Making the love last

So Valentines day is over. Did you survive it? Are you suffering from a 'love hangover' - you know, too many chocolates and kisses? Or was it just another day to remind you that hearts and flowers are for schmaltzy cards and not real life?

We are not big celebrators of Valentines Day in this house - for a variety of reasons - most of which have more to do with laziness than anything else. Personally I like it that way. I prefer the small gifts throughout the year, which usually come as an act of generosity. My Valentines Day gift from my beloved was him volunteering to go to the supermarket and buy a chicken and sushi for dinner so I didn't have to cook. Score out of 10 - 10. I'm neck deep in the final proofs of The Yearning at the moment and I don't want to be distracted by domestic tasks.

A few years ago he did, however, blow me away with an unexpected Valentines day gift. We'd been having a tough time in our relationship and he'd gone away for a few weeks with his eldest son on an overseas trip. I had taken the month off work to care for our young daughter and when 14th Feb rolled around I wasn't expecting anything more than a phone call.

At 8am, and still in my dressing gown, I answered a knock at the door and was presented a HUGE bunch of roses EXACTLY like the ones I carried down the aisle on our wedding day many years ago. With the card came a CD and instructions to play track 21. It was Elvis doing a rendition of Unchained Melody.

I can hear you sighing from here. Yes, it was probably the most romantic gift I've ever received. He was thousands of miles away, in a completely different time zone, and even though things between us weren't that great at the time, I felt a shift because he'd gone to so much trouble and thought. In fact, he's still getting mileage out of that one act of romanticism, five years later. Because of that one, well-timed moment, I don't expect or want a big, expensive or even a small, cheap gift for Valentines Day. An act of generosity, which is the best and only antidote to resentment in a relationship, is enough.

What do you expect from your loved one(s) on Valentines Day? What do you like to give them?

PS - Don't forget Pillow Talk Blog Tour drops in on Jan Graham (what does Micky Mouse have to do with erotica?) and Imogen Nix (coping with publisher rejections) today.

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