Friday, June 3, 2016

Romance takes a comedy break.

In every great romance—in real life as well as in novels—there are opportunities for comic moments. The heroine and hero find themselves in a difficult situation. The author then chooses to play the scene for humor, drama or suspense. Or maybe all three.

Here's an example:

It's pouring rain on the day of the outdoor wedding—will this be the excuse the reluctant bride needs to call it off? This predicament sets the stage for suspense and high drama. But the hero knows our heroine all too well, and shows up at her door with a white silk umbrella and a skinny caramel latte.

"I had a feeling you might try to make a run for it." 

This post is dedicated to those welcome moments of comedy relief.  Laugh and enjoy the following excerpts from Get Lost in a Story authors.
—Jillian Stone

Here Comes the Bridesmaid 
by Avril Tremayne

Can she make organizing her friend's wedding any harder?
  1. Sunshine Smart has only got two months until the big day!
  2. She has to include the grouchy, surly best man Leo Quartermaine—a top chef and her complete opposite!
  3. Said best man is extremely handsome and sexy—and knows it!
  4. He has no interest in decor, flowers, clothes or shoes…but has an uninformed opinion on all four!
  5. And just a few days in she's already slept with him. Rookie mistake
A word about Here Comes the Bridesmaid from Avril Tremayne:

Readers tend to fall madly in love with the heroes of romance novels, so I was surprised when Here Comes the Bridesmaid came out to find that people were actually more in love with my heroine, Sunshine Smart. She’s part hippie, part urbanite, dedicated carnivore, addicted to internet facts, and is equal parts infuriating and irresistible to the hero, celebrity chef Leo Quartermaine. Here is one of my favourite scenes, with the two of them discussing the menu for the wedding they’ve been thrown together to plan…

‘The main meal will be lobster, served with a lemon butter sauce and a variety of salads that I wouldn’t dare describe to you.’
‘Lobster! Oh.’ She took a sip of tea. ‘You know, Leo, I saw the most intriguing thing about lobsters on the internet.’
‘Yes?’ He sounded wary.
‘They are actually immortal! They stay alive until they get eaten.’
‘That can’t be true.’
‘Which means coming back as a lobster in the next life wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Except…’ Nose-wrinkle. ‘Well, I’m not sure that when they’re caught they’re always killed humanely. So you might be lucky enough to live for ever—or you might get thrown into a pot of boiling water and be absolutely screaming, without even having the ability to make a sound, because some sadistic cook couldn’t be bothered to kill you first.’
Leo gave a sigh brimming with long suffering. ‘Okay—barramundi it is,’ he said. ‘Coated with lemon and caper butter and wrapped in pancetta, served with in-season asparagus.’
‘That sounds divine. And so much more humane.’
‘I am not a lobster sadist,’ Leo said, sounding as if he were gritting his teeth.
‘Well, of course not.’
‘And they are not immortal.’
‘Well, they might be—who would know? And they can, a hundred per cent, live to about one hundred and forty years. Which is almost immortal.’
He regarded her through narrowed eyes. ‘How is it you’ve made it to twenty-five without being murdered?’

Purchase Here Comes the Bridesmaid online: Amazon  

Fugitive Hearts
by E.E. Burke
2016 Finalist, National Readers' Choice Awards

The truth is too terrible to be told...
Claire's plan to cover up a killing to protect those she loves backfires, sending her fleeing from a tough lawman determined to get to the truth. But as Frank unravels Claire's subterfuge and unlocks her heart, he is torn between his desire to save her and his duty to bring her to justice.


“Mrs. Daines…” He wouldn’t call her Claire, not after she’d made it clear she didn’t appreciate his too-familiar use of her name. “There are men you ought to fear, but I’m not one of them.”
She responded with a look of surprise. “I don’t fear you, Sheriff.”
“That so? Then why do you keep skittering away?”
She tossed a wary look over her shoulder. “Does your horse bite?”
Frank couldn’t hold back a dry laugh. “Ulysses? He might take a bite if he mistakes you for an apple.”
Claire’s frown told him she didn’t find his joke funny.
“You’re afraid of my horse?”
“He’s very large.”
By gum, it hadn’t entered his mind she would be scared of horses. Being around them was second nature to anyone who’d grown up on a farm. But if she’d lived in cities all her life and wasn’t used to the large animals, he could understand why she might be intimated. “You walk here on this side. I’ll keep the horse away from you.”
She heaved a sigh and gave in. He felt like he’d won at Keno.
Now that he thought about it, he only recalled seeing Claire on foot. It wasn’t usual for townspeople to walk everywhere. Parsons wasn’t that big. But she might choose to walk because of her fear of horses. In the army, he’d run across a few men scared of horses. He knew how to help her get past her fear enough to gain more freedom. “Have you ever driven a buggy?”
“Of course I’ve driven a buggy. I don’t like riding horses, but I’m not helpless.”
“You’re about as helpless as a porcupine with a litter.”
“Did you just call me prickly?”
Having been a soldier, Frank had learned the importance of knowing when to retreat. “No ma’am, that was a compliment. On your protective nature.”
“If that’s your idea of a compliment, I can only imagine what you consider an insult.”
“Probably best you don’t.”

