A Change of Scenery: How Moving Give Your Characters the Perfect Opportunity to Fall In Love by Lauren Accardo

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[Note from Frolic: Today, we welcome author Lauren Accardo to the site. She thinks moving is the perfect way to fall in love, and we agree! Take it away, Lauren!]

Have you ever driven home from work, pulled into your driveway, cut the engine, and realized you had no recollection of the trip? Routine and repetition can lull a person into ignoring what’s around them, from the onramps and left turns of a commute to the flavor and sweetness of the same cup of coffee from the same café they’ve been visiting for years.

Doesn’t that sound like the most boring book in history?

Moving literally sets characters in motion, pulling the rug out from under them and launching them into a world that is at once unfamiliar, challenging, and demanding of their attention. As a New Yorker, I’ve walked through Times Square, around Central Park, and past the Plaza Hotel, dodging handsome cabs and street performers without a second thought. But drop someone from San Diego into the center of Manhattan and watch their eyes light up. The acrid scent of roasted nuts, the flashing billboard lights, the blaring car horns and clomp of horse’s hooves. It’s all new.

Nothing kickstarts a story like dropping characters into new settings and forcing them to adapt. No matter the POV, the reader gets to experience every moment of the character’s surroundings through the lens of someone seeing, hearing, feeling, and tasting it all for the first time. In Wild Love, Sydney arrives in the tiny mountain town of Pine Ridge, NY as a visitor from New York City. She’s not used to deer on the periphery of her morning run, the sweet scent of pine wafting through the downtown streets, or the gentle, welcoming demeanor of the people who live there. Because Sydney is new in town, every sight, smell, and sound is unfamiliar to her, and the reader gets to experience all of that for the first time alongside her.

The fresh perspective afforded to characters through moving lends itself perfectly to romance. Whose interest hasn’t been piqued by the phrase “new girl in town”? In Wild Love, Sam Kirkland’s life is plodding along as expected when Sydney Walsh arrives in Pine Ridge. The cast of characters in his world has suddenly shifted, forcing him to reevaluate the kind of life (and love) he expected for himself. The rug has been pulled out from under him and watching him try to regain his footing is—in this humble author’s opinion—one of the great joys of the book. 

Newness breeds excitement, especially for the single and looking crowd. In romance, every trope is heightened with the introduction of a move: Enemies to lovers, where the recent transplant is looking to take over the heroine’s established business. Second chance romance, where an unavoidable move back home means she must once again cross paths with her high school crush. Forbidden love, where a commitment to someone in his past could be threatened by the arrival of a sexy stranger. Inevitably, moving your characters to a new place will leave you creating some type of delicious chaos.

Great literature begins with a moment of great change. If you’ve ever packed up your home and moved, you know the scope of the challenge. But in learning those new roadways, venturing out to that new coffee shop, and catching eyes with that handsome yet complicated, brooding man across the bar (oh, come on, it’s possible!), the greatest adventure—the one worth reading—has just begun.

About the Author:

Lauren Accardo writes steamy contemporary romance featuring strong women and the men who love them. Originally from Western New York, Lauren now lives in Queens with her stand-up-comic husband. She loves karaoke, cake, and the Adirondack Mountains, where her series takes place.

Wild Love by Lauren Accardo, out now!

A down-on-her-luck city girl searches for new purpose among the shelves of a failing bookstore in the quaint town of Pine Ridge, New York—until a forbidden love tempts her to go off-book.

When life sets fire to your happily ever after, you ditch your cheating boyfriend, trade in the city life for the off-the-grid seclusion of your mother’s bookstore in the mountains…and try to resist your attraction to the brooding town mechanic you accidentally got into a fender bender with outside the local bar. Sydney Walsh might be falling head over heels for the romance novels she’s stocking up to rebuild The Loving Page, but she has no delusions about actually starring in one. That chapter has closed.

Beneath Sam Kirkland’s gruff mountain-man exterior lies a gentle heart and a burning desire for the woman he knows he can’t have. He’s made promises that anchor him to the past, making romance off-limits. And he accepted that—until Sydney came crashing into his life.

Sam can’t do a relationship right now. Sydney doesn’t have the wherewithal to believe in one. But when you meet the right person, the wrong circumstances don’t matter. Even when the world seems to be doing its best to keep them apart, their real, one-of-a-kind love is worth fighting for.

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