Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Paranormal Romance Hero

by Katie Harper

In the spirit of werewolves, vampires, and all manner of things that go bump in the night, I’m going to take a moment to analyze the paranormal romance hero. I am a paranormal junkie! If J.R. Ward was a drug, my last name would be Lohan. Chances are, if you’ve written a book featuring fangs, fur, the ability to control the natural elements, shape shifters, witches, wizards, or any other unexplained phenomenon, you’ve earned a royalty off me. I love me some unexplained sh…stuff.

Why are paranormal romance novels so appealing? Uh, hello….men who can save your life while fighting off the animalistic need to rip out your carotid artery are so freaking hot! They are the ultimate bad boy. Yes, an ex-con is dangerous. Your mother wouldn’t approve. Blah, blah, blah. But chances are, that ex-con isn’t leashing his need to suck you dry. And if he is, you’ve got a whole different set of problems. Or blessings, depending on how he plans on sucking….sorry, lost my train of thought.  Back to center.

The paranormal hero always needs fixing. And let’s face it ladies, we love a project. He’s always fighting some sort of inner demon. He’s ashamed of what he is, he actually has demons living inside him, he slaughtered an entire village of helpless women and children a few hundred years ago. The angst that is the paranormal hero makes us want to grab our misunderstood man and hug him better. 

The paranormal hero is constantly trying not to kill the heroine. He wants her….but he can’t have her….he wants her….but he doesn’t want to hurt her….he needs her….but he can’t be honest with her….he just freaking needs her!! Raise your hand if you wouldn’t like to have that kind of power over a supernatural being with unlimited strength and eternal life. If you’re raising your hand, you’re lying.

And then there’s the obvious reason we all love our paranormal heroes. He’s been around for a long, long time. And he has slept with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of women. If his carnal talents aren’t worthy of a gold medal, then women have no hope. Some paranormal heroes have sexual superpowers. Who wouldn’t want a man who could rock your world with just his thoughts? Or a man who doesn’t need a recovery period? Excuse me, I need to turn up the air conditioner.

The point is, we love our paranormal stories. We love escaping into a world where the impossible is possible. A world where a man who can rip someone’s arms off can also be a tender attentive lover. Where a man isn’t afraid to be vulnerable but can also ride in and save our lives when we are inevitably kidnapped by his arch nemesis. A world where a man is willing to bare his soul.And a world where a man can give you a night that will be remembered and whispered about by women for the rest of eternity.


Barbara Elsborg said...

And isn't it interesting how the monsters of the past have evolved to meet the needs of the present? We've largely replaced the vicious vamp with the misunderstood one - except in horror films where men's tastes rule!

Jessica E. Subject said...

I agree with Barbara. It's fascinating how creatures once haunting people's dreams have now become the objects of their fantasies. But I completely understand. ;)

JoAnne Kenrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoAnne Kenrick said...

for once, we've got a lot to thank Hollywood for :) I mean, we only have to look at Dracula...quite a horrific tale book wise, yet the movie is very much so romantic and all about the eternal love thing.

So...who's digging into what para book this spooky season? There's several 1NS books I'm going to read, and there's a few other shorts out there too, that are on my list :) And all of them are either vampires or ghosts. Interesting....hmmm
*swoons* Great pictures. Erm, I mean post!