I don't know how many fairy tales you've read recently, but perhaps you remember a few hair-raising bedtime stories from your childhood, or perhaps you're a fan of the TV shows Grimm or Once Upon a Time. As stories go, fairy tales aren't always romantic and they can be rather gritty. They often include danger, death or destruction, trickery, magic, evil beings and innocent victims. In fact, I'd say those are almost prerequisites for a good fairy tale! But for a romance story, unless it's Urban Fantasy or Paranormal, not so much.
When I was assigned the Grimm Brothers fairy tale, The Blue Light, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the romance. The king tosses the soldier out of his kingdom and in return the soldier has a dwarf kidnap the princess and forces her to do menial cleaning for him! Later, he marries her but it's more a tale about revenge against the king than it is love for the princess. And for a romance, that angle just won't work.
I found it better to put the hero in a tighter spot! Make him a beta wolf of a werewolf pack, stuck between duty and pack rules, and his ongoing need to protect his love interest. The danger, death and magic all came from other individuals – two witches and a dwarf, plus the alpha wolf. Rising against those forces won't be easy for the beta wolf, but then, he's no innocent victim. The Paranormal touch added the right kind of darkness to the story's re-telling so that it matched that "fairy tale" feel. The romance got pumped up and yes, I included some smexy stuff, 'cause what's a great romance without that? All in all, the re-telling had a more modern-day feel and I like to think it's more entertaining than the Grimm version. See the original version of the story here:
My version is called Darkest Magic.
Nik Epperstein's alpha lost his mate two years ago and took an evil witch as his new bride. Ever since then, Eli's leadership has become violent, bordering on insane. When Eli attacks him, Nik's healing powers mysteriously vanish. He can't defend himself, nor protect the wolf he secretly loves. Only through the help of a foul-mouthed witch and an overly-dramatic dwarf will he save her – but their assistance comes at a price.
Caroline has tried for two years to lure Nik into her bed and can't understand his hesitation. After all, she senses their mating bond loud and clear. Then Nik disappears. She confronts her father who tells her Nik is dead, and she's next on his chopping block. Without Nik to protect her, she flees the pack and is kidnapped by a man half her size.
Reunited at last, the young wolves have one last chance to ignite their bond. But love must wait when battle looms. Eli and his wife attack, and aren't above using dirty tricks to win. If Nik and Caroline survive the battle, the dwarf and his wife will require them to make a promise that will change their lives forever...
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Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She's also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she'll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she's writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers.
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