Love triangles are one of romance’s favorite themes. I know that halve the books I read use this trope. Today, author Tiffany A. Snow is joining us to celebrate Valentine’s Day and love triangles, so please help me give her a warm welcome.
Love triangles. They’ve been around forever – in literature, movies and real life. I adore love triangles (except the real life ones – my heart still breaks for Brad and Jen). Seldom do I get as worked up as when I’m debating the merits of Eric versus Bill (Eric all the way) or Damon versus Stefan (Dalena, anyone?). As a romance reader, love triangles produce strong feelings and attachments, which may be why we love them so much.
Seeing as how I have such a fondness for love triangle, it will come as no surprise that there is one in my Kathleen Turner Series. Book one, NO TURNING BACK, introduces the characters – Kathleen Turner, Blane Kirk and Kade Dennon. However, it’s not until the end of NO TURNING BACK that you can see the hint of a possible triangle. I love spending lots of time with characters, developing who they are and their relationships to one another, so in Book two, TURN TO ME (to be released on 4/24/12), we see Kathleen’s relationships with both Blane and Kade grow deeper and more complex. After all, how are you going to know which “Team” to be on unless you get to know both men??
Below are five of my favorite love triangles. I’m sure all or most of them are going to be familiar, but let’s rehash the details anyway, what with Valentine’s Day coming up and all.
5. Les Misérables – Éponine Thénardier, Marius Pontmercy, Cosette
Les Mis is my favorite musical of all time. I am embarrassed to say I’ve never read the book, but can quote (and sing) the musical by heart (I’ll have you know that I think my impression of Gavroche is spot-on). We meet Cosette as the poor, orphaned little girl awfully abused by the Thénardiers who coddle their spoiled daughter, Éponine. But Cosette gets the last laugh when Marius Pontmercy falls in love with her. Marius is oblivious to the fact that his good friend Éponine is hopelessly in love with him. Ah the “friend” box – we’ve all been there, haven’t we? Poor Éponine is shot while delivering a letter to Cosette from Marius and dies in his arms, confessing that she doesn’t mind dying, so long as he’s there holding her. *sob* Pack your bags, Marius, you’re going on a Guilt Trip. Of course, guilt doesn’t last long in fiction and Marius and Cosette marry and ostensibly live happily ever after.
(A footnote – Hollywood is once again putting Les Mis on the big screen, slated to be released Dec. 12, 2012 with Amanda Seyfried as Cosette and Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. Marking my calendar now.)
4. The Phantom of the Opera – The Phantom, Christine Daaé, and the Vicomte de Chagny
3. Gone with the Wind – Rhett Butler, Scarlet O’Hara and Ashley Wilkes
I read Gone with the Wind when I was eleven, and even at that young age I wanted to slap some sense into Scarlett. Anyone with half a brain could see that rich, successful, debonair, swashbuckling Rhett Butler was a much better catch than that insipid excuse for a man Ashley Wilkes. Honestly, if they’d had “Team Rhett” and “Team Ashley” paraphernalia back in 1936, I’m betting Rhett would have outsold Ashley fifty to one. This is a rare type of triangle – the kind where the heroine ends up with neither hero. Of course, by the time we reach the end of Gone with the Wind, we are well aware of Scarlett’s character and tenacity, thus her resolve to win back Rhett eases the part of us that just wants to say “WTF?! I read that whole book and there’s no HEA?!!”
2. Casablanca – Rick Blaine, Ilsa Lund, and Victor Lazslo
What movie first comes to mind when you say “romance?” For me, it’s Casablanca. The always-breathtaking Ingrid Bergman opposite Hollywood bad-boy Humphrey Bogart, what’s not to love? Believing her husband to be dead when Ilsa meets Rick in Paris, she embarks on a love affair with him. When Paris falls to the Germans, Rick makes plans for them to flee. Unfortunately, that’s when she discovers that her husband isn’t dead after all. Oops. All three of them wind up in Casablanca where Rick is a hard, cold man – disillusioned and cynical. Ilsa is torn between the two of them – a fact her husband never realizes.
Watching Ingrid Bergman work her way past Bogart’s defenses is entrancing. They decide to escape Casablanca together, Ilsa choosing Rick over Victor, but at the last moment, Rick concedes, forcing Ilsa to leave with Victor. Gallant and wise, Rick knows that Ilsa would eventually come to regret her decision, regret choosing him over Victor, and does the only thing he can. It’s heartbreaking to see Rick watch as Ilsa flies away with Victor, leaving him forever. Which scene of course then reminds me of another of the greatest romance movies of all time, When Harry Met Sally. Sally is quite sure that Ingrid Bergman doesn’t want to stay and be married to “some guy who runs a bar,” but would rather be First Lady of Czechoslovakia, after all, “Women are very practical, even Ingrid Bergman, which is why she gets on the plane at the end of the movie.”
1. Twilight Saga – Edward Cullen, Bella Swan and Jacob Black
Arguably what has become the most well known love triangle in current times, the Twilight Saga brought a whole new level of fan obsession to the genre. I don’t think I need to explain the details, and some may disagree with placing Twilight at the top of the list, but I would contend that more has been talked and written about this triangle than the rest on this list combined. I don’t think it’s the most well done of love triangles (I mean come on, did anyone really think Jacob had even a fighting chance??), but the level at which Jacob, Edward and Bella entered popular lexicon and culture is staggering, producing a uniformly acknowledged meaning to the term “Team Insert-Name-Here.” As an author myself, I can only tip my hat in admiration to Stephanie Meyers and her enormous good fortune.
So what will the next big love triangle be that captures our imaginations and unleashes the inner romantic? No one knows. But I think it’s a safe bet that love triangles will never lose their appeal.
Did I miss your favorite love triangle? Be sure to leave it in the comments. Five commenters will receive FREE copies of my debut novel, NO TURNING BACK, so be sure to leave your email for me! Thanks for reading!
Be sure to visit my website, www.TiffanyASnow.com, for a preview of the second novel in the Kathleen Turner Series, TURN TO ME, which will be out on April 24th. Currently, NO TURNING BACK is on sale for only $1.99 for both the Nook and Kindle versions! You can download the first two chapters of NO TURNING BACK for FREE by clicking here.
- One winner gets one signed copy of No Turning Back by Tiffany A. Snow (US only).
- 4 Winners get an e-copy of No Turning Back by Tiffany A. Snow (International)
- Comments must respond to Tiffany’s question about your favorite love triangle and leave a valid email address.
- Contest ends on 02/17/12.
- Winners will be chosen using random.org and announced here and via email and will have 72 hours to respond.
After the death of her parents, Kathleen Turner leaves small town life for Indianapolis to pursue her dreams the best she can. Young and alone in the world, she works as a lowly Runner at the prestigious law firm of Gage, Kirk and Trent and bartends at night to make ends meet. Her ignominious introduction to Blane Kirk, partner in the firm and local playboy, has her diving under desks to avoid him. Unfortunately, when her friend is murdered and attempts are made on her own life she doesn’t know where to turn – except to Blane.
Kathleen’s journey begins in the halls of justice where she finds not everyone is as they seem and what you don’t know can get you killed. Though a far cry from her Midwestern upbringing, she poses as a prostitute in the intriguing circles of high-priced escort services in a reckless bid to uncover the murderer. Little does she know that the murder of her friend was only a small part in a high-tech plan to rig an online election. She must race against the clock in a desperate ploy to sabotage the scheme in a dangerous game of political espionage.
In No Turning Back, Kathleen struggles to bring a killer to justice, even if it may be the man with whom she’s falling in love.
Tiffany Snow. June 10, 2011.