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INSTALOVE, by Guest Blogger Lucianne Rivers

Lucianne Rivers“Instalove”—to coin a word; meaning instant love, or love at first sight.

Recently, a reader commented on the fact that due the short length of one of my novellas, having the two main characters fall in love within seventy-five pages can seem a lot like “instalove.” In other words (at least I derived this meaning from her comment)—too rushed.

Ah, what to do? I write novellas, and when I write, I draw from real life, and I’m an “instalove” kind of girl.

Let me describe what this phenomenon looks like in the real world:

Girl meets guy. Guy is hot. Guy pursues girl (usually). Girl goes out with guy a couple of times. If guy meets the following requirements, Girl is well on the way to being in love.

1) Guy knows how to kiss so Girl’s knees go weak (yes, knees DO go weak)

2) Guy can hold a conversation (this is vital, because it shows his willingness to talk about himself, and to listen to you)

3) Guy is responsive via text message (or let’s face it, Facebook…), arranges dates promptly, and is communicative via social media. A quick turn around here shows respect for Girl, which makes her feel safe, and loved

4) Guy expresses a wish to form a relationship with Girl, because otherwise he’s probably looking for someone to sleep with on a regular basis with no intention of creating any real intimacy or commitment, and we’ve all been there. It sucks

5) Guy is amazing in bed. I’m sorry, but there’s just no way to avoid mentioning this. Girl will be surprisingly vulnerable to Guy if he knows what to do here, and if he can best any other experience Girl has had in that department, all the better for Guy

So far Girl is pretty much in love with Guy.

And for the final piece of the “instalove” formula:

6) Guy expresses his admiration, devotion (I kid you not), and love for Girl

If numbers one through six are present on both sides, it doesn’t matter how long Girl and Guy have known one another, INSTALOVE is definitely possible.

We could argue this isn’t the type of love that lasts, that Girl and Guy don’t really know one another yet, and you’d be right. But you know what? So what? There’s plenty of time for measured, time-tested relating to occur between Girl and Guy. Meanwhile, can’t they just enjoy the passion and fun of “instalove?”

Well, you know what has my vote!


Lucianne writes sensual romance for Entangled Publishing and Cobblestone Press. Born and raised in Ireland, she currently lives in New Mexico with her young daughter. Formerly a stage and television actress, she now manages a non-profit and is NM State Champion in her weight class for Olympic-style weightlifting. Long story.

Hold MeHold Me

Still reeling from her mother’s death, news anchor Jane Caldwell’s life is upended further when she learns the father she lost twenty years ago is still alive. Her mother’s will unleashes a manhunt—the Caldwell sisters must find their father, or their mother’s estate will not be settled, and their questions about his disappearance will remain unanswered.

Jane’s search leads her to Guatemala to investigate a man who claims to be her father and heir to the family fortune. Needing a translator, she enlists enigmatic Harrison DeNeuve, a sexy ex-patriot with a penchant for wearing dark sunglasses in public.

As Jane struggles to reunite with her would-be father, Harrison fights to suppress his desire for Jane. He has a secret—one he’s sequestered himself in a third-world jungle hideaway to keep safe—and falling for Jane puts more than his heart at risk.

Jane finds two men in Guatemala—a father and a lover—but can she trust either of them?

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Thrill MeThrill Me

Santa Fe Police Detective Margo Caldwell needs a vacation, but the wild goose chase her mother’s death triggers isn’t quite what she had in mind. Margo and her sisters must locate their father, or the Caldwell estate will remain unsettled—and they’ll never know why their father didn’t return from the Gulf War.

Pursuing a lead, Margo heads to the Virgin Islands in search of Zach Caldwell. To navigate the waters of the Caribbean, she needs a boat and a captain. Too bad Captain Adrian Prince, with his mesmerizing muscles and wicked grin, may be gunrunner.

Adrian takes Margo on his delivery route to small islands near St. Thomas that hide more than wildlife, booze, and sexy boaters. On a remote, mangrove-ridden patch of sand, they find guntoting Zach Caldwell. When their mission turns deadly, Margo must save Adrian’s life—and her own—even if she loses her heart in the process.

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16 Responses

  1. Welcome to ENLR! Glad to have you visit!

    Let’s face it. I read romance to fall in love over and over and over. I want to experience those feelings and sensations. I’ve read a couple of books where the “I Love You” felt forced, awkward, and just wrong. (The declaration came after 2 says of intense action.)

    However, I love novellas. I don’t have the time to read a 400 page book any more. I don’t have the patience either! So I have no problem with “Insta-love” when done well!

  2. Thanks Cynthia!! Me too. Life has become a constant battle to get everything done. Although I did just purchase COVER ME by Catherine Mann. I figure if I can’t get through a Catherine Mann novel, I’m in trouble. Like her a lot.

    Natalie and everyone at Everybody Needs A Little Romance–thanks for having me!!!

  3. I never had a problem with instalove when it’s well motivated. I agree with Cyndi about wanting to fall in love over and over. And in real life, people claim “love at first sight” all the time! 🙂

    Thanks for visiting us, Lucianne!

  4. Considering I went out with my husband for the first time on the 16th of August and knew by Labor Day I was going to marry the man, it’s a little hard for me to argue 🙂

  5. I echo Natalie and Cyndi’s comments. Instalove works for me if all the steps are there. And I love novellas because I can read them during my workout without getting stuck in a book for the rest of the day.

    Thanks for stopping by, Lucianne! I too am a fan of Catherine Mann. She writes active duty military really well, and I especially love that she writes about USAF characters since I have an affinity for men in blue (most notably my husband). Though I’m a bit miffed that she got her pararescue stories published before me. 😉

  6. Istalove works for me too! My story is similar to Kari’s. I met my husband in early September and knew he was the one for me by November. We married in May and I fall in love with him every day. (some more than others ; ) )

    I love novellas too. Yours just went on my TBR pile! I think I’ll start with HOLD ME. That is one gorgeous cover and I love the blurb.

  7. Welcome to the blog!

    I’m all for instalove and was dinged for it in one my novellas. I was like, but they’ve been dancing around their feelings for YEARS!!! yes, they were only together a week, but they loved each other before the story started and totally earned their quick marriage at the courthouse ending. *g*

  8. Instalove is great stuff when it happens like that — I’m certainly in favor. Whether instalove lasts in real life is another problem, but then real life is a different situation, isn’t it? One of the reasons I like romantic fiction better that “serious” fiction is that I know from the start that it will turn out well. From what I’ve read most recently (and over many years) you can guarantee that it all will turn out painfully for most if not all.

    For that I need a book? There are the newspapers, the tribulations of dear friends, etc. etc. etc.

    Go for it, is what I say. Long may instalove warm my heart!

  9. Sounds like nothing more than lust to me.

  10. Thanks for all your comments, I enjoyed reading them. Lust rocks…but isn’t very romantic. There’s no heart involved or intention to create something for the future with the other person when only lust is present. No opening for love to blossom. It certainly has its plus side, but it ain’t instalove…:) In my humble opinion.

  11. Intsta love is great for guys but I think it leaves most girls with an emotional hole…(most girls not all). The best part is right after the beginning of the relationship were the passion is burning hot and new..where you are not so uncomfortable as you are at the beginning but you are not yet too comfortable or bored.

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