Relationships are fascinating to explore in stories. Particularly how people repeatedly sabotage their own relationships, and not limited to romantic connections either. This article in Psychology Today is typical of how subconscious behaviour affects how we communicate with each other, and the response we get in return from our partners. Most of the time, we don’t realise we are doing it and this inevitably results in us repeating the same patterns, including the lies we tell ourselves.
Although my books are predominantly fantasy, a key feature is a love story subplot. Gereinte doesn’t reach this point until book two, when he falls hard and fast for the most extraordinary love match. And in book three, Allan and Demaris are faced with hard choices that affect the decisions they make.
Nerys has made all these mistakes in her first encounter with love, when she falls for a lowly lad, who turns out to be part of a plot to discredit and destroy her family in the Prince of Carentan. When she arrives in Tordre, she is raw and emotional, not yet healed and this in part affects how her relationship with the Blue King unfolds.
Observation is the first thing that raises the red flags – what is going on at her wedding? She notices unusual behaviour but dismisses it, despite her discomfort and hopes that things will change; she has a duty to her family and to her country. Shocked by what she has discovered, Nerys is in denial for the first part of the story. When she realises things are not going to change any time soon, she gets angry and starts to bargain with her husband in an attempt to get him to allow her to return home and see her family. A period of depression leads her to a crisis point and a number of unexpected events force her to a point of no return. No spoilers here if you want to read what happens to Nerys, but I will say that she learns from her experience and eventually finds love in the most unexpected way.