Wednesday, November 2, 2016

You Got Some Romance In My Fantasy by Rob J. Hayes

Hello, favorite people! I've missed you all like crazy while I was off conquering the world, but that's a story for some other day. Right now, I am thrilled to welcome Rob J. Hayes, author of the wonderful The Ties That Bind series. Rob is here to talk about the second book in his It Takes a Thief series and my favorite type of romance: the stable, lasting kind, built on friendship and understanding.

You Got Some Romance In My Fantasy by Rob J. Hayes

It's recently come to my attention that my fantasy/steampunk heist caper, It Takes a Thief to Catch a Sunrise, has been placed in the Romance genre by Amazon. I'm not entirely sure how it got there, but after thinking about it a bit I started to wonder if it did actually belong there.

The book follows a thieving couple, Jacques Revou and Isabel de Rosier, as they charlatan their way into high society to steal priceless treasures from the aristocracy. It's a little like Bonnie and Clyde meets Ocean's Eleven. But the reason it might actually belong in the Romance genre is that Jacques and Isabel are very much in love and I've really tried to make that fact stand out.

Now a lot of fantasy stories contain elements of romance in them. In truth you'd be hard pressed to find a story in the genre that doesn't contain at least a rudimentary love story. But they always tend to focus in on the beginnings of that love story. Usually we ride along as our two prospective lovers meet for the first time and feel the heat of that instant attraction. We watch as one pursues the other though the odds are likely against them. Like a strange, disconnected voyeur we experience that first kiss the two share. You get the idea. It's almost always about the initial lust version of love, that can't keep their hands off each other bit.

But I wanted to go a different route with the love story in my It Takes a Thief... novels. I wanted to show two characters past the lust stage and well into the true love stage. The comfortable stage where they love each other unconditionally. Where they trust each other and that trust is born from years of experience. I wanted to show the quirks that come along with that phase of a relationship. The in-jokes that only the lovers understand. Jacques and Isabel often seem to know what the other is thinking because they do, because they know each other that well. It helps them work together and also provides a unique dimension to the story especially when the characters are interacting with others.
It also allows me to add a lot of history to the two characters and their relationship. After ten years together Isabel and Jacques have built up quite the back story and relating those stories as two lovers joking about their past allows me to inject a fun humour into the dialogue.

I still don't know how the series has ended up in the Romance genre, but I can't argue that there is romance in the book and I hope that readers will also see the love Jacques and Isabel have for each other.

Rob J. Hayes Bio
Hailing from all over England; north, south, and everything in between, Rob J. Hayes is the author of the dark fantasy series The Ties that Bind and also the steampunk caper series It Takes a Thief... He's also an avid card gamer, reader of books, watcher of things, and player of video games.

The second book in the It Takes a Thief... series, It Takes a Thief to Start a Fire, is available now from Amazon. You can find out more at


  1. Great post! I hate to say it but more often than not, I do like a bit of romance in my UF, well, in most things actually LOL!

  2. Ahh... Maja, I missed you. Glad to have you back. I do like the sound of the romance, it is nice when you get past the lust stage and you settle into the love phase.

  3. True, it is rare to have totally sans romance, but it is often in the background. I do like books like that. Btw, now I'm curious about the conquering the world thing...

  4. Hi Maja, nice to see you!

    Great post. I don't mind romance in novels, but it's nice to see established couples sometimes because it really is usually about the beginning stages.


  5. Thanks for the post. I didn't know about the novel but it's true that it's interesting to have a real romance for the characters in this kind of books, because it's not always the case.

  6. Ooh, I haven't read a lot of books where the romance is already established. I love reading about those deeper bonds, though, especially in a fantasy novel where I think the romance walks a fine line between overpowering the plot and world-building, in a lot of cases. Wonderful post and thanks for sharing, Maja!

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