The Love Triangle: Three Players, Two Winners, and One Loser

by Jacquie Underdown

Romance books all have one thing in common—a happy ending. That’s why we love to read romance, because we can devote our time and emotions to the characters, and know we will be rewarded in the end for our efforts.

A much loved romance trope, re-popularised by such books as the Twilight Series and The Hunger Games, is the love triangle. A love triangle is basically a romantic relationship that has three people invested in the outcome. cherry JU1At first glance, a love triangle seems kinda contradictory to the whole happily-ever-after guarantee the romance genre has going. Fraught with peril you might say. How can there possibly be a happy ending when three people are invested in the outcome of a relationship, yet there can only be two winners? In other words, in the end, there is a big, miserable, loser. Doesn’t sound too happy to me. 

Well (I say as I laugh with a wicked grin), that’s where the author comes in to play. The author’s job is to weave a story line that will make a reader believe a love triangle is not immoral and icky, but, in fact, sexy as hell.JU2And that a third player creates plenty of sexual tension and suspense. Will she, won’t she, will he, will…they?love triangle, two young men and young woman on the beach at sun What? Wait. Where did this sexy, shirtless guy come from?JU4You get my point. Where there’s a love triangle, there’s bound to a surprise or two.

But, when we are dealing with something as fragile as a heart, a love triangle can be dangerous. There’s the possibility the reader will hate every player involved, because on some level, there will be untruths (even if the character is only lying to themselves about their true emotions). Even some behind-the-back shenanigans. How does an author make you fall in love with each of the characters, regardless of their flaws and circumstances? And how does an author leave a reader feeling emotionally satisfied, when one of the characters will have their heart broken?JU5The answer to that is multi-faceted and too involved to go into here. I explore it a bit in my latest novel, Unstitched, which happens to contain an absolute doozy of a love triangle.

Do you like love triangles, or is it something that turns you off?


23484A new adult story about what happens when you meet the perfect guy at the worst possible time.

Anthea has loved him since her earliest memory, but she has no idea who he is, or if he even exists. But her heart belongs to him, and no one else can ever take his place. That is until she stumbles into Lucas, lead singer of Perennial. He is sexy as hell, passionate, and, most importantly, knows the answers to questions that Anthea has always had.

Lucas knows he is different from other guys – but Anthea is different to other girls. He is drawn to her, craves her, needs her. He also has secrets, secrets that will tear Anthea apart. He needs to share them, but to share them could end their relationship, and Lucas isn’t willing to take that risk. But secrets have a way of coming out, and Lucas can’t stay forever.

Theirs is a passion that is meant to last forever, but time isn’t always quite so linear…

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