Do you like them sultry and sweet or hardened and salty?
Characters are in fictional worlds and how the writer chooses to build them is up to them. When I decide to read a book I connect more with the leading ladies who are a little bit damsel, a whole lot smart, and still capable of somewhat fending for themselves. I connect with the leading men who are men, not too caveman but not super feminine. Okay, not feminine at all because I like the man to be the man. If his job is a cop I like to know that he can do his job without expecting the leading lady to do it for him. However, I do like a leading man who can be gentle, who can respect and still love while protecting his lady, the city, the world…okay, he is only one man but if you’re writing sci-fi and he’s more than a man then maybe he can protect the entire world.
One of the books I liked that I think had a nice balance was Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard. I will admit that my taste in reading has changed since I last read that book but it was still one of those books that I turned the pages willingly. The leading lady could hold her own with the leading man. From their first interaction, while she thought he was an angry drunk, she had no trouble speaking her mind when he made her angry. To her surprise the angry drunk was just a cop who was coming in late from a heavy undercover type case and still trying to fix up his home—hence why he was dirty and had those bloodshot looking eyes. The banter between them was funny and sexy all at the same time.
Books that I have a hard time getting into because I cannot really connect with the characters are the ones where the leading lady feels as if she’s vying to make the leading man realize she’s better, stronger, and doesn’t need a stitch of help and won’t accept it either. Now that same feistiness mixed into a partnership mode works well for me, but an all or nothing kind of thing is just something I haven’t been able to connect with the characters on.
I like a leading lady who is strong but will accept help when she needs it and a leading man who is strong and able to command but will not look at the woman as weak and something to be controlled.
Have you read any books that you were able to connect with the character(s) and loved exploring their world? What kind of characters are you least likely to be able to connect to?