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#RomBkLove August: Week 3: Independence

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#RomBkLove August: Week 3: Independence. What does Independence mean in Romance? Which characters seek it?  Who gets it? Who sacrifices it? Who makes sacrifices for it?

Romance at its core tends to be about Interdependence, about finding someone with whom to share life's challenges.  When Independence shows up as theme it is often in novels where the protagonist have a strong need to find their own path, often fighting to live their lives according to their own values and desires and often having to leave family and community behind in order to live a different kind of life, one of their own choosing.  

In Sweet Disorder  by Rose Lerner, political patrons are courting Phoebe for her vote and she is trying to secure the best deal for herself and her sister after her husband's death but it is in Nicholas's arc that we see a focus of independence.  Nicholas is a wounded war vet and writer whose over-bearing family is determined to override all his choices.  In the end, Phoebe and Nicholas's HEA hinges on both their willingness to make sacrifices to become independent financial and emotionally. 

In A Gentleman's Position by KJ Charles  For Richard and David to have their  HEA  they need to seek a different kind of independence.   In the previous books in the series both Richard and David had made themselves indispensable to their groups of friends, but that left little room for each other. In the end for their relationship to have to room to grow Richard needs to step away from the role he had given himself as the central cog in their friend's lives and Richard needs to trust that David's own judgement about his wants and desires.

n Lisa Kleypas's most recent novel, Devil in Spring, Lady Pandora is determined not to give up her independence and personal autonomy.  Being forced into a marriage even one that has the potential of great love and affection is the worst disaster that can befall her.  Throughout the novel Gabriel and Pandora must try to figure out how they can restore Pandora's independence. The book loses it way in the last third, but I had loved the heroine throughout the story and I feel in the end that they will be able to craft a marriage where she can do the things she wants, when she wants to and still have the benefits of loving partner. 

What novels and stories come to mind when you think of Independence? 

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