As most, if not all, romance readers know, it isn’t the grand adventure that makes the story, it’s the interesting and well-written characters who make you feel and who earn your affections. But lately, it seems, I’ve been bombarded by characters who simply lack…character, and I would like to take this opportunity to let authors know that I have had more than enough of:
1. Widowed Heroines who have been mourning their lost soulmates for years, and the loss of his love has destroyed her. So much so that she spends most of the first chapters teary-eyed...at least until the moment they notice the Hero, and suddenly its “look at the ass on that guy!”
2. Those Heroes who are not interested in getting involved with the Heroine of the story. He’s sworn off women, or she’s too good for him, or he’s too damaged or too poor or too jaded. Buuuut he’s okay with jumping her at every opportunity, at least until he get’s her safely back home…or to her new husband...or any other guy but him.
3. Don’t get me started with those Heroines who run off to meet the villain of the story to exchange herself for her mother...brother…sister…the babysitter, with no plan and she doesn’t contact anyone or even leave a note because the villain told her not to. (Buddy, if she’s that stupid, let her go!)
4. The Hero who is “painfully aroused” each and every time he catches a glance at the Heroine’s pert (insert body part). How old are you? 12? You can’t keep it under control for five minutes? Especially when it’s a paranormal romance and he’s centuries old.
5. The Heroine who hides her pregnancy from the Hero, not because he’s dangerous or abusive, but because he left her and took a job out of town or because his mom said she wasn’t good enough…or he simply didn’t ask her to the prom…so he must not want to know he has a kid.
6. The paranormal romance Hero who tries to hide the paranormal world from the unsuspecting human or unknowing human-hybrid Heroine, and then he gets pissed off when she almost gets killed because she didn’t know that she was on a mystical island inhabited by soul-sucking zombies. (Thanks for the heads up!)
7. The Heroine who is sooo incredibly beautiful that EVERY male has to have her, be it the Hero, the Villain, the paperboy, the guy at the Starbucks…come on, NOBODY is that awesome!
8. The Hero who is so sexy, dangerous and aloof until he sleeps with the Heroine and gets all clingy and pathetic. (Yes, I’m talking to you, Eric Northman!)
9. The Heroine who gets mad when the Hero holds back information, then she gets mad when he tells her everything, then she gets mad when he tells her what to do, and then she gets mad when he lets her make her own decisions because now he’s “ignoring” her…ugh!! (She’s a bitch! Dump her and find someone else so we can all enjoy the story!)
10. Last, but not least, when each Hero or Heroine written by the same author has the same quirky habits, say tapping an index finger on their chin or saying “Holy Guacamole”; or worse…a pinky wave by your petite heroine shows she’s spunky and playful, but when it comes from your 6’5” super muscular, hard-edged, jaded Hero… awkward.
I understand that there is a certain formula for story development and characters need to be able to “grow,” but I think it is about time to sideline these losers for some Heroes and Heroines with real character.
So—what character type are you tired of?
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.