Saturday, September 22, 2012

Talking Books

My Fellow Readers,

The other day I was reading a few reviews for a book I was about to read. Many mentioned that they didn't like the book much because the hero was a total jackass, an alpha-hole, etc. Now, I still read the book (A Rogue By Any Other Name) and I actually liked it, though I'll be the first to admit that Michael was indeed quite an ass to Penelope (and everyone else).

However, I started to wonder.... Which is better? A book where the hero is such a jerk that we hate him (or hate to love him) OR a book where the hero has about as much definition as a cardboard cutout?

That's kind of a hard question, simply because no one loves a jerk for a hero--I mean, that's an oxymoron! But who would want a man who elicits NO response, positive or negative? Not me! So perhaps the alpha-hole is the better choice...But there are requirements!

  • The alpha-hole cannot be too much of a, well, alpha-hole. :) There must be a boundary line, and if he crosses...well, that's it!
  • The alpha-hole must either have a reason why he is this way or must have had a tortured childhood. This doesn't excuse his behavior, but it does help us to understand him a bit more.
  • The alpha-hole must be redeemed, some how, and preferably not on the very last page of the book. Also, it must be enough of a redemption to over come his worst as seen earlier in the book!
  • The alpha-hole must not continue to be an alpha-hole (and never to the heroine) into the HEA. No--just no.

I'm sure there are a few other "requirements"--what would you add (or take away) from this list?

Now, I must say--as bad as an alpha-hole can be, the one thing I cannot stand is when the A-H has a heroine who simply lets him push her around, insult her, etc. If the hero is going to be such a dick before he's tamed, then the heroine should be strong enough to fight back, she shouldn't just take his sh*t and smile. That will make me throw the book for good!

Why do we continue to put up with the alpha-holes then if they are such assholes? It's simple--when done correctly, there is nothing better than watching a A-H finally fall to his knees for his woman. And as we all know, the worst they are, the harder they fall! :D That is why we continue to read about such men, right ladies?

Please chime in--let me know if I'm wrong (I'm okay with that!) or if you agree. What was the worst alpha-hole you came across? Share, please!


Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Adria @ Breath of Life Reviews said...

Oh I hate it when people complain about the hero because he's an "asshole." I love books where the hero is a jerk but then as he starts falling for the heroine, he sees the error of his ways or has an epiphany. Like "Eleven Scandals..." by Sarah MacLean, the Duke is such an asshole in the first two books and even the beginning of his own book, I couldn't stand the man but he did redeem himself in the end and he fell so hard for Juliana but by that time he has so much to make up for in the way he treated her.

Alexandra Hawkins has some borderline villains as heroes but she's such a talented writer that she can pull it off. Those are the best kinds of heroes to me.

The_Book_Queen said...

I think there are times when the hero may be too much of a jerk, but it's rare (at least in my opinion--obviously we all have different views on what "too much" is). But I love watching them learn the error of the ways and fall to their knees for their woman!
I have to agree with you--many of Alexandra's heroes are that way, but I don't think I've met one yet that I didn't end up loving ,or at least liking, by the end!
Thanks for stopping by, Adria!

Anna@herdingcats&burningsoup said...

Oh goodness. Yeah I read this one just the other day. I haven't gotten my review put together for it but man Michael was rough. I loved the book but oh he really made me want to de-ball him for most of it, And he really walked that line for me of being more of an ass than a hero. It took me a long time to be convinced of him. Even with all that though I love that he got a response. Like you said. Who wants a cardboard character that makes you feel nothing? Great topic :)

~Anna@herding cats & burning soup

The_Book_Queen said...

Thanks for stopping by, Anna! :) I'm glad to know that I'm not alone; obviously this isn't the first book where the hero has acted as such, but it finally got me to thinking (a dangerous thing, sometimes...) I think the main reason why I was willing to forgive him was the letters---from when he was a boy, and his last one to Penelope at the end. LOVED that, I think they showed us more than most of the book did. ;) lol.