By Vivi Andrews
Thank you, Delilah, for letting me visit today!
Gender roles in romance novels fascinate me. The hero is often the Big Strong Man who Denies His Feelings and the heroine frequently fills the role of Emotional Cornerstone of the Relationship. Those tropes are popular for a reason—the big strong Alpha male is sexy as all get out and the vulnerable, emotional heroine is relatable. Just what we want in our romance, right? To be able to admire his studliness and empathize with her feelings?
But not everyone in life fits neatly into their prescribed gender role and neither do every romance hero and heroine. I love characters that break the mold and I absolutely adore flipping stereotypes on their head. What if the hero was the emotionally centered one? What if the heroine was the stalwart pragmatist, ruthlessly denying her emotions?
In my current release, Serengeti Lightning, those are the questions I played with. Michael is utterly masculine—there’s no doubt about that—but he’s also deeply connected with his feelings. He’s passionate, impulsive and unashamed to live his life governed by the touchy-feely side. He sees the strength in owning his emotions. Mara, on the other hand, is trying to control every aspect of her life and make smart decisions. Decisions that have nothing to do with the way she feels. She’s the yin to his yang. The rational pragmatist who needs to be shown—just as many a tough-guy Alpha hero has been shown in the history of romance novels—that love isn’t a weakness.
I loved exploring the different dynamics of this relationship—the battle between the man ruled by his heart and the woman ruled by her head—but I also love the classic romance archetypes. What about you? Do you like a little variety or do you always gravitate toward certain types of heroes & heroines?
What do you think defines the masculine and feminine in romance novels? Do you look for different gender dynamics in books than you do in your real life relationships?
Vivi Andrews lives in Alaska and writes paranormal romance for Samhain & Carina to keep her warm during the long winters. For more about Vivi or her books, please visit www.viviandrews.com.
Love can be a force of nature.
Mara Leonard is through hitting the snooze button on her biological clock. The Three Rocks Pride schoolteacher is ready to get serious about starting a family, and she needs a serious man to make that happen.
Regrettably, that means crossing less-than-serious Michael Minor off her list of potential mates. Michael is impulsive and passionate, but his spontaneity leaks into shapeshifting whenever his emotions run high—a tendency he should have outgrown long ago. As a sex buddy, he’s delicious. Daddy material? Disqualified.
Michael is blindsided by Mara’s rejection. Nine years separate them, and his genetic malady means no one in the pride treats him as an adult. But if she thinks he’ll simply slink away to lick his wounds while she steps into the arms of another man, she has seriously underestimated him.
The tricky part will be convincing his over-analytical lover that he’s more than a disposable sex toy. That real bravery means tearing up her damn checklist and following her heart. And doing it without letting their explosive sexual chemistry expose the Pride’s secrets to the outside world.
Warning: This book features break-up sex, make-up sex, a lioness who’s a cougar and a hot young lion who’s grown up in all the right ways. Note: All electrical shocks are purely metaphorical.