Sunday, September 12, 2010
Animals Show Heart
I just finished reading a Lisa Kleypas novel titled LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON. I was struck by how much the animals in the story added to the characters, the plot, and the suspense. Being an animal lover myself, I related to the heroine and her empathy for animals. However, her knowledge about them far eclipsed mine.
In this romance, the heroine, Beatrix, feels more at home roaming the forest and helping hurt animals than dressed in her gowns and conversing in drawing rooms. But it was more than the heroine’s character that was proven by the animals in the story. In fact, the hero, Christopher, inherited a terrier mutt during a battle and was at a loss on how to control the animal. But the dog, Albert, eventually becomes a war hero himself, letting the reader see a reflection of the hero in the mangy but honorable canine. The many animals including a mule named Hector, Albert, Lucky the three-legged cat, a wild horse, a hedgehog and a goat, all have special roles to play that move the plot along and unbelievably help the hero and heroine fall in love.
I started thinking back to other romances I had read that had animals. Perhaps because I am an animal lover, I found them to be additionally satisfying. Another I recall is entitled MY UNFAIR LADY by Kathryne Kennedy. In that romance, the heroine, Summer, is also a savior to animals, but having grown-up in early America, Summer’s personality is quite different from Beatrix’s. Summer’s constant companion is a Chihuahua named Chi-Chi. Chi-Chi manages to turn the tables on the hero at the first meeting, but also manages to help move the plot along while continuing to reveal Summer’s character.
I know I’ve read others through the years and I’m sure there are many I haven’t read. Do you have a romance you particularly like that includes animals that are important to the story? If you do, I’d love to know what they are. I’m in the mood for more romances with companionable animals of the heart :-)