It’s the woman behind the man…

There are some characters I love so much I would jumped at the chance to spend time with them if they walked out of the book (or off the screen) and became real. But then there are characters where I love the depth and complexity the writers have given them, but I wouldn’t want to meet that person if they were real.

I’m with Christine d’Abo about Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes. Benedict does a brilliant recreation of Sherlock (giving the writers due credit too), but I get the feeling if I met a real life version of his Sherlock, he’d drive me as insane as he drives Inspector Lestrade. The same with Dexter – the writers have written so many layers to that character that you can actually feel sympathy or at least empathy with a serial killer! But I don’t want to meet a real life Dexter, thank you very much, especially for a relationship.

from the cover of Leah's Personal Protection from Samhain Publishing

Personal Protection by Leah Braemel

So while I love tortured heroes, the darker and broodier, the more tortured the better, I have to wonder if I could live with some of my favorite fictional characters from my favorite romances.

For instance, I have a huge crush on Rhage from JR Ward’s Lover Eternal, part of her Black Dagger Brotherhood. Butch is a close second. Same goes for Adam or Charles in Patricia Briggs‘ stories. But could I live with someone so alpha?

Patricia Brigg’s has her character Mercy Thompson debating the same issue through her series–could Mercy, who is a very strong character on her own, accept living with alpha male Adam’s over-protective instincts without losing herself? While I’m all for feeling safe in a relationship, and even in life, would their overbearing personalities stifle who I really am? Could I live with that? It helps Mercy when she compares Adam’s reactions to Sam Cornick, another old wolf whom she once thought she loved–she realizes that Sam would want to wrap her in cotton batting and keep her protected, consuming her identity, but Adam lets her be who she is. And will continue to, despite his urge to keep her swaddled.

Which is why I think those character have had to be hooked up with such strong women who could stand up to them. The way Beth stands up to Wrath, or any of Jill Shalvis’ heroines can stand up to her alpha heroes. When I first met Charles Cornick’s Anna Latham in Patricia’s Alpha and Omega series, I wasn’t sure Anna was the right match for Charles. But Anna has shown throughout the following books that she is strong, and not just for surviving the horrific events she was subjected to by the Chicago pack. Time and again, she’s proven she can stand up not only to Charles, but to Bran, the uber-alpha of the entire North American pack.

Perfect Proposal_500x800_finalAnd who doesn’t love thinking they can tame a man like Jill Shalvis’ Cameron Wilder of Instant Attraction (yes, as much as I love Sawyer from Jill’s Lucky Harbor series, Cam will always be my favorite).

How about any of Lorelei James‘ cowboys? Yee haw, I’d love a chance to try. 😉

Which had me asking myself if I could put up with my own Sam who runs Hauberk Protection, or Ryan – a modern day blacksmith who turns his metalwork into art in I Need You for Christmas. Um, heck yes. Of course I’d have to wrestle them away from their respective partners Rosie and Megan. Who are strong women on their own who wouldn’t allow their identities to be dwarfed by any partner.

Because that’s how any relationship should work, isn’t it? That you complement each other, instead of losing yourself…






It’s the woman behind the man… — 12 Comments

  1. Fantastic post, Leah! What you say is so true. I love tortured characters with dark pasts. Right now I’m loving Timothy Olyphant’s character Raylan Givens in Justified. Would I want to live with someone like that? Probably not. Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes is brilliant and intriguing, but if I spent five minutes with that guy in real life I’d be ready to strangle him. The same goes for Mary Shannon of In Plain Sight.

    • LOL Reese, you’re right. I like watching Justified but I don’t think I could live with a real life version of Raylan. I haven’t seen Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock…I’ll have to check him out.

  2. Wow. This post really hits home, esp as Leah hits on so many of my own favorites pairs. As an alpha-female, I’ve married (and divorced) three different ‘beta’ men. Each strong enough in their own ways, but … well. I’m with a real life alpha (Alpha!) male now and it’s amazing. Yeah, the conflicts are amazing as well, but so far we’ve always pulled through stronger than before. Leah’s characters and books really ring true for me because I so easily identify with her characters.

  3. I love the tortured heroes, too. Chase from Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series is at the top of that list for me. I think women with strong personalities thrive in relationships with alphas, and vice versa. Great post!

    • I think any of the paranormal males tend to be alphas–and then you have their extra, um, abilities to deal with too. But some of them–definitely worth it. Thanks, Phoebe.

  4. I loved this post Leah. I love a good strong alpha hero. I agree on Jill Shalvis and J R Ward. Zsadist is my fav.
    Hi Leah *waving* :).

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