Romance readers are in the age of the billionaire and young, virginal, innocent heroine—many of the books being published now have a power imbalance between the hero and heroine. It is common for our hero to be powerful, rich, irresistible, seductive and a bit of a jerk. Don’t get me wrong; I love the alphahole as much as the next girl and you will never see me turning down one of those books. But isn’t it nice when you are able to find a book where the hero and heroine are equal in power? Where they are equal in influence and status? I have found a couple of examples of couples where both the man and woman are nothing to mess with.
Eve and Roarke (In Death series by J.D. Robb) — We have heard many times over that Roarke owns most of the known universe in the In Death series, but Eve is no slouch, either. She is a NYPSD detective and recently has been offered more. Both came from rough beginnings and changed their lives for the better; Eve made herself into the best cop around and Roarke made himself a lot of money. While no one can question the overriding influence of money, Eve has had a book and a movie written about her. She has taken down so of the most heinous criminals and managed to marry the hero too. ;)
Jaenelle and Daemon (The Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop) — Jaenelle Angelline is Queen of the Shadow Realm and Daemon Sadi SaDiablo is the powerful, black jeweled, man by her side. When we first meet Jaenelle she is a seven-year-old girl and Daemon is 1,700 years old. Such a pairing screams power imbalance, but that is not the case. Jaenelle will grow to save the realm and Daemon will do anything to protect her until that time comes. In the final book of the trilogy we see the power both hold within them explode onto the pages.
Charley and Reyes (The Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones) — Through the first couple of books it looked like Reyes was going to be the powerful one in the relationship. He is the son of Satan and can cross certain boundaries that normal men cannot. But in more recent books of the series, Charley has shown that she had something in her that she didn’t know about. We already knew Charley could see ghosts, but slowly Reyes has started to pull new capabilities and new powers from Charley. This series is far from done and readers are anxiously waiting for what Charley and Reyes will do next.
Mac and Barrons (Fever series by Karen Marie Moning) — MINOR SPOILERS FOR THE FEVER SERIES AHEAD. Mac and Barrons aremy favorite power couple. But they don’t start out that way, do they? Mac starts out as a bubblegum pink, bouncing, clueless blonde. How she ends up is something none of us could have predicted. For four plus books most of us ahhed over Barrons and his in your face command and mystery but ironically, in the end, Mac is the one who holds all the power. Together they make one incredibly fascinating and dominant couple. Ms. Moning has said that Mac and Barrons will likely have more books, which is good because while Shadowfever answered all our questions it also gave us many more.