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.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You make a good argument for paranormal heros, I never made the comparison with fairy tales before, that is a real good point! Prince of darkness, lol!

I have read some Sherrilyn Kenyon (sp?) they are juicy paranormal reads. I haven't read Gena Showalter, I think I will give her a try!

good blog!

jaundyce

K. B. said...

Ah, it's so nice to know I've actually corrupted someone, and I didn't even have to push too hard. "Come to the Darkside Karyn, and enjoy." *snort*

Until I picked up Acheron last year, I hadn't touched a romance in years - sad to say since I write romance and have actually tried to sell it. But with Acheron, I truly found my niche, and have spent a ton in the past year playing catch up. Now, if I can just get you to read Kerrelyn Sparks. :)

I absolutely agree, it's the bad boy, tortured hero with the heart of gold that appeals. An the fact they are very much bigger than life, and not just their warrior height and warrior stamina, but the fact they are hard as nails and soft and tissue at the same time and never seem to lose their Alpha Male abilities. They are, indeed, everything Prince Charming should be. :)

-K.B. Allen

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

Thank you Jaundyce!

I have read a couple of Kenyon myself, she is very good, I still have a hard cover copy of Acheron I still have not read yet. (K.B, don't hit me!) Just personally, I think I prefer Gena Showalter. But I will see if I like the 'Lords of the Underworld' series, first before saying positively.

Give her a try, you'll like her!

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

Yeah, didn't take much to pull me to the dark side, Darth Vader.

I always loved vampires and stuff since I was a kid. More so after I got into my teens and saw the romance possibilities. But I never got into romances until a few years ago, paranormal or otherwise, surprising.
Hey, I just bought "Vampire and the Virgin" LOVE that title! So I will be reading my first Sparks.

Oh yeah, bigger than life, in oh so many ways. Fantasy, fairy tale, all the way. EXACTLY. a dark Prince Charming, how appealing. Thanks KB!

Deb said...

Great post, Karyn. I am not a paranormal reader, generally. I sometimes like the time travel books, but not usually because I sometimes as too many "what ifs". I did read one of Annette Cleve's (spelling?) and it wasn't bad, but I just didnt' get into it.

Deb said...

oops, ask what ifs....

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

Deb, Paranormal is an acquired 'taste' (no pun intended!)and not every genre or sub-genre appeals to everyone.
The one I'm not crazy about? Those contemporary stories about babies. Nope. Can't get into it.

I like time travel too, not easy to find. Someone mentioned at my other blog and I have heard about at other romance blogs is "Outlander"
by Diana Gabaldon, there are 7 books. And it's Scotland so I think there are some highlanders thrown in, though I maybe wrong!

Cheers Deb!

Deb said...

Karyn, a friend of mine told me she didn't think I would like DG's books (she knows what I like to read) because in TEOTB story, the heroine jumps back and forth in time and has a lover in each time period and can't decide whom she likes more....I don't know, haven't had anyone say yay or nay.

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

Deb, I investigated more, and they are not romance novels as such, in fact, they are not sure how to categorize them, sort of sci fi-sort of romance. I see it is only available in trade paperback (costing close to 20.00) so colour me cheap, I will wait for a bit before I get this, LOL! But I will keep it on my radar.