Congrats to Romance Writer Sarah MacLean on Her New Baby!

Congratulations Sarah MacLean! This New York Times bestselling romance writer just had her first baby on December 17. Right before she went into labor–literally a few hours–she wrote this sweet blog post for me pondering the questions, ‘Do babies make romance better?’

What do you think about this steamy subject (see what others thought about keeping romance alive here)? Here’s what Sarah, author of several books and most recently No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: The Third Rule of Scoundrels has to say:

“As a romance novelist, I have a rather skewed view of babies. You see, they don’t typically fit into the classic structure of the romance novel—romance is about two people finding each other and falling in love against insurmountable odds. Babies…well…babies are complicated.

That’s not to say that babies don’t have their eventual place in most romances. In fact, they have a very clear and very prescribed place in most of them. They live in the epilogue. After all, what better proof of commitment and love than having a baby? Than creating a family? What better marker of forever than a third character being introduced to the play?

In seven books, I’ve written my fair share of baby epilogues. Pregnancies and births and even grandchildren have made an appearance in the final pages of my books.

And then, nine months ago, something happened.

I was epilogued.

Now, I’m 34. And while my husband and I have been together for more than a decade, it doesn’t feel like we’re at the end of our story. And while I’m happy for fictional babies to come at the back of the book…I’d much prefer for our baby to live in the middle of our love story. Even better if she arrive at its beginning of a new chapter.

We’ve all heard it. As childless couples we hear about how lucky we are to have time to ourselves. With ourselves. And as pregnant couples, we hear about how we have to savor our time together, because this thing that’s happening to us is going to change our lives. We’ll be exhausted, and we’ll find new and myriad things to fight about, and we’ll never have sex again. Kiss the romance goodbye.

Good lord. It sounds like this little creature is half runaway train and half feral tiger. No wonder the romance novel ends with the baby on the last page. But the feral tiger is out of the cage, so to speak, and I’m due to have this baby next week. And, while I can’t tell you what it will be like, or how my husband and I will survive, or what romance will look like when we are trying to keep our feral tiger alive, what I can tell you is that the lead up to this wild ride just might be the most romantic time of your life.

I know that sounds insane. I mean, there’s all the unromantic stuff: gaining weight and retaining water and all the strange, weird stuff that is happening to your body that makes you throw up your hands and say, “Hmm. That must just be pregnancy.” And that’s all before we throw in the sheer, unadulterated terror that comes every time someone says, “Are you excited?!” Because, let’s face it. It may seem like excitement, but really, it’s just panic.

Here’s the thing about romance novels: The moment when the hero and heroine discover that they’re perfect for each other is often the moment when it’s them against the world. When they realize that they’re better partners for each other, facing whatever it is they’re facing, than any other two people out there. Romance is about commitment and love and sex, sure. But it’s also about being a team.

In the last few months, as we’ve bought cribs and matched tiny socks, applied vinyl decals to nursery walls and dealt with our respective families’ wackiness, disagreed about names and rearranged every closet in our tiny apartment, we’ve been a tremendous team.

Last night, as we held hands and waddled to dinner (ok, as I waddled to dinner), I realized that the impending birth of our daughter is more about romance than I ever thought—I’m looking forward to meeting our little one, of course. But I’m excited to meet her father. The man my husband will become.

While the romance novelist in me knows that, traditionally, next week would mark the beginning of our epilogue, I’m going to go ahead and declare everything leading up to this a very satisfying prologue.

Here’s to the love story to come.”

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