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Romance Novels are for Men:
The male characters, I mean. When I read a romance novel, I read it for the bad boys and brooding heroes with male-model-worthy abs. A strong heroine is nice, but I want men!
I thought I was the only one, but since I started writing and getting feedback from my readers, I noticed that none of them ask about my women. They’re all about my guys.
Quick: name 5 romance novel heroes. Christian Grey, Austin Sinclair, Jack Wheeler, Alex Sheridan, Billy Ramsay. Okay, I cheated. Four of them were mine (the last one still to come).
Now name 5 romance heroines. Ana Steele and…? I could name mine, but that’s not my point. How many times have you heard Christian’s name over Ana’s? Do your female friends gush over Ana and wonder who’s going to play her in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie? Nope.
Romance critics, and audiences in general, have long complained about the lack of strong women in books, TV, and movies, but when good female characters make an appearance, they’re overlooked or quickly forgotten. A few months ago, I dedicated a week of my Trashy’s Treasures blog posts to my favorite kick-butt chicks. I posted pictures and videos of strong women such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aeryn Sun (Farscape) and Susan Ivanova (Babylon 5). The initial post, which I thought would generate some interesting discussion, got 0 comments. My fluff post about The Bad Boy Appeal (including pictures of Lost’s Sawyer) got 11 comments.
Last month, I did a giveaway of my erotic mosaic novel, Her Twisted Pleasures. One of the ways to enter was to ask a question on the character interviews I posted. Talia, the heroine, got 0; Will, the hero, got 1; and my bad boy, Alex, got 11. Huh. Maybe romance is for the bad boys. 😉
I’ve written two bad boys: Austin and Alex, but they’re very different from each other. Austin is fun and charming. He’ll drive you crazy with his teasing smile and tempting kisses. He’s a player, but with good reason. He’s been hurt, and he doesn’t want to risk falling in love again so he guards his heart. Women know he won’t stick around, but they can’t resist trying to be the one to change him. She found him when neither one of them were looking.
Alex is cynical and ambitious, and maybe even a little dangerous. He does the wrong thing for the wrong reason, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him. He prefers unavailable women, and he’s not above sleeping with another man’s wife, or sharing his best friend’s girlfriend. That’s a recipe for disaster, but Alex loves adding a little spice to his bedroom (or pool table) encounters. He’s been burned, but he’s not afraid of playing with fire. My readers all want to know if he’ll find his happy ending, and the answer is… yes… after I make him pay for his sins.
But my favorite guy is Jack. He’s a brooder, and I typically don’t like brooders, but Jack keeps his tragic past hidden behind an approachable mask. He’s the best friend you can always depend on, but when he needs help, he won’t ask for it. That would reveal his weakness, and he has to stay strong to protect the ones he loves. He’s suffered for years, and he earned the love he deserves.
The one thing all these guys have in common is this: there’s a woman who can heal him, but he’s gotta go through hell and back to find her—and keep her. If you’d like to hear about Jane, Talia, or Sara, I’d be happy to tell you, but I suspect their men are far more appealing.
So maybe romance novels are for the couples. After all, only love could make a player, a cynic, or a brooder into a romance novel worthy hero.
Don’t forget to stop by the Evolved Publishing pre-holiday blog hop. We’ve got 20 autographed books up for grabs! From thrilling young adult adventures to suspense nail-biters, thought-provoking literary novels, bright and cheery books for children, an uplifting memoir, and hot-and-steamy romance, we’ve got something for everyone on your holiday-shopping list.
About Amelia James: Amelia James started reading steamy romance novels in junior high, but her mom took them away from her, so she started daydreaming instead. After she got married, she wrote some of her naughtier daydreams down and sent them to Playgirl magazine. Two of them got published. She kept daydreaming and writing stories until her dirty stories turned into trashy books.
She lives in Colorado, but she’ll always be a loyal Wisconsin Cheesehead. When she’s not lusting after her next bad boy hero, she looks for inspiration in sci-fi and action movies, football players, bloodsucking lawyers, muscle cars, and kick-butt chicks.
“I write because I love it, and I have a wild imagination I gotta do something with. I’ve been writing stories since the 3rd grade. My teacher wrote ‘tends to daydream’ on my report card. I’m gonna have that carved on my tombstone. My stories are character driven. I love creating characters and hearing the stories they have to tell. They’re my imaginary friends. Yep, I’m a little weird.”
About Her Twisted Pleasures : “Her Twisted Pleasures” by Amelia James, a steamy mosaic novel about the love triangle that is Talia, Will, and Alex. And oh… what a twisted triangle it is. Talia indulges her sexual pleasures, turning her life into a twisted mess. Sleeping with Alex is dangerous and reckless. She craves that excitement. Loving Will is comforting and safe. She needs that stability. Why can’t she get everything she wants from one man? Will has everything under control, and watching his girlfriend flirt with his best friend fuels his lust for her. He loves Talia, and he trusts Alex. It’s all good… as long as he makes the rules. Alex doesn’t give a damn about rules. He knows how to play with fire without getting burned. It’s just sex with Talia. No emotions means no attachments — that’s one rule he won’t break. Sometimes dirty little secrets are more dirty than secret.