Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why Do They Do That? - #MFRWauthor

Happy June! My favorite month since it's my birthday month. It's Friday so that means it's time for another #MFRWauthor blog post. This week's topic is about the biggest pet peeves I have in books.

Alright I'm a romance writer like most of the authors on this hop. Romance novels have some standard things required. The hero, the heroine, and their happily ever after. Easy enough right? So let's start with the hero.

If you remember week 19 I talked about my ideal hero, in doing so I also brought up the asshole hero. The guy that crosses that line from alpha into a whole different realm.

That's my pet peeve #1, the asshole male lead. Yes dominance, and confidence can be a sexy trait. Showing of their strength can give the heroine a sense of security and dominance during those hot and sexy times can really get things going, but only if done in the right way. What I don't find sexy or swoon worthy is the male that acts like the female doesn't have a brain of her own. He walks in, takes one look at her and proclaims her to be his no questions asked. From there she's expected to bow down to his every whim because he's just trying to protect her, or he knows what's best for her and she takes it. She makes excuses for his asshole behavior for one reason or another and the fact that he can melt her panties off helps I guess. I don't know when this trend of emotional abusive males started, but I'm not a fan. I can't root for a couple to end up together when the guy is a total dick to the lead 95% of the time. The other 5% is sexy time that should make us all forget about all the other crap since the female usually does.

Add to that, said asshole is given some sad backstory that is supposed to make us understand and excuse his behavior. That doesn't fly with me either. Having some sort of tragic backstory does not excuse the fact you're a major dick to the woman you are supposedly in love with.

That brings us to the next part, the heroine. Pet peeve #2, The VIRGIN heroine. Why, why are they always virgins? And I'm talking in contemporary romances not the historical, regency type of ones when being a virgin was a requirement.

It annoys me when they pair the asshole with the virgin. And they aren't just virgins, they are seemingly so pure and innocent that they are unprepared for life as a whole. It's their innocence that gets through to the dark, and angry asshole and sees the real man underneath. Add to that the fact that they go from never being kissed to performing like a pro. They give BJs with no second thought and no gag reflex. They are open to totally letting their inner freak fly doing things with no hesitation or awkwardness of never having been in that situation before. No. Just no.

Both of these combined bring me to the final pet peeve. #3 The Happily Ever After.


Don't get me wrong, at the end of a good romance you want to be happy that they are happy. It's a requirement and any romance without one, well break out the pitch forks and fire, heads need to roll. Not really that severe, but you get my point. However if I've spent my time reading a story that has #1 and #2 then I'm quite annoyed come #3. Even though I know, I KNOW, it's coming I still get annoyed. I can't help it. The 'hero' never grew on me and the 'heroine' made my eyes roll so hard they could have rolled right out of my head, I'm not feeling the happily ever after at the end. Even in the sub-category of dark romance, the HEA is a requirement and those stories touch on some hard topics sometimes. Regardless, in the end they are riding off into the proverbial sunset. And I get it, love isn't always pretty, hell even my tagline recognizes that, but still both parties have to have some redeemable qualities to make the story work.

Okay those are my three pet peeves. I have more, but picked the three I encounter most often. So what do you think? Agree or disagree? Let me know what some of yours are and be sure to stop by the other blogs in the hop.

Happy Friday
~Meka


12 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more! I always figure that anyone who finds an asshole hero sexy and/or attractive on some level hasn't actually dealt with that kind of jerk in real life. And the pure, stupid heroine...don't even get me started. I will confess that when I encounter #1 and #2 together, I don't even try to get to #3. I'm done long before someone can lie to me by telling me they're going to be happy together forever LOL

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    1. I don't know but if you read the reviews on Goodreads when some of these 'heroes' are present you'd think they were the best thing since sliced bread. I'm left feeling like an oddball because I'm not getting the same warm and fuzzy feelings others did. I've made it to the end of the books that had both, but it was with great effort and I wasn't exactly feeling satisfied at the end.

      thanks for stopping by

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  2. You said it, Meka! I don't like arrogant heroes, either. And the virgin heroines who instinctively know how to please a man in bed? Puh-leeze. Esp. in a historical setting where brides-to-be were told to just "Lie back and think of England, dear." Or words to that effect. Really stretches credibility. And I know what you mean about the forced HEA, esp. when the arrogant hero hasn't made any kind of character arc. And then there's the sappy epilogue where Mr. Arrogant has suddenly become Mr. Beta, leaving me wondering who this new guy is, because I don't recognize him.

    As for when the a-hole hero started, you have to look back to the very early romances when even rape was not out of the question. Truly retrograde stuff. Whew! That was cathartic.

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    1. Some arrogance is okay, it all depends on the situation. The ones I've read though sometimes cross that line which leaves little to view as redeemable. LOL yes the pro-virgin. To me it's a hard sell even in contemporary.

      Right, we don't ever see a change in the male, but we are given this HEA well all is perfect and he's not the model citizen. Oh man, I read one of those historical romances like that. I kept hoping she'd stab him in his sleep but, nope they ended up married (forced) and of course happy at the end.

      thanks for stopping by

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  3. Obviously some women like to daydream about fifty shades of alphaholes, but I don't get it. I was about to write that arrogance almost disqualifies a 'hero' as heroic, but then there's Mr. Darcy. Seeing him swallow his arrogance makes for a great story.

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    1. hahaha Yes they do. In a case like Mr. Darcy, seeing the change is acceptable. It's when they remain an ass from start to finish is when I have a hard time buying into the happily ever after.

      thanks for stopping by

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  4. I'm all for authors taking on the challenge of showing a true a-hole change, but it takes masterful writing. Madeline Hunter does it with her Castleford but it's over the course of a four-book series. But I confess I haven't read the contemporary BDSM stuff that's so popular. Whips and ropes tie in with my aversion to horror, LOL!

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    1. Yes it does and it can be done, but somewhere asshole became sexy and the change doesn't happen. :( I've not read that series, but it's okay have that kind of character if it's shown through his actions how he's changing. Not just an overnight thing. Hard to swallow then. And it's not always with the whips and ropes LOL but I understand, it's kind of scary to me sometimes too.

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  5. *raises glass* Here, here! AMEN! That's also the scary part; 20-somethings will accept this as their generations 'knight in shining armor', then enter their 30s with their self-esteem destroyed; divorced; and unable to break the pattern.

    Kenzie Michaels

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    1. YES!!! Some of these books perpetuate this sort of unhealthy relationship as romantic and ideal because the guy is hot, but scarred in someway so she has to let him treat her like crap so he can get better. It becomes a cycle just as you said. :( But that trope is becoming more and more popular sadly.

      thanks for stopping by

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  6. There's badboys and A-holes. You know if you have #1 and #2 together it's not going to be HEA. He's going to become more of a jerk. If she hangs in continuing to try for a HEA, eventually she's going to need help, a restraining order, police protection.... You can suspend belief when reading but some of us keep enough of a hint of reality there's only so much we can suspend.

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    1. I don't mind the bad boy. They have an edge to them, but also show a softer side. I have a hard time buying into the HEA if we're never shown the change in the guy. Giving us a lovey dovey epilogue isn't enough.

      thanks for stopping by

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