Warning: this post contains spoilers for Charade by Sandra Brown and Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh. If you haven’t read the books, and don’t want to know what happens, you should skip this post. Pictures are from Someecards.
I have a confession to make, I hate widowed heroes. It’s probably my least favorite trope ever, in fact, I hate is so much that before getting a book I always make sure that there are no dead wives in it. I have to really love an author to willingly get a book with said trope, and even then, I’m weary all the way untill the end.
If you are familiar with the blog you know that I’m a fan of Kristan Higgins, so when her latest book became available on Netgalley I was ecstatic and didn’t hesitate to hit the request button. At that point the only thing available about the book was the blurb, but the description was vague to say the least. I started the book, ready to cry, laugh and cry laughing --as usual with her books-- when lo and behold, a couple of pages into the book’s intro Ms. Higgins mentions the dreaded words: the hero’s beloved wife died of cancer. I literally went like this:
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That book ended up being everything I dread about the widower trope. The hero was great but he was so hung up on his wife that the whole time I felt like the heroine was second-best to him, that his real love story died with his wife.
I have a love/hate relationship with Sandra Brown. I either love or hate her books, Envy is one of my all-time favorite books, but others like Fat Tuesday and Another Dawn were terrible. Then there’s Charade. That book started amazingly well; the heroine is an actress who recently had a heart transplant, and someone is killing every person who got a heart on the same day. The hero is a brooding mystery writer helping her. Sounds good, right? Well, it turns out that the hero is desperately searching for his dead wife’s heart, and guess who he thinks has it?!?!?! NO, no, no, no, nooooooo!!!!
And speaking of heroines with parts of the dead wife inside of them -- Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Blade was one of my most anticipated books of last year. I knew that the hero was a widower very much in love with his dead wife, but he was such a compelling character that I didn’t care. I actually enjoyed that book -- there were lots of flashbacks and the dead wife was a great person, the new heroine was awesome as well, so everything was working for me until the big twist: the heroine is the dead wife reincarnated.... You’ve got to be kidding me! Why did you do that Nalini Singh, WHY?!? That ending ruined two perfectly good love stories, it made the old romance obsessive, and it cheapened the new one.
There’s a different side to this storyline, and that’s when the dead wife was a bitch and the poor hero was trapped in a loveless marriage with an evil woman who cheated on him with the Devil, and aborted his child (the hero’s, not Satan’s) without telling him. Honestly, I’m not a fan of this either. Was the hero an idiot? Why didn’t he get a divorce? I don’t mind when the hero is divorced, but when she’s dead it raises a lot of questions about him and brings a whole set of different problems to the plot.
Oh! And just in case you were wondering how I feel about widowed heroines, I don’t mind them. It’s not my favorite plotline, but I’d rather have a widowed heroine than a widowed hero. Why? Because I’m crazy and my hatred for the widowed hero is completely irrational!
What about you? How do you feel about heroes that happen to be widowers? Is there a book that you think will change my mind about the subject? I would love to hear your thoughts!
More someecards here.
More someecards here.