Hey ~ V here. Happy Wednesday to you! I was at the beach a couple of weeks ago and I brought a few books with me. Three. Given that I was traveling with my parents and my children, I assumed that would be plenty. If it was just my hubby and me, I’d have brought the Kindle, fully loaded. Kids at the beach and Kindle just don’t mix in my mind. But I thought that the three books I had along would be plenty. I finished the last 20 pages of Another Change to Dream by Lynn Kurland on the first day. It’s an oldie but a goodie, if you have the chance to pick it up.
Then I moved on to the next one in the pile, a mystery with knitting/cooking extras tacked to the end, like Susannah talked about a bit ago. Click here to re-read her post. I didn’t make it past the 5th page. The heroine spent those pages talking about how she’d never felt that feminist urge to get a job. Hmmm. That’s not really my idea of feminism. That was a major turn off for me and I just couldn’t force myself to care about this heroine enough to bother reading the rest of the book.
This put-it-down-immediately phenomenon doesn’t happen to me often. I’ve got a pretty hearty willingness to suspend my disbelief and I’m the type who reads the ingredients in the cereal box at breakfast just ’cause it’s on the table. But after dropping the I-hate-women mystery (OK, that might be a bit of a stretch), I moved on to the 3rd book. It was a romance by a top romance writer whose stuff I’ve been wanting to become more familiar with.
But again, before I hit page 20, I found that I just didn’t like the hero and heroine enough to give them my time. Apparently, they were already married and now they are separated, but one is looking to divorce the other because of shoddy treatment. I guess the story was about them getting back together. I couldn’t read it, too similar to reality for me. It will go back to the library this week unread.
Of course the writer must tell us about the “before the story” characters so that we can appreciate their growth through the story, but you’ve got to make them likeable people. I recently read Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. Chase set the hero up as a total jerk, but spent the first chapter telling us about his childhood and why he became a total jerk. I liked him, felt badly for him and was rooting for him, even as I wondered how on earth she’d write her way out of the mess she put him in with the heroine. And it was a lovely story.
Today’s secret: If you want people to read your book, your characters have to be likeable and relatable.
Today’s question: What have you read lately that was good?