Redemption through Romance (Post by Anna)
Over the years, I’ve noticed my stories often share a common theme—redemption. I didn’t plan it this way. The stories I wrote naturally emerged as tales of redemption for one or more characters, sometimes several second-chance subplots interweaving with the main plot. “Second chance at love” is one of the top favorite tropes among romance readers. It’s just another version of redemption. So why do we love this trope?
I can speak only for myself, but I have a feeling many folks would explain it in similar terms. In real life, we all make mistakes we wish we could take back or at least make up for in some way. Sometimes we get that chance, but sometimes we don’t. In romances, we know our guilt-ridden hero or heroine will find that happy ending, redeeming a mistake that often seems irredeemable. Through fiction, we live out our desires for a second chance.
In my Psychic Crossroads series, many characters seek redemption. The heroine of the first two books, Grace Powell, needs to prove she’s neither worthless nor responsible for the terrible events that occur around her. She must uncover the truth about her own past to find her second chance. The hero of these two books, David Ransom, searches for redemption in two ways. First, in Willpower, he struggles to earn Grace’s love again, despite her amnesia, and prove he can protect her. In the second book, Intuition, his need for redemption becomes much more pronounced and desperate. He hides a dark secret, a betrayal he’s certain Grace can never forgive him for, and he’ll do anything—and I mean anything—to spare her the pain of learning the truth and save her from unspeakable torture at the hands of mad scientist.
Grace and David also share that other kind of quest for redemption. They both crave a second chance with each other, even when Grace doesn’t know who he is or what he meant to her. They always come back to each other, no matter what. That’s the ultimate second chance, because through their passion and commitment to each other, they find salvation from their past mistakes.
We love redemption stories for this reason. When characters we root for find their second, or even third, chance and make the most of it, we feel we can change our fates too. Romances give us hope. And we could all use a dose of that every day!