Cara Bastone shares why unexpected pregnancy is the heart of Ready or Not

Read Cara Bastone's beautiful essay about Ready or Not.
Ready or Not by Cara Bastone. Image Credit to Berkley.
Ready or Not by Cara Bastone. Image Credit to Berkley. /

Everyone has a least favorite trope and for a lot of romance readers, it's unexpected or surprise pregnancy. Even so, Cara Bastone stepped up to the plate with Ready or Not.

For most readers, it's the fact that they don't know the pregnancy is coming so they aren't really prepared for it. This time though, Cara Bastone switched things up as it's very apparent from the first moment or even, a quick glimpse at the cover.

That's why I'm so happy that I was able to coordinate with Dial Press and give Cara a chance to talk about why she chose that trope. While some authors might shy away from it, it's clear she put a lot of thought, time, and care into this story.

While my review won't be up until release day, I can confidently say that I will be reading more from Cara Bastone and after reading her essay, I'm sure you'll be among those who sing her praises.

Read this beautiful essay on Ready or Not from Cara Bastone.

I'd like to thank both Dial Press and Cara Bastone for allowing me to share this essay. Whether you're a mother or soon-to-be, I think Cara's words will resonate with you on another level. Even though I'm not a mother, I could feel the passion and love brimming from this essay so let's get into it.

Cara Bastone
Cara Bastone Author Photo. Image Credit to Maggie Ambrosino Sands. /

One of my favorite things about romance novels, and the tropes within them, is their ability to take absolutely horrible situations and make them sexy. Does anyone actually, ever, want to be trapped in an elevator? Snowed-in at a remote cabin? Forced to pretend to be married to someone you genuinely hate? In another world, in other hands, these all sound like the premises to horror movies! But in romance novels, these are the set-ups for the juiciest, swooniest love stories.

This, in large part, is why I wanted to write a romance centered around pregnancy. For my book, Ready or Not, I thought to myself, how can I take the indigestion, the nausea, the blind panic associated with pregnancy and make it romantic… while still being honest about the experience?

And then it hit me! At the core of the unexpected pregnancy trope, a huge part of why it’s appealing is that it showcases tenderness. The unexpected pregnancy trope allowed me to craft storylines where characters had to reach for their best selves in honor of the new life that was about to be among them. Because a baby is on the way, Eve and her love interest, Shep, take personal growth extremely seriously, they treat one another with kindness and patience.

And, of course, the other appealing aspect of the unexpected pregnancy trope is the idea of eternity. When you decide to raise a child with someone, you’re bound to them for life. And when the person you are bound to is devoted, adoring, and (yes) hot for you, that’s when all the discomforts of pregnancy can turn into background noise. That’s where you find the heat! Pregnancy becomes an engagement of sorts and when the baby is born, there’s the wedding ring. It’s the commitment to end all commitments. In my mind, the heroes are never more heroic than when they step up to the plate in the event of an unexpected pregnancy.

Whether you've read Cara Bastone's backlist or are about to pick up Ready or Not on release day, then you need to read this essay or at least, recommend it to someone who is a mom or soon-to-be. I don't know about you, but this only made me want to read more from Cara Bastone.

Ready or Not by Cara Bastone will be released on February 13th, 2024.

Will you be picking up a copy of Ready or Not on release day? Be sure to let us know your thoughts!

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