28 July 2014

Monday Musings: Who's your book boyfriend and why?


Reading not only gives you license to travel virtually anywhere, but also the chance have reader crush's on some fabulous heroes.

You don't know what I'm talking about? Really? Come on.

I know you've imagined yourself alongside of some of those alpha guys we all love to read about . . . and there are so many wonderful ones to choose from.

How can any guy I meet live up to my fictional boyfriend(s)?

Really this male harem that lives in my mind is FINE and once these guys get over whatever hang up that has precluded a relationship in the past - they're all in by the time the last page is turned. That's why I love HEAs (and why I balk at reading serial stories that take two or three books to get to that resolution).

One thing I do shudder a bit about is the book boyfriend who's sharing his love all over the place - without discernment or discrimination. I guess, it's hard for me to imagine anyone being his HEA then running into all his past one-night-stands forever and ever.

Plus, since my book boyfriend always winds up with the kick-ass, intelligent heroine, I wonder a bit about her. Because if I were to meet my book boyfriend in real life in a bar (a popular bookish trend) and see him hook up with all and sundry, before he discovers *me,* would I really be drawn to him? Trust him? Think about having a relationship without making him have blood tests immediately?

Ummm, no. I wouldn't. Plus, in real life, those guys tend to be a full of themselves and a bit sleazy, while my book boyfriend always has a sensitive side that, perhaps, only the heroine can discover.

That throws up a question. Who then is my real hero? My real book boyfriend? Because I do like those bad boys (in books and in real life), but I think I'm a girl who wants a bit more.

When I posed this question on Facebook, one of my author friends said that there is sometimes a shorthand used to create the bad boy alpha guys that we all love.

I don't mind the shorthand. I get the point. But I do want to read the story by the writer who's creating the bad boy alpha as a three-dimensional book boyfriend. Showing the reader and his book girlfriend who he really is inside. Why he's hesitant and/or fearful of a relationship. What his trigger points are. Why he's breaking a lifetime trend and finally seeing that a relationship with his book girlfriend is possible.

What I don't want to read is the simple explanation that he's had a bad childhood and can't commit. Many of us have had less than sterling childhoods, teen hoods, adulthoods, but we manage to function pretty well ... most of the time.

Unfortunately I've read quite a few titles in the last year that don't really explore the characters psyche or tend to go with the most shorthand of shorthand explanations, figuring that we as readers know what's up. Well, we do and we don't.

The writers I love take me into the characters journey so that alongside them I can feel their pain, their joy, and their inner discovery of trust. And I totally celebrate them.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that my book boyfriend might be a bit of a scoundrel, but he's not an out and out man whore. That he might be emotionally unavailable at the beginning, but through the course of the story he learns to open up and trust. That he's strong, intelligent, maybe has a few tattoos, wears a Stetson, three-piece suit or leathers. He doesn't have to be wealthy, in fact I'd prefer that he's not a billionaire. Really. I. Would.

What's most important are the things that make that HEA possible. That he's truly in love with his book girlfriend. That he has a sense of humor and can laugh at himself. That he's confident in some aspect of his life and shares that confidence with his book girlfriend. That he can open himself up to her supporting him. That they can grow old together.

Now if only I could find him in real life, because my book boyfriend harem is stacked with candidates in stories I've read just in the past few weeks by Lara Adrian, Maya Banks, Melissa Cutler, Lilian Darcy, Laura Florand, Rachel Grant, Cristin Harber, Kristan Higgins, Lisa Hughey, Skye Jordan, Donna Kauffman, Adrianne Lee, Lora Leigh, Ava Miles, Elisabeth Naughton, Katie Reus, Jill Shalvis, to name just a few.

So, who are some of your book boyfriends? And why?

Images courtesy of imagery majestic, farconville, Ohmega1982 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net