Someone once told me never to buy it if a guy says he's "a better man" with me than without me. She said it excuses him from taking responsibility for improving himself or smoothing out rough edges.
I guess that shoots to hell the whole, "You...complete...me" thing.
There's a curious little motif in romance in which a hero is driven to score an HEA with a sweet, biddable heroine because he's got an attribute or yen that concerns him, one he feels is too rough. Yeah, I like it when it concerns his being totally aggressive in the sack, too, the kind of guy who's afraid he'll overwhelm a woman with his strength and power and big-in-all-ways virility.
Yet since authors tend to be a bit less puerile than I, often his monstrous sexual appetite is outstripped by darkness in his character that has him believing he needs to affect changes in his life to keep from traveling the path of least resistance toward psychic destruction.
That's how bad it can seem to a guy who wants to live life the right way, but has seen a little too much of its ugly underbelly - a man like Garrett Taylor, hero of RITA-award winner Helen Brenna's super new romantic suspense, "Next Comes Love ." Taylor's a former Chicago cop who chooses a gig as a part-time police chief on a slow moving, picturesque resort island over the job that had him wondering whether he was getting as violent as the low-lifes he was supposed to scrub off the Chi-town streets.
Taylor's got "uncomplicated" down pat until trouble shows up on Wisconsin's Mirabelle Island, and Cap T Girl's sporting stiletto boots, mouth-watering décolletage and a...six-year old boy with bruises?
Erica Corelli's back on Mirabelle Island, a place she visited once as a child during one of the happiest three days of a youth spent surviving her alcoholic mom's many lovers and few moments of responsible parenting. Now, Erica's hiding her nephew from his abusive dad, a dishonorable Chicago cop who may have played foul with Erica's missing sister.
Once she settles into island life, Erica finds it hard to stay away from the chief of police who apparently wants her out of his town as much as he'd like her up against the wall. And Garrett's trying to figure out why his plan to find a sweet, unassuming woman to sooth his wilder urges is taking a back seat to his need to serve and protect the brassy Italian chick who's just blown into Mirabelle and blown him away.
"Next Comes Love" is the second book in Brenna's An Island to Remember trilogy, the third of which, "Then Comes Baby," drops December 8. A talented storyteller, Brenna has a gift for writing category romance. She understands how to create intimate, heart-touching stories with the kind of vigorous writing that makes a series romance a satisfying little peek into the lives and loves of unique people and families. If you don't know her work, "Next Comes Love" is a nice place to start, and a great read to kick off your weekend.
The "You complete me" theme between hero and heroine: Attraction of opposites? Or codependence? Should a heroine make the hero "a better man?" What are examples of the way this works in romance?