Isabel Cooper loves to read about unlikely partnerships between book characters, even if she doesn't exactly like these pairings in real life. Today on the NOOK Blog, she discusses the unique relationship she created between a half-human, half-dragon Scottish Highland Laird and a diminuitive, London-bred secretary in her newest paranormal romance, Legend of the Highland Dragon.
I always hated it, in school, when teachers would make us move our desks around and be in groups with new people. I figured, first of all, it was none of their business whether we got to know each other or not, and second, please. By the middle of the year, I’d made all the friends I was going to. (And in morning classes, I wasn’t inclined to be friends with anyone, including people I already knew and loved. At 8 AM, I hate the entire population of Earth.) Forcing people to work together doesn’t do anything but annoy them!
Except, I love reading about exactly that. Unlikely partnerships, arranged marriages, people stuck in prison or elevators together, forming a team and ending up friends or even more: it’s a favorite trope of mine. Maybe it’s because I’m a New England introvert and *don’t* talk to strangers under normal circumstances. Maybe it’s because pressure, danger, or just unexpected situations let you discover more about yourself and the people you’re around. Forced proximity may be a pain in real life, but in fiction, at least, it creates a lot of opportunities.
So, when I was working out the plot for Legend of the Highland Dragon, I jumped at the chance to have my hero and heroine unwillingly sharing a house and a mission. Stephen doesn’t want a mortal girl wandering around his house or sharing his life, particularly when she has her own ideas about how to handle their predicament and doesn’t back down easily. Mina has plans for her life, and they don’t include being stuck with an arrogant Scottish lord who’s not even fully human. Neither of them are happy—but they’re grown-ups, so they work it out and, in the process, end up falling for each other.
Maybe that means my teachers had a point after all. Just…not before noon. Never before noon.
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