Thu
Feb 24 2011 9:00am

Paranormal Romance Heroes? Meh. (Putting Alexander Skarsgard In The No-Fly Zone)

Max Shreck in Nosferatu

I am not a paranormal romance fan.  I just don't get the appeal of vampires and werewolves and demons (oh my!). Now, I don't mind a bit of magic here and there (I have these things compartmentalized; it's how I rationalize my reading quirks to myself.  Don't look at me like that—you do the same, you know you do.) Jill Barnett's Bewitching is on my Keeper Shelf and features a klutzy witch named Joyous whose most charming paranormal trick is that rose petals drift down from the ceiling whenever she has an orgasm. How sweet is that? And that might be it.  Magic can be charming. I see nothing charming about the undead.

Alexander Skarsgard as True Blood’s Eric Northman It may be that when I hear the word “vampire,” I am more likely to think of Nosferatu than Alexander Skarsgard, but even a supremely yummy Norse god cannot get me past the fact that HE IS THE UNDEAD. There's no future here unless I want to be undead as well and, well, no thank you.  And then there's the blood. *shudder* I once read Karen Harbaugh's The Vampire Viscount in an effort to see what the whole vampire mania was about, thinking that if ever there was a way to win me over, a traditional regency by a favorite author was the way to go. Nope. Didn't happen. He still secretly drank his wife's blood every night. No. No, no, no, no, no. Next!

David Naughton in American Werewolf in LondonOK, werewolves.  Maybe it's because I'm a cat person, but what is sexy about making love with a canine? It comes too close to bestiality for me. I will confess to having a soft spot for Remus Lupin, the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor who moonlights as a werewolf in JK Rowling's Harry Potter series, but as a general rule? No. Too hairy, too many teeth, and what if there are fleas? And I find all the derivations—werecats, werecoyotes, wereweasels?—to be just plain silly. To say nothing of the fact that always doing it doggie style is hard on the knees.

Chernaboggu Demon

And then there are demons, though they're usually designated as “demonlovers,” as if that will mitigate the fact that they're DEMONS. Hello! Soul-stealing, mind-altering minions of The Evil One. I don't care how good the sex is, you just keep your distance, buddy, thank you very much.

No, not interested. Call me boring, call me unadventurous, call me a stick-in-the-mud, just don't call me and tell me that I must read Sookie. Not gonna happen.


Cheryl Sneed reviews for Rakehell.com.

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12 comments
Lisa Fields
1. Lisa Fields
It's funny that you should post about this topic. Just yesterday I was considering signing up to help a blog with their author blog tours,but I decided against it because the site seems geared entirely towards paranormal. Authors work so hard and I didn't think I would do their books justice because I'm not a fan of paranormal romance.

No cynical Earls. No Scottish Highlanders. Huh?
I overheard a few writers complaining about Harlequins strict guidelines for what they want in a romance and I felt guilty because I know it's kinda my fault. I'm the type of loyal buyer that likes my romances a certain way. I like my alpha heros and my innocent heroines.

I know its closeminded but vampires just don't fit into my safe, happy romance land. But if any of your readers have some paranormal book recs that they think a diehard regency fanatic would love I'm open to suggestions.
Diane Gaston
2. DianeGaston
I have to agree with you, Cheryl. I'm not a reader of vampire or werewolf romances. Just not my thing. So I do understand when someone says that Regency Historicals are just not their thing. Thank goodness the Romance genre encompasses something for everyone!
Donna Kissam
3. The Cat Bastet
I mostly tolerate vampires and werethings (more tolerance for vamps than weres) but give me demons, whether they're called demons or still called angels. I'll take Lucifer himself, actually. Or Metatron. Actually I'll take Lucifer and Metatron, they can be the main two guy choices in my imaginary first person urban fantasy. Probably end up with Metatron because I've always liked his cube. Has anyone else used Metatron? He's CEO of Heaven, Inc.

I don't like innocent heroines unless it's historically likely that they would be. I mean, Elizabeth Bennett may be a virgin but she's sharp as a tack and I do not consider her an innocent. I spark, I fizz for the lady who knows what time it is...
Lisa Fields
4. Beth C.
I'm with you. I like the idea of something magical in a modern romance, but vampires and werewolves and other half-demon/zombie/Chia pet hybrids just don't do it for me. Then I get aggravated when I read and encounter so many male leads who are JERKS. I like nice guys. There can still be plenty of personal conflict with nice guys (geez, look at reality) .
Charli Mac
5. CharliMac
I read my first vamp books recently. Interview with a Vampire and Twilight.

Interview was more horror than romance.

Twilight was a teenage love story, not so much blood a gore.

Years back I read Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. Very much like The DaVinci Code for Vampires. It was fabulous. A girl searches for her missing father who went looking for the real Vlad Dracul's resting place. It turns into a search for the one and only original Dracula.

But none of these are really the paranormal romance's you speak of. I tried picking up a few in the bookstore but nothing caught my eye. I like reading about real life with very much alive characters.

However, I am an Eric Northman fan. I watch True Blood religiously. Haven't read the books and not sure if I will.
Susannah Sandlin
6. Susannah Sandlin
Okay, then. I say: More sexy vamps and weres for the rest of us! And I'll take a wizard, too.
Donna Kissam
7. The Cat Bastet
Oh, wizards! Definitely wizards. Intelligent, owns lots of books, probably has a nice tower in a remote mountainous location, etc. More wizards, please.
Lisa Fields
8. Beth C.
I'd like to join the chorus in asking for more sexy, super-intelligent wizards.
Lisa Fields
9. Janet W
I'm mostly agreeing with you and Diane Gaston -- bring on all the different tropes: there's room for all of us. But the unread leaves me pretty bored. A lovely wizard with a fabulous library (a la Key of series by Nora Roberts) works for me but other than that, I'm just not that into it. But I adore Buffy. Go figure! ... interesting, my captcha had the word "phenomena" hmmm ...
Laura K. Curtis
10. LauraKCurtis
I am NOT a fan of fangs or fur. I've been puzzling about what I don't like about them for a long time and one of the reasons I've come up with is that I like to believe that my romances can happen. It doesn't have to be super realistic or anything, but I have to believe in the possibility. And I just don't believe it with weres or vamps or whatever. I just don't. And I don't believe in a world where everything is pretty much the same as ours except that it has weres and vamps.

I love pure fantasy romance, where there's a well-drawn alternate reality, but even there I prefer my romance between humans. That, I can relate to.
Misha Tagliaferro
11. MishaTagliaferro
I agree wholeheartedly on the demon romance. There is nothing romantic about demons. They are way too scary and evil.
Rachel
12. thewriterach
For me, it totally depends on the story.  I'm slightly obsessed with paranormal romance right now, but I'm also obsessed with historical, fantasy, etc.  But I won't read zombie romance.  I might read vampire romance (although Twilight was ridiculous), but not zombie.
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