I have been thinking about Romance in novels. My characters, it seems, won’t let go of the idea that they are really not stereotypes and there are reasons why they do things and there is evidence that they must change and grow.

Even Adelaide de Fontenoy – a woman so beautiful she just ‘is’ and doesn’t ‘do’ (and therein lies her problems) – grows and changes over the Wolf of Dalriada trilogy. Submitting to change triggered by a serious assault, she has no choice.

And the hero, Malcolm Craig Lowrie. Though driven by duty and by tradition and wreathed in Celtic magic, he changes. He falls in love with Adelaide de Fontenoy and becomes accessible and human. The story is partly about how he reconciles these elements of his nature.

So, if not stereotypical romances, would the Wolf of Dalriada novels be enhanced by covers depicting a bare-chested man in a kilt embracing a minx with bedroom eyes? I didn’t think so – which is why for the first cover I chose Louise Bellin’s wonderfully atmospheric photograph of Castle Tioram. (Castle Craig Lowrie is a fictional blend of Tioram, Mingarry and Duntrune). For me the relationship between man and the landscape of Scotland says far more about the story than the fact that Malcolm Craig Lowrie touches Adelaide de Fontenoy’s hair. Although, of course, that does come into it.

Perhaps this is new-style Romance? What do you think?

A Fine Romantic Heroine?

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