Tell me, am I the only one . . . .

Who thinks that heroes and heroines in romance novels who vow to never love again because their heart has been broken need to be, if not retired permanently, at least seriously cut back on?

I read maybe one or two romances a year, and the moment I see this in the text I groan . . . and usually put the book down. (This was Saturday, and I haven't picked it up yet.) Any hints on why this situation is so grossly overused?

Just curious.

7 comments:

Gwyneth Bolton said...

I know... I know... I'm trying to think if I've ever used it before I say too much... LOL. It is starting to make me groan when I see it though. I think it irritates me more when it's the hero for some reason. At least make it a series of bad relationships. And even then I'm much more forgiving to the hero or heroine who is staying away from relationships to have some self reflection time and try to figure out why they can't seem to have healthy relationships and keep getting duds and is taking a break then the worn "I'll never love again..." Good question. It won't make me put the book down, but it will make me groan and say oh brother, especially when it's the hero.

Gwyneth

bettye griffin said...

Thanks, Gwyneth! At least I know it's not only me.

Patricia W. said...

Won't make me put the book down either but I'm with Gwyneth. There needs to be a history of bad relationships to get to that extreme a point.

I'm guessing it's because extremes work. Going from "never" to "hea" is a big leap. Lots of ground to work with.

shelia said...

I'm tired of it...trying to stop writing about it too...I'm hoping with the novel I'm working on now, it won't fall into that category :)

bettye griffin said...

Patricia and Shelia,
Thanks for weighing in on this.

Reon said...

Bettye,
I think the rules of Romanceland are different from real life. Everything tends to be heightened in romance novels. And I think that's the way fans like it. It's all the fantasy. So when a character loves, then loses and chooses never to love again that's supposed to be a testament to how deeply he or she loved. And how deeply he or she was wounded. Wounded so deeply he or she simply can not get back on that love horse again. (Again, this is all about how emotions tend to be heightened for the fantasy.) And part of that fantasy is there's only this ONE magical person, this soul mate that can "release" this person from the self-imposed prison so he or she can *venture* out and try love again. Also, writing that the hero or heroine (especially the heroine) kept on dating and choosing the wrong mate can say something negative about him or her. Is it just bad luck or is this person just stupid to keep choosing the wrong mates? I've only used a version of I'll-never-love-again thing in one of my seven romances. And it was the very first one :-)Glad I got a little more creative after that.

bettye griffin said...

Reon,
Thanks for commenting. I'm not much for fantasy - managed to duck it in most of my Arabesques. But even with the tiny number of romances I read, this theme persists is in most of them (the other is the one about the woman's one [hah!] prior sexual experience was always awful).

I think there are more creative ways to address these issues, just as you discovered with your subsequent books. As a fellow classic movie lover, I'm sure you've seen From Here to Eternity. Deborah Kerr's character had slept with dozens of men (at a minimum), but I believed her when she and Burt Lancaster were kissing in the surf and she says so breathlessly, "I never knew it could be like this. Nobody ever kissed me the way you do." She was a slut, but I believed her character was telling the truth; it wasn't some line she was handing him. She clearly felt something special about Burt. From that point on, when I got to glimpse what was underneath that hard exterior, I was on her side.

Again, thanks for weighing in.