Friday, 13 December 2013

The Heroes We Love

I picked up Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas from the library, and in about 1.75 days I was done. Dishes went unwashed, laundry unfolded and kitty litter boxes unscooped as I giggled and sighed, page after page, over the best kind of falling in love.

Or, at least I thought it was the best kind of falling in love.

Imagine my utter astonishment when I came across a two-star review on Goodreads for this novel (click here to read full review). This reader did not like the hero and how he fell head-over-heels in love with a heroine who, for matters of self-preservation, denied her own true feelings for him.

I was aghast. I was agog. My jaw hit the floor! She didn’t like this book?!

Now, in no way am I saying this reviewer was wrong. We readers are all entitled to our own opinions about the books we read. It just so happens that this reader cannot stand a hero who chases after the heroine. She makes that very clear. And I have nothing against that. Good for her for knowing her mind.

This review, however, was a startling reminder that ... we don’t all like the same things. Believe it or not, our tastes in hero/relationships are as diverse as we are from each other.

One tends to forget that once in a while.

For me, I absolutely love an alpha-male hero who falls inexplicably, head-over-heels in love with the heroine. Especially if she’s not your typical, extraordinarily beautiful type. There is something so giggle-inducing about an ordinary girl who cannot for the life of her figure out why this out-of-her-league man has become so besotted with her. But he is. And he's not ashamed of it.

My favourite romance novel is Perfect by Judith McNaught. In it, hardened, cynical playboy movie star Zach Benedict falls in love with pretty-but-not-modelesque, small-town teacher Julie Matheson. And he falls hard! Seriously, my copy needs to be replaced, I’ve read it so many times.

And now that I think about it, this is similar to the scenario I wrote in my Highland Loyalties series. Jane is by no means the most beautiful girl to ever matriculate out of England. But handsome Highland warrior Robbie MacGillivray falls unquestioningly in love with her. There is no "does he/doesn’t he" when it comes to his love for Jane. He does. Absolutely he does!

I applaud this reviewer of Smooth Talking Stranger for speaking her mind, and of course I respect her right to feel differently than I do. This was just a startling reminder that we don’t all like the same things.

So I put the question out there: what type of hero do you love the best? Do you prefer your hero, or your heroine to do the chasing? Or is there another scenario you best like to read about? And what are your favourite books which best illustrate this?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

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