Vivian Arend: Romantic Suspense Vs. Romantic Adventure
When I started writing a new series for Berkley, I wanted to showcase a part of the world that I love—the Canadian Rockies. But simply having a group of friends living in the area wasn’t enough. I wanted to throw them into the action. Literally throw them off cliffs at times.
As the first story, High Risk, progressed it became clear that I had a lovely setting and great group of characters. But what type of book had I written? It had more action in it than a typical contemporary romance, but there was no evil villain or exploding bombs like in a romantic suspense.
While talking to others we figured it out—this was romantic adventure. The kind of book that straddles a fine line between probable and possible.
I love in romantic suspense how the heroes and heroines are larger than life and the bad guys are devastatingly evil. I get to be whisked to parts of the world on private planes, with military-caliber weapons and explosive putty and…it’s very James Bond and exciting. Only I know that the probability of me ever being involved in that kind of adventure is zero. It’s not possible—I don’t have, and could never gain the needed skills. I don’t live that kind of life. But I can sure enjoy reading about it, especially when against impossible odds the hero and heroine pull together to find a happily-ever-after.
Romantic adventure I see on the other side of the probable/possible fence. I’ve been in the mountains. I’ve experienced the excitement of screaming down a zip line, and of climbing to the top of a mountain peak. I’ve never jumped from a plane and deployed a parachute—but it’s a possibility. I could, if I chose. I could, if I took the time to develop the skills. That extra twist adds excitement to the story as I read, because while I’m not out saving lives in a dangerous rescue, it’s a lot more probable than working an undercover operation.
The Adrenaline Search & Rescue books are still first and foremost romances. Hot romances, between people who love the mountains, love excitement and living life on the edge of danger. They do everything passionately—their jobs, their relationships. The entirety of their lives is an adventure, and reading can take you along for the ride.
Even if you don’t want to tie yourself into a climbing harness and throw yourself off a mountain.
- Vivan Arend