Buffy has two of them. So does Stephanie Plum. I believe our own Kirsten Scott is writing two potential love interests for her heroine in The Delcroix Academy series. They're the ultimate accessory--not one but two hawt love interests for our heroines. Erotic romance takes the love triangle even further, and I'm told the menage a trois sells like hotcakes. But we're seeing a lot more of this phenomenon in traditional romance, too.
Do these love triangles simply explore another female fantasy, or is something deeper happening here?
The romance thread in stories featuring women has changed dramatically over the years. In the past, the heroine often had two love interests, it's true, but one of those dishy men usually turned out to be a blackguard, or at least unworthy of our heroine's love, while the other revealed himself her true knight in shining armour. Wickham or Darcy? There was never any real doubt who Elizabeth would choose.Now, things have become a lot more ambiguous, particularly in series like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books. Stephanie's life is complicated--there's good cop/bad boy Morelli and scary lethal dude Ranger and she can't seem to decide which she wants more.
Poor Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a lot on her plate. There's the saving the world thing to cope with on top of the normal trials of being a young woman in modern society. And then there's the slight problem that the only time her true love releases his inner demon is when he has a moment of perfect happiness with her. Angel (most of the time) is the demon turned good. Spike is the vampire who might love Buffy or kill her. Each of them seemed right for her at a certain point in the series. Isn't it magic the way great writing can make you cheer for one man (or demon) to win, then change your opinion in the next episode?
There's something luxurious and thrilling about wanting (or more accurately, being wanted by*g*) two different men. But my theory is that writers are doing more than simply turning up the heat for their readers or providing a smorgasbord of yummy men to choose from. Secondary characters often reflect aspects of the protagonist's character. So, what does it say about Stephanie Plum that she has a solid relationship with solid cop, Morelli, yet hankers after the risk of Ranger?
I think most traditional romance fans still like the happily ever after, and they like one hero to get the girl. But what do you think? Is it possible to love two men at the same time? Do you think there's a place for two heroes in a romance?