In every book the reader is given a hero and a heroine. They may or may not know each other at the onset of the story. They may or may not like each other at the onset. There is the possibility of having a Misunderstanding. There might be Longing. There is likely to be a Great Obstacle. But in the end you root for the two to fall into one another's arms and declare undying love.
But what happens when you don't want them together? What if, despite the author's hard work, you just don't want the hero to choose the heroine (or vice versa)? What if there is another character for whom you are rooting? How does this effect your enjoyment of the book?
I ask this because I am now three books into the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison. I am quite enjoying the stories. Rachel is a fun heroine with many flaws (which she readily admits to having.) Her work partners (a living vamp and a pixie) are interesting characters, giving the interactions between them complex. There is a fabulous "big bad". And there is a small element of romance. (These books are categorized as Urban Fantasy.) Here is where I start to have a problem. ***Slight Spoilers Ahead*** By the end of the first book Rachel has started a relation with a young gentleman. The relationship evolves over the next two books with some very surprising twists. You are supposed to like him. He is supposed to be endearing. To me he seemed shifty. Something just was not kosher. In the third book Rachel starts to move on and gets involved with another guy. I like him better. Better, yet he is not the one I want her to be with. You see, ever since book one I have had this yearning to see Rachel hook up with a specific character. There is one small, niggling problem: he is the bad guy. I know! What could I possibly be thinking? It is just that they have chemistry. The scenes between Rachel and Trent are my favorite scenes in all of the books. By the end of the third book you see a definite evolution in their relationship. This gives me hope. Oh yes it does. Misplaced hope, I am sure. But hope shall spring eternal. ***Spoilers Finished***
So, has this ever happened to you? You read a book and instead of rooting for the hero you become the leader of the boss/bad guy/mysterious stranger/best friend's fan club? Have you ever found yourself rooting for the wrong man?