Fairy Tales in Romance

Long before I could read, I loved listening to fairy tales. I remember the magic I felt at the impossible happening. Fairy tales still fascinate. I savor good overcoming evil and basking in the knowledge that deep personal trials reap huge rewards. I’m still a sucker for stories like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzul, Beauty and the Beast, and The Ugly Duckling to name a few.


The prince or princess always had to go through some horrible tragedy to get the person of their dreams in the end. Like Cinderella, they’re often the underdogs. And sometimes they might’ve been ugly. Remember the princess who kissed the frogs until one magically turned into a handsome prince? In the Ugly Duckling, the poor little outcast who lost his mommy became a beautiful swan.

Do some of these sound like a romance?

Actually, a lot of romance stories are based on fairy tales. Love has to be tested to know if it’s real. Our characters have to prove how badly they want the person of their dreams. We put them through a lot of hardships that tests their determination before we let them reach the prize. And in some cases they have to learn to trust what they feel by sometimes losing it only to find it again and recognize it as a precious treasure that’s worth any cost.


Cinderella had to endure taunts and meanness to overcome and get the prince. The Beast had to show the Beauty that he had a pure heart capable of great love and she had to learn that what’s on the inside is more important than the physical.

In fiction as in real life we all search for approval and a place to belong. The gunslinger, the outlaw with a good heart searches for that one place where he’ll find acceptance and maybe love with a special woman.

Belonging is a common theme in my books. In the old west, people braved such hardships, searching for a place to plunk down strong roots. They were often alone and needing a home, love and family.

In my upcoming book, TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER, Sam Legend didn’t need roots. They only held him down. When he joined the Texas Rangers, he left family and the huge Lone Star Ranch behind. He burned with a need to see what was over the next hill or around the bend. But Sierra Hunt who’d been yanked from pillar to post her whole life, harbored a deep dream for permanence and stability and she wouldn’t settle for anything less…not even for Sam. 

Love a Texas Ranger (390x640)For me, the best stories are ones where the happy ending seems impossible. Those are page-turners. Even though I know the guy will get the girl (or vice versa) in the end, I want to see what he has to go through in order for it to happen. And I want to root for him every step of the way.

(By the way, I’ve added an excerpt here on my website. Click HERE to go to it.)

What are your thoughts about fairy tales? Can you see them in our romance stories? And if you have a favorite fairy tale romance, share it with me.


Fairy Tales in Romance — 6 Comments

  1. Again what a fabulous article, Linda. I do believe in fairytales and I believe in finding true love when you least except it. My favorite fairytale that comes to mine is Cinderella, she faced many obstacles and hardship but never gave up. She stayed true to herself and in the end it prevailed. Sam and Sierra both stubborn in their own right, stay stubborn to their dreams, but finally realize that love conquers all fears, all insecurities and leads them to true happiness.

    • Hi Tonya……I hope you had a great Independence Day. Thank you for stopping by. Glad to find another fairy tale lover. There are always great lessons in fairy tales–the little boy who cried Wolf, Jack and the beanstalk, Chicken Little and so many others. I have to confess–Cinderella is my favorite too. I love when the impossible happens. It’s a great reminder to keep believing and dreaming. They might come true one day.

      I’m really glad you enjoyed Sam and Sierra so much. They finally came around but I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen. Yes, they were both really stubborn and had to give up some part of their dream. It all worked out.

      Love you, pretty lady!

  2. I too have always loved fairy tales. I don’t know if you remember, but I checked the Grimm’s book of Fairy Tales out of the elementary school library so many times, they had to make a new card for it. 🙂 I also love happy endings and believe that my deep passion for fairy tales was what allowed me fall so deeply in love. So deep that it never went away even through separation and drastically hard times. Thank you for reminding us about the magic of fairy tales and giving us the strength to persevere when it looks like all hope is lost!

    • Hi Jan!! So glad to see you. I thought you’d be too busy having fun on your vacation. Yes, I do remember how you loved Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It’s a wonder they didn’t tell you you couldn’t check it anymore. Ha! You could be right about it being the reason why you fell so deeply in love. You knew what was supposed to happen and you made sure it did. I love the fact that hope is never lost and a dream doesn’t die unless we let it. As long as we keep believing and striving, the dream will come true one day. Mama taught us that. To believe in ourselves and that anything is possible if you want it badly enough.

      Love you, sister!

  3. Yes I see fairy tales in my romance books. I love Cinderella stories, there is just something about the rags to riches in stories that I love. Maybe its because I am still waiting on those riches in my life.

    • Hi Quilt Lady……I love rags to riches stories too. That’s why I couldn’t resist Delta Dandridge (Texas Mail Order Bride) getting that surprise check for so much money. It helped her and it sure helped the town. When people win such huge jackpots in the lottery I always pray that they’re very poor. I’m waiting too, Quilt Lady. Most people are.

      Thanks for coming. Love you, lady!