Saturday, April 17, 2010

So Un-PC

The other day I was thinking about what I like in books.

I like a good rescue fantasy.  The woman is in jeopardy, the man is all muscles and brute protection.  She's intelligent, but at her wits end, everywhere she turns is a dead end, everyone she turns to lets her down . . . then the hero swoops in, observes her agony, and finds a way to fix it.

Ahh, fantasy.

Of course, along the way she finds a way to save him too, but it's usually from some emotional trauma.  Sound just like Romantic Suspense, doesn't it?  But then, Romantic Suspense really doesn't do it for me. 

That's because I find RS tends to lean heavily towards the S and less towards the R.  I try to read mysteries to expand my reading vocabulary.  Straight mysteries do it differently.  There's a lot of meandering.  Someone dies, someone cares.  They drop a clue here and there, talk about the weather and the setting of every room.  Secrets are unraveled, red herrings are tossed around like pretzels (Go with it.  In my world, pretzels get tossed.) and in the last ten pages, it all comes together, makes sense, and a bad guy is captured. 

The thing is, RS often tries to follow the same blueprint.  But that blueprint doesn't work for a romance.  Romance needs plot.  Those random red herrings and weather-laden meanderings are an irritant in a romance. They waste my time when my eager eyes could be lapping up some sexual tension or my brain could be soaking in some character development.

Instead we get odd motivations from distracting side characters, or the murder's POV.  This is a romance people.  I don't wanna get the icks.  I don't wanna learn how the bad guy got so twisted, I want to see the hero and heroine work out their personal issues on the page, not chase idiotically after a sociopath.  Call the damn police!

But you know, if those authors changed the focus of that same scene from catching the bad guy to the couple protecting each other, or from ever more implausible plot twists to the couple building a team together, I'd be SO all over it. 

Is it too much to ask for a romantic suspense author who isn't afraid of the mushy stuff?

Just Finished: Servant: The Awakening  
Currently Reading: Six 
Currently Reading: Twice Loved 
Currently Reading: G is For Gumshoe  
Just About To Start: Judgment In Death


Christine said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. I like my RS heavier on the R, too. If it's too heavy on the S, then the R just gets wrapped up too easily and too quickly. Boom! Then the book is over and I'm thinking... gimme more R! ;)

Have you tried The Stolen Trilogy by Elisabeth Naughton? I liked those books very much. Thought the R & S was very well balanced.

By the way, I don't think there's anything un-PC about your post? Did I miss something? Perhaps the title should be "So Un-RS" LOLOL! ;)

Venus Vaughn said...

hee. I was talking about enjoying the woman in jeopardy part. I definitely feel un-PC saying that. The PC trend is kick ass women who don't need a man, but he manages to fit himself into her life. I like reading about her getting good and rescued.

I've watched reviews on the Stolen trilogy pop up around Romland, but I haven't taken the plunge yet. I just added the first one to my PBS list though, so eventually it'll join the TBR pile.

Erika said...

LMAO! Call the damn police! You're killing me. I like romantic suspense. Allison Brennan, RULES! However, I understand what you're sayin'. If you're a true romance fan (which I know you are) RS might not do it for you. A lot of suspense not much romance. Of course, that all depends on the author. I think of some of Sandra Brown's work as being RS with a LOT OF R and enough S, but that's just me! :)

Venus Vaughn said...

What could be more Too Stupid To Live than a heroine who goes romping into danger with only her wit and a negligee to protect her? A couple that does the same thing, only with "their love" to protect them.

Seriously peeps, call the cops. It's what you pay your taxes for.