Fugitive Hearts can be purchased from these online retailers: Amazon  B&N  iBookstore  Kobo  


A Texas Ranger with everything to lose… 
Going undercover to keep the former wife of a Texas crime boss alive is risky business for Texas Ranger Bryce Johnson. Kylie Scott may have evidence that could put her ex-husband's family away forever. If she lives long enough to testify. 

For five years, Kylie managed to stay off the mob's radar. With her cover blown, the former model is forced to flee the close-knit community that had embraced her. On the run again—this time with the seductive lawman who's risking his career to protect her—Kylie battles her powerful desire for Bryce. If they survive, do they stand a snowball's chance at a future together?


“You told Xander so you could get me to do your bidding. You’re all the same. Out only for your own selfish interests—”
“Kylie!” He raised his voice and reached for her wrist.
A couple of seconds later, the bottle of lotion she’d given him went flying against the wall and he was lying on his back wondering how he’d been outmaneuvered.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I’ve done that in practice, but never… I didn’t mean to—oh, no.” Kylie knelt next to him alternating between a pat on his shoulder and his head.
“You’ve been taking…martial arts.” He needed a second to get his lungs working correctly.
“Aikido. It just sort of kicked in. I knew I was nervous. I guess I should have tried to calm down.” She covered her mouth. “Can you get up?”
“I think I’ll just wait here for a second.”
She smiled. It was worth being knocked to his back to see her relax enough to smile like that.
“You know, I never thought it would work. The moves are so practiced and mechanical. This is really sort of cool.”

     “Tell that to my back.”
  Releases June 18th:

A Lesson in Chemistry with Inspector Bruce
by Jillian Stone

Inspector Archibald Bruce, director of the newly formed Scotland Yard crime laboratory is suddenly thrust from his behind the scene duties directly into the line of fire. When mysterious happenings in the laboratory seem threatening, a local pharmacist’s beautiful daughter might be just the one to help him solve the mystery. Can Archie solve the crime in time to protect the Yard and get the girl?

Archie agrees to tutor Fiona in exchange for her father's work on a rubber formula that can transfer fingerprints from a crime scene to the lab. But Fiona's parents aren't aware that Archie and Fiona share a romantic past…

    “Kiss me again, Fiona.” 
     She taunted him with a narrowed gaze. “If I kiss you now, we won’t be able to keep our minds on my schoolwork.” 
     “If you don’t kiss me now,” his breath buffeted softly against her lips, “concentration will be impossible.” 
     Then, as if the streets of London had conspired with Cupid himself, the carriage hit a bump in the road. 
     Velvet lips pressed gently to his own, and Archie responded to her, deepening the kiss. He swept an arm around her waist and pressed her against his chest—felt the rise and fall of her breasts, heard her soft, sweet moan.
     “Good God, I have missed this mouth,” he murmured. 
     Quite suddenly the carriage stopped. 
     His entire body thrummed with his need of her. He’d wanted her for years, and now he held her in his arms again. Reluctantly, he broke off the kiss. “It appears we have arrived at Rose and Company, chemists to the tony Knightsbridge set.” 
     Fiona eased away, and he released her just enough to capture her gaze. He was about to ask if the kiss they’d shared was as good as the one of memory, but she reached behind her and pressed the door latch. “Come, Alfred,” she coaxed the hound and climbed down from the cab. 
     Bewildered by her sudden exit, he handed over the leash, paid the driver, and followed her inside the empty shop. She stood by a cabinet full of exotic soaps, waiting for him. He approached her slowly. “Fiona, I hope I didn’t offend—” 
     She grabbed his coat lapels and kissed him so unexpectedly she sent a shock of arousal coursing through his body. She remained very close and spoke softly. “We have neighbors, the Greens, who own the millinery next door. Ida Green, their daughter, is better known as the Brompton Square Tattler. I wouldn’t want her to go round gossiping about us.” 
     Fiona moistened her lips, a nervous habit he enjoyed immensely. “Sorry to be so abrupt,” she added. 

