Posts Tagged ‘Book boyfriends’

Hell no, I don’t want a billionaire to ravish me.

Caution: Mom do not read this blog post. Well, you’re an adult, so go ahead and read it if you want, but I’m warning you now, I’m explaining my viewpoint on romantic or erotic literature with jerks as male love interests. Also I know I have written about this topic before and it wasn’t the most popular post…

The reason I’m bringing it up today is a super confused guy mentioned, “Girls want to be ravished by billionaires.”

No, I’m not kidding. Btw, he wasn’t saying this with any disrespect and obviously expected me to understand the reference.

First of all: Any generalization about 50% of the population is likely to be wrong.

I told Super-Confused-Guy in no uncertain terms I DO NOT want to be ravished by a billionaire. Not even in fantasy. So here is my warning to billionaires and other super special snowflakes that make up book boyfriends: if you try to ravish me, I’m calling the cops. Sorry, but I’m pragmatic like that.

I am in a monogamous marriage, but I’m an active partner. Being the female does not make me passive or submissive. During sex, I give my consent (and so does my husband btw) I am not plied into doing anything I don’t want, nor would I ever force my husband to do something he doesn’t want. There is no gray area.

Secondly, my favorite books deal with personal relationships as well as other ideas or themes. I am not a huge reader of romance or erotica and tend to read them as an author which means I am breaking it down. However, I do have a lot of respect for the genres for their ability to hold tension.

But no matter what the genre: “Alphas” who intimidate women or make decisions for them can step the f*** off. In books, they steal kisses or “play” threaten or actually use physical violence. They push alcohol to ply their victims into doing what they want. They push for commitment early. They are possessive under the guise of being protective — an ugly trait in my opinion.

Why can they do this? First of all, they’re rich and handsome–and in a spicy books, they are also well-endowed.

You know who else is possessive under the guise of being protective: ABUSERS!  You know who punishes their lovers with physical violence? ABUSERS! That’s why I don’t like this fantasy.

In my opinion, the female protagonist acting spunky doesn’t change the fact, the guy is an abusive ass.  I don’t even give them a second glance after they showed me their “alpha” side.  I don’t care if they can give the female money, fame, security or whatever else it is they want. Of course, one of the reason they can act this way, because often the story line is a redemptive tale: at some point the man will change for the woman. Or worse, the woman is forced to change for the man.

Overall, these novels demonstrate the old adage that men need respect, while women want love and attention. Screw that. Real people of all genders need love, respect, attention. That’s why I don’t like this storyline.

Thirdly: As an author and a reader, it annoys me when a character is broken down to what they can give the protagonist. (Money to buy the perfect present, throbbing members, and a six pack are apparently the most common desirable traits for men.) That’s just sad… and what super-confused-guy was talking about.

The characters (and men in real life) who I find sexy are men who respect women. They are strong in their own right, they have no need to rule over anyone. Women and men are equals. Maybe they mess up, because that’s bound to happen, but I want the characters to be alive.

As an author, I write about people. I want my male characters to be more than flights of female fantasy. I want them to live and breath. And if my reader falls in love with one of them, I want you to fall for their whole selves.

lunaThat brings me to re-introducing Ian Marcus Weaver Whitlatch from The Light Side of the Moon. I’m guessing, he will never be anyone’s book boyfriend, but even if he’s not, I hope he lives in your minds…

Original character dossier

One of the chosen to go to Kipos: Ian does not go because of his parents wishes. He grows up longing for space travel and gets the chance to go to the Lunar Colony.

Mother Grace Alice Teague Weaver
Father: Royce Xavier Langly Whitlatch
No siblings. Parents had to fight infertility even to have Ian.

Status: He is a small-town doctor and a manager of a soup kitchen’s son. So his family is loved, but he is not rich. Later, he is a prison doctor.

Looks: Straight brown hair, green eyes, big nose, high forehead. Slender build, 6 ft even. Mother comments Ian has Dad’s looks, Ian is not sure if that is a compliment.

Personality: Introverted, so his friends tend to be close ones.  Kind to children.
Virtues: Idealist, romantizes space travel, democratic, believes in equality, looks to the future

Vices: Presumptuous and can be snobby


Ian knew he should feel pride at his achievement, but all he felt was anti-climatic nothingness. His dark suit fit him well enough, but the plain white collared shirt and black bow-tie cut off the circulation to his head. Sweating under the student gown covered with full sleeves, embroidered hood, and cap, he waited to enter the Senate House. No one spoke to him, so he pulled out his pocket-sized YRUniverse. As Ian looked around at the assembled faces of his classmates, he couldn’t find joy in the others’ accomplishments. Most made it clear a small-town doctor’s son was not worth their friendship, or even their contempt.

A notice acknowledged another press release from the Tallier Groupe. He clicked on it hoping it was about Serenitatis. Or Ivonne Tallier. He loved reading about her. The message was another mission update from the astronauts confirmed there was power being drawn into the cabling of the space elevator by the Earth’s magnetic fields.

Through the door, the Vice Chancellor of Medicinal Sciences congratulated the hard work of the graduands. The entire theater clapped politely. He slipped his YRUniverse in his pocket.

Mary glanced behind her with a nervous smile to another woman, showing her pretty white teeth. Catching Ian’s eye, she gave him an “it’s okay” signal. 

