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Male Mary-Sues / too-perfect heroes
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1549

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, another point about Roarke... obviously he doesn't work for everyone, but I've always thought Robb was incredibly clever for creating such a perfect straight woman's fantasy and then bestowing him on the one woman who doesn't want it. Laughing Give the incredibly loving gazilionillionaire to the woman who hates stuff and is terrified of intimacy...
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"'Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,' Wren said. 'It's the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.'" -- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1239
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Roarke just fine, but I do not consider him to be "perfect." He has many good qualities, but he built his fortune on "criminal" activities; perfect people DO NOT break the law.

Once again, we have to define just what a term, in this case "perfect", means. One reader's idea of the perfect hero will not jibe with another's.

I do believe that Roarke is the "perfect" match for Eve and that she is the "perfect" match for him. I love the way NR reveals fresh facets of their relationship in each episode of the In Death series. I am currently reading Strangers In Death. The Eve/Roarke "domestic" scenes touch my heart every time.

Kay
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 947

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KayWebbHarrison wrote:
I like Roarke just fine, but I do not consider him to be "perfect." He has many good qualities, but he built his fortune on "criminal" activities; perfect people DO NOT break the law.



I know! He got rich and married a policewoman, but he never did time or gets caught! He's even the perfect criminal!
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is some truth to this - I do tend to enjoy a more realistically drawn heroine paired with a larger than life hero. I wouldn't call it a hard and fast rule though, that's just where my interests tend to lie.

However, I don't think we can really define perfect as every reader would see them, it's so subjective. A hero that is perfect for me may completely turn off another reader and it's same thing with heroines. I never cared much for Eve as a character but I agree that she and Roarke are the 'perfect' match and their personalities play off each other well.

I can enjoy a hero such as Roarke which many readers like to describe as 'perfect' as well as Lymond - a deeply flawed character that is so far from perfect he's the anti-perfect. lol I'd rather say that these characters are 'perfectly' written within the context of their stories which is why they grab the hearts of so many readers.

Linda
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neither heroine nor hero has to be perfect for me, but they can't have flaws that are deal breakers, like prejudice, stinginess, smallness of spirit, cruelty to animals or children, etc. I am happy that most romances have abandoned the abusive hero who is cold and rejecting of the heroine. I personally love romances where the hero is totally committed to the heroine, even if unrealistic. Depending on time setting of the novel, what we perceive as a strength is often seen by the heroine and others as a flaw, but sometimes, it's so overdone that it's cloying and makes the characters seem oblivious. I think the "flaw" of an imagination in "Anne of Green Gables" is an example of the perfect balance because Anne's imagination is both a strength and a lovable weakness of hers.

I personally (not being physically perfect, nor having flashing eyes that change color, according to my moods) like physically flawed heroes and heroines. Such flaws lend a vulnerability to the character and often create interesting personal and psychological problems.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
Aw now, ladies, perfect or imperfect, we fellows just do the best we can to be loveable. And, hey, remember that romance is by women, about women, and for women, right?

to Schola: You're really stubborn about poor Nicholas!


Sad I know that I turn into a troll where he is concerned and I honestly don't know why he rubs me the wrong way and why I don't trust him and don't think Eleanor should.
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1549

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:

In another thread, I've gone on and on about how I find it hard to believe that a certain hero remained faithful to the heroine for the rest of their marriage. I think it's because that hero strikes me as incredibly perfect. He's handsome, intelligent, polished, thoughtful, interesting, responsible, loyal (well, to his friends, at least), gentle, and so on and so forth . . . I don't see him being satisfied with a woman who isn't also perfect--and his heroine certainly wasn't!


I think the truth is coming out, Schola - you totally LUV Nicholas and think Eleanor's not worthy of him! Twisted Evil

Beverley has said that she often gets flack for her women being less attractive than her men. I don't at all consider Nicholas too perfect though. There's an edge to him, especially in the follow up books... he can be a bit of a game-player and sometimes hurts people. And he really doesn't treat Eleanor very well.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

willaful wrote:
Schola wrote:

In another thread, I've gone on and on about how I find it hard to believe that a certain hero remained faithful to the heroine for the rest of their marriage. I think it's because that hero strikes me as incredibly perfect. He's handsome, intelligent, polished, thoughtful, interesting, responsible, loyal (well, to his friends, at least), gentle, and so on and so forth . . . I don't see him being satisfied with a woman who isn't also perfect--and his heroine certainly wasn't!


I think the truth is coming out, Schola - you totally LUV Nicholas and think Eleanor's not worthy of him! Twisted Evil

Beverley has said that she often gets flack for her women being less attractive than her men. I don't at all consider Nicholas too perfect though. There's an edge to him, especially in the follow up books... he can be a bit of a game-player and sometimes hurts people. And he really doesn't treat Eleanor very well.


Laughing Laughing Laughing

No, I don't love him! Cool

I also do think he isn't as nice to her as he could be--one reason I find their HEA so difficult to believe in. I think he'd be that way with any heroine who wasn't equally perfect--and that would include a heroine who resembles imperfect little me! Wink So, no, I wouldn't want him anyway.
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Suzanna



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:
dick wrote:


to Schola: You're really stubborn about poor Nicholas!


Sad I know that I turn into a troll where he is concerned and I honestly don't know why he rubs me the wrong way and why I don't trust him and don't think Eleanor should.


I don't know about Nicholas being perfect, but he and Lymond would get my votes for the most irritating romance heroes ever. Nicholas seems such a busybody, the way he gets into other people's business, and picks their heads apart.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suzanna wrote:
Schola wrote:
dick wrote:


to Schola: You're really stubborn about poor Nicholas!


Sad I know that I turn into a troll where he is concerned and I honestly don't know why he rubs me the wrong way and why I don't trust him and don't think Eleanor should.


I don't know about Nicholas being perfect, but he and Lymond would get my votes for the most irritating romance heroes ever. Nicholas seems such a busybody, the way he gets into other people's business, and picks their heads apart.


What about Beverley's Rothgar? He's also close to perfect. I find him the most interesting of all, even if he scares me a little. Razz (I've never read Lymond's book.)
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Allyson



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 567

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's really interesting how a character who can be too perfect to one, might not be at all to another. I personally had no issue at all with 'An Arranged Marriage' or Nicholas and Eleanor...in fact I really liked them. And it's interesting how many readers feel the opposite. I consider myself to have a much lower tolerance for jerk hero behaviour than some others on this board, but Jo Beverley's heroes don't usually bother me. I think the 'brand' of jerkdom they sometimes have isn't the sort that pushes my hot buttons--I'd rather see someone like Nicholas, doing the wrong things for the right reasons, than a guy like those 80's heroes who seem to behave entirely out of selfish desire.
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