Friday, March 04, 2011

Valerie Parv: Keeping the stars in our eyes

For as long as Star Trek has existed, I’ve been a fan – starting when I was three, you understand. Along the way I noticed that ST and romance novels have much in common. There are hunky guys with ripped shirts (Captain Kirk... be still my heart) and the emotionally walled-off Mr. Spock challenging women everywhere to set his passions free. Just as many women are attracted to the Klingon warrior-lover, Worf, or the “fully functional” android, Data. As ST creator, Gene Roddenberry said, who wouldn’t be attracted to a man who can do whatever you want for as long as you want?

Today’s world is so grim that we need as much positivity as we can get. Two places it’s guaranteed are the Star Trek universe, and romance fiction. Both show people as basically good, willing to sacrifice for each other and work out their differences to reach their happy ending.

Like Star Trek, romance novels are criticized for dealing in head-in-the-clouds fantasy and a world that isn’t “like that”. And just as Star Trek pioneered racial and gender equality, romance fiction accepted women’s sexual needs, showed us equality in action, and made it OK for the heroine to chase the hero if she wants.

In my Harlequin Superromance, With a Little Help, (US March 2011, Australia May 2011), chef Emma Jarrett is fine with sex, but not with marrying a doctor after growing up in a medical family where she came a poor second to her parents’ egos and their patients. Catering surgeon Nathan Hale’s birthday bash is one thing, but the attraction she feels for him quite another, yet it won’t be ignored. There’s definitely some Kirk in Nathan. He’s as wedded to his career as the captain was to his ship. And I even got Nathan shirtless LOL. The editor of this book said the food descriptions made her hungry. Romantic Times’ Book Reviews agreed, giving the book a glowing 4 star review.

In a classic Trek episode, Surak, the Vulcan Nelson Mandela, says, “May we together become greater than the sum of both of us”. In With a Little Help, this is my wish for Nate and Emma, and for you, too. Given your druthers, would Kirk, Spock, Worf, Data or another TV character fulfil your romantic fantasies? Although if you choose Jethro Gibbes from NCIS, we may have to have a little talk. He is so mine.

Valerie Parv


Kandy Shepherd said...

I might have to fight you for Jethro Gibbes, Valerie!

Virginia C said...

Sensational SuperRomance, Fantastic Food....and Kirk!!! "Blast it, Jim, I'll have to eat the darn book after I read it!" : )

Michele L. said...

I always liked Star Trek, The Next Generation also! It was my favorite out of them all! Will, #1, was my favorite character from the show. As for other characters, Nathan Fillian, from Castle would do very nicely!

parv said...

Oh Kandy, it's Kapows at 10 paces then. LOL at eating the darn book, Virginia. Hmm, edible books. Gives a new meaning to Reader's Digest. I can see the appeal of Nathan, Michele. Of course he isn't KIrk or Gibbes, but at least I don't have to fight you for him LOL.

Donica Covey said...

You can keep Kirk. I was never a huge fan of ST but I totally LOVEd ST-TNG! Pickard was the man of my dreams...Jethro we may have discuss, however there are four men at the top of my dream list--three of them star in the new Hawaii 5-0, the fourth is on Supernatural.

Completely LOL at Reader's Digest.

You know, I had never seen the corrolation between ST and Romance but you VERY CLEVERLY connected them!

VERY excited about your new release, can't wait to get my claws on this title!

Creeping back into my Crypt...
Donica Covey

Nell Dixon said...

I used to love Avon from Blakes Seven - sigh. Google it on Youtube if you haven't seen it -great vid on there of his best putdowns.

Bron said...

Hmmmm - i love the bad boys, so I'm more likely to go for the hero who pretends he's bad but inside is a good man dying to get out. Like Damon in The Vampire Diaries.

parv said...

Very true, Bron. My fav bad boy hero was Garth in "Operation Monarch" who might have been the lost heir to his country's throne. Talk about a misfit! Jack from Torchwood is a yummy bit of both. Worf also manages to be a bit of both (I nearly wrote swing both ways but never Worf)

Annie West said...


I love the sound (and look!) of this latest release. What a great conflict for your heroine to overcome!

I haven't watched Star Trek in years and I was so fascinated by your run down on the appeal of the various characters. Like a whole set of heroes to fall for, depending on your mood.

Tina Louise said...

I never would have seen the correlation between ST and Romance novels. Only you could have seen it. Thanks for making me think about the show again. I loved the original ST and always saw my dad as Captain Kirk, so none of the other series ever measured up.

parv said...

Great to see you here Annie. I was just admiring the hero on your cover of Protected by the Prince. Keeping the parallels going, "When desire wars with duty..." could almost be Jean Luc Picard's motto too. And yes, I do like Picard but he's too closed-in, too fatherly to push my buttons. Although his voice could melt chocolate.

Serena said...

OOOOOOOOH Star Trek!!!!!!!!!!! Oh which series to choose! Love them all - but do admit a penchant for Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) in Enterprise. And also loved him in Quantum Leap!

***"My fav bad boy hero was Garth in "Operation Monarch" who might have been the lost heir to his country's throne."

One of my all time faves, Valerie! I guess having the heroine called Serena helped - I do love a good prince story and Serena gets her prince :)

Can't wait to read your Super Romance.

Nas Dean said...

Can't wait to read your WITH A LITTLE HELP, and I do think we need to talk about Gibbs...

parv said...

Laughing here, Serena. You were very brave letting me throw you to the sharks (in my book, that is). How could I resist a name like Serena?

Nas, my sister is looking over my shoulder and trying to tell me she saw Jethro first. Let's just make it simple. He's mine, okay?

Nas Dean said...

Parv, do you think Gibbs might even look towards me? Every episode he ends up with a young beautiful woman while his colleagues look on enviously!

ANd you threw Serena to the!!

Kylie Griffin said...

You're talking my kind of universe, Ms.Parv! Star Trek & NCIS. You can have Jethro as long as I get first dibs on Tony. LOL

Now, as for Star Trek, which guys to choose???

ST:O - Sulu (love a man with a sword)
ST:TNG - Vorik, the engineer (I could listen to his voice all day)
ST:V - Chacotay (a man with a tatt)
ST:DS9 - Ducat - you were always left wondering if he could be redeemed
ST:E - Trip (another guy with a to die for accent & I liked his darker side after the episode where his sister died in the Xindi attack on Earth)
ST:latest movie - Spock (always loved the conflict he experienced with his dual heritage)

parv said...

LOL at a man with a tatt. You have your priorities, Kylie. But at least you're sensible about Gibbs. Wonder if the "men with swords" thing is why Piccard did fencing as a hobby?

Nas, yes, my hero was an ex Navy Diving Instructor and he took "his" Serena into the middle of a feeding frenzy of black and white-tipped reef sharks, mainly to elude the bad guys. Only later found out that the real Serena is terrified of sharks. Me, too.

Pat Cochran said...

Love Jethro and Tony, but my
extraspecial favorite is David
Boreanaz, "Seeley Booth" of the
"Bones" Show. Then there's "Peter
Burke" & "Neil Caffrey" on "White

Pat Cochran

parv said...

Thanks for providing a new list of eye candy, Pat.