Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Random List

by Susan Sey

I'm feeling quick & sassy today so I'm going to do a list blog. Yay! I'll admit I was inspired by Suz's awesome post yesterday about secondary characters. It got me thinking about things that'll set a book apart for me, really make it stand out in my mind.

Therefore, without further ado, I give you Susan's List of Things I Like in Novels but Rarely See Anymore. Enjoy!

1) Villains who aren't.

Aren't what, you ask? Aren't actually villains. Aren't evil. I love it when the bad guy is just really smart, really rich, really well motivated and wants--no, needs--the opposite of what my hero & heroine want/need. I love it when I don't have to hate the bad guy. In fact, I kinda like to like my bad guy if that makes any sense. Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham comes to mind. (Can I get an amen? As God is my witness, he was the only reason to sit through that whole movie, unless it was to drink every time Kevin Costner's accent went wonky.)

2) Generous internal monologue and gracious pacing.

Not that I don't enjoy a rip-snorting thriller, but I'm 3/4 of the way through Mary Balogh's "First Comes...." series about the Huxtable family & I'm struck time & again by how well she paints her characters' internal lives. As writers these days we're told time & again to pick up the pace, keep the action rolling, get out of our characters' heads. But Ms. Balogh has been treating me to something else entirely. She gives us a whole lot of people thinking, reflecting, pondering and brooding, & somehow I never feel anxious to get on with it. I find myself savoring her characters' slow tumble into love. That's skill, ladies & gentlemen, & something modern publishing doesn't put out a lot of anymore. So here's my shout out to you, Ms. Balogh. Keep it coming.

3) Grownup heroines.

This is not to say that most heroines are TSTL (that's Too Stupid To Live, for the acronym challenged among us.) Just that romance novels are all about growth, & if you're going to finish up as a mature, well-rounded individual with a decent shot at a HEA (that's Happy Ever After), you have to start, well, somewhere else, right? Which means when books open, the heroine has some work to do. Which means it's sometimes difficult not to have her doing, well, immature things & making bad choices. But last year at Nationals, I found WICKED BECOMES YOU by Meredith Duran in my goodie bag, & I gobbled this book up like kids gobble Easter candy. I rarely write to authors to express my profound admiration but I dropped Ms. Duran an email to tell her how very much I cherished her smart, grown-up heroine who admitted when she was wrong, acknowledged her shortcomings & made every effort to live an authentic life, right from the very start. And in a historical, no less, where female characters can get away with a certain sheltered innocence due to gender roles. That one book made me a fan for life.

So how about you? What sets a book apart for you? What makes it really stick in your mind & in your heart so you'll remember it years from now? And just to sweeten the pot, I'm going to give one lucky commenter an autographed copy of Tamara Hogan's TASTE ME, a debut novel I just read which showcases a fantastic example of a villain-who- isn't. It's a treat, I promise!

54 comments:

gamistress66 said...

is the rooster getting me breakfast? ;)

gamistress66 said...

I'm not sure I could say just what it is that makes a story stick with me. I think that's in part cause different stories resonate for different reasons. I think the common factor might be the passion & love the writer puts into the story & characters that comes through and draws me in as the reader. I do like your points about the villains who aren't and grown up heroines. I think as I've gotten older I appreciate more the recent (at least it seems more recent to me) trend of having the herione who is right out of the schoolroom but a little older (and sometimes much older) and experienced/wiser to boot.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, Susan, I was nodding all the way through that post! Thank you for articulating those points. I've been listening to Mary Balogh's "A Secret Affair" on my ipod and found the same as you. It takes a lot of skill to write those slow, luxurious books.

Agree about Meredith Duran, too. I just felt sooo awful for the heroine in that opening scene. The book grabbed me right away.

One thing I miss a little bit is the mystery of the enigmatic hero--you remember those heroes where we only had the heroine's POV and we didn't get every thought and feeling of the guy? Somehow it made it more like it really is when you fall in love. I certainly wouldn't want to stop reading the male POV as I ultimately prefer that, but I'm a bit nostalgic for the old school style.

Congrats, gamistress!

Christine Wells said...

Meant to say I agree about the villain, too. I like it when they're three-dimensional. You know you've met a great villain where at some point in the book, you can see where they're coming from and maybe even agree with their philosophy on some level.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Gamistress, looks like it's Chicken tonight!

