The subject came up between hubby and myself when I read a post about why men should read romance and women, thrillers. I read both, duh, in addition to books in most genres, provided they are well-written. You can read the post for yourself at The Red Pen of Doom.
My husband reads the occasional romance. Shocking, I know. It all began back when I worked my way through Karen Marie Monings’ Highlander romances. He and I were on vacation and I handed him each book as I finished. Some he thought were just plain dumb, but the one book he truly enjoyed was The Immortal Highlander, Adam’s book. He liked this book because not only is Adam a complex character, a perfect chimera of good and bad… kind of a trickster figure, Gabrielle is an intelligent heroine. I’ve noticed that once a story is finished, KMM’s heroines (when they reappear in later installments) tend toward TSTL. Gabrielle seemed to be the type to remain in character throughout. In addition, my husband felt she had a damn good reason for remaining a virgin into her twenties. She was a Sidhe Seer and she was attracted to the fae males, not human males. There ya go.
He got the concept all right – women who were virgins for whatever reason/excuse/prevarication/rationalization…. mostly because at the heart of each of Monings’ stories lies this theme – the virgin heroines are waiting, like Sleeping Beauty, for true love’s kiss, whether they realize it or not. Hubby just didn’t believe it. It didn’t fit with his world view – which is this– women enjoy sex as much as men.
Maybe it takes the right man, a strong, secure man, to read romance. Who knows?
I think I’m lucky. This will make my husband blush, but every one of my heroes is he. Or is it him? Each hero possesses one or more of his attributes. (Hey, get your nasty minds out of the gutter!)
I have my own personal hero to model my characters after. And he likes to read a few romance books. He reads all my books! I’ll tell you the romance hero he personally identifies with the most – because my husband is very into seduction - and this is one of my favorite books - he loves Marc Chastain from Kill and Tell. For that matter, he’s also a big fan of Gray Rouillard from After the Night. So macho, so alpha, so protective and so big hearted.
Men really should read romance. It would be good for them. They might just get the emotional connection we women crave. I know thrillers, provided they are not gratuitous gore-filled slash-fests, are good for me! I mean, look at all the existential angsty pleasure I derive from The Walking Dead and the time paradox I get to think about while watching The Terminator…