Monday, November 07, 2011

Pets in Romance Stories



Do you like your hero or heroine to have a pet or two? Does it make them more real to you if they cuddle a kitty after yelling at their true love? Or cry into their horse’s mane? Or maybe she owns a really clever pet bird that frightens away a would-be bad guy? Do you like the thought of your hunky hero going for a run with his dog?

I can think of one mystery author who always includes a cat or two in her books and the cats’ characters are every bit as vivid as that of the humans. And sometimes far more interesting to me, as a reader too.

I know of another author who adores animals and it shows in every line she writes about her shapeshifter wolves.

Then there are books I’ve read with a pet introduced in chapter one and never mentioned again in the book. I’m always left wondering, “What happened to the pet when the lovers hooked up? Is the pet going to get an HEA or not?”

There are a group of well-known authors who have written entire series of books where the hero or heroine is basically just a foil for the animal character that solves the mystery/ saves the world. That is another entire genre of book.

According to the God of all Knowledge, WikiAnswers, 63% of American households have a pet, the vast majority of them either a dog and/or a cat. Hamsters, fish, mice, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, bunnies, iguanas and ferrets are all in the top ten pets depending on who you believe.

So this is where I came in. If so many people own pets do they want to read about them in their books? Because they have a pet do they feel better if the hero/heroine has a pet?

Or do they see pets as something a kid needs to grow up with, rather like a bike and a football? Or just another household chore to perform? Do the laundry, cook the supper, walk the dog?

Many animals offer their human endless love, trust and companionship. They don’t fuss about unwashed blankets or unironed clothing. They adore being petted and at least pretend to listen when you talk to them. But does this uncomplaining attitude then make the hero or heroine look bad when they are upset at how their lover is treating them?

So what do you think? Should book characters be pet-owners? Or is this likely to make them be less appealing to their lover? After all, it is hardly romantic for the heroine to say, “I can’t go out without you tonight. I have to clean out the bird cage.”

I think, for authors, it comes down to the old saying “write what you know”. If you adore animals it will show in how you write them and the reader will love to read about Spot and Fluffy. If you consider the horse as just something that needs to be brushed from bite to kick, it’s better to avoid putting that in your novel. And readers respond to this. They love to read about genuine animal characters and their relationship with the hero and heroine. But the heroine’s pet that only appears in chapter one as a quick-fix solution to move the plot along—the reader sees right through that and feels cheated.


Raw Claiming
by


BLURB

Ayla thought it’d be just like Y2K all over again. But this time the world really did change. Now, she’s living in a community with far more men than women and has to choose some to live with. Ethan and Gideon helped rescue her, and she’s drawn to them. The sex is great, but she has to learn to live in a community that must become self-sufficient.

Also, what’s going on outside? Has the world changed forever? Will the men be torn from her and sent outside again? Should she go, too? And into what?



EXCERPT

It was plain to see Ethan and Gideon planned to claim her and fuck her. Well, she was okay with that. She’d seen a hell of a lot more men than women here, and their messages on the radio had said “marry one or more men,” so it’s not like being expected to fuck was a big surprise. Indeed, it was logical. Survivalism and army stuff were more man things than woman things, really.

Besides, it’d been so long since she’d had a steady partner. Not since she left the city. Once she’d moved in with her parents, her social life had pretty much shriveled up and died. Apart from a brief affair with a local farmer, sex had been just her and her fingers for way too long.

Ethan was tall and muscular with a really sexy voice. Her pussy creamed at the thought of being tucked up inside his arms. Gideon was a bit more of an enigma. He’d talked to her on the way back to this place—wherever the hell it was. They hadn’t traveled on any main roads, that was for sure!—but he hadn’t really revealed much about himself. Still, he was easy on the eyes and seemed gentle and considerate. In the lottery of survival, she figured she hadn’t done too badly to end up with this pair of men.

