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For Better, For Worse by Guest Blogger Rachael Johns

When I got asked to blog at Everybody Needs a Little Romance, I tried to think of what romance means to me. Chocolates? Flowers? Late night strolls on a hot summer’s night? A surprise weekend away?

All these things are absolutely lovely and I’d be the first to accept them gleefully, but I think true romance is often a lot harder to see. I guess to me Romance co-exists with True Love. It might not be gushy or obvious but it is always there between two people who truly love each other.

And I think the most romantic thing in the world is when someone stands by their partner when it would be far easier to walk away. For this reason the most romantic part of the traditional wedding vows in my opinion are the lines that say, “For better, for worse, in sickness and in health.”

A while back there was an email forward doing the rounds about a VERY young couple who were engaged. The female was in the final stages of cancer but they both still wanted to get married. They did and she died five days later. THAT is romantic.

I read an article in a magazine a while back about a woman who couldn’t have sex. She had been married for five years before her and her husband had their “wedding” night, medically assisted. THAT is romantic.

Another article I read last week was about a 26-year-old woman who aged forty years in the course of a few days due to an illness. Her young, good-looking husband said he still loved her and desired her and would stay with her, despite her looking more like his grandmother. THAT is romantic.

And although it has been done loads, one of my favourite scenes in romance novels is when the hero or heroine are looking after the other one while they are sick. To take care of someone when they are ill is ROMANTIC to me.  🙂

In ONE PERFECT NIGHT, Cameron realises he’s getting in deep with Peppa when he hears she is home from work sick. Instinctively he goes to her and takes care of her. It’s one of my favourite scenes and I’d like to share an excerpt with you:

“What are you doing?” Penelope met him in the hallway with a major scowl on her face and her hands pulling tightly on the tie of her robe.

She looked washed out, her hair hung limply about her shoulders and her eyes were bloodshot but she didn’t sound sick. She sounded pissed off. Strangely, she was still beautiful.

“I came to see how you were.” He held up the abundance of medication and the ginger ale. “I talked to a pharmacist and he said, depending on your symptoms, there should be something here that can offer relief.”

She rolled her eyes and sighed. “Well, since you’re here, I suppose you’d better come in.”

As she was sick, and adorable, he ignored her insolent tone and followed her into the living room. She gestured to the couch. “Take a seat. I’ll be right back.”

He sat in a spot still warm from her body and while she went off to do whatever it was she had to do, he unloaded his quick fixes onto the coffee table and spread out the DVDs.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. In the bathroom Peppa forced herself to breathe. Before her the positive pregnancy test still languished on the vanity. She scooped it up, spun half a roll of toilet paper around it and then shoved it to the bottom of her bin. She placed a hand against her chest hoping to regulate her hyperactive heart.

What was he doing here? More to the point how was she supposed to sit alongside him and make small talk knowing what she did? That his baby was—hopefully—blossoming inside her. Deciding to simply take it one minute at a time, she changed into her velour tracksuit pants and a baggy T-shirt. She glanced in the mirror, noting that her dire outfit had nothing on the state of her face and hair. Perhaps he’d be scared away by her ghastly appearance.

Yet, when she walked back into the living room the sight of Cameron leaning back against the couch, his shoes discarded on the floor and what looked to be a chemist shop laid out on her coffee table, suggested he was here to stay.

Deep, deep down she couldn’t be disappointed.

I hope you enjoyed the extract and I’d love you to share with me what your definition of true romance is.

Thanks to the girls at Everybody Needs A Little Romance for having me today.


Peppa Grant’s fellow employees may call their new CEO Mr. McSexy, but she’s also heard that he’s aloof and distant. Cameron McCormac certainly seems cold toward Christmas when she meets him at the company’s annual party…but he’s also the sexiest man Peppa has ever seen. And when he offers to forgive the damage she accidentally caused to his expensive car in exchange for accompanying him to his family’s holiday get-together, she agrees.

Cameron needs a date to the family party to get his matchmaking relatives off his back. Their chemistry is instant and undeniable, leading to an incredible one-night stand. But Peppa wants love and family, while Cameron’s only interested in temporary pleasure. When their relationship takes an unexpectedly serious turn, will he run the other way—or will he give love a second chance?

Purchase One Perfect Night from Carina Press | Amazon


Thank you so much, Rachael, for your beautiful definition of romance! Readers, you can find Rachael around the web at the following links:

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Website


24 Responses

  1. Rach! Fabulous post. I’m with you about the being sick thing. That is a fab scene from One Perfect Night – Cameron is so sweet :). Another one I love is the scene in You’ve Got Mail when he goes and sees her when she’s sick – she hates him but he brings her daisies and makes her tea. So romantic. Sigh. Great post!

  2. It’s so true that love shows when the chips are down. It’s easy to be romantic when times are easy, but much harder (and more precious) when the going is rough. Love the excerpt.

