The Wedding: The Young Royals 1.5

The strength of three was so much more amazing to her than the strength of one alone. There were things that trio could accomplish when they wanted to that made CEOs of great corporations look like underachievers. David and his sisters could charm, flatter and cajole any number of people into doing any manner of good things - great things. Truly, Caitlin had realized, they were people who used their influence to the utmost benefit of others. She would be part of that. It was heady. And, in the end, it had been enough to make her realize that the joys to be found in marriage to David could far outweigh the challenges.
Caitlin had left the volume up on the television so that she could hear the noise on the streets and the commentary from the national broadcast; so that she could have a sense of this moment in history. For that's what it was; she knew that now. A grand occasion such as this had its date marked and the day would be celebrated all over the land. She was a part of history now. The thought made her queasy.
The Wedding: The Young Royals 1.5

For a royal wedding, this gets so much right: the meaning of it all, the pomp, the circumstance, and just the entire heady and elevated sense of history and happening. The prince being so proper, handsome, witty, and desirable. The new and untested princess-to-be from America so detached, nervous, and uncertain. The love between them carrying the day.

That. Wedding stuff. Butterflies and a sense of a moment which has been building up and which shall never happen again. You are there, for this moment. Two lives become one, for better or for worse, but the spirit of hope everlasting shall carry us through the rest of our lives.

This is an in-between book covering the happenings between two books, but it is instructive and noteworthy in how much it gets right. Is it erotica? Not entirely, as I feel this is clearly romance, but we could learn a little from our sister genre when it is time to put down the nasty words and write with a sense of gravitas and meaningful prose.

And I was reading this with a mind sullied by erotic prose, and when the prince's two beautiful sisters showed up my mind went to places it shouldn't. The funny thing is, I felt a little dirty and guilty in those thoughts, which is exactly what great and meaningful writing should do. My mind ventured into dark and steamy places, forbidden passions shared and shocking secrets kept, but the quality and beauty of the prose made me feel guilty for going there.

How could I think such thoughts?

Scandalous.

But I can dream, can't I? Part of the fun is in the forbidden, and if everything is permissible there is no fun in being naughty anymore. I love writing that gives me a huge sense of guilt for my scandalous thoughts, since that is a part of the thrill of erotica.

It is the mark of writing that sets a high standard and sticks to it. That professes undying love and modesty and reflects a world where things are normal and relationships still have a modicum of decency. That guilt though is a key to what we do, something that unlocks a forbidden door in a reader's mind. How can we make something feel wrong and dirty without first setting a standard which we should not breach? Even for less-erotic writing, the art of writing dignity and walls of behavior are some of those things I feel are helpful to learn.

How could he fall in love with her?

Why would she do this?

If you can not build a dam, you can not make it break.

If you cannot write restraint, you cannot show it breaking down.

And the book goes through this momentous day with a flair for touching the moments that matter. The pre-wedding getting dressed moments. Her thoughts about her absent family. A wedding breakfast. Them together in bed. Just deft touches, painting the parts of the snow-covered trees that are not in white, and leaving the blank canvas to serve as the invisible composition which pulls the picture together. What is not shown puts together what is missing in our mind.

We do not need to show her sitting on the plane. Waiting at the baggage carousel. Waiting for a taxi. Driving into the palace. While these are all valid moments which I am sure we could fill with meaning pulled from thoughts, they are not our best moments. They are rises and falls between the mountain peaks, and when we write, we strive to ascent those highest places and give the view from there.

Only the best for the reader.

Where the director of a file tries to capture every moment, it is the editor who decides how the viewer shall best spend their time. To write is to capture moments, to edit is to show respect for the reader's time.

And this books gets it. While there may not be sweaty bodies and desperate kisses shared in the throes of lust and passion, there are all the proper moments in between. In my mind, and possibly the books which surround this interlude, those moments are likely shared. The good parts, you know.

But what is often missed is the pieces around the good parts give those parts that essential goodness. They must be equally good for the throes and primal thrusts of mating to have any meaning at all.

This is what I like to call carousel romance, where we are introduced to a cast of characters - all without love - and one by one, slowly, we see their stories unfold. Here it is a prince and two princesses, proper and lonely in the modern world, and we get to peek in on their lives during private moments and share in their loss and love. In other books, it is 'seven hunky were-shifter brothers' and we get to see each of them, different and unique in their own way, find love.

With a common thread tying them together, as they are all riders of the carousel of life and love.

And as the carnival ride's motors wind down while the music dies and the spinning slows, we revel in the moments and sights of a world spinning around us - something which we do not normally see.

A royal wedding. Her discomfort. His stepping through the day.

Them together.

The moments between matter, but what matters the most are the best of them.

Recommended, and a wonderful reflection of the space between two books that draws me in to the grand peaks which surround this momentous occasion. Very nicely done.