Great post, Susan! I've been thinking something similar myself. Just lately I've been flirting with a few cozy mysteries (the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn) and re-reading the classic Georgette Heyer historical romances. And both are an example of much more leisurely plotting than I'm used to in most of the books I've read lately. The Heyers in particular seem to be perfectly happy to linger with secondary characters and the hero and heroine often don't meet until a couple of chapters in - shock, horror! But they work, they work brilliantly. I'm not suggesting a sudden spate of books with really leaden pacing but sometimes it's nice to see something different in the way a plot develops.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, and I've got Meredith D on my TBR pile. Sarah Mayberry told me I HAVE to read her. Looks like I'd better drag her out and wallow for a little while. I love the sound of her smart heroine!

Helen said...

Well done gamistress66 have fun with him

Susan
Good post and I have to say I too love Mary Balogh's stories they just pull you in from the start and I always feel so close to the characters for me that is the thing that I really enjoy just loosing myself in the characters lives and the twists and turns along the way.
I need to add a few more to the must have list I think

Have Fun
Helen

Cath said...

I like layers....maybe at the beginnings you're thinking 'ooh don't like him/her, nasty so and so. Then another layer is peeled back and its like, hmm okay I get the attitude now, and so on and so on until you are so in love and wondered why you ever doubted the character.
If you know all there is to know about the character from the get go its a boring read.

cbcowley@gmail.com

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Exactly why Ms.Balogh is one of my fav authors!

A redeemable villian that comes to mund for me is Sebastian in Devil In Winter

Anna Sugden said...

Great post, Susan - I agreed with so much of what you said!

I love villains of all kinds - but especially villains who I can understand. The most chilling ones are the ones you almost feel sorry for because the author has painted such a clear picture of what drives them. Karen Rose and Lisa Gardner are outstanding at this! And, yes, I love redeemable villains!

I also find that authors who surprise me, stick with me. Whether it's a laugh out loud funny line, an unexpected plot twist that I really should have seen coming or an unusual piece of information, anything which makes me go wow, usually means that book will stick with me.

Following on from that is my emotional reaction - scare me, make me laugh or cry, shock me or catch me out, make me sigh with pleasure over a hero or cheer for the heroine! - and I will have that book on my keeper shelf.

Deb said...

I think there is a difference between leisurely flowing stories and just plain boring stories. I don't mind the leisurely flowing stories. Sometimes plots that have so many characters and twists and turns frustrate me because I can't connect with the H/H.

I like Saint from LONDON'S PERFECT SCOUNDREL. I was actually turned-off by him and then, sigh, he redeemed himself well and was a wonderful bad-guy-turned-hero.

Susan Sey said...

Oooooh, gamistress66, breakfast in bed, I hope? It's the Golden Rooster's specialty. :-) You'll have to let us know what he serves up.

Susan Sey said...

gamistress66 wrote: I think the common factor might be the passion & love the writer puts into the story & characters that comes through and draws me in as the reader.

I think this is so true, gamistress66! I can totally tell when an author's phoning it in. I'm not going to name names, but there have been some big ones over the years that are generally auto-buys for me, & for some reason--publishing deadlines, personal issues, whatever--have clearly only gone through the motions for a book or two. Most of them regain their stride & stay on my list but one or two have dropped off forever. Gotta have heart, as they say. Especially when you write romance, you know?

Susan Sey said...

Christine wrote: One thing I miss a little bit is the mystery of the enigmatic hero--you remember those heroes where we only had the heroine's POV and we didn't get every thought and feeling of the guy? Somehow it made it more like it really is when you fall in love.

Oh, that's a delicious sort of tension, isn't it? I keep wondering how to convey that when we do have the hero POV. Anybody have a suggestion for somebody who's doing this I can read?

Joan said...

Nothing like a good ponder in the morning.... :D

Great post, Susan!

I like being in the character's heads...that's what makes the story real to me...but you do have to balance it out. I recently read a book by a favorite author...the last in a huge series and for the first ten chapters I was SCREAMING to get out of the heroine's warped head!! We (she) visted and revisited her fear that she was something else until I wanted to say "Pick something and go with it!"

Sheesh

Susan Sey said...

Christine wrote: You know you've met a great villain where at some point in the book, you can see where they're coming from and maybe even agree with their philosophy on some level.

