Kill all the heroines. Give me the heroes.
Has anyone else noticed lately of a gluttony on the market of books with heroines you just wish someone would kill? Seriously. The first books I read with said heroines I figured were an issue with that particular author. But then I read another. And another. And another. And now I am beginning to wonder what is wrong with people.
There is this torrent of wanting a ‘strong’ heroine. But so far, I am unimpressed with a lot of strong heroines. Does strong have to mean stupid? Unyeilding? Cannot see the forest for the trees?
There is a pervasive belief that is coming out through these books. That being ‘strong’ means standing on her own two feet and not allowing some man to help her, let alone take care of her.
I take issue with that. It takes a strong woman to lean on her partner.
But this isn’t about that – it is about having a bevy of books with sales up the yin-yang with heroines who I wished someone would kill. So, who do I think should have been killed, or at least not end up with their hero?
Bella from Twilight. Seriously – Edward deserved better.
Dakota Dane from Fate Book – Ugh. Stupid heroine and scary hero. I’d have both of them killed.
Olivia from the Kindred Bride Claimed. Ugh. Olivia – the worst kind of strong heroine out there. She is not about to bend her life for a man, a gorgeous, passionate man who wants her and will do anything to get her. Gah – she almost gets Baird killed due to her stupidity and inability to listen.
(Inability to listen – that seems to be a strong characteristic in all these heroines. They are told the facts, they may even understand them, but they are going to refuse to acknowledge them anyway because they are women and that is that.)
Even worse than Olivia is her sister Sophia from the Kindred Bride Hunted – Seriously, Sylvan. Let the Scourge have her. You’d be better off.
Not to mention Kat from Kindred Bride Sought – There is just nothing good that could be said about the woman.
That said, the males in the first three books of the Kindred series are worth reading about. If you can ignore the annoyance of the heroines.
But the pinnacle of annoying ‘strong’ heroines that should be put down is:
Beatrice from Divergent – Ugh. Tobias definitely deserved better. At least with The Twilight Saga I made it through the entire series – albeit ranting and raving my way through the fourth book – and I still read books 1 & 3 from time to time. It took me a long time to make it through Divergent. I gave up part way through Insurgent, unable to deal with her anymore. Beatrice is an entire waste of page space. She has a chance to kill a REALLY bad guy in the first book. Does she? No. She shoots him in the foot.
I think people need to revisit what they call ‘strong’. These women are strong, but mostly? They are whiny, whimpy bitches who refuse to accept help from the men at their sides and instead have to do things ‘their way’. And that usually includes blindly ignoring the facts and depending on their own stupid innervoice.
Why can’t ‘their way’ get them eaten or killed by something? And why are these books such best sellers? Why do we want girls who are so fucked up in the head that they will ignore everything but their own insecurities until they get their entire family murdered? (Okay, so that was in Divergent, but still, you know what I’m saying.)
Of course, it isn’t just the ‘strong’ heroines who are the problem. In the Divergent series, each faction is run by an adult who is not very smart. I understand this is a Dytopian series, but why must vile, mean leaders also be dumb, evil, and/or unrealistically unconquerable? I think having an evil leader who is also smart as hell makes for a better series. The leader in Hunger Games is a good example of intelligent evil. I like him just for that. (I'm not a big fan of Katniss though.) I also liked Aro in Twilight until Meyers made him into a power-hungry demon.
I can only assume either this is a phase (dare I hope it is dying out?) or that readers like idiotic heroines. In that case, I need to change genres and look for better ones.
What heroines do I like?
Well, the one that hops to mind is Hailey in the Coursodon Dimension series. She’s smart, sarcastic, but also sees nothing wrong on leaning on her man – and they are total equals, even given the fact he’s a prince from another dimension. I give the first 2 books 5+ stars. The third? 4 stars.
This might be why I am reading even more M/M than I used to. There are a lot of great heroes in these books. Both men equal, intelligent, and passionate. And not an idiotic female in sight.
So, if you haven’t read a lot of M/M stuff and are looking for some great recommendations? Here are a few to get you started:
Falls Chance Ranch. Domestic Discipline gay series. Non-erotic. Incredibly wonderful. Take one ranch. Make it a haven for gay men who also are part of a domestic discipline household. Add the most amazing characters out there. Out of five stars, I give it a million. No, I’m not kidding.
Whyborne & Griffin. Erotic M/M paranormal romance. Another series I cannot say enough good about. Definite 5-stars.
The Magpie Lord series. It’s strange, but I do like the two main characters: Lucien and Stephen. Add in magic and you have one helluva ride. Just don’t eat or drink anything while you’re reading it. Seriously. Oh, and no oil pulling either. I tried that – almost gagged during one of the attempted murder scenes.
Temptation by Ella Frank. Try & Take - Part 3 is supposed to be out this year. Is it here yet? I will admit, ordinarily this is not my type of book. Take two men, one a hunter, the other strictly heterosexual, and have them in bed most of the book. I usually like more story, but I have to admit, Tate and Logan have captivated me. I can’t stop reading. And their story is just captivating.
SPECTR series by the same author as Whyborne & Griffin. Take modern-day USA, but it's not quite what we think. Paranormal Non-Human Entities exist and take over humans. SPECTR, a government organization, exists to get rid of said NHEs. But when a vampire inhabits a living human body, everything changes. Love the interesting triangle in this series, not to mention watching Gray, the Drakul/Vampire, develop his own personality. Actually, all of Jordan L Hawk's books are wonderful. And the book Remnant, written by her and the author who writes the Magpie Lord series is brilliant!
Okay yes, and I’m going to pimp two of my own:
All They Ever Needed - DD trilogy about two men, Logan and Christian, who find their way from two separate lives to one incredible relationship.
Blake/Dusty Chronicles: Two Sides of the Same Coin – my 86,000 word, BDSM erotic romance novel about Blake, 40-yr-old submissive who is having a bit of a mid-life crisis, and Dusty, his 34-yr-old dominant.
Het books I would suggest?
Coursodon series by M.L. Ryan. Wonderful paranormal urban fantasy novels. Book one is Special Offers which is currently free! And once you start, you won't want to stop. She's working on #4 now :D
Elemental Mysteries by Elizabeth Hunter. Vampires, a search for clues, an undead father, a hot hero vamp, and Beatrice, a rather realistic heroine. (Gasp! What a concept.) Prepare yourself for a new twist on vampirism.
Other than that? I haven’t been as impressed with the het market lately. I just don’t like the way so many heroines are painted. Smart and dumb (or even worse, manipulative. When did manipulating the one you love become popular?) at the same time. Ugh.
Labels: annoying, heroes, heroines, m/m, manipulative, paranormal, recommendations, urban fantasy