The real question was, how would the sharing thing work? Would they fuck her one at a time? Like, one night on, one night off? Or would they both be in the room and take turns immediately one after the other? Would she suck one while the other fucked her? Or—and this was a totally panty-drenching thought—would they take her together, one in her cunt and one in her ass? She’d never personally experienced such a thing, or even talked in real life to a woman who had, but she was well aware that it happened.

Ayla stood silently in the doorway of Ethan and Gideon’s—what? Room? Apartment?—and waited to be told what would happen next. The other men were unloading the two trucks, but Ethan and Gideon each had one of her suitcases and had brought her directly here.

They dumped the cases against the wall and pulled her into the room.

“You know you’ll be claimed by one or more of the men here?” began Gideon.

She nodded.

“You don’t have to accept the first man who asks you. But you will be expected to accept someone.” She nodded at Ethan this time.

Ethan cleared his throat. “Um, well, we were hoping you’d accept us.

We like you, and think you’re sexy and, um—”

“And since I have to sleep with someone, and since you rescued me, it may as well be you?”

“Yeah, pretty much. It’s not exactly a very romantic proposal, I’m afraid,” said Gideon.

“Yeah, well, it’s not exactly a romantic world anymore.” She mimicked his words and intonation.

“You’ll take us?” Ethan’s face was split by a huge grin.

Ayla nodded.

“You won’t regret it. We’ll look after you, I promise,” said Gideon.

“Yes, we will. I promise, too,” said Ethan seriously. “Now, can we fuck? You’re truly delicious, and my dick’s been harder than a spike ever since you first spoke to me on the radio.”

Ayla grinned, too. This really wasn’t how she’d expected her life to go a few months ago, but the whole world had changed and she was willing to change with it. Besides, what red-blooded woman could resist two sexy hunks who planned to fuck her?

“I’m ready, but how will this work?”





Berengaria Brown

http://berengariasblog.blogspot.com/

http://berengariabrown.webs.com/

10 comments:

  1. Thank you for inviting me over today, Brenda
    Berengaria

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  2. As a lifelong pet lover, I'm always thrilled when the hero &/or heroine has a pet that plays a part in the story. I also totally agree that it will be painfully obvious if the writer just puts the pet in one scene that they don't have the same affection for the animal kingdom & probably should have left it a pet free story.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

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  3. Excellent blog. I always think my books are richer when I get good 4-legged characters into them.

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  4. I love animals of every kind. What a great topic! I'm like you, if an author brings up a pet I want to know his/her story too. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Wonderful post about something that's close to my heart. I am an animal lover. My life would be so sadly empty without those critters. I'm also a wolf lover since I was a child and have had the chance to hear and see them frequently in the wild even now.
    I love it when animals are stories as it also reflects the characters emotional side on how they interact with others in the book. I love the wolf and animal shifter stories as the authors have used animal characteristics as part of the personalities in their characters.
    Thanks for the great excerpt from you books and would love to read more...*S*
    Darcy
    pommawolf @hotmail.com

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  6. You're so right, Kathryn. The animal must be an integral part of the story.
    Yes, Kissa, we want to know the animal will have an HEA too!
    Hi Darcy, Wolves are indeed incredibly fascinating animals, and make excellent characters in books.
    Berengaria

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  7. I don't mind pets in books...as long as they don't have a POV popping up on pages! Love pets, they can make stories more realistic, but not when they become a main character!
    Shapeshifters - different stories. They're not pets.

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  8. Wonderful post, Berengaria! Im an animal lover too and love reading a story that includes a pet. One of my books has four "magically blessed" pets: a Chow, a Persian,a pot-bellied Pig, and a Skunk. Ive received so many wonderful letters from Readers expressing how much they enjoyed the pets' interaction with the h/h.

    Thanks for sharing your love of pets!

    Hugs, Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com

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  9. Love pets in stories. They enrich the emotional landscape. It took me a while to realize that I had a cat in every single story of mine. Sometimes it's a spoiled brat, and sometimes a tame panther or a man killer beast. I even have cats on spaceships. My readers love them.

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