Isn't that a wonderful moment? Jenny Crusie says the only difference between heroes & villains (if you do them right) is that the hero grows & the villain doesn't. Otherwise, they should both be strong, smart, scary & motivated. And clearly I've taken that to heart because in every book I write, my villain is the hero of my first draft. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Anna Campbell wrote: Just lately I've been flirting with a few cozy mysteries (the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn) and re-reading the classic Georgette Heyer historical romances. And both are an example of much more leisurely plotting than I'm used to in most of the books I've read lately.

Ooooh, I've been itching to reacquaint myself with a cozy or two. Daisy Dalrymple, huh? I'll check that out. And I'm with you on not wanting every book to slow it down but sometimes it's just a lovely change of pace.

And...speaking of lovely...congratulations on cleaning up at the ARRC2011 last weekend! You have a couple new shinies on your bookshelf, no? We're so proud of you!

Susan Sey said...

Anna C wrote: Oh, and I've got Meredith D on my TBR pile. Sarah Mayberry told me I HAVE to read her.

I'm with Sarah. Make it happen, Ms. Campbell. You won't be sorry!

Susan Sey said...

Helen wrote: I too love Mary Balogh's stories they just pull you in from the start and I always feel so close to the characters for me that is the thing that I really enjoy

What a lovely way to put it! That you feel so close to the characters--that's the beauty of this sort of leisurely story telling, isn't it? That you spend so much time in the characters' heads, you feel like you know them quite intimately. I know when I close her books, I tend to miss the characters for a day or two & sigh sadly because there isn't any more story left.

Susan Sey said...

Cath wrote: I like layers....maybe at the beginnings you're thinking 'ooh don't like him/her, nasty so and so. Then another layer is peeled back and its like, hmm okay I get the attitude now, and so on and so on until you are so in love and wondered why you ever doubted the character.

This is such an apt description, Cath! And it takes such monstrous skill for an author to introduce a character that makes you mutter, "nasty so & so" without making you put down the book. Especially if Mr./Ms. Nasty is your hero/heroine. But it's so worthwhile in the end when, as you say, you can't remember why you didn't love him/her.

I'm trying to think of a book that did this recently--the really unlikeable hero--and not coming up with anything. Anybody?

Susan Sey said...

Hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna wrote: A redeemable villian that comes to mund for me is Sebastian in Devil In Winter

Oh! I may have missed this one! Wheeee! Another Balogh on my list. Thanks, Dianna!

Susan Sey said...

Anna S wrote: I also find that authors who surprise me, stick with me. Whether it's a laugh out loud funny line, an unexpected plot twist that I really should have seen coming or an unusual piece of information, anything which makes me go wow, usually means that book will stick with me.

I'm with you on that one. And we read so much I think we're a tough crowd to surprise. Especially in genre fiction, where the outcome isn't in any particular jeopardy (we have to have our HEA, right?), it can be tough to really surprise the audience. And yet some people do it all the time & do it well.

Anybody have a favorite go-to author for the shocking plot twist?

Susan Sey said...

Deb wrote: I think there is a difference between leisurely flowing stories and just plain boring stories.

Excellent point. The story always has to be moving, even if it's moving slowly. :-) That's why I can't quite put my finger on the magic Ms. Balogh does. Her characters ponder a good deal, & yet their ponderings must move them from point A to point B in some unobtrusive way because I'm always happy to hang with them while they muse.

Or maybe she's such a fantastic writer I'm just wallowing in the language. Who knows?

I will definitely check out Saint from LONDON'S PERFECT SCOUNDREL. I adore bad-boys-gone-good-mostly-against-their-better-judgment. Thanks!

Susan Sey said...

Joan wrote: I recently read a book by a favorite author...the last in a huge series and for the first ten chapters I was SCREAMING to get out of the heroine's warped head!!

Oh, that's a bummer. I hate it when a beloved series sort of...falls off in terms of quality. Like the author was making so much money for the publishing house, they were suddenly afraid to edit her.

For example, this may be sacrilege but I'm going to say it: I think JK Rowling could have used a good editor for Harry Potter, books 5, 6 & 7. Some judicious pruning would have really tightening things up. Just sayin'.

MsHellion said...

*waves a hanky* AMEN, Susan! I love me some Alan Rickman.

I agree: I adore the type of internal brooding in Mary Balough's books and value it whenever some publisher allows some newbie writer to do it.

What do I like in novels?

