Monday, August 11, 2008

Rooting for the wrong man

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?


Melinda Seckington said...

I've had it a couple of times with fantasy books, but there you kind of sort it coming that the girl wouldn't end up with the person you wanted.

The most annoying writer who does the dark/light triangle is LJ Smith. She writes young adult romance books (and I love love them all), but a trend of hers is to introduce the dark haired bad boy and the golden haired good guy. Problem is: you never really know which way she's going to let her character go. Weridly enough with those books I didn't always find myself rooting for the bad guy (70% of the time though I still did).

Oh yeah: and with TV shows I always ship for the bad guys :)

Aymless said...

I think I know who you are referring. I too would like to see Rachel with him. It would definitely make the relationship part of Rachel Morgan series more interesting.

I know I've rooted for the wrong guy before, but nothing comes to mind. Having one of those numb brain days. *sigh*

Shannon said...

Melinda- I loved the Vampire Diaries! They were my entrance into paranormal and (especially) vampires. I completely blame those books on my vamp fixation. I have very strong memories of reading the books as a teenager. I am tempted to reread them and see if they hold up as an adult.

Katie Reus said...

The original Thomas Crowne Affair ruined me....I love to love the bad guy :)

JenB said...

Okay, I'm going to sound like *such* a nerd for this, but mine wasn't a book. Mine was the WB series Felicity. I sooo wanted Felicity to end up with Noel, but instead she wound up with stupid cheater Ben. Boooooooo.

Carolyn Jean said...

I've done it, and gosh, it really is distressing when it doesn't work out!

Sarai said...

Okay I seriously need to read this series... Other than that to answer your question YES I root for the wrong man all the damn time and then when he actually gets his book I'm all disappointed in the heroine.
Prime example Harvard from Lara Adrian's series I really wanted him to hook up with his ex-sister in law. Just b/c he loved her SOOOOOOO Much. *sigh* and I am certain his heroine will not make me happy at all *crosses arms*

naida said...

First off, let me say I love your blog!
Yes, that has happened to me before, I wind up liking the 'wrong guy' in a book. It doesnt make me like the read less. I havent read this series you are talking about though.

Bridget Locke said...

Oh, honey, just you wait. You're just getting to the good part. :) I've read every single book in this series (including the anthologies) and whoo-boy. By the end of The Outlaw Demon'll be very surprised at the way it's turning out.

I know what you mean about Trent. But, I totally fell for Kisten too. You'll see why. :) Trent irritates me, but I think his overwhelming...fear of Rachel is explained the further along you go.

If you ever want to discuss, please feel free to email me. I'd love to see what you think. I don't know many people who've read this series and I'd love to have someone to talk it over with. :)