Friday, July 03, 2015

Friday Fun - Of Deception and Tropes

Jules Bennett is back at the Pink Heart Society, talking about how to approach a trope that's been done so many times.

The amnesia trope has been done – and done well – over and over. There are so many amazing amnesia romance novels, so when my editor and I decided to do one, I was nervous. I knew it needed a twist and it had to be a bit of a risk. *yikes* 

Before I get into my risk that still has me biting my nails, I want to hone in on the hero. 

For the most part, it seems the hero can get away with anything: lying, stealing, betraying…the list goes on. 

The hero justifies his actions in such a charming, often sexy way and in the end, the heroine forgives him and the reader sighs with happiness and all is well. 

I’m speaking for myself as a reader here. Feel free to disagree and we’ll discuss.  :) 

But, when I read a hero who is borderline a…okay, if he has jerkish tendencies, I find myself looking for that redeeming quality. I *know* he has to have one, right? I’m analyzing every action and word from him, waiting for him to redeem himself. 

Do you agree? Do you find yourself forgiving the hero for things you’d probably never forgive if this were real life? I absolutely do. He’s the HERO. I feel he’s at a level of awesomeness from the start so I can overlook a multitude of issues. 

Now, having said all of that, what about the heroine? 

What if she does something as unforgiveable? Are we quick to cut her down because we see the hero as “our man?” I’m also guilty of this. How dare she treat him bad?! 

Do you see where I’m going with this? Why I’m still biting my nails on a book I turned in nearly a year ago? 

I switched the deceiving rolls and my heroine is the one doing the betrayal. In A Royal Amnesia Scandal my Prince hero loses his memory and believes he’s engaged to his assistant. 

She’s had a slight infatuation with him since they were kids, but all he *knows* is that they are engaged. So, she goes along with the lie. 

I promise, she justifies her actions, but I wonder how readers will relate to this. I wonder if they will like this twist of a very vulnerable, yet Alpha hero and the heroine who is lying to him. 

Can you think of another book or movie where the heroine did the deceiving? I know there are some, but my brain is not cooperating! And, bonus question, why do we, as readers, accept a hero with less than stellar actions? Personally, I believe it’s because we see him as “ours,” but I may just be getting too involved with my fictitious men...  ;)

I’ll draw one winner to receive a signed copy of A Royal Amnesia Scandal!

Jules' latest book, A Royal Amnesia Scandal, is available now: 

She’s about to have an unforgettable affair…with her royal boss.

He was desperate to forget a broken engagement…until an accident has Prince Lucas Silva forgetting his fiancĂ©e’s identity. Now he believes his loyal assistant, Kate Barton, is his bride-to-be. And she’s under strict orders to keep up the pretense.

Playing the role of beloved is no stretch for Kate; she’s had a crush on her boss for years. But palace rules prohibit royalty from mixing with the help, so Kate knows her happiness can’t last. Once Luc regains his memory, she could very well be tossed aside…unless the prince is willing to forget the rules, too!

Jules Bennett loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her contact page on her website, and readers may like her fan page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter to stay up-to-date on all the happenings in Jules’ writing life.


  1. I love the amnesia trope, especially in suspense, where the amnesiac knows he/she is in danger, but not from whom. Your store sounds intriguing: I wondered right away: if she is forced to keep up the pretense, but palace rules say the prince can't mix with the help, who is forcing her to keep it up? And royal engagements are a pretty public affair so how come the public doesn't know who his real fiancee is? You got my mind spinning with possibilities which is great!

    I think readers have trouble with a heroine acting less than ethical because as readers we are sort of the heroine and we don't want to identify with a person who isn't honest. But if there are good reasons for certain acts, that's different of course.
    A skillful author can pull that off, so I'm sure your readers will love this twist on a popular trope!

    Happy Fourth tomorrow, everybody!

  2. From MarcieR

    I LOVED this book!
    I'm also one of "those" people who usually avoids amnesia stories, but Jules Bennett did a great job with her version of it.

    Now that I think about it - maybe it was because of the twist - the hero with the amnesia! Either way - LOVED this book.

    Naturally, no need to put me in for the giveaway since I already have copy.

  3. I can't think of any.. I just wanted to say I loved From Best Friends to Bride.
    alysap AT yahoo Dot com

  4. The most recent example I can think of where the heroine deceives the hero is on a TV series called Younger, where this woman, after a divorce and raising her daughter is trying to re-enter the workforce, and to do so, she lies about her age. She ends up meeting a younger guy, and maintains the age lie with him, as well. Like with your heroine, there's no real malicious intent here, she's not enjoying deceiving people, and for me, that's the key whether it's a male or female character doing something slightly shady, it all depends on their intentions.

    I do think sometimes I'm guilty of letting heroes off the hook a little too easily due to the swoon factor, I know I had a ton of conversations throughout the run of Mad Men where I totally made excuses for Don Draper's behavior that I probably wouldn't have made for a similar character who didn't look like Jon Hamm, I guess that's just human nature.

  5. While You Were Sleeping. Sandra Bullock pretends to be coma guy's fiance but then she falls in love with his brother. One of my favorite holiday movies!