Gina Conkle – Head-spinning Romance, Empowering Love
Welcome to the 5th Annual Read-A-Romance Month!
While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate this awesome genre! Come back every day to read all three “Power of Romance” posts. Check out the full calendar of authors here. You can also find links to the last four years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook.
The Power of Romance (or Who Needs That White Dress?)
Romance makes a girl’s head spin, but love empowers her. Real love. The deep kind that makes a woman question who she thinks she is, pushing her in new directions she never thought she’d go and do things she never thought she’d do.
Case in point: Me.
When people meet me they generally think “goodie two shoes” or “conservative, quiet, professional.” The funny thing about quiet women is still waters run deep. And when love comes to town, those waters get stirred up fast. Nice imagery, but it doesn’t mean anything until you dig deeper.
So let me tell you a little story…
Growing up, I was your typical eldest daughter. Quiet. Responsible. Into school. I shirked boyfriends for books. Okay, there was one boyfriend. But, it was much better to pine for a guy (real or imagined) and dream of love and romance than actually put myself out there. Great training for a future romance writer. We conjure up men all the time.
Like a lot of young women, I dreamed of the day I’d wear that white dress and say I do to Mr. Right.
College came and went. I got serious about one guy and was unserious about others. I sowed my wild oats after graduation, which a lot of serious, responsible girls do at one point. And I kept dreams of that white dress day in the back of my mind.
And then I met him. Mr. Wrong.
He was a party boy. I deemed him “too good-looking…never be faithful” the day we met. Other women were crazy about him. He made a general announcement once that he was never getting married. This guy had even told a story about a near-foray into modeling—until they asked him to wax his chest! Just not my kind of man.
But, you know what happened? We clicked. This guy who drank too much beer was smart, attentive, he cooked for me, loved to hang out, go running, and just be. It was wow.
Love came fast.
I stopped getting hung up on the exterior, the appearance of things and what I thought I wanted. I didn’t care. I let things be. Six weeks after we started officially dating, he told me he loved me. Three months after that he asked me to marry him (I said yes). Six weeks later, we were shooting pool in a dive bar, and he asked me (more like mouthed it across the table) to elope with him. *record scratch* Uhhh…hold on.
Poised to take his shot, he gave me that smile and waited.
Suddenly that white dress was dust in the wind. I didn’t care about it. Didn’t want it. I wanted him, and I wanted to have the same last name as him. Like yesterday.
Music blared on the jukebox. We were about to win our game of solids and stripes against another couple, and yes, there was a pitcher of beer involved, but I swear, we were sober. My love said, “If I make this shot, we’re going to Vegas.”
I nodded and smiled back. My quiet alpha male (as I’ve come to call him over the years) grinned big and made the double-bank shot.
We drove off to Vegas a little after midnight and got married first thing the next morning at the Candlelight Wedding Chapel across the street from Circus Circus. I’d found the man who stirred my deep waters. No white wedding dress needed. With him, the dream was complete.
So here’s to the power of true love and romance~ Gina
Hey Readers! Head over to Read-A-Romance-Month’s blog and you’ll get in on the great romance reads (and free books given away all month…some international giveaways and some US only). Here’s the link to the rest of my post where you can answer the question “What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for love?” and get in on my drawing.
The link: Gina Conkle’s Read-A-Romance-Month Post