Monday, June 15, 2009

What I'm Reading: How it relates to writing

One of my pals loaned me a boxed set of Nora Roberts books, The Sign of Seven trilogy. I finished book 1, Cal's story, in two days. Now I'm on Fox's story, and about a quarter of the way through. What can I say? Ms Roberts' rarely disappoints. Therefore, I'm looking forward to finishing this series.

I can remember, way back when, I first read one of the esteemed Nora's books. Ahem, wasn't too impressed but that was early in her career and it was a Harlequin in I'm not mistaken (nothing wrong with Harlequin, mind you, but they're shorter and they're not woo-woo books that makes a difference to me).

What I want to really point out though is that first book had a major bad-boy, alpha type hero (always popular) but, to me, he wasn't too likable. But the heroes in the last year or two of Nora books are, while still definitely masculine (in a whoo hoo sort of way), they're over all NICE guys. Decent, honorable, maybe a bit messy (guys will be guys after all) but there are men you wouldn't mind knowing.

That sounds like it would be easy to accomplish but I don't think it is. I think it's a real balancing act to get that sort of masculinity and 'niceness' to work well together. Even her 'bad boy' heroes have a deep core of essential goodness or niceness about them. I enjoy reading them and I'm jealous of their heroines, lol.

However, I will say, there are passages where the guys really 'talk' and seem a bit too in touch with their feelings. Maybe this is because they're 'modern' men? I don't know. Also sometimes, I lose track of who's speaking - the hero or the heroine. I think that's because their voices aren't too well distinguished.

But...I'm still enjoying the stories and the characters. And that's the real measure of reading any book, isn't it?

-- Lynda

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