Real Life Romance by Jessica Ruddick

Note from Åsa: Our guest today is Young Adult and Romance author Jessica Ruddick. I first met Jessica when we were both 2014 Golden Heart finalist. She is as smart as she is pretty, and super fun. We both just got back from the Sun in the Fun conference that takes place on a cruise. Jessica’s husband traveled with her and I can attest to him being swoon-worthy. 😉

Here’s Jessica’s take on love in the real world.

Wouldn’t life be nice if it were like a Nicholas Sparks novel or movie? (Minus all the people dying, of course.) The passion, the emotion, the romance.

I recently ran across a video (courtesy of Cosmopolitan Magazine) that has male models saying the most romantic lines ever written in the most romantic location imaginable—in front of a roaring fire.

Was it all you hoped it would be and more?

To tell you the truth, I was kind of skeezed out by the whole thing. At times it’s downright creepy. Because here’s the thing—real life romance often looks very different than it does in the movies. And even though I’m a romance author, I’ll admit it—real life romance is often very different than the romance found in novels.

I’ve been married ten years, and my idea of romance is different than it was fifteen years ago. Don’t get me wrong—surprise flowers are still nice, but I’d prefer my husband took the time to fold a load of laundry. Think about it—in the amount of time it would take him to drive to Wal-Mart for the flowers, he could fold one, maybe two loads of laundry.

Sounds kinda lame, doesn’t it? It might be lame, but it’s real.

Romance novels are great because they provide an escape from everyday life. I need that escape; I crave that escape. Sometimes that escape is the only glue keeping me and my sanity together. But that doesn’t mean what’s in those books is always realistic. I’ve read my fair share of romance novels, and from the best I can recall, there wasn’t a single load of laundry in any of them. So who’s doing it? I know the hero and heroine aren’t walking around in dirty underwear.

Real life romance is finding a partner who will battle life’s obstacles with you, whether that obstacle is getting through a child’s emergency eye surgery or making sure the mortgage gets paid every month or yes—even wading through those mountains of dirty laundry. Those are the things real life is made of.

So Cosmo can keep their roaring fire. Give me a man who will be my partner in life, and I’ll swoon every time.

About Jessica:

JessicaRuddickBooks have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have fond memories of spending Sunday afternoons at the library and leaving with a bag full of books. The written word has had such a positive impact in my life, and I hope my writing can affect readers the same way.

I earned my B.A. in English from Virginia Tech and loved academia so much I went on to earn my M.A. in English literature. It was during my graduate program that I started teaching college freshman and my career path was set. I now teach high school English and the occasional college course in Southeastern Virginia where I live with my husband and two sons.

I write young adult, new adult, and romance fiction. I am a member of several chapters of RWA®, including Virginia Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance Writers, and the Golden Network. I currently serve as secretary for YARWA, the young adult chapter of RWA. My new adult manuscript, LETTING GO, is a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist. My young adult novel, BIRTHRIGHT, is the winner of the 2014 Maggie award and the 2014 Put Your Heart in a Book contest.

I am represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.


About Asa Maria Bradley

2016 Double RITA finalist, romance author, news junkie, physics instructor, and diver. Loves Norse mythology, ranch dressing, and cop shows. Lives with husband and rescue dog of indeterminate breed in Pacific Northwest. Represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Writers about sexy modern-day Vikings. More at and @AsaMariaBradley.

Posted on February 17, 2015, in Auth: Asa Maria Bradley, Auth: Special Guest, Real-Life Romance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I can see you have a practical heart, which is truly lovely and will keep you too together. I had a friend once who told her fiancee she did NOT want an engagement ring. The reason? She said: “All I could do was think that every time I looked at that diamond I could have had a new refrigerator instead.”


  2. Ha! Love this post, Jessica! I’ve been married 10 years, too, and my heart flutters every time I see my hubby handle the laundry, dishes, etc, etc. So looking forward to reading your debut!

    *Waving* to my Cheeto chum, Åsa!


  3. I love this! And now I’m totally writing a hero folding laundry into a book!


  4. What a wonderful post. Now I’m on a quest to find a romance novel that has a laundry scene 🙂


  5. Yep, the hot guys were kind of creepy. But when some of those lines were delivered by the actors in those movies, I totally bought them. Westley as the Dread Pirate Roberts? Yes!
    Totally agree though that real romance is showing up every day and doing the stuff of real life. My husband figured out a long time ago that I’m more responsive after he’s done stuff around the house than if he steps over the laundry to get a kiss. Or anything else.


  6. Jessica – you are so right!


  7. Nothing says, “I love you” like an empty sink, a loaded dishwasher, and a clean toilet.

    Dirty underwear. *squick*

    I’m with you, though. I don’t care as much about the fancy words or the jewelry and flowers (though it’s nice, and chocolate is always welcome). I prefer he let me sleep in on a weekend or distract the kids so I can have some quiet writing time. That’s romance.


  8. ” I know the hero and heroine aren’t walking around in dirty underwear.” SO funny! And true. Who IS doing that laundry?? I agree with you Jessica– real life romance wouldn’t be very romantic if your life partner ignored the practical things that needed to be done in the house (leaving them all to you) but brought you flowers. We’d probably come to hate flowers if that were the case. Lovely post. I’m sharing!


    • Thanks, Amy. I’ve always wondered about the practical things in books. For instance, have you ever noticed that heroines rarely put on make-up? Or shower? I find it hard to believe those things aren’t happening!


      • I always wonder why they don’t have to pee as soon as they wake up. Most people do. It would be much more realistic if they had a quick pit stop before they start their morning sexy times. 🙂


  9. I agree with you–this was funny in a sleazy sort of way.The guys weren’t that hot and the lines were hokey the way they delivered them. I’m still a fan of real life romance–the intense and sizzling kind that happens now and then in a long term marriage. It’s also wonderful to have a man cherish you when you have the flu, had a bad day or just feel sad. That’s the real HEA.


    • Hi Lark,
      Thanks for stopping by! I agree that the guys weren’t that hot. Maybe if Thor…um, I mean Chris Hemsworth were saying these lines, it’d be a little different. Then again, he could read to me out of the dictionary, and I’d be mesmerized.


  10. Great post, Jessica! I absolutely agree!!


  11. I agree! I saw that video and was not turned on at all! And, leave the flowers…all they do is die and drop leaves (which you have to clean up). Give me a man who’ll clean the kitchen any day!


    I get your point, and totally agree with Julie above, but…can’t I have both? The perfect hubby AND a shirtless guy’s throaty voice making my heart beat a whole lot faster? 🙂


  13. Jessica – those guys with the lines….too funny. And, I agree with you, real romance is the man who brings you chicken soup when you’re sick, ignores the hole in your utterly unflattering but incredibly comfortable bathrobe, and picks up the reins when you’re too tired to hold them – all while wearing clean underwear.


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