Monday, February 11, 2013

Heartbreaking Romance and Why We Love Them

I'm participating in the very cool Heartbreaker Blog Hop (with awesome prizes) and wrote about heart breakers. Being me (the one who wrote about feminist genies), I of course had to throw in a wrench into the post: so brought up both the traditional male heart breaker, as well as the more rare (in romance novels) heroine as heart breaker. And the comments took off!

Most people leaving comments seem to prefer the male version, but a few do like the female version equating her to a strong heroine. But a large majority, really don't like or want a heart breaker in their romance novels. As for HEA...a definite must.

As a romance writer, I totally agree with the HEA ending. I mean, that's why I write romance. And for me, the heart breaker has to be redeemable for me to like him or her, otherwise they are simply jerks. Yet, I have this secret addiction to heartbreaking love stories.

Something about the pathos and the passion, the tortured emotions, the intensity, the characters not being able to resist each other totally hooks me. It's like watching a disaster, it's painful and heartbreaking, but you can't look away. You'll find me armed with a box of tissues and chocolates, bawling through stories of hopeless love.

But I'm not alone. Several of these heartbreaking love stories are considered classics: Anna Karenina, Othello, Rome and Juliet. My favorite happens to be Wuthering Heights (which by the way is FREE)

There we have double heart breakers. Catherine the heroine mistreats Heathcliffe by marrying she can raise Heathcliffe's station and make him good enough for her. He lets his love and his loss of Catherine warp him in tragic ways (for others and for himself). Both essentially end up living pretty miserable lives because they didn't end up with each other (hopefully death solves that).

 Even though the story is kind of dour, and Heathcliffe comes across as a Alpha-jerk for a lot of scenes, I can't help feeling for him or re-reading Wuthering Heights from time to time. However, I'd been happier if Heathcliffe and Catherine had just eloped!

So what are your thoughts on heartbreaking stories? Do you have any favorites? Why?


Carla Swafford said...

Ann Stuart does a great job with heartbreakers.

I love it when a guy acts like a jerk and it turns out he did it to save the heroine's life. So cool. And oh yes, all is forgiven IF HE DOESN'T DO IT AGAIN! :-)

Rashda Khan said...

Lol, you're a very forgiving woman Carla :) Me...I'd make him PAY! Thanks for visiting!

Cari Hislop said...

I prefer romances to end on a positive note (preferably with the hero and heroine both alive and together). Stories where main characters die or survive broken hearted leave me irritated (or angry). If the priest had told Romeo that Juliet was only sleeping they'd have died old, fat and ugly with ten surviving children. But no! They both end up dead! I suppose it's the age old question, Tragedy or Comedy?

Louisa Cornell said...

I have to admit I am with you on Heathcliff and Cathy. Next time just run off to Scotland and get married over the anvil. Sheesh!

However, I do love Heathcliff as the perfect doomed heartbreaker. He breaks everyone's heart, including his own.

Anyone who has ever read Flowers from the Storm knows Christian is another bad boy heartbreaker, but when he goes to the church to interrupt her reading of the abjuring of their marriage his stammering, halting declaration of love breaks my heart every single time.

Meda White said...

Uh, heartbreakers- gets me right in the ticker every time. They make me so mad sometimes but when they are redeemed, it's a beautiful thing. I'm still mad at Heathcliff though.

Rashda Khan said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments! Glad to see I'm not the only one who finds heartbreaking stories infuriating and still love them....and wow, we have a Heathcliffe fan club at SM :)

Rashda Khan said...
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