Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Almost anything can be believed or forgiven if there's a good reason. Of course, the reason has to make sense to *me*, the reader. The author has to make me understand him, where he's coming from, how he feels. And, as previously mentioned, (though it's certainly worth saying again!) makes him really sorry.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is quite good-- in my opinion-- at setting up the jerk-hero, and then making you love him anyway. Lori Foster has had a couple of these for me. So has Carly Phillips. But the key is that, eventually, you either forgive them... or you love them anyway.
This can be a hard thing to do. In my current WIP (work in progress), years ago my hero kissed my heroine to push another girl away. Two problems. One, when my heroine figured out that was the reason, it definitely took some of the wow-factor away for her. Two, the other girl was her sister. Yeah, I'm going to have to work to make him sympathetic. Or really, really sorry! (don't worry...)
Right now I'm reading Susan Andersen's Playing Dirty. In this one, the hero made the heroine believe he was in love with her, had sex with her and then told everyone. Oh, this was in high school. Yeah. Now, I don't love that, of course, but I'm willing to keep reading to see what was going on in his head, willing to believe that maybe there was a good reason. Maybe.
But then... he also called her fat. Publicly. In the high school cafeteria.
Now, this is Susan Andersen. I would give Susan my first born if she wanted her. (Well, maybe my second born. No, my first born. No, second. Oh, heck, she can have them both). Anyway, I'm going to keep reading because this is Susan. And we haven't been in the hero's head about these past events other than to know that he's sorry and has tried to apologize a few times. But I better see some damned good reasons here. Soon.
Especially about the fat thing. In fact, I'm not completely convinced that I'm going to be able to get over that one no matter what he says or thinks. That's big stuff (no pun intended).
But wait... this is fiction. Okay. Yeah, I can probably get over it.
Of course, real life is different. For me anyway. In real life, my own real life or that of my sister, best friend, or daughter, there is no way I would forgive public humiliation. No way. But with fictional heroes, I'm a little softer. Not all readers are, though.
So, how about you? Anything that you would absolutely not forgive in a hero no matter how hunky, hot or sweet he is now?
Posted by Erin Nicholas at 2:00 AM