Running out of ideas for reprehensible romance heroes?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is pictured in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang April 10, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS PROFILE HEADSHOT) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA - RTR3KO8S

I sort of lost it a bit on another romance blog the other night. I reached my limit of tolerance for the wilfully ignorant and irresponsible trends favoured by both romance writers and readers at the moment, and said something I knew I would regret in the morning!

But eh, it’s said now.

I’ve seen it discussed in a few places recently (also, I’ve discussed it) that too many romance authors couldn’t really care less about the realities of whatever ethnicity or nationality they give their characters, and that these people are interchangeable. Hence your category romances where the Russian is the Sheikh is the Greek tycoon is the Italian stallion (by the way, did you know Sylvester Stallone is part Ukrainian – weird, huh!).

I think this is why there is so much insensitivity in dealing with major social issues and major world issues in so many books. Nobody bothers to care.

If you want the world to take the romance genre seriously, then you have to take the world seriously!

“Orthodox or Death”. Russian militants in Ukraine versus Islamic extremists in the Middle East.

Russian militant (left) and arms dealer romance heroes are SO 2009! How about romantic Islamic State heroes for a change?!

Yep, I’ve gone on about this before, and just because I bet you’re not sick of it yet (ha!) I have a post about misogyny in the genre coming up soon. Pencil it into your diaries, folks! You don’t get Man Candy posts on this romance blog! Well, not unless you get turned on by Kim Jong-un…

The Master by Kresley Cole

Three things that are totally IN when it comes to romance fiction at the moment seem to be misogynistic heroes, criminal heroes and heroes who work for murderous regimes.

And I can TOTALLY see why men in that third category are considered sexy by US readers in particular. Because you know, these people just love America so much:

Neo #Nazi forum in Saint Petersburg #Russia March 2015391871_us%20-russia-flagA customer wipes his feet on America’s flag as he enters a Moscow supermarket.

Saint Petersburg in March. And US flag doormats at a shopping centre in Moscow at the moment. X

And it’s that last one I’m addressing here, because, authors!

Boy DO I EVER have some story ideas for you!

The Russian's Ultimatum by Michelle Smart

Nobody can get enough of Russian billionaires. It’s a real turn-on to fantasise about sex with the very men financing the invasions of their neighbouring countries AND terrorism in the Middle East. There’s a reason for all those worldwide sanctions!

EU Sanctions Against Russia over UkraineStalinist Parade in Moscow 2014

Moscow last year.

But you know where else you can find billionaires backing Stalinist regimes?

North Korea!

File photo of a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang

Where are all the sexy North Korean billionaire romances?? Authors: you could be writing these!

Oceans of Fire by Christine FeehanTurbulent Sea by Christine Feehan

The Russian spy is definitely all the rage, and has been for ages. You know what other dictatorship has lots of spies doing bad things?

You guessed it: North Korea again! It’s an untapped market of sexy operatives!

North Korea Court 2

But really, there are so many unused KGB/Kremlin potential plotlines authors haven’t given to their spy romance heroes, you don’t even need to leave Moscow just yet.

Like the sexy spies who poison other world leaders when they don’t agree with Putin:

Viktor Yushchenko

(Made it small, because seeing what happened to him upsets me.)

And the oh-so romantic spies who torture and drown Ukrainian teenagers:

19 year old Ukrainian student Yury Popravko. Tortured and drowned by Russians.

R.I.P. Yury Popravko

And the spies who execute opposition leaders in the middle of Red Square:

RUSSIA-POLITICS-MURDER-OPPOSITION-NEMTSOV

I can totally see why so many people write and read romance books about these guys…

Now, we have all those other sexy guys with guns from these shady regimes. The military guys.

#Russian terrorists in #Ukraine. 5th April 2015.

Russian militant in Ukraine a few weeks ago.

Those militants and arms dealers romance writers tell us are swoon-worthy? Apart from the millions of refugees in Ukraine:

refugees1

There’s another country where right now a militant regime has created millions of refugees: Syria!

The Syrian terrorist romance market is totally underused.

TOPSHOTS-SYRIA-CONFLICT

And, finally, speaking of terrorists operating from and for the Kremlin:

Religious extremists in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine

“Orthodox or Death” Christian terrorists. They also drive tanks with “Orthodox Jihad” written on them…

Well, the world just has an endless supply of terrorists – no need to limit yourself to the former USSR. Gosh darn it, but romance writers are ignoring the poor guys in other parts of the world when they’re creating their romance heroes! How about jihadists in other places? The Taliban? ISIS? Where are these books and why is nobody writing them?

ISIS jihadists flying the black flag in Syria [REUTERS]

As you can see, I’m a little over deliberate, selective ignorance of real world events in the romance community in order to romanticise things that should NEVER be sanitised. Take some responsibility when choosing your romance heroes!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Running out of ideas for reprehensible romance heroes?

  1. Very interesting and pertinent post. If these authors want a real live story of feigned love and betrayal, three Chechnyan teen girls pretended on line to want to marry three ISIL men. But, they said they did not have enough money to fly there. The ISIL terrorists showed their gullibility and wired money to them and then the girls took the money, blocked the terrorists access and ran. I am not condoning cybertheft, but it shows even a terrorist can think with his lower portion rather than his brain.

  2. Pingback: The Week: 17th – 23rd August | Sonya's Stuff

  3. I have a new reprehensible romance “hero” – Eliza Gale’s “Malcolm” is cruel, self centered, sexually twisted (no, not in a simple bdsm way, but a CRUEL way) violent, murderous . . . he screws the virgin heroine on the ground, then gets up, says horrible things to her and tells her if she ever comes around his lands again he will kill her . . . then, when she finds someone to love her even though they aren’t real “mates” he goes vicious on her – then finding out she had a kid from his taking her and walking away, he is ready to murder her and take the kid….

    Reprehensible!!

    Then, technically, there are HUGE continuity issues . . . sigh. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s