You all know that I’ve been switching my books from paper to Kindle.  Another thing I’m doing at this time is picking up titles of authors I’ve either never read or are using indie publishing to debut their writing.  Granted, the latter is a little dicey; thank God for the “sample” button on these unknown authors.  As for the former, I picked an author who has been writing for a long time, but I’d never read before.  She recently started putting her backlist up and I bought, sight unseen, a duo of titles that reviewers I trust raved about.

Not going to mention author’s name or the titles, but to give you an idea of how I felt reading the books….where is insulin when you need it?  Briefly, the premise of both books was that the heroes, due to past relationships, had closed off their hearts.  One felt his love was hurtful and the other had been hurt.  Both were yummy, strong, handsome and rich.  They made some bad choices, but redeemed themselves at the end of the book.

It’s the heroines I had a problem with.  In book number one, the heroine was a single mom of a special needs child.  That’s it.  That’s the ONLY bad thing about her, if you can call trying to raise a special needs child alone as “bad”.  Otherwise, she was beautiful, patient, loving, and forgave the hero his mistake easily.  BS!  Oh, don’t get me wrong; there’s a special place in heaven for all parents who have (and keep) special needs kids.

But they ain’t perfect.  They get tired.  They get cranky.  And they have bad hair days. There are even moments when they get as angry with their SPN child as we do with our regular kids.  And feel as guilty afterwards about it as moms of normal kids.  This heroine strolled through life NEVER having any bad stuff going on.  (Except the husband and father bailing out right off the bat which in this case is a win since this type of partner is usually worthless in the care of a SPN.)

My second issue is that her ONLY internal conflict is that she couldn’t fall in love with anyone who might be detrimental to her child.  But from day one, this hero LOVED the child.  And the kid loved him and how the heroine missed seeing it was astounding.  It was as if she wanted to be a martyr. I just wanted to shake her!  The main reason I kept reading the book is I loved watching the relationship between the hero and child develop.

As to the second heroine, it’s the child as an adult.  Again, despite her handicap, she is beautiful, adorable, fun, and has a special gift that gives her a lot of independence.  But again, the worst thing about her is…oh, wait!  There wasn’t any.  Arrrgh!

To give the author her due, she ISN’T a bad writer.  Back in the days these titles were first published, reader expectation was waaay different than it is today.  But it seems to me since she has the new control over her own writing, couldn’t she have done a little re-write?  Make the heroines three-dimensional?  Updated the language to modern times?  Toughen up then up some?  At least, mess up their hair!  She doesn’t have space constraints or any editor telling her “This won’t sell.”  Shoot, she could even publish the book as originally printed AND publish an updated version that enriches the story.  As an indie author, the options are endless.


9 thoughts on “SAINT HEROINE

  1. Jackie–
    Great post. I don’t need to know the author as there are still plenty out there.
    If I have a good hair day, it’s cause for celebration.

  2. I HATE perfect people. I want flaws and serious conflict. I picked up a book by a former member of our former writers’ group. The hero was gorgeous, rich, extremely talented and successful. He paid his bills on time, was friends with all his ex-girlfriends, doted on his parents, nieces and nephews, did volunteer work 20 hours a week, was kind to everyone and gave millions to charity. The man had zero flaws, and was about as interesting to read as puddin’.

    I like characters with a little baggage. A reviewer once wrote that I liked to make my characters suffer before earning their HEA. You bet!

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