1.) Heroines who don't behave as if they're on the Pill and can't get pregnant or worse. Seriously, if I never have to read another start of a historical where the virgin heroine is trying to ruin herself or the widow wants to have a fling--it'll be too soon. I like a little more persuasion involved. After all, when there are no real birth control options, pregnancy is a real commitment, people, and should be really make you nervous. Esp in the days before epidurals.

2.) SEXUAL TENSION. I miss sexual tension in books. More and more it feels like this is being skipped in favor of sex.

3.) Heroes with FLAWS. It is a fantasy novel; and I don't want to read about a hero who is a little too perfectly Regency--but these ultra sensitive, women-are-equal heroes populating books lately are a little too pat. Give the guy a flaw at least. Something.

MsHellion said...

Susan, I agree with you about Rowling's book 5, but I loved 6 & 7 and thought they were really tight, considering the plot lines. :)

Susan Sey said...

MsHellion wrote: After all, when there are no real birth control options, pregnancy is a real commitment, people, and should be really make you nervous. Esp in the days before epidurals.

Amen right back at you! That *is* a plot point I find troublesome. I'm wondering about it right now in fact, in the Mary Balogh Seducing an Angel (Stephen's story.) I'm 3/4 of the way through, they've slept together twice, she's resisting marriage & I know disaster is looming on the horizon. It's got to be pregnancy! But duh. Why wouldn't it be? This is no surprise. They had SEX. That's how babies are made, folks. And she's a widow, too. She knows this little bit of biology.

Sheesh.

Susan Sey said...

MsHellion also wrote: Susan, I agree with you about Rowling's book 5, but I loved 6 & 7 and thought they were really tight, considering the plot lines. :)

I'll give it to JK--she had a LOT to wrap up in books 6 & 7, but dang there was a LOT of brooding on the moors in book 7. I love a good brood--as evidenced by this post--but about halfway through book seven, even I was like, "Okay, people, let's find us some horcruxes. Time to get a move on."

Having said that, however, huge props to her for bringing it all together in a walloping second half of book 7. Wowsers. I am dying for July 15 when the last movie comes out.

TerriOsburn said...

One quick note - Devil In Winter is Kleypas, not Balogh. :)

I've loved Balogh's books for years. She created the Bedwyns, pulled off a deaf heroine in SILENT MELODY, AND wrote the only "Jane Eyre" type story I've ever liked. Oh how I cried during that book.

I'll add and AMEN! for Rickman in Robin Hood. Loved that movie at the time it came out. I claim youth. :)

The draw for me is emotion. When the emotion radiates off the page and I can feel what the characters are feeling. THAT'S the kind of book I'll remember for years to come. For my money, few can match LaVyrle Spencer for emotion filled books.

jo robertson said...

Love your random lists, Susan!

Whoa, gamistress, sounds like you might roast and eat the rooster for breakfast. LOL, just kidding.

jo robertson said...

One of the things I miss in mystery-suspense books is a truly evil to the core villain without the author delineating all the blow by blow ickness of his evil deeds. Writers of previous decades did this so well, showing the evil by innuendo.

Sometimes I feel like many current writers are going for the shock effect rather than the chilling effect. Does that make sense?

jo robertson said...

One of the things I miss in mystery-suspense books is a truly evil to the core villain without the author delineating all the blow by blow ickness of his evil deeds. Writers of previous decades did this so well, showing the evil by innuendo.

Sometimes I feel like many current writers are going for the shock effect rather than the chilling effect. Does that make sense?

Susan Sey said...

TeriOsburne wrote: One quick note - Devil In Winter is Kleypas, not Balogh. :)

Thanks for the tip! I'd totally have wandered in circles on that one for a few hours before figuring it out. Nice save.

Susan Sey said...

TeriOsburne also wrote: For my money, few can match LaVyrle Spencer for emotion filled books.

Oh, how I wish LaVyrle Spencer would hop out of retirement & write a dozen or so more books. I like to re-read her sometimes just because it's like visiting an old friend. Do you have a favorite?

Janga said...

I'm sitting in the Amen corner today. :)

I'll add dimensional, purposeful secondary characters to the list. And I mean all secondary characters, not just those waiting in line for their own stories. I recently finished a book that missed being an A read for me because there were all these flat secondary characters whose only purpose seemed to be to fill space.

