THE ROMANCE OF A ROOM ADDITION

What is the most romantic room in a home?  In our romance stories, it’s quite often the bedroom where the romance actually physically happens.  Other rooms in our characters’ homes are romantic and meaningful to the hero and heroine for various reasons as well.

 The room I think of as most romantic is one that doesn’t exist yet:  the room addition.

 How can adding on a room be romantic?  Okay, first of all, let’s remember this IS make- believe! In real life, home construction or remodeling projects will cause the topic of divorce to be introduced into the loving couple’s conversation at some point.  Over and over.

 Two short rollers and a can of paint in a bathroom can break a marriage faster than an overdrawn bank account.  But come with me to the world of fiction—historical fiction—where women are heroines and men are heroes…and the announcement of “needing another room” is a joyous occasion, and not just another “honey-do.”

 The addition of a room most generally heralds the impending arrival of a baby, or the growth of the young family in some way.  Because cabins were so small and were generally put up as quickly as possible to provide a more permanent shelter for a family, improvements often had to wait until time, weather, or supplies permitted.

 In our historical romances, our heroes are always eager to do whatever is necessary to provide the best possible quarters for their families.  You’ll never hear them say, “I’ll do it when the playoffs are over.”

 All joking aside, I believe we find the room addition romantic for several reasons, the most obvious one being that our heroine is pregnant and there needs to be a room for the little one the couple has created.  Most women can relate to that maternal instinct of preparing a safe, warm place for their baby to sleep.

 The second reason a room addition is romantic, is that the hero is actually building something with his skill, knowledge and love to provide for his growing family.  It’s his answer to the heroine’s maternal need.  Generally, the delivery of the news that a baby is on the way and discussion of the room addition is a shock to the hero, but not an unwelcome one.  It transitions him from “husband” to “family man” and gives him the opportunity to “show his stuff.”  He proves himself by his reaction to the news.  The action he takes toward following through with the reality of building on shows the heroine (and the reader) that he is our “dream man.”

 The family unit, complete, is probably the most romantic reason of all.  The room addition shows the reader that the heroine and hero have matured, grown in their love for one another and are able to look toward the future as a family unit now.  In the child to come, they will see themselves and one another, and will risk everything for the safety, comfort and protection of that child.

 And it all starts with…the addition of the extra bedroom for the new life they’ve created.

 In the following excerpt from FIRE EYES, Jessica gives Kaed the news that they’re going to be needing a nursery.  This is an especially poignant moment because of Kaed’s past, and what it means to him personally.  He’s being given a second chance—one he wasn’t sure he wanted, but now is desperate to hold onto.

FROM FIRE EYES:

  “Looks like we gave up our bed.” Kaed’s gaze rested on Frank and the two girls. Nineteen. God, he looked so young, like a boy, as he slept, all the lines of worry around his eyes erased. Nineteen. I remember nineteen. Just didn’t understand until now how young it really is.

“Twice now.” Jessica’s voice called him from his thoughts. She grinned and nodded toward where Tom lay talking to Harv. “Maybe by this time tomorrow morning we’ll get lucky,” she whispered, reaching up to kiss his cheek.

“Neither one of us is going to ‘get lucky,’ in any respect, until everyone’s gone,” he grumbled softly, letting go a frustrated sigh. “One thing’s for sure. When everything settles down around here, I’m gonna add on a bedroom. With a door that shuts.”

Jessica was quiet for a moment, then very softly she said, “Better make that two.”

“Two bedrooms?”

“Uh-huh. Ours, and a nursery.”

Kaed nodded. “For Lexi.”

“And the new baby.”

His gaze arrowed to hers.

Our baby, Kaed.”

The blood rushed through his ears, pounding at his temples. Nothing existed but the woman standing in his strong embrace, her love washing over him in warm waves as her eyes sparkled into his.

“Jessi.” The words he’d spoken to her the day he left came back to haunt him. I just hope that maybe we got lucky. Maybe it didn’t take.

But it had. And damn if he didn’t feel like the luckiest man alive. A baby. He read the unasked question in her expression, and he bent to kiss her. To reassure her. To let her know a family was what he needed and wanted. He felt her relax beneath his hands.

“I told you I was working my way through it, Jess,” he whispered against her cheek. “I’ll be a good father.”

Tears rose in her eyes. She nodded, her hair soft against his stubbled beard. “You’ll be the best.”

“Better than I was before, that’s for sure.” The words slipped out before he could stop them. He took a deep, jagged breath as Jessica finally dared to meet his eyes. He looked away, his gaze wandering about the small cabin, finally returning to lock with Jessica’s.

“I can appreciate what I’ve got this time, Jessi. I took it for granted the first time, and I lost it. I won’t let that happen again.”

