A good beating, that is...
What is about heroines who feel the need to destroy the men they "love." I don't understand it.
Ladies, meet Sarah Van Horne, the heroine from Debra Dier's DECEPTIONS AND DREAMS. I recently discovered Dier's works and have enjoyed them immensely ... until now. Maybe it's because Sarah Van Horne has no self esteem, allows her little sister and stepmother to treat her like shit, yell at her, call her a slut and literally push her down the stairs. Hmmm...or perhaps it may be because she finds an amazing man who can't get enough of her, professes his love for her, proposes, marries her, makes sweet and passionate love to her and THEN allows her brother (who is a psychopath and murderer) to convince her in less than two seconds that the hero doesn't love her. You think that's it? Nope, not enough...not even close. Sarah's a kinky one; at her brother's orders, she ties the hero up, stuffs a sock (or cravat) in his mouth and who knows what else would have happened had the hero not freed himself. Nice job, Sarah! Real sweet!
You would think once this dimwitted beeyotch realizes that her brother is a lying piece of shit, she would come crawling on her hands and knees. Well, she does...for about a second. You see, once the hero tells her to get lost and that maybe they shouldn't have gotten married in the first place because she doesn't trust him to even put a pair of shoes on, she verbally assaults him, tells him he doesn't really love her and then goes nuts with the leave me alone and I'm going and you don't care and blah blah blah blah blah. Fuckin' idiot! I'm going nuts here. Do authors give us no credit at all? Why do some heroines make love so complicated. The man loves you, ya moron! Take it and run! Don't question it. HE. LOVES. YOU. Gosh, the heroine from Balogh's SILENT MELODY didn't have this much trouble hearing the news.
Another clear winner in this little game called love is Miranda Mabberly (one of the worst last names to grace a romance novel EVAH), the heroine of Elizabeth Boyle's THIS RAKE OF MINE. I generally enjoy Boyle's novels. SOMETHING ABOUT EMMALINE brought me many hours of enjoyment last year. I was looking forward to reading THIS RAKE and finally when I bought it, I quickly began devouring it...and soon suffered a severe case of indigestion. How does Miranda reward her hero's pronouncement of love? The answer is simple! Like any woman in love, she accuses him of murder and proceeds to call the authorities so he can be hanged. Nothing says true love like a hanger's noose (well, maybe in some circles it does...)!
Why can't heroines just accept that the men in their lives love them? I realize that sometimes even I am skeptical of a man's love, after been hurt so much in the past, but I've got to draw the line somewhere. If a guy were to announce to the world that he loved me and then, to prove it, risked his life for me and clearly demonstrated his love in a million and one ways, I'd shut him up with a kiss (or two or three...) and lock myself in a room with him for weeks. These ridiculous women are rejecting their men left and right and the men...THEY TAKE IT!
I want a hero who will not take it any longer! I want to see heroines get their comeuppance NOW! I want heroes that make their women beg for forgiveness if they dare pull stunts like this. I'm sick of the whole DON'T CRY, LOVE! YOU HAD JEAN-CLAUDE BEAT ME UP FOR LIKE THREE HOURS WITH A NAIL RIDDEN PIECE OF WOOD, BUT THAT'S OK. FORGIVE ME AND LOVE ME FOR HOURS speech heroes make. The woman doubted you, possibly ran away with your unborn child (this is another plot I just looooooooooove) and all you can do is hug her, forgive and forget? Is something wrong with this picture? Whatever happened to some good old telenovelas attitude? How about some MARIA, NO TE QUIERO (ok...my Spanish is kinda rusty, so I apologize).
I'm not saying the hero should beat the heroine to a bloody pulp (although some sure deserve it). I don't condone violence against women. All I'm asking is that the hero give her about two chapters of uncertainty; let the hero get engaged to some other woman even. We see this all the time whenever the hero screws up. Authors..please..give us something. I'm begging. I'm just asking for two or three chapters, instead of two or three paragraphs (if I'm lucky). I mean...are there NO books in which women are given a hard time?
Romance novels are written for a female market, but give women a bit of credit. We're not stupid and we don't want amazing men getting emotionally beat up by women who don't even deserve to walk next to them. It's upsetting!
I promise you I will burn the next book with such a heroine.