In honor of the release of my debut novel, Love in the Afternoon, I’d like to pay homage to a once thriving television genre that is, sadly, dying a slow death.
Soap operas started on radio, then transitioned to television in the early 1950’s. The first televised daytime drama was The Guiding Light which, unfortunately, was cancelled in 2009 after a seventy-two year run. At one time there were as many as nineteen soaps broadcast on the three major television networks in the United States. Today there are only four daytime dramas remaining on network television.
I began watching soaps when I was very young. I wasn’t even in school yet, but I became intrigued by the campy goings-on in Collinsport each day when my mother watched Dark Shadows. (What can I say? I was a weird kid). I didn’t watch soaps again until I was in high school. One Life to Live and General Hospital were my favorites, although over the years I also tuned into Guiding Light and As the World Turns.
What I love about soap operas is the same thing I love in the books I read—romance. Over the years, I’ve fangurled a lot of soap couples who have fallen in love, then out of love, married other people, and then found each other again. Soap couples don’t stay happy for very long, but if there’s one thing you can count on—if you wait long enough, they’ll eventually get back together.
Below is the short list of my favorite couples:
Todd Manning and Blair Cramer – One Live to Live (now appearing on General Hospital): One fateful August night at Rodi’s Tavern, Llanview’s baddest boy met Llanview’s beautiful trouble-making slut and their lives were changed forever. The chemistry was immediate, but it took a while for these two emotionally damaged people to admit they loved each other.
Jason Morgan and Sam McCall – General Hospital: The hit man and the con woman didn’t like each other much, but he took her in when she was pregnant with another man’s child and offered to raise the baby as his own. Of course, they fell in love and planned to marry. After a horrendous break-up (aka, the summer of sleaze) they got back together, married and were torn apart again after being terrorized by serial killer Franco during their honeymoon. Just as they reunited and were beginning a new life with their son, Jason was presumed dead, but is he really? Only time will tell.
Jack Snyder and Carly Tenney – As the World Turns: Sparks flew when Oakdale’s scheming bad girl met one of Oakdale’s finest police officers. Their romance had more ups and downs than the stock market, but when the show ended, Carly and her G-Man had remarried and were expecting another baby.
Robert Scorpio and Holly Sutton – General Hospital: The most sophisticated soap opera couple ever. Robert married former con artist Holly to keep her from being deported to England. Holly thought the man she loved was dead, but soon found that Robert Scorpio was the love of her life. Oh, and they lived in a really cool apartment that included a secret spy room and a sauna!
Okay, that was my list. I’d love to hear yours.
Love in the Afternoon is on sale now!
Kayla Maxwell is eager to shed her slasher-flick bimbo image—and she plans to do just that in her new role on daytime’s most popular soap. With a chance to showcase her dramatic range, Kayla will be able to wash away the lingering betrayal and public humiliation left by her controlling, philandering ex-boyfriend.
Sean Barrett, the son of an influential, award-winning actor, is the hottest soap star in the country. Paired on-screen with the talented and beautiful Kayla Maxwell, Sean is determined to keep her at arm’s length, burned before by fame-seeking actresses who had no qualms about using him to get to his famous father.
But when Kayla receives threatening letters, her past as a scream queen seems to be coming back to haunt her. Succumbing to an attraction neither one of them can deny, Sean and Kayla must face down her stalker and their own personal demons before trusting what they both feel—a love that lasts long after the cameras stop rolling.
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Alison Packard fell in love with reading at a very early age. In her early teens, she discovered Harlequin Presents romance novels at the library and read them voraciously. What she liked most about them? The exotic locales and happy endings, of course! You can find Alison on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, or visit her website for more information.