Jessica shook her head. “Promise—” she began, but he tilted her face up, putting his lips to hers once more in a gentle, reassuring kiss.

“I’ll never let you go, Jessi. And I’ll never hurt you. I want what we talked about, the family, the farm, maybe a ranch.” He stopped and moistened his lips that had suddenly gone dry. “But most of all, I want you.” He glanced across the room at Tom, who gave him a fleeting grin. After a moment, he returned his gaze to the fathomless pools of Jessica’s eyes. “None of it means anything without the woman I love, Jessica. You. Yes, I promise, sweetheart. I promise everything.”

Travis leaned against the kitchen doorjamb, fresh coffee in hand. “Guess we’d better start beating the bushes for a preacher-man, boys. Get it done up legal and right for Miss Jessi while Kaed’s in this mood. I never seen him like this. Never heard him talk so serious.” He took a drink of his coffee, his green eyes mischievous above the rim of his cup. “I do believe he means it, Miss Jessi.”

I hope you enjoyed this post and excerpt.  Do you have any experience with a “romantic” room in your house?  I’d love to hear about it! 

 These gorgeous covers are from my novel, FIRE EYES, available at:

http://thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=534&zenid=bbb2b42b9ad603f1802c0800fac01b38

and a new Valentine anthology from VICTORY TALES PRESS called A VALENTINE COLLECTION, available here.

http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com/online-store.php

  My story, “A HEART FOR A HEART”, is a contemporary about a single young woman who is a tutor.  When one of her young Indian students, Cory Tiger, loses his parents in a tragic automobile accident, she steps in to be his foster mother. But the night before he is to become her ward, his uncle, Sam, returns from his military service in Iraq to claim him.  Here’s the blurb:

 A Heart for a Heart by Cheryl Pierson – Kiera takes Cory into her home, but when his uncle returns from military duty he wants to take over. Can  they work this out for?

Cheryl Pierson
A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work: http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here: fabkat_edit@yahoo.com
Follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.pierson.92
http://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules

23 Comments

  1. Oh… I love the cover of Fire Eyes! AND the story is intriquing!

  2. hi Connie!

    I love that cover too! When I first got the proof of it, my computer settings were too dark to see the marshal at the bottom on the right hand side. One of my good friends commented about the marshal and I was asking her, “WHERE?” LOL A lot of people think the woman on the front is my daughter, who is also named Jessica. The older my Jessica gets, the more they resemble one another…hmmm, I think there is a story in there somewhere! LOL Thanks so much for your comments!
    Cheryl

  3. This made me think of a Little House on the Prairie episode where Pa built on to their tiny ‘little house’. I think he added a kitchen.

    Now THAT was romantic.

    Mary

  4. Mary,
    SIGH…Little House on the Prairie was very romantic, I thought–not just because of Michael Landon, though the Good Lord knows he was enough to make me want to turn it on every week, but because he loved his family so much and truly treasured them. He really brought that character to life, didn’t he?
    Cheryl

  5. Cheryl,
    Fire Eyes was a great story. There’s always something romantic when the heroine tells the hero a baby’s on the way.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Smiles
    Steph

  6. I’m a sucker for the neer-do-well hero who gets his come to Jesus moment when the girl he wants and didn’t realize he could have tells him they’ve made a new life. And more often than not, in historicals, he finds out when she says they need to add on a room. 🙂

    And Cheryl, there are no words to adequately describe what I think when I see the Fire Eyes cover: arresting, beautiful, stunning… I get a little glow inside just seeing it. Kim hit the jackpot for you with that cover!

  7. Hey Steph!
    Thank you for coming over and commenting–I know you are really busy right now with a new release of your own! Yes, you’re right–there is always something really romantic about that and how it “hits” the hero–that slices away at their “armor” no matter how tough they might be. LOL
    Cheryl

  8. LOL JOYCE–You crack me up with the “come to Jesus moment” comment. Yep, because in Fire Eyes, Kaed had said something before he left that really hurt Jessica to the effect that “maybe we’ll get lucky and it didn’t ‘take'”–so this is the double whammy for him because he’s had time to think about almost losing her to Fallon, and what that would have meant with the news she’s just given him.

    Joyce, thank you so much for the kind words about the cover for Fire Eyes. I love that cover, too. It was just perfect for the story.

