Friday, September 04, 2009

Is a perfectly balanced romance possible?

Been thinking about Stephanie's post from yesterday, and I believe I know the book she referred to. A delicious, wonderful hero and a so-so heroine, made an almost amazing romance.

But, honestly, I can't think of a romance where the hero and heroine were both amazing, and wonderful and complex. Even with my favourite books, either the hero, or the heroine, is more interesting.

All of Laura Kinsale's books, where the heroes are unbelievable and the heroines pale in comparison. JR Ward, the Zadist book where the heroine seemed almost extraneous to his storyline.

One of my favourite books is The Promise Of Jenny Jones, and in this book, the heroine is the star, and the hero is a little stock characterish.

My favourite SEP book is Ain't She Sweet. You can tell by the title of that book where the focus will be.

In Sherry Thomas's books, the heroine's all seem more memorable to me than the heroes, but she comes close to balancing the two.

I honestly can't think of a single romance where the two were perfectly balanced. I'm wondering if it's even possible.

Would love to know if anyone has read a romance that is perfectly balanced?


Eileen said...

Diana Gabaldon's Jamie and Claire, maybe? Both strong characters. I haven't kept up with the books completely, but in the first few books they both fascinated me.

I understand what you're saying and it's something I struggle with. I've written five books now in first person, so making the switch to third person for the romantic suspense was really challenging. I had to be in two people's heads! And make both of them interesting!

Maureen McGowan said...

Interesting question, Sinead. I'm usually more interested in one than the other. And now that you've got me thinking about it, I think the reason I loved Ain't She Sweet, by SEP and Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas, is because they had such interesting heroines and, still fairly new to the genre, they were among the first books I read where the heroine wasn't just a foil for the hero (okay, I'm overstating).

Are any of Jennifer Crusie's balanced between the hero/heroine?

Eileen said...

How could I have not thought of Jennifer Crusie? Now I'm thinking about TELL ME LIES. It really was the heroine's story, but the hero was adorable and I loved him.

Maybe balance is possible?

Sinead M said...

Eileen, sadly I still have not read the Gabaldon books, a serious oversight on my part.

I forgot about Jenny Crusie, and I'm trying to remember what I loved about Welcome to Temptation, but both characters come to mind.

Maybe Crusie can write the perfectly balanced romance...

Stephanie Doyle said...

I'm going to say Kresely Cole does a good job of this for me. Really powerful strong alpha men, mixed with really powerful strong alpha women (in a lot of cases).

Both sides tend to stay with me although her books seem to lean with a feminist tilt. Instead of the "Brothers" in JR's world. You have the "Coven" in Cole's.

In Private Arr. - I agree they were very balanced - my problem with that book is that I disliked them both equally. Wanted to pound their heads together through the whole thing and say GET OVER IT ALREADY!

My favorite part of that book was actually the mother and the duke.

Lisa said...

Jamie and Claire (Gabaldon's Outlander series) came to my mind immediately as well. Eileen is right - they are both fascinating and complex.

Gabaldon's books don't fit neatly into the category of historical romance, however. At least not as the genre is normally defined.

I think her books are a class of their own, and I highly recommend them. I am on my second go-through of the series now, in preparation for the new book coming out this MONTH! SQUEEE!!!!

Molly O'Keefe said...

ohh - hard question. I gotta agree with jamie and Claire. Oh, Outlander - so amazing. Welcome to Temptation, yes. I think SEP's older romances were very very much balanced - Dream a Little Dream - please. In fact, until recently, she was sort of a guaranteed great hero, great heroine...

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