I've been writing paranormals lately. It's not surprising that in the two I've written this year, power is discussed and in some part at the heart of the conflict. If you strip away the paranormal aspect of the world, I think power is still a huge thing to consider when writing a romance. One side simply can't have it all. At least for the romance to work for me.
And this brings me to something that might get my ass reamed later. This need for equality is why I've had trouble getting into BDSM. It's not the kink that stands in my way of glutting on this genre. It's how power often comes across uneven for me. Hell, it's partly why I have trouble with Presents and any story that features an Alpha, whether it's the man or the woman. Because a big part of what sells of on the HFN or the HEA is that I have to see the couple still together in the future. When there's an imbalance of power, or one party gives or takes more than the other, I'll see how that wears on the relationship. At some point, one party won't have much left to give or take, and that in itself leaves me cold.
Maybe it comes down to a core belief within myself that relationships have to have clear boundaries and still be flexible. I seek that same belief in the romances I choose to read. The BDSMs and clear Alpha-type stories that work for me have that.
Yes, many people are absolutely disgusted with the romance between Mac and Barrons. And you want to talk about a huge imbalance of power...Yeah. The Fever series has that in spades. Whenever I think about what sold that romance for me s probably one of the most controversial aspect of the story. It's when
Mac becomes priya and Barrons uses his dick to save her from it. No question about it, Barrons finally got his hands, mouth...ok. He finally slept with Mac. It was completely consensual for the mindless sex-bot Mac had become, but not for the Mac in books 1-4. Barrons completely held all the power in those scenes. Yet, it was completely clear to me, if Mac had been in her right mind, Barrons wouldn't have done what he'd done. Throughout the entire series, he didn't push back against this boundary in a way he totally could have. He respected that boundary.
There's an internal line for me, because the Alpha-type romance definitely has a I'm doing this for your own good and you so want it too thing going for it. And for me, I need to see, I need to believe there's a clear, CLEAR line that even the Alpha won't cross. They won't cross it because the other person in the relationship matters to them. It's about power, but it's about respect. It's about equality in the relationship.
And, I can say that above all things is sexy as fuck.