth can be discovered through the heart.
It would be something of a slight to this author’s talent to give you the impression that her stories are simply tales of fun and frolic. Oh, no—her stories also contain some of the most poignant elements and layers of emotional turmoil, triumph and teary-eyed sentiment ever written within the pages of a romantic novel. The characters have rich depths, familiar flaws and insecurities that are instantly relatable to the reader and unique storylines that provide a breath of fresh air from some of the more staid and standard fair cluttering the shelves of the local Wal-Mart.
If you love a good shot of rib-tickling laughter blended perfectly into a cocktail of lusty romance, then Lynsay Sands is undoubtedly the right “*Mixtress” for you.
*Mixtress is NOT in the World English Dictionary, but it should be. 🙂