  3. Absolutely wonderful post, Rachael. Full of truisms and an eloquent reflection of the nature of love. Great stuff.

  4. Great post. Having suffered lots of morning sickness I came to appreciate my hubby’s true love… Yuk! I love that scene too!

  5. I agree. When the hero steps up and show his nurturing side, it makes me (and the heroine, of course) all gooey inside!

    Did you ever see You’ve Got Mail? One of the sweetest scenes is when Tom Hanks shows up at Meg Ryan’s door when she’s sick.

    When I had a total knee replacement, I was on some serious pain med for 2-3 weeks. I don’t remember much but I remember my husband moving the bed so I could do my leg exercises on the wall. I remember loads of meals, clean clothes, clean dishes, etc. He had no help…he could have. My mother would have been there. My friends would have been there but he told everyone we were fine.. and we were. Yeah. That’s romance

  6. Awesome post, Rachael! LOVE the excerpt!

    The You’ve Got Mail scene is a good one. I also love the scene in The Proposal where Ryan Reynolds is on the floor and Sandra Bullock is in the bed telling him that she got her tattoo after her parents died. It was very understated, but still a very moving moment.

  7. I’m so glad to finally see some romance back in romance novels! Hopping into bed for a rousing tumble only works when a couple overcomes obstacles instead of simply giving in to lust.

    A few years ago, I twisted my ankle bad enough that I couldn’t put any weight on it for a week. Every morning my hubby made coffee and handed me a perfectly doctored cup after I settled on the sofa. My hubby HATES coffee so much that the smell nauseates him, and yet he made coffee for me. Now that’s romance.

  8. looks like we’ve got some new visitors to the blog today! Welcome ladies! Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. Come back often!

  9. I love the excerpt! What a great guy.

    These days, my definition of romance is the nights my husband takes care of dinner – burgers on the grill or pizza – because I’m busy writing. So much better than a whole room full of flowers.

  10. Hi Helen – I LOVE that scene in You’ve Got Mail – in fact, I really should watch that movie again 🙂

    Hi Coleen – ain’t that the truth. And thanks for liking the excerpt!

    Thanks Cathryn 🙂

    Hi Bec, your hubby sounds like a HERO!!

    Hi Cynthia – I reckon you’ve got another Hero keeper there!

    OH Aimee – I loved that scene! Another movie I should re-watch in all that spare time I have – lol!

    Hi Margaret – I’m with your hubby. Coffee is YUK, but he sounds rather lovely 🙂

    Hi Julia – I SO hear ya!!Amazing how much romance changes when kids enter the equation!!

  11. Aww. I’m a sucker for the sick-love scenes, too. Jill Shalvis has two different books where her hero gets shot and makes adorable confessions while doped up on pain medication. Those are cute, too.

  12. Yay, someone else who doesn’t like coffee! 😉 I love your definitions of romance, Rachael. Cards, and flowers, and jewelry are nice–really, really nice!–but even better are the gestures that really mean something. Being there when it counts.

    Thanks for joining us on ENLR today!

  13. Welcome, Rachael! And, man, that was beautiful! I, too, agree that there’s something sweet about a man taking care of a woman and loving her in this way.

    I remember after I had my first child. I had a c-section, and all I wanted to do once they got me up and about was to take a shower. But it hurt like a b**ch to move. My husband and I were in the military and totally alone until my mom came three days later. He sent the baby to the nursery, helped me undress, stripped down to his undies, and put me in the shower. I sat in his lap while he washed my hair and bathed me. Good gravy, it still makes me cry to think about it. He probably doesn’t even realize what that meant to me because I was a puffy, yucky post-partum mess, but it was probably the most romantic thing he ever did for me. I don’t think I’ve ever shared that moment, but it seemed fitting since we’re talking about true love.

    Congrats on the book. Sounds brilliant and I’m off to look for it on my kindle later 🙂

  14. Welcome to the blog and what a lovely post! I sat with my then boyfriend-now husband when he had a stomach bug. couple years later he said that’s when he knew he loved me.

  15. So glad you joined us today, Rachael! Loved your post and the book sounds great! Congratulations!! 🙂 I knew my hubby was a keeper when I ended up getting the chicken pox 3 weeks after we started dating and he didn’t run for the hills. I had just turned 21 the weekend before. What a great BD present. I mean my hubby, not the chicken pox. LOL

  16. Thanks for turning out, everyone, to comment and hide the fact that I was away from the computer all day. 😦 Sorry, Rach!

    I agree with all of you, and had plenty of “awww!” and teary moments reading your stories.

    My brother had just broken up with a long-term girlfriend and said he didn’t want to date anyone seriously for a while, when he met my now-SIL. Shortly after they started dating, her father got sick and died. He knew, going through the travel, the grief, all the horrible challenges, that they were in it for the long haul. Far more of a true test than superficial flowers/chocolates/jewelry—though the reasons behind those can be good, too. 🙂

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