His parents hadn’t arranged a marriage for him, nor had hers. He almost asked Mary to be his wife, but she decided she wasn’t interested in him “that way” and dated another half-dozen men from their class who hadn’t interested her either. She wanted them to remain friends. They did. Sort of. It would help if her presence didn’t arouse in him the need to hold her and make her laugh.

Dad gave him rubbers–with explicit instructions to use them every time he had premarital sex— but in his four years at Oxford, he hadn’t dated anyone else. He felt tongue-tied around girls. Even when they wanted sexual relations, most of his classmates had chaperones to make sure they didn’t do anything to disrupt their organized marriages. Sometimes it felt as if he would never meet a girl. His family was too poor to be of interest to wealthy families, too wealthy for Ian to slum around the factory workers of Salisbury…

So that’s the kind of characters I like. What kinds of characters do you love or hate?

If you have a “Book Boyfriend” just admit you’re reading porn.

This might be an unpopular message, but I hate the words “Book Boyfriend.”  I’ve been seeing it a lot on Faceboook recently. I don’t mind that people revel in the characters they love, what drives me crazy is my Facebook feed lately has just been loaded with crap like this along with half-naked men.

1044082_592853724070180_1985116847_nThe fact that I am seeing a bunch of idealized cheesecake shots of men is proof of porn. (No I am not going to put images on my blog.)

Now I admit, I tend to find romance books disappointing. I have read more than a few. Contemporary romance authors are very good at pacing and keeping the tension in the narrative so I have learned from them. I have lots of author friends on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t want to name names, because I’d never want to hurt another author–especially an independent author– but I’ve been reading a lot of teasers for summer and fall releases and many of the teasers have red flags for me.

I keep seeing “alpha men” intimidate women or make decisions for them. They steal kisses or “play” threaten. They push for commitment early. They tell a woman she is beautiful and they are going to seduce her. They get what they want. Why can they do this? First of all they are all so handsome–and in a spicy books, they are also well-endowed. Secondly, many of them are rich or famous or leaders of industry. Basically, they have a special snowflake status that allows them to go around acting like jerks.

They can do it because the woman is head over heels in love/lust for them. The female protagonist acting spunky doesn’t change the fact, I want to tell the guy to step the f*** off.  I don’t even give them a second glance after they showed me their “alpha” side.  I don’t care if they can give the female money, fame, security or whatever else it is they want.

Basically it annoys me when a character is broken down to what they can give the protagonist. (Money and hot sex are the most common desirable traits for men.) That’s just sad.

The man I love and the ones I find sexy are men who respect women. They are strong in their own right, they have no need to rule over anyone. I married a sweet, caring, sensitive boy who now is a sweet, caring, sensitive, and extremely intelligent man. He appreciates my independent nature. He doesn’t try to change me or expects that I change for him. Nor do I expect him to change for me. Maybe that’s why our life is boring. We simply treat each other well. I realize that doesn’t make for a good story.

However even as an author, I write about men who are people. I want them to be more than flights of female fantasy.

At least from the reviews, I have seen, Harden has been nearly everyone’s favorite character in Other Systems. He was raised to believe there is no difference between men and women so he treats everyone with respect as human beings. Reproductive organs are irrelevant to the work they do. He doesn’t sexualize women. In his romantic relationships, he expects equals.He is neither submissive or dominant.  He is simply a person. Obviously he makes mistakes, he is a bit gruff especially with younger people, but I tried to make it clear in the narrative, Harden treats Abby EXACTLY the same way as he treated his little brother Mark when Mark was in his late teens.

Now I’m finishing up The Light Side of the Moon. I wrote about a sweet, intelligent boy who grows into an idealistic man trying to build a utopia. Now unlike Harden who is used to living in close quarters with women, Ian Whitlatch did not grow up with women (except good old Mum) so he tends to idealize them. However he was raised to respect all people.

He is the only child of a small-town doctor and the manager of a charity soup kitchen. Don’t expect him to have lots of money. Dad works in a factory town and will help everyone whether they can pay or not. Mum doesn’t take a salary for her work instead donates her time to feed the impoverished. For the Other System’s Universe they are wealthy, but for the average family in the United States, they would definitly be lower middle class.

Oh and Ian will have to grow into his looks:

At age nineteen, this is how he describes himself:

Ian looked in the mirror, another pimple formed between his nostril and cheek during his excursion in the city. Mum always said he had Dad’s looks. That was unfortunate for both of them, because even when his skin was clear, Ian’s forehead was too high and his nose too big. 

Two years later: Ellie (age 13) describes him thus:

…She hit the decking. Her legs burned as she skidded down the last four meters of the ramp, but the luggage stopped moving. She  pressed her lips together tightly and tried to blink back her tears. 

“Êtes-vous bien, mademoiselle?

She looked up. The light created a halo from his straight sandy-brown hair, but when her eyes cleared, she saw his prominent nose. Then she looked past his nose and into his deep green eyes that were filled with concern.

Not thinking she answered back in English. “Yes thank you, sir.”

He wore an officer’s uniform, but she almost cringed away from his soft delicate hand that reached down for her.  “You’re an Englishwoman?” he asked helping her to her feet. 

So I doubt Ian (or any character I write) will be anyone’s “book boyfriend”, but I’m okay with that.

I know there are plenty of authors and readers who follow my blog, what kinds of characters drive you crazy?

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