Two wrongs don’t make a right…but sometimes in life, vengeance is so much sweeter. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, when it comes to a broken heart simply drowning one’s sorrows in cheap Merlot just isn’t good enough. When love lets us down, we’re out to get even…or in the words of Ivana Trump ‘don’t get mad, get everything!’
Trust these pearls of wisdom, for revenge truly is a dish best served cold. Twitter is never your friend in the heat of the moment, especially if that wine bottle is looking suspiciously low. Put your phone away, a rampaging succession of 140 character insults (no matter how gratifyingly smug you feel at the time) really isn’t going to make that much of an impression on your 84 followers. Instead, wait a little while, for when the red mist settles a startling clarity is left behind.
It’s time to ignore the wet towels on the bedroom floor, dishes almost making it to the dishwasher or a date sneaking food from your plate (FYI boys, that isn’t ‘sharing’ it’s stealing) and decide what fundamentally, is utterly unforgiveable. So, this week at Mills & Boon, we dipped into our dark sides and pondered this very question… what would really fuel our desire for the ultimate revenge?
Our most popular response involved betrayal. Whether it’s adultery or treachery, it’s one act we’re not always prepared to forgive and forget. Some wounds cut too deeply. We’re not looking to get blood on our hands, but taking a sharp pair of scissors to the culprit’s designer suits certainly isn’t out of the question…
In a Mills & Boon book the act of vengeance can take many forms, whether it’s a character defending their honour, retaliating, getting even, reprising what is rightfully theirs or even seeking a vendetta against many wrongdoings. In each case, the desire to settle a score drives the plot forwards as the protagonist approaches their ultimate goal. Often the most interesting use of revenge is when the hero and heroine are set against one another…and one’s success must result in the other’s downfall!
Of course, vengeance is made all the more complicated if love enters the equation, as in The Ultimate Revenge by Victoria Parker (Modern, September 2014). For over a decade, Nicandro Santos, heir to a legendary diamond legacy, has lived with one unrelenting purpose: to infiltrate the ultra-prestigious Q Virtus gentleman’s club and bring it and its leader down. What he doesn’t know is that Olympia Merisi, the daughter of his enemy, is now in charge. Olympia has her own reasons for wanting to keep Nicandro close, and will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers. But what happens when the battle lines between them blur and they enter more dangerous – and sensual – territory?
The trouble is, revenge can quickly become an obsession more perilous to the soul than falling in love. Yes, vengeance is sweet, but it is a temporary ecstasy…love and forgiveness are ultimately far sweeter. Right?