Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Sunday, September 22, 2013

bad boys-- oh yeah you know who I mean...

This is a biggie involving romance books in particular. If you make the 'bad boy' attractive, the desirable hero for the heroine to want (and hopefully remake), what are your books teaching? Is it leading women to make poor choices in their own life or does what someone reads even relate?

According to this video, there are reasons women in real life do choose bad boys. Maybe it helps to explain their popularity in romance novels also.

What I try to write is books where the heroes are rough boys but not bad boys. I do not write nor want to read the kind of book, that was so popular when romance novels first went sexual, with a hero who treats the heroine abominably (for assorted reasons including misjudging her) then changes when he finally falls in love with her. I still hold my nose when I come across the rare one of those. Sorry, but I don't buy the thesis in a book or reality.

But now, the rough guy who has a good center, who doesn't mistreat her but also won't let her pull him around by her apron strings, that is a great hero for real life as well as fictionally.

This isn't new. In his films, Humphrey Bogart was a good example of a bad boy who has a good heart. What he was in real life, who knows but he looked rough enough (think Casablanca) and yet he was vulnerable and open to love. Another actor  who can pull it off is Robert De Niro. The younger generation it's harder to say about as it takes a little seasoning to really look rough or tough. Acting mean, that's a lot easier and youth can handle that one but it doesn't make them the hero type.

Except today when so many films do have heroes that are mean and actually despicable. Where is that redeeming quality of nobleness that films used to have? Without it, what is the film or book teaching?

Writers write the story they have in them. I've said that a lot of times. But I believe there is a responsibility in what we turn out. There should be a message that enriches life-- not tears it apart. That may not always work out, but it's the goal or what is the purpose of writing?

I had experience with that rough man with the heart of gold with my father who was a mean looking man. Having a hero with a bit of a mean streak but who has had to work to suppress and overcome it, that makes for a good hero. He's the man who knows he wants a good woman and won't be hitting her around or browbeating her. I want a hero who can win the battles and not destroy everything as he does it.

The true bad boy, he's one to leave behind in literature or life. Okay, he can be the villain and maybe even redeem himself in the end, but he doesn't get the girl-- not in my books.