One of my very first experiences with stories of romance was through the Spanish soap operas called Novelas. Night after night, I would see my grandmother sit in front of the TV, enthralled by episodes of desire, heartache, loss and redemption.
These tales of beautiful women and the über masculine men who loved them, held a draw like no other. They built within me an image of an ideal romance in which the heroine is swept up by a dark and muscular man whose passionate words and fiery kisses would leave her breathless.
For me, growing up in a bilingual household, I have always lived in between both the Spanish and English language. But for me the language of romance has always been in Spanish. I would return to those first images of the smoldering embraces where he whispers endearments, calling his love, “Mi cielo,” my heaven, or professes his undying love as he calls her, “Mi vida,” my life. But the one that still gets me every time is, “Mi tesoro,” my treasure, spoken with a roll of the tongue.
Those novelas shaped my internal vision of romance. As I got older and discovered the wonderful and amazing stories within romance novels, I looked for stories that reflected my ideal romance. I still longed to become drawn into stories laced with those Spanish endearments. I wanted the heroines to look like the women I grew up with. I wanted heroes with dark features and bronzed skin. Those stories, however, have been rather elusive.
In my quest for stories of Latin romance, I in turn discovered my own passion as a writer. I write stories with heroines that look and speak as I do. And of course with heroes that rumble deep throated words of romance in Spanish. I fill my pages with my ideal romance, stories with touch of Latin passion in them.