Many of my favorite books are full-orchestra books rather than single-instrument books. Sometimes I love a piano solo, but nothing compares to the complexity and wonder of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion together. I love a book that makes me laugh and cry, that combines tenderness with passion, that wows me for the moment and lingers in my memory.

Susan Sey said...

Jo wrote: Sometimes I feel like many current writers are going for the shock effect rather than the chilling effect. Does that make sense?

Oh, it makes perfect sense to this weenie girl. Whenever my husband wants to watch a scary movie, he has to solemnly swear to walk me to the bathroom if I have to go in the middle of the night for the next week, & also accompany me to the basement whenever I ask him to, no questions asked, no snickering aloud.

I was taken aback by Nora Roberts' Pagan Stone trilogy just because it was way scarier than I'd come to expect from her. Creepy, yes. Flat-out terrifying, like when a demonic little boy is suddenly hovering outside a second story window, all bloodied up & leering in at the heroine? Eeeeeeep.

But I'm with you in that I do sometimes enjoy a truly evil villain. Somebody it's completely safe to hate who has sheer madness in his eyes & heart. That's utterly terrifying & sometimes a good scare is just what I'm after.

But you're right--I don't need the details. Just...make me understand it without making me witness it. Please?

Susan Sey said...

Janga wrote, re: her love for three-dimensional, realistic secondary characters: Many of my favorite books are full-orchestra books rather than single-instrument books.

Oh, Janga, I'm just stunned by the beautiful imagery of this phrasing. I'd never thought of it just that way but you're absolutely right, & put it brilliantly. When the whole book harmonizes & when equally strong characters come together to make a family out of a cast of characters, it's a sort of magic. The best kind.

Does a certain book come to mind when you think of orchestra books? (Because I am now & forever going to think of them as orchestra books--thanks for that!)

Danielle Gorman said...

Usually the books that stick with me are ones that I feel emmotionally attatched to the characters. Ones that make my heart skip a beat. Usually these are the books that the hero actually acknowledges his feelings early on. These are the stories that usually stick with me.

TerriOsburn said...

A favorite Spencer? That's a tough one. I'd probably have to go with MORNING GLORY as #1, but then it gets really hard. THEN CAME HEAVEN, THE HELLION, FOR THE ROSES and all the novellas that came with it. Her books were just perfection.

When I read Janga's description of Orchestra Books, I think of Woodiwiss and Eloisa James.

Kirsten said...

If the storyline surprises me, or if the romance is overwhelmingly beautyful. When it has amazing writing. That flows and sings through my brain/body it'll be something to remember for a long time.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Ms. Susan,

I'm with you, especially the grown-
up heroines. All the decades of my
reading have left me with a major
peeve. It's the teenaged heroine who
can manage all the family households,
run the businesses, and solve all the family problems! How can she do all
this? 'Cause she's a woman, W-O-M-A-N!
(As a 17 y/o, I was a senior in high
school reeling from the broken heart
dealt me by a football player!) Am I
the only one who feels this way?

Pat Cochran

Minna said...

Pat, you're not the only one. Worse yet, the hero in said books is always much older, well over 30. Makes him seem like a pedofile. Fortunately I haven't come across those kind of books for a long time. But in the second hand bookstore, I avoid Harlequin books (both historicals and contemporary) that were written in the 80s.

Susan Sey said...

Danielle G wrote: Usually these are the books that the hero actually acknowledges his feelings early on.

Ooooh, I love a man who's in touch with his feelings. Especially when the heroine's not, & he has to bring her around. Yum YUM.

Susan Sey said...

TerriOsburn wrote: A favorite Spencer? That's a tough one. I'd probably have to go with MORNING GLORY as #1

Oh, you're getting an Amen AND a hanky wave from me on that one. I also love FOR THE ROSES, but I butcher titles, so I just call it the Rose One. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Kirsten wrote: When it has amazing writing. That flows and sings through my brain/body it'll be something to remember for a long time.

Beautiful writing is something to be cherished, isn't it? Very few books I read anymore stand up to a re-reading but every book on my keeper shelf has language to love in it.

Susan Sey said...

Pat Cochran wrote: All the decades of my
reading have left me with a major
peeve. It's the teenaged heroine who
can manage all the family households,
run the businesses, and solve all the family problems!


Oh, that makes me grind my teeth, too. I mean, sure, girl grew up faster in some ways in earlier eras when marriage & babies was something you did at seventeen, but true emotional maturity? The kind needed to run households. Harder to come by.

