Sunday, July 10, 2011

Book Boyfriend

by Jeffe Kennedy

This pic is apropo of nothing, except that I got my cover for Feeding the Vampire, which will be out soon. I'm not sure how soon, but soon.

Now to be on topic:

Who is my secret crush from books I've read?

How much time do you have?

I'd say nursing crushes on men in books is what seriously got me reading romance. At first I discovered that some books featured love affairs, then I found that there were entire novels about them. But a couple of those heroes stand out in my mind.

I have to give a nod to F'lar from Dragonflight. That's the version I have, though the cover isn't nearly in as good of condition and might be *ahem* entirely detached. I don't know how many times I read that book. This scene, I will always remember:

The mating passion of the two dragons at that moment spiraled wide to include Lessa. A tidal wave rising relentlessly from the sea of her soul flooded Lessa. With a longing cry, she clung to F'lar. She felt his body rock-firm against hers, his hard arms lifting her up, his mouth fastening mercilessly on hers as she drowned deep in another unexpected flood of desire.

"Now! We bring them safely home," he murmured.

~Pitty pat goes my adolescent heart~

F'lar was my first alpha male. The first who "brooked no resistance." Anne McCaffrey made me love this man for both his passion, his driving beliefs that led him to save their world and his longing for and vulnerability to Lessa. Best, he loved Lessa for being complicated, for her fierce intelligence and indomitable will. She showed me a man who not only accepted a smart and stubborn woman, but loved her for it.

I might have black hair because part of me forever wants to be Lessa.

Fast forward thirty years: Roarke.

I know I'm not alone in this. But I'm forever wedded to J.D. Robb's (Nora Roberts) In Death series because I'm totally in love with Roarke. Like F'lar, he's the alpha male who's driven, ambitious and loves his woman for being strong, smart and driven.

I'm sure there's a message here.

Nora has amazing skill, also, at evoking characters. Roarke and Eve live and breathe in my mind more vividly than many flesh and blood people I've know. In my head, I know what they look like. It's a simultaneous problem and great gift that I have no pictures of these men to use for this post. That vampire and woman for my story? Look NOTHING like my characters. But that's the best part of Book Boyfriends (a term I first heard used by book blogger @sparklybearsy, though I don't know if she coined it) - these men look like we want them to. I'm convinced that this is why we're doomed to disappointment by movies and tv versions of favorite books. The actors can never fit what we imagine.

There's been a flurry lately, of article about how reading romances undermines marriages. Here's one awful example. Besides the fact that the writers of these articles rarely feel the need to actually acquaint themselves with real research (the one I linked to, for example, cites condom use in romance novels from 1986-1991 and makes like that's current information), there's this pervasive assumption that women are too stupid to know fact from fiction. That somehow we think our flesh and blood men should be like our Book Boyfriends.

Yes, the fictional men are a romantic ideal. But aren't ideals those noble things we strive for? "What ever the mind can conceive, and believe, the mind can achieve," says Napoleon Hill. If we can conceive of great love and enduring partnerships, doesn't that mean it's possible?

I say it is.

I might have my Book Boyfriends, but I have my real one, too. He's strong, passionate and ambitious. He loves me because I'm smart and stubborn and complicated. He even loves me for my flaws.

He's just what I imagined I could have.


  1. Cool cover Jeffe! Congrats again! "great love and enduring partnerships" great line. Its what we all seek. :-D

  2. Fabulous cover!

    And interesting food for thought about the dividing line between fantasy and reality. *thinking*

  3. Aaaannnnddd? Do we get to hear any of those thoughts?

  4. Great cover Jeffe!

    Women, know fact from fiction, no one is attempting to mislead them.

    If a book encourages someone, be it male or female, to find another someone who treats them well and respects them, then that's a good thing.

  5. Totally agree, Chudney! Hold out for the good stuff.