Can I just rant for a sec?
HOW MANY FREAKING BOOKS ARE GOING TO BE CENTERED IN WASHINGTON STATE AND/OR HAVE BILLIONAIRE PLAYBOYS?!?!?!?
Seriously, I've read so many books this summer I can't count them. I tend to choose one genre and read it until I'm sick of it, and this summer it's all about NA/Adult romance.
It started when someone challenged me to read 50 Shades and I actually liked the storyline (although I really thought the writing was mediocre and I could've done without the butt play, but that's just me), what I did love was Christian's complex character and his struggles psychologically. And I loved that Anna could reach past his issues and help heal the little boy inside. Cheesey, I know, but true. I loved it.
That set my summer reading stage for a series of cheep ebooks and Freebies that I downloaded to the good ole Kindle. Some of them were great reads, others left me shaking my head wondering why people think that sounding like a bad 70s porn is romantic, but that post is for another day.
What's really driving me nuts is that the majority of smexy reads either center around Washington State or have control freak billionaires that constantly need their egos stroked.
Writers, hear me. Edward and Christian were not adored by fans because they were past the point of beautiful and had more money than I have dirt. No, they were loved by millions because they wanted to protect and take care of their woman, being with the love of their life made them want to be a better man (or vampire, as the case may be), and, most importantly, these guys went out of their way to put her needs first.
It wouldn't have mattered if they were from the freaking mountains, liked to shave bunnies for fun, and didn't have two nickles to rub together. Maybe if they smelled like bad B.O. instead of some heady mix of manly scents and nature. Still, I think some readers may even have been able to look past that.
Can we please understand the premise here?
What drew millions of readers to these books were the actions of the men. Now I'm not speaking for the entire female population, Lord knows there are the cynics and extremists of the world already pissed at me for even attempting to find a commonality in a romance's success. It seems to me though that women who love these books want to feel adored. They want to feel as though they are the only one that can meet their man's needs. They want to be valued, respected, and cherished with a good dash of I-think-you're-the-sexiest-thing-alive-and-I-have-to-have-you-now added in.
See, in real life, woman are the ones that make sure everyone's needs are met. They usually are the last to eat, the last to bed, the one who buys generic for themselves but top of the line for the rest of the fam. They usually make do with what's in the closet while the hubby and kids get new clothes. These readers in real life go without in so many ways, and so they are attracted to a story where the protagonist's needs are important to the leading man. In short, these readers really just want someone to give a flying rats ass if their emotional and physical needs are being met at all.
So, dear writers, here's my challenge to you. Write me a steamy story about a guy who isn't orgasmically good looking, doesn't live in Seattle, and actually works for a living. He can have hang ups and issues (although can we please tone down the I-can't-be-touched-and-I-need-to-control-your-every-breath thing). Let him fall for a girl who is beautiful to him. Maybe her hips are too round, or, I don't know, she has uneven boobs ... something. Write their story and let him overcome his hardships and want to be a better man for her. Let him love her, cherish her, but still throw her down and show her who's boss every now and again. Let him find his way past her emotional barriers and truly adore her spirit, and allow her to do the same for him.
Now that's a story readers will flock to!
*End of Rant*
Whew! I feel better.
I think I'm going to start reading either sci-fi or YA for a little while.