Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Do you make them grovel?

I recently saw a post where a reader was complaining that she didn't think authors made the hero grovel enough when they had to get back into the heroines good graces after the dreaded black moment in a story. There was a lot of agreement echoed in the post which surprised me. Most of the women commenting wanted the hero to work a lot harder in order to be forgiven. They felt the heroines were too easy on the heroes.

Doll on knees

Here's the thing. We are reading romances. And yes, there's the black moment where conflict ensues and it splits the couple apart, and only by the actions of either the hero or heroine do they get back together and have their happy ever after. But again, it's a romance. And with romance, there's love between the two characters. Love forgives, especially if the apology is heartfelt and the gesture is appropriate.

Personally, I do not feel that excessive groveling is necessary (although some groveling is required) and on that note, why must it always be the hero doing the groveling? Heroines mess up too. They are fallible too. And nothing pisses me off more than when the heroine messes up, and the author makes it the heroes fault, and he's the one who has to go groveling and apologising. That seems highly unfair to me. I, for one, do not like apologising when I'm not the one in the wrong. Why do I have to take the blame for something that is not my fault? The poor hero.

His For The Week by Alice Gaines The Test by Tawna Fenske

With two books I finished not long ago (both by the same author and in the same series), in the first book the heroine messes up and pushes the hero away. He's had enough and he leaves. It's up to the heroine to fix things with the hero. I'm very glad the author handled it well. She was the one who messed up. She was the one who had to go to the hero and make it up to him.

In the second book, the hero misunderstands a situation and jumps to the wrong conclusion. He ends up breaking up with the heroine because of it. Because of his own insecurities and issues. But when he realises what he's done with some insight from his brother, he goes and makes amends. He's the one who had to apologise to the heroine and explain himself.

Love frogs begging

In both instances, after the explanation and apology, the hero and heroine made up. That's how relationships work. You mess up, you apologise, you're forgiven. So even though I didn't voice my opinion in the post where the women were shouting down that the hero needed to grovel more, I strongly disagreed with them. If you love someone, you forgive. You do not rub their face in it. You do not make them stew and sweat over it. You do not make them grovel excessively. That's vengeful and mean and spiteful. That is not love. And if that's the way you feel it ought to be, you have no business reading romance because you obviously do not understand the concept of love and forgiveness.

So yeah, that's me on my soapbox about love and forgiveness, and for goodness sakes, give the poor hero a break. Heroines are hard work. What do you think? Forgive or make them grovel?

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  1. I agree that more groveling may not be necessary, but maybe more explanation or discussion, especially if one of them had a deeper reason to feel or act the way they did. Maybe they are sorry for the action, but the root cause needs discussion. Sometimes it just seems too flippant. I know that won't work in all books due to word count constraints, etc.
    However, it bugs me more if the scene does not match their personalities. I can't think of an example off the top of my head though.

    1. I know what you mean. Quite often I see the resolution seems too easy and too fast, especially when it was some kind of major blow up.

  2. Fabulous post Deanna you too much grovelling might make it to sweet maybe and I agree both partners need to grovel a little if necessary :)

    have Fun


    1. I'm not a fan of groveling in general. I'm all about the characters being adults and working things out without unnecessary angst and drama. The reason I do not like New Adult stories.