Wednesday, May 12, 2010
PARANORMAL HEROES...WHAT IS THE APPEAL?
I know there are some of you out there that just are not into paranormal/fantasy romances.
Let's face it, vampires, werewolves and shape-shifters do not make for tender, cuddly hero-types.
Ah, but they do, it seems. And therin, I believe, lies the appeal. These guys are really no different from the world-weary soldier just home from war, perhaps scarred inside and out, the bored and decadent rake who sees no real purpose in his life, the rich and propertied Duke who must marry to continue the line, duty and honor ruling and guiding his whole life.
These guys are all those things...and more. Dark and tortured goes without saying.
They are usually all 6'5 or taller, their bodies and faces would make Greek Gods weep, or romance cover models slink off in shame, not worthy being in these guys presence.
They are all hugely endowed, and in a perpetual state of arousal. They carry big weapons. Don't get me started on swords.
They usually have dark pasts, whether the curse of immortality, hence centuries of pain and loss tossed into the mix, or their life state itself.
Complicating their lives, is dealing with that life-state. The burden they carry, the agony of being a vampire, a were-wolf or a shape shifter. A curse. No one can know what they endure. So, they shut themselves off, emotionally. Until they meet...her.
And in almost all cases, 'her' is a human. Why these men are drawn to human females, perhaps, to regain some humanity they lost long ago, if they had it at all. A human feels, shows emotion. Can touch one's heart.
And what human female would not want some hunk of man meat who would see to her every carnal need, who would turn out to be amazingly tender, love completely and unconditionally. Protect her with his life.
Okay, so he has this...thing. No one is perfect. So he changes into a werewolf once a month, or can shape shift into a Jaguar, or has this bug-a-boo with blood. We can work around that, right?
I would. In a New York minute. It's all make believe, fantasy. Another reason these appeal. The authors usually create amazingly detailed mythos and worlds to surround these dark, tortured hunks with, making for an immensely rich and satisfying read.
Gena Showalter has 'Warriors of Atlantis', and the 'Lords of The Underworld'. I read the Atlantis books, loved them. 'The Nymph King' arrived yesterday along with the first 'Underworld' book, I am rubbing my hands together in total glee.
I love Pamela Palmer's Feral Warriors series. The new book is out in July, see cover above. I read on her site she is not happy they got the animal wrong for Jag, he should be a spotted jaguar. This looks like a black panther. They swear they will not screw up again. Her covers are amazing, the models look EXACTLY like the warriors are described in the books, and this guy looks like Jag, can't wait to read.
Also am reading 'Atlantis Redeemed', Warriors of Poseidon, also very good.
Dragons are popular. And Demons. And Angels. The darker it seems, the better. And for someone who loves dark and tortured, these books appeal.
And yes, alright, the love scenes are smokin' hot. As I said, these guys have incredible stamina, barely containing the beast within. Come on ladies, that appeals in spades.
But what I believe is at the heart of these books is finding your true soul mate, the love of your life, who will understand and accept you for what you are. Unconditional love. So rare. And it all is an extension of the fairy tales of old. Kiss a frog, you get a prince. Same concept. Only this time, you get the Prince of Darkness.
And the human heroines in these books are not some wimpy little mice, they usually are defiant, and stand up to these man-beasts, which appeals to them. But in the end? The women throw aside the shackles of their former lives to live with their new found love, and become part of his world. A real fairy tale ending.
Dark, sometimes violent. Intense and sometimes scary, Paranormals I feel, have something for everyone.
I still shake my head that historical paranormals are not a sub-genre on its own. Imagine mixing that world-weary rake with a vampire, perfect.
Try a paranormal sometime, you just may enjoy it.