Sunday, January 15, 2012
Last summer, Rennie (AKA Italia Trent, or better known as the ren in Chirenjenzie :- ) and I had a discussion about male leads in romances. At the time, it seemed that the men in books were stereotyped. In YA, the all-knowing bad boy seemed to dominate. Contemporary ran with the experienced as well, but these men had serious baggage. And then there was the men of the historical romance. These are virile men who know their place, and kept their woman right by their side.
A lively discussion ensued about creating one character that held great traits of each genre. It would be interesting, wouldn't it?
I hadn't read historical romance in years, but what I did remember of them I didn't like. The brutish you-are-my-woman type didn't appeal to me, but Ren insisted that I read a historical romance or two to broaden my understanding of the male psyche. I balked at first, hating the idea of sifting through pages of submissive English waifs being used as doormats. But I had to fly to Chicago that weekend, and so, determined to keep an open mind, I picked up a Lisa Kleypas book from the airport bookstore.
I almost missed my flight. :-)
Oh, mylanta! While Rennie was right about the complexity of the male leads, I didn't fall in love with the genre, I fell in love with the writing!
Kleypas has a way of bringing well rounded characters to life. She uses subtle inflections and mannerisms to make each character distinct, naturally weaving their personality into each paragraph. The stories move at a leisurely pace, but not so slow that the reader becomes bored. Descriptions are woven in at just the right times as to not become tedious, but what I really love is that after reading over twenty of her books, she has the ability to make each story fresh.
And so, my posts in the month of January and February are going to be dedicated to Kleypas's Wallflower series, and her Bowstreet series. The first will be posted in a few days, so be sure to check back!