Once Upon An Ordinary Life by Katherine Bone

“Once in a while right in the middle of an ordinary life… love comes along and brings you a fairy tale.”

I adore this quote. So much so I have it in my office. What fascinates me about this saying is the fact that no matter what your circumstances are, love will always find a way. Most days, I like to take this theory a step further.  I’m fascinated by historical societies, brotherhoods, and times past that become his story, her story— our story, supporting the ordinary element in a fairy tale.  Why?  Fairy tales are possibilities.  And historical romance deals best with cultural norms, majestic settings, and how multiple possibilities come into play.

How is this relevant to what I write? Fairy tale love, my friends, is the most formidable love in existence. It’s adventure at its finest. Men in shining armor.  Chivalry.  Clashing steel and battling wit.  A plethora of experiences that bridge humanity and forge a bond with generations that have come before and have yet to be born. Love and protection is a specialty of my favs— the Alpha males.  Those hunky heroes I adore, dukes, viscounts, earls, pirates, officers and highwaymen.  Formidable men rivaling no other.  Loyal men willing to hack down enemies, trudge through black forests, and risk stepping into quicksand to avenge family and/or comrades, or rescue a lady love.  These are hard, determined men, unwilling to bend until the right woman locates the chink in their armor and melts the steel encasing their hearts.  Their devotion is hard won, but is a great reward.

Where do you find them?  Alpha heroes can be inspired by fairy tale men like King Arthur, Lancelot, Hawkeye, Legolas, and Edward Cullen or modern-day actors like Jared Padalecki, Simon Baker, Rupert Penry-Jones, Richard Armitage, and (insert deep sigh) Chris Hemsworth.  But no matter who they are or what they look like, these hard-edged heroes are the basis of legend and lore.

They have interesting names like Percival Avery, Marques Stanton, 7th Duke of Blendingham.  They’re part bad boy like swashbucklers Thomas Sexton and Garrick Seaton, Viscount Northrop.  They’re loyal and determined to make King and country proud like Simon Danbury and Lieutenant Henry Guffald.  These are the men of Nelson’s Tea.  They epitomize the scope of yummy Alpha goodness.

The Brothers Grimm perfected scripting fairy tales which formed the fabric of society, mannerisms, and etiquette today.  When it came to alpha males, they said it best.

“Some men are born to good luck: all they do or try to do comes right—all that falls to them is so much gain—all their geese are swans—all their cards are trumps—toss them which way you will, they will always, like poor puss, alight upon their legs, and only move on so much the faster. The world may very likely not always think of them as they think of themselves, but what care they for the world? What can it know about the matter?”   Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm, The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

So what’s in a fairy tale?  Ordinary lives altered.  A threshold crossed.

What’s at the heart of a fairy tale?  Love.

Storytelling at its most basic is his story, her story, our story rich with human failings, struggles, and success— the elements of an ordinary life we can all relate to.

Do you believe in fairy tales?  Can you name a character fitting the alpha mold, one who’s inspired you or lives in your fantasies?

Katherine Bone
Rogues, Rebels & Rakes
DUKE BY DAY, ROGUE BY NIGHT 10/29 at Crimson Romance



  1. I often tell my boys that only a very few fiction stories are not love stories to some extent…cartoons, action movies, etc. Interesting post, Katharine!
    -R.T. Wolfe

    • Hi R.T.!! That’s fantastic that you relate the idea of love in fiction to your sons. I’ve done the same thing with my boys. If you look at Lord of the Rings (my boys favorite) or Dune, there are love interests that advance the plot and create a more well-rounded story.

      Thanks for posting today!!! 🙂

  2. I’ve always been attracted to the dark wounded hero – blame it on my addiction to Dark Shadows. (The series, not the movie.)

    • Lynn!!! Dark Shadows is one of my all-time favorite shows!!! We have all the DVDs, and movies. LOL! As a matter of fact, we just bought the Johnny Depp version yesterday. Gotta love a Depp version of Barnabas Collins. Woot!!!

      • I”m getting the movie this weekend. 🙂

  3. It’s easy to see that we still like our knights in shining armor. Why else would you have male calendar models dressed as policemen, firemen, and cowboys. We still want someone to sweep us off of our feet; we just want to make it clear that we are strong enough to stand on our own two feet and we choose who will sweep us.

    • Hi MJ!!! Yes, we want to be swept off our feet but heroines also need to be able to hold their own. I especially love it when a heroine tries to outwit her hero. 😉

  4. I agree that romance makes most stories more interesting. At least to me. My hubby actually like “Far and Away” with Tom & Nicole. He thinks its a western!

    • Hi Teresa!!! Thanks for commenting today!!!

      I love it that your husband likes Far And Away. My rogue isn’t fond of romance movies but he’ll watch them with me. 😉

  5. I love that quote too, Katherine, and printed it out when I first read it. I write romance because it creates a lovely place to spend time in. Every romance feels like a fairy tale and there’s nothing wrong with a chivalrous hero!

    • Hi Sharon!!! (waving) If you love this quote, you can get this plaque at Hobby Lobby. You can set it up like a picture or hang it on the wall. Totally awesome price too. LOL!

      Oh, I love how you look at romance! We are kindred spirits, you and me. 😉

      Thanks for posting!!!

  6. Thanks for sharing that great quote!

    • Hey Jaye!!! thanks for posting and you’re very welcome!!! Congrats on your release!!!

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