     Archie kept his grin soft, playful. “You may kiss me abruptly, any time you wish.” 

A Lesson in Chemistry with Inspector Bruce is part of the award-winning series The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard. Priced at $0.99 the novella is a terrific way to experience the series. Purchase link: Amazon



Bess Fitzgerald is thrilled to be overseeing the expansion of her family’s B and B. Working with Daniel Forester, not so much. After one wild night, they agreed to stay out of each other’s lives. The attraction still sizzles between them now, but Daniel’s need to be in control and Bess’s impulsive nature continually drive them apart. Keeping their relationship professional is harder than Bess anticipated. And it’s not long before they give in to temptation. Suddenly it’s clear Daniel needs her in a way she never thought possible. This may be the year Bess finally gets her Christmas wish!

I have always wanted to write comedy - but somehow all my stories turn to angst! I do write some light scenes. 

In A SAVANNAH CHRISTMAS WISH Bess convinces Daniel to keep a puppy they find on the construction site. 


The way Daniel kept checking on the dog this afternoon had been cute. What were he and Carly doing?
Grabbing her phone, she zapped off a text before she could talk herself out of it. She could do that. They’d found the dog together, after all. 
How’s Carly?
The answer came back.
She ate my newspaper. And had a fight with a roll of toilet paper.
Bess laughed at the mental image. “Oh, God.”
Better close the bathroom door from now on, she sent back.
Now you tell me. See you in the morning.

Smiling, she set down her phone. She’d walk the dog for him tomorrow.


COMMENTERS: Do you enjoy a little humor with your romance? Or are you more of a laughter through tears romance reader? Leave a comment and win one of the ebooks featured above—your  choice!  To make sure your name is added to the randomizer, remember to leave your contact information along with your comment. Good luck!  


  1. A touch of humour is always welcome. I'm a sucker for witty repartee.


  2. Me too, Mary. I especially like to incorporate humor when it is least expected! ;) Jillian

  3. Love the excerpts. Thanks for putting this together Jill !

  4. I'm on a romantic comedy kick and these excerpts are fabulous! Definitely on my TBR list now. Excellent timing gals.

    1. Thanks, Julie O Romance isn't romance without a few laughs and a happily ever after. –Jillian

  5. I love books that touch my emotions... so whether it makes me laugh or cry I am all for it! greenshamrock ATcoxDOTnet :)

    1. Collen C. Made me laugh and made me cry—you can really get lost in a story like that! —Jillian

  6. I love a book that makes me laugh and cry - yenastone at aol dot com

    1. Hi Tammy, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." Dolly Parton, Steel Magnolias Personally, I think the reason women get the line above is that we are capable of complex emotion. ;) Jillian

  7. A touch of humor is appreciated.

    1. I feel like I'm running a survey for romance writers here! Thanks for your comment. —Jillian

  8. sometimes like humor

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Thanks bn100! I guess there are books where humor isn't called for. Some very dark crime or mystery books perhaps, or horror. But honestly? Even Alfred Hitchcock understood how to use humor. —Jillian

  9. I always enjoy a little humor in the romances I read. It seems to make the characters more real to life when we can laugh at them (an....I mean with them) when we least expect it. This is a great selection of books.
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

    1. Exactly. And glad you enjoyed the excerpts! :) Jillian

  10. I write romantic comedy, so you can bet I like to laugh when I'm writing, but I love laughing just as much when I'm reading. I also think a few laughs can give the drama extra impact when it happens - as it always done in a romance.

    1. Avril is our resident romantic comedy writer, and for those of you who don't know her yet, she's an awesome storyteller!

    2. Thank you so much! It's always fun here at Get Lost in a Story.

  11. These are great. It takes a rare kind of talent to write comedy and hit it just right.

  12. Oh I do love to laugh while reading romance I love to cry as well emotions are what call to me through the journey to a HEA and as they say laughter is the best medicine and everyone needs to let go of some tears sometimes and laughter often makes me cry

    Have Fun

    1. Nicely put, Helen. One of the best comments a romance novel can receive is "it made me laugh and it made me cry." —Jillian

  13. Congratulations to Brenda Ramsey (grandmabkr at yahoo dot com) you won your choice of ebook from the titles above. Be on the lookout for an email! 😍 Jillian

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I think there has to be humour in every story, romance or otherwise, or it isn't life-like.

    1. Yes, Caitlin! I find that I connect with characters who have a sense of humor, even grouchy ironic humor can warm up an antagonist, which I love to do!

  16. Thank you so much Jullian. Very excited.

    1. Brenda, Enjoy your copy of GUNSLINGER!!! Ebook will be on its way to your Kindle July 1st.