Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wish I could tell you I'm a better guy... is all around and only real men cry. But all I wanna do is jump your bones; slam dance all night to the music of your moans.
All right. Take a minute, get some tea. Coffee. You know, something wet. Possibly alcoholic. A martini. Let's be classy. Let's be honest. Put on some lipstick and your best serious glasses (although dear gentlemen, you may choose one, if you prefer) and let's have a chat.

I have a confession. And I suspect I'm not the only one.

You say you want my love...

...well, my love tastes of salt.
Sometimes, the best heroes are those who know what they want. And what they bloody well want is her.

Come on, think about it. sit back, cross your legs most ladylike at the knee (or most dashingly, if you so choose) and purse your mouth thoughtfully. You may, if you wish, make a noise, such as, "Hmm." Or, if you prefer, "Ah..." Let me pose to you a question to answer:

Is there anything that makes a woman feel more special, more attractive, more turned on than simply being wanted?

Not because we hold the key to some artifact of power, not because something in our genetics speaks out to a creature of the night. Not because we're rich, or because we've fallen in his lap and need to be saved. Nor is it because we—as is far more likely, ladies—saved him.

Wanted because something about us speaks to him. Wanted because he took one look and thought, "I have to taste her." Wanted, my dear friends, because he is male and thinking with every masculine chromosome he possess from the neck down.

Am I right?

If there's a deeper meaning that you're trying to find...'s in your head, you'd better treat it kind.
Now, I hear you—But Karina, you shout, waving the olive-adorned toothpick from your martini between two fingers, that would make a very short book!

I agree, and I certainly wouldn't want to shortchange any of my favorite books. As you may have realized by now, I'm an avid fan of murder, mayhem, mystery and magic. And, likely, other words beginning with 'm'. A little blood brings out the best in everyone.

And certainly, an alpha werewolf, sexy vampire or adrenaline-junkie monster hunter will have his own problems, tasks and goals in mind. I won't begrudge any of them this. Just because a hero has things on his mind doesn't mean he can't fall in lust at first sight.

Conversely, just because he falls in lust at first sight doesn't mean he can't have other things to tend to.

All too often in paranormal romance, I find that heroes are so wrapped up in their lives, their goals, their murders and life-threatening events that the conflict between hero and heroine invariably stems from the usuals—he needs to hunt her, she wants to kill him, he needs to protect her from the monsters and falls for her in close quarters, hate at first sight, competition at first sight, and so forth.

I wonder, are there any paranormal romance books out there where the hero—or the heroine—simply decides from the start that he wants the woman who isn't at all part of the plot, the community he's protecting, or even related at all to the subject at hand? Or that she is going to land herself the hunky man at the bar for the kind of late-night getting-to-know-you that leaves her humming in the morning?

Sure, such an event would likely draw the other into the plot, but that's life, isn't it? A chance encounter that rocks your world, and changes it...

And in the best of worlds you are the same as me...

...You think of life and love and morals separately. You don't expect a promise to last longer than the words themselves.
The aspect of this I love the most is the sheer, unadulterated passion that draws these two together. It's not mired in mystery, or in politics, or in ulterior motives.

I once started writing a book—which, to my everlasting shame, was lost in a hard drive crash—involving a human hero and a Fae-cursed heroine. She wanted nothing to do with him, mostly due to her own issues, but he took one look at her and thought to himself, Sean, buddy, you've got to nail that before you go home.

Was it classy? Nope.

Was it honest? Skippy. Honest to the to the bone.

And because he single-mindedly pursued her, he ended up sucked into a world far beyond his knowledge. But the wanting came first. The acting on that want came before anything else, and I'd be lying if I said that Mairi wasn't more than a little turned on by that attention. He didn't want her magic, or her secrets. Hell, he didn't even know she was anything more than the proprietor of a Bed & Breakfast. He simply... wanted her. And that got his foot in the door, unwitting though it was.

My point, ladies and gentlemen, is such: plot is juicy. Plot makes the world go 'round, it changes people, develops them. Plot is the bread and butter of books. However, I submit that not everything has to do with plot.

Sometimes, two people just desperately want to shag.

Furthermore, I submit that there is something raw, something unparalleled... dare I say it? Something unspoilt about two people who are attracted to one another without the meddling fingers of plot to force the attraction in some way or another.

Plot will have the rest of the book to yo-yo them around.

Give me a man who is honest about his wants. The woman who responds to that raw honesty is bound to find her life changed forever.

... Or waking up the next morning with tangled sheets and a hazy memory of a guy whose name might have been Fred. You know, it can go either way. In romance books, the morning after can be one hell of a start.

Karina Cooper is a paranormal romance author for Avon. Her debut novel, Blood of the Wicked—an urban romance set in a world torn apart by a war between the accused and the hunters sworn to kill them—will be released in 2011. She's not actually advocating that people run off and sleep with the first person who says, "I want you," but does challenge everyone to keep a mental note of how many pick-up artists actually try that line instead something cheesy. You know, for science.

All lyrics in headers and following quotes come from Fiction Plane's It's a Lie, only one of her most favorite songs ever.


nymfaux said...

WOW. blow. me. away.

yeah, I want some of that.

Rachel Morgan said...

Loved, loved, LOVED this post! I feel I should say well done, or congratulations, or something along those lines!

Patricia Lynne said...

great post and all but I gotta ask... what was the plot? RFLMAO! Kidding, kidding, kidding. But I did love it.

Anonymous said...

@nymfaux: Right? I'm so glad you're on this train with me. :D

@Rachel Morgan: Hee, why, thank you! Delighted I could put it to words.

@Patricia Lynne: Sex! ...Wait, that's plot, right? Hang on, I better go check on this... ;)

nymfaux said...

@Karina Right!!! ;)

JenM said...

I agree with this 100%. I absolutely love it when the hero takes one look at the heroine, just plain wants her, and won't let anything stand in his way. None of this tortured "I must stay away from her (for whatever reason)" angst.

I'm currently reading Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series and in the first two books, the guy she was involved with was tortured about their relationship, but by the end of book two, he's gone and a new guy is on the scene who totally just wants her. I can't wait to see where the third book goes with this.

Krista said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. When the hero meets the heroine and does all he can to obtain her---- wow. It's exciting to read!!

Sharon S. said...

Isn't that how most people meet? You look across the bar and see that person standing there and think "damn" I want some of that, but being a respectable girl you just flirt and come up with an excuse to talk to them . At least that is how is went for me . After our third "chance" (he wanted to see me too) meeting at the bar he asked me out and I knew we would be married. 10 months later.....
I love those lust and first sight books

Katie Dalton said...

Lust at first sight? yes! Who needs the drama of all the rest. lol They can figure that out later. But starting a book out with a "bang" like that? Very nice. And I will have another thank u very much. :)
Great post

Anonymous said...

Ahem.. umm.. yeah. I'm speechless! I followed this post from FB just so I could finish reading! ((blushes))
This is fabulous work! Thanks for sharing! :)

Nicole Murphy said...

Amen, Miz Karina! And you know, you may finally have triggered something in a story I've been trying to write...

Anonymous said...

@Nicole: Absolutely DELIGHTED to hear it!

Crystal said...

WOW! What a fabulous post! And I so am a fan of the 4 & more M's as well. ;)

This reminded me of a book I just read that started off with a one night stand. Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra, I def. recommend.

Now off for another drink...