    Thanks for coming over and commenting!
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

  9. Ahhhh, Cheryl. I remember this scene so well when Kaed learned he was to be a daddy. It’s written so well, and your intro into it was very good.
    Yes, any kind of building onto a house or remodeling have caused many a divorce–or close, anyways. But I have a story about building a house–so now….you’ve given me a topic for a blog! Nicely done, my friend. As usual. Celia

  10. Avatar

    Great excerpt.
    You are so right about remodeling and additions. We bought a Victorian farmhouse that needed gutting and redoing. That was almost 19 years ago and we are still working on it. Life got in the way more than once to slow us down. Then of course there if the fact that you just get tired of working on it and playing musical boxes and musical rooms. We did pretty well over the years and divorce never came up even once. It is just now that we are almost done and I have a house full of boxes and stuff that things are getting tense. There is too much stuff (we have had 3 households added to our stuff) and not enough room for it all. Sorting isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

    Most romantic room – any room I can walk through without
    tripping over boxes or a pile of books : )

    Thanks for a fun post.

  11. Hey Celia!
    Thank you so much for popping in and commenting. And thanks for your kind words about Fire Eyes! I tell you, Gary and I truly cannot work on any kind of home projects together. You talk about fireworks. LOL We like completely opposite things. Glad I gave you a new blog topic. I love your blogs!
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

  12. Patricia,
    Why is it that we let our accumulation of stuff dictate our lives? My parents had a house that had about 3 rooms cleared out. The others had boxes all over them. A lifetime of things that they couldn’t bear to part with or give to the three of us girls. Things were very important to them, because they were both born and raised here in Oklahoma during the Depression years. I am following in their footsteps without meaning to. I ended up with a lot of their stuff when they passed away–family heirlooms such as china painting my mom did, pictures, etc. that would not mean anything to anyone else, but represent a lot of hard work and memories to me. My oldest sister is in a nursing home–I am now faced with going through her things and making decisions about what to give away or keep. On top of that, I have 2 kids that, although they’ve moved out, they aren’t at a place in their own lives where they can take a lot of “stuff”–so I have to store it for them. I know just exactly what you mean about the most romantic room being any room I can walk through without tripping over boxes or a pile of books (my office). Thanks so much for commenting! Here’s to 2011 being the year of downsizing.
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

  13. For me and dh, the most romantic room in the house is the kitchen. Don’t laugh! Some of our best memories are of trying new recipes and cooking special meals together. But the adding on thing? Absolutely “the right stuff” for our h/h’s.

  14. Tracy,

    I think the kitchen CAN be a very romantic room! I think it’s great they you and your dh cook together. Mine doesn’t know how to boil water. Of course, now that he’s retired, he’s all about watching the cooking shows on tv, so maybe he’ll be inspired.
    Cheryl

  15. I love this scene from Fire Eyes, Cheryl. It just makes me smile!

    For us it wasn’t the painting that nearly broke the marriage vows, but wallpapering the nursery. We had different opinions on how it should be done and by the time we pulled the “paper” off the wall 5 times to make sure it was 100% as straight as it could be, the paper stretched all out of shape.

    We will never wallpaper again!

    I enjoyed your post, my friend.

  16. Hi Maggie,

    Thank you so much for coming by and commenting, my dear friend. You are always so supportive, and I don’t know how in the world you find the time to do all you do.

    Oh, I would never in a million years ask my husband to help me wallpaper. NEVER. I got my kids to help me before I’d get him. “Honey, can you help Mommy put the paper on your walls? Yes, I know you are only three but I think you are tall enough if we get the step stool for you to stand on…” LOLLOL That was soooooooo me. I remember when Jessica was about 9 and I let her stay home from school one day to help me paint and paper the dining room. Years later I found a notebook she had written in…”Today was the best day of my life! My mom let me stay home from school and help her paint the wall and put up wallpaper! I loved it!” LOLLOL I am going to frame that someday.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Maggie!

    Hugs,
    Cheryl

  17. Cheryl, I loved this cover since the first time I saw it. Awesome! A great story with characters that jump off the page.

    Congratulations and mega sales.

  18. Hi Laurean!

    Thanks so much for coming over and commenting. I appreciate you. And thanks for your compliment on the cover of Fire Eyes–I was very fortunate to get that cover!

    Glad to see you over here!
    Cheryl

  19. Hi Cheryl!

    Great blog — and I agree with the others on the cover. Gorgeous!

  20. hi Kay!

    Thank you so much! I appreciate that!

    Cheryl

  21. Well, I never thought about a room addition as anything but hard work until now. A very unique and thoughtful blog, Cheryl.
    FIRE EYES was a wonderful story and has one of your ultimate villains in it. I love a villain that presents the hero with a mountain of trouble.
    Loved your blog and love your work.

  22. Hey Sarah,
    Thank you so much for popping over here, my dear friend. Well, I must say that Fallon did present Kaed with a huge mountain of trouble! Hmmm…seems all my villains do that to my heroes. But being the heroes they are…they manage. LOL I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog and thank you so much as always for the very kind words about my work, Sarah. You are one of my biggest fans.
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

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