This is why I love Eloisa James for tending to write older heroines in historicals. It's so much more interesting to me to read about a truly mature person falling into a true mature love.

And yes, at 17 I was a godawful mess. I'm so grateful that I didn't have to marry the boy (who I'm sure turned out to be a perfectly nice person) I was dating at 17. Saints preserve us.

Susan Sey said...

Minna wrote: Worse yet, the hero in said books is always much older, well over 30. Makes him seem like a pedofile.

You mentioned the 80s Harlequins being particularly awful about this, & I can verify that because, dude, they totally were. And I loved them. For the longest time, my teenaged self was half convinced I ought to be looking for a mustachioed 30-something to date who wouldn't mind delivering a sharp slap should I ever become remotely hysterical. Why? Because Harlequin seemed to think it was The Thing.

I got over it. :-)

MsHellion said...

I third the MORNING GLORY and I also loved YEARS. :)

Sheree said...

A couple of my favorite villains who aren't are the witch in Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin.

When I was a kid, I thought the witch was mean to lock Rapunzel up in a tower. When I got older, looking at the antics of my teen cousins and friends, I decided that some of them could do with a bit of locking up in a tower until they matured past the TSTL stage that every teen had to go through. I so empathize with the witch. She raised that girl from a baby and yet the idiot fell prey to the first smarmy boy with good climbing skills. If I were the witch, I wouldn't have just blinded the prince, I would have castrated him as well.

As for Rumpelstiltskin, he didn't have to help the miller's daughter so many times, but he did. And then he didn't have to give her an out to keep her child, but he did. In return, the story had him kill himself? What's the deal with all that? Poor Rumpy.

I love Mary Balogh's books, too. "A Matter of Class" is my favorite. I didn't like "Then Comes Seduction" as much due to Katherine (yes, she was young but that's no excuse).

Susan Sey said...

Sheree wrote: When I got older, looking at the antics of my teen cousins and friends, I decided that some of them could do with a bit of locking up in a tower until they matured past the TSTL stage that every teen had to go through. I so empathize with the witch.

Hee hee. As the mother of little girls who can already see the writing on the wall, I got a good chuckle out of this, Sheree.

And I agree about Rumplestiltskin. He deserved better.

I also agree about Katherine's story in the Huxtable series. She was my least favorite sister. Too pretty & untroubled, I guess.

Barbara E. said...

I do like the heroine that is a mature woman, who knows her own mind and isn't really looking for some hero to come and rescue her. It's all the more fun when she meets that special someone that she can't resist, no matter how hard she tries. That kind of story does stay with me, although I can't think of the name of the one I've got stuck in my head right now, LOL.

Susan Sey said...

Barbara E wrote: I do like the heroine that is a mature woman, who knows her own mind and isn't really looking for some hero to come and rescue her.

These are my favorite kinds of stories, too. Where the main characters aren't looking for rescue. Or are so busy living their lives they don't even know they need rescuing. Not until somebody shows up who makes them realizes exactly where & how they're empty. Big, happy sigh. Those heroines deserve their HEA, don't they?

Louisa Cornell said...

This is the only site where the blogger eats my comments! I blame the GR! Fried Chicken, anyone!!

Great post! Very insightful!

And I agree with many that Mary Balogh is the queen of drawing you into her characters' minds so you fall in love in the same instant as the characters.

Simply Love and

A Perfect Jewel are two great examples.


I also love a villain for whom I can feel sympathy or at least understanding at some point. I may not want him to win, but I feel for him. Karen Rose does some great ones!

And one thing you don't see often is flawed heroines. Now some have been written that I started out hating and by the end I was telling the hero to RUN AWAY RUN AWAY !!

But when a flawed heroine - selfish, cruel, insecure is written well and becomes a better woman for the love of a good man, now that is a great story. Example : My Reckless Surrender by La Campbell!

Susan Sey said...

Louisa wrote: I also love a villain for whom I can feel sympathy or at least understanding at some point. I may not want him to win, but I feel for him. Karen Rose does some great ones!

You're the second or third person today to recommend Karen Rose. I'll have to catch up on her; it's been years!

And I'm sorry blogger keeps eating your comments! I'm sure the Golden Rooster is behind it somehow. He's such a trouble maker, that one. :-)