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Can you ever have too much of a good thing? At first, drowning oneself in champagne, smothering one’s face in caviar or creating an entirely literal bed of roses might seem like a grand idea. But there’s a point when the oh-so-sweet can turn oh-so-sour. The champagne leads to a throbbing headache, the caviar to a rather unpleasant aroma and of course…every rose has its thorn. Believe it or not, excess does have its downside. But perhaps it’s not too much of a good thing, it’s too much of the same thing.
In understanding the thrilling attraction of the opposite, the expression ‘the grass is always greener’ has never been more apt. Going through life, we’re often searching for the next best thing, the next different thing. It’s this that makes the opposite so attractive. It stands out from the crowd. We’re not looking for the other pea in our pod, we’re looking for the other piece in the puzzle. The yin to our yang. The man that pushes all our buttons – good or bad.
Dualities are how we know the world, how we make sense of it. Without death, we wouldn’t know life, without darkness, light…without hate, we wouldn’t know love. (Is it too far to suggest that without gin, there wouldn’t be tonic?). You get the idea, the list of opposites is endless. Opposites are what make us passionate about our experiences, pushing the boundaries into the unknown and showing us something original, something interesting – and we want a man who does all this and more! He needs to show us a new way of looking at life… and love.
Drawn to each other like the contrary poles of magnets, opposites attract. It’s the foundation of so many romantic stories, in fantasy or reality. (Another duality there…sneaky little things, aren’t they?). Sometimes it’s a clash of character, as in Lessons in Rule-Breaking by Christy McKellen (Modern Tempted, May 2014). Journalist Jess has always followed the rules when it comes to her career, but one night with Xander and she discovers it’s much more fun breaking the rules than making them! And geeky meets gorgeous in 200 Harley Street: The Enigmatic Surgeon (Medical, May 2014) when genius microsurgeon Edward’s world is turned upside-down by pretty yet practical nurse Charlotte.
In Yield to the Highlander by Terri Brisbin (Historical, May 2014) fearsome warrior Aidan MacLerie knows stunning Catriona is off-limits, yet he seeks her surrender – one kiss at a time…! In this case, it’s a tale of star-crossed lovers, different worlds and desiring the forbidden fruit. Romeo and Juliet might have met a tragic end, but those happy-ever-afters really can happen. Princess Victoria of Sweden married her personal trainer, after all. And don’t give up hope yet ladies, if rumours are to be believed, Prince Harry is single again! Out of reach? Not when opposites attract!
Often, this attraction of extremes arrives when you least expect it, as is the case in Secrets of a Ruthless Tycoon by Cathy Williams (Modern, May 2014). Leo has it all: power, wealth and beautiful women at his beck and call. But Brianna’s innocence has ruthless Leo captivated, and when she learns of his true identity their undeniable connection erupts into a whole new kind of chemistry!
It’s the convergence of these opposites that is so fervent and explosive in its effect. Cue Kelly Clarkson’s song lyrics ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. These dualities are actually complementary rather than opposing – the heroine is attracted to the hero, and vice versa, because frequently they possess exactly what is absent from their own lives. If we wanted everything to stay the same, would we ever fall in love? The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts - together, the hero and heroine are stronger than when they are apart. For better for worse, for richer for poorer…opposites really are what make the world go round. Fact.
And on that bombshell, do tell us